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Monday, November 17, 2003

A Challenge to the Blogosphere

Andrew Sullivan issued a challenge to the blogosphere, one which I am enthusiastically willing to advance. Last Friday, the Weekly Standard published an explosive article detailing the many and varied contacts between al-Qaeda and the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq. Despite all of the poo-pooing of the mainstream press regarding a lack of evidence of such connections before the war, the WS story and the memo they reference makes it clear that such evidence existed in abundance, even during the Clinton administration (which Janet Reno's Justice Department even warned about in 1998). Now that this evidence has come to light, where are the mainstream media? Talking about quagmires.

So my challenge is this: Link to a different argument in the WS article each day and put your own thoughts on it in your blog. Skeptical? Good! Post about that. Because whether this memo is true or false, either way it is a huge story and deserves much more press than it's currently receiving. Keep going every day until we start to get some firm answers about the veracity and reliability of this data.

Today, I'll start at the top:

4. According to a May 2003 debriefing of a senior Iraqi intelligence officer, Iraqi intelligence established a highly secretive relationship with Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and later with al Qaeda. The first meeting in 1992 between the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) and al Qaeda was brokered by al-Turabi. Former IIS deputy director Faruq Hijazi and senior al Qaeda leader [Ayman al] Zawahiri were at the meeting--the first of several between 1992 and 1995 in Sudan. Additional meetings between Iraqi intelligence and al Qaeda were held in Pakistan. Members of al Qaeda would sometimes visit Baghdad where they would meet the Iraqi intelligence chief in a safe house. The report claimed that Saddam insisted the relationship with al Qaeda be kept secret. After 9-11, the source said Saddam made a personnel change in the IIS for fear the relationship would come under scrutiny from foreign probes.

Here we have the fruits of the war in Iraq getting us solid information (we hope!) on Saddam's involvement in promoting terror, and specifically the organization that had already bombed the World Trade Center and would shortly attack American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. If this is true, then Saddam's Iraq squarely fell within stated American policy that those countries who harbor or support 9/11 terrorists will face the full power of the United States. Note that Saddam attempted to cover his tracks, post-9/11, by shifting intelligence personnel so that the connection would not be known to the US. Records of this will likely be found in the captured IIS files that are now being translated and decoded, as well as evidence of other connections and other terrorist groups.

Who's going next? (links via Instapundit)

UPDATE: Strange Women Lying in Ponds wants answers, too. And Demosophia, as always, gives an erudite deconstruction of the Feith memo and its non-response response from the DoD. Jon at QandO had reached the same conclusion yesterday.

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09:20 AM in War on Terror | Permalink

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