Saddam Hussein was linked to terrorists, terror groups and terrorist activities six ways from Sunday. Once again the evidence is abundant, overwhelming and included in captured Iraqi documents.
The President’s critics will say there are no proven links between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks.
That is true.
The President never said that there was.
From the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq:
Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;
Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of American citizens;
Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001 underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations;
Whereas the United States is determined to prosecute the war on terrorism and Iraq's ongoing support for international terrorist groups combined with its development of weapons of mass destruction in direct violation of its obligations under the 1991 cease-fire and other United Nations Security Council resolutions make clear that it is in the national security interests of the United States and in furtherance of the war on terrorism that all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions be enforced, including through the use of force if necessary;
Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested by the President to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 or harbored such persons or organizations;
Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue to take all appropriate actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;
The key phrase is:
… take all appropriate actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;
…against …terrorists and terror organizations, including…the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11,…
The stated enemy is inclusive of the 9/11 attacks and supporters. It does not exclude those not involved in 9/11.
Let’s knock out the easiest ones first:
Abu Nidal found safe haven in Iraq. Among Nidal attacks on the US was the ’82 Paris attack on American tourists. The Pam Am 73 hijacking in ’86. Nidal attacked and killed Americans, he was harbored by Saddam and living in Baghdad.
Abu Abbas is another known, wanted terrorist harbored by Saddam and living in Baghdad. His most notorious attack was on the Achille Lauro and the murder of wheelchair bound Leon Klinghoffer.
Saddam supported suicide bombings against Israel with cash to the families. Americans have died in the Palestinian suicide attacks.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi received training in pre-liberation Afghanistan. Refuge in pre war Iraq. With that training and harboring Zarqawi master minded the murder of U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley in Oct. ’02. Zarqawi entered Iraq before the beginning of the war. Just what are the chances of someone like Zarqawi operating out of Iraq without the knowledge of the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) and Saddam?
Terrorist training occurred in Iraq. Salmon Pak trained terrorist, including aircraft hijacking training.
Ansar al-Islam maintained camps and training in and around Biyarah. Ansar al-Islam is tied to the Taliban and al-Qaeda and was operating in Iraq before the war began. Ansar al-Islam conducted operation against the Kurds, something near and dear to Saddam.
So far we have Saddam harboring, supporting terrorists with a history of attacks on Americans. That alone meets the criteria set forth in the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq.
Now let’s include al-Qaeda.
First off no one in the administration has linked Saddam or Iraq to 9/11. Once again it is not necessary according to the resolution. Saddam already meet the criteria with out even bringing up al-Qaeda.
There was however contact between al-Qaeda and Iraq. Ayman al-Zawahiri the al-Qaeda number two attended the Popular Islamic Conference in Baghadad in ’99. Iraq al-Qaeda ties were discussed and acted upon in the Clinton Administration. In October ’03 the CIA sent a memo to member of the Senate Intellignce Committee detailing the links between Iraq and al-Qaeda.
There is also the suspect link between the IIS and Mohammad Atta. While that link can neither be proven or disproven, Czech security remains confident that Atta was in Prague.
Consider some tenuous links by reading between the lines.
There was communication and links between Iraq and al-Qaeda.
Al-Qaeda is linked Ansar al-Islam which operated in Iraq.
Iraq had a hijack training facility.
Atta may have met with IIS agent(s).
Atta hijacked airplanes in the 9/11 attack.
Think about it.
Did Iraq meet the objective requirements under the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq?
Saddam funded, harbored and supported terrorists.
Saddam was linked to al-Qaeda.
I think Saddam clearly met the conditions set for in the resolution.