Skip to comments.US puts Iraqi documents on the Web ~ MSM acknowledges ...Goal is to speed up translation of files
Posted on 03/18/2006 10:24:23 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
Joseph Shahda of Randolph earns his living as an engineer. But in his spare time, he's an intelligence agent, working to ferret out the truth about the regime of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
When the US government on Thursday began publishing captured Iraqi government documents on the Internet, Shahda eagerly began to translate the files into English and publish them on a conservative website.
''I feel a sense of duty," said Shahda, a native of Lebanon who supports President Bush's decision to invade Iraq. ''I think it's a duty for people who know Arabic to translate the documents."
US officials hope that thousands of other Arabic speakers feel the same. Goaded by Congress, Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte has begun to release millions of pages of captured files online in an unprecedented effort to harness the Internet to disseminate raw intelligence material. There, anybody with a knowledge of Arabic can download the files and translate them for the world.
It's the same ''open source" principle that drove the successful development of the Internet and of powerful free software like the Linux operating system. Instead of hiring a team of brilliant professionals to analyze Iraqi documents in secret, the open source systems will use hundreds of clever amateurs, who'll publish their work for anyone to analyze and improve upon.
''Workers control the means of production, but without all that tedious communism," said Glenn Reynolds, a law professor at the University of Tennessee and author of ''An Army of Davids," a book that shows how the Internet encourages public activism.
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
Real smart move.
Interesting, but there is a risk that we could publish something which could get someone hurt or worse.
I wouldn't want to accidentally post the recipe for weaponized anthrax, for example.
"who'll publish their work for anyone to analyze and improve upon."
Nice way of saying that the evidence that is found, the MSM will claim it to be doctored to favor the desired outcome.
Stephen Hayes at the Weekly Standard has long pressed for the release of millions of Iraqi intelligence documents captured by the US when Baghdad fell. He argued for years that the trove of correspondence would shed light on critical disputes about the Iraq war and the actual threat presented from Saddam Hussein and his genocidal regime. Hayes gambled that the IIS hid much more than the American media reported -- and it turns out that Hayes has won his bet.
New documents released show that the Iraqis funded the Abu Sayyaf terrorists in the Philippines, a band of bloodthirsty Islamists with strong ties to al-Qaeda:
ON JUNE 6, 2001, the Iraqi ambassador to the Philippines sent an eight-page fax to Baghdad. Ambassador Salah Samarmad's dispatch to the Secondary Policy Directorate of the Iraqi Foreign Ministry concerned an Abu Sayyaf kidnapping a week earlier that had garnered international attention. Twenty civilians--including three Americans--had been taken from Dos Palmas Resort on Palawan Island in the southern Philippines. There had been fighting between the kidnappers and the Filipino military, Samarmad reported. Several hostages had escaped, and others were released. ...
The report notes that the Iraqis were now trying to be seen as helpful and keep a safe distance from Abu Sayyaf. "We have all cooperated in the field of intelligence information with some of our friends to encourage the tourists and the investors in the Philippines." But Samarmad's report seems to confirm that this is a change. "The kidnappers were formerly (from the previous year) receiving money and purchasing combat weapons. From now on we (IIS) are not giving them this opportunity and are not on speaking terms with them."
Samarmad's dispatch appears to be the final installment in a series of internal Iraqi regime memos from March through June 2001. (The U.S. government translated some of these documents in full and summarized others.) The memos contain a lengthy discussion among Iraqi officials--from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Iraqi Intelligence Service--about the wisdom of using a Libyan intelligence front as a way to channel Iraqi support for Abu Sayyaf without the risks of dealing directly with the group.
At the same time that leftists would have us believe that Saddam was safely in a "box" and contained by UN sanctions, he had corrupted the UN's aid program and plundered his own nation for billions of dollars. Obviously, some of this went to Abu Sayyaf until they got a little too notorious and the Iraqis had to pull back. Before that, however, they showed some enthusiasm for not only giving the Islamists money but also smuggling arms into the Philippines for their use.
And these aren't just local Islamists, either, as the Center for Defense Information noted in March 2002:
Abu Sayyaf was founded by Abdurajak Janjalani, an Islamic scholar and mujahedin in the Afghan-Soviet war, after he, like the contemporaries that formed his initial recruiting crop, returned from studies in Saudi Arabia and Libya determined to fulfill the Muslim ideal of an Islamic state. ...
In its inchoate stages and while under Janjalani's leadership, Abu Sayyaf was plugged into the international network of Islamic militants that received the support of Osama bin Laden. Abu Sayyaf-al Qaeda links are strong. Many of its fighters claim to have trained in Afghanistan, including as many as 20 who were in the graduating class of a Mazar-e Sharif camp in 2001; the titular group leader, Janjalani's brother, refined his terrorist skills in Libya. Zamboanga City, a Mindanao Islamic hotbed, was frequented by members of al Qaeda. Yet the best indicator of al Qaeda's influence is the relationship Janjalani forged with Saudi Arabian businessman Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, bin Laden's brother-in-law. Khalifa's network of Islamic charities and university in Zamboanga were both used to bankroll extremists. His main organization, the International Islamic Relief Organization, has an office in Zamboanga, as does a bin Laden foundation. Abu Sayyaf received training and money funneled through Khalifa's network. It was during this time of close association with Khalifa and the al Qaeda network that Abu Sayyaf began plotting its two biggest endeavors assassination of the Pope during a visit to the Catholic Philippines, and a plan to hijack and blow up 12 U.S. civilian airliners in a single day. After these plans were foiled (by an accidental fire in Ramsey Yousef's apartment), authorities began to see Abu Sayyaf as a major threat to security in the Philippines and as a true threat to international security.
CNN also notes the AS/AQ connection in its section on Asian terrorists. Time reported it in November 2002 in a profile on Abu Sayyaf and its operations. Those connections between Saddam and Islamist terror, specifically al-Qaeda, look a lot more significant with this new information.
The people who argued that waging war on Saddam Hussein constituted a "distraction" from the war on terror will have a lot of backpedaling to do.
ADDENDUM: This also puts a much different light on the sudden decision by Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi to give up his nuclear program and start cooperating with the US and UK on fighting terrorism. The Libyans acted as Saddam's middleman on funneling arms and money to Abu Sayyaf, a fact which Gaddafi must have assumed we would discover as we exploited the IIS documentation -- and especially after we captured Saddam Hussein in his spider hole. Libya would have jumped to the top ranks of terror-enablers and would have provided an even less difficult target than Syria, especially given Abu Sayyaf's attacks on Americans in the Philippines.
When Gaddafi told Italy's Silvio Berlusconi that he didn't want to end up like Saddam, he wasn't just engaging in hyperbole.
ADDENDUM II: Here's a provocative passage from another document, this time outlining Iraqi connections to al-Qaeda that channeled through the Sudan. This summarizes a meeting of Saddam's "Reform and Advice Committee":
A. During the visit of the Sudanese Dr. Ibrahim al-Sanusi to Iraq and his meeting with Mr. Uday Saddam Hussein, on December 13, 1994, in the presence of the respectable, Mr. Director of the Intelligence Service, he [Dr. al-Sanusi] pointed out that the opposing Osama bin Laden, residing in Sudan, is reserved and afraid to be depicted by his enemies as an agent of Iraq. We prepared to meet him in Sudan (The Honorable Presidency was informed of the results of the meeting in our letter 782 on December 17, 1994).
B. An approval to meet with opposer Osama bin Laden by the Intelligence Services was given by the Honorable Presidency in its letter 138, dated January 11, 1995 (attachment 6). He [bin Laden] was met by the previous general director of M4 in Sudan and in the presence of the Sudanese, Ibrahim al-Sanusi, on February 19, 1995. We discussed with him his organization. He requested the broadcast of the speeches of Sheikh Sulayman al-Uda (who has influence within Saudi Arabia and outside due to being a well known religious and influential personality) and to designate a program for them through the broadcast directed inside Iraq, and to perform joint operations against the foreign forces in the land of Hijaz. (The Honorable Presidency was informed of the details of the meeting in our letter 370 on March 4, 1995, attachment 7.)
C. The approval was received from the Leader, Mr. President, may God keep him, to designate a program for them through the directed broadcast. We were left to develop the relationship and the cooperation between the two sides to see what other doors of cooperation and agreement open up. The Sudanese side was informed of the Honorable Presidency's agreement above, through the representative of the Respectable Director of Intelligence Services, our Ambassador in Khartoum.
D. Due to the recent situation of Sudan and being accused of supporting and embracing of terrorism, an agreement with the opposing Saudi Osama bin Laden was reached. The agreement required him to leave Sudan to another area. He left Khartoum in July 1996. The information we have indicates that he is currently in Afghanistan. The relationship with him is ongoing through the Sudanese side. Currently we are working to invigorate this relationship through a new channel in light of his present location.
See link for excellent additional comments......
If there is anything that will remotely look like it will bash Bush, they'll run with it and they'll ignore anything in the documents that buttresses the case for the war.
Does this man have any concept of the cost of paying translators? Government provided translations would then be subject to verbal attack from all sides, leading to additional costs. Dreamworld living.
Those that would use it for foul deeds probably already have the knowledge.....lots of good knowledge of Sadam's dealings is coming out...see above.
If their going to open the Phillipines can of worms, all bets are off as far as his connection with 9/11 and maybe even Oklahoma City.
BTW, I loved this quote from the article: "I feel a sense of duty," said Shahda, a native of Lebanon who supports President Bush's decision to invade Iraq. "I think it's a duty for people who know Arabic to translate the documents."
TAKE THAT, traitorous Democrats and pusillanimous Republicans!
But a cash payoff to Bill Clinton would be a nice find.
eyespysomething seems to have a pinglist....
Goaded by Congress? Perhaps, but this is the first I've read or heard of it. OTH, President Bush explicitly and affirmatively ordered the release of the contents of this document dump, and, according to press reports, Negroponte was dragging his feet on this matter until Dubya made his views clearly known. But what self-respecting MSM functionary would voluntarily credit Pres. B. with demanding this release?
And isn't it just too, too rich that a private citizen is undertaking to do the translating, obviating MSM charges of depending on the work of biased Bushies??!!
So, the MSM is slowly picking up on the historic release of thousands of documents from Saddam Hussein's archives. But not without making a concerted effort to downplay and undermine the story. Readers are calling attention to the disclaimers included in this ABC News story. (Hat tip: Michael, Daniel, Lynne, and Coin.) Example:
"Osama bin Laden and the Taliban"
Document dated Sept. 15, 2001
An Iraqi intelligence service document saying that their Afghani informant, who's only identified by a number, told them that the Afghani Consul Ahmed Dahastani claimed the following in front of him:
That OBL and the Taliban are in contact with Iraq and that a group of Taliban and bin Laden group members visited Iraq.
That the U.S. has proof the Iraqi government and "bin Laden's group" agreed to cooperate to attack targets inside America.
That in case the Taliban and bin Laden's group turn out to be involved in "these destructive operations," the U.S. may strike Iraq and Afghanistan.
That the Afghani consul heard about the issue of Iraq's relationship with "bin Laden's group" while he was in Iran.
At the end, the writer recommends informing "the committee of intentions" about the above-mentioned items. The signature on the document is unclear.
(Editor's Note: The controversial claim that Osama bin Laden was cooperating with Saddam Hussein is an ongoing matter of intense debate. While the assertions contained in this document clearly support the claim, the sourcing is questionable -- i.e. an unnamed Afghan "informant" reporting on a conversation with another Afghan "consul." The date of the document -- four days after 9/11 -- is worth noting but without further corroboration, this document is of limited evidentiary value.)
Reader Craig L.:
Ya gotta wonder if such a careful regard for authentication and "evidentiary value" would be present if this were a document damaging to Dubya or his administration.
We certainly know CBS's standards.
Bob Owens weighs in with a reminder about the Downing Street Memos.
Stay tuned to Pajamas Media:
Related FreeRepublic thread on the ABCNEWS REPORT:
You can try jveritas :)
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