Home About Topplebush.com Contact Us Links
Topple Bush Store Articles about George Bush Bush Resume Bush Humor Contribute

Bush Articles

Record as President

Support
Topplebush.com!

Bush coin button
Please also visit our own Store to find lots of interesting, unusual, and funny politically-themed products

Topplebush Books
Find all the progressive books featured on our site plus DVDs, and CDs.


Support our web site using PayPal!
Contact Elected Officials

- Write to Congress
- Write to Congress by State
- Write to Senate by state
- White House switchboard: 1-202-224-3121
- Capitol tollfree: 1-888-355-3588
- Complete White House telephone directory

Bush bashing books
Recommended Reading

View Cart/Checkout

No proof found to link Al Qaeda with Hussein
by WARREN P. STROBEL, JONATHAN S. LANDAY AND JOHN WALCOTT FREE PRESS WASHINGTON STAFF
Detroit Free Press
March 3, 2004

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration's claim that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had ties to Al Qaeda -- one of the main arguments for a preemptive war -- appears to have been based on even less solid intelligence than the administration's claims that Iraq had hidden stocks of chemical and biological weapons.

Nearly a year after U.S. and British troops invaded Iraq, no evidence has turned up to verify allegations of Hussein's links with Al Qaeda, and key parts of the Bush administration's case have either proven false or seem increasingly doubtful.

Senior U.S. officials now say that there never was any evidence that Hussein's secular police state and Osama bin Laden's Islamic terror network were in league. At most, there were occasional meetings.

Moreover, the U.S. intelligence community never concluded those meetings produced an operational relationship between the two, U.S. officials said. And that verdict was reached before the war began. It was contained in a secret report by the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence which was updated in January 2003, on the eve of the war.

"We could find no provable connection between Hussein and Al Qaeda," a senior U.S. official acknowledged. He and others spoke on condition of anonymity because the information involved is classified and could prove embarrassing to the White House.

The administration's allegations that Hussein still had weapons of mass destruction have been the subject of much greater public and political controversy.

They were based on the Iraqi leader's long history of duplicity regarding weapons of mass destruction, which appeared to be confirmed by spy satellite photographs, defectors and electronic eavesdropping.

But evidence of Iraq's ties to Al Qaeda was always sketchy, based largely on testimony of Iraqi defectors and prisoners, supplemented with reports from foreign agents and eavesdropping.

Much of the evidence that's now available indicates that Iraq and Al Qaeda had no close ties, despite repeated contacts between the two; that the terrorists whom administration officials claimed were links between the two had no direct links to either Hussein or bin Laden; and that a key meeting between an Iraqi intelligence officer and one of the leaders of the 9/11 terrorist attacks probably never happened.

A review of the Bush administration statements on Iraq's ties to terrorism and what's now known about the classified intelligence has found that administration advocates of a preemptive invasion frequently hyped sketchy and sometimes false information to help make their case. On two occasions, they neglected to report information that painted a less sinister picture, according to the review made by the Free Press Washington bureau.

The Bush administration has defended its prewar descriptions of Hussein and is calling Iraq "the central front in the war on terrorism," as the president told U.S. troops two weeks ago.

But before the war and since, Bush and his aides made rhetorical links that now appear to have been leaps:

* Vice President Dick Cheney told National Public Radio in January that there was "overwhelming evidence" of a relationship between Hussein and Al Qaeda. Among the evidence he cited was Iraq's harboring of Abdul Rahman Yasin, a suspect in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Cheney didn't mention that Iraq had offered to turn Yasin over to the FBI in 1998, in return for a U.S. statement acknowledging that Iraq had no role in the 1993 attack. The Clinton administration refused the offer, because it was unwilling to reward Iraq for returning a fugitive.

* Administration officials reported that Farouk Hijazi, a top Iraqi intelligence officer, had met with bin Laden in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 1998 and offered him safe haven in Iraq.

Bin Laden said he'd consider the offer, U.S. intelligence officials said. But according to a report later made available to the CIA, the Al Qaeda leader told an aide afterward that he had no intention of accepting Hussein's offer because "if we go there, it would be his agenda, not ours."

* The administration tied Hussein to a terrorism network run by Palestinian Abu Musab al Zarqawi. That network may be behind the latest violence in Iraq that killed at least 143 people on Tuesday.

But U.S. officials say the evidence that Zarqawi had close operational ties to Al Qaeda also appears increasingly doubtful.

Asked for Cheney's views on Iraq and terrorism, vice presidential spokesman Kevin Kellems referred reporters to the vice president's TV interviews Tuesday.

Cheney, in an interview with CNN, said Zarqawi ran an "Al Qaeda-affiliated" group. He cited an intercepted letter Zarqawi wrote to Al Qaeda leaders. But U.S. officials say that the letter contained a plea for help that Al Qaeda rebuffed. The structure of the letter, experts said, suggested Zarqawi considered himself an independent operator and not a part of bin Laden's organization.

* Iraqi defectors alleged that Hussein's regime was helping to train Iraqi and non-Iraqi Arab terrorists. The allegation made it into a September 2002 report the White House issued.

The U.S. military has found no evidence of such a facility.

* The allegation that 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta met in Prague with an Iraqi intelligence officer is now contradicted by FBI evidence that Atta was taking flight training in Florida at the time. The Iraqi, Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al Ani, is now in U.S. custody and told interrogators that he never met Atta.

CIA Director George Tenet told the Senate intelligence committee last month there is no evidence to support the allegation.

* Bush, Cheney and Secretary of State Colin Powell made much of occasional contacts between Hussein's regime and Al Qaeda, dating back to the early 1990s when bin Laden was based in the Sudan. But intelligence indicates that nothing ever came of the contacts.

A postwar poll last July by PIPA-Knowledge Networks found that 7 in 10 Americans thought the Bush administration had implied that Hussein was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks.

Contact WARREN STROBEL at wstrobel@krwashington.com.

PreviousNext

Fair Use Notice: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, economic, democratic, domestic and international issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

< / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21 / 22 / 23 / 24 / 25 / 26 / 27 / 28 / 29 / 30 / 31 / 32 / 33 / 34 / 35 / 36 / 37 / 38 / 39 / 40 / 41 / 42 / 43 / 44 / 45 / 46 / 47 / 48 / 49 / 50 / 51 / 52 / 53 / 54 / 55 / 56 / 57 / 58 / 59 / 60 / 61 / 62 / 63 / 64 / 65 / 66 / 67 / 68 / 69 / 70 / 71 / 72 / 73 / 74 / 75 / 76 / 77 / 78 / 79 / 80 / 81 / 82 / 83 / 84 / 85 / 86 / 87 / 88 / 89 / 90 / 91 / 92 / 93 / 94 / 95 / 96 / 97 / 98 / 99 / 100 / 101 / 102 / 103 / 104 / 105 / 106 / 107 / 108 / 109 / 110 / 111 / 112 / 113 / 114 / 115 / 116 / 117 / 118 / 119 / 120 / 121 / 122 / 123 / 124 / 125 / 126 / 127 / 128 / 129 130 / 131 / 132 / 133 / 134 / 135 / 136 / 137 / 138 / 139 / 140 / 141 / 142 / >
Back to Index Category Index

Main Sections:
/ Home / About Us / Contact Us / Links / Topple Bush Store / Bush Articles / Bush Resume / Bush Humor / Contribute /

Topple Bush Submenus:
Topplebush Store: / T-shirts / Bush Coins / Bumper Stickers / Peace Magz / Obama08 / Blow-out clearance sale / T-shirt sale / Bumper Sticker sale / Bush Legacy Gear /
Bush Articles: / Past Business Dealings / Military Record / Family History / Record as Governor of TX / Stealing the Florida Election / George G. W. Bush / Record as President / Dick Cheney /
Bush Humor: / Jokes / Cartoons / Photos 1 / Photos 2 / Photos 3 / Animation / Other / Trump Jokes / Trump Limericks /
Contribute: / Candidates / Topple Bush Site /

Other Sections:
/ Books / DVDs / CDs / MP3 Music for Free Download / Free flyers to Print Out & Distribute / Election Fraud Information /

Fun Topplebush Projects:
/ Remove Condi Rice from the Football Playoff Committee /
Find New Slogan for Fox News / Send Pills to Rush / Find a New Slogan for the GOP / Create Better Language for Dems and Progressives / Blame Reagan / What military recruiters say to fill their quotas / Photo Caption Contest - Win a Free Prize! /

Share this web page with like-minded people:
/ digg / reddit / del.icio.us / stumbleupon / google web history /