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Guest obby

The 9/11 Commission Describes the Link

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Guest obby

http://weeklystandard.com/Content/P...04/357lnryy.asp

The 9/11 Commission Describes the Link

From the August 2, 2004 issue: Its final report demolishes the claim that there is no evidence of Iraqi support for al Qaeda.

by Stephen F. Hayes

08/02/2004, Volume 009, Issue 44

"THERE WAS NO QUESTION in our minds that there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda."

Those are the words of Thomas Kean, the Republican co-chairman of the September 11 Commission. He made the statement on July 22, 2004, 10 days after a New York Times headline declared, "9/11 Report Is Said to Dismiss Iraq-Qaeda Alliance," and a month after another headline in the same paper blared, "Panel Finds No Qaeda-Iraq Tie."

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Guest endymion

You're pretty eager if "a relationship" is all that you're looking for. I have "a relationship" with the guy who parks my car. Yet he and I don't conspire to destroy foreign capitols together.

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Guest endymion

I'm reading the report since I don't trust anybody else to tell me what it says. It's unusually accessible for a federal commission report. I'm still looking for the part that the Weekly Standard says "demolishes the claim that there is no evidence of Iraqi support for Al Qaeda". Somebody who has actually read the report please point that part out to me. Obby, the Weekly Standard quoted Stephen Hayes, not the report itself.

The biggest assertion of 'a relationship' in the report that I have found so far starts on page 228, in Chapter 7. That section is cited all over the report in other places like page 334 of Chapter 10, which is a section that describes the buildup to the Iraq invasion in a way that looks consistent with the accounts in Bob Woodward's book. It describes a rumored meeting between Mohammed Atta and Iraqi intelligence in the Czech Republic before 9/11.

That section describes a meeting reported by Czech intelligence between Atta and an Iraqi diplomat at the Iraqi embassy in Prague on April 9, 2001. The report was based on a single report from a single Czech source. Czech intelligence officers and an American who met with the source listed their confidence in his report as only 70 percent. Czech intelligence reported the 70 percent confidence number to the press and the story was widely reported. Czech intelligence later corroborated other intelligence and discovered that the Iraqi diplomat was known to a certainty to have been 70 miles away from the embassy on the day of the reported meeting. That didn't get any press. The Iraqi diplomat is now in custody and has denied that the meeting ever took place. On the Al Qaeda side, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh deny from US custody that the meeting took place. The CIA, FBI and Czech intelligence have been unable to confirm that Atta was ever even in the Czech Republic.

The commission concludes, "The available evidence does not support the original Czech report of an Atta-Ani meeting."

The report describes in extensive detail how the planning for 9/11 took place. It does describe support for Al Qaeda during the planning from Hezbollah in Lebanon and also the Iranian government, and of course Afghanistan. Not Iraq.

And does "support" mean shaking your fist at a television and saying "Go Al Qaeda! Kill the infidel Americans!" or does it mean arming terrorists and helping them to kill Americans? One of those could be a justification for a war, the other is not. Lots of people in lots of places "support" Al Qaeda by shaking their fist at CNN and cursing the infidels.

Through all of these accounts that I'm reading about the reasoning and justifications behind invading Iraq, I see one consistent recurring theme. There was not a justification for invading Iraq that led to the Bush adminstration deciding to attack. It was the other way around. The Bush administration decided to attack and then went looking for a justification afterward in order to put the attack plan in motion. 9/11 was a handy thing to come along from that point of view but they just can't make it stick. If the glove does not fit...

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