all doubt removed
- From: "ZenIsWhen" <ZenIsWhen@xxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2006 21:46:20 -0400
as if there really was any ............................ Bush's WHOLE
CAMPAIGN, following 9/11, to get us to invade Iraq, was based on propaganda,
outrageous lies, political corruption and political manipulation.
Of course, liberals knew that all along.
Senate panel finds no prewar Iraq-Qaeda link
By David Morgan Fri Sep 8, 4:31 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
Saddam Hussein had no relationship with al Qaeda, including
Iraq-based guerrilla Abu Musab al Zarqawi, despite claims by
President George W. Bush and other administration officials, a Senate report
released on Friday said.
The report, one of two newly declassified reports released by the Senate
Intelligence Committee, drew on a previously undisclosed October 2005
CIA assessment as Americans prepared to mark the fifth anniversary of the
September 11 attacks on the United States by al Qaeda.
The reports quickly became part of a political battle on Capitol Hill where
Democrats and Republicans are wrestling over national security issues before
congressional elections in November.
The other report said the administration chose to provide funding to the
Iraqi National Congress, or INC, exile group in 2002 over a warning by the
Defense Intelligence Agency that the INC had been penetrated by "hostile
intelligence services" and was intent on influencing U.S. policy toward
The documents, part of the Senate panel's probe of prewar Iraq intelligence,
were issued as Bush seeks to address flagging public support for the Iraq
war he views as a central front in the U.S. war on terrorism. They were the
latest in a series of investigations into the run-up to the 2003 invasion of
Iraq, which Bush launched to counter a threat of weapons of mass destruction
that were never found.
Democrats said the data showed that top administration officials, including
Bush, Vice President
Dick Cheney and Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice, misled the public to drum up support for war in Iraq by
alleging a link between Saddam and the militant network.
"Today's reports show that the administration's repeated allegations of a
past, present and future relationship between al Qaeda and Iraq were wrong
and intended to exploit the deep sense of insecurity among Americans in the
immediate aftermath of the September 11th attacks," said Sen. John
Rockefeller (news, bio, voting record) of West Virginia, the panel's ranking
The committee's Republican chairman, Sen. Pat Roberts (news, bio, voting
record) of Kansas, accused Democrats of presenting their own misleading
"The additional views of the Committee's Democrats are little more than a
rehashing of the same unfounded allegations they've used for over three
years," he said in a statement.
Roberts also expressed misgivings about the 208-page INC report, saying its
conclusions were not always supported by underlying fact.
Critics of the 2003 Iraq invasion have long argued the administration used
flawed information from the INC to bolster their case for war, while
ignoring contradictory intelligence.
Roberts said there was no evidence the INC knowingly provided false
information to the administration and described the exile group as having "a
minimal role" in prewar U.S. judgments.
Another Democrat, Sen. Carl Levin (news, bio, voting record) of Michigan,
used the report to accuse Bush himself of making a false statement about
ties between Saddam and Zarqawi, the one-time al Qaeda leader in Iraq who
was killed by U.S. forces in June.
Bush asserted as recently as an August 21 news conference that Saddam had
links with Zarqawi.
"The president's statement, made just two weeks ago, is flat-out false,"
Bush administration officials pointed to supposed links between Saddam and
al Qaeda to help justify their case for war before the war.
The CIA report's assessment was similar to the conclusion reached by the
bipartisan 9/11 commission, which found in 2004 there had been no
"collaborative relationship" between Saddam and al Qaeda.
Senate: Saddam saw al-Qaida as threat
By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Writer 12 minutes ago
Saddam Hussein regarded al-Qaida as a threat rather than a possible ally, a
Senate report says, contradicting assertions
President Bush has used to build support for the war in
Released Friday, the report discloses for the first time an October 2005
CIA assessment that before the war, Saddam's government "did not have a
relationship, harbor or turn a blind eye toward" al-Qaida operative Abu
Musab al-Zarqawi or his associates.
Saddam told U.S. officials after his capture that he had not cooperated with
Osama bin Laden even though he acknowledged that officials in his government
had met with the al-Qaida leader, according to
FBI summaries cited in the Senate report.
"Saddam only expressed negative sentiments about bin Laden," Tariq Aziz, the
Iraqi leader's top aide, told the FBI.
The report also faults intelligence gathering in the lead-up to the 2003
As recently as an Aug. 21 news conference, Bush said people should "imagine
a world in which you had Saddam Hussein" with the capacity to make weapons
of mass destruction and "who had relations with Zarqawi."
Democrats contended that the administration continues to use faulty
intelligence, including assertions of a link between Saddam's government and
the recently killed al-Zarqawi, to justify the war in Iraq.
They also said, in remarks attached to Friday's Senate Intelligence
Committee document, that former CIA Director George Tenet had modified his
position on the terrorist link at the request of administration
Republicans said the document, which compares prewar intelligence with
post-invasion findings on Iraq's weapons and on terrorist groups, broke
little new ground. And they said Democrats were distorting it for political
A previous report in 2004 made clear the intelligence agencies' "massive
failures," said Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., a member of the committee. "Yet to
make a giant leap in logic to claim that the Bush administration
intentionally misled the nation or manipulated intelligence is simply not
White House press secretary Tony Snow said the report was "nothing new."
A second part of the report concluded that false information from the Iraqi
National Congress, an anti-Saddam group led by then-exile Ahmed Chalabi, was
used to support key U.S. intelligence assessments on Iraq.
It said U.S. intelligence agents put out numerous red flags about the
reliability of INC sources but the intelligence community made a "serious
error" and used one source who concocted a story that Iraq was building
mobile biological weapons laboratories.
The report also said that in 2002 the National Security Council directed
that funding for the INC should continue "despite warnings from both the
CIA, which terminated its relationship with the INC in December 1996, and
the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), that the INC was penetrated by
hostile intelligence services, including the Iranians."
According to the report, postwar findings indicate that Saddam "was
distrustful of al-Qaida and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his
It said al-Zarqawi was in Baghdad from May until late November 2002. But
"postwar information indicates that Saddam Hussein attempted,
unsuccessfully, to locate and capture al-Zarqawi and that the regime did not
have a relationship with, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi."
In June 2004, Bush defended Vice President
Dick Cheney's assertion that Saddam had "long-established ties" with
al-Qaida. "Zarqawi is the best evidence of connection to al-Qaida affiliates
and al-Qaida," the president said.
The report concludes that postwar findings do not support a 2002
intelligence report that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program,
possessed biological weapons or had ever developed mobile facilities for
producing biological warfare agents.
"The report is a devastating indictment of the Bush-Cheney administration's
unrelenting, misleading and deceptive attempts to convince the American
people that Saddam Hussein was linked with al-Qaida," said Sen. Carl Levin
(news, bio, voting record), D-Mich., a member of the committee.
Levin and Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, the top Democrat on the
panel, said Tenet told the committee last July that in 2002 he had complied
with an administration request "to say something about not being
inconsistent with what the president had said" about the Saddam-terrorist
They said that on Oct. 7, 2002, the same day Bush gave a speech speaking of
such a link, the CIA had sent a declassified letter to the committee saying
it would be an "extreme step" for Saddam to assist Islamist terrorists in
attacking the United States.
They said Tenet acknowledged to the committee that subsequently issuing a
statement that there was no inconsistency between the president's speech and
the CIA viewpoint was "the wrong thing to do."
Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said the mistakes of prewar
intelligence have long been known and "the additional views of the
committee's Democrats are little more than a rehashing of the same unfounded
allegations they've used for over three years."
The panel report is Phase II of an analysis of prewar intelligence on Iraq.
The first phase, issued in July 2004, focused on the CIA's failings in its
estimates of Iraq's weapons program.
The second phase had been delayed as Republicans and Democrats fought over
what information should be declassified and how far the committee should
delve into the question of whether policymakers may have manipulated
intelligence to make the case for war.
Committee member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said he planned to ask for an
investigation into the amount of information remaining classified. He said,
"I am particularly concerned it appears that information may have been
classified to shield individuals from accountability."
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