Iraqi Daily: Saddam Ordered Training of Al-Qa'ida Members
October 18, 2003 2:29 PM   Subscribe

Iraqi Daily: Saddam Ordered Training of Al-Qa'ida Members The White House had claimed a connection between Osama's terror organization and Saddam. No such connection thus far has been established and as a result the anti-Bush folks have accused the White House of fabrication (to put it kindly). This piece, translated from an independent Iraq newspaper, indicates a strong connection between Saddam and Osama Bin Laden.
posted by Postroad (22 comments total)
In fact, it's not just "anti-Bush folks" who are accusing the administration of fabrication. It's anyone who tries to match up multiple statements made by the administration during the build-up to the war with statements being made now. Just for the record. You hardly have to have some kind of grudge against Bush, or be a Democrat, to note alarming contradictions in official statements since Bush took office.
posted by digaman at 2:49 PM on October 18, 2003

I'm not so sure about the tradition of Iraqi journalism -- whether published under Coalition press controls, or under Uday's censorship.

This reminds me of the June, '03 episode in which it was believed that an "Honor Roll of 600" published in Uday's newspaper revealed conclusive evidence of an Iraqi liaison to Al Qaeda. The Weekly Standard got excited about it, but in the end it seemed like this "600 Most Beautiful Ba'athists Special Issue" had been overrated as a scoop, if not misunderstood.

What further makes all intelligence coming out of Iraq these days suspect is stuff like this episode, in which an American Enterprise Institute advisor, Michael Leeden, was all jazzed about pushing an "Iraqi uranium is hiding in Iran" story from an Iran-Contra figure notorious for being an "intelligence fabricator." People are pulling out all the stops to draw connections that would justify the war retroactively, and I wouldn't put fabrication of this story past them -- particularly in a cllimate of occupation press controls.
posted by inksyndicate at 2:50 PM on October 18, 2003

A Memri article whose only source is an unnamed "Iraqi official"? Spare us.

Even if it were substantiated, unless you're claiming that this is information that Bush had when he made his claims, he was still full of shit. Bush's lies weren't that there was an Al-Qaida connection and WMD - it's that he knew there were, that he had credible evidence that there were, and that we should trust him.
posted by nicwolff at 2:51 PM on October 18, 2003

Doesn't Richard Perle sit on MEMRI's board?
posted by trondant at 3:02 PM on October 18, 2003

bbc's panorama describes memri as "a charity which monitors the Arab media for anti-semitic opinions" (see nicwolff's link above for the missing link - the bbc page seems to be a little shy of identifying memri openly, although they give a link). there's also another article on memri here.

in short, it seems like they translate anything that makes arabs look bad. and with no context - does anyone know what Al-Yawm Al-Aakher's reputation is? - they can cherry pick whatever loony crap they like.
posted by andrew cooke at 3:04 PM on October 18, 2003

"An Iraqi officer (L) [only identified by initial] tells us..."

That's not much to go on.

Here's a Frontline interview with a former Iraqi army captain who claims Salman Pak was used to train terrorists. I've found it puzzling that we haven't heard more about what went on there.
posted by homunculus at 3:06 PM on October 18, 2003

Perle's not on the board of Memri.

Says here that Sabah Khodada, interviewed in that Frontline link, was brought forward by the Iraqi National Congress -- Mr. Chalabi's crew of dissidents who very understandably wanted to overthrow Saddam Hussein, but have given us some really terrible information.
posted by inksyndicate at 3:19 PM on October 18, 2003

was brought forward by the Iraqi National Congress

Thanks for spotting that, I'd completely forgotten about that since I saw that episode. That's the problem with old links, you don't always think to review them in light of more recent information.

but have given us some really terrible information.

As described in a more recent Frontline.
posted by homunculus at 3:30 PM on October 18, 2003

Speaking of bin Laden: Al-Jazeera airs purported bin Laden audiotapes.
posted by homunculus at 3:52 PM on October 18, 2003

Oh, you're welcome.
posted by inksyndicate at 3:54 PM on October 18, 2003

The Bush Admin was so absolutely certain of the AQ links and WMD before the ware, that if the intel had been valid, the evidence would have surfaced already.

At this point if evidence pops up, I'm not sure I'd trust it, so late in the game and with so much riding on Bush's claims being true
posted by BentPenguin at 4:00 PM on October 18, 2003

The most recent episode of Frontline admitted that a lot of what they previously said about Iraq's nuclear weapons program and ties to al Qeada came from Chalabi and is now known to be false.

Also, it still hasn't gotten across to people that al Qeada is a fundamental religious organization and Saddam was an anti-religious Stalinist.
posted by destro at 5:39 PM on October 18, 2003

"To recap, here are the things President Bush can't find: The source of the leak, weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, the link between Saddam and Osama bin Laden, the guy who sent the anthrax through the mail, and his butt with two hands and a flash light."

—Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live
posted by homunculus at 5:52 PM on October 18, 2003

NewsFilter, BashLeftFilter, AgendaFilter.

Did I miss anything, BlueTrain?

posted by Cerebus at 5:53 PM on October 18, 2003

The customary (at least where I come from) "...find his ass with two hands and a roadmap" would have been funnier, you know, as a sidelong glance at the vaunted, doomed 'Roadmap for Peace' and all that hooey.

More evidence of the continuing decline of SNL? You decide!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:01 PM on October 18, 2003

A memri article? Postroad you are scraping the bottom of the fucking barrel for Bush.
posted by skallas at 9:49 PM on October 18, 2003

you are scraping the bottom of the fucking barrel for Bush.

I plan to do this at the next MeFi meetup.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:28 PM on October 18, 2003

What I don't get is why we should pay attention to a single, unverified source that appears to have been around for awhile, when the CIA and government leaders said that there is no connection.

Does a single, unverified yea overrule dozens of verified nays?
posted by insomnia_lj at 4:35 AM on October 19, 2003

XQUZ, fucking in a barrel seems uncomfortable but suitably kinky if the meetup is in SF. Cool.
posted by billsaysthis at 1:45 PM on October 19, 2003

Well, that link sure convinced me!

Good job following the RNC talking points too with that "anti-Bush" comment.

I agree that real conservatives can't stand the man but us progressives and liberals are generally more forgiving than the "paleocons." We just hate the effects of stupid policy and detest the hypocrisy and lying.
posted by nofundy at 7:46 AM on October 20, 2003

and the smirking.
posted by soyjoy at 7:59 AM on October 20, 2003

So, Postroad, you got this from your favored source of late, The Agonist, where all who can read will note it is subtitled ed: treat as suspect ?

As you well know, such items so tagged there invariably prove to be bogus. As a faithful Agonist reader, you knew this. So why post it?
posted by y2karl at 9:11 AM on October 20, 2003

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