Skip to comments.Fritz Hollings Connected Iraq To 9/11 [Who Woulda Thunk It]
Posted on 08/29/2005 5:43:39 AM PDT by conservativecorner
Perhaps Senator Fritz Hollings cannot claim to have first connected Iraq to 9/11, but he did point out for the record an odd literary coincidence in a speech on the Senate floor on September 12, 2002, the day after the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Hollings entered an editorial into the Congressional record from the Iraqi newspaper Al-Nasiriyah, which he noted appears curious for its eerily prescient language:
America says, admitting just like a bird in the midst of a tornado, that Bin Ladin is behind the bombing of its destroyer in Aden. The fearful series of events continues for America and the terror within America gets to the point that the Governor of Texas increases the amount of the award, just as the stubbornness of the other man and his challenge increases. This challenge makes it such that one of his grandchildren comes from Jeddah traveling on the official Saudi Arabia airlines and celebrates with him the marriage of one of the daughters of his companions. Bin Ladin has become a puzzle and a proof also, of the inability of the American federalism and the C.I.A. to uncover the man and uncover his nest. The most advanced organizations of the world cannot find the man and continues to go in cycles in illusion and presuppositions. They still hope that he could come out from his nest one day, they hope that he would come out from his hiding hole and one day they will point at him their missiles and he will join Guevara, Hassan Abu Salama, Kamal Nasser, Kanafani and others. The man responds with a thin smile and replies to the correspondent from Al Jazeera that he will continue to be the obsession and worry of America and the Jews, and that even that night he will practice and work on an exercise called ``How Do You Bomb the White House.'' And because they know that he can get there, they have started to go through their nightmares on their beds and the leaders have had to wear their bulletproof vests. Meanwhile America has started to pressure the Taliban movement so that it would hand them Bin Ladin, while he continues to smile and still thinks seriously, with the seriousness of the Bedouin of the desert about the way he will try to bomb the Pentagon after he destroys the White House .....
The phenomenon of Bin Ladin is a healthy phenomenon in the Arab spirit. It is a decision and a determination that the stolen Arab self has come to realize after it got bored with promises of its rulers: After it disgusted itself from their abomination and their corruption, the man had to carry the book of God and the Kalashnikov and write on some off white paper ``If you are unable to drive off the Marines from the Kaaba, I will do so.'' It seems that they will be going away because the revolutionary Bin Ladin is insisting very convincingly that he will strike America on the arm that is already hurting. That the man will not be swayed by the plant leaves of Whitman nor by the ``Adventures of Indiana Jones'' and will curse the memory of Frank Sinatra every time he hears his songs.
In one editorial, two months before the attack, al-Nasiriyah -- a state-run newspaper for the Saddam regime -- managed to name all three attack targets for 9/11. They said that bin Laden had spent his time trying to work out how to bomb the White House, which would happen shortly before destroying the Pentagon. Then, in typically flowery Arabic fashion, the author claims that Americans will "curse the memory of Frank Sinatra", an odd reference -- unless one remembers that "New York, New York" remains Sinatra's signature song. In the event, the attack followed precisely this plan, except in reverse order: the World Trade Center went first, then the Pentagon, and the White House would likely have followed if the heroes of Flight 93 had not caused the terrorists to down the plane in Pennsylvania.
Even beyond that, the fawning tone and obvious support for Osama bin Laden in one of Saddam's newspapers belies any suggestion that the two could not find common ground for operations against their common enemy. Saddam wanted Iraqis to stand behind Osama and al-Qaeda and cheer on their attacks on the US. The author states: "This new awareness of the image that Bin Ladin has become gives shape to the resting areas and stops for every Arab revolutionary. It is the subject of our admiration here in Iraq because it shares with us in a unified manner our resisting stand, and just as he fixes his gaze on the Al Aqsa we greet him."
Let's take another look at the timeline to see where July 21, 2001 fits into it. At that point, Mohammed Atta has just met with Ramzi Binalshibh in Madrid, discussing the need to set a date for the attacks. Binalshibh claims that Atta did not do so at that meeting, but Binalshibh provides the only evidence of Atta's demurral. Five days later, Hamid Zakeri would walk into an American embassy and tell the CIA that Osama bin Laden would launch a massive attack the US on September 11, and that the attack would involve six pilots -- an attack about which he learned through his Iranian contacts.
It certainly seems that Binalshibh has created quite a disinformation campaign, and that American officials appeared determined to swallow it. In case you wondered, the 9/11 Commission makes no mention of the Iraqi predictions in its final report, to no one's great surprise.
UPDATE: The Hollings link came from a Thomas search, which apparently didn't deliver a permanent URL. I didn't notice it at the time. It han also be found here. I'll try to find a permanent Thomas URL.
UPDATE II: The relevant pages of the Congressional Record can be found in these two PDF files.
There is also a link on that page to this info:
The 9/11 Congressional Inquiry's final report concludes that at least six hijackers received substantial assistance from associates in the US, though it's not known to what extent any of these contacts in the United States were aware of the plot. These hijackers came into contact with at least 14 people who were investigated by the FBI before 9/11, and four of those investigations were active while the hijackers were present. But in June 2002, FBI Director Mueller testified: While here, the hijackers effectively operated without suspicion, triggering nothing that would have alerted law enforcement and doing nothing that exposed them to domestic coverage. As far as we know, they contacted no known terrorist sympathizers in the United States. CIA Director Tenet made similar comments at the same time, and another FBI official stated, [T]here were no contacts with anybody we were looking at inside the United States. These comments are untrue, because one FBI document from November 2001 uncovered by the Inquiry concludes that the six lead hijackers maintained a web of contacts both in the United States and abroad. These associates, ranging in degrees of closeness, include friends and associates from universities and flight schools, former roommates, people they knew through mosques and religious activities, and employment contacts. Other contacts provided legal, logistical, or financial assistance, facilitated US entry and flight school enrollment, or were known from [al-Qaeda]-related activities or training. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03] The declassified sections of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry's final report show the hijackers have contact with:
Mamoun Darkazanli, investigated several times starting in 1991; the CIA makes repeated efforts to turn him into an informer
Mohammed Haydar Zammar, investigated by Germany since at least 1997, the Germans periodically inform the CIA what they learn Osama Basnan, US intelligence is informed of his connections to Islamic militants several times in early 1990s but fails to investigate
Omar al-Bayoumi, investigated in San Diego from 1998-1999
Anwar Al Aulaqi, investigated in San Diego from 1999-2000 Osama Sam Mustafa, owner of a San Diego gas station, and investigated beginning in 1991
Ed Salamah, manager of the same gas station, and an uncooperative witness in 2000
An unnamed friend of Hani Hanjour, whom the FBI tries to investigate in 2001
An unnamed associate of Marwan Alshehhi, investigated beginning in 1999
Hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar, who had contact with Basnan, al-Bayoumi, Aulaqi, Mustafa, and Salamah, maintained a number of other contacts in the local Islamic community during their time in San Diego, some of whom were also known to the FBI through counterterrorist inquiries and investigations, but details of these individuals and possible others are still classified. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03]
3) Mamdouh Mahmud Salim: An Iraqi, Salim was born in 1958 and established links between al-Qaida and groups in Iraq and Lebanon. It is believed that Salim cofounded al-Qaida. Salim is not accused of a direct role in the embassy bombings, but he is charged with terror conspiracy charges that could bring a life sentence. He is also accused of managing Wadi Aqiq, bin Laden's umbrella company that procured communications equipment and conventional weapons for the organization. Some...as in other Al Qaeda members know him as Abu Hajer al Iraqi. Sure, he told them, he worked for Osama bin Ladenbut only as a salaried employee managing bin Ladens Sudanese agricultural business. Moreover, in the mid-nineties, the Iraq-born Salim supposedly put his knowledge and his nationality to use as Al Qaedas liaison to Iraqi intelligence. Indictment of Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, January 6, 1999.
I will see what I can find on Salim/Salim/Darkazanli...
Another facilitator of the relationship during the mid-1990s was Mahmdouh Mahmud Salim (a.k.a. Abu Hajer al-Iraqi). Abu Hajer, now in a New York prison, was described in court proceedings related to the August 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania as bin Laden's "best friend." According to CIA reporting dating back to the Clinton administration, bin Laden trusted him to serve as a liaison with Saddam's regime and tasked him with procurement of weapons of mass destruction for al Qaeda. FBI reporting in the memo reveals that Abu Hajer "visited Iraq in early 1995" and "had a good relationship with Iraqi intelligence. Sometime before mid-1995 he went on an al Qaeda mission to discuss unspecified cooperation with the Iraqi government."
This could get confusing...another Salim comes up on that page, Brigadier Salim al-Ahmed:
Reporting from a well placed source disclosed that bin Laden was receiving training on bomb making from the IIS's [Iraqi Intelligence Service] principal technical expert on making sophisticated explosives, Brigadier Salim al-Ahmed. Brigadier Salim was observed at bin Laden's farm in Khartoum in Sept.-Oct. 1995 and again in July 1996, in the company of the Director of Iraqi Intelligence, Mani abd-al-Rashid al-Tikriti.
More on Shakir on that page too...check out the bold part...
He was arrested in Doha, Qatar, on September 17, 2001. He had been employed by the Qatari government in its Ministry of Religious Development. Authorities found what Newsweek's Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman described as a "treasure trove": contact information--both on Shakir and back at his apartment--for several high-ranking al Qaeda terrorists. They include: Zaid Sheikh Mohammed, brother of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed; Musab Yasin, brother of Abdul Rahman Yasin, the Iraqi who participated in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; Abu Hajer al Iraqi, the Iraqi national alleged to have been Osama bin Laden's "best friend"; and Ibrahim Suleiman, a Kuwaiti native whose fingerprints were found on the bombmaking manuals authorities say were used in preparation for the 1993 Trade Center bombing. We also know that in January 1993, shortly before the first attack on the World Trade Center, Shakir had received a phone call later traced to the New Jersey safehouse that served as the headquarters for that operation.
This is amazing ! Many thanks for the ping.
I can't seem to find anything of relevance on a search of "Jabir Salim, Mamoun Darkazanli"...are you sure? I also could not find any direct connection between Jabir and Mahmud.
Sorry, I'm not sure where I got that, I'm reviewing all my links and info.....
fyi, if anyone on this thread has a technical aptitude beyond mine, this article looks very interesting for explaining a project in "link analysis" studying Al Qaeda relationships:
Perhaps we could develope a freeper version of ABLE DANGER, pooling together all the research efforts here and then crunching data.... but I don't know if a super-computer would be required or what would be involved to get a program of "link analysis"..... we would hope that federal agencies would be doing this sort of thing, but since ABLE DANGER was canceled out of lawyerly fears it may be that none of this is going on in the intel agencies.
That's right! I'd forgotten that. Do you have a link to a story somewhere that chronicles that? I have a group of liberals who need to see that.
I do appreciate the continued pings. So much is being brought out, some repetive but never the less important. I continue to book mark, and of course wade through what all are saying.
I saw that link, opened it and skimmed through it, but the article was more about the process of linkage than the actual linkage of the terrorists. I am not really skilled with database programs, so I am not sure what we would even need to do this.
Warning...slow loading .pdf file...FYI, the court ruled against Iraq.
There was also another lawsuit filed by the family of John ONeill (a former FBI agent who captured Ramzi Yousef after the 1993 WTC bombings) after he died in the WTC on 9/11. His personal files from his years of traveling around the world investigating al-Qaeda are were used as evidence in the lawsuit. The evidence includes documents unearthed in the headquarters of the Mukhabarat (Iraq's intelligence service) and information gleaned from the interrogation of both al-Qaeda and Iraqi prisoners. (Link below). It also quotes Vincent Cannistraro, the former CIA counter-terrorism chief, who stated in October 2000 that Iraq had been wanting to carry out terrorist attacks, and that the Iraqi military had been in contact with Osama bin Laden.
DEY'S TOO MUCH DATA MININ' GOIN ON OUT DEYA!!
When I think of Frank, I think of him singing old slave songs about the Jordan....pretty sure everyone in Middle Asia does too..... ;-)
I read this the other day and never realized that Hollings had given this speech after 9/11.
For some time now, I've been pounding home that Iraq was involved. Unless we believe that Osama was just gossiping with Saddam and letting him know what was coming to America.
In July 2001, Iraq's state run newspaper made it pretty clear that NY was going to be hurt again on "the arm that is already hurting" -- a reference to the first WTC bombing.
But hey. We all know men gossip so maybe this really doesn't mean anything :-)
If The Bush Administration Lied About WMD, So Did These People -- Version 3.0
by John Hawkins
Since we haven't found WMD in Iraq, a lot of the anti-war/anti-Bush crowd is saying that the Bush administration lied about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Well, if they're going to claim that the Bush administration lied, then there sure are a lot of other people, including quite a few prominent Democrats, who have told the same "lies" since the inspectors pulled out of Iraq in 1998. Here are just a few examples that prove that the Bush administration didn't lie about weapons of mass destruction...
"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." -- From a letter signed by Joe Lieberman, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara A. Milulski, Tom Daschle, & John Kerry among others on October 9, 1998
"This December will mark three years since United Nations inspectors last visited Iraq. There is no doubt that since that time, Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to refine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer- range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies." -- From a December 6, 2001 letter signed by Bob Graham, Joe Lieberman, Harold Ford, & Tom Lantos among others
"Whereas Iraq has consistently breached its cease-fire agreement between Iraq and the United States, entered into on March 3, 1991, by failing to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction program, and refusing to permit monitoring and verification by United Nations inspections; Whereas Iraq has developed weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological capabilities, and has made positive progress toward developing nuclear weapons capabilities" -- From a joint resolution submitted by Tom Harkin and Arlen Specter on July 18, 2002
"Saddam's goal ... is to achieve the lifting of U.N. sanctions while retaining and enhancing Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. We cannot, we must not and we will not let him succeed." -- Madeline Albright, 1998
"(Saddam) will rebuild his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and some day, some way, I am certain he will use that arsenal again, as he has 10 times since 1983" -- National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, Feb 18, 1998
"Iraq made commitments after the Gulf War to completely dismantle all weapons of mass destruction, and unfortunately, Iraq has not lived up to its agreement." -- Barbara Boxer, November 8, 2002
"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retained some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capability. Intelligence reports also indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons, but has not yet achieved nuclear capability." -- Robert Byrd, October 2002
"There's no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat... Yes, he has chemical and biological weapons. He's had those for a long time. But the United States right now is on a very much different defensive posture than we were before September 11th of 2001... He is, as far as we know, actively pursuing nuclear capabilities, though he doesn't have nuclear warheads yet. If he were to acquire nuclear weapons, I think our friends in the region would face greatly increased risks as would we." -- Wesley Clark on September 26, 2002
"What is at stake is how to answer the potential threat Iraq represents with the risk of proliferation of WMD. Baghdad's regime did use such weapons in the past. Today, a number of evidences may lead to think that, over the past four years, in the absence of international inspectors, this country has continued armament programs." -- Jacques Chirac, October 16, 2002
"The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow." -- Bill Clinton in 1998
"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security." -- Hillary Clinton, October 10, 2002
"I am absolutely convinced that there are weapons...I saw evidence back in 1998 when we would see the inspectors being barred from gaining entry into a warehouse for three hours with trucks rolling up and then moving those trucks out." -- Clinton's Secretary of Defense William Cohen in April of 2003
"Iraq is not the only nation in the world to possess weapons of mass destruction, but it is the only nation with a leader who has used them against his own people." -- Tom Daschle in 1998
"Saddam Hussein's regime represents a grave threat to America and our allies, including our vital ally, Israel. For more than two decades, Saddam Hussein has sought weapons of mass destruction through every available means. We know that he has chemical and biological weapons. He has already used them against his neighbors and his own people, and is trying to build more. We know that he is doing everything he can to build nuclear weapons, and we know that each day he gets closer to achieving that goal." -- John Edwards, Oct 10, 2002
"The debate over Iraq is not about politics. It is about national security. It should be clear that our national security requires Congress to send a clear message to Iraq and the world: America is united in its determination to eliminate forever the threat of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction." -- John Edwards, Oct 10, 2002
"I share the administration's goals in dealing with Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction." -- Dick Gephardt in September of 2002
"Iraq does pose a serious threat to the stability of the Persian Gulf and we should organize an international coalition to eliminate his access to weapons of mass destruction. Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." -- Al Gore, 2002
"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction." -- Bob Graham, December 2002
"Saddam Hussein is not the only deranged dictator who is willing to deprive his people in order to acquire weapons of mass destruction." -- Jim Jeffords, October 8, 2002
"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." -- Ted Kennedy, September 27, 2002
"There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed." -- Ted Kennedy, Sept 27, 2002
"I will be voting to give the president of the United States the authority to use force - if necessary - to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." -- John F. Kerry, Oct 2002
"The threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but as I said, it is not new. It has been with us since the end of that war, and particularly in the last 4 years we know after Operation Desert Fox failed to force him to reaccept them, that he has continued to build those weapons. He has had a free hand for 4 years to reconstitute these weapons, allowing the world, during the interval, to lose the focus we had on weapons of mass destruction and the issue of proliferation." -- John Kerry, October 9, 2002
"(W)e need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. We all know the litany of his offenses. He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. ...And now he is miscalculating Americas response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. That is why the world, through the United Nations Security Council, has spoken with one voice, demanding that Iraq disclose its weapons programs and disarm. So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but it is not new. It has been with us since the end of the Persian Gulf War." -- John Kerry, Jan 23, 2003
"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandates of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them." -- Carl Levin, Sept 19, 2002
"Every day Saddam remains in power with chemical weapons, biological weapons, and the development of nuclear weapons is a day of danger for the United States." -- Joe Lieberman, August, 2002
"Over the years, Iraq has worked to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. During 1991 - 1994, despite Iraq's denials, U.N. inspectors discovered and dismantled a large network of nuclear facilities that Iraq was using to develop nuclear weapons. Various reports indicate that Iraq is still actively pursuing nuclear weapons capability. There is no reason to think otherwise. Beyond nuclear weapons, Iraq has actively pursued biological and chemical weapons.U.N. inspectors have said that Iraq's claims about biological weapons is neither credible nor verifiable. In 1986, Iraq used chemical weapons against Iran, and later, against its own Kurdish population. While weapons inspections have been successful in the past, there have been no inspections since the end of 1998. There can be no doubt that Iraq has continued to pursue its goal of obtaining weapons of mass destruction." -- Patty Murray, October 9, 2002
"As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." -- Nancy Pelosi, December 16, 1998
"Even today, Iraq is not nearly disarmed. Based on highly credible intelligence, UNSCOM [the U.N. weapons inspectors] suspects that Iraq still has biological agents like anthrax, botulinum toxin, and clostridium perfringens in sufficient quantity to fill several dozen bombs and ballistic missile warheads, as well as the means to continue manufacturing these deadly agents. Iraq probably retains several tons of the highly toxic VX substance, as well as sarin nerve gas and mustard gas. This agent is stored in artillery shells, bombs, and ballistic missile warheads. And Iraq retains significant dual-use industrial infrastructure that can be used to rapidly reconstitute large-scale chemical weapons production." -- Ex-Un Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter in 1998
"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. And that may happen sooner if he can obtain access to enriched uranium from foreign sources -- something that is not that difficult in the current world. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction." -- John Rockefeller, Oct 10, 2002
"Saddams existing biological and chemical weapons capabilities pose a very real threat to America, now. Saddam has used chemical weapons before, both against Iraqs enemies and against his own people. He is working to develop delivery systems like missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles that could bring these deadly weapons against U.S. forces and U.S. facilities in the Middle East." -- John Rockefeller, Oct 10, 2002
"Whether one agrees or disagrees with the Administrations policy towards Iraq, I dont think there can be any question about Saddams conduct. He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do. He lies and cheats; he snubs the mandate and authority of international weapons inspectors; and he games the system to keep buying time against enforcement of the just and legitimate demands of the United Nations, the Security Council, the United States and our allies. Those are simply the facts." -- Henry Waxman, Oct 10, 2002