Thursday, September 14, 2006

Baathist Iraq and al-Qaeda Part 2

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An Iraqi-Kurdish politician who serves as Iraqs Deputy Prime Minister says that there was in fact a link between Saddam and al-Qaeda:

WASHINGTON — A deputy prime minister of Iraq yesterday offered a sharp contradiction of the conventional wisdom here that Saddam Hussein's Iraq and Al Qaeda had no connection before the 2003 war, flatly contradicting a recent report from the Senate's intelligence committee.

In a speech in which he challenged the belief of war critics that Iraqis' lives are now worse than under Saddam Hussein, Barham Salih said, "The alliance between the Baathists and jihadists which sustains Al Qaeda in Iraq is not new, contrary to what you may have been told." He went on to say, "I know this at first hand. Some of my friends were murdered by jihadists, by Al Qaeda-affiliated operatives who had been sheltered and assisted by Saddam's regime."

...Those words directly contradict a recent report from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that declassified a 2005 CIA assessment of Iraq's pre-war ties to Al Qaeda and found that none existed. In an interview after the speech yesterday, Mr. Salih said he was unaware of the CIA assessment. But he added, "There were links between Ansar al-Islam and Al Qaeda. The information at time [in 2002] was quite different. Now, we could not prove this in a court of law, but this is intelligence."

So we have a man who was targeted for assasination by a group that has ties to al-Qaeda. We also have the Vice President stating the same thing. On the other hand we have congressional Democrats who--based on dated information--wrote and are using a report that says there was no connection.

I know who I believe.

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