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Against Selected Enemies (Richard Miniter on Clarke)
The Wall Street Journal ^ | April 1, 2004 | RICHARD MINITER

Posted on 03/31/2004 11:39:14 PM PST by neverdem

Edited on 04/23/2004 12:06:42 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

A year ago, I thought Richard A. Clarke, President Clinton's counterterror czar, was a hero. He and his small band of officials fought a long battle to focus the bureaucracy on stopping Osama bin Laden long before 9/11. For my own book, I interviewed Mr. Clarke extensively and found him to be blunt and forthright. He remembered whole conversations from inside the Situation Room.


(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: againstallenemies; alqaeda; bookreview; iraq; richardclarke; richardminiter; terrorism
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1 posted on 03/31/2004 11:39:15 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem
Relentless and incredibly inept.
2 posted on 03/31/2004 11:43:36 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: neverdem
Clarke clearly views Bush the enemy, not Bin Laden.

A pathetic Dem shill.
3 posted on 03/31/2004 11:47:44 PM PST by FairOpinion (Zell Miller (D):"Iím on George Bushís side because heís on the side of the American people.")
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To: jwalsh07
Relentless and incredibly inept.

Especally as his clear goal with the book is a "get-even with Condi and Bush for demoting me" which is gloriously backfiring on him.
4 posted on 03/31/2004 11:49:19 PM PST by MNJohnnie (If you have to pretend to be something you are not, you have all ready lost the debate)
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To: jwalsh07
Perjury should be the least of Clarke's worries.
5 posted on 03/31/2004 11:53:29 PM PST by Texasforever (I canít kill enough brain cells to become a democrat just by drinking.)
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To: jwalsh07
Relentless and incredibly inept.

I assume you're referring to Clarke, unless you correct me.

6 posted on 04/01/2004 12:34:18 AM PST by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: neverdem
He fails to mention that President Clinton's three "findings" on bin Laden, which would have allowed the U.S. to take action against him, were haggled over and lawyered to death.

This is the result of the naive liberal view that terrorism is a traditional crime problem and not an act of war. This allows the traditional liberal knee-jerk reaction to kick in -- a way must be found to exonerate or at least "understand" the criminal (or terrorist), who is merely "misguided" because America is --racist-sexist-homophobic-imperialist-is too wealthy-has too much poverty-has too many guns-has too much personal freedom-has too many SUVs-is "insensitive"-is ruining the environment-- from there it is a short step from blaming the victim to disarming the victim.

7 posted on 04/01/2004 1:13:18 AM PST by Wilhelm Tell (Lurking since 1997!)
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To: neverdem
I had forgotten about the evacuation of the bin Laden clan from the US after 9/11. Just one of those things that slipped through the cracks. Wonder what the whole story is there?
8 posted on 04/01/2004 1:36:19 AM PST by InABunkerUnderSF (Where there is no vision, the people perish.)
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To: MNJohnnie
"But Mr. Clarke was NOT a Bush insider.."

Clarke will be devastated to hear that anyone,especially Miniter, noticed that fact.
9 posted on 04/01/2004 3:21:06 AM PST by MEG33 (John Kerry's been AWOL for two decades on issues of National Security!)
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To: neverdem
Thanks so much for posting this! I've just finished Miniter's book "Losing bin Laden", and found it endlessly fascinating when juxtaposed against the recent Clarke revelations. This article underscores that while Clarke has the attention of the media because of his book and his efforts to shill for the Dims (x42 especially), Miniter has the facts. This is one of the most eviscerating attacks against Clarke yet.
10 posted on 04/01/2004 3:24:06 AM PST by alwaysconservative (Democrats diddle while US cities, embassies, ships, and barracks burn.)
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To: Peach; Dog; Miss Marple; prairiebreeze; Molly Pitcher; kassie; LBKQ; Iowa Granny; Jemian
Miniter's response to Clarke's book.
11 posted on 04/01/2004 3:43:33 AM PST by lysie
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To: lysie
Thanks for the ping, lysie.

Clarke has made a few "mistakes". Heheheh
12 posted on 04/01/2004 4:14:08 AM PST by Peach
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To: Peach
"Clarke was not a Bush insider,Clarke was not a Bush insider"..I want Clarke to hear those words over and over.
13 posted on 04/01/2004 4:27:30 AM PST by MEG33 (John Kerry's been AWOL for two decades on issues of National Security!)
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To: lysie
I just saw the MoveOn ad featuring the voice of Clarke.Clarke decries it but he is now part of the campaign to defeat the President and it may as well be seen as official.
14 posted on 04/01/2004 4:35:34 AM PST by MEG33 (John Kerry's been AWOL for two decades on issues of National Security!)
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To: neverdem
without the web, most of us would be in the dark about the slimy ways of Clarke and Klinton.
15 posted on 04/01/2004 5:26:00 AM PST by q_an_a
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To: neverdem
Reading between the lines of this review by Miniter, I now think I understand Richard Clarke and his motivation.

When he started writing this book, he probably started it off as an honest and frustrated accounting of his decades in public service and the fight on terror. As he got into the process, perhaps as he started seeking a publisher, he realized: if I tell what I truly believe, everyone will hate me and I'll come across as a self-serving "outsider" in both the Clinton and Bush Administrations. I have to choose sides if this book is going to be a success... Who controls the mainstream media? Who will give me the best buzz? Who will get those mindless American consumers to buy this book? How do I get the most "bang" for my views? Do I want to make my public confession on "60 Minutes" or "Fox & Friends"?

With this in mind, Clarke made his choice: whitewash the years of neglect by Clinton. Spin the events (not lie, just change the emphasis and "tenor") to excuse the feckless policies -- as a matter of fact, pick up the old mantra (this will play well in the media) that Clinton couldn't carry out Clarke's bold counter-terrorism because of those Republican scandal mongers. This won't sit well with the Bushies and the right-wing media, but you can count on the Clintonoids and that 90% of the mainstream media to do everything in their power to defend, extend and promote this "revisionist history".

Clarke probably did feel that Bush's focus on Iraq was mistaken and used that excuse for slanting his story (which I guess he started before the Iraq war began)... When the 9-11 Commission was scheduled, it became a very convenient publishing target date.

Like most career bureaucrats, Clarke probably feels the politicians are beneath him and stupid for not lapping up their policy prescriptions without question -- and I'm sure he has always sided with the Democrats for their "world view".

This is an opportunist of the first order -- and he's making $ millions as a result of this calculation. While Condi will expose his distortions, I'm sure it will be difficult to expose these as outright "Lies" because the mainstream media won't allow that to happen.

16 posted on 04/01/2004 5:26:49 AM PST by ReleaseTheHounds
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To: neverdem; ReleaseTheHounds; nathanbedford
Interesting but, IMHO, overly generous concluding paragraph:

In recent days we have been subjected to a great deal of Mr. Clarke, not least to replays of his fulsome apology for not doing enough to prevent 9/11. But he has nothing to apologize for: He was a relentless foe of al Qaeda for years. He should really apologize for the flaws in his book.

17 posted on 04/01/2004 6:20:27 AM PST by OESY
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To: Freee-dame
If you only read one FR article today, this is the one to read.

****

BTW, Bob Kerrey on Fox and Friends, said that the committee has a list of questions from "the families" that have to be answered. I bet that none of them are the questions raised by Miniter, here.

The commissioners are going to use the fact that the Bush Administration was trying to get Congress to authorize more money for the missile defense program as "evidence" that they were not focused on the threat from terrorists.
18 posted on 04/01/2004 6:22:27 AM PST by maica (World Peace starts with W)
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To: neverdem
Mr. Clarke misstates a range of checkable facts. The 1993 U.S. death toll in Somalia was 18, not 17. He writes that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed became al Qaeda's "chief operational leader" in 1995; in fact, he took over in November 2001. He writes (correctly) that Abdul Yasim, one of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers, fled to Iraq but adds the whopper that "he was incarcerated by Saddam Hussein's regime." An ABC News crew found Mr. Yasim working a government job in Iraq in 1997, and documents captured in 2003 revealed that the bomber had been on Saddam's payroll for years.

Breathtaking. Polishing up the legacy of Clinton AND Saddam?

19 posted on 04/01/2004 7:27:23 AM PST by cyncooper ("The 'War on Terror ' is not a figure of speech")
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To: ReleaseTheHounds
Here's the thing: Clarke says he voted McCain in the 2000 primary and Gore in the general.

Connecting the dots, one can surmise his McCain vote was meant, as many dems were doing during that time, as an effort to oust Bush as the Republican nominee. So, we can deduce he has actually been anti-Bush well before the election.

Taking that into account, others have pondered if the drawn out election drove him 'round the bend and then when Rice was apprised, immediately upon taking up her new position, of concerns about Clarke's past performance and he was removed from his former duties of briefing the Cabinet, perhaps, the theory goes, he turned outright malignant against the administration.

Yes, he gave briefings lauding the Bush actions and such, but perhaps he was playing both sides in order to accumulate enough material for the book he was already planning on penning?

Something is very wrong with Richard A. Clarke.
20 posted on 04/01/2004 7:38:53 AM PST by cyncooper ("The 'War on Terror ' is not a figure of speech")
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To: neverdem
Certainly.
21 posted on 04/01/2004 7:47:11 AM PST by jwalsh07
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To: Howlin
Howlin, I have never asked you to utilize your ping list before, but I think there are many freepers who cite the Miniter book and would be greatly interested in his column about his thoughts on Clarke.

Could you, please, send out the word?
22 posted on 04/01/2004 8:59:57 AM PST by cyncooper ("The 'War on Terror ' is not a figure of speech")
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To: 1Mike; 3catsanadog; ~Vor~; ~Kim4VRWC's~; A CA Guy; A Citizen Reporter; abner; Aeronaut; AFPhys; ...
Be glad to.

Special request ping for Miniter fans!!!!
23 posted on 04/01/2004 9:02:23 AM PST by Howlin
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To: Howlin
Thanks and BUMP
24 posted on 04/01/2004 9:06:10 AM PST by cyncooper ("The 'War on Terror ' is not a figure of speech")
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To: neverdem
Why did Clarke decide to blame the Bush Administration and lie throughout?

Simple. Follow the money trail.

Millions for his book.

Plus, a cushy and well-paying job in some Saudi-related think tank or "consultant" role. This is yet to come, but I would bet 10-1 it happens within the year. Bank on it. As it is, he now has a cushy teaching job in Liberal academia and the accolades of an adoring Media in addition to paid gigs on CNN, rather than the "Gary Aldrich Treatment" of abuse and obscurity.

Don't think for a moment the clintons and their allies don't still know how to take care of their friends and punish their enemies.

Clarke is just another in a long line of clinton whores.

25 posted on 04/01/2004 9:06:40 AM PST by Gritty ("Clintonís failure to get bin Laden is one of the most serious failures in US history-Monsoor Ijaz)
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To: RaceBannon
voila
26 posted on 04/01/2004 9:09:29 AM PST by firebrand
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To: Timeout
But Mr. Clarke was not a Bush insider. When he lost his right to brief the Cabinet, he also lost his ringside seat on presidential decision-making.
27 posted on 04/01/2004 9:13:15 AM PST by Howlin
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To: Howlin
Check out my post #19. Clarke actually lied in his book to make Saddam Hussein look good.

Un-Kerry-believable
28 posted on 04/01/2004 9:16:49 AM PST by cyncooper ("The 'War on Terror ' is not a figure of speech")
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To: maica
Bob Kerrey on Fox and Friends, said that the committee has a list of questions from "the families" that have to be answered.

I read yesterday that Bob Kerry was going to ask clinton some tough questions when he meets with the commision. Clinton will activate Kerry's old files when he tried to run for president in 2000 - like his acts in Vietnam that took him out of the race early!

I know this sounds heartless, but I am getting tired of the "families" of 9/11 dictating this arena on what and who gets blamed. Sept. 11th had a major effect on all of us, some more than others. I know I didn't lose a loved one, and I cannot imagine what they went through, but they are not the sole ownership of grief over the attacks. Am I the only one who feels this way?

29 posted on 04/01/2004 9:19:10 AM PST by Citizen Soldier
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To: maica
Bob Kerrey on Fox and Friends, said that the committee has a list of questions from "the families" that have to be answered.

I read yesterday that Bob Kerry was going to ask clinton some tough questions when he meets with the commision. Clinton will activate Kerry's old files when he tried to run for president in 2000 - like his acts in Vietnam that took him out of the race early!

I know this sounds heartless, but I am getting tired of the "families" of 9/11 dictating this arena on what and who gets blamed. Sept. 11th had a major effect on all of us, some more than others. I know I didn't lose a loved one, and I cannot imagine what they went through, but they are not the sole ownership of grief over the attacks. Am I the only one who feels this way?

30 posted on 04/01/2004 9:19:15 AM PST by Citizen Soldier
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To: neverdem
the FBI, under Mr. Clinton, paid an informant who turned out to be a double agent working on behalf of al Qaeda.

In 1998, the Clinton administration alerted Pakistan to our imminent missile strikes in Afghanistan
31 posted on 04/01/2004 9:21:46 AM PST by kcvl
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To: neverdem
South of Baghdad, satellite photos pinpointed a Boeing 707 parked at a camp where terrorists learned to take over planes. When U.S. forces captured the camp, its commander confirmed that al Qaeda had trained there as early as 1997. Mr. Clarke does not take up any of this.

Salmon Pak.

Has anyone seen any factual data that would either prove or disprove that some of the 911 terrorists trained at Salmon Pak? It would seem that we should know the answer to that very key question by now.

32 posted on 04/01/2004 9:25:52 AM PST by InterceptPoint
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To: Citizen Soldier
Am I the only one who feels this way?

No, and I only eyeballed the burning WTC from the Bronx. I only had one wake to attend for the only child of a classmate from grammar school.

33 posted on 04/01/2004 9:27:11 AM PST by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: neverdem
Neverdem,

I don't know if you had an opportunity to see Meet The Press on Sunday when Tim Russert asked Richard Clarke what he thought were the goals of Al Qaeda. Clarke immediately went into briefing mode and basically said the following:

1. Al Qaeda is a world wide network of terrorist cells.

2. Al Qaeda wants to kill as many Americans as they can.

3. Al Qaeda is looking to establish radical Islamic States.

My wish is that Tim Russert would have asked Richard Clarke the following question:

How can you state that Iraq is a diversion when:


A. Appeasement and concern about creating more hatred against the U.S. was there before any reaction on our part and the argument that we should waver from our mission is just a “straw man” ----- we are at war. Al Qaeda is relentless and they are not going away.

B. They have no desire to negotiate. Al Qaeda declared war on us and have delivered not one, but many provocations against us and will continue to do so.


C. In this war against Al Qaeda we need multiple bases of operations and Iraq happens to be strategically positioned right in the middle of the Al Qaeda breeding / recruitment grounds.

D. We initially went into Afghanistan and didn't divert to Iraq, but merely opened multiple fronts. We don't have the luxury of time to fight this war in a serial fashion.

E. Have you noticed that Colonel Muammar Qaddafi of Libya just folded his tent without our ever firing a shot? The "diversion of Iraq" spoke volumes to him and isn't it interesting that North Korea all of a sudden decided to start discussions about their nuclear weapons, when before our involvement in Iraq they were saber rattling every other day.

F. Al Qaeda is not just the person Usama Bin Laden or a single location like Afghanistan. Al Qaeda is pervasive.

Now Mr. Clarke, based on the above, would you still consider Iraq a diversion?
34 posted on 04/01/2004 9:33:28 AM PST by Willing To Listen
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To: InterceptPoint
Weekly Standard

Iraqi defectors had been saying for years that Saddam's regime trained "non-Iraqi Arab terrorists" at a camp in Salman Pak, south of Baghdad. U.N. inspectors had confirmed the camp's existence, including the presence of a Boeing 707. Defectors say the plane was used to train hijackers; the Iraqi regime said it was used in counterterrorism training.

Sabah Khodada, a captain in the Iraqi Army, worked at Salman Pak. In October 2001, he told PBS's "Frontline" about what went on there. "Training is majorly on terrorism. They would be trained on assassinations, kidnapping, hijacking of airplanes, hijacking of buses, public buses, hijacking of trains and all other kinds of operations related to terrorism. . . . All this training is directly toward attacking American targets, and American interests." But the Bush administration said little about Salman Pak as it demonstrated links between Iraq and al Qaeda.

According to administration sources, some detainees who provided credible evidence of other links between Iraq and al Qaeda, including training in terrorism and WMD, insist they have no knowledge of Salman Pak. Khodada, the Iraqi army captain, also professed ignorance of whether the trainees were members of al Qaeda. "Nobody came and told us, 'This is al Qaeda people,'" he explained, "but I know there were some Saudis, there were some Afghanis. There were some other people from other countries getting trained."

*****

Sabah Khodada was a captain in the Iraqi army from 1982 to 1992. He worked at what he describes as a highly secret terrorist training camp at Salman Pak

Frontline interview with Sabah Khodada

35 posted on 04/01/2004 9:45:00 AM PST by kcvl
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"This camp is specialized in exporting terrorism to the whole world," former Iraqi army captain Sabah Khodada told PBS's Frontline in an October 14, 2001 interview. Khodada worked at Salman Pak. He said that instruction there was "all for the general concept of hitting and attacking American targets and American interests." He added: "We saw people getting trained to hijack airplanes...They are even trained how to use utensils for food, like forks and knives provided in the plane...They are trained how to plant horror within the passengers by doing such actions." A map of the camp Khodada drew for Frontline closely matches satellite photos of the base, thus bolstering his story.

"I was the security officer in charge of the unit," at Salman Pak, an ex-Iraqi lieutenant general told Frontline anonymously in a November 6, 2001 interview. "This unit was under the direct supervision and control of the Iraqi Intelligence Service," he added. "And the fact that the training was concentrated on a plane made it even stranger as far as I was concerned."

Also, according to the State Department's "Patterns of Global Terrorism — 2001,"released May 21, 2002, "Iraq was the only Arab-Muslim country that did not condemn the September 11 attacks against the United States." That day, an official Iraqi broadcast said America was "...reaping the fruits of [its] crimes against humanity."

So why has the Bush administration not highlighted these ominous connections? One theory is that showcasing pre-9/11 evidence of Salman Pak might make people wonder why nothing was done about it before the atrocity. Another view is that federal officials who implemented President Clinton's light touch towards Iraq are in no hurry to remind Americans of how foolish their policy was.

****

As President Bush said in an address to Congress on September 20, 2001, "Our war on terror begins with al-Qaida, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated."

36 posted on 04/01/2004 9:53:43 AM PST by kcvl
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To: Willing To Listen
March 15, 2002 edition

Taliban-style group grows in Iraq

In the Kurdish north, a new Islamist group with ties to Al Qaeda has killed women without burqas, seized villages.

By Catherine Taylor | Special to The Christian Science Monitor

HALABJA, NORTHERN IRAQ – A radical Islamist group – with possible links to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein – is growing and threatening the stability of the Kurdish region in northern Iraq.

The group – Ansar al-Islam – emerged just days before the Sept. 11 attacks on the US. It delivered a fatwa, or manifesto, to the citizens in mountain villages against "the blasphemous secularist, political, social, and cultural" society there, according to Kurdish party

Since, Ansar al-Islam has nearly doubled in size to 700, including Iraqis, Jordanians, Moroccans, Palestinians, and Afghans – a composition similar to the multinational Al Qaeda network. Villagers here claim it has ransacked and razed beauty salons, burned schools for girls, and murdered women in the streets for refusing to wear the burqa. It has seized a Taliban-style enclave of 4,000 civilians and several villages near the Iran border.

With the US dedicated to rooting out Al Qaeda's influence wherever it surfaces in the world, a group of Islamic extremists in northern Iraq with even loose ties to Al Qaeda could complicate further any Iraq intervention. Already the US is in a delicate dance with allies over how to handle Iraq, with many warning that the US must consider the implications of possible instability that a move to topple Hussein could cause.

The emergence of the group comes as the US ramps up pressure on the Hussein regime in Iraq over weapons development. In a White House press conference on Wednesday, President Bush said Hussein "is a problem, and we're going to deal with him."

The State Department did not have extensive information on Ansar al-Islam, but one official there said he was aware of its existence and connection to Al Qaeda.

Ansar al-Islam's leaders

Kurdish military sources say that Ansar al-Islam's Mr. Kreker is a former member of a Kurdish Islamic party who joined Ansar al-Islam after its formation in September. Kreker replaced Abu Abdullah Shafae – an Iraqi Kurd who trained with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan for 10 years – and changed his name from Warya Holery. Mr. Shafae is now Ansar al-Islam's deputy.

Another of the group's leaders, Abu Abdul Rahman – who, the Kurds claim, was sent to northern Iraq by bin Laden – was killed in fighting in October.

Commander Qada also claims that Ansar al-Islam has ties to agents of Saddam Hussein operating in northern Iraq. "We have picked up conversations on our radios between Iraqis and [Ansar] al-Islam," he says from his military base in Halabja. "I believe that Iraq is also funding [Ansar] al-Islam. There are no hard facts as yet, but I believe that under the table they are supporting them because it will cause further instability for the Kurds."

Barhim Salih, a PUK leader, says a second group affiliated with Ansar al-Islam is working from the Baghdad-controlled city of Mosul.
37 posted on 04/01/2004 10:01:34 AM PST by kcvl
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To: neverdem
bump
38 posted on 04/01/2004 10:06:16 AM PST by rwfromkansas ("Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" -- Abraham Lincoln)
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Northern Iraq's al-Qaeda

In August 2001, leaders of several Kurdish Islamist factions reportedly visited the al-Qaeda leadership in Afghanistan with the goal of creating an alternate base for the organization in northern Iraq. Their intentions were echoed in a document found in an al-Qaeda guest house in Afghanistan vowing to "expel those Jews and Christians from Kurdistan and join the way of Jihad, [and] rule every piece of land . . . with the Islamic Shari'a rule." Soon thereafter, Ansar al-Islam was created using $300,000 to $600,000 in al-Qaeda seed money, in addition to funds from Saudi Arabia.

Today, Ansar operates in fortified mountain positions along the Iran-Iraq border known as "Little Tora Bora" (after the Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan). There, the group's Kurdish, Iraqi, Lebanese, Jordanian, Moroccan, Syrian, Palestinian, and Afghan members train in a wide array of guerrilla tactics. Approximately 30 al-Qaeda members reportedly joined Ansar upon the group's inception in 2001; that number is now as high as 120. Armed with heavy machine guns, mortars, and antiaircraft weaponry, the group fulfills al-Qaeda lieutenant Ayman al-Zawahiri's vision of a global jihad. Ansar's goal is to disrupt civil society and create a Taliban-like regime in northern Iraq. To that end, it has already banned music, alcohol, photographs, and advertising in its stronghold. Girls are prevented from studying; men must grow beards and pray five times daily.


Links to Saddam

Bush administration and PUK officials have also speculated that Ansar may be working with Saddam through a man named Abu Wa'il, reportedly an al-Qaeda operative on Saddam's payroll. Kurdish explosives experts also claim that TNT seized from Ansar was produced by the Iraqi military, and that arms are sent to the group from areas controlled by Saddam. Iraqi officials deny all such ties, yet Saddam clearly profits from Ansar's activities, which keep Kurdish opposition forces tied up on the border and away from Saddam. Indeed, support for Ansar is not unlike the money Saddam gives to families of Palestinian suicide bombers; turning up the heat in Kurdistan and the Palestinian territories takes heat off Saddam as a crisis looms.

Currently, Kurdish and international sources are accumulating evidence they say could soon present a clearer picture of Saddam's cooperation with al-Qaeda.

Links to Iran

Iran supports Ansar by allowing it to operate along its borders. Iran may also provide logistical support by permitting the flow of goods and weapons and providing a safe area beyond the front. The Turkish daily Milliyet has noted that Ansar militants check cars leaving their stronghold en route to Iran, indicating coordination with the Islamic republic. Moreover, the recently apprehended Mullah Krekar spent many years in Iran and was arrested in Amsterdam after a flight from Tehran.

Iran has several possible reasons for supporting Ansar. For one, having a democratic proto-state on its borders threatens the very nature of the Islamic republic. Thus, continued guerrilla activity benefits Tehran, as does any movement designed to spread Islamism in Kurdistan. Furthermore, by supporting Ansar and other Islamist groups in Iraq, Tehran may attempt to gain influence among the various factions that could contribute to a new Iraqi government if Saddam's regime is overthrown.


39 posted on 04/01/2004 10:06:16 AM PST by kcvl
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To: q_an_a
without the web, most of us would be in the dark about the slimy ways of Clarke and Klinton.

Every time I read something a slimy Democrat or Democrat shill says or does, I thank Al Gore for this invention we call the internet.

40 posted on 04/01/2004 10:09:35 AM PST by BigSkyFreeper (Liberalism is Communism one drink at a time. - P.J. O'Rourke)
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To: neverdem
Thanks for pointing me to this (bump for later focus)
41 posted on 04/01/2004 10:12:30 AM PST by hocndoc (Choice is the # 1 killer in the US)
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To: rwfromkansas
Direct Links Detailed
Three Prisoners in N. Iraq Outline Links Between Al Qaeda and Iraq



Al Qaeda Members Met With Saddam

Abu Iman al-Maliki was convicted of spying on the Kurds as an Iraqi intelligence officer. He says he worked as such for 20 years. Al-Maliki chain-smoked Marlboros as we talked, sitting on a metal chair in a T-shirt advertising a martial arts school that strained against his bulk. He is, simply put, a huge man. Abu Iman al-Maliki was an Iraqi intelligence officer for 20 years. (ABCNEWS.com)


"The U.S. believes Iraq has had contact with al Qaeda," I said, "Do you know that to be a fact?"

"Yes. In '92, elements of al Qaeda came to Baghdad and met with Saddam Hussein and among them was Dr. Al-Zawahiri."

Ayman Al-Zawahiri, you may recall, has been identified as a top lieutenant of bin Laden's, and is widely thought to be a mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

"There is a relationship between the governments of al Qaeda and the Iraqi government," he continued. "It began after the events of Kuwait approximately. That is when the relationship developed and many delegations came to Baghdad. There are elements of al Qaeda training on suicide operations, assassinations, explosions, and the making of chemical substances, and they are supervised by a number of officers, experts from the Iraqi intelligence, the Explosives Division, the Assassinations Division, different specialties."

Al-Maliki's specialty is somewhat more disturbing. He says he was part of a group of officers ordered by Saddam to hide chemical weapons throughout the Iraqi countryside. When I asked him if the U.N. weapons inspectors might find anything if they return, he smiled and said, "No. They will find nothing."

'I Killed' for Iraqi Intelligence and Al Qaeda

As midnight approached, I was introduced to Muhammad Mansour Shihab Ali, a man who, if you believe his confession, is a cold-hearted killer with a deep hatred for the United States. Muhammad Mansour Shihab Ali is behind bars for murdering an Iraqi dissident. (ABCNEWS.com)

His explanation of wanting to talk to an American journalist is the most perplexing of all: he had absolutely nothing to gain by doing so that I could tell. I asked him numerous times about his motives for giving us so much detailed information and his mumbled response, as gleaned by the translator, was that he thought I could do something to help his children whom he'd left behind with bin Laden's people in Afghanistan. It became obvious that he thought I was an American intelligence agent, and no amount of denial on my part could convince him otherwise.

Shihab Ali is in prison for the murder of an Iraqi dissident who had been living in Iran. He was captured at a Kurdish checkpoint and found in his possession were some photographic negatives which, when developed, were a full-color record of the grisly deed. When confronted in court with the photos, he confessed all. He's still confessing.

"Killing is something I did. I killed. This was for the Iraqi intelligence and al Qaeda."

Shihab Ali told me he has done numerous operations for al Qaeda and Iraq over the years, including numerous assassinations and smuggling drugs and guns. Two years ago, he says he was hired by an Iraqi intelligence officer, Othman Salman Daoud, to smuggle 30 refrigerator "motors" — which I took to mean "compressors" — from Iraq to Iran, where they were handed over to men he describes as Afghan members of al Qaeda. He was paid $10,000 each for the items, which usually contain the refrigerant gas Freon, but, in this case, contained something more mysterious. Shihab Ali was warned it was dangerous to himself, and to any children he might hope to have.

We have no way of knowing what was in those compressors, or what their ultimate destination was. "Only God knows what was in them," he says. Which is not entirely true; he says the compressors were ordered by the man Shihab Ali met five days later in Afghanistan — bin Laden.

There were nine other operations he was expected to work on, he said, at the time he was caught, but he was reluctant to give away the details. Finally, I convinced him to tell me about one that was supposed to have happened last year. He says he and a partner were given $16 million to go to the Gulf and buy some large ships, equip them with 500 kilos of high-explosive, and set sail under Iranian flags. The crews would slip away in motorboats after being replaced with men willing to commit suicide, who would then enter Kuwaiti waters, according to Shihab Ali, and ram the ships into American tankers or military vessels.

"The only reason this didn't happen is because you were captured?" I asked him as my mind filled with the mental image of the extent of death and damage such an attack might have caused.

"Yes, if I hadn't been arrested, I would have done it."


http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:pcbNfzSpuiAJ:abcnews.go.com/sections/nightline/DailyNews/alqaeda_iraq020927.html+Ansar+al-Islam,+with+links+to+al+Qaeda&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

42 posted on 04/01/2004 10:13:29 AM PST by kcvl
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To: kcvl
"the FBI, under Mr. Clinton, paid an informant who turned out to be a double agent working on behalf of al Qaeda."

"In 1998, the Clinton administration alerted Pakistan to our imminent missile strikes in Afghanistan"


It has been nagging at me that within a week of the completion of the Bush administration's plan.....Al Queda struck.
43 posted on 04/01/2004 10:14:16 AM PST by windchime (Podesta about Bush: "He's got four years to try to undo all the stuff we've done." (TIME-1/22/01))
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To: BigSkyFreeper
Ansar al-Islam takes on the USA

By Ed Blanche

Abderrazak Mahdjoub is the man every intelligence officer in Western Europe wants to talk to these days. The 30-year-old Algerian known as 'the Sheikh' is being held by German authorities who believe he heads a continent-wide terrorist operation for Ansar al-Islam (Partisans of Islam), an Iraqi Kurdish fundamentalist group that is rapidly becoming a major adversary of the USA and the cutting edge of the Iraqi resistance.

There is mounting evidence that Ansar al-Islam has links with Al-Qaeda and the USA believes it has been behind many of the suicide attacks against their troops in Iraq and probably the devastating twin suicide bombings in Iraqi Kurdistan on 2 February 2004 that killed more than 100 people, including key leaders of the pro-USA Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

By all accounts, Mahdjoub is providing his European interrogators with a detailed picture of a clandestine network that authorities say smuggles would-be suicide bombers to Iraq for the jihad against the occupation forces. At the same time, European governments are becoming increasingly fearful that they will become targets themselves as the terrorist networks proliferate. In December 2003, the EU police agency, Europol, warned: "The fact that no Islamic extremist attack has been committed in the EU [since October 2002] should not be considered as a diminution or an absence of threat."

On 23 October 2003, the Pentagon declared that Ansar al-Islam had become the principal 'terrorist adversary' of US forces in Iraq. Suspicions about its links to Al-Qaeda have hardened as the ferocity of suicide attacks against US and other targets in Iraq has intensified. This, Coalition intelligence believes, is the work of Ansar al-Islam.

The co-ordinated attacks in Irbil, the worst ever seen in Iraq since the war, were claimed by a group calling itself Jaish Ansar al-Sunna (Army of the Sunni Partisans), but they bore the stamp of Al-Qaeda and Ansar al-Islam. The latter is believed to be the core of Jaish Ansar al-Sunna, which casts itself as the protector of Iraq's Sunni minority. The group is believed to have been responsible for the suicide bombing of the Turkish embassy in Baghdad on 14 October 2003, the 29 November ambush in which nine Spanish intelligence officers were killed and other such attacks, including the car bombing of a Mosul police station on 31 January 2004.

Ansar al-Islam was established after 11 September 2001 in an enclave in northeastern Iraq, near the porous border with Iran - an area outside of Saddam Hussein's control. In late March 2003, US-led forces attacked its mountain stronghold, a cluster of some 16 villages and a network of caves in the Halabja Valley. Some 200 of the 800 fighters were killed, according to the PUK. Many of those who survived fled into Iran.

After the Iraq war, the group reconstituted itself, exploiting the chaos that followed the invasion. Some Ansar al-Islam leaders, such as Abu Abdullah al-Shafei, Ayoub Afghani and Abu Wa'el, were seen in the Iranian border city of Sanandaj in June and July, regrouping their fighters and recruiting new men.
44 posted on 04/01/2004 10:17:27 AM PST by kcvl
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To: windchime
Saddam's Ambassador to al Qaeda

From the March 1, 2004 issue: An Iraqi prisoner details Saddam's links to Osama bin Laden's terror network.

by Jonathan Schanzer
03/01/2004, Volume 009, Issue 24


A RECENTLY INTERCEPTED MESSAGE from Iraq-based terrorist Abu Musab al Zarqawi asking the al Qaeda leadership for reinforcements reignited the debate over al Qaeda ties with Saddam Hussein's fallen Baath regime. William Safire of the New York Times called the message a "smoking gun," while the University of Michigan's Juan Cole says that Safire "offers not even one document to prove" the Saddam-al Qaeda nexus. What you are about to read bears directly on that debate. It is based on a recent interview with Abdul Rahman al-Shamari, who served in Saddam's secret police, the Mukhabarat, from 1997 to 2002, and is currently sitting in a Kurdish prison. Al-Shamari says that he worked for a man who was Saddam's envoy to al Qaeda.

Before recounting details from my January 29 interview, some caution is necessary. Al-Shamari's account was compelling and filled with specific information that would either make him a skilled and detailed liar or a man with information that the U.S. public needs to hear. My Iraqi escort informed me that al-Shamari has been in prison since March 2002, that U.S. officials have visited him several times, and that his story has remained consistent. There was little language barrier; my Arabic skills allowed me to understand much of what al-Shamari said, even before translation. Finally, subsequent conversations with U.S. government officials in Washington and Baghdad, as well as several articles written well before this one, indicate that al-Shamari's claims have been echoed by other sources throughout Iraq.

When I walked into the tiny
interrogation room, it was midmorning. I had just finished interviews with two other prisoners--both members of Ansar al Islam, the al Qaeda affiliate responsible for attacks against Kurdish and Western targets in northern Iraq. The group had been active in a small enclave near Halabja in the Kurdistan region from about September 2001 until the U.S. assault on Iraq last spring, when its Arab and Kurdish fighters fled over the Iranian border, only to return after the war. U.S. officials now suspect Ansar in some of the bloodier attacks against U.S. interests throughout Iraq.

My first question to al-Shamari was whether he was involved in the operations of Ansar al Islam. My translator asked him the question in Arabic, and al-Shamari nodded: "Yes." Al-Shamari, who appears to be in his late twenties, said that his division of the Mukhabarat provided weapons to Ansar, "mostly mortar rounds." This statement echoed an independent Kurdish report from July 2002 alleging that ordnance seized from Ansar al Islam was produced by Saddam's military and a Guardian article several weeks later alleging that truckloads of arms were shipped to Ansar from areas controlled by Saddam.

In addition to weapons, al-Shamari said, the Mukhabarat also helped finance Ansar al Islam. "On one occasion we gave them ten million Swiss dinars [$700,000]," al-Shamari said, referring to the pre-1990 Iraqi currency. On other occasions, the Mukhabarat provided more than that. The assistance, he added, was furnished "every month or two months."

I then picked up a picture of a man known as Abu Wael that I had acquired from Kurdish intelligence. In the course of my research, several sources had claimed that Abu Wael was on Saddam's payroll and was also an al Qaeda operative, but few had any facts to back up their claim. For example, one Arabic daily, al-Sharq al-Awsat, stated flatly before the Iraq war, "all information indicates [that Abu Wael] was the link between al Qaeda and the Iraqi regime" but neglected to provide any such information. Agence France-Presse after the war cited a Kurdish security chief's description of Abu Wael as a "key link to Saddam's former Baath regime" and an "intelligence agent for the ousted president originally from Baghdad." Again, nothing was provided to substantiate this claim.

In my own analysis of this group, I could do little but weakly assert that Wael was "reportedly an al Qaeda operative on Saddam's payroll." The best reporting on Wael came from a March 2002 New Yorker article by Jeffrey Goldberg, who had visited a Kurdish prison in northern Iraq and interviewed Ansar prisoners. He spoke with one Iraqi intelligence officer named Qassem Hussein Muhammed, whom Kurdish intelligence captured while he was on his way to the Ansar enclave. Muhammed told Goldberg that Abu Wael was "the actual decision-maker" for Ansar al Islam and "an employee of the Mukhabarat."

"Do you know this man?" I asked al-Shamari. His eyes widened and he smiled. He told me that he knew the man in the picture, but that his graying beard was now completely white. He said that the man was Abu Wael, whose full name is Colonel Saadan Mahmoud Abdul Latif al-Aani. The prisoner told me that he had worked for Abu Wael, who was the leader of a special intelligence directorate in the Mukhabarat. That directorate provided assistance to Ansar al Islam at the behest of Saddam Hussein, whom Abu Wael had met "four or five times." Al-Shamari added that "Abu Wael's wife is Izzat al-Douri's cousin," making him a part of Saddam's inner circle. Al-Douri, of course, was the deputy chairman of Saddam's Revolutionary Command Council, a high-ranking official in Iraq's armed forces, and Saddam's righthand man. Originally number six on the most wanted list, he is still believed to be
at large in Iraq, and is suspected of coordinating aspects of insurgency against American troops, primarily in the Sunni triangle.

Why, I asked, would Saddam task one of his intelligence agents to work with the Kurds, an ethnic group that was an avowed enemy of the Baath regime, and had clashed with Iraqi forces on several occasions? Al-Shamari said that Saddam wanted to create chaos in the pro-American Kurdish region. In other words, he used Ansar al Islam as a tool against the Kurds. As an intelligence official for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (one of the two major parties in northern Iraq) explained to me, "Most of the Kurdish fighters in Ansar al Islam didn't know the link to Saddam." They believed they were fighting a local jihad. Only the high-level lieutenants were aware that Abu Wael was involved.

Al-Shamari also told me that the links between Saddam's regime and the al Qaeda network went beyond Ansar al Islam. He explained in considerable detail that Saddam actually ordered Abu Wael to organize foreign fighters from outside Iraq to join Ansar. Al-Shamari estimated that some 150 foreign fighters were imported from al Qaeda clusters in Jordan, Turkey, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, and Lebanon to fight with Ansar al Islam's Kurdish fighters.

I asked him who came from Lebanon. "I don't know the name of the group," he replied. "But the man we worked with was named Abu Aisha." Al-Shamari was likely referring to Bassam Kanj, alias Abu Aisha, who was a little-known militant of the Dinniyeh group, a faction of the Lebanese al Qaeda affiliate Asbat al Ansar. Kanj was killed in a January 2000 battle with Lebanese forces.

Al-Shamari said that there was also contact with the Egyptian "Gamaat al-Jihad," which is now seen as the core of al Qaeda's leadership, as well as with the Algerian Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), which bin Laden helped create in 1998 as an alternative to Algeria's Armed Islamic Group (GIA). Al-Shamari talked of Abu Wael's links with Turkey's "Jamaa al-Khilafa"--likely the group also known as the "Union of Islamic Communities" (UIC) or the "Organization of Caliphate State." This terror group, established in 1983 by Cemalettin Kaplan, reportedly met with bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1997, and later sent cadres there to train. Three years before 9/11, UIC plotted to crash a plane into Ankara's Ataturk Mausoleum on a day when hundreds of Turkish officials were present.

Al-Shamari stated that Abu Wael sometimes traveled to meet with these groups. All of them, he added, visited Wael in Iraq and were provided Iraqi visas. This corroborates an interview I had with a senior PUK official in April 2003, who stated that many of the Arab fighters captured or killed during the war held passports with Iraqi visas.

Al-Shamari said that importing foreign fighters to train in Iraq was part of his job in the Mukhabarat. The fighters trained in Salman Pak, a facility located some 20 miles southeast of Baghdad. He said that he had personal knowledge of 500 fighters that came through Salman Pak dating back to the late 1990s; they trained in "urban combat, explosives, and car bombs." This account agrees with a White House Background Paper on Iraq dated September 12, 2002, which cited the "highly secret terrorist training facility in Iraq known as Salman Pak, where both Iraqis and non-Iraqi Arabs receive training on hijacking planes and trains, planting explosives in cities, sabotage, and assassinations."

Abu Wael also sent money to the aforementioned al Qaeda affiliates, and to other groups that "worked against the United States." Abu Wael dispensed most of the funds himself, al-Shamari said, but there was also some cooperation with Abu Musab al Zarqawi.

Zarqawi, as the prisoner explained, was al Qaeda's link to Iraq in the same way that Abu Wael was the Iraqi link to al Qaeda. Indeed, Zarqawi (who received medical attention in Baghdad in 2002 for wounds that he suffered from U.S. forces in Afghanistan) and Abu Wael helped Ansar al Islam prepare for the U.S. assault on its small enclave last year. According to al-Shamari, Ansar was given the plan from the top Iraqi leadership: "If the U.S. was to hit [the Ansar base], the fighters were directed to go to Ramadi, Tikrit, Mosul . . . Faluja and other places." This statement agreed with a prior prisoner interview I had with the attempted murderer of Barham Salih, prime minister of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. This second prisoner told me that "Ansar had plans to go south if the U.S. would attack."

Al-Shamari said the new group was to be named Jund ash-Sham, and would deal mainly in explosives. He believed that Zarqawi and Abu Wael were responsible for some of the attacks against U.S. soldiers in central Iraq. "Their directives were to hit America and American interests," he said.

Al-Shamari claimed to have had prior information about al Qaeda attacks in the past. "I knew about the attack on the American in Jordan," he said, referring to the November 2002 assassination of USAID official Lawrence Foley. "Zarqawi," he said, "ordered that man to be killed."

These are some of the highlights from my interview, which lasted about 45 minutes.

I heard one other salient Abu Wael anecdote in an earlier interview during my eight-day trip to Iraq. That interview was with the former tenth-in-command for Ansar al Islam, a man known simply as Qods. In June 2003, just before he was arrested and put in the jail where I met him, Qods said that he saw Abu Wael. After the war, Abu Wael dispatched him from an Ansar safe house in Ravansar, Iran, to deliver a message to his son in Baghdad. The message: Ansar al Islam leaders needed help getting back into Iraq. It was only then, he said, when he met Abu Wael's son, that he learned of the link between the Baathists and al Qaeda.

Qods told me that he was angry with the leaders of Ansar for hiding its ties to Saddam. "Ansar had lots of secret ties between the Baath and Arab leaders," he said.

The challenge now is to document the claims of these witnesses about the secret ties between Saddam, al Qaeda, and Abu Wael. A number of U.S. officials have indicated to me that there are other Iraqis who have similar stories to tell. Perhaps they can corroborate Abdul Rahman al-Shamari's account. Meanwhile, the U.S. deck of cards representing Iraq's 55 most wanted appears to be one card short. Colonel Saadan Mahmoud Abdul Latif al-Aani, aka Abu Wael, should be number 56.


Jonathan Schanzer is a terrorism analyst for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and author of the forthcoming book "Al-Qaeda's Armies: Middle East Affiliates and the Next Generation of Terror."

45 posted on 04/01/2004 10:24:30 AM PST by kcvl
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To: neverdem
One momentous Bush-era episode on which Mr. Clarke can shed some light is his decision to approve the flights of the bin Laden clan out of the U.S. in the days after 9/11, when all other flights were grounded.

Can someone explain the significance of this to me? I pay zero attention to Leftist/Dem/fringe-Right conspriacy theories, so haven't got a clue what the point of this is supposed to be. On 9/11/01, itself, other than military, Coast Guard, and possibly police aircraft, ALL flights were cancelled. However, in the "days after," I know it isn't true that ALL flights were grounded. In addition to military, Coast Guard, police, fire and rescue, and some government flights, a few civilian flights were permitted to move some VIP's when necessary — for example, ambassasors, high-profile foreign nationals, and so on. So, if it is true that bin Laden relatives were moved out of the country, why is this "momentous"?

46 posted on 04/01/2004 10:45:46 AM PST by Wolfstar (Yo, "real" conservatives. Spain's election is clear. Jihadists are on Kerry's side. Are you?)
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To: kcvl
Bump!
47 posted on 04/01/2004 11:27:51 AM PST by windchime (Podesta about Bush: "He's got four years to try to undo all the stuff we've done." (TIME-1/22/01))
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To: Wolfstar
Maybe "momentous" was a poor choice of adjectives, but it struck many people as more than curious that bin Laden's relatives were given this privilege of flight(literally) which was denied to the rest of the U.S. civilian population.

In particular, it was used by the hard left to imply that there was some sort of collusion that "Bush knew", when in reality it was probably provided as a favor to our erstwhile allies in Saudi Arabia, lest these relatives fall victim to physical violence from a mob of angry Americans wanting revenge, IMHO. If bin Laden's relatives and the White House had advance knowledge, then I think they would have left the U.S. prior to Sep 11, 2001.
48 posted on 04/01/2004 11:44:23 AM PST by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: Wolfstar
From what I've read, the bin Laden family was flown within the U.S. border to a common gathering point during the time flights were grounded. They did not leave the country until the restriction was lifted.

As to why it's being brought up? The kitchen sink theory. They're flailing wildly and twisting events to suit their purposes.

Turns out this event which the left wants to use (I heard Joe Klein on Matthews' Sunday show 2 or 3 weeks ago say this WILL be an issue in the campaign) involved their new golden (ack) boy, Clarke.
49 posted on 04/01/2004 11:45:11 AM PST by cyncooper ("The 'War on Terror ' is not a figure of speech")
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To: neverdem
I hate it when these good WSJ articles are posted at night because they never get the attention that they deserve. If this doesn't get some attention, I will repost it.
50 posted on 04/01/2004 11:50:23 AM PST by Eva
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