12 billion/month US taxpayer dollars and still no WMD's or Al Qaeda link

Discussion in 'Political Action Forum' started by California Flyway, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. California Flyway

    California Flyway Elite Refuge Member

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    Pentagon Jihadists find no Al Qaeda/Iraq link.
    C.B.

    Exhaustive review finds no link between Saddam and al Qaida
    By Warren P. Strobel | McClatchy Newspapers
    Posted on Monday, March 10, 2008 email | print tool nameclose
    tool goes here
    Stephanie Sinclair / Chicago Tribune

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/29959.html

    A child rides by the head of the Saddam Hussein monument taken down from Paradise Square in Baghdad in April 2003. | View larger image
    WASHINGTON — An exhaustive review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents that were captured after the 2003 U.S. invasion has found no evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime had any operational links with Osama bin Laden's al Qaida terrorist network.

    The Pentagon-sponsored study, scheduled for release later this week, did confirm that Saddam's regime provided some support to other terrorist groups, particularly in the Middle East, U.S. officials told McClatchy. However, his security services were directed primarily against Iraqi exiles, Shiite Muslims, Kurds and others he considered enemies of his regime.

    The new study of the Iraqi regime's archives found no documents indicating a "direct operational link" between Hussein's Iraq and al Qaida before the invasion, according to a U.S. official familiar with the report.

    He and others spoke to McClatchy on condition of anonymity because the study isn't due to be shared with Congress and released before Wednesday.

    President Bush and his aides used Saddam's alleged relationship with al Qaida, along with Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction, as arguments for invading Iraq after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

    Then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld claimed in September 2002 that the United States had "bulletproof" evidence of cooperation between the radical Islamist terror group and Saddam's secular dictatorship.

    Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell cited multiple linkages between Saddam and al Qaida in a watershed February 2003 speech to the United Nations Security Council to build international support for the invasion. Almost every one of the examples Powell cited turned out to be based on bogus or misinterpreted intelligence.

    As recently as last July, Bush tried to tie al Qaida to the ongoing violence in Iraq. "The same people that attacked us on September the 11th is a crowd that is now bombing people, killing innocent men, women and children, many of whom are Muslims," he said.

    The new study, entitled "Saddam and Terrorism: Emerging Insights from Captured Iraqi Documents", was essentially completed last year and has been undergoing what one U.S. intelligence official described as a "painful" declassification review.
    It was produced by a federally-funded think tank, the Institute for Defense Analyses, under contract to the Norfolk, Va.-based U.S. Joint Forces Command.

    Spokesmen for the Joint Forces Command declined to comment until the report is released. One of the report's authors, Kevin Woods, also declined to comment.

    The issue of al Qaida in Iraq already has played a role in the 2008 presidential campaign.

    Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee, mocked Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill, recently for saying that he'd keep some U.S. troops in Iraq if al Qaida established a base there.

    "I have some news. Al Qaida is in Iraq," McCain told supporters. Obama retorted that, "There was no such thing as al Qaida in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade." (In fact, al Qaida in Iraq didn't emerge until 2004, a year after the invasion.)

    The new study appears destined to be used by both critics and supporters of Bush's decision to invade Iraq to advance their own familiar arguments.

    While the documents reveal no Saddam-al Qaida links, they do show that Saddam and his underlings were willing to use terrorism against enemies of the regime and had ties to regional and global terrorist groups, the officials said.

    However, the U.S. intelligence official, who's read the full report, played down the prospect of any major new revelations, saying, "I don't think there's any surprises there."
    Saddam, whose regime was relentlessly secular, was wary of Islamic extremist groups such as al Qaida, although like many other Arab leaders, he gave some financial support to Palestinian groups that sponsored terrorism against Israel.

    According to the State Department's annual report on global terrorism for 2002 — the last before the Iraq invasion — Saddam supported the militant Islamic group Hamas in Gaza, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, a radical, Syrian-based terrorist group.

    Saddam also hosted Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal, although the Abu Nidal Organization was more active when he lived in Libya and he was murdered in Baghdad in August 2002, possibly on Saddam's orders.

    An earlier study based on the captured Iraqi documents, released by the Joint Forces Command in March 2006, found that a militia Saddam formed after the 1991 Persian Gulf war, the Fedayeen Saddam, planned assassinations and bombings against his enemies. Those included Iraqi exiles and opponents in Iraq's Kurdish and Shiite communities.

    Other documents indicate that the Fedayeen Saddam opened paramilitary training camps that, starting in 1998, hosted "Arab volunteers" from outside of Iraq. What happened to the non-Iraqi volunteers is unknown, however, according to the earlier study.

    The new Pentagon study isn't the first to refute earlier administration contentions about Saddam and al Qaida.

    A September 2006 report by the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that Saddam was "distrustful of al Qaida and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime, refusing all requests from al Qaida to provide material or operational support."

    The Senate report, citing an FBI debriefing of a senior Iraqi spy, Faruq Hijazi, said that Saddam turned down a request for assistance by bin Laden which he made at a 1995 meeting in Sudan with an Iraqi operative.
     
  2. Ron Gilmore

    Ron Gilmore Elite Refuge Member

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    Welcome back AJ!!!!!!!!!!:D
     
  3. sure shot 650

    sure shot 650 Elite Refuge Member

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    It's amazing that Bush and McCain, the two of them by themselves, were able to invade a country ALL BY THEMSELVES against the wishes of EVERY other member of congress and the Senate, THOSE, are two POWERFUL men right there. You liberals are so funny you make my side hurt. ALL liberals should be stamped across the forehead- "for entertainment purposes only"
     
  4. California Flyway

    California Flyway Elite Refuge Member

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    Hey sureshot, if you want real entertainment do a search for Bushisms and read what the world is laughing at.
     
  5. RW

    RW Elite Refuge Member

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    If the world is laughing at our President then they're laughing at America. Why are they so desperate to get in America?
     
  6. California Flyway

    California Flyway Elite Refuge Member

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    American Taxpayers were assurred by the Bush Administration that Iraq would be paying the bills with their revenues.
    C.B.

    Auditors: Iraq faces budget surplus
    By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080311/ap_on_go_co/us_iraq

    WASHINGTON - Iraq isn't spending much of its own money, despite soaring oil revenues that are pushing the country toward a massive budget surplus, auditors told Congress on Tuesday.

    The expected surplus comes as the U.S. continues to invest billions of dollars in rebuilding Iraq and faces a financial squeeze domestically because of record oil prices.

    "The Iraqis have a budget surplus," said U.S. Comptroller General David Walker. "We have a huge budget deficit. . . . One of the questions is who should be paying."

    Walker and the other auditors did not give a figure as to the likely surplus. U.S. officials contend that Iraq's lack of spending is due primarily to Baghdad's inability to determine where its money is needed most and how to allocate it efficiently. Two senators have called for an investigation into the matter.

    Democrats say the assessment is proof that the Iraq war as a waste of time and money. The U.S. has spent more than $45 billion on rebuilding Iraq. And while officials in Iraq contend that much progress is being made, many projects remain unfinished and U.S. troops are still needed to provide security.

    "They ought to be able to use some of their oil to pay for their own costs and not keep sending the bill to the United States," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

    In recent months, Iraq experienced its highest oil production and export levels since the war began five years ago, said Stuart Bowen, special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.

    That spike in revenue combined with the highest oil prices in history, "coalesce into an enormous revenue windfall for the Iraqi government," Bowen told the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    Whereas Iraqi officials estimated $35 billion in oil revenues last fall, Bowen said the final number is likely to be closer to $60 billion.

    "That certainly gives them resources to carry forward with an extensive reconstruction plan," Bowen said.

    But according to other U.S. officials, a major problem is that Iraq does not have the capacity to allocate the money without it being wasted or pocketed by corrupt officials.

    "I think they are beginning to do more," particularly in improving its military and buying new weapon systems, said Claude Kicklighter, the Pentagon's inspector general. "And I think that's certainly the trend that we should be following."

    The Government Accountability Office estimates that the U.S. has designated $6 billion to rebuild Iraq's energy sector and $300 million to develop Iraq's government ministries. But GAO contends that the U.S. doesn't have a strategic plan on how to accomplish either goal.

    The State Department told investigators it believes the Iraqis should be responsible for devising such a plan. GAO disagreed.

    "In our view, it's a shared responsibility. U.S. taxpayer money is involved," Walker said.

    Last week, Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and John Warner, R-Va., asked GAO to investigate what Iraq is doing with its oil revenue. The senators estimated that Iraq will realize "at least $100 billion in oil revenues in 2007 and 2008."
     
  7. okie drake

    okie drake Elite Refuge Member

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    Why not Bellisms? There's plenty of those around.

    Here's one for the record-book:

     
  8. okie drake

    okie drake Elite Refuge Member

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    More Bell gems:

    ---One of my favorites. Knocking someone for something you can't spell, and for that matter have none of--priceless.

    Still stand by that one CF?:clap How about this:

    "Gettin it done"?

    And with this:

    --one must ask if you support Harry Reid's actions on this subject? Yes or no will do.

    Welcome back.
     
  9. Ron Gilmore

    Ron Gilmore Elite Refuge Member

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    Okie, he won't answer just cut and paste something else like he always does!!!!!! But not bad on the quotes though.

    I wonder if we LOBBY the power that be if we can get a separate play area for CFUltralight,CF,and JHB!!!!! Se how much fun they can have with themselves!!!!!:D

    Oh and I almost forgot A5!!!!!!!:l :l
     
  10. sure shot 650

    sure shot 650 Elite Refuge Member

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    guess you've already been stamped CF.
     

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