Friday, October 28, 2005

Fabricated Links ( is that a nice way of saying LIES ? )

Oct. 26, 2005 - A secret draft CIA report raises new questions about a principal argument used by the Bush administration to justify the war in Iraq: the claim that Saddam Hussein was "harboring" notorious terror leader Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi prior to the American invasion.


The allegation that Zarqawi had visited Baghdad in May 2002 with Saddam's sanction—purportedly for medical treatment—was once a centerpiece of the administration's arguments about Iraq. Secretary of State Colin Powell cited Zarqawi's alleged visit in his speech to the United Nations Security Council. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld referred obliquely to Zarqawi's purported trip as an example of "bulletproof" evidence that the administration had assembled linking Saddam's regime with Al Qaeda.

But like the uranium yellowcake claims—since determined to be fraudulent—that are at the heart of the CIA leak case, the administration's original allegations about Zarqawi's trip also seem to be melting away. An updated CIA re-examination of the issue recently concluded that Saddam's regime may not have given Zarqawi "safe haven" after all.

The CIA declined to comment on the draft report. But officials tell NEWSWEEK that Zarqawi probably did travel to the Iraqi capital in the spring of 2002 for medical treatment. And, of course, there is no question that he is in Iraq now—orchestrating many of the deadly suicide bombings and attacks on American soldiers.

But before the American-led invasion, Saddam's government would never have known he was there. The reason: he used an alias and was there under what one U.S. intelligence official calls a "false cover." No evidence has been found showing senior Iraqi officials were even aware of his presence, according to two counterterrorism analysts familiar with the classified CIA study who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.

An intelligence official told NEWSWEEK that the current draft says that "most evidence suggests Saddam Hussein did not provide Zarqawi safe haven before the war". It also recognizes that there are still unanswered questions and gaps in knowledge about the relationship."

The most recent CIA analysis is an update—based on fresh reporting from Iraq and interviews with former Saddam officials—of a classified report that analysts in the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence first produced more than a year ago. According to the Knight Ridder newspapers, the agency was originally asked to conduct that review of Saddam's dealings with Zarqawi by Vice President Dick Cheney.

The new report is only the latest chink in the armor of the alleged Saddam-Al Qaeda connection. Last year, the September 11 Commission found there was no "collaborative" relationship between the Iraqi regime and Osama bin Laden; one high-level Al Qaeda commander—who had been cited by Powell as testifying to talks about chemical- and biological-warfare training—later recanted his claims. But the Pentagon and Cheney's office have been reluctant to abandon the case: in the months after U.S. and allied forces deposed Saddam, NEWSWEEK has learned, Iraqi informants approached U.S. intelligence personnel with what purported to be caches of documents proving that Saddam's dealings with Al Qaeda were extensive. (One cache of documents even claimed that six of 19 of the September 11 hijackers had been trained to fly in Iraq.)

Current and former U.S. counterterrorism officials said that when officials at the Bush White House learned about the existence of documents linking Saddam to Al Qaeda, they became very excited and pressured intelligence agencies to work quickly to validate and decipher them. However, the CIA ultimately established that most key documents about the Saddam-Al Qaeda connection turned over were faked—just like the documents purporting to show Iraqi purchases of uranium.

2 Comments:

Anonymous TBone said...

please check out my post at

http://iraqwarjournal.blogspot.com

I'm not saying there is absolute, incontravertable evidence of the association...I am merely saying the distinct possibility exists that Zarqawi was there well prior to the war, and many facts point to that conclusion. The most compelling is his association with the people in Ansar Al-Islam IMO.

Cheers,
TBone

October 28, 2005 3:10 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

I dont think anyone doubts Zaqarwi was there
i certainly do not

I question the concept that Saddam actually knew he was there and they were working together in any way

can i say that Mohammed Atta is linked to the US government as he was clearly there before the world trade center attack

clearly not

my point is that 2 + 2 does not equal 6

October 28, 2005 7:53 pm  

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