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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Translated Papers from Saddam's Reign Released

A newly released pre-war Iraqi document indicates that an official representative of Saddam Hussein's government met with Osama bin Laden in Sudan on February 19, 1995 after approval by Saddam Hussein.

Bin Laden asked that Iraq broadcast the lectures of Suleiman al Ouda, a radical Saudi preacher, and suggested "carrying out joint operations against foreign forces" in Saudi Arabia. According to the document, Saddam's presidency was informed of the details of the meeting on March 4, 1995 and Saddam agreed to dedicate a program for them on the radio. The document states that further "development of the relationship and cooperation between the two parties to be left according to what's open (in the future) based on dialogue and agreement on other ways of cooperation."

Funny how the article had to be spliced up into Editor notes, but even that made for some good reading:

The document does not establish that the two parties did in fact enter into an operational relationship. Given that the document claims bin Laden was proposing to the Iraqis that they conduct "joint operations against foreign forces" in Saudi Arabia, it is interesting to note that eight months after the meeting — on November 13, 1995 — terrorists attacked Saudi National Guard Headquarters in Riyadh, killing 5 U.S. military advisors. The militants later confessed on Saudi TV to having been trained by Osama bin Laden.)
Sure seems like there is a connection there.
If not, it is a helluva coincidence.

An Iraqi intelligence service document saying that their Afghani informant, who's only identified by a number, told them that the Afghani Consul Ahmed Dahastani claimed the following in front of him:

* That OBL and the Taliban are in contact with Iraq and that a group of Taliban and bin Laden group members visited Iraq.

* That the U.S. has proof the Iraqi government and "bin Laden's group" agreed to cooperate to attack targets inside America.

* That in case the Taliban and bin Laden's group turn out to be involved in "these destructive operations," the U.S. may strike Iraq and Afghanistan.

* That the Afghani consul heard about the issue of Iraq's relationship with "bin Laden's group" while he was in Iran.
This alone is pretty good information and shows much in the released documents that further the reasons why we went to war.

But the Editor tries to note that because the informant is listed as a number it is something that makes this of "limited evidentiary value", which I feel is untrue:

(Editor's Note: While the assertions contained in this document clearly support the claim, the sourcing is questionable — i.e. an unnamed Afghan "informant" reporting on a conversation with another Afghan "consul." The date of the document — four days after 9/11 — is worth noting but without further corroboration, this document is of limited evidentiary value.)
Informants would not be listed by name, there would be other means used to protect the identity of informants, like giving them a number. They see that there are things worth noting in the report, but because of an informant is listed as a number and no further corroboration, the editor tries to down play the importance of this portion of the document.

Correspondence regarding election campaigns in France. This includes a document from the Iraqi intelligence service classified as "secret," ordering the translation of important parts of a 1997 report about campaign financing laws in France.

The attached translated report included very detailed information about all the regulations regarding financing of election campaigns in France.

The Editors notes doesn't mince words, and I will let stand on it's own:

(Editor's Note: This is an intriguing document which suggests Saddam Hussein's regime had a strong interest in the mechanics and legalities of financial contributions to French politicians. Several former French politicians are implicated in receiving oil vouchers from Iraq under the U.N. Oil for Food program.)
Very interesting indeed.

And we get to the meat of the matter when it comes to blocking and subverting the UN Inspections:

A letter from the Iraqi intelligence service to directors and managers advising them to follow certain procedures in case of a search by the U.N. team, including:

* Removing correspondence with the atomic energy and military industry departments concerning the prohibited weapons (proposals, research, studies, catalogs, etc.).

* Removing prohibited materials and equipment, including documents and catalogs and making sure to clear labs and storages of any traces of chemical or biological materials that were previously used or stored.

* Doing so through a committee which will decide whether to destroy the documents.

* Removing files from computers.

The letter also advises them on how they should answer questions by U.N. team members. It says the intelligence service should be informed within one week about the progress made in discarding the documents.
Why the secrecy? Why were they not being upfront? Why were they trying to hide things from the UN Inspectors?

Still think Saddam was wrongly attacked?
Remember this is only a small portion of the THOUSANDS of documents that have been slowly translated and now are being released.

From the Iraq Archive Document Describes Bin Laden Meeting

Others Blogging on this:
Ray Robison, Atlas Shrugs, Blogs for Bush, Expose the Left, Stop the ACLU, Right on the Right.