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The Iraq -- Al Qaeda Connections
Tech Central Station ^ | 09/25/2003 | Richard Miniter

Posted on 09/25/2003 7:43:55 AM PDT by ellery

Every day it seems another American soldier is killed in Iraq. These grim statistics have become a favorite of network news anchors and political chat show hosts. Nevermind that they mix deaths from accidents with actual battlefield casualties; or that the average is actually closer to one American death for every two days; or that enemy deaths far outnumber ours. What matters is the overall impression of mounting, pointless deaths.

That is why is important to remember why we fight in Iraq -- and who we fight. Indeed, many of those sniping at U.S. troops are al Qaeda terrorists operating inside Iraq. And many of bin Laden's men were in Iraq prior to the liberation. A wealth of evidence on the public record -- from government reports and congressional testimony to news accounts from major newspapers -- attests to longstanding ties between bin Laden and Saddam going back to 1994.

Those who try to whitewash Saddam's record don't dispute this evidence; they just ignore it. So let's review the evidence, all of it on the public record for months or years:

* Abdul Rahman Yasin was the only member of the al Qaeda cell that detonated the 1993 World Trade Center bomb to remain at large in the Clinton years. He fled to Iraq. U.S. forces recently discovered a cache of documents in Tikrit, Saddam's hometown, that show that Iraq gave Mr. Yasin both a house and monthly salary.

* Bin Laden met at least eight times with officers of Iraq's Special Security Organization, a secret police agency run by Saddam's son Qusay, and met with officials from Saddam's mukhabarat, its external intelligence service, according to intelligence made public by Secretary of State Colin Powell, who was speaking before the United Nations Security Council on February 6, 2003.

* Sudanese intelligence officials told me that their agents had observed meetings between Iraqi intelligence agents and bin Laden starting in 1994, when bin Laden lived in Khartoum.

* Bin Laden met the director of the Iraqi mukhabarat in 1996 in Khartoum, according to Mr. Powell.

* An al Qaeda operative now held by the U.S. confessed that in the mid-1990s, bin Laden had forged an agreement with Saddam's men to cease all terrorist activities against the Iraqi dictator, Mr. Powell told the United Nations.

* In 1999 the Guardian, a British newspaper, reported that Farouk Hijazi, a senior officer in Iraq's mukhabarat, had journeyed deep into the icy mountains near Kandahar, Afghanistan, in December 1998 to meet with al Qaeda men. Mr. Hijazi is "thought to have offered bin Laden asylum in Iraq," the Guardian reported.

* In October 2000, another Iraqi intelligence operative, Salah Suleiman, was arrested near the Afghan border by Pakistani authorities, according to Jane's Foreign Report, a respected international newsletter. Jane's reported that Suleiman was shuttling between Iraqi intelligence and Ayman al Zawahiri, now al Qaeda's No. 2 man.

(Why are all of those meetings significant? The London Observer reports that FBI investigators cite a captured al Qaeda field manual in Afghanistan, which "emphasizes the value of conducting discussions about pending terrorist attacks face to face, rather than by electronic means.")

* As recently as 2001, Iraq's embassy in Pakistan was used as a "liaison" between the Iraqi dictator and al Qaeda, Mr. Powell told the United Nations.

* Spanish investigators have uncovered documents seized from Yusuf Galan -- who is charged by a Spanish court with being "directly involved with the preparation and planning" of the Sept. 11 attacks -- that show the terrorist was invited to a party at the Iraqi embassy in Madrid. The invitation used his "al Qaeda nom de guerre," London's Independent reports.

* An Iraqi defector to Turkey, known by his cover name as "Abu Mohammed," told Gwynne Roberts of the Sunday Times of London that he saw bin Laden's fighters in camps in Iraq in 1997. At the time, Mohammed was a colonel in Saddam's Fedayeen. He described an encounter at Salman Pak, the training facility southeast of Baghdad. At that vast compound run by Iraqi intelligence, Muslim militants trained to hijack planes with knives -- on a full-size Boeing 707. Col. Mohammed recalls his first visit to Salman Pak this way: "We were met by Colonel Jamil Kamil, the camp manager, and Major Ali Hawas. I noticed that a lot of people were queuing for food. (The major) said to me: 'You'll have nothing to do with these people. They are Osama bin Laden's group and the PKK and Mojahedin-e Khalq.'"

* In 1998, Abbas al-Janabi, a longtime aide to Saddam's son Uday, defected to the West. At the time, he repeatedly told reporters that there was a direct connection between Iraq and al Qaeda.

*The Sunday Times found a Saddam loyalist in a Kurdish prison who claims to have been Dr. Zawahiri's bodyguard during his 1992 visit with Saddam in Baghdad. Dr. Zawahiri was a close associate of bin Laden at the time and was present at the founding of al Qaeda in 1989.

* Following the defeat of the Taliban, almost two dozen bin Laden associates "converged on Baghdad and established a base of operations there," Mr. Powell told the United Nations in February 2003. From their Baghdad base, the secretary said, they supervised the movement of men, materiel and money for al Qaeda's global network.

* In 2001, an al Qaeda member "bragged that the situation in Iraq was 'good,'" according to intelligence made public by Mr. Powell.

* That same year, Saudi Arabian border guards arrested two al Qaeda members entering the kingdom from Iraq.

* Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi oversaw an al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, Mr. Powell told the United Nations. His specialty was poisons. Wounded in fighting with U.S. forces, he sought medical treatment in Baghdad in May 2002. When Zarqawi recovered, he restarted a training camp in northern Iraq. Zarqawi's Iraq cell was later tied to the October 2002 murder of Lawrence Foley, an official of the U.S. Agency for International Development, in Amman, Jordan. The captured assassin confessed that he received orders and funds from Zarqawi's cell in Iraq, Mr. Powell said. His accomplice escaped to Iraq.

*Zarqawi met with military chief of al Qaeda, Mohammed Ibrahim Makwai (aka Saif al-Adel) in Iran in February 2003, according to intelligence sources cited by the Washington Post.

* Mohammad Atef, the head of al Qaeda's military wing until the U.S. killed him in Afghanistan in November 2001, told a senior al Qaeda member now in U.S. custody that the terror network needed labs outside of Afghanistan to manufacture chemical weapons, Mr. Powell said. "Where did they go, where did they look?" said the secretary. "They went to Iraq."

* Abu Abdullah al-Iraqi was sent to Iraq by bin Laden to purchase poison gases several times between 1997 and 2000. He called his relationship with Saddam's regime "successful," Mr. Powell told the United Nations.

* Mohamed Mansour Shahab, a smuggler hired by Iraq to transport weapons to bin Laden in Afghanistan, was arrested by anti-Hussein Kurdish forces in May, 2000. He later told his story to American intelligence and a reporter for the New Yorker magazine.

* Documents found among the debris of the Iraqi Intelligence Center show that Baghdad funded the Allied Democratic Forces, a Ugandan terror group led by an Islamist cleric linked to bin Laden. According to a London's Daily Telegraph, the organization offered to recruit "youth to train for the jihad" at a "headquarters for international holy warrior network" to be established in Baghdad.

* Mullah Melan Krekar, ran a terror group (the Ansar al-Islam) linked to both bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Mr. Krekar admitted to a Kurdish newspaper that he met bin Laden in Afghanistan and other senior al Qaeda officials. His acknowledged meetings with bin Laden go back to 1988. When he organized Ansar al Islam in 2001 to conduct suicide attacks on Americans, "three bin Laden operatives showed up with a gift of $300,000 'to undertake jihad,'" Newsday reported. Mr. Krekar is now in custody in the Netherlands. His group operated in portion of northern Iraq loyal to Saddam Hussein -- and attacked independent Kurdish groups hostile to Saddam. A spokesman for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan told a United Press International correspondent that Mr. Krekar's group was funded by "Saddam Hussein's regime in Baghdad."

* After October 2001, hundreds of al Qaeda fighters are believed to have holed up in the Ansar al-Islam's strongholds inside northern Iraq.

Some skeptics dismiss the emerging evidence of a longstanding link between Iraq and al Qaeda by contending that Saddam ran a secular dictatorship hated by Islamists like bin Laden.

In fact, there are plenty of "Stalin-Roosevelt" partnerships between international terrorists and Muslim dictators. Saddam and bin Laden had common enemies, common purposes and interlocking needs. They shared a powerful hate for America and the Saudi royal family. They both saw the Gulf War as a turning point. Saddam suffered a crushing defeat which he had repeatedly vowed to avenge. Bin Laden regards the U.S. as guilty of war crimes against Iraqis and believes that non-Muslims shouldn't have military bases on the holy sands of Arabia. Al Qaeda's avowed goal for the past ten years has been the removal of American forces from Saudi Arabia, where they stood in harm's way solely to contain Saddam.

The most compelling reason for bin Laden to work with Saddam is money. Al Qaeda operatives have testified in federal courts that the terror network was always desperate for cash. Senior employees fought bitterly about the $100 difference in pay between Egyptian and Saudis (the Egyptians made more). One al Qaeda member, who was connected to the 1998 embassy bombings, told a U.S. federal court how bitter he was that bin Laden could not pay for his pregnant wife to see a doctor.

Bin Laden's personal wealth alone simply is not enough to support a profligate global organization. Besides, bin Laden's fortune is probably not as large as some imagine. Informed estimates put bin Laden's pre-Sept. 11, 2001 wealth at perhaps $30 million. $30 million is the budget of a small school district, not a global terror conglomerate. Meanwhile, Forbes estimated Saddam's personal fortune at $2 billion.

So a common enemy, a shared goal and powerful need for cash seem to have forged an alliance between Saddam and bin Laden. CIA Director George Tenet recently told the Senate Intelligence Committee: "Iraq has in the past provided training in document forgery and bomb making to al Qaeda. It also provided training in poisons and gasses to two al Qaeda associates; one of these [al Qaeda] associates characterized the relationship as successful. Mr. Chairman, this information is based on a solid foundation of intelligence. It comes to us from credible and reliable sources. Much of it is corroborated by multiple sources."

The Iraqis, who had the Third World's largest poison-gas operations prior to the Gulf War I, have perfected the technique of making hydrogen-cyanide gas, which the Nazis called Zyklon-B. In the hands of al Qaeda, this would be a fearsome weapon in an enclosed space -- like a suburban mall or subway station.

Mr. Miniter is a senior fellow at the Center for the New Europe and author of "Losing bin Laden: How Bill Clinton's Failures Unleashed Global Terror" (Regnery) which is now on the New York Times' bestseller list.


TOPICS: Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 229; 911; 911commission; alqaeda; alqaedaandiraq; atta; iraq; losingbinladen; richardminiter; saddam

1 posted on 09/25/2003 7:43:56 AM PDT by ellery
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To: nuconvert; Ragtime Cowgirl
Miniter ping
2 posted on 09/25/2003 7:52:46 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife ("Life isn't fair. It's fairer than death, is all.")
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To: nuconvert; Ragtime Cowgirl
Miniter ping
3 posted on 09/25/2003 7:52:46 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife ("Life isn't fair. It's fairer than death, is all.")
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To: ellery
A most excellent thread - BUMP!
4 posted on 09/25/2003 8:06:07 AM PDT by Peach (The Clintons have pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed.)
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To: ellery
Bump!
5 posted on 09/25/2003 8:12:30 AM PDT by windchime
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To: ellery
Good review of the cumulative info Bump.
6 posted on 09/25/2003 8:15:14 AM PDT by DoctorMichael (Thats my story, and I'm sticking to it.)
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To: ellery; dighton; general_re
Excellent post.
7 posted on 09/25/2003 8:16:29 AM PDT by aculeus (.)
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To: DoctorMichael
bump
8 posted on 09/25/2003 8:24:11 AM PDT by Triple (All forms of socialism deny individuals the right to the fruits of their labor)
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To: DoctorMichael
bump
9 posted on 09/25/2003 8:24:11 AM PDT by Triple (All forms of socialism deny individuals the right to the fruits of their labor)
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To: DoctorMichael
bump
10 posted on 09/25/2003 8:24:11 AM PDT by Triple (All forms of socialism deny individuals the right to the fruits of their labor)
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To: DoctorMichael
bump
11 posted on 09/25/2003 8:24:12 AM PDT by Triple (All forms of socialism deny individuals the right to the fruits of their labor)
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To: DoctorMichael
bump
12 posted on 09/25/2003 8:24:12 AM PDT by Triple (All forms of socialism deny individuals the right to the fruits of their labor)
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To: ellery
Too all of you who keep harping on "there was no connection between Saddam and 9/11" please remind me of what the connection was between Pearl Harbor and Hitler.

Was the invasion of Normandy based on a lie that was propagated to benefit FDR's wine making buddies.

13 posted on 09/25/2003 8:26:00 AM PDT by dinasour
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To: dinasour
Beautiful point.. That is what The bush admin needs to pound into the heads of americans!
14 posted on 09/25/2003 9:33:54 AM PDT by DAPFE8900
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To: ellery
The most compelling reason for bin Laden to work with Saddam is money. Al Qaeda operatives have testified in federal courts that the terror network was always desperate for cash.
Remember the terrorist in NY being nabbed trying to get reimbursed for the rental van they used in their first attempt to blow up the WTC??!!

15 posted on 09/25/2003 10:54:57 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The everyday blessings of God are great--they just don't make "good copy.")
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
OMG, I had forgotten all about that!!! Didn't Atta try to get a Dept. of Agriculture grant for a crop-duster, as well?
16 posted on 09/25/2003 11:10:39 AM PDT by ellery
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To: ellery
Bookmark Bump
17 posted on 09/25/2003 11:41:28 AM PDT by finnman69 (!)
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To: ellery
bttt
18 posted on 09/25/2003 11:49:51 AM PDT by Tailgunner Joe (Only UN-Americans put the UN before America!)
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To: Shermy
You've probably seen this before...
19 posted on 09/25/2003 1:07:21 PM PDT by marron
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To: ellery
http://www.FreeRepublic.com/focus/f-news/989138/posts

Minter debunks the "CIA-al Qaeda link" myth.
20 posted on 09/25/2003 1:33:17 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The everyday blessings of God are great--they just don't make "good copy.")
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To: ellery
1. why is the media and the White House so mum about this stuff?

The connection is there.

2. Since Kay is reportedly coming up empty-handed, that leads me to beleive that the WMD have been transferred to terrorists.

3. When and where are they going to hit us?

4. The DELAY at the UN, sought by Democrats, could be responsible for all of this.
21 posted on 09/25/2003 1:50:24 PM PDT by jonalvy44
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To: dinasour
good points/comparison...I'm only hoping the DELAY at the UN isn't responsible for the next attack on US soil with these WMD from Iraq.
22 posted on 09/25/2003 1:51:20 PM PDT by jonalvy44
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To: ellery
Posted this on an apparently duplicate thread...here is the info again...
According to a report Sunday by the Associated Press, 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed "told his interrogators he had worked in 1994 and 1995 in the Philippines with Ramzi Yousef, Abdul Hakim Murad and Wali Khan Amin Shah on the foiled Bojinka plot to blow up 12 Western airliners simultaneously in Asia."

Yousef, of course, was the man who plotted and executed the failed 1993 World Trade Center bombing, who entered the U.S. on an Iraqi passport the year before and whose partner in the plot, Abdul Rahman Yasin, was granted sanctuary by Saddam Hussein after the attack. Yasin is still at large.

Unmentioned by the AP, Mohammed's account of meetings with Yousef has been corroborated by Yousef's Bojinka partner, Abdul Hakim Murad. After his capture in 1995, Murad told the FBI that he and Yousef were contacted by Mohammed repeatedly during their time in the Philippines. Murad's FBI 302 witness statements detailing the contacts are reprinted in the new book "1000 Years for Revenge," by investigative reporter Peter Lance.

Another intriguing detail unmentioned by the AP, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is Ramzi Yousef's uncle.

Just last week, new documents uncovered by U.S. investigators in Iraq implicated Saddam's regime in the 1993 attack.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's Account Links 9/11 to '93 WTC Attack

Dick Cheney: "At the time I said no, we didn’t have any evidence of that. Subsequent to that, we’ve learned a couple of things. We learned more and more that there was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda that stretched back through most of the decade of the ’90s, that it involved training, for example, on BW and CW, that al-Qaeda sent personnel to Baghdad to get trained on the systems that are involved. The Iraqis providing bomb-making expertise and advice to the al-Qaeda organization.

We know, for example, in connection with the original World Trade Center bombing in ’93 that one of the bombers was Iraqi, returned to Iraq after the attack of ’93. And we’ve learned subsequent to that, since we went into Baghdad and got into the intelligence files, that this individual probably also received financing from the Iraqi government as well as safe haven.Now, is there a connection between the Iraqi government and the original World Trade Center bombing in ’93? We know, as I say, that one of the perpetrators of that act did, in fact, receive support from the Iraqi government after the fact.

Source: Meet the Press Transcript - Dick Cheney - on Post #26

Now...as to the WMD...

U.S. intelligence suspects Iraq's weapons of mass destruction have finally been located.

Unfortunately, getting to them will be nearly impossible for the United States and its allies, because the containers with the strategic materials are not in Iraq.

Instead they are located in Lebanon's heavily-fortified Bekaa Valley, swarming with Iranian and Syrian forces, and Hizbullah and ex-Iraqi agents, Geostrategy-Direct.com will report in tomorrow's new weekly edition.

U.S. intelligence first identified a stream of tractor-trailer trucks moving from Iraq to Syria to Lebaon in January 2003. The significance of this sighting did not register on the CIA at the time.

U.S. intelligence sources believe the area contains extended-range Scud-based missiles and parts for chemical and biological warheads.

Report: U.S suspects Iraqi WMD in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley

Debka and Israeli intelligence also said this months ago.
23 posted on 09/25/2003 1:57:23 PM PDT by ravingnutter
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To: jonalvy44
I'm only hoping the DELAY at the UN isn't responsible for the next attack

Unfortunately, that is the purpose of the UN, to delay and obstruct us, while others can prepare an attack.

Something like a "hudna".

24 posted on 09/25/2003 2:25:15 PM PDT by dinasour
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To: dinasour
" please remind me of what the connection was between Pearl Harbor and Hitler."

Japan, Italy, and Germany had a formal alliance dating back to the 1930's. After the USA declared war on Japan (following Pearl Harbor), Germany declared war on the USA within days.


25 posted on 09/26/2003 1:07:15 AM PDT by Susannah (Arnold Schwarzenegger is not the Terminator....he's the Kindergarden Cop!)
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To: Susannah

26 posted on 09/26/2003 1:12:04 AM PDT by Consort
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To: WhistlingPastTheGraveyard

Miniter ping.


27 posted on 06/27/2004 1:20:21 AM PDT by cgk (3000+ 9/11. Pearl, Fallujah, Berg, Jacobs, Scroggs, Johnson, Sun-il... Never forget. Never Again!)
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To: ravingnutter; ellery

Good stuff!


28 posted on 11/12/2004 5:20:34 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (A Proud member of Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.)
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To: ravingnutter
A lot of good info on this and other threads that needs to be discussed, reviewed, re-assessed by all of us in relation to the developing stories now on ABLE DANGER, Mohammed Atta, etc. Who knows what new links or connections we might make by re-examining all the relevant info in light of new info? I sure hope that's something that people in the intel agencies are doing all the time!

"An Iraqi defector to Turkey, known by his cover name as "Abu Mohammed," told Gwynne Roberts of the Sunday Times of London that he saw bin Laden's fighters in camps in Iraq in 1997. At the time, Mohammed was a colonel in Saddam's Fedayeen. He described an encounter at Salman Pak, the training facility southeast of Baghdad. At that vast compound run by Iraqi intelligence, Muslim militants trained to hijack planes with knives -- on a full-size Boeing 707. Col. Mohammed recalls his first visit to Salman Pak this way: "We were met by Colonel Jamil Kamil, the camp manager, and Major Ali Hawas. I noticed that a lot of people were queuing for food. (The major) said to me: 'You'll have nothing to do with these people. They are Osama bin Laden's group and the PKK and Mojahedin-e Khalq.'"
29 posted on 08/24/2005 7:05:53 PM PDT by Enchante (Kerry's mere nuisances: Marine Barracks '83, WTC '93, Khobar Towers, Embassy Bombs '98, USS Cole!!!)
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To: ellery
The Iraqis, who had the Third World's largest poison-gas operations prior to the Gulf War I, have perfected the technique of making hydrogen-cyanide gas, which the Nazis called Zyklon-B

Saddamm Hussein was raised by his uncle: Kharaillah Tulfah. who was in the MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD.

The Muslim Brotherhood was started in EGYPT in the 1920's, by Hassan Al-Bana. AL-BANA was a devout admirer of Adolf Hitler. The Muslim Brotherhood was inspired by The Nazis in Germany. Al Bana led a secret army of 500,000 arab nazis in WWII.

Mohammed ATTA was from EGYPT. And he went to GERMANY on a scholarship. He was not a fundamentalist. He was very western, drank alcohol and went to strip clubs, and spoke english "very well" according to one stewardess... He was an ISLAMOFASCIST. not a fundamentalist. No robes. The Muslim Brotherhood were arab fascists.

SYRIA and IRAQ = nazi model fascism = muslim brotherhood.

Can anyone explain to me why the name "MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD" does even appear once in the entire 9/11 Commision REPORT--- .

30 posted on 08/24/2005 8:55:18 PM PDT by jd777
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bump


31 posted on 08/25/2005 8:17:54 AM PDT by eureka! (Hey Lefties: Only 3 and 1/3 more years of W. Hehehehe....)
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