Iraq

Dick Cheney Wins World Fantasy Award

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Not a surprise, but still worth noting:

An exhaustive review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents that were captured after the 2003 U.S. invasion has found no evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime had any operational links with Osama bin Laden's al Qaida terrorist network.

The Pentagon-sponsored study, scheduled for release later this week, did confirm that Saddam's regime provided some support to other terrorist groups, particularly in the Middle East, U.S. officials told McClatchy. However, his security services were directed primarily against Iraqi exiles, Shiite Muslims, Kurds and others he considered enemies of his regime.

Elsewhere in Reason: I considered the alleged Osama-Saddam entente back in 2003.

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  1. But what about his links to the Oklahoma City Bombing? The Murrah Building? Huh? Huh?

    That’s it, keep sweeping it under the rug. You pacifists! When I was standing in the snow collecting signatures to put a libertarian school board candidate on the ballot, where were you guys? Probably meeting with your KGB handlers planning ways to undermine our glorious military!

    Oh, and, I blow goats.

  2. You fools! I will now post links and quotes from mis-translated documents that, if read a certain way, can be said to be ambiguous on the subject!

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!! PWNED!

  3. “Not a surprise, but still worth noting”

    Yes it is. As long as there are powerful douchebags like Cheney who continue to peddle this fiction and armies of retards who buy into it, such findings are worth noting and repeating and repeating.

  4. far left loons beating the same old horse.

    nothin ta see here

    move along

  5. Aaaaacckkkkk

    got some snark caught in my throat

  6. Yup those crazeee far left loons at the Pentagon sponsoring their loonie-left studies to be sure.

  7. I think we should spend another trillion dollars to be absolutely sure

  8. Donderoooooooooo | March 11, 2008, 2:12pm | #


    Oh, and, I blow goats

    no, no no. Thats Lonewacko. Donderooooo blows politicians.

  9. “had any operational links with Osama bin Laden’s al Qaida terrorist network.”

    Key word is “operational”. Did they have any links?

  10. GILMORE has the right idea. Make it two trillion.

  11. This makes me reconsider the war. While I was initially against the invasion, without it we would never have such abundant proof that Saddam and Osama weren’t in cahoots.

  12. Terry | March 11, 2008, 2:43pm | #

    Key word is “operational”. Did they have any links?

    Actually yes.

    They both are 4 degrees away from kevin bacon.

    And they shared a passion for facial hair. of different kinds. Oh, and Osama wanted to assassinate Saddam almost as much as Bush1

  13. No, no, no, he transferred all the Al Qaida links to Iran and Syria! We must invade!

  14. i think Osama and saddam had some similar Myspace friends. Bombs away!

  15. Jesse Walker, why do you hate America?

  16. Key word is “operational”.

    I have no idea what this means, either. I believe it would be accurate to say that I have no operational links with the federal government, yet around a third of my income goes to support their activities, which are done in my name.

    That said, I don’t recall “Saddam is a major supporter of AQ” being in the list of particulars. I seem to recall allegations that he supported various terror groups, but not that Iraq was a significant “operational” base for AQ. Links to the contrary are always appreciated.

  17. Oooops! My Bad.

  18. Here is an even better one from Feb 2003.

    Saddam Hussein has longstanding, direct and continuing ties to terrorist networks. Senior members of Iraqi intelligence and al Qaeda have met at least eight times since the early 1990s. Iraq has sent bomb-making and document forgery experts to work with al Qaeda. Iraq has also provided al Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training.

  19. The question isn’t whether Saddam had any links to Al-Qaeda. The question is who forged the documents (e.g., yellow cake documents). That is what should be investigated.

  20. I suppose the neocon retort would be that it was too dangerous to risk a future collaboration between AQ and a Saddam armed with various nasty weapons. That’s the point of the “preemptive war” strategy–eliminate problems before they occur, rather than reacting to events.

    Do I believe this? No. Let me give you the real rationale for the war in a very nice, pithy statement: The Bush administration felt the need (for various reasons) to be seen as continuing to “do something” about terrorism, and Iraq was the weakest link in the Axis of Evil. End of story.

    All of this hubbub about intelligence data is tiresome and irrelevant. Intelligence reports can be manipulated and used for whatever end the user desires. Only the most self-deluded folks really believe that Saddam’s little shop of horrors was a player in Islamic terrorism. Sure, he threw a little money to various nutjobs who irritated us, but his goal was continued power and survival, not a restored Caliphate with someone from the extended House of Saud in charge.

  21. An exhaustive review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents

    I would say that we should give the lad some more time, there are probably hundreds of thousands more documents to go through. I can think of at least one: Iraqi school children’s homework for example. You never know what the little ones where up to.

  22. Here’s the part where I uselessly attempt to point out the easily verifiable fact that no one in Bush administration, the Blair Cabinet or anyone in their respective intelligence agencies ever claimed that Hussein and Al-Quada were working together. I say uselessly because people have heard so many opponents of democratic Iraq screaming that Bush et al was wrong to accuse Hussein of backing Al-Queda that they never stopped ask if Bush actually said that in the first place. Everybody just assumes that he must have said it and they never bother to check for themselves.

    It’s really fascinating to see how many concepts surrounding the conflict arose not from the actual statements of the principles but from the meta-debate i.e. the arguments other people made about what they said. For example, many if not most people seem to believe that Bush asserted that Hussein had or was on the brink of acquiring nuclear weapons. That idea seemed to have arose from the widespread misperception that WMD equals nukes and nothing but nukes.

    Political decisions gets based on meta-debates all the time. We make decisions based on what is essentially distorted gossip. The internet helps by allowing us to go back and see exactly what the principles said without being forced to depend on a media filter but most of us just don’t have the time.

    That alone is a good reason to have a minimalist state. We simply don’t have the information management systems to handle a broad public debate about complex and nuanced issues.

  23. Shannon

    no one in Bush administration, the Blair Cabinet or anyone in their respective intelligence agencies ever claimed that Hussein and Al-Quada were working together…

    here’s the congressional research service report

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/terror/RL32217.pdf

    The opening paragraph

    ” In building a case for invading Iraq and ousting Saddam Hussein from power, the Administration asserted that the regime of Saddam Hussein had a working relationship with the Al Qaeda organization. The Administration stated that the relationship dated to the early 1990s, and was based on a common interest in confronting the United States. The Administration assertions were derived from U.S. intelligence showing a pattern of contacts with Al Qaeda when its key founder, Osama bin Laden, was based in Sudan in the early to mid-1990s and continuing after he relocated to Afghanistan in 1996.

    So… is it *your* memory thats fucked up, or the rest of the world?

  24. Shannon

    the YouTube money shot

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RytxVNM0llQ

    …. “dont have the time” my ass…

  25. “Zarqawi’s the best evidence of a connection to al Qaeda affiliates and al Qaeda,” Bush told reporters at the White House. “He’s the person who’s still killing.”

    “The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al Qaeda: because there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda,” Bush said after a Cabinet meeting. As evidence, he cited Iraqi intelligence officers’ meeting with bin Laden in Sudan. “There’s numerous contacts between the two,” Bush said.

  26. Editor’s Note, 1/27/04: In today’s Washington Post, Dana Milbank reported that “Vice President Cheney . . . in an interview this month with the Rocky Mountain News, recommended as the ‘best source of information’ an article in The Weekly Standard magazine detailing a relationship between Hussein and al Qaeda based on leaked classified information.”

    Here’s the Stephen F. Hayes article to which the vice president was referring =

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/378fmxyz.asp

    Please dont take it personally if i call you a dumb cunt now

  27. “Information management systems…”

    God damn. Forget the part where i said don’t take it personally. You really are a dumb cunt.

    Even if “shannon” is a boys name. Which it could be. It’s a great porn star name, FWIW. Maybe you have a great second career ahead of you.

  28. A good friend of mine was working U.S. army intelligence at the time. SOP was for the administration to say they suspected a particular threat. They would ask if there was any intel to support or refute the threat. Leading up to the invasion of Iraq the request from the administration of president George W. Bush was done differently. They sent word that they intended to engage Iraq and they needed anything remotely plausible to support their decision. Intel was then “interpreted” to justify their action. The only loose end is the actual reason why we went there. The Texas oil exec getting reamed for oil for food might be a good place to start looking.

  29. What the fuck, Shannon Love?

    I will link to my own earlier comment that linked to GWB’s words from Feb 2003.

    If you are too stupid to read further up the page, click HERE.

  30. Wingnut.com says Sean Hannity has acquired the Christmas card that Saddam got from Al Qaeda.

  31. The horrible thing is that i’m a pro-military hawkish type compared to most libertarians

    And next to that, that OBL is still breathing somewhere in northwest pakistan, and we dont have 1/1000th of the dollars allocated to getting him vs. babysitting a civil war in the middle east

    Seriously, if i was a pro-bush guy, i’d be even MORE pissed

    I cant deal with anyone who is an apologist for this whole debacle. We’re WINNING!!!! WINNING!!! Winning a fucking game that isnt going to us any good in the long run. Wheee!! USA!USA!USA!

  32. I hear you, bud. I voted for Dole in 96 but have since grown to despise conservatives since Bush has trampled on the Constitution and rigged war up.

    I hope the loss of Hastert’s seat portends a tidal wave coming in. The Bible Belt will remain Bush-like and that is about all/\

  33. “””Wingnut.com says Sean Hannity has acquired the Christmas card that Saddam got from Al Qaeda.”””

    Fake for a fake?

  34. Here’s the part where I uselessly attempt to point out the easily verifiable fact

    Thanks to highnumber, you’re still batting 1.000!

  35. he transferred all the Al Qaida links to Iran and Syria!

    I think I cut myself on that line, Ep. Niiiiiccccce.

  36. Once again, this is weasel language. No “operational links” just means they didn’t plan any operations together.

    By this definition, Saddam also had “no operational link” with all the Palestinian suicide bombers that he promised to pay $25,000 for each terrorist act.

    The fact they did not plan operations together is not news, and it’s misleading to report this without noting the extensive contacts and non-trivial financing of Al Qaeda branches like Abu Sayyaf.

    There is a whole book full of the links between Saddam and Al Qaeda. Here’s a few highlights.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/004/152lndzv.asp

    But hey, enjoy beating up that “operational” strawman.

  37. This article is laughable:

    “Saddam, whose regime was relentlessly secular,”

    Yeah, it was so relentlessly secular they broadcast daily calls to prayer on national TV, build hundreds of mosquea, and, oh yeah, Saddam had a Koran written in his own blood.

    No doubt these writers are some of the same people who think Bush is a religious nut.

  38. Once again, this is weasel language. No “operational links” just means they didn’t plan any operations together.

    Those are the exact words your boy Stephen Hayes used, courtesy of Feith. Right cheer.

    Maybe he can send a copy of his book to the Pentagon, to flesh out the study.

  39. $1000 that talldave has never carried a weapon in a war zone in his life

    aka fuck you

  40. TallDave=

    tell me, what do you think think the current deploymnent should look like to actually achieve results as opposed to maintaing the current bullshit?

  41. GILMORE | March 11, 2008, 7:16pm | #

    The horrible thing is that i’m a pro-military hawkish type compared to most libertarians

    GILMORE, in a sane world, the phrase “liberal hawk” would mean me, somebody who wants to increase our military operations in Afghanistan, is ok will hitting bin Laden across the border in Pakistan, and supports little, tagetted missions like those in the Phillipines post-9/11.

    Instead, it means Joe Lieberman.

  42. joe,
    Reason now chooses nicknames for you based on your most prevalent qualities.

  43. “””$1000 that talldave has never carried a weapon in a war zone in his life”””

    Why would it matter?

    Neither did the civilain war planners except for Rumsfeld. How did that workout for us? You don’t expect talldave who is merely saying his opinion to have more combat experince than the Commander in Chief who is in charge of the war do you?

  44. Talldave, Iraq was a secular government in that it wasn’t ran by theology. Saddam didn’t run Iraq via the Koran. Saddam made it clear that he, not God ruled the land. He ruled out of his devotion to self, not God. A secular government believes worship is a personal choice. It wasn’t pissing off God that had Saddam’s troops knocking on your door, it was pissing off Saddam.

  45. “””Yeah, it was so relentlessly secular they broadcast daily calls to prayer on national TV, build hundreds of mosquea, and, oh yeah, Saddam had a Koran written in his own blood.”””

    Many mosques were built prior to Saddam.

    We broadcast daily calls to prayer on TV. I can get my daily dose of fill in the blank TV evangelist. We have build thousands of churches, and it wouldn’t matter if Bush has a bible in his own blood. We are a secular government because we follow the laws of man not God. Just because people in office may practice a religion, it doesn’t mean the nation becomes something other than secular.

  46. TrickyVic | March 12, 2008, 4:30pm | #
    “””$1000 that talldave has never carried a weapon in a war zone in his life”””

    Why would it matter?

    It wouldnt. He’s just a smarmy dick.

    His ‘we must sacrifice trillions for *their freedoms*’ sanctimoniousness is grating to me. He doesnt seem to care at all for the nitty gritty details of this war, just the grand meta narrative. He writes off information showing that, surge be damned, more than 60% of Iraqis think “we’re not really helping”, and that things have gotten progressively worse.

    Basically, what was a flaming piece of shit is now an only-occasionally flaming on and off piece of shit. Even when the fire goes out, it will be a piece of smouldering shit. This is not general cause for encouragement.

  47. See, when you actually READ the report, you find Saddam actually supported at least two AQ affiliates.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2008/03/14/saddam-supported-at-least-two-al-qaeda-groups-pentagon/

    AoM had ambitious plans – including attacks on American interests. On page 35, the Iraqis list their aims as attacking Jewish and American interests anywhere in the world, attacking American embassies, disrupting American oil supplies and tankers, and attacking the American military bases in the Middle East. The Iraqi support for AoM may not be an operational link, but it’s certainly a financial link that goes right to Osama bin Laden. The Iraqis certainly understood that much, and hoped to keep it quiet.

    No operational links! Ignore that man behind the curtain!

  48. Talldave, Iraq was a secular government in that it wasn’t ran by theology.

    Sure it was. Take a look at the “laws” Saddam “passed” after 1991. Most of them were based in Islamic law.

    Many mosques were built prior to Saddam

    Which has nothing to do with whether Saddam can be called “relentlessly secular” while he’s building hundreds of mosques.

    We broadcast daily calls to prayer on TV.

    Not on STATE TV, retard. You can’t even say a prayer in a public school here.

  49. $1000 that talldave has never carried a weapon in a war zone in his life

    Oh, so we’re only letting veterans express opinions on the war now?

    Well hey, let’s not stop there. After all, a lot of people serving in Iraq of Aghnistan never actually have to fight (supply clerks, FOBBITS, etc). So I guess we need a minimum number of kills before we let people vote or express opinions.

    In fact, I think all opinions on the war need to written with the blood of our enemies. That way we won’t have all these chickenhawks polluting the debate with their crazy ideas about civilian control of the military.

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