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CIA Finds No Evidence Hussein Sought to Arm Terrorists

  1. Nov 16, 2003 #1
    linky: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A46460-2003Nov15.html

    CIA Finds No Evidence Hussein Sought to Arm Terrorists

    By Walter Pincus
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Sunday, November 16, 2003; Page A20

    The CIA's search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has found no evidence that former president Saddam Hussein tried to transfer chemical or biological technology or weapons to terrorists, according to a military and intelligence expert.

    Anthony Cordesman, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, provided new details about the weapons search and Iraqi insurgency in a report released Friday. It was based on briefings over the past two weeks in Iraq from David Kay, the CIA representative who is directing the search for unconventional weapons in Iraq; L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. civil administrator there; and military officials.

    "No evidence of any Iraqi effort to transfer weapons of mass destruction or weapons to terrorists," Cordesman wrote of Kay's briefing. "Only possibility was Saddam's Fedayeen [his son's irregular terrorist force] and talk only."

    One of the concerns the Bush administration cited early last year to justify the need to invade Iraq was that Hussein would provide chemical or biological agents or weapons to al Qaeda or other terrorists. Despite the disclosure that U.S. and British intelligence officials assessed that Hussein would use or distribute such weapons only if he were attacked and faced defeat, administration spokesmen have continued to defend that position.

    Last Thursday, Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith defended the administration's prewar position at the Council on Foreign Relations. "The idea that we didn't have specific proof that he was planning to give a biological agent to a terrorist group," he said, "doesn't really lead you to anything, because you wouldn't expect to have that information even if it were true. And our intelligence is just not at the point where if Saddam had that intention that we would necessarily know it."

    Yesterday, allegations of new evidence of connections between Iraq and al Qaeda contained in a classified annex attached to Feith's Oct. 27 letter to leaders of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence were published in the Weekly Standard. Feith had been asked to support his July 10 closed-door testimony about such connections. The classified annex summarized raw intelligence reports but did not analyze them or address their accuracy, according to a senior administration official familiar with the matter.

    During the recent Baghdad briefing, Cordesman noted that Kay said Iraq "did order nuclear equipment from 1999 on, but no evidence [has turned up] of [a] new major facility to use it."

    Although there was no evidence of chemical weapons production, Kay said he had located biological work "under cover of new agricultural facility" that showed "advances in developing dry storable powder forms of botulinum toxin," Cordesman wrote.

    During his Nov. 1-12 trip, Cordesman visited Baghdad, Babel, Tikrit and Kirkuk, where he met combat commanders and staff in high-threat areas. Reporting on his briefing by Bremer, Cordesman said 95 percent of the threat came from former Hussein loyalists while most foreign terrorists, who entered Iraq before the war, arrived from Syria, with some from Saudi Arabia and only "a few from Iran." Bremer "felt Syrian intelligence knows [of the volunteers] but is not proactive in encouraging [them]." He also said there was "no way to seal borders with Syria, Saudi [Arabia] and Iran. Too manpower intensive."

    Bremer said Hussein loyalists "still have lots of money to buy attacks [because] at least $1 billion still unaccounted for." He also said the Syrians had admitted "some $3 billion more of Iraqi money [is] in Syria."

    The Coalition Joint Task Force briefers noted that the Iraq Governing Council felt "the U.S. is too soft in attacking hostile targets, arrests and use of force," while the U.S. side "feels restraint is the key to winning hearts and minds."

    Hussein, according to the briefers, "is cut off, isolated, moving constantly, [and has] no real role in control." They told Cordesman that the "problem is ex-generals and colonels with no other future -- not former top officials." They also said Hussein "made officers read 'Black Hawk Down' [Mark Bowden's book about the fatal downing of U.S. helicopters in Somalia a decade ago] to try to convince them U.S. would have to leave if major casualties."

    They said there will be attacks "until the day U.S. leaves" and "cannot ever get intelligence up to point where [they can] stop all attacks."

    During his visit to the Polish-led international division, south of Baghdad where the Shiites predominate, Cordesman said there were 34 attacks before a Pole was killed Nov. 6.

    The force there considers the holy cities "stable" but notes that Shiite leaders such as Grand Ayatollah Ali Hussein al-Sistani, Iraq's top Shiite cleric, "protect themselves with their own militias with CPA [Coalition Provisional Authority] approval. This has its advantages, but it means they cannot be given effective coalition protection," he wrote.

    how do you like them apples?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 16, 2003 #2
    Isn't this just a fancy way of saying 'We had no intel, and went ahead and acted as though we did'? Or at least another way of saying 'we have no evidence one way or the other, but we believe it anyways.'? More importantly, the phrase 'you wouldn't expect to have that information even if it were true' suggests to me that Feith is inclined to believe whatever he wants to, and to see a lack of evidence to be almost as compelling as actual evidence.
  4. Nov 16, 2003 #3
    This is similar to the report from Faux News, that terrorists want to use WMDs, and are completely incapable of doing so, because of the UN sanctions prevent them from doing so...shall I be impressed now, or shall I wait a few days, for when the spin fires up, and this is touted as 'proof' of a threat? God, this is suck an effing joke...

    Linky Dink
  5. Nov 17, 2003 #4


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    To be fair, I don't recall anyone claiming he did. There was a lot of talk that he could, and some neocons saying he would, but I don't recall anyone saying he did.

  6. Nov 17, 2003 #5
    Well, Fox Propaganda did, and since they are the mouthpiece for this administration, it was just like Bush saying it, as far as a decieved public was concerned.

    Seriously, though, this is the problem with the idea of attacking before someone does anything...you can act on unfounded beliefs, and justify any action by saying 'what if?'
  7. Nov 17, 2003 #6
    Though slightly off topic, I want to point out to Zero that if Fox was indeed a mouthpiece for Bush, then why would I know the leading Demo candidates names (I watch Fox and MSNBC), because as we all know a good biased news source wouldn't give any time to the 'opposition', and yet I have seen at least one Demo candidate on some show on that channel every day. They never have Bush on in person. Stated that way the bias of Fox seems the other way to me.
    As to the actual topic of this thread, I don't care if Hussein sought to arm terrorists, I know that Hussein wanted to arm himself, and that he hated America and Israel. We know, because he said so himself, that he wanted to destroy Israel, and I think that given the chance he would. Is that alone not good enough for war? Why would Hussein arm a bunch of puny terrorists if he could keep those weapons himself and use them himself, making his whole nation like one giant terrorist? I ask you this: Given that you are the leader of a nation, and that the leader of another nation says all the time that he will go to war with you the first chance he gets, and that you have the power to topple his gov't, why would you not do it? Hussein was a threat, it was not an if, but a when, question of him attacking us. Bush was and is protecting the US. And of course lets not forget that we always want a stable and US friendly gov't in controll of the oil, if not the US itself, temporarily.
  8. Nov 18, 2003 #7
    Hey, Jonathan, I wanna steal your computer, are you gonna call the cops on me? I can't get to your house, and even if I could, I can't pick the locks.

    More importantly, was Iraq a credible threat right now? Absolutely not...the Iraqi army barely put up a fight. An international coalition would have been the way to go, like in Desert Storm. I can absolutely guarantee you that things would have gone much smoother. France and Germany were willing to sign on to a U.N. mission, and I am sure America would have gotten much more in teh way of cash and troops. The 'go it alone' strategy has been an obvious failure. Failure, as proven by Bush's attempts to seek aid after the fact.
  9. Nov 18, 2003 #8
    In the Administration and on the field. 'Suspects' are killed ... why would there be evidence or a trial? Hé ... we kill for freedom, remember?
    Now/soon in US, Patriot act, secret court: "this suspect of 7 years old eat a hamburger sitting two tables from a high-level suspect who frequently posted on Physicsforums."
  10. Nov 18, 2003 #9
    "'Suspects' are killed". That is how Israel works, and I'm sure how the Soviet union worked, as well as Nazi Germany.
  11. Nov 18, 2003 #10
    Murdoch's Clandestine Agenda

    “What right have we to speak in the public’s interest, when too often we are motivated by personal gain”.
    - Rupert Murdoch (1967)

    Posted by Zero:
    "Well, Fox Propaganda did, and since they are the mouthpiece for this administration, it was just like Bush saying it, as far as a decieved public was concerned."

    Posted by Jonathan:
    "Though slightly off topic, I want to point out to Zero that if Fox was indeed a mouthpiece for Bush, then why would I know the leading Demo candidates names (I watch Fox and MSNBC), because as we all know a good biased news source wouldn't give any time to the 'opposition', and yet I have seen at least one Demo candidate on some show on that channel every day. They never have Bush on in person. Stated that way the bias of Fox seems the other way to me."

    Mate, that Fox Network (headed by that Australian traitor Murdoch) is definitely a mouthpiece for Bush and the admin. Why? A study conducted on all of Fox’s printed media, which was published in the “Anarchist Weekly Age Review” (ie. Newspapers and magazines) revealed that 99% of Fox editors PRAISED the pre-emptive unilateral strike action of the UKUSA Alliance (which, obviously, includes Australia) before the Gulf War II even started. And yes, the majority of them made Saddam Hussein into the great arch-villain hoarding weapons of mass destruction.
    In fact the whole plethora of one-wayed commentary on the non-existent weapons reminded me of that South Park episode where Saddam Hussein is manufacturing weapons of mass destruction in heaven! In fact, I think that cartoon was more believable than the current infantile and shallow analysis of the whole sordid affair.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2003
  12. Nov 19, 2003 #11
    Oh, well if the Anarchist (etc) said it was true, then there MUST BE a huge conspiracy between Fox, MSNBC, and Bush.
    Zero, if you lived nearby and made that or a similar threat, I would tell the cops.
    "'Suspects are killed'. That is how Israel works..."
    And you say you and this forum have no antisemitic leanings.

    Hey, do you see the similarities between you and Hussein here? Huh, that's odd...
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2003
  13. Nov 19, 2003 #12
    Jonathan, you should pick up a dictionary and look up words before you use them. There is nothing anti-Semitic about being against the tactics of the Israeli military, under their current government. I guess the reality of my opinion is a bit to subtle for most people, but I'm sure you are smart enough to understand it.
  14. Nov 20, 2003 #13
    Well, you might be right on that. I generally think of antisemitic as any unfounded opposition to Jews or Israel. But if your opinion is about their gov't only, then that isn't nearly so bad. And if founded in fact, completely right. I don't have the time to follow the news extensively, but I was not aware that Israel would arbitrarily kill anyone if they first call them suspects. What doesn't make sense is if Israel is such an aggresive nation, why would they bother to declare someone a suspect? Why not just arbitrarily kill huge numbers of people? It would be far more efficient, and the oil-Bush-Fox conspiracy would protect them from punishiment/reprisals too.
  15. Nov 20, 2003 #14
    The Arab oil would dry up in a heartbeat if Israel did that...and there would possiblky even be an uprising in Israel if that happened. There are very many Israelis who disagree with the settlements, and the treatment of the Palestinians. The Likud party holds onto its power by being 'tough on terrorism'...so long as they can maintain a facade of actually fighting real terrorists, they can keep themselves in office. Wholesale killings would end that.
  16. Nov 20, 2003 #15


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    That is logically equavalent (ie flawed for the same reason) as the old NRA arguement that Nazi Germany was anti-gun, liberals are anti-gun, therefore liberals are Nazis. Don't compare Israel to Nazi Germany - its the ultimate insult to compare a poeple to the entity that nearly succeeded in exterminating them.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2003
  17. Nov 20, 2003 #16
    Just because it is insulting, that doesn't mean it can't have an element of truth to it. By killing 'suspected terrorists' instead of capturing them, and having them face trail, Israel is assuming guilt without 'proof', at least as it is defined in a democratic society. What's up with the PC attitude towards Israel, anyways? I thought PC was bad and evil, and only for liberal scum like me?
  18. Nov 20, 2003 #17


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    Is there any patheticly little and incalculably small chance of allowing you to understand how ridiculous the above is ?
    Phooph... You should seek help man, I mean it.
  19. Nov 20, 2003 #18


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    Can you point out which part of that is ridiculous? As far as I can see, all zero is saying is:

    1. An aggressive Israeli prescence is advantageous to US interests.
    2. Terrorism is a major issue in Israeli politics.
    3. Sharon's power base is largely dependent on the image of strength and stubborness in his anti-militant stance.
    4. The political dynamic in Israel is not one-dimensional.
    5. An impression, at least, of legal order in Israeli actions is neccessary to maintain foreign support.

    Which one do you disagree with?

    It is the ultimate insult to the voters in Israel for the Israeli government to succumb to the same sort of rhetoric by paranoia that governed the USSR and indeed Nazi Germany.

    The state of things in the Israeli administration seems kinda clear to me. On the age old conflict of Western "freedoms of" and Soviet "freedoms from", they are most definitely on the side of "freedoms from".
  20. Nov 20, 2003 #19


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    Its not wrong because its insulting, its wrong because it is logically flawed. Its used because it is insulting.

    And I've told you before - I am impossible to offend. I only point it out because you're a giver but not a taker. Its like one-way PC with you. As if being PC gives you license to throw insults. Its hypocritical.
    The US is in the fortunate position of not having a "freedoms from" problem. Not everyone is so lucky. If peole were bombing bus stations in the US twice a week, then we'd have a "freedoms from" problem. To some extent, 9/11 created one (though people have mostly forgotten). Thats why we now have the Homeland Security Dept.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2003
  21. Nov 21, 2003 #20
    Can I point out that these are the sorts of posts of yours that I normally delete?
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