Skip to comments.The Saddam-9/11 Link Confirmed
Posted on 05/11/2004 7:13:09 AM PDT by TrebleRebel
The Saddam-9/11 Link Confirmed
By Laurie Mylroie FrontPageMagazine.com | May 11, 2004
Important new information has come from Edward Jay Epstein about Mohammed Attas contacts with Iraqi intelligence. The Czechs have long maintained that Atta, leader of the 9/11 hijackers in the United States, met with Ahmed al-Ani, an Iraqi intelligence official, posted to the Iraqi embassy in Prague. As Epstein now reports, Czech authorities have discovered that al-Anis appointment calendar shows a scheduled meeting on April 8, 2001 with a "Hamburg student."
That is exactly what the Czechs had been saying since shortly after 9/11: Atta, a long-time student at Germanys Hamburg-Harburg Technical University, met with al-Ani on April 8, 2001. Indeed, when Atta earlier applied for a visa to visit the Czech Republic, he identified himself as a Hamburg student. The discovery of the notation in al-Anis appointment calendar about a meeting with a Hamburg student provides critical corroboration of the Czech claim.
Epstein also explains how Atta could have traveled to Prague at that time without the Czechs having a record of such a trip. Spanish intelligence has found evidence that two Algerians provided Atta a false passport.
The Iraqi Plot against Radio Free Europe
Prior to the 9/11 attacks, the Czechs were closely watching the Iraqi embassy. Al-Anis predecessor had defected to Britain in late 1998, and the Czechs (along with the British and Americans) learned that Baghdad had instructed him to bomb Radio Free Europe, headquartered in Prague, after RFE had begun a Radio Free Iraq service earlier that year.
On April 8, 2001, an informant for Czech counter-intelligence (known as BIS), observed al-Ani meet with an Arab man in his 20s at a restaurant outside Prague. Another informant in the Arab community reported that the man was a visiting student from Hamburg and that he was potentially dangerous.
The Czech Foreign Ministry demanded an explanation for al-Anis rendezvous with the Arab student from the head of the Iraqi mission in Prague. When no satisfactory account was forthcoming, the Czechs declared al-Ani persona non grata, and he was expelled from the Czech Republic on April 22, 2001.
Hyman Komineck was then Deputy Foreign Minister and had earlier headed the Czech Foreign Ministrys Middle East Department. Now Pragues ambassador to the United Nations, Komineck explained in June 2002, He didnt know [what al-Ani was up to.] He just didnt know. As Komineck told the Times of London in October 2001, "It is not a common thing for an Iraqi diplomat to meet a student from a neighboring country."
Following the 9/11 attacks, the Czech informant who had observed the meeting saw Mohammed Attas picture in the papers and told the BIS he believed that Atta was the man he had seen meeting with al-Ani. On September 14, BIS informed its CIA liaison that they had tentatively identified Atta as al-Anis contact.
So Many Errors: the Clinton Years
Opinion polls show that most Americans still believe Iraq had substantial ties to al Qaeda and even that it was involved in 9/11. Yet among the elite, there is tremendous opposition to this notion. A simple explanation exists for this dichotomy. The public is not personally vested in this issue, but the elite certainly are.
Americas leading lights, including those in government responsible for dealing with terrorism and with Iraq, made a mammoth blunder. They failed to recognize that starting with the first assault on New Yorks World Trade Center, Iraq was working with Islamic militants to attack the United States. This failure left the country vulnerable on September 11, 2001. Many of those who made this professional error cannot bring themselves to acknowledge it; perhaps, they cannot even recognize it. They mock whomever presents information tying Iraq to the 9/11 attacks; discredit that information; and assert there is no evidence. What they do not do is discuss in a rational way the significance of the information that is presented. I myself have experienced this many times, including in testimony before the 9/11 Commission, when as I responded to a Commissioners question, a fellow panelist repeatedly interrupted, screeching That is not evidence, even as C-SPAN broadcast the event to the entire country.
Former White House counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke is a prime example of this phenomenon. Immediately after the 9/11 attacks, when President Bush asked him to look into the possibility of Iraqs involvement, Clarke was incredulous (his word), treating the idea as if it were one of the most ridiculous things he had ever heard. On September 18, when Deputy National Security Adviser Steven Hadley asked him to take another look for evidence of Iraqi involvement, Clarke responded in a similar fashion.
Yet as we know now, thanks to Epsteins work, Czech intelligence at that point had already informed their CIA liaison that they had tentatively identified Mohammed Atta as the Arab whom al-Ani had met on April 8, 2001.
Evidence is something that indicates, according to Websters. Proof is conclusive demonstration. The report of a well-regarded allied intelligence service that a 9/11 hijacker appeared to have met with an Iraqi intelligence agent a few months before the attacks is certainly evidence of an Iraqi connection.
Clarkes adamant refusal to even consider the possibility of an Iraqi role in the 9/11 attacks represents an enormous blunder committed by the Clinton administration. Following the February 26, 1993, bombing of the World Trade Center, senior officials in New York FBI, the lead investigative agency, believed that Iraq was involved. When Clinton launched a cruise missile attack on Iraqi intelligence headquarters in June 1993, saying publicly that the strike was punishment for Saddams attempt to kill former President Bush when he visited Kuwait in April, Clinton believed that the attack would also take care of the terrorism in New York, if New York FBI was correct. It would deter Saddam from all future acts of terrorism.
Indeed, Clarke claims the strike did just that. The Clinton administration, Clarke explains in Against All Enemies, also sent a very clear message through diplomatic channels to the Iraqis saying, If you do any terrorism against the United States again, it won't just be Iraqi intelligence headquarters, it'll be your whole government.' It was a very chilling message. And apparently it worked.
But if the entire 1991 Gulf War did not deter Saddam for long, why should one cruise missile strike accomplish that aim? Indeed, the Iraqi plot against Radio Free Europethe existence of which is confirmed by RFE officialsis clear demonstration that the June 1993 cruise missile strike did not permanently deter Saddam.
Bush 41: A War Left Unfinished
The claim that Iraq was involved in 9/11 is also strongly opposed by some senior figures in Bush 41. They include former National Security Council Advisor, Brent Scowcroft, who wrote in the summer of 2002, There is scant evidence to tie Saddam to terrorist organizations, and even less to the Sept. 11 attacks.
Iraqi involvement in the 9/11 attacks carries serious implications for judgments about the way that Bush 41 ended the 1991 war. As will be recalled, after 100 hours of a ground war, with Saddam still in power and Republican Guard units escaping across the Euphrates, Bush called for a cease-fire. Colin Powell, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, pushed for that decision, and Scowcroft backed him, although it was totally unnecessary, and many Arab members of the coalition were astounded at the decision.
To err is human. And if one errs, one should correct the mistake and move on. The prevailing ethos, however, is quite different, even when serious national security issues are involved. Extraordinarily rare is a figure like Dick Cheney, who as Secretary of Defense, supported the decision to end the 1991 war with Saddam still in power, but after the 9/11 attacks was prepared to recognize the evidence suggesting an Iraqi role in those attacks and memorably remarked that it was rare in history to be able to correct a mistake like that.
Why we are at war: Iraqs Involvement in 9/11
Never before in this countrys history has a president ordered American soldiers into battle, without fully explaining why they are asked to risk life and limb. One would never know from the administrations public stance that senior officials, including the President, believe that Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks.
Iraq was indeed involved in those assaults. There is considerable information to that effect, described in this piece and elsewhere. They include Iraqi documents discovered by U.S. forces in Baghdad that U.S. officials have not made public.
We are now engaged in the most difficult military conflict this country has fought in thirty years. Even before the fiasco at Abu Ghraib became widely known, both the American public and international opinion were increasingly skeptical of U.S. war aims.
In taking on and eliminating the Iraqi regime, Bush corrected a policy blunder of historic proportions. His decision for war was both courageous and necessary. Now, he needs to make it clear just why that decision was made.
Laurie Mylroie was adviser on Iraq to the 1992 campaign of Bill Clinton and is the author of Bush vs. the Beltway: How the CIA and the State Department tried to Stop the War on Terror. (HarperCollins) She can be reached through www.benadorassociates.com.
My point is simply that the appointment calendar notation along with other evidence (especially Woolsey's report and the financial link between Iraq and the person responsible for "93 WTC attack) is overwhelming of the link between AQ and Iraq. At least there was notable measures of cooperation, which put America in direct danger.
Just for the record, that shouldn't matter. This is not a court of law nor are we discussing jurisprudence. The standard of evidence for drawing conclusions, should be lower than "innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt".
The problem being?
Note that the title does not read, "Saddam connection to 9/11 mathematically proven". Just that a "link" is "confirmed".
To spell it out in more detail, the "link" is the evidence of an Atta-Prague meeting which we already knew about (that is evidence linking Saddam to 9/11, you see), and the "confirmation" (of that evidence) is the record of the appointment.
Again, I'd agree that this falls short of mathematical proof, but that is a red herring.
Gentlemen, that is weak.
So it's weak evidence, despite the confirmation. Ok. Not sure why you think that contradicts what's being said.
That may be another bit of evidence, but it is not confirmation.
It's confirmation of the evidence. I think we are using these words differently. You seem to be using "confirmation" as the same thing as "mathematical proof of the conclusion that Saddam was behind 9/11". I think you're right that this is not m.p.o.t.c.t.S.w.b.9/11 but I'm not sure who was saying that.
There was a Saddam link to 9/11 that we already knew of (the eyewitness account of the Atta-Prague meeting) and now we have further confirmation of that link.
Had the headline said: 'Evidence of 9/11 link to Iraq continues to mount' I would have had no problem.
In effect, it does say that, with different words.
But the headline is misleading, which was my point.
Well, clearly you understood it differently than I did, so point taken.
Right. It's not enough for a conviction in a court of law under our standards of jurisprudence.
That's irrelevant, of course.
Straw man. I don't "want" to believe, nor do I even think the meeting "proves" Saddam was "behind" 9/11. It represents a link between his regime, and 9/11. There are lots of ways in which Saddam's intelligence service could have been linked to 9/11 without having been "behind" it. Frankly all things considered at this point, if I had to guess, I'd say I don't think Saddam Hussein was "behind" 9/11, but I do think he was linked to it, by virtue of using AQ as a proxy army and funding/aiding their projects. In other words, "linked".
To imply that Saddam had to have been "behind" 9/11 before Americans have the right to care, raises the bar awfully high and I reject that.
One thing people often need to be reminded of is that 9/11 was not the only attack on our soil in 2001, there was also the anthrax. That Atta was given anthrax by Iraq (the weaponized variety sent to Daschle), either at the Prague meeting or just promised delivery at that meeting, is another reasonable inference to be drawn from the fact set (and another reason to be interested in the Atta-Prague meeting). That doesn't require Saddam to have been "behind" 9/11 either. But does that mean we shouldn't care?
Let's assume for the sake of the argument that there was, indeed, one meeting. Let's say the men met, had tea, talked about what they had in common.
Which was what, pray tell?
To extrapolate from this meeting that Saddam was the mastermind behind 9/11 is ludicrous. Just plain ludicrous.
Yes I reckon it is. It's also a BIG FAT STRAW MAN.
I am not saying that such a meeting proves that Saddam was "the mastermind behind 9/11". Just that he was "linked" to it, get it? Good grief.
I'm not even sure that Osama Bin Laden was "the mastermind behind 9/11" in the sense of being heavily involved in its conception, planning, and timing; that was "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed"; Osama knew *something* was in the works (indeed probably said to KSM "go do some big attack"), may have selected WTC as the target, but not necessarily known much about the attack's nature or planned timing in any detail. So does Osama get a clean bill of health too then, because he wasn't "the mastermind behind" 9/11?
This raises the bar to an absurd level.
That's swell. Let me know if/when you identify any such people, and then your comments may gain some relevance to something, if not (strangely, considering you wrote them in response to me) to anything I wrote.
Nice try but "not appreciating straw-men invented out of thin air" and "not knowing how to have a dialogue about anything other than myself" are not the same thing (unless all dialogues about things other than myself must necessarily involve straw-men?). I said explicitly and overtly that if you identify people who hold the views you characterized, we could discuss them. What more do you want?
Do you know how to have a dialogue which doesn't involve straw-men?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.