Iraq Not Tied to 9/11, Panel Finds

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George W. Bush, President of The United States of

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By HOPE YEN, AP

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(June 16) - Bluntly contradicting the Bush administration, the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks reported Wednesday there was "no credible evidence'' that Saddam Hussein had ties with al-Qaida.

In a chilling report that sketched the history of Osama bin Laden's network, the commission said his far-flung training camps were "apparently quite good.'' Terrorists-to-be were encouraged to "think creatively about ways to commit mass murder,'' it added.

As devastating as the Sept. 11 attacks were, the commission disclosed that an earlier, more ambitious plan called for hijacking 10 planes instead of four. The target list for such a strike ranged from coast to coast, including the CIA and FBI headquarters as well as unidentified nuclear plants, and tall buildings in California and Washington state.

Bin Laden made overtures to Saddam for assistance, the commission said, as he did with leaders in Sudan, Iran, Afghanistan and elsewhere in his drive to build an Islamic army.

While Saddam dispatched a senior Iraqi intelligence official to Sudan to meet with bin Laden in 1994, the commission said it had not turned up evidence of a "collaborative relationship.''

The Bush administration has long claimed links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida, and cited them as one reason for last year's invasion of Iraq.

On Monday, Vice President Dick Cheney said in a speech that the Iraqi dictator "had long established ties with al-Qaida.''

President Bush has said there is no evidence that Saddam was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks.

Vice President Cheney
· Oct. 10, 2003: "[Saddam Hussein] had an established relationship with al-Qaida, providing training to al-Qaida members in the areas of poisons, gases, making conventional bombs."
· June 14, 2004: "[Saddam] was a patron of terrorism. He had long established ties with al-Qaida."

President Bush
Sept. 17, 2003: "We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with Sept. 11... There's no question that [he] had al-Qaida ties."

From the 9/11 Commission Report

"There have been reports that contacts between Iraq and al-Qaida also occurred after bin Laden had returned to Afghanistan, but they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship. Two senior bin Laden associates have adamantly denied that any ties existed between al-Qaida and Iraq. We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al-Qaida cooperated on attacks against the United States."

Sources: AP, 9-11commission.gov, CNN, Cox News Service

But critics have alleged the administration has left a contrary impression with the public. Last fall, Cheney referred to what he called a credible but unconfirmed intelligence report that Mohamed Atta, one of the Sept. 11 hijackers, had met at least once in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence official a few months before the attacks.

The panel report said that meeting never happened.

The report prompted a fresh attack on Bush from Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate. "The administration misled America. The administration reached too far,'' the Massachusetts Democrat told Detroit radio station WDET in an interview.

Fred Fielding, a Republican member of the commission, prodded witnesses on the relationship between al-Qaida and Saddam, noting a 1998 indictment of the terrorist leader that alleged ties.

U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald of Illinois said that while such claims were contained in the original indictment, they were dropped when later charges were filed.

The bipartisan commission issued its findings as it embarked on two days of public hearings into the worst terrorist attacks in American history.

The panel intends to issue a final report in July on the hijackings on Sept. 11, 2001 that killed nearly 3,000, destroyed the World Trade Centers in New York and damaged the Pentagon outside Washington. A fourth plane commandeered by terrorists crashed in the countryside in Pennsylvania.

With the commission's work winding down, testimony by lower-level officials lacked the drama of earlier appearances by national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Attorney General John Ashcroft and others.

An FBI official, John Pistole, said the government has "probably prevented a few aviation attacks against both the East and West Coast'' since 2001. He added, "There are operatives involved in those plots that we still cannot account for.''

The staff report pieced together information on the development of bin Laden's network, from the far-flung training camps in Afghanistan and elsewhere, to funding from "well-placed financial facilitators and diversions of funds from Islamic charities.''

Reports that bin Laden had a huge personal fortune to finance acts of terror are overstated, the report said.

The description of the training camp operations contained elements of faint, grudging praise.

"A worldwide jihad needed terrorists who could bomb embassies or hijack airliners, but it also needed foot soldiers for the Taliban in its war against the Northern Alliance, and guerrillas who could shoot down Russian helicopters in Chechnya or ambush Indian units in Kashmir,'' it said.

According to one unnamed senior al-Qaida associate, various ideas were floated by mujahadeen in Afghanistan, the commission said. The options included taking over a launcher and forcing Russian scientists to fire a nuclear missile at the United States, mounting mustard gas or cyanide attacks against Jewish areas in Iran or releasing poison gas into the air conditioning system of a targeted building.

"Last but not least, hijacking an aircraft and crashing it into an airport or nearby city,'' it said.

The Iraq connection long suggested by administration officials gained no currency in the report.

"Bin Laden is said to have requested space to establish training camps, as well as assistance in procuring weapons, but Iraq apparently never responded,'' the report said. "There have been reports that contacts between Iraq and al-Qaida also occurred'' after bin Laden moved his operations to Afghanistan in 1996, "but they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship,'' it said.

"Two senior bin Laden associates have adamantly denied that any ties existed between al-Qaida and Iraq,'' the report said.

06/16/04 16:16 EDT

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press.
 
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George W. Bush, President of The United States of

Guest
No, it is official confirmation of what I suspected all along.
 
G

George W. Bush, President of The United States of

Guest
No, I am not. Look at my name.
 
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Mr.Improper PIMP for the coalition to free timothy

Guest
So this goes to say:why the f*** did we bomb that f***in country??? what the f*** did they do to us????? not a goddamned thing thats what. They know we'd demolish them as soon as they got outta line.

Just goes to show,bush is a f***in worthless pile of shit and :

BUSH,BLAIR,AND THATCHER......... are as useless as a lesbo in a dick sucking contest.
 
U

Uncleskinny

Guest
> So this goes to say:why the f*** did we bomb that f***in country??? what
> the f*** did they do to us????? not a goddamned thing thats what. They
> know we'd demolish them as soon as they got outta line.

> Just goes to show,bush is a f***in worthless pile of shit and :

> BUSH,BLAIR,AND THATCHER......... are as useless as a lesbo in a dick
> sucking contest.

This really, really hurts me to say, but I agree with Josh. Well played.

Sk.
 
M

Madness of King George

Guest
Considering over 65% of America thought they did at one time

Thanks to Bush's misinformation campaign and the "in bed"ed media, most of America thought Saddam was responsible for 9/11 before we invaded Iraq.
 
M

Mr.Improper PIMP for the coalition to free timothy

Guest
Only speaking the f***in truth.........

All three are worthless piles of shit. I wouldnt give someone 2 cents for any of them. If they were standing in front of me,I'd probably throw rocks at them'spit on them,and then take a nice shitty shit shit on them after downing a delicious bowl of the wonder soup.
 
L

Let's Go Devils

Guest
> Only speaking the f***in truth.........

> All three are worthless piles of shit. I wouldnt give someone 2 cents for
> any of them. If they were standing in front of me,I'd probably throw rocks
> at them'spit on them,and then take a nice shitty shit shit on them after
> downing a delicious bowl of the wonder soup.
Proper, aren't you forgetting one thing, The orange drink from MCDonalds.
 
M

Mr.Improper PIMP for the coalition to oust that do

Guest
Yes my dear....how awful of me to forget that orange drink?????? can't eat the yo without it.
 
G

Grim O'Grady

Guest
how happy are you pimple that 'Let's Go M' as proven you out to be a liar?

ha ha ha

Grim O'Grady
 
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