I originally posted this on November 17, 2005.
Well, I have found the reason why most teenie-boppers today are ignorant of the TRUTH about the connections between Saddam Hussein/Iraq and Osama bin Laden/al Qaeda: they were between the ages of 7 and 12 when the media was actually reporting on these connections. And considering most get indoctrinated with liberal garbage in today’s public schools, whose teachers have probably been brainwashing them with liberal, hate-Bush garbage for the past 6 years, I suppose I should take off the label of traitor I apply to them and simply consider them ignorant fools. Ignorant because they simply do not know the truth, but fools because they seem to claim to be highly intelligent know-it-alls whenever they go around spouting off about how “Bush Lied!” and “everyone knows the Bush Administration was full of sh*t”, when in fact all they are doing is regurgitating lies spewed by the hate-Bush crowd. I guess being hateful and looking foolish is popular among the nation’s youth these days. Who knows.
All I know is that if these people were to simply go to this website, they would see that the media was reporting, with full confidence and assurance, that there was a working relationship between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself. The same media outlets now all regurtitating the “Bush Lied’ mantra spewing out of the lying mouths of the Democrats, Liberals and idiot little teenie boppers, were all reporting the threat of the alliance between bin Laden and Saddam Hussein:
Unmentioned by ABC, how maybe the Bush administration believed there was a bin Laden-Saddam connection because they believed ABC News. In a story aired in a prime time news magazine show on Thursday, January 14, 1999, then-ABC News correspondent Sheila MacVicar reported how a few months after the embassy bombings in Africa and U.S. retaliation against Sudan, bin Laden “reaches out to his friends in Iraq and Sudan.” MacVicar trumpeted how “ABC News has learned that in December, an Iraqi intelligence chief, named Farouk Hijazi, now Iraq’s ambassador to Turkey, made a secret trip to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden. Three intelligence agencies tell ABC News they cannot be certain what was discussed, but almost certainly, they say, bin Laden has been told he would be welcome in Baghdad.”
I tracked down that ABC News story after seeing it referred to in an excerpt from a new book by Stephen Hayes, “The Connection: How al Qaeda’s Collaboration with Saddam Hussein has Endangered America,” published in the June 7 Weekly Standard. Hayes cited similar news stories in Newsweek, the AP and NPR, in the 1998-99 range, which assumed bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were cooperative.
The Weekly Standard titled its excerpt, “The Connection: Not so long ago, the ties between Iraq and al Qaeda were conventional wisdom. The conventional wisdom was right.” In the book, Hayes recited numerous pieces of evidence of how Iraq and al-Qaeda had a mutually beneficial relationship. Here’s an excerpt from the Weekly Standard’s book excerpt in which Hayes recounted how the media assumed such a relationship, based on information provided by Clinton administration officials:
There was a time not long ago when the conventional wisdom skewed heavily toward a Saddam-al Qaeda links. In 1998 and early 1999, the Iraq-al Qaeda connection was widely reported in the American and international media. Former intelligence officers and government officials speculated about the relationship and its dangerous implications for the world. The information in the news reports came from foreign and domestic intelligence services. It was featured in mainstream media outlets including international wire services, prominent newsweeklies, and network radio and television broadcasts.
Newsweek magazine ran an article in its January 11, 1999, issue headed “Saddam Bin Laden?” “Here’s what is known so far,” it read:
“Saddam Hussein, who has a long record of supporting terrorism, is trying to rebuild his intelligence network overseas — assets that would allow him to establish a terrorism network. U.S. sources say he is reaching out to Islamic terrorists, including some who may be linked to Osama bin Laden, the wealthy Saudi exile accused of masterminding the bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa last summer.”
….NPR reporter Mike Shuster interviewed Vincent Cannistraro, former head of the CIA’s counterterrorism center, and offered this report:
“Iraq’s contacts with bin Laden go back some years, to at least 1994, when, according to one U.S. government source, Hijazi met him when bin Laden lived in Sudan. According to Cannistraro, Iraq invited bin Laden to live in Baghdad to be nearer to potential targets of terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait….Some experts believe bin Laden might be tempted to live in Iraq because of his reported desire to obtain chemical or biological weapons. CIA Director George Tenet referred to that in recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee when he said bin Laden was planning additional attacks on American targets.”
By mid-February 1999, journalists did not even feel the need to qualify these claims of an Iraq-al Qaeda relationship. An Associated Press dispatch that ran in the Washington Post ended this way: “The Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has offered asylum to bin Laden, who openly supports Iraq against Western powers.”
Where did journalists get the idea that Saddam and bin Laden might be coordinating efforts? Among other places, from high-ranking Clinton administration officials.
In the spring of 1998 — well before the U.S. embassy bombings in East Africa — the Clinton administration indicted Osama bin Laden. The indictment, unsealed a few months later, prominently cited al Qaeda’s agreement to collaborate with Iraq on weapons of mass destruction. The Clinton Justice Department had been concerned about negative public reaction to its potentially capturing bin Laden without “a vehicle for extradition,” official paperwork charging him with a crime. It was “not an afterthought” to include the al Qaeda-Iraq connection in the indictment, says an official familiar with the deliberations. “It couldn’t have gotten into the indictment unless someone was willing to testify to it under oath.” The Clinton administration’s indictment read unequivocally:
“Al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.”
Hayes also cited a January 1999 ABC story and, utilizing the MRC video archive, I tracked it down. The above-quoted MacVicar piece aired Thursday, January 14, 1999 on the short-lived ABC prime time magazine program, Crime and Justice. This one-topic edition, which featured John Miller’s interview in Afghanistan with Osama bin Laden, carried the title, “Target America: The Terrorist War.” Anchor Cynthia McFadden’s plug for the hour predicted the danger ahead: “Tonight, an exclusive ABC News interview with the man who declared war on the United States: Terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. His loyal foot soldiers are even here in the U.S., hidden among us, awaiting his call to deadly action.”
Sheila MacVicar, who a short time later jumped to CNN, and I believe she has recently departed from CNN, provided an overview of the bin Laden-Hussein relationship:
“Saddam Hussein has a long history of harboring terrorists. Carlos the Jackal, Abu Nidal, Abu Abbas, the most notorious terrorists of their era, all found shelter and support at one time in Baghdad. Intelligence sources say bin Laden’s long relationship with the Iraqis began as he helped Sudan’s fundamentalist government in their efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction.
“Three weeks after the bombing [by the U.S. in Sudan], on August 31, bin Laden reaches out to his friends in Iraq and Sudan. [over video of Iraqi man cheek to cheek with Sudanese men] Iraq’s Vice President arrives in Khartoum to show his support for the Sudanese after the U.S. attack. ABC News has learned that during these meetings, senior Sudanese officials, acting on behalf of bin Laden, ask if Saddam Hussein would grant him asylum.
“Iraq was, indeed, interested. ABC News has learned that in December, an Iraqi intelligence chief, named Farouk Hijazi, now Iraq’s ambassador to Turkey, made a secret trip to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden. Three intelligence agencies tell ABC News they cannot be certain what was discussed, but almost certainly, they say, bin Laden has been told he would be welcome in Baghdad.”