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Media mum on new evidence of Saddam's terror ties
Town Hall ^ | May 10, 2006 | By Joel Mowbray

Posted on 05/10/2006 3:37:06 PM PDT by april15Bendovr

Media mum on new evidence of Saddam's terror ties By Joel Mowbray

May 10, 2006

Ask even news-savvy Americans what they know about Saddam’s plans to deploy suicide bombers against the West, and the most common response will be blank stares. Ditto for asking about how Saddam’s thugs trained thousands of terrorists from around the Arab world, right up through 2002.

Both stunning revelations surfaced recently, one in Congressional testimony last month and the other in the current issue of Foreign Affairs magazine. The Pentagon has known about these items on Saddam’s terrorist agenda since the end of 2003, which is when it received the after-action analysis report it had commissioned. (It served as the basis for the testimony and the magazine article.)

Now declassified, the book-length report analyzed thousands of Iraqi documents and interviews with over 100 officials of Saddam’s regime to piece together what was going on in the tyranny’s final days. Much of it is darkly humorous, such as the lengths to which minions would go to deceive Saddam or how the despot actually appeared to believe the ridiculous propaganda spewed by Baghdad Bob.

To the extent the report or its summaries were covered by the mainstream media, attention mostly was focused on the finding that Saddam apparently behaved himself in late 2002 and early 2003 in a vain attempt to stave off the invasion. Yet entirely ignored by the supposedly objective news outlets were the rather newsworthy items indicating that, in fact, Saddam was interested in exporting terror.

According to a Nexis search, only four news outlets have even mentioned “Blessed July,” which was, in the words of the Foreign Affairs article, “a regime-directed wave of ‘martyrdom’ operations against targets in the West.” All nine articles were editorials or opinion pieces. The New York Times essentially avoided covering the report or the magazine summary of it, as the paper instead excerpted a book co-authored by one of its reporters that relied heavily on the report. Even the Associated Press declined to print a quick mention that preparations for “Blessed July,” again quoting from the magazine article, “were well under way at the time of the coalition invasion.”

The Washington Post, however, did cover the release of the Foreign Affairs article, but with this headline: “U.S. Said To Misread Hussein On Arms.” The not-so-subtle implication of the rather brief story was that Saddam didn’t pose as big a threat as we thought. In the weeks following the Post article, the full report was released and its authors appeared before Congress. Neither event triggered additional coverage.

Even if Post reporters missed the section in the 230-page report on terror training camps operated by the Fedayeen Saddam, the militia of soldiers most loyal to the ruthless ruler, that issue was raised again in Congressional hearings last month. The camps, which were started in 1994, trained some 7,200 Iraqis in the art of terrorism in the first year alone. “Beginning in 1998,” according to the full report, “these camps began hosting ‘Arab volunteers from Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, ‘the Gulf,’ and Syria.’”

So in the late 1990’s and beyond, during which time conventional wisdom tells us that Saddam was “contained,” Iraq was training thousands of terrorists from across the Arab world. Saddam was not slowing down. “The training activity of the groups were increasing both internal and apparently external. It was increasing over time,” testified Lt. Col. Kevin Woods (retired), the report’s chief author.

Many Democrats, leading leftists, and even ostensibly objective members of the Fourth Estate scoff at Bush’s contention that the war in Iraq was a necessary component of the war on terror. Yet when fairly compelling proof emerges that Saddam was actively involved in both training terrorists and planning attacks, the collective response was silence.

Most baffling, though, is that the White House has been equally silent.

Had President Bush made even one mention of “Blessed July,” Saddam’s plans for a “wave of ‘martyrdom’ operations” would have dominated cable newscasts and newspaper headlines for at least a day. Maybe not dominated, but it would have garnered at least some attention.

Had the White House press office decided that the mainstream media couldn’t be trusted to disseminate the information accurately, it could have at least highlighted Saddam’s terror training camps for friendly columnists, talk hosts, and bloggers. It didn’t.

The White House doesn’t believe in re-fighting the decision to go to war, which is painfully logical. But politics isn’t logical. Neither are Bush’s political enemies. If the President wants people to trust that he made the right call by toppling Saddam, he needs to reiterate everyday what we know: Saddam was a threat who could no longer be tolerated.

“Blessed July” and Saddam’s terror training camps would be as good a place as any to start.

Joel Mowbray is the author of Dangerous Diplomacy.

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: blessedjuly; iraq; iraqiintelligence; mowbray; newsblackout; prewardocs; saddam
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To: april15Bendovr; eyespysomething

I keep saying the MSM can't keep a lid on this forever and still believe it. It's going to bite them.

21 posted on 05/10/2006 5:45:24 PM PDT by jazusamo (-- Married a WAC in '65 and I'm still reenlisting. :-)
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...and without even the common courtesy of a reach around...

22 posted on 05/10/2006 5:45:44 PM PDT by steveyp
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To: jazusamo
The MSM must have a don't ask don't tell policy on any info coming out on this.
23 posted on 05/10/2006 5:56:34 PM PDT by april15Bendovr
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To: eyespysomething

Thanks for the PINGs! :^)

24 posted on 05/10/2006 7:33:11 PM PDT by Shelayne (Antique Media--losing value everyday...)
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To: eyespysomething

Thanks for the ping.


25 posted on 05/10/2006 8:21:51 PM PDT by baseballmom
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To: pissant

The msm and some of the republicans are sitting there with this evidence with their thumbs straight up where the sun don't shine. I'm really angry we have such a bunch of republicans who are more interested in getting reelected than doing what is right for America. Arlen Spector is a chairman and speaks like a demoflop, he'll do most anthing to be relected. Our president went to bat for him during the last election, now spector is using the bat against our President.

26 posted on 05/10/2006 8:34:42 PM PDT by tillacum
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To: april15Bendovr
Media mum on new evidence of Saddam's terror ties

You know its late when you read a headline and immediately think the story is about some English matron who has the goods on Saddam.

27 posted on 05/10/2006 8:37:28 PM PDT by new cruelty
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To: new cruelty

Well the NY times is called the Grey Lady and she appears to be a senile old one sided battle-axe.

28 posted on 05/10/2006 9:44:46 PM PDT by april15Bendovr
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To: tillacum
I have yet to see any Republicans unite and stand up supporting Rep. Peter Hoekstra's work on the Docex Project (Harmony documents)? nor have I seen the Republicans unite behind Curt Weldon's work on shedding light with Operation Able Danger?

I hope I am wrong but they certainly haven't been all that visible.

29 posted on 05/10/2006 9:57:12 PM PDT by april15Bendovr
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To: april15Bendovr

I agree with you april. Why the Doxcex and Operation Able Danger has been put on the shelf is beyond me. Our elected servants should be interested in the truth coming about these projects, plus the saddam documents that are being released. Our elected servants seem more interested in the msm reporting than our own intelligence reporting.

30 posted on 05/11/2006 6:33:54 AM PDT by tillacum
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To: tillacum
Our elected servants should be interested in the truth coming about these projects, ... servants is the word I have trouble with here - they are getting paid a handsome salary with one hell of a retirement plan. They are only in this for themselves and have forgotten America a long time ago. Until they prove otherwise that's what I am going to believe.
31 posted on 05/11/2006 8:22:31 AM PDT by Cyclone59 (Since the republican party has abandoned us, I think I will become a DINO...)
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To: All
I doubt very much that the average voter could take this simple quiz right now and pass the test.

Multiple Choice Quiz

1. What is the Docex Project?

A. A new health education class taught to teens on how to use condoms in high school?

B. Millions of documents sat deep within a warehouse that may shed some light on links between Saddam and Al Qaeda headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Recently they have been released by John Negroponte for bloggers to translate?

C. A sequel to The Blair Witch Project coming out this fall?

2. What is Operation Able Danger?

A. Its an episode of your child's favorite TV cartoon "Bob the Builder"?

B. Its the name of the secret operation our government worked on to blow up levees that Louis Farrakhan has talked of in New Orleans?

C. Information Operations Campaign Plan against transnational terrorism, "specifically al-Qaida." According to statements by Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer and confirmed by four others, Able Danger had identified the September 11, 2001 attack leader Mohamed Atta, and three of the 9/11 plot's 19 hijackers, as possible members of an al Qaeda cell linked to the '93 World Trade Center Attacks.

3. What is Salman Pak?

A. A training camp on the Tigris River some 15 miles southeast of Iraq's capital. 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?

B. A soccer player from Europe?

C. A treaty signed by France to never allow any foreign cheese to enter their homeland?

4. What is Resolution 1441?

A. The numbers printed on the back of a beer label viewing through a bottle of Rolling Rock beer?

B. A study to find out what year Christopher Columbus was actually born?

C. Is a resolution by the UN Security Council, passed unanimously on November 8, 2002, offering Iraq "a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations" that had been set out in several previous resolutions (Resolution 660, Resolution 661, Resolution 678, Resolution 686, Resolution 687, Resolution 688, Resolution 707, Resolution 715, Resolution 986, and Resolution 1284?

5. What was Operation Desert Fox?

A. A con artist that swindles women out of their money in Las Vegas.

B. the military codename for a major three-day bombing campaign on Iraqi targets from December 16-December 18, 1998 by the United States and United Kingdom. These strikes were ordered by the President Bill Clinton and were undertaken in response to Iraq's continued failure to comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions as well as their interference with United Nations Special Commission inspectors?

C. A sting operation by the FBI to stop smugglers from bringing illegal immigrants across the United States border?

32 posted on 05/11/2006 9:42:18 AM PDT by april15Bendovr
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