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UK Newspaper Says Documents Link Bin Laden to Iraq (The Telegraph Gets Another HUGE Scoop!)
Reuters ^ | April 26, 2003

Posted on 04/26/2003 2:36:35 PM PDT by Timesink

UK Newspaper Says Documents Link Bin Laden to Iraq

Sat April 26, 2003 05:13 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Sunday Telegraph newspaper said it had discovered documents showing Iraqi intelligence hosted an envoy from Osama bin Laden in 1998 and sought to meet the alleged September 11 mastermind in person.

The finding, if verified, would appear to support Washington's assertion of links between ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and bin Laden, one of the justifications for the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

The paper said the documents, which its correspondent found in the wrecked headquarters of the Iraqi Mukhabarat intelligence service, showed Iraq brought a bin Laden aide to Baghdad in early 1998 from his former base in Sudan to arrange closer ties.

Iraqi officials sought to have the envoy pass on a verbal message setting up a direct meeting with bin Laden, the paper said.

The 1998 visit described in the documents would have taken place before bin Laden became a household name in the West, when Washington blamed him for the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa later that year.

According to the Telegraph, bin Laden's name had been concealed in several places on the Iraqi documents with white correction fluid. Its correspondent scraped the fluid off with a razor to uncover the name.

In one document quoted by the paper an Iraqi official wrote: "We suggest permission to call the Khartoum station (Iraq's intelligence office in Sudan) to facilitate the travel arrangements for the above-mentioned person to Iraq.

"And that our body carry all the travel and hotel costs inside Iraq to gain the knowledge of the message from bin Laden and to convey to his envoy an oral message from us to bin Laden."

A handwritten note on the same page said the letter had been passed on to the deputy director general of the intelligence service, recommending that he "bring the envoy to Iraq because we may find in this envoy a way to maintain contacts with Iraq."

The documents do not make clear whether the hoped-for meeting between Iraqi officials and bin Laden took place.

Before the war, Saddam's government repeatedly denied any links with bin Laden's al Qaeda network.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alqaeda; alqaedaandiraq; bushdoctrineunfold; iraq; iraqcornucopia; iraqifreedom; osamabinladen; sundaytelegraph; telegraph; thetelegraph; warlist
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Telegraph article to come...
1 posted on 04/26/2003 2:36:35 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: Timesink
Good find..
2 posted on 04/26/2003 2:38:14 PM PDT by MEG33
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To: Timesink
I wish we had an American newspaper like the Telegraph.
3 posted on 04/26/2003 2:40:14 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone
The Wall Street Journal's editoral page is on par.
4 posted on 04/26/2003 2:41:22 PM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Timesink; *Bush Doctrine Unfold; *war_list; W.O.T.; Dog Gone; Grampa Dave; blam; Sabertooth; ...
This is another big find, way to go!

Bush Doctrine Unfolds :

To find all articles tagged or indexed using Bush Doctrine Unfold , click below:
  click here >>> Bush Doctrine Unfold <<< click here  
(To view all FR Bump Lists, click here)



5 posted on 04/26/2003 2:42:30 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and where is Tom Daschle?)
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To: Tribune7
Yeah, except when they let Al Hunt write a column.
6 posted on 04/26/2003 2:44:06 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
The Telegraph's Sunday edition isn't live on their web site yet. We'll have to wait a little while for the main story.
7 posted on 04/26/2003 2:45:09 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: MadIvan
Your favorite newspaper ping
8 posted on 04/26/2003 2:45:34 PM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: Dog Gone
LOL!
9 posted on 04/26/2003 2:46:32 PM PDT by Dog (We are witnessing Historic Days-- -- - - - President George W. Bush - - - April 24, 2003)
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To: Timesink
According to the Telegraph, bin Laden's name had been concealed in several places on the Iraqi documents with white correction fluid. Its correspondent scraped the fluid off with a razor to uncover the name.

These guys weren't smart enough to run an Evil Empire, let alone an "intelligence" agency. "covered up with correction fluid", yeah, that'll keep it all secret! Makes me wonder if all those stolen computers will be found with white-out on the monitors.

10 posted on 04/26/2003 2:47:04 PM PDT by LocalYokel (my state might be blue but my county was red)
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To: Timesink
"What did Iraq ever do to us?" asked Saranwrap.
"Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11." quoth countless others.

Hmmm...wrong A.N.S.W.E.R.
11 posted on 04/26/2003 2:47:36 PM PDT by TXBlair (My President can beat up your dictator.)
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To: Timesink
Of course, the Saddamophiles will claim this is another forgery, just as they have with every other incriminating document that has surfaced.
12 posted on 04/26/2003 2:48:20 PM PDT by Fresh Wind (Never forget: CLINTON PARDONED TERRORISTS)
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To: Dog Gone
I've been seeing him less. I think Robert Bartley -- the ultimate conservative -- might have taken his place on some days.
13 posted on 04/26/2003 2:48:36 PM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Timesink
But how can this be? I thought Saddam was a secular dictator, and bin Laden his sworn enemy? </sarcasm>
14 posted on 04/26/2003 2:50:04 PM PDT by The Great Satan (Revenge, Terror and Extortion: A Guide for the Perplexed)
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To: LocalYokel
ROFL!!!!!
15 posted on 04/26/2003 2:50:25 PM PDT by Dog (We are witnessing Historic Days-- -- - - - President George W. Bush - - - April 24, 2003)
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To: Dog Gone
I TOLD you this would happen, you owe me another beer!
16 posted on 04/26/2003 2:51:19 PM PDT by HoustonCurmudgeon (Compassionate Conservative Curmudgeon)
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To: HoustonCurmudgeon
Dammit. I was hoping you were on vacation and wouldn't see this.
17 posted on 04/26/2003 2:53:11 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone; Tribune7
Yeah, except when they let Al Hunt write a column.

Al Hunt is their substitution for comics.

18 posted on 04/26/2003 2:54:26 PM PDT by Temple Owl
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To: Tribune7
I've been seeing [Al Hunt] less. I think Robert Bartley -- the ultimate conservative -- might have taken his place on some days.
Nah. Hunt's been on once a week, for some time. More recently Robert Bartley--editorial page editor emeritus--has had a column "Thinking Things Over" on Mondays. Hunt's column appears on Tuesday, I think . . .

19 posted on 04/26/2003 2:59:13 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion
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To: The Great Satan
But how can this be? I thought Saddam was a secular dictator, and bin Laden his sworn enemy? /sarcasm

Rather: "Mr President, Americans are very much concerned about anyone's connections to Osama Bin Laden. Do you have, have you had, any connections to al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden?"

Saddam: "... Iraq has never had any relationship with al-Qaeda and I think that Mr Bin Laden himself has recently, in one of his speeches, given such an answer that we have no relation with him."

Link

20 posted on 04/26/2003 3:02:40 PM PDT by FreeReign (V5.0 Enterprise Edition)
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To: HoustonCurmudgeon; Dog Gone
It's getting difficult to keep count>

Beer Dog Gone owes HoustonCurmudgeon

21 posted on 04/26/2003 3:04:20 PM PDT by Flyer (We like Dix!)
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To: Timesink
This reporter is certainly doing a lot of forging of documents.
22 posted on 04/26/2003 3:08:31 PM PDT by VRWC_minion (Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and most are right)
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To: Flyer
If I ever pay off, HC is going to drown.
23 posted on 04/26/2003 3:08:33 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: VRWC_minion
This reporter is certainly doing a lot of forging of documents.

Please explain that.

24 posted on 04/26/2003 3:10:17 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone
If I ever pay off

You should. Think of the economic stimulus!

25 posted on 04/26/2003 3:12:18 PM PDT by Flyer (We like Dix!)
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To: Dog Gone
First Galloway now this. I'm assuming its the same reporter. Busy fellow having to create all those fraudlent doc's without the benefit of modern equipmet.
26 posted on 04/26/2003 3:13:15 PM PDT by VRWC_minion (Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and most are right)
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To: Dog Gone
Galloway says..forgeries.
27 posted on 04/26/2003 3:13:51 PM PDT by MEG33
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To: Dog Gone
I assume he's speaking of George Galloway's desperate-Baghdad Bob defense- against the Daily Telegraph breaking the story on him.

Is this report from the same guy? I think his name was Tim Blair.
28 posted on 04/26/2003 3:14:33 PM PDT by PeoplesRep_of_LA ("As long as it takes...No. That's the answer to your question. As long as it takes." GWB)
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To: FreeReign
Nice, isn't it?
29 posted on 04/26/2003 3:14:34 PM PDT by TXBlair (My President can beat up your dictator.)
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To: Timesink
another great find by the Telegraph and Timesink!
30 posted on 04/26/2003 3:14:38 PM PDT by knak
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To: VRWC_minion
Ah, I get it now. Thanks.
31 posted on 04/26/2003 3:17:19 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Timesink
why can't the cia find these documents instead of the british press????
32 posted on 04/26/2003 3:19:09 PM PDT by Bill Davis FR
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To: PeoplesRep_of_LA
By the way MEG33, don't know if you heard, but the reporters at The Daily Telegraph are idiots. They're arrogant too. </Fred Mertz> I miss that Iraqi Information Minister style of debate from last night.
33 posted on 04/26/2003 3:19:19 PM PDT by PeoplesRep_of_LA ("As long as it takes...No. That's the answer to your question. As long as it takes." GWB)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Timesink
Incredible...good find Timesink. Thanks for the ping Ernest!

Isn't it odd that the truth suddenly comes tumbling out at such a rate it's hard to keep up? I keep visualizing all the politicos & journalists scurrying around for cover. MOABs are raining down on them from the UK press!

34 posted on 04/26/2003 3:20:49 PM PDT by Magnolia
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To: Timesink
bin Laden's name had been concealed in several places on the Iraqi documents with white correction fluid.

ohh no! how ever could we have deciphered that one.
35 posted on 04/26/2003 3:23:14 PM PDT by Husker24
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To: Magnolia
MOABs are raining down on them from the UK press!

ROFL!!

Where is the American press?

See this for the Arabic Press:

The UN is a fundamentally flawed institution (From ArabicNews - Barf Alert)

36 posted on 04/26/2003 3:25:58 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and where is Tom Daschle?)
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To: PeoplesRep_of_LA
Incredible wasn't it? LOL
37 posted on 04/26/2003 3:26:10 PM PDT by MEG33
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To: Bill Davis FR
why can't the cia find these documents instead of the british press????

The CIA found the British press? Well, that's a start for them.

38 posted on 04/26/2003 3:27:07 PM PDT by TruthShallSetYouFree
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
"Where is the American press?"

No doubt they're looking for (a)ways to spin the money-for-media revelations, (b) ways to blame others for the Baghdad funds in their accounts, or (c) countries with no extradition treaties with the U.S. (Or D, seeking ways to explain this to St. Peter?)

39 posted on 04/26/2003 3:31:53 PM PDT by MizSterious (Support whirled peas!)
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To: Bill Davis FR
why can't the cia find these documents instead of the british press????

Its possible our intellience is finding and sorting threw them and giving some interesting documents to the press. What better way to get credibility than have them come out through unofficial sources ?

40 posted on 04/26/2003 3:34:02 PM PDT by VRWC_minion (Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and most are right)
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To: Magnolia
From the generally anti-American Independent:

'Bin Laden envoy met Saddam's officials'

By James Burleigh

27 April 2003

Documents have reportedly been found in Baghdad which show that Saddam Hussein's intelligence service hosted an envoy from Osama bin Laden in 1998 and sought to meet the alleged 11 September terror mastermind in person.

The documents, which a reporter for The Sunday Telegraph claimed to have found yesterday in the wrecked headquarters of the Iraqi Mukhabarat (intelligence service), showed that Iraq brought a bin Laden aide to Baghdad in early 1998 from his former base in Sudan to arrange closer ties.

The documents claim the meeting was apparently so successful that the emissary's trip was extended by a week and ended with arrangements being discussed for bin Laden himself to visit Iraq.

The 1998 visit described in the documents would have taken place before bin Laden became notorious in the West, when the US blamed him for the bombings of two US embassies in Africa later that year.

According to the newspaper, bin Laden's name had been concealed in several places on the Iraqi documents with white correction fluid and the reporter scraped the fluid off with a razorblade to uncover the name.

One paper is marked, in handwriting, "Top Secret and Urgent" and dated 19 February 1998. It refers to the planned trip from Sudan by bin Laden's unnamed envoy and refers to arrangements for his visit. The documents do not say whether a meeting between Iraqi officials and Mr bin Laden took place.

Before the war, Saddam's government denied links with bin Laden's al-Qa'ida network.

41 posted on 04/26/2003 3:34:37 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: LocalYokel
These guys weren't smart enough to run an Evil Empire, let alone an "intelligence" agency.

Absolutely! To call Saddam or Osama an "evil genius" is a cop-out -- these mutts were/are enabled abroad by the likes of Galloway, Chiraq, Kofi Annan and countless other paid degenerates. In Iraq, Afghanistan and other hellholes, torture, murder and terror don't require a very high IQ.

42 posted on 04/26/2003 3:35:00 PM PDT by browardchad
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
I'll lead the mass email I am composing with this... I'd wager there are a number of people around the world who took Iraqi money & favors who are quaking in their boots right now...
43 posted on 04/26/2003 3:38:16 PM PDT by backhoe (The 1990's will be forever remembered as "The Decade of Fraud(s)...")
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To: TXBlair
Nice, isn't it?

Rather is a useful idiot.

44 posted on 04/26/2003 3:46:01 PM PDT by FreeReign (V5.0 Enterprise Edition)
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To: VRWC_minion
What better way to get credibility than have them come out through unofficial sources?

Much like the WSJ "found" that hard drive in Afghanistan.

45 posted on 04/26/2003 3:46:39 PM PDT by browardchad
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To: Bill Davis FR
Does anyone really believe the Telegraph had unfettered access to cherry pick out of thousands of documents that must have been available? Truth be known, the CIA or DIA is feeding this stuff to them. Also, it's obvious this is information the US had all along. It's more credible coming from a foreign rag, rather than American. The Telegraph has had inside tracks all the way through the war.
46 posted on 04/26/2003 3:49:40 PM PDT by Paraclete
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To: Paraclete
Here's the first hint on the Telegraph website

Freedom of the press
(Filed: 27/04/2003)

Today, The Sunday Telegraph reveals a remarkable cache of documents, discovered in Baghdad by our reporter Inigo Gilmore, which provide the first hard evidence of the direct links between al-Qa'eda and Saddam Hussein's regime. Since September 11, the Bush administration and, to a lesser extent, the British Government have been struggling to prove that this deadly relationship existed. The papers, which concern a clandestine visit by an envoy of Osama bin Laden to Baghdad in 1998, do just that.

Saddam's arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and his refusal to comply fully with UN weapons inspectors meant that there was a perfectly legitimate casus belli for the war in Iraq. Nonetheless, the inability of President Bush or the Prime Minister to demonstrate a clear link between the Iraqi dictator and al-Qa'eda has always been a source of political embarrassment, not least because some of the attempts to prove such a link by politicians and the intelligence agencies were so feeble. The weakness of this forensic case was often - and understandably - seized upon by opponents of the war on terrorism.

The new papers transform that forensic case: they show beyond reasonable doubt that the Ba'ath regime was taking active measures in 1998 to develop a strong relationship both with al-Qa'eda as an organisation and bin Laden personally. The common cause at this point appears to have been the battle to bring down America's regional ally, Saudi Arabia. But it would be odd if this was the only issue which Saddam's henchmen and bin Laden's representatives discussed.

Our disclosure today does not, of course, amount to evidence that Saddam was directly involved in the destruction of the World Trade Center. But it is a tantalising glimpse of a relationship which may have spawned the most appalling atrocities. We can only speculate about what new revelations - still more explosive - will be made by resourceful journalists in Baghdad.

This is the third week in a row that The Sunday Telegraph has published documents retrieved from the ministry buildings once occupied by the Ba'ath regime. A fortnight ago, papers which our reporter David Harrison had retrieved from the bombed headquarters of the Iraqi intelligence service, showed that Russia had passed intelligence to Saddam Hussein's regime about Tony Blair's private conversations. Last week, we disclosed details of a dossier found in the same building, which revealed that German intelligence officers had offered co-operation with the Iraqi dictator in the build-up to war last year. Two days later, The Daily Telegraph disclosed documents it had found in the Iraqi foreign ministry which produced an outstanding scoop: George Galloway, the papers purported to show, had received at least £375,000 a year from Saddam's regime, money syphoned off from the country's oil-for-food programme.

Mr Galloway, who denies the veracity of the documents, has been quick to insinuate that such stories are being spoon-fed to the press by sinister intelligence agencies. On Monday, he told the Daily Telegraph: "Maybe it's the product of the same forgers who forged so many other things in this whole Iraq picture … It would not be the Iraqi regime that was forging it. It would be people like you [Telegraph journalists] and the Government whose policies you have supported." In an article in Thursday's Independent, Mr Galloway warmed to his theme, hinting that it was odd that the Telegraph Group should have "broken three major 'intelligence' stories in two weeks out of Baghdad".

The truth is that these stories are not the result of orchestration or manipulation by the military coalition and Western intelligence agencies, but precisely the opposite. The media has been presented at these ministries with something approaching a free-for-all; a combination of journalistic initiative and serendipity have contributed to the best disclosures. If, indeed, MI6 had got to the Galloway file first, it is highly improbable that the British intelligence service would have leaked it to the press. The practice of such agencies is to keep precious information of this sort to themselves - not least as potential leverage with those, such as Mr Galloway, suspected of questionable dealings with a hostile regime.

What is striking, in fact, is that the coalition apparently had no plans to secure these government buildings - with the presentationally unfortunate exception of the oil ministry. It would seem self-evident that those seeking Saddam's weapons of mass destruction would want first sight of what documents had survived at the dictator's intelligence HQ, the foreign ministry and the agriculture department (vital for biological and chemical technology). However, no attempts were made to seal off these departments, or even to give them a minimal military guard.

That organisational failure was echoed in the failure to heed explicit warnings about the risks of looting. On February 11, for example, the All-Party Parliamentary Archaeological Group wrote to the Prime Minister specifically warning of the risks to Iraq's cultural treasures if Saddam's regime collapsed. The group was told that their letter had been passed to the Foreign Office. But the ransacking of the Iraqi National Museum shows that no action was taken in response - an error for which President Bush apologised on behalf of the coalition in an interview with NBC last week. Such failures of foresight do not detract in the slightest from the greater triumph of Iraq's liberation. But they do show how much the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance headed by Jay Garner still has to do.

Today's disclosure adds weight to the case which has underpinned the war on terrorism since September 11. It adds lustre to the argument - long made by the President and Prime Minister - that rogue states and international terrorist groups share both ambitions and resources. The veil has at last been lifted on the long-suspected relationship between a terrible dictator and the world's most blood-soaked terrorist. It is good that journalistic talent and persistence should have yielded such a discovery. But it is a matter of undeniable concern that the coalition's intelligence agencies were themselves unable to produce comparable information when it was most needed. The most important question posed by the September 11 attacks - was Saddam linked to bin Laden? - has now been emphatically answered. But it should be a source of grave embarrassment to the British and American governments that it has taken a newspaper, trawling through the files in a burnt-out building, to finish the job.

47 posted on 04/26/2003 3:51:16 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Timesink
From the generally anti-American Independent:

Interesting...same story from two different sources. Apparently both have seen the docs. Wonder who else and if anyone was tipped before the stories broke.

48 posted on 04/26/2003 3:51:42 PM PDT by Magnolia
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To: LocalYokel
....."covered up with correction fluid", yeah, that'll keep it all secret.....

This is a common practice for Faxed documents with confidential portions.

49 posted on 04/26/2003 3:51:59 PM PDT by bert (Don't Panic !)
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To: browardchad
torture, murder and terror don't require a very high IQ.

Good point, somebody needs to pass this on to Ted Turner and Bill Maher.

50 posted on 04/26/2003 3:56:49 PM PDT by PeoplesRep_of_LA (Press Secret; Of 2 million Shiite pilgrims, only 3000 chanted anti Americanisms--source-Islamonline!)
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