Skip to comments.A Matter of Evidence A CNN Anchor Gets Iraq & Al Qaeda Wrong. Will The Network Issue A Correction?
Posted on 06/30/2005 8:23:43 AM PDT by areafiftyone
"There is no evidence that Saddam Hussein was connected in any way to al Qaeda."
So declared CNN Anchor Carol Costello in an interview yesterday with Representative Robin Hayes (no relation) from North Carolina.
Hayes politely challenged her claim. "Ma'am, I'm sorry, but you're mistaken. There's evidence everywhere. We get access to it. Unfortunately, others don't."
CNN played the exchange throughout the day. At one point, anchor Daryn Kagan even seemed to correct Rep. Hayes after replaying the clip. "And according to the record, the 9/11 Commission in its final report found no connection between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein."
The CNN claims are wrong. Not a matter of nuance. Not a matter of interpretation. Just plain incorrect. They are so mistaken, in fact, that viewers should demand an on-air correction.
But such claims are, sadly, representative of the broad media misunderstanding of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda. Richard Cohen, columnist for the Washington Post, regularly chides the Bush Administration for presenting what he calls fabricated or "fictive" links between Iraq and al Qaeda. The editor of the Los Angeles Times scolded the Bush Administration for perpetuating the "myth" of such links. "Sixty Minutes" anchor Lesley Stahl put it bluntly: "There was no connection."
Conveniently, such analyses ignore statements like this one from Thomas Kean, chairman of the 9/11 Commission. "There was no question in our minds that there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda."
Hard to believe reporters just missed it - he made the comments at the press conference held to release the commission's final report. That report itself detailed several "friendly contacts" between Iraq and al Qaeda and concluded only that there was no proof of Iraqi involvement in al Qaeda terrorist attacks against American interests. Details, details.
There have been several recent developments. One month ago, Jordan's King Abdullah explained to the Arabic-language newspaper al Hayat that his government had tried before the Iraq War to extradite Abu Musab al Zarqawi from Iraq. "We had information that he entered Iraq from a neighboring country, where he lived and what he was doing. We informed the Iraqi authorities about all this detailed information we had, but they didn't respond." He added: "Since Zarqawi entered Iraq before the fall of the former regime we have been trying to have him deported back to Jordan for trial, but our efforts were in vain."
One week later, former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi told the same newspaper that the new Iraqi government is in possession of documents showing that Ayman al Zawahiri, bin Laden's top deputy, and Zarqawi both entered Iraq in September 1999. (If the documents are authentic, they suggest that Zarqawi may have plotted the Jordanian Millenium attacks from Iraq.)
Beyond what people are saying about the Iraq-al Qaeda connection, there is the evidence. In 1992, the Iraqi Intelligence services compiled a list of its assets. On page 14 of the document, marked "Top Secret" and dated March 28, 1992, is the name of Osama bin Laden who is reported to have a "good relationship" with the Iraqi intelligence section in Syria. The Defense Intelligence Agency has possession of the document and has assessed that it is accurate. In 1993, Saddam Hussein and bin Laden reached an "understanding" that Islamic radicals would refrain from attacking the Iraqi regime in exchange for unspecified assistance, including weapons development. This understanding, which was included in the Clinton Administration's indictment of bin Laden in the spring of 1998, has been corroborated by numerous Iraqis and al Qaeda terrorists now in U.S. custody. In 1994, Faruq Hijazi, then deputy director of Iraqi Intelligence, met face-to-face with bin Laden. Bin Laden requested anti-ship limpet mines and training camps in Iraq. Hijazi has detailed the meeting in a custodial interview with U.S. interrogators. In 1995, according to internal Iraqi intelligence documents first reported by The New York Times, on June 25, 2004, a "former director of operations for Iraqi intelligence Directorate 4 met with Mr. bin Laden on Feb. 19." When bin Laden left Sudan in 1996, the document states, Iraqi intelligence sough "other channels through which to handle the relationship, in light of his current location." That same year, Hussein agreed to a request from bin Laden to broadcast anti-Saudi propaganda on Iraqi state television. In 1997, al Qaeda sent an emissary with the nom de guerre Abdullah al Iraqi to Iraq for training on weapons of mass destruction.
Colin Powell cited this evidence in his presentation at the UN on February 5, 2003. The Senate Intelligence Committee has concluded that Powell's presentation on Iraq and terrorism was "reasonable."
In 1998, according to documents unearthed in Iraq's Intelligence headquarters in April 2003, al Qaeda sent a "trusted confidante" of bin Laden to Baghdad for 16 days of meetings beginning March 5. Iraqi intelligence paid for his stay in Room 414 of the Mansur al Melia hotel and expressed hope that the envoy would serve as the liaison between Iraqi intelligence and bin Laden. The DIA has assessed those documents as authentic. In 1999, a CIA Counterterrorism Center analysis reported on April 13 that four intelligence reports indicate Saddam Hussein has given bin Laden a standing offer of safe haven in Iraq.
The CTC report is included in the Senate Intelligence Committee's review on pre-war intelligence.
In 2000, Saudi Arabia went on kingdom-wide alert after learning that Iraq had agreed to help al Qaeda attack U.S. and British interests on the peninsula. In 2001, satellite images show large numbers of al Qaeda terrorists displaced after the war in Afghanistan relocating to camps in northern Iraq financed, in part, by the Hussein regime.
In 2002, a report from the National Security Agency in October reveals that Iraq agreed to provide safe haven, financing and weapons to al Qaeda members relocating in northern Iraq.
In 2003, on February 14, the Philippine government ousted Hisham Hussein, the second secretary of the Iraqi Embassy in Manila, for his involvement in al Qaeda-related terrorist activites. Andrea Domingo, head of Immigration for the Philippine government, told reporters that "studying the movements and activities" of Iraqi intelligence assets in the country, including radical Islamists, revealed an "established network" of terrorists headed by Hussein.
Shall we each send them a copy of the MANY links of SH to AQ?
How many years has the government denied the existence of Area 51? Iraq/Al-Qaeda is the MSM's Area 51. Nothing to see here, keep moving.
All thinking people (i.e. those with a brain) should just turn CNN off, as I have since Judy Woodruff pimped for the Dems in the 1996 Presidential election. When the listening public, which has steadily dwindled, is reduced to family of CNN employees, maybe they will get a clue, but I doubt it.
They and the other lib Dems are skipping happily down the yellow brick road singing "If I only had a brain". Unfortunately, instead of a brain, they have access to the production end of cable.
Hayes wrote a good book on this.
I wish the Bush administration would make the case more forcefully.
I guess they are more interested in DOING than in TALKING.
They need to get this information out to the American public and to the MSM. The American public is being fed the notion that the Iraq war and 9/11 are NOT connected and Bush lied. They need to see this information we need to stop hiding it.
Again, the constant mantra that "there is no connection" has nothing to do with Bush. They are just building a defense in the event that the truth about Willie and his dealings with Saddam, OBL and the Saudis ever comes out. If Berger didn't destroy ALL the evidence, maybe it will.
It is a lot like the left's use of "McCarthyism." Any investigation of the criminality of the neocommunist left can be stopped in it's tracks by using the shield of "McCarthyism." Once the left-wing media uses this word, no further investigation need be done. That's exactly what they want to do with "no connection." They want to be able to stop any investigation of Willie and Iraqi oil money and, indirectly, any investigation of Hillie and the terrorists.
Don't bother, it's just like trying to talk to an infant or a drunk.
Reporters (often to hang onto their jobs rather than
insert their own opinion) have given up "going to a
source" for their columns. Instead they lock onto
the "word of the day" put out by the boss's party
of choice. In other words, they're giving the boss
the spiel that he insists they will take. It's a
matter of dropping a sentence here, altering a phrase
there, suggesting an interpretation everywhere.
But anyone in the print media has to realize by this
time that the Daily-Planet-hands-on-issue is a behemoth
facing its dying gasps. Circulation is not only down,
the media of choice is the internet/TV. And TV is
fast losing its grasp, too! How many Lindas, Nancys,
Gretas, and Katies can our stomachs tolerate in 24 hours?
So true. Oh well...guess I'll go flop on the couch, turn on the tube, fix a cup of coffee and see who is missing today. (sure wish I drank)
I love it when they are caught red handed.
Regardless of connections (or lack thereof) the fact is that both Iraq and AQ wished the "Evil Satan" dead. That's you and me for those who fail to understand. The DUmmy enemy appeasers said Iraq was secular but yet couldn't explain the Iraqi flag and the Islamic description on it. Nor can they explain why Muslim "brothers" travel from their home countries (US included) to fight Jihad. It isn't about the differences among extremists, but what they have in common. All that I know about Islam I learned on 9/11!