Absolutely Adequate wrote:
Now you're quoting frontpage magazine at me? C'mon. You know that isn't proof of anything. Find a reputable news source if you want to convince me. I promise to do the same in return.
In the meantime:
"[Adam Boulton, Sky News (London):] One question for you both. Do you believe that there is a link between Saddam Hussein, a direct link, and the men who attacked on September the 11th?
George W. Bush: I can't make that claim.
Tony Blair: That answers your question."
Or how about that Osama tape from February 2003 where he calls for more suicide attacks against both the US and Saddam? The one where he called Saddam an "infidel socialist?" Maybe I don't have a great vocabulary, but I'm almost 100% certain that "infidel socialist" doesn't mean "best friend." Correct me if I'm wrong.
As for me, this is the most credible link btwn Saddam and Osama http://www.democraticunderground.com/ar ... _link.html
A link to DU - now theres credibility
How about this then?
WHAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS LEARNED SINCE THE WAR
THE ADMINISTRATION'S CRITICS, including several of the Democratic presidential candidates, have alluded to new "evidence" they say confirms Iraq and al Qaeda had no relationship before the war. They have not shared that evidence.
Even as the critics withhold the basis for their allegations, evidence on the other side is piling up. Ansar al-Islam--the al Qaeda cell formed in June 2001 that operated out of northern Iraq before the war, notably attacking Kurdish enemies of Saddam--has stepped up its activities elsewhere in the country. In some cases, say national security officials, Ansar is joining with remnants of Saddam's regime to attack Americans and nongovernmental organizations working in Iraq. There is some reporting, unconfirmed at this point, that the recent bombing of the U.N. headquarters was the result of a joint operation between Baathists and Ansar al-Islam.
And there are reports of more direct links between the Iraqi regime and bin Laden. Farouk Hijazi, former Iraqi ambassador to Turkey and Saddam's longtime outreach agent to Islamic fundamentalists, has been captured. In his initial interrogations, Hijazi admitted meeting with senior al Qaeda leaders at Saddam's behest in 1994. According to administration officials familiar with his questioning, he has subsequently admitted additional contacts, including a meeting in late 1997. Hijazi continues to deny that he met with bin Laden on December 21, 1998, to offer the al Qaeda leader safe haven in Iraq. U.S. officials don't believe his denial.
For one thing, the meeting was reported in the press at the time. It also fits a pattern of contacts surrounding Operation Desert Fox, the series of missile strikes the Clinton administration launched at Iraq beginning December 16, 1998. The bombing ended 70 hours later, on December 19, 1998. Administration officials now believe Hijazi left for Afghanistan as the bombing ended and met with bin Laden two days later.
Earlier that year, at another point of increased tension between the United States and Iraq, Hussein sought to step up contacts with al Qaeda. On February 18, 1998, after the Iraqis repeatedly refused to permit U.N. weapons inspectors into sensitive sites, President Bill Clinton went to the Pentagon and delivered a hawkish speech about Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and his links to "an unholy axis of terrorists, drug traffickers, and organized international criminals." Said Clinton: "We have to defend our future from these predators of the 21st century. . . . They will be all the more lethal if we allow them to build arsenals of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them. We simply cannot allow that to happen. There is no more clear example of this threat than Saddam Hussein."
The following day, February 19, 1998, according to documents unearthed in Baghdad after the recent war by journalists Mitch Potter and Inigo Gilmore, Hussein's intelligence service wrote a memo detailing upcoming meetings with a bin Laden representative traveling to Baghdad. Each reference to bin Laden had been covered with Liquid Paper. The memo laid out a plan to step up contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda. The Mukhabarat, one of Saddam's security forces, agreed to pay for "all the travel and hotel costs inside Iraq to gain the knowledge of the message from bin Laden and to convey to his envoy an oral message from us to bin Laden." The document set as the goal for the meeting a discussion of "the future of our relationship with him, bin Laden, and to achieve a direct meeting with him." The al Qaeda representative, the document went on to suggest, might be "a way to maintain contacts with bin Laden."
I emailed Potter, a Jerusalem-based correspondent for the Toronto Star, about his findings last month. He was circumspect about the meaning of the document. "So did we find the tip of the iceberg, or the whole iceberg? Did bin Laden and Saddam agree to disagree and that was the end of it? I still don't know." Still, he wrote, "I have no doubt that what we found is the real thing. We plucked it out of a building that had been J-DAMed and was three-quarters gone. Beyond the pale to think that the CIA or someone else planted false evidence in such a dangerous location, where only lunatics would bother to tread. And then to cover over the incriminating name Osama bin Laden with Liquid Paper, so that only the most stubborn and dogged of translators would fluke into spotting it?"
Four days after that memo was written, on February 23, 1998, bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, issued a famous fatwa about the plight of Iraq. Published that day in al Quds al-Arabi, it reads in part:
First, for over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples. . . . The best proof of this is the Americans' continuing aggression against the Iraqi people using the Peninsula as a staging post, even though all its rulers are against their territories being used to that end, still they are helpless. Second, despite the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people by the crusader-Zionist alliance, and despite the huge number of those killed, in excess of 1 million . . . despite all this, the Americans are once again trying to repeat the horrific massacres, as though they are not content with the protracted blockade imposed after the ferocious war or the fragmentation and devastation.
The Americans, bin Laden says, are working on behalf of Israel.
The best proof of this is their eagerness to destroy Iraq, the strongest neighboring Arab state, and their endeavor to fragment all the states of the region such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan into paper statelets and through their disunion and weakness to guarantee Israel's survival and the continuation of the brutal crusade occupation of the Peninsula.
Bin Laden urges his followers to act. "The ruling to kill all Americans and their allies--civilians and military--is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it." It was around this time, U.S. officials say, that Hussein paid the $300,000 to bin Laden's deputy, Zawahiri.
ACCORDING TO U.S. officials, soldiers in Iraq have discovered additional documentary evidence like the memo Potter found. This despite the fact that there is no team on the ground assigned to track down these contacts--no equivalent to the Iraq Survey Group looking for evidence of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. Interviews with detained senior Iraqi intelligence officials are rounding out the picture.
The Bush administration has thus far chosen to keep the results of its postwar findings to itself; much of the information presented here comes from public sources. The administration, spooked by the media feeding frenzy surrounding yellowcake from Niger, is exercising extreme caution in rolling out the growing evidence of collaboration between al Qaeda and Baathist Iraq. As the critics continue their assault on a prewar "pattern of deception," the administration remains silent.
This impulse is understandable. It is also dangerous. Some administration officials argue privately that the case for linkage is so devastating that when they eventually unveil it, the critics will be embarrassed and their arguments will collapse. But to rely on this assumption is to run a terrible risk. Already, the absence of linkage is the conventional wisdom in many quarters. Once "everybody knows" that Saddam and bin Laden had nothing to do with each other, it becomes extremely difficult for any release of information by the U.S. government to change people's minds.