T Nation

Rummy: No Iraq/AQ Link

The Donald fucked up and spoke the truth, bet he’ll get reamed for this one.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=564&e=3&u=/nm/iraq_usa_rumsfeld_dc

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Tuesday he was misunderstood when he stated hours earlier that he knew of no “strong, hard evidence” linking Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s Iraq (news - web sites) and al Qaeda.

“I have acknowledged since September 2002 that there were ties between al Qaeda and Iraq,” Rumsfeld said in a Web site statement issued following remarks he made to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Monday.

“Today at the Council, I even noted that ‘when I’m in Washington, I pull out a piece of paper and say “I don’t know, because I’m not in that business, but I’ll tell you what the CIA (news - web sites) thinks” and I read it’.”

In the new statement, issued on the Pentagon (news - web sites) Web site, Rumsfeld listed what he said were arguments for suggesting links between al Qaeda and Iraq under Saddam, including what the CIA regarded as “credible evidence” that al Qaeda leaders had sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire weapons of mass destruction.

[b]Rumsfeld, during a question-and-answer session before the Council on Foreign Relations, had been asked to explain the connection between Saddam and Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network – one of the U.S. arguments for launching a war on Iraq.

He replied: “To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two.”[/b]

A Statement From Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld

        A question I answered today at an appearance before the Council on Foreign Relations regarding ties between Al Qaeda and Iraq regrettably was misunderstood.

        I have acknowledged since September 2002 that there were ties between Al Qaeda and Iraq.

        This assessment was based upon points provided to me by then CIA Director George Tenet to describe the CIA's understanding of the Al Qaeda-Iraq relationship.

        Today at the Council, I even noted that "when I'm in Washington, I pull out a piece of paper and say 'I don't know, because I'm not in that business, but I'll tell you what the CIA thinks,' and I read it."

        The CIA conclusions in that paper, which I discussed in a news conference as far back as September, 2002, note that:

        * We do have solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of al Qaeda members, including some that have been in Baghdad.

        * We have what we consider to be very reliable reporting of senior level contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda going back a decade, and of possible chemical and biological agent training.

        * We have what we believe to be credible information that Iraq and al Qaeda have discussed safe haven opportunities in Iraq.

        * We have what we consider to be credible evidence that al Qaeda leaders have sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire weapons of mass destruction capabilities.

        * We do have one report indicating that Iraq provided unspecified training relating to chemical and/or biological matters for al Qaeda members.

        I should also note that the 9/11 Commission report described linkages between Al Qaeda and Iraq as well.

Here’s a transcript of the speech and the Q&A – decide for yourself:

http://www.cfr.org/pub7424/louis_v_gerstner_jr_donald_rumsfeld/an_update_on_the_global_war_on_terror_with_donald_rumsfeld.php

Here’s the relevant excerpt, but I suggest reading the whole thing, as it is quite interesting:

QUESTIONER: My name is Glenn Hutchins. Mr. Secretary, what exactly was the connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda?

RUMSFELD: I tell you, I’m not going to answer the question. I have seen the answer to that question migrate in the intelligence community over the period of a year in the most amazing way. Second, there are differences in the intelligence community as to what the relationship was. To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two. There are–I just read an intelligence report recently about one person who’s connected to al Qaeda, who was in and out of Iraq, and there’s the most tortured description of why he might have had a relationship, and why he might not have had a relationship. There are reports about people in Saddam Hussein’s intelligence service meeting in one country or another with al Qaeda people from one person to another, which may have been indicative of something, or may not have been. It may have been something that was not representative of a hard linkage.

What we do know is that Saddam Hussein was on the terrorist list. We do know they were giving $25,000 to suicide bombers. So, this is not the Little Sisters of the Poor. [Laughter.] But, what I would–to answer it, when I’m in Washington, I pull out a piece of paper and say, I don’t know, because I’m not in that business, but I’ll tell you what the CIA thinks, and I read it–the public version of it. If you want a–not terribly current now, but [former Director of Central Intelligence] George Tenet did testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, and a version of it was unclassified–declassified–later which you can get and read if you want to see the answer that he gave.

But it is–it is–the relationships between these folks are complicated. They evolve and change over time. In many cases, these different networks have common funders. In many cases, they cooperate not in a chain of command, but in a loose affiliation–a franchising arrangement almost, where they go do different things and cooperate, but they’re not, in the case of al Qaeda, most–my impression is, most of the senior people have actually sworn an oath to Osama bin Laden, and even, to my knowledge, even as of this late date, I don’t believe [Abu Musab al-] Zarqawi, the principal leader of the network in Iraq, has sworn an oath, even though what they’re doing–I mean, they’re just two peas in a pod in terms of what they’re doing.

So, it is too complicated for me to try to pretend I’m the expert analyst on the subject, and for that I apologize.

On the general subject, here is an excerpt from a post by Pejman Yousefzadeh:

http://www.pejmanesque.com/archives/006925.html

Vice Chairman of the 9/11 Commission Lee Hamilton blasted the mainstream press yesterday for distorting the Commission's findings on links between Iraq and al-Qaida, saying those findings actually support Bush administration contentions.

"The sharp differences that the press has drawn [between the White House and the Commission] are not that apparent to me," Hamilton told the Associated Press, a day after insisting that his probe uncovered "all kinds" of connections between Osama bin Laden's terror network and Iraq.

Hamilton's comments followed a deluge of mainstream reports falsely claiming that the 9/11 Commission had discredited the Bush administration's claim of longstanding links between Baghdad and bin Laden.

But the Indiana Democrat said the press accounts were flat-out wrong.

"There are all kinds of ties," he told PBS's "The News Hour" late Wednesday, in comments that establishment journalists have refused to report.

"There are all kinds of connections. And it may very well have been that Osama bin Laden or some of his lieutenants met at some time with Saddam Hussein's lieutenants."

It cannot be stressed enough that the Vice President should be prepared to use this and other evidence to rebut any attack regarding this issue. No one is saying that there was a link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11. What is being said–by the Democratic Vice Chairman of the 9/11 Commission and in the full Commission report no less–is that there was a generalized working relationship between Saddam and al Qaeda. No one–not the press, not the Kerry-Edwards campaign and certainly not the other side of the partisan divide–should be allowed to get away with claiming the contrary.

Remember when Rumsfeld admitted that the war in Iraq could very well be creating many more terrorists than it killed? Boy, those little moments where the truth creeps out, they can really come back to haunt you.

Think Rummy got an angry phone call from George Bush, after this latest faux pas? I bet he did.

Yes, there ARE all kinds of connections. For example, they may have exchanged Birthday cards.

Why does this boob still have a job? I guess that in November we will have to fire the whole bunch of incompetent clowns at the same time.

The thing that pisses me off the most about this chicken livered administration is how they practically put a gun to the intelligence agencys heads to give them the excuse to go into Iraq and now after their lies and deception are being uncovered left and right they blame it on “all the bad intel they were given”!

Doesn’t anybody remember when Bush was saying “imminent threat” holding up his little vial of pixie dust! Some kind of fucking imminent threat! George Tenent was just a nutless shitsack trying to please his sugardaddy’s Bush and Cheney, giving them what they were asking for! Unless you choose to remain in denial you can’t cut it anyother way the American people were hoodwinked!

Gosh Elk, you sound all angry and stuff. Go do some dead-hang chins or something so you won’t call those assholes “nutless shitsacks” and non-mature things like that.

Rummy and his masters can do all the back-pedalling and “what-I-really-meant-to-say” CYA shit they want. What really happened is that he fucked up and let a little piece of the truth slip out. Everything they’ve said after that is the verbal equivalent of hiding his shit stained underwear before his mommy finds it. Lumpy’s dead on too, I would’ve liked to listen in on the “hey dumbass, wake the fuck up” phone call he got after this one.

Good guys, ignore the findings of the 9/11 commission, posted above:

Friday, June 18, 2004 9:21 a.m. EDT

9/11 Chair Hamilton Slams Media Distortions

Vice Chairman of the 9/11 Commission Lee Hamilton blasted the mainstream press yesterday for distorting the Commission’s findings on links between Iraq and al-Qaida, saying those findings actually support Bush administration contentions.

“The sharp differences that the press has drawn [between the White House and the Commission] are not that apparent to me,” Hamilton told the Associated Press, a day after insisting that his probe uncovered “all kinds” of connections between Osama bin Laden’s terror network and Iraq.

 Friday, June 18, 2004 9:21 a.m. EDT

9/11 Chair Hamilton Slams Media Distortions

Vice Chairman of the 9/11 Commission Lee Hamilton blasted the mainstream press yesterday for distorting the Commission’s findings on links between Iraq and al-Qaida, saying those findings actually support Bush administration contentions.

“The sharp differences that the press has drawn [between the White House and the Commission] are not that apparent to me,” Hamilton told the Associated Press, a day after insisting that his probe uncovered “all kinds” of connections between Osama bin Laden’s terror network and Iraq.

Hamilton’s comments followed a deluge of mainstream reports falsely claiming that the 9/11 Commission had discredited the Bush administration’s claim of longstanding links between Baghdad and bin Laden.

But the Indiana Democrat said the press accounts were flat-out wrong.

“There are all kinds of ties,” he told PBS’s “The News Hour” late Wednesday, in comments that establishment journalists have refused to report.

“There are all kinds of connections. And it may very well have been that Osama bin Laden or some of his lieutenants met at some time with Saddam Hussein’s lieutenants.”

Hamilton said that while his probe had failed to uncover any direct operational link between Baghdad and Osama bin Laden’s terror network in attacks on the U.S., there’s no question that “they had contacts.”

tme, RSU, Elk,

Go check out Mr. Chen’s link showing Kerry bringing cheat sheets into the first debate.

It’s very enlightening.

JeffR

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Good guys, ignore the findings of the 9/11 commission, posted above:

Friday, June 18, 2004 9:21 a.m. EDT

9/11 Chair Hamilton Slams Media Distortions

Vice Chairman of the 9/11 Commission Lee Hamilton blasted the mainstream press yesterday for distorting the Commission’s findings on links between Iraq and al-Qaida, saying those findings actually support Bush administration contentions.

“The sharp differences that the press has drawn [between the White House and the Commission] are not that apparent to me,” Hamilton told the Associated Press, a day after insisting that his probe uncovered “all kinds” of connections between Osama bin Laden’s terror network and Iraq.

 Friday, June 18, 2004 9:21 a.m. EDT

9/11 Chair Hamilton Slams Media Distortions

Vice Chairman of the 9/11 Commission Lee Hamilton blasted the mainstream press yesterday for distorting the Commission’s findings on links between Iraq and al-Qaida, saying those findings actually support Bush administration contentions.

“The sharp differences that the press has drawn [between the White House and the Commission] are not that apparent to me,” Hamilton told the Associated Press, a day after insisting that his probe uncovered “all kinds” of connections between Osama bin Laden’s terror network and Iraq.

Hamilton’s comments followed a deluge of mainstream reports falsely claiming that the 9/11 Commission had discredited the Bush administration’s claim of longstanding links between Baghdad and bin Laden.

But the Indiana Democrat said the press accounts were flat-out wrong.

“There are all kinds of ties,” he told PBS’s “The News Hour” late Wednesday, in comments that establishment journalists have refused to report.

“There are all kinds of connections. And it may very well have been that Osama bin Laden or some of his lieutenants met at some time with Saddam Hussein’s lieutenants.”

Hamilton said that while his probe had failed to uncover any direct operational link between Baghdad and Osama bin Laden’s terror network in attacks on the U.S., there’s no question that “they had contacts.”

[/quote]

why bother, bb? you consistently provide sound, supported arguments that consistently get ignored or disregarded by these guys. I applaud your method and consistency, but it is falling on deaf ears…

why bother, bb? you consistently provide sound, supported arguments that consistently get ignored or disregarded by these guys. I applaud your method and consistency, but it is falling on deaf ears…

Not true, he constantly provides right wing propaganda with a dash of moderate thrown in at intervals to try and appear credible. I could post Maureen Dowd articles all day and it would be a waste of my time and yours!

tme-

The administration’s house of cards is beginning to crumble and with the combination of cheney’s lies and dubya’s stammering and stuttering face contorting antics in the debates the emperors clothes or lack there of is showing! Have you seen all of the Republicans against Bush groups that are forming? Except for that senile bag Zel Miller, I don’t see too many dems supporting Bush. This goes beyond partisanship, it goes to honesty and competence, two things currently lacking in the White house!

[quote]Elkhntr1 wrote:

Not true, he constantly provides right wing propaganda with a dash of moderate thrown in at intervals to try and appear credible. I could post Maureen Dowd articles all day and it would be a waste of my time and yours!

tme-

The administration’s house of cards is beginning to crumble and with the combination of cheney’s lies and dubya’s stammering and stuttering face contorting antics in the debates the emperors clothes or lack there of is showing! Have you seen all of the Republicans against Bush groups that are forming? Except for that senile bag Zel Miller, I don’t see too many dems supporting Bush. This goes beyond partisanship, it goes to honesty and competence, two things currently lacking in the White house![/quote]

thank you for supporting my statement.

Elk:

Here’s a link to a great, long, 2-part post from a former Dem who has converted to being a Bush supporter.

[If you want to read it, read to the bottom, and then return to the top to link to part 2]

I posted another on another thread. Simply, there are those who, for various reasons, will switch sides. I know some – both ways. The fact you happen to exist in a Kerry bubble doesn’t affect that.

As far as demographics go, the change in those would seem to favor Bush:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A13427-2004Oct6.html

Excerpt:

"About 7 million members of the elderly cohort from that [Roosevelt-Truman-Kennedy-Johnson] Democratic presidential era have died since the 2000 election. And a Republican-leaning cohort that the Bush agenda aims to enlarge – owners of stock – continues to expand. In 1980, 20 percent of adults owned stock. Today 60 percent do, as do more than 70 percent of those who will vote on Nov. 2.

In addition to their economic rationale, the Bush tax cuts have the political purpose of crimping Democrats’ abilities to satisfy their factions’ desires for spending. And Bush’s private retirement, health and education savings accounts would implement the theory that, as Rauch says, Republicans will empower the people, who in turn will empower Republicans."

Now, that’s a bit to facile, because it’s really all about voters more than just citizens. Of course, old people vote in very high percentages relative to younger folks, so it would seem the Dems will lose some major votes here – especially in FL…

But, of course, this also doesn’t account for newly motivated voters, who perhaps stayed home or voted Buchanan or Nader last time, or newly registered voters, coming to the polls for Bush or Kerry. That’s harder to read - we’ll need to wait until election day to see how that turns out.

BTW, on a side note, calling the argument “right wing propaganda” when it’s just the statement of a Democrat who was on the 9/11 Commission doesn’t hold water very well – that’s even worse than ignoring it. Or did you mean to use ad hominem against my arguments generally?

Elk,

“Not true, he constantly provides right wing propaganda with a dash of moderate thrown in at intervals to try and appear credible. I could post Maureen Dowd articles all day and it would be a waste of my time and yours!”

What he posted is not an opinion piece - it is a factual report that contradicts the wild, unsubstantiated claims being thrown about.

In that case I was mistaken, but taken as a whole that is the way I see it.

No, the report BB posted is simply another article that plays word games.

It says that indeed there could be links. It doesn’t bother to actually point any out, but states that the possibility does exist that there could be some.

Too bad nobody can prove that there are actually links.

Republicans are always playing these types of word games. It is starting to get noticed more now too!

Vroom-

Thank you, I was involved in something and could not properly respond, but you hit the nail on the head!

Vroom,

“No, the report BB posted is simply another article that plays word games.”

Democrat Lee Hamilton says:

“There are all kinds of connections. And it may very well have been that Osama bin Laden or some of his lieutenants met at some time with Saddam Hussein’s lieutenants.”

Vroom says,

“It says that indeed their could be links. It doesn’t bother to actually point any out, but states that the possibility does exist that there could be some.”

Hmm. Chairman Hamilton says there are definitely connections, Vroom seems to think that “there all kinds of connections” is an unqualified opinion that means “there are no connections”.

While Vroom’s avatar shows him to be thoughful and wise, I suspect that Hamilton has better information at this point, so I’ll take the Chair of the 9-11 Commission’s word for it.

The question is what to make of those connections. They are tenuous. They don’t display the kind of working relationship one would expect since Saddam was a trafficker in WMDs.

That being said, Saddam supported terrorism - that is not disputed. Whether it was offering financial assistance to Palestinian Islamikazes or giving sanctuary to al-Zarqawi, the Baathist regime was an element of terror.

Couple this relationship with terror - endorsed by the UN, by the way - with the fact Saddam was just waiting for the easing of sanctions to crank up his international mayhem machine, and that’s a risk the Western world wasn’t willing to tolerate.

I don’t believe that there existed a direct working relationship between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein - and I don’t care.

Saddam supported terror generally. Just one more reason to end his reign.

Thunder,

Wow, you have proven connections where those doing official studies have not. Perhaps you should be doing the studies instead. Alternately, what point of doing these studies if you, with no information at all, are able to come to better conclusions.

Why don’t you run for president. You are obviously qualified! :wink:

[quote]vroom wrote:
What he posted is not an opinion piece - it is a factual report that contradicts the wild, unsubstantiated claims being thrown about.

No, the report BB posted is simply another article that plays word games.

It says that indeed there could be links. It doesn’t bother to actually point any out, but states that the possibility does exist that there could be some.

Too bad nobody can prove that there are actually links.

Republicans are always playing these types of word games. It is starting to get noticed more now too![/quote]

It’s not word games, and it wasn’t a Republican. The quotes above came from a Democrat member of the 9/11 commission. The Senate inquiry came to the same conclusion.

Perhaps, vroom, you have some super-secret Canadian intelligence sources that contradict the 9/11 commission and the Senate findings? Please share.