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OfflinePhred
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Commission singles out "lack of imagination"
    #2915800 - 07/22/04 01:54 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Well, the 9/11 Commission's report is out. http://edition.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/07/22/911.report/index.html

What was the biggest single failure on the part of the US government? Lack of imagination.

"The most important failure was one of imagination," commissioners wrote. "We do not believe leaders understood the gravity of the threat."

The report concluded that although "imagination is not usually a gift associated with bureaucracies," because previous al Qaeda attacks used vehicles to deliver explosives, "the leap to the use of other vehicles such as boats ... or planes is not far-fetched."

The unanimous report of the 10-member, bipartisan panel found that neither Bush nor predecessor President Bill Clinton grasped the depth of the terrorist threat posed before the suicide hijackings that killed almost 3,000 people.

"Given the character and pace of their policy efforts, we do not believe they fully understood just how many people al Qaeda might kill, and how soon it might do it," the commission found. "At some level that is hard to define, we believe the threat had not yet become compelling."

pinky


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OfflineAncalagon
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Registered: 07/30/02
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Re: Commission singles out "lack of imagination" [Re: Phred]
    #2915811 - 07/22/04 01:57 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

The report concluded that although "imagination is not usually a gift associated with bureaucracies," because previous al Qaeda attacks used vehicles to deliver explosives, "the leap to the use of other vehicles such as boats ... or planes is not far-fetched."



What's this? Bureaucracies are not a bastion of creativity and innovation? Since when?!

I hope there is more to this report than 'lack of imagination', though a few hundred pages of just that would not surprise me...Tax dollars at work.


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?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Commission singles out "lack of imagination" [Re: Phred]
    #2915816 - 07/22/04 01:59 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Here's scrappleface's take on the issue http://www.scrappleface.com/MT/archives/001774.html#001774


9/11 Report Calls for Hiring Imaginative Evil People

(2004-07-22) -- The 9/11 commission report released today blames the 2001 terror attacks on a "failure of imagination" among government officials, and urges intelligence agencies to "hire more evil people who could effectively anticipate acts of unrestrained wickedness."

According to the report, America is vulnerable to terrorism because the CIA and FBI are filled with "patriotic people of integrity who have a hard time imagining the kinds of twisted and macabre things which are the stock-in-trade of terrorists."

The report recommends that intelligence agencies recruit and hire "a new generation of heartlessly wicked and depraved agents and analysts who can stay a step ahead of Usama bin Laden and his imitators."




pinky


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OfflineRedo
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Re: Commission singles out "lack of imagination" [Re: Phred]
    #2915830 - 07/22/04 02:03 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I guess they should sit in the House and draw things on notebook paper instead of paying attention, maybe one of those drawings would have involved a plane hitting a building.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Commission singles out "lack of imagination" [Re: Phred]
    #2915832 - 07/22/04 02:03 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

They have enough imagination to conjure up such fantasies as supply-side economics and an Iraq-Al Queda connection. Surely they're not that lacking in imagination.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Commission singles out "lack of imagination" [Re: silversoul7]
    #2915886 - 07/22/04 02:12 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Supply-side economics wasn't dreamed up by politicians, but by economists. And it works.

The Al-Qaeda - Iraq connection is fact. No imagination required to recognize it, just a review of available intelligence.

pinky


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: Commission singles out "lack of imagination" [Re: Phred]
    #2915965 - 07/22/04 02:37 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

But the US-Iraq link is fact. The US-Bin Laden link is fact. Links prove nothing, it is what transpired through these links that matters. So what exactly transpired through the Iraq-Al qaeda link?


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Always Smi2le


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Commission singles out "lack of imagination" [Re: Phred]
    #2915981 - 07/22/04 02:41 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

The Al-Qaeda - Iraq connection is fact.

Only if you understand "fact" to mean "complete and utter bullshit".


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Don't worry, B. Caapi


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InvisibleEvolving
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Re: Commission singles out "lack of imagination" [Re: Phred]
    #2916005 - 07/22/04 02:46 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

pinksharkmark said:
The Al-Qaeda - Iraq connection is fact.



What is the NATURE of this connection? I have talked to a murderer before, there is 'a connection' between us. However, I did not help him in any crime, I did not encourage him in any crime and I have not talked to him since.

Please provide proof the government of Iraq provided material support for the perpetrators of 9/11. Please provide proof that the government of Iraq was funding Al-Qaeda or otherwise providing material support.


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To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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InvisibleDoctorJ
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Registered: 06/30/03
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Loc: space
Re: Commission singles out "lack of imagination" [Re: Phred]
    #2916034 - 07/22/04 02:53 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

The report recommends that intelligence agencies recruit and hire "a new generation of heartlessly wicked and depraved agents and analysts who can stay a step ahead of Usama bin Laden and his imitators."





sounds like I'm getting a new job!!!!

oh wait, it would be for the US govt. fuck that...


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peace, pot, and microdot!


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Commission singles out "lack of imagination" [Re: GazzBut]
    #2916098 - 07/22/04 03:08 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

What none of you people in denial over the Al Qaeda - Iraq links ever seem to ask yourself is why did Iraq go to all the trouble of having regular meetings with Al Qaeda representatives, and why did they provide shelter to Al Qaeda operatives? I thought your argument was that Hussein was a "secular" dictator. If this was the case, then obviously the two parties wouldn't be doing these things out of religious solidarity, would they?

Let's face it, Al Qaeda isn't like the Palistinean Liberation Authority, which has at least some pretense of a legitimate political aspiration -- the recovery of the land lost to Israel by Jordan and Egypt etc. during wartime for use as a new state of Palestine. Al Qaeda is not a political party or a national party. Al Qaeda is a terrorist organization. They are not trying to recover land or form a government, their sole purpose for existing is to kill those who disagree with their version of Islam.

So whenever someone admits (as they must since the evidence is overwhelming), "Well, sure, there were meetings between Iraq and Al Qaeda, and there were even known Al Qaeda operatives residing in Iraq with the full knowledge of the Iraqi authorities, but that doesn't mean they were co-operating in anything," I have to ask why meet with them at all? For what purpose? What did Iraq have to gain? That's like declaring a city councilman's repeated meetings with known organized crime figures don't signify anything. To be as diplomatic as I possibly an be, that view is touchingly naive.

And of course the links between Al Qaeda and Iraq are legion. Clinton noted them in the late Nineties, as did Newsweek and Time and others.

The best single source describing the relationship is Steven Hayes' book, "The Connection" http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0...9302481-5197443 ,but there are others (apart from Time and Newsweek) who have reported on these connections.

This link lists a few. It's a quick read and obviously not as detailed as Hayes' work, but it will give the reader an idea of the extent of the ongoing connections between Iraq and Al Qaeda:

http://www.techcentralstation.com/092503F.html

For those lacking the interest to check Hayes's book out from the library, Google "Steven Hayes connection Iraq Al Qaeda" and take a look at some of the excerpts from the book. Or read the reader reviews at the Amazon site -- some of them are fairly detailed.

Is there any compelling evidence that Iraq was involved in the planning and carrying out of the 9/11 attacks? Not to my knowledge. There are some tantalizing hints and odd coincidences, but my personal opinion is that bin Laden would have held the details of that operation pretty close to his chest. He didn't need assistance from Iraq on that one, so why risk blowing it?

However, to say that because there is no evidence of Iraqi involvement in 9/11 there is also no evidence of an ongoing relationship between Ba'athist Iraq and Al Qaeda is to be willfully obtuse.

pinky


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OfflineAldous
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Re: Commission singles out "lack of imagination" [Re: Phred]
    #2916796 - 07/22/04 06:11 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

pinksharkmark said:
According to the report, America is vulnerable to terrorism because the CIA and FBI are filled with "patriotic people of integrity who have a hard time imagining the kinds of twisted and macabre things which are the stock-in-trade of terrorists."


Yeah, well, what can you do when you plan an attack and you don't own plane carriers and cluster bombs... you just have to get kinda twisted and macabre.
Are the clusterbombs and the napalm dropped by "patriotic people of integrity" less twisted? Depends on your views. But they're no less macabre, and apparently the "patriotic people of integrity" didn't have too hard a time imagining those.


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Offlinezappaisgod
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Re: Commission singles out "lack of imagination" [Re: DoctorJ]
    #2916817 - 07/22/04 06:15 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

You are far too brilliant for that. Your perfect intellect needs to be put to some entertaining criminal use


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Offlinecoralrives
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Re: Commission singles out "lack of imagination" [Re: Phred]
    #2917026 - 07/22/04 07:28 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

pinksharkmark said:
Supply-side economics wasn't dreamed up by politicians, but by economists. And it works.

The Al-Qaeda - Iraq connection is fact. No imagination required to recognize it, just a review of available intelligence.

pinky




THANK YOU!


--------------------
"Be good and you will be lonesome."
Mark Twain


Grow Log




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Offlinecoralrives
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Re: Commission singles out "lack of imagination" [Re: Evolving]
    #2917031 - 07/22/04 07:30 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)


Please provide proof the government of Iraq provided material support for the perpetrators of 9/11. Please provide proof that the government of Iraq was funding Al-Qaeda or otherwise providing material support.




Whats the point? Folks will just come out with, Nuh uh!!!!!! People are gonna believe what they believe regardless of "proof"


--------------------
"Be good and you will be lonesome."
Mark Twain


Grow Log




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Offlinezappaisgod
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Re: Commission singles out "lack of imagination" [Re: coralrives]
    #2917035 - 07/22/04 07:32 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

You are vastly overstating the meaning of the word connection


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Commission singles out "lack of imagination" [Re: Phred]
    #2918894 - 07/23/04 02:07 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

What none of you people in denial over the Al Qaeda - Iraq links ever seem to ask yourself

No-ones in denial about it. And before you get too carried away with the smokescreen of "Al qaeda - Iraq links" remember the reason we allegedly invaded Iraq was to save us from the non-existent WMD, not because someone in Al-qaeda "allegedly" visited Iraq.

So whenever someone admits (as they must since the evidence is overwhelming),

Where is the "overwhelming evidence" of which you speak? Is it similar to the overwhelming evidence we were assured of that Iraq had WMD?

And of course the links between Al Qaeda and Iraq are legion

This sounds like the bullshit we were assured of about WMD. Don't you ever learn?

Clinton noted them in the late Nineties, as did Newsweek and Time and others.

Wow, it like must be true dude. Do you think Newsweek and Time ever "noted" the endless bullshit the Iraqi exiles were spoonfeeding them about WMD too?


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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OfflineZahid
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Re: Commission singles out "lack of imagination" [Re: Phred]
    #2918923 - 07/23/04 02:18 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Every 40 days or so since Bush took office a chance to defoil the 9/11 plot was missed.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Commission singles out "lack of imagination" [Re: Xlea321]
    #2918959 - 07/23/04 02:33 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Alex123 writes:

And before you get too carried away with the smokescreen of "Al qaeda - Iraq links" remember the reason we allegedly invaded Iraq was to save us from the non-existent WMD, not because someone in Al-qaeda "allegedly" visited Iraq.

Is this more of that English "can't walk and chew gum at the same time" syndrome? As you are all too well aware, Alex old chap, there were several reasons given for the deposition of Hussein by force.

Where is the "overwhelming evidence" of which you speak?

The best single source describing the relationship is Steven Hayes' book, "The Connection" http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0...9302481-5197443 ,but there are others (apart from Time and Newsweek) who have reported on these connections.

This link lists a few. It's a quick read and obviously not as detailed as Hayes' work, but it will give the reader an idea of the extent of the ongoing connections between Iraq and Al Qaeda:

http://www.techcentralstation.com/092503F.html

For those lacking the interest to check Hayes's book out from the library, Google "Steven Hayes connection Iraq Al Qaeda" and take a look at some of the excerpts from the book. Or read the reader reviews at the Amazon site -- some of them are fairly detailed.


pinky


--------------------


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OfflineEchoVortex
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Re: Commission singles out "lack of imagination" [Re: Phred]
    #2919556 - 07/23/04 08:49 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Hayes is an editor at the Weekly Standard, the flagship journal of the "preventive" intervention school of thought espoused by Wolfowitz et al. His book does not have source references and has not been peer-reviewed by anybody in the intelligence community. The veracity of the sources he cites has not been confirmed at all. This is not "analysis," it's propaganda.

A good review of the book can be found on AFF Brainwash , a libertarian/conservative website.

Book review: The Connection
by Justin Logan | Jun 6, 2004 | post a comment

The debate that still rages around the Iraq War may never end. Readers of Stephen F. Hayes? book, The Connection: How al Qaeda?s Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America (Harper Collins, $19.95), are likely to harden their own views, whatever they may be. It is unlikely that Hayes? book will change any minds.

The book is a thoroughly researched compilation of ?open source? reporting: that is, reporting that can be done by a freelance writer using the Internet and other public sources. Hayes first rose to fame (or infamy, depending on your disposition) with his publication of the article ?Case Closed,? which relied heavily on the leaked ?Feith memo,? which he also uses in the book. (The Pentagon, for its part, disavowed the memo after Hayes? Weekly Standard article was published. Hayes counters that the Pentagon?s response was a ?classic Washington nondenial denial.?)

Hayes opens the book strongly, breaking a new story regarding Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, an alleged Iraqi operative who met 9/11 bomber Khalid al Mihdhar in accordance with his duties (and beyond them?) as a greeter with Malaysian Airlines in Kuala Lumpur in early 2000. Hayes deftly marshals circumstantial evidence around the story, but one of the book?s failings is highlighted in this, its first story. He states that ?[Shakir] had told associates he had been hired by a contact in the Iraqi embassy.? Then, the story reads on like a novel, which is to say interestingly, but without giving attribution to various claims. Frequently in the Shakir story, and throughout the book, we don?t know whose claims are being cited. Is it Hayes making an assertion? Is the claim CIA?s? An allegation of Malaysian ?associates? of Shakir? When were these claims made? Before or after 9/11?

This is largely a structural complaint, though, and one I?m sure Hayes could handle if he were asked to. The substantive problems become evident after Hayes finishes sketching out the Shakir story, acknowledging that the story?s ?evidence is far from conclusive, but it cannot be dismissed.?

After the Shakir story, Hayes whisks us back to the early 1990s. We then receive chapter after chapter of interesting anecdotes about Iraq?s flirtations with Islamic terrorists, vice versa, and the accusation that their agents were in the same place at the same time in Sudan after Omar Hassan al Bashir took power there in 1989. Hayes goes to great lengths to refute the claim that because Saddam was secular he could never have worked with religious extremists, but it?s hard to see how this data is otherwise relevant.

This brings us to the essential problem in the book. Hayes claims that al Qaeda?s ?collaboration? with Saddam ?endangered America.? And there can be no question that Hayes is writing the book in an effort to justify the invasion of Iraq on those grounds. But how does Saddam?s strategic philandering in the 1990s contribute to the case for preemptive war? Osama bin Laden himself didn?t issue his fatwa declaring ?Jihad against Jews and Crusaders? until February of 1998. Hayes is engaging in ?case creep? from preemptive grounds (used at the time) to preventive grounds (embraced in the wake of no WMD and no proven connection to al Qaeda).

Hayes includes some caveats in the book, but the fact remains that he cherry-picks his evidence. There are likely bits and pieces of intelligence to refute each point Hayes makes. That is the very nature of intelligence. In other words, it?s impossible to evaluate two cases until you?ve heard both sides. When Hayes does cite intelligence reports contradicting his theories, he blames ?the erroneous assumption the [sic] intelligence officials are disinterested actors whose assessments are somehow above politics.? So when CIA reporting verifies his hypothesis, it?s given as fact. Anything contradictory constitutes intelligence officials playing politics to undermine national security. If someone were to buy this book not knowing that Hayes is an ideological warrior, the book could easily be misread.

Further, while Hayes digs furiously where he knows there?s treasure, he pulls back where he knows there isn?t any. His coverage of Salman Pak (the camp that was expected by many hawks to provide a smoking gun of Saddam?s links to anti-America terrorism and development of biological weapons) is something like a PG-13 movie?it?s titillating, but ultimately it doesn?t deliver. We?re worked up with circumstantial evidence until April 2003, and then he moves on. The reason, one suspects, is that the smoking gun has never emerged. The book is littered with such careful omissions.

The book is also cluttered with an omnipresent whining about the ?mainstream media,? which he claims is crippled by ?media arrogance.? Though media-bashing has become a favorite neoconservative pastime, it just seems out of place. Hayes claims to investigate ?the connection? not ?the media.? He is particularly vicious in going after Richard Clarke?s famous proclamation that ?[t]here?s absolutely no evidence that Iraq was supporting al Qaeda, ever.? Though certain points he makes in going after anti-war types are interesting and provocative, constant harping on The Washington Post and The New York Times doesn?t add much to the case that Saddam cooperated with al Qaeda to threaten America.

The book?s main weakness, though, is that it is something of a bait and switch. The careful reader will notice the subtitle and look through the book for proof that Saddam was collaborating with al Qaeda in a way that endangered America. But he will be disappointed on that score. Hayes? thesis could effectively be recast as, ?Neither the media nor the government has adequately followed up on indications Saddam could have cooperated in some way with al Qaeda. The case remains open, and should be investigated further.?

But that thesis just leads to a larger question: Given that Hayes supported the Iraq War on the grounds that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and was going to hand them off to terrorists, where does he stand in the absence of WMD and without proof of Saddam-al Qaeda links? If after more than a year of occupation his reasoning hasn?t been validated, doesn?t the war remain unjustified?

I asked him just this question at his book forum at the American Enterprise Institute, after he described the decision to go to war as a ?no brainer.? His response was that we had no choice, that in a post-9/11 world we had to act first. Though his answer was unsatisfying (I asked him to answer with the wisdom of hindsight), the logic that comes out of it is frightening: If one cannot prove a negative where there is doubt, one should make war and ask questions later, hopefully getting some answers. Even in the absence of answers, war is justified. Logic like that can make you hope that America doesn?t lead by example anymore.


Justin Logan is a freelance writer living in Bethesda, Maryland. His website is www.justinlogan.com.

------------

I would add a few more points: Hayes reports that Mohammed Atta met with Iraqi officials in Prague, but that story was debunked months ago. Atta was actually in the United States at the time of this supposed meeting. The Czech politicians who are responsible for making up that rumor are falling over one another trying to avoid the blame for having spread such misinformation. Two pages that are illuminating in regard to the Prague hoax:

http://www.praguepost.com/P03/2004/Art/0624/news2.php
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1154918/posts

pinksharkmark writes:

So whenever someone admits (as they must since the evidence is overwhelming), "Well, sure, there were meetings between Iraq and Al Qaeda, and there were even known Al Qaeda operatives residing in Iraq with the full knowledge of the Iraqi authorities, but that doesn't mean they were co-operating in anything," I have to ask why meet with them at all? For what purpose? What did Iraq have to gain? That's like declaring a city councilman's repeated meetings with known organized crime figures don't signify anything. To be as diplomatic as I possibly an be, that view is touchingly naive.


Why did Donald Rumsfeld visit with and shake hands with Saddam while he was gassing the Kurds? Does that mean that the US had a working relationship with Saddam to gas the Kurds?

Did the two sides sound out the possibility of a collaboration? Yes, because to a certain extent the enemy of your enemy is your friend. Was there a collaboration? No. Are you naive enough to believe that every discussion leads to a deal?

From the 9/11 Commission report, p. 66:

There is also evidence that around this time Bin Ladin sent out a number of feelers to the Iraqi regime, offering some cooperation. None are reported to have received a significant response.According to one report,Saddam Hussein's efforts at this time to rebuild relations with the Saudis and other Middle Eastern regimes led him to stay clear of Bin Ladin.74 In mid-1998,the situation reversed;it was Iraq that reportedly took the initiative.
In March 1998,after Bin Ladin's public fatwa against the United States, two al Qaeda members reportedly went to Iraq to meet with Iraqi intelligence.
In July, an Iraqi delegation traveled to Afghanistan to meet first with the Taliban and then with Bin Ladin. Sources reported that one, or perhaps both, of these meetings was apparently arranged through Bin Ladin's Egyptian
deputy, Zawahiri, who had ties of his own to the Iraqis. In 1998, Iraq was under intensifying U.S. pressure, which culminated in a series of large air attacks in December.75 Similar meetings between Iraqi officials and Bin Ladin or his aides may have occurred in 1999 during a period of some reported strains with the Taliban. According to the reporting,Iraqi officials offered Bin Ladin a safe haven in Iraq. Bin Ladin declined, apparently judging that his circumstances in Afghanistan remained more favorable than the Iraqi alternative. The reports describe friendly contacts and indicate some common themes in both sides hatred of the United States. But to date we have seen no evidence that these or the earlier contacts ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship. Nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States.76


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