Tag Archives: donald rumsfeld

Why the GOP’s outreach reaches no one

Rand Paul addresses the students of Howard University. As brilliant as he is, he confesses he can’t figure out why the GOP has a certain reputation regarding race.

What gets lost is that the Republican Party has always been the party of civil rights and voting rights. Because Republicans believe that the federal government is limited in its function-some have concluded that Republicans are somehow inherently insensitive to minority rights. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Perhaps Rand is on to something. Maybe there’s been a misunderstanding over philosophy. The drive to limit the scope of government makes it look as if conservatives don’t care, as if they don’t want to extend a hand to the unfortunate. Victims of racism, for example. The perception has made for some bad public relations.

My father was a die-hard conservative actually. Back in the 80’s, when he learned there would be a Martin Luther King day in January, he asked, “Why did they give that n*gger a holiday?” Meaning, “Another federal mandate that will encumber business and squander taxes.” To the untrained ear, rhetorical flourishes like these are easily misconstrued.

Ronald Reagan once made a similar argument. He’d been asked to veto the MLK holiday legislation by limited-state activist and good friend Governor Meldrim Thomson:

Mr. Thomson called Dr. King “a man of immoral character whose frequent association with leading agents of communism is well established.”

Reagan was similarly daunted by the implications for government. Employing a familiar Libertarian argument, he replied:

“I have the same reservations you have, but here the perception of too many people is based on image, not reality.”

That the want to check federalism looked exactly like racism was a tragedy. Reagan apologized to Dr. King’s widow, then he played a round of golf at whites-only Augusta National. Which was misunderstood as well.

Unfortunately, the beat goes on. Only today I read a piece by Larry Elder, the self-proclaimed “Sage of South Central.” In it, he goes to great length to reacquaint the misty minded with Richard Nixon’s civil rights resume:

In the Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, Calif., records show considerable handwritten notes and correspondence between Nixon and King. This includes a 1957 letter from King acknowledging their previous meetings, which thanked Nixon for his “assiduous labor and dauntless courage in seeking to make the Civil Rights Bill a reality,” and praised him for his “devotion to the highest mandates of the moral law.”

But what’s your race-impression of Nixon? Probably nothing good.

Never mind that in 1956 Nixon revealed he was an honorary member of the NAACP. Or that Nixon pushed for passage of the ’57 civil rights bill in the Senate. Or that Time magazine wrote that Nixon’s support for civil rights incurred the wrath of one of his segregationist opponents, Sen. Richard Russell, D-Ga., who sarcastically called Nixon the NAACP’s “most distinguished member.”

Who knew? Not you. And the upshot?

But the GOP-is-racist meme can be heard nightly on MSNB-Hee Haw and in political science and history classes all over the country.

Very sad, oh my. But permit me? Perhaps this tragedy of historic perception arises from something like disbelief. A well-earned unease. A suspicion among African Americans that Republicans are rarely what they pretend to be. Example.

In earlier tapes released by the National Archives, Nixon told Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, “Henry, let’s leave the niggers to Bill and we’ll take care of the rest of the world” while working on his first presidential address to Congress. Nixon repeatedly referred to blacks as “niggers” and “jigaboos” in other conversations with Kissinger. Nixon later complained to Erlichman that Great Society programs were a waste “because blacks were genetically inferior to whites.”

The Nixon tapes bore the suspicion out. With Donald Rumsfeld:

“The second point is that coming out — coming back and saying that black Americans aren’t as good as black Africans . . most of them, basically, are just out of the trees. Now, let’s face it, they are.”

That Elder would try to lionize Nixon reaffirms the need for skepticism. That he would do it while the internet is still up and running speaks to stupidity, or disrespect. Perhaps we should say, regarding matters of race, that Republicans would prefer to be philosophically awkward or misunderstood. But they’re worse than that. To be kind.

Share

Gee, the National Review hates Obama’s Libya speech

Well, knock me over with a truncheon. National Review’s Jim Geraghty isn’t too hot on last night’s speech by President Obama, the one where he talked about intervening in Libya to prevent a civilian slaughter:

Cities and towns were shelled, mosques were destroyed, and apartment buildings reduced to rubble. Military jets and helicopter gunships were unleashed upon people who had no means to defend themselves against assaults from the air…

At this point, the United States and the world faced a choice. Qaddafi declared he would show “no mercy” to his own people. He compared them to rats, and threatened to go door to door to inflict punishment. In the past, we have seen him hang civilians in the streets, and kill over a thousand people in a single day. Now we saw regime forces on the outskirts of the city. We knew that if we wanted — if we waited one more day, Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.

To be fair, I’m torn over the decision to take military action. It’s nice to want to be the equitable policemen of the world, but the consequences are often dire: slaughter, political chaos, enmeshment in far-away lands with strange ways and lingering lusts for vengeance. As tragic as it may be, no one can save the entire world.

On the other hand, it’s an international effort with (supposed) limitations to our involvement, much of which will emphasize our high-tech capabilities and minimize our risks.

It is tempting. The Libyans appear to be peace and freedom seeking people, not unlike ourselves. They could use some help. So many issues of life and death, so many facets to the nasty use of violence.

But forget that ‘big question’ philosophy-of-aggression stuff. Jim Geraghty just doesn’t feel right:

. . but I feel tonight a lot like the night of Obama’s speech announcing the Afghanistan surge to West Point. On paper, I agree with a lot of what Obama is saying. But he’s stringing together a lot of pretty-sounding phrases without really getting at the questions most skeptical Americans have . .

Really? I thought he answered that stuff pretty decisively. Like what?

. . why intervene here and not in other places?

The imminent slaughter, the quote above. I think people got that.

Obama’s caught himself between his comments that clearly suggested regime change (Qaddafi must step down) and a strict adherence to a U.N. mandate that doesn’t include regime change. What is our goal?

The larger goal is regime change, but that’s not the military goal. I thought the President did a fairly good job splitting the difference, here:

The task that I assigned our forces -– to protect the Libyan people from immediate danger, and to establish a no-fly zone -– carries with it a U.N. mandate and international support. It’s also what the Libyan opposition asked us to do. If we tried to overthrow Qaddafi by force, our coalition would splinter. We would likely have to put U.S. troops on the ground to accomplish that mission, or risk killing many civilians from the air. The dangers faced by our men and women in uniform would be far greater. So would the costs and our share of the responsibility for what comes next.

To be blunt, we went down that road in Iraq.

So, Jim, it’s possible to have a foreign policy goal in which the military isn’t America’s one and only weapon. Right?

(If you’re trying to knock a brutal terror-sponsoring dictator out of power, knock him out of power! Don’t do it halfway!)

Right. Yeah, I know it’s confusing for a fan of George W. Bush.

In the end, Obama’s speech amounted to, “Look, I realize none of you understand my decision making, but at the end of the day, you can rest easy knowing I’m right.”

Oh my GOODNESS, please! Because a better president, in these tricky little gray areas of foreign policy, where lives hang in the balance, he comes on the TV and shrugs his shoulders? He says “Aw, heck, I’m not really sure what to do, it’s a whacky mess.” A guy sitting on your TV, scratching his head over Libya, now that would inspire confidence in Conservatives. Yes, you plainly adore everything reeking of half-assery, like your arguments.

Oh, those lingering memories of the muller-in-chief, the percolator, the brooder, George W. Bush. Wasn’t he one for thinking and strategizing and analyzing? And then making a complicated, labyrinthine case for one of his humble, but thorough, decisions?

No.

Share

Citizen Newt Gingrich, thinker of worlds, candidate for awesome

Came across this post on TPMMuckraker. It’s another revelation from Donald Rumsfeld’s online library of paperwork and correspondence from his Bush-era years as Secretary of Defense.

Gingrich To Rumsfeld: Plant Army Spies Throughout Government
Ryan J. Reilly | March 3, 2011

. . Gingrich wanted the Defense Department to have more reach in the policy making apparatus and not “yield the territory” at the National Security Counsel and elsewhere to the State Department and other interests.

“There should be a conscious systematic strategy for sending good people to every point in the federal government and to as many contacts with foreign governments as possible,” Gingrich wrote.

The fool’s fool seeks a grand stage, so he tells us what to do. Trying to “advise” the government and specifically Rumsfeld’s DoD back in 2003, citizen Newt Gingrich counsels Rummy to create a propaganda arm — or perhaps an ‘activist DoD doppelganger’ — so that the Defense Department would get better treatment throughout the government, throughout the media, and even throughout foreign governments across the world.

. . establish a system of DoD detailees throughout the federal government and where possible as overseas detached personnel for foreign governments to both maximize DoD’s influence on debates and to maximize the flow of information to DoD.

Yes, the Department of War needs to be far more sneaky, powerful, and far-reaching into the daily lives of, well, everyone. There simply aren’t enough civilian-dressed Army officers working as propagandists on planet Earth.

There should be a conscious systematic strategy for sending good people to every point in the federal government and to as many contacts with foreign governments as possible.

This requires carrying extra officers and senior ncos on the rolls but in the long run it will pay a tremendous dividend in communicating the defense system’s views, values, and practices.

Hell, why not have all the different sectors of government outfit propaganda teams? Why not have agents of the postal system whisper in the ears of atomic energy regulators? Why not have Medicare actuaries take HUD executives out for steak and lobster dinners? Why not have all of them bribing the cabinet secretaries of the Caribbean nations? Good ideas — Newt is one thinking sonuvabitch.

Recall him posturing to shoot down North Korean missiles . . with a laser? Remember him calling to remake all of America after the failed underwear bombing, neatly subtitling his effort “Real Change Requires Real Change”? (Now change is finally possible — thanks!) Recall his plan to turn Iran into a completely different, Western style country? “I would cut off gasoline, and I would fund the dissidents” Newt said. Huh? “The only thing you have to stop is gasoline.” Ta-daaaaaah! Finally, we get some answers in life.

Anyone can come up with ideas, we all do it. The difference between the wiser among us and the likes of Newt is the willingness to imagine the world becoming prey to our schemes. That’s the critical step we undertake to measure the worth of something we can think of. What will the world look like after I get my way? Will it be a better place?

Newt Gingrich absolutely refuses to do this. Children refuse to do it. Adults who won’t grow up, they won’t do it either — mamas boys, narcissists and such. The spark of giddiness can’t survive reality’s wet blanket. That’s why Newt quit the last real job he had after getting his ass kicked in the 1998 elections. He’s been able to think and counsel and scheme free of the responsibilities of being sane and productive. And just look at you, aren’t YOU terrific? Yes, you’re really something, Mr. Speaker.

More of the Gingrich fire, from his “Seven Strategic Necessities”:

II. Strategic Need 2. Creating a world with minimum terror and minimum risk of weapons of mass murder requires both the negative goal of defeating bad people and bad regimes and the positive goal of creating systems of safety, health, prosperity, and freedom(the four words which best express the world we want our neighbors to live in).

We are very good at creating a first campaign to defeat the bad guys or the bad regime. We are stunningly less effective at creating a campaign to build systems of safety, health, prosperity and freedom.

How’s that for grand thinking? . . “the four words which best express the world we want our neighbors to live in”. Couldn’t he have just said “perfect”? Think of the possibilities, a perfect Gingrich world. Obviously, the government hasn’t been focused on the goodest, bestest words.

We need a doctrine for second campaigns. This will inherently be a doctrine for integrated operations. Joint operations involve all the services. Combined operations include foreign countries. Integrated operations involves all the elements of governmental and non-governmental power being orchestrated and brought to bear to help build a country or society after we have defeated the bad forces which have been oppressing them and threatening us.

Did ya get all that? Had you forgotten the gilded truth of “joint operations involve all the services”? Shame on you, ignoring the Gingrich Hierarchies.

Those trying to deal with Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine should simply build lists and brief reports on every impediment to effectiveness and every tool and system they wished they had. We will only get better by being consciously self aware.

And a pox upon the Bush administration for its failings. Whether it was “unconsciously self-aware” or “consciously self-unaware,” shame all over them. Think of the lives we could have saved with Newtarian list-humping and full-blown conscious self-awareness. We think: Why hadn’t anyone thought of this before? It all seems so simple, now, doesn’t it?

America has a sound doctrine for total war against an entire nation. Dresden, Hamburg, Tokyo and Nagasaki are among the memories of how decisive Americans can be when faced with a threat of total war.

However America does not have a doctrine for total war against an enemy who is hiding behind a civilian population. Furthermore that civilian population is likely to be terrorized by the forces of total war and so simply appealing to their better interests is useless.

Obviously I, or pretty much anybody else, could go on and on about Gingrich’s childish intellect (as immature as it all is). But it’s bits like these that just fascinate me. I pause momentarily to remind ourselves this guy has a million followers on Twitter and is considered THE highest-profile intellectual of the Republican party.

How does someone get to the point of such personal absurdity? To write something like this and dispatch it to the United States Secretary of Defense? How does one lecture the most powerful government in the history of the world?

If in total war, like Sherman’s destruction of Atlanta or the Allied fire-bombing of Dresden, you attempt to extinguish a population’s thirst for fighting, then Newt wonders if we should wipe Baghdad off the map? He says we’re of such habits — it’s a “doctrine” — and the government keeps it? But we don’t have a useful sub-doctrine when soldiers hide amongst the civilians?

And there are “forces of total war”? Those sound like quite the mystical, mythical beasts to my ears. Are those like “forces of the Black Plague”? Or “forces of a tsunami”? Just who isn’t “likely to be terrorized” by war? I figured the appreciation for such nightmares was universal, ergo a good reason to engage in Gingrich-style annihilation of ancient civilizations.

The whole thing is laughable. He’s trying to sound both commanding of subject matter and professorially detached, but he can’t get out of the way of foolishness. Who tells the world’s biggest bureaucracy to make more lists? Who contemplates wiping out a civilian population in a multi-faction insurgency? Who considers “total war” for its ability to motivate through fear, but then weighs against it because the “civilian population is likely to be terrorized”?

Citizen Newt, that’s who. Big time candidate for United States President.

Beware! The ‘President’ runs everything.

Share

Reminders of Donald Rumsfeld’s open, staggering incompetence

Came across this bizarre little tidbit via RawStory. It originally came by way of Alexis Madrigal, science and technology writer over at The Atlantic.

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has done an admirable job building out a digital document archive from his time in the government on his website, Rumsfeld.com. While I was watching the events in Libya unfold, I decided to search his papers to see what he’d written on the country. In so doing, I ran across a document that left me flabbergasted. It’s a message (probably an email) that Rumsfeld sent to then Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith on April 7, 2003. Here it is in its entirety:

Is this some sort of joke? I had to double-check, I couldn’t believe it. Nope, it’s real. Madrigal’s co-worker couldn’t believe it either.

Do you figure Feith managed to “solve the Pakistan problem”? Did Doug get “Korea” to come around? What – there are two of them? Someone check the history books dated a week later, like April 14. Still two of them? How did Pakistan end up, by the way?

If ever there were a more shallow, talentless bureaucrat than Rumsfeld in a position of American power, I shudder for history. And he’s aware of his limitations. Why else would Rummy otherwise send out gobsmackers like this? Snap-snap, solutions for Syria, Libya, Pakistan and “Korea.” Time for one of his 56-word ditties, people need to get on this. Five of the hottest hot spots on Earth, 268 million people — I should e-mail Doug on it.

No wonder George W. Bush said, “You are a strong secretary of defense, and our nation owes you a debt of gratitude.” The most difficult thing to grasp is just how stupid these people were, the winners of two elections. But there’s no other explanation.

Share

2001 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs: Rumsfeld and Bushies lied us into the Iraq War

General Hugh Shelton, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1997 through the events of 9/11, has written a memoir which details what was happening behind the scenes in the Bush administration after the terrorist attacks. Titled ‘Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior’, reviewed by Thomas E. Ricks and excerpted at RawStory, it levels harsh criticism at Bush’s neo-cons and, especially, Donald Rumsfeld:

The US had no reason to invade Iraq in 2003, and only did so because of “a series of lies” told to the American people by the Bush administration, says Gen. Hugh Shelton, who served for four years as the US’s top military officer . .

“President Bush and his team got us enmeshed in Iraq based on extraordinarily poor intelligence and a series of lies purporting that we had to protect Americans from Saddam’s evil empire because it posed such a threat to our national security,” Shelton writes in his memoir.

Runsfeld gets described as being bent on taking America to war, as an arrogant and reckless Secretary of Defense uninterested in the advice or opinions of anybody but himself:

According to Ricks, Shelton states that, in order to get the war going, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld “elbowed aside Gen. Richard Myers and the other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and also intimidated and flattered Gen. Tommy R. Franks while working directly with him, and so basically went to war without getting the advice of his top military advisors.”

As a result, Shelton says of Rumsfeld’s tenure: “the worst style of leadership I witnessed in 38 years of service.”

When Rumsfeld was proven wrong in a meeting, Shelton says, he wouldn’t admit it, but rather would press on and do “his best to stay afloat amid the bullshit he was shoveling out.”

At one point, Rumsfeld utterly rejected a plan for how to deal with Iraqi attacks on U.S. warplanes in the old “no-fly zones.” Shelton liked the plan how it was, so when ordered to revamp it, he let it sit on his desk for a couple of weeks, and then sent it back to the defense secretary with a new label on it: “Rumsfeld Auto-Response Matrix.” “He loved every word of it,” Shelton reports with unconcealed contempt.

These descriptions of Rumsfeld as a conniving, narcissistic bureucrat jibe with previous descriptions of him. Here, he pasted Biblical quotes on the covers of Department of Defense reports to gain favor with his born-again boss. Here, he and his ‘snowflake’ memos attempted to micro-manage every aspect of the war, including the psyches of the American people.

Share

Jesus Christ, it’s true: In 2003, George W. Bush exhorted France’s Jacques Chirac to help America wipe out the Biblical evils of Gog and Magog in Iraq

*Sigh* Been a while since an American deserved to be hanged because of his Christianity. Can we just toss him to the Taliban? How about we swap him for Bowe Bergdahl?

Let him be a ‘martyr’ for his own personal cause: martial assholery. When I think of all the good people now dead, especially all our own military people, it just makes me sick. We can start with the tag comment of the Haught post, here:

It’s awkward to say openly, but now-departed President Bush is a religious crackpot, an ex-drunk of small intellect who “got saved.” He never should have been entrusted with the power to start wars.


Bush, God, Iraq and Gog
By Clive Hamilton

The revelation this month in GQ magazine that Donald Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary embellished top-secret wartime memos with quotations from the Bible prompts a question. Why did he believe he could influence President Bush by that means?

The answer may lie in an alarming story about George Bush’s Christian millenarian beliefs that has yet to come to light.

In 2003 while lobbying leaders to put together the Coalition of the Willing, President Bush spoke to France’s President Jacques Chirac. Bush wove a story about how the Biblical creatures Gog and Magog were at work in the Middle East and how they must be defeated.

In Genesis and Ezekiel Gog and Magog are forces of the Apocalypse who are prophesied to come out of the north and destroy Israel unless stopped. The Book of Revelation took up the Old Testament prophesy:

“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle … and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”

Bush believed the time had now come for that battle, telling Chirac:

“This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins”.

The story of the conversation emerged only because the Elysée Palace, baffled by Bush’s words, sought advice from Thomas Römer, a professor of theology at the University of Lausanne. Four years later, Römer gave an account in the September 2007 issue of the university’s review, Allez savoir. The article apparently went unnoticed, although it was referred to in a French newspaper…


A French Revelation, or The Burning Bush
by James A. Haught

Incredibly, President George W. Bush told French President Jacques Chirac in early 2003 that Iraq must be invaded to thwart Gog and Magog, the Bible’s satanic agents of the Apocalypse.

Honest. This isn’t a joke. The president of the United States, in a top-secret phone call to a major European ally, asked for French troops to join American soldiers in attacking Iraq as a mission from God.

Now out of office, Chirac recounts that the American leader appealed to their “common faith” (Christianity) and told him: “Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East…. The biblical prophecies are being fulfilled…. This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins.”

This bizarre episode occurred while the White House was assembling its “coalition of the willing” to unleash the Iraq invasion. Chirac says he was boggled by Bush’s call and “wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs.”

After the 2003 call, the puzzled French leader didn’t comply with Bush’s request. Instead, his staff asked Thomas Romer, a theologian at the University of Lausanne, to analyze the weird appeal. Dr. Romer explained that the Old Testament book of Ezekiel contains two chapters (38 and 39) in which God rages against Gog and Magog, sinister and mysterious forces menacing Israel. Jehovah vows to smite them savagely, to “turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,” and slaughter them ruthlessly. In the New Testament, the mystical book of Revelation envisions Gog and Magog gathering nations for battle, “and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”…

Subsequently, ex-President Chirac confirmed the nutty event in a long interview with French journalist Jean-Claude Maurice, who tells the tale in his new book, Si Vous le Répétez, Je Démentirai (If You Repeat it, I Will Deny), released in March by the publisher Plon…


Did he feel hand of God?
by Mitch Potter

…Bush, a born-again Christian since age 40, arrives for today’s paid speaking engagement at Metro Toronto Convention Centre with fellow former president Bill Clinton amid a series of stranger-than-fiction disclosures, one of which suggests that apocalyptic fervor may have held sway within the walls of his White House…

Stranger still are new accounts emerging from France describing how former president Jacques Chirac was utterly baffled by a 2003 telephone conversation in which Bush reportedly invoked fanatical Old Testament prophesy — including the Earth-ending battle with forces of evil, Gog and Magog — in his arguments to enlist France in the Coalition of the Willing.

“This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins,” Bush said to Chirac, according to Thomas Romer, a University of Lausanne theology professor who was later approached by French officials anxious to understand the context of the biblical reference…

But in the absence of comment from Bush himself, disturbing questions about the extent to which his administration blurred the lines of religion and war loom large.

“Speculating on what goes on inside George Bush’s head is always a bold endeavour. But the sense one gets from this is that biblical prophesy somehow factored in the thinking,” said Clive Hamilton, a visiting scholar at Yale University who commented on the controversy in a recent article for counterpunch.org.

“Just the fact that Donald Rumsfeld and the Pentagon would overlay briefings to the president with biblical verses confirms eight years of suspicions,” said Salam al-Marayati, executive director of the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council.

“What is so disturbing is that it is similar to the way Al Qaeda uses sacred text to support their ambitions … it is the last thing we want to see in a president.

“Religiously, it is a violation of faith.”

Share

Suicide: Good riddance Bush Administration Operative Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi


Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi Has Died In A Libyan Prison

The Arabic media is ablaze with the news that Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, the emir of an Afghan training camp — whose claim that Saddam Hussein had been involved in training al-Qaeda operatives in the use of chemical and biological weapons was used to justify the invasion of Iraq — has died in a Libyan jail. So far, however, the only English language report is on the Algerian website Ennahar Online, which reported that the Libyan newspaper Oea stated that al-Libi (aka Ali Abdul Hamid al-Fakheri) “was found dead of suicide in his cell,” and noted that the newspaper had reported the story “without specifying the date or method of suicide.”



Leading to War: A Film and Website That Chronicle the Path to War in Iraq.

January 4, 2002
NBC Nightly News reports that Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, an al-Qaeda paramilitary trainer in Afghanistan, has been captured by U.S. forces
[link to source]

“The U.S. military is also taking custody of more prisoners, now 273. NBC News has learned that one of them is a top al-Qaeda official, Ibn Al-Shaykh al-Libi, who was in charge of military training at bin Laden’s terrorist camps and could provide valuable information about how the terrorists were trained and what other American targets they intend to attack.”

February 22, 2002
From the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Defense Intelligence Terrorism Summary (DITSUM No. 044-02, issued on February 22, 2002; declassified and made public on November 18, 2005 by Congress)
SSCI “Phaseiiaccuracy.pdf”  (page 77)  [link to source]

“This is the first report from Ibn al-Shaykh in which he claims Iraq assisted al-Qaida’s CBRN [chemical, biological, radiological & nuclear] efforts. However, he lacks specific details on the Iraqis involved, the CBRN materials associated with the assistance, and the location where training occurred. It is possible he does not know any further details; it is more likely this individual is intentionally misleading the debriefers. Ibn al-Shaykh has been undergoing debriefs for several weeks and may be describing scenarios to the debriefers that he knows will retain their interest.

“Saddam’s regime is intensely secular and is wary of Islamic revolutionary movements. Moreover, Baghdad is unlikely to provide assistance to a group it cannot control.”

June 21, 2002
A CIA report, titled Iraq and al-Qa’ida: Interpreting a Murky Relationship (issued on June 21, 2002 and publicly declassified on April 15, 2005 by Congress) states [link to source]

“In the past several years, Iraq reportedly has provided specialized training to al-Qa‘ida in explosives and assistance to the group’s chemical and biological weapons program, although the level and extent of this assistance is not clear…

“Our knowledge of Iraqi links to Al-Qa‘ida still contains many critical gaps because of limited reporting [deleted] and the questionable reliability of many of our sources…

“Some analysts concur with the assessment that intelligence reporting provides ‘no conclusive evidence of cooperation on specific terrorist operations’… These analysts would contend that mistrust and conflicting ideologies and goals probably tempered these contacts and severely limited the opportunities for cooperation.”

September 25, 2002
National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice appears on PBS’ News Hour and states
[link to source]

“We know too that several of the (al Qaeda) detainees, in particular, some high-ranking detainees, have said that Iraq provided some training to al Qaeda in chemical weapons development.”

September 26, 2002
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld holds a Department of Defense news briefing
[link to source]

“We have what we consider to be very reliable reporting of senior level contacts going back a decade, and of possible chemical and biological agent training. And when I say contacts, I mean between Iraq and al Qaeda…  We do have– I believe it’s one report indicating that Iraq provided unspecified training relating to chemical and/or biological matters for al Qaeda members.”

October 7, 2002
President George W. Bush outlines the Iraqi threat in Cincinnati
[link to source]

“We’ve learned that Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases.”

November 4, 2002
Remarks by President George W. Bush at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport
[link to source]

“ [Hussein’s] had contacts with al Qaeda. Imagine a scenario where an al Qaeda-type organization uses Iraq as an arsenal, a place to get weapons, a place to be trained to use the weapons.”

Share