Iraq had no link to 9/11 attacks--it's official

  1. For those of you who still believe that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were good pals and cooked up 9/11 together, or that Iraq was a hotbed of al-qaeda activity, the final word is in: NO LINK. Even though Bush admitted that the link didn't exist, he still managed to continually entwine Iraq with the war on terrorism.

    But here it is, the findings of the commission.


    Probe rules out Iraq-9/11 links

    The inquiry wants to know whether the attacks could have been prevented
    The US national commission examining the 11 September 2001 attacks has found no "credible evidence" that Iraq helped al-Qaeda militants carry them out.

    The statement appears in a report on al-Qaeda published before the final public session of the commission.

    It contradicts remarks by the US vice-president about Saddam Hussein's "long-established ties" with al-Qaeda.

    Iraq's alleged links with al-Qaeda were part of the justification the Bush administration gave for invading Iraq.

    The 11 September attacks killed nearly 3,000 people after members of Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network flew three hijacked planes into New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon, with a fourth crashing in Pennsylvania.

    We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al-Qaeda co-operated on attacks against the United States

    The commission, drawn from both Republicans and Democrats, published two separate preliminary reports: an overview of al-Qaeda and an outline of the 11 September plot.

    It concludes that senior al-Qaeda suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed initially proposed a hijacking attack involving 10 planes to hit an expanded list of targets that would include the CIA and FBI headquarters, unidentified nuclear plants and tall buildings in California and Washington state.

    The more ambitious plan was reportedly rejected by Bin Laden.

    A final report on the commission's findings is due on 28 July.

    But preliminary statements published by the commission on a range of issues are building up into a complex picture of missed opportunities and some of it does not make pleasant reading for the Bush administration, says BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus.

    Bin Laden spurned

    The report on al-Qaeda, entitled Overview of the Enemy, describes the roots of the militant network and its activities.

    It says Osama Bin Laden had explored the possibility of co-operation with Iraq, despite his opposition to Saddam Hussein's secular regime.


    They had determined that the best time to storm the cockpit would be about 10-15 minutes after takeoff

    A senior Iraqi intelligence officer had met Bin Laden in 1994 to hear his requests for space to establish training camps and assistance in procuring weapons - but Iraq had not responded.

    "There have been reports that contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda also occurred after Bin Laden had returned to Afghanistan, but they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship," the statement says.

    "We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al-Qaeda co-operated on attacks against the United States."

    The report on al-Qaeda also finds:

    * Bin Laden did not fund al-Qaeda through a personal fortune - it relied on a fundraising network.

    * There is no convincing evidence that any government financially supported al-Qaeda before the 11 September attacks.

    * The 1998 attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania "were planned, directed, and executed by al-Qaeda, under the direct supervision of Bin Laden and his chief aides".

    * Al-Qaeda is "far more decentralised", now that Bin Laden has lost his Afghan base.

    More attacks likely

    The commission's second report, entitled Outline of the 9/11 Plot, paints a picture of al-Qaeda members integrating themselves into Western societies before coming together to strike at America, and shows Bin Laden dominating the organisation's decision-making.

    The commission finds that al-Qaeda is still "extremely interested in conducting chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attacks".

    The point was reinforced by a CIA expert testifying on Wednesday.

    "Al-Qaeda... has by no means been defeated and though weakened, it continues to patiently plan its next attacks," said the expert, identified as Dr K.

    "They may strike next week, next month or next year but they will strike," he warned.

    The expert is one of several law enforcement and intelligence experts on al-Qaeda testifying before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

    On Thursday, top military and civilian aviation officials - including General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff - will testify about their agencies' responses to the attacks.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3812351.stm
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   Energizer Bunny
    Surprise!!!!!!!!!!!
  4. by   SharonH, RN
    Roxanne, I admire you for trying I really do. But there are some who will never believe it no matter how much proof you offer. There have been 2 1/2 years of not so subtle implication by our President, double talk by the Vice President and Secretary Rumsfeld and a lot of help from the "liberal" media(describing the War on Iraq=War on Terror). That's a lot for some people to overcome even with Bush's own admission that there was no link and this report by the 9/11 commission. But at least you are trying.
  5. by   mattsmom81
    SH's top officers have admitted links to Al Qaeda...the Fedayeem Sadaam (spelled phonetically...apologies I believe there are too many indirect links to say with certainty there was 'no connection'. One just can't be proven now is more likely the truth.

    I don't understand this obsession with 'proving' a direct link. A cruel dictator with radical terroristic ideations has been defeated. Its a good thing. We have a dangerous, formerly unstable region with potential to stabilize soon under their own democratic leadership. We sorely need stabilization in the middle east.

    Perhaps some of ya'll wish to sit blindly by while WW3/Armegeddon takes root in radical terrorists, sanctioned and protected by radical terrorist nations....but I prefer the world powers take a strong stand and try to stabilize this crazy world before it self destructs. But thats just me.

    Sitting by and allowing terrorists to propogate in the mideast (their stronghold) and elsewhere is no longer an option we have, IMHO.
  6. by   Mkue
    Sorry, but many people feel the 9/11 Commission is nothing but a joke. Their partisan grandstanding and members leaving hearings early proves nothing but that some members already had their minds made up going into the process. I was really hoping the members would be above all that and really get down to just the facts.
  7. by   roxannekkb
    Quote from mkue
    Sorry, but many people feel the 9/11 Commission is nothing but a joke. Their partisan grandstanding and members leaving hearings early proves nothing but that some members already had their minds made up going into the process. I was really hoping the members would be above all that and really get down to just the facts.
    Well I suppose that you have all the straight facts then? You have personally investigated 9/11, have contacts in Iraq and with al-queada, and know for a fact that the 9/11 commission is pure hogwash? And I suppose you've forgotten that even Bush admitted that there was no tie between Iraq and Al-quaeda.

    But I guess you have secret information that no one else does, so perhaps you might like to share your sources?
  8. by   elkpark
    Roxanne, I admire you for trying I really do. But there are some who will never believe it no matter how much proof you offer. There have been 2 1/2 years of not so subtle implication by our President, double talk by the Vice President and Secretary Rumsfeld and a lot of help from the "liberal" media(describing the War on Iraq=War on Terror). That's a lot for some people to overcome even with Bush's own admission that there was no link and this report by the 9/11 commission. But at least you are trying.
    And our resident Stepford Republicans are already stepping up and demonstrating that you're right ...
  9. by   Mkue
    Commission confirms links
    By Stephen J. Hadley
    A 9/11 commission staff report is being cited to argue that the administration was wrong about there being suspicious ties and contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda. In fact, just the opposite is true. The staff report documents such links.
    The staff report concludes that:

    * Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden "explored possible cooperation with Iraq during his time in Sudan."

    * "A senior Iraqi intelligence officer reportedly made three visits to Sudan, finally meeting bin Laden in 1994."

    * "Contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda also occurred after bin Laden had returned to Afghanistan."

    Chairman Thomas Kean has confirmed: "There were contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda, a number of them, some of them a little shadowy. They were definitely there."

    Following news stories, Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton said he did not understand the media flap over this issue and that the commission does not disagree with the administration's assertion that there were connections between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's government.

    President Bush and members of his administration have said all along that there were contacts and that those contacts raised troubling questions.

    For instance, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is the leader of a terrorist group that is responsible for a number of deadly attacks throughout Iraq. He and his men trained and fought with al-Qaeda for years. Zarqawi's network helped establish and operate an explosives and poisons facility in northeast Iraq. Zarqawi and nearly two-dozen al-Qaeda associates were in Baghdad before the fall of Saddam's regime. In 2002, one al-Qaeda associate bragged that the situation in Iraq was "good" and that Baghdad could be transited quickly.

    It may be that all of the contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda never resulted in joint terrorist attacks. But considering all that we knew, no responsible leader could take for granted that such a collaboration would never happen.

    Saddam had threatened American interests for more than a decade, harbored and assisted other terrorists, and possessed and used weapons of mass destruction. Al-Qaeda had declared war on America, and bin Laden had called the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction to attack Americans a "religious duty."

    The president did not order the liberation of Iraq in retaliation for 9/11. He sent American troops to Iraq to remove a grave and gathering threat to America's security. Because he acted, Iraq is free, and America and the world are safer.
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion...7-hadley_x.htm

    It would appear by this article that the Commission did find Links between Saddam and Al Qaeda. Nonetheless, I don't think the Commissions job was to find any links, their purpose was to find out what went down and how we can improve to prevent future attacks. Somewhere in all of their political grandstanding and partisanship of the Commission possibly we may learn something from their report. And perhaps more from any upcoming books the staff or members will be writing.

    The last paragraph of the article says it all for me, Iraq was never a retaliation for 9/11.
  10. by   dphrn
    it's official.....

    :chuckle
  11. by   gwenith
    9/11 Commission ends with no clear links between Hussein and al-Qaeda PRINT FRIENDLY EMAIL STORY
    Correspondents Report - Sunday, 20 June , 2004
    Reporter: John Shovelan
    HAMISH ROBERTSON: We begin in the United States, where last week the independent 9/11 Commission, which has been investigating the events leading up to the September the 11th attacks, completed its final session of public testimony. And it was the most revealing so far.

    Consisting of both Republicans and Democrats, the panel provoked some fierce political debate when it concluded that the attacks had nothing to do with Iraq under Saddam Hussein, and that there'd been no "collaborative relationship" between the Iraqi regime and al-Qaeda.

    This report from John Shovelan.

    JOHN SHOVELAN: The 9/11 Commission had a hard time even getting started. First, the White House opposed its creation. Then, members of Congress questioned its political independence. And later, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and National Security Advisor Condleezza Rice all refused to testify publicly.

    Though Dr Rice did eventually testify in public, President Bush and Vice President Cheney only did so together behind closed doors.

    But in the weeks and months since it began its investigation it's gained support from the public if not always from the politicians. And this week, the Commission delivered, revealing for the first time horrifying details of the plot, and its genesis.

    The Commission had access to highly classified material, and while Commission members weren't allowed to interview detainees themselves, they were permitted to supply questions to military interrogators.

    The interim report found the original plan by al-Qaeda called for 10 aeroplanes to be hijacked, not four, and to hit targets on the east and west coasts.

    COMMISSION MEMBER: Given the catastrophic results of the 9/11 attacks, it is tempting to depict the plot as a set plan executed to near perfection. This would be a mistake. The 9/11 conspirators confronted operational difficulties, internal disagreements and even dissenting opinions within the leadership of al-Qaeda. In the end, the plot proved sufficiently flexible to adapt and evolve as challenges arose.

    JOHN SHOVELAN: The Commission found Osama bin Laden was hands on in the planning and execution, vetoing some proposals, and showing impatience, demanding that the attacks be moved forward.

    The architect of the attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, or KSM, now in US custody, had to according to the Commission, temper bin Laden's impatience.

    COMMISSION MEMBER: In 2001 bin Laden apparently pressured KSM twice more for an earlier date. According to KSM, bin Laden first requested a date of May 12th 2001, the seven month anniversary of the Cole bombing.

    Then, when bin Laden learned from the media that Sharon would be visiting the White House in June or July 2001, he attempted once more to accelerate the operation. In both instances, KSM insisted that the hijacker planes were not yet ready.

    JOHN SHOVELAN: In its final public hearing, the Commission heard the story of the US response. It depicted a confused and disorganised effort.

    COMMISSION MEMBER: On the morning of 9/11, the existing protocol was unsuited in every respect for what was about to happen. What ensued was the hurried attempt to create an improvised defence by officials who had never encountered or trained against the situation they faced.

    JOHN SHOVELAN: In the two hours between the takeoff of the first hijacked plan and the crash of the fourth, officials struggled to comprehend the extent of the crisis.

    FAA'S BOSTON CENTRE REPRESENTATIVE: Hi, Boston Centre (inaudible), we have a problem here, we have a hijacked aircraft headed towards New York, and we need you guys to... we need someone to scramble some F16s or something up there to help us out.

    NORTH EAST AIR DEFENCE SECTOR REPRESENTATIVE: Is this real world or exercise?

    FAA'S BOSTON CENTRE REPRESENTATIVE: No, this is not an exercise, not a test.

    JOHN SHOVELAN: The Federal Aviation Authority was singled out for the greatest criticism.

    COMMISSION MEMBER: It is the failure of the performance of the headquarters of FAA that is very identifiable.

    COMMISSION MEMBER: My God, I mean, the Cleveland Centre said somebody needs to notify the military to scramble planes, and they didn't.

    JOHN SHOVELAN: The Commission's final report is expected next month.

    John Shovelan, Washington.
    http://www.abc.net.au/correspondents...4/s1135717.htm
  12. by   movealong
    The point is whether Saddam was involved with 9/11. At one time, over 60% of Americans believed he was. And where did they get that idea? From the Bush adminstration. Cheney made numerous statements to that effect. I can provide direct quotes to that effect. While Bush himself never came right out and said Saddam was involved with 9/11, he mentioned Saddam in the same breath as 9/11 over and over and over again. There's more than one way to get an idea across.
  13. by   donmurray
    Precisely. "Accuracy is everything!"

    "Probe rules out Iraq-9/11 links"

    "The US national commission examining the 11 September 2001 attacks has found no "credible evidence" that Iraq helped al-Qaeda militants carry them out."

    No amount of smokescreen about who spoke to or visited who, where or when, can disguise the fact that Iraq had no part in 9/11, as was claimed by the Vice President on several occasions. Presumably his assertions, as well as his evidence are not credible.
  14. by   donmurray
    11 September myths exploded


    Myth number one
    A strong relationship existed between Baghdad and Osama bin Laden.

    Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, said in a speech to the United Nations in February 2003: 'Iraqis continued to visit bin Laden in his new home in Afghanistan. A senior defector says Saddam sent his agents to Afghanistan some time in the mid-1990s to provide training to al-Qaeda members.'

    Commission: 'In 1994 bin Laden is said to have requested [help] but Iraq never responded... There have been reports that contacts also occurred [in Afghanistan after 1996] but they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship.'

    Myth number two
    Mohammed Atta, the leader of the hijackers, met an Iraqi agent in Prague on 9 April, 2001.

    James Woolsey, the former CIA director (and a close friend of many neoconservatives), said in October 2001: 'The Czech confirmation [of the Prague meeting] seems to me very important... It is yet another lead that points toward Iraqi involvement in some sort of terrorism against the United States that ought to be followed up vigorously.'

    Commission: 'Based on the evidence available - including investigations by Czech and US authorities plus detainee reporting - we do not believe that such a meeting occurred... We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al-Qaeda co-operated on attacks against the United States.'

    Myth number three
    Al-Qaeda was involved in drugs trafficking.

    '[Al-Qaeda] activity includes substantial exploitation of the illegal drugs trade' - a press statement issued by the British government in October 2001

    Commission: 'No persuasive evidence exists that al-Qaeda relied on the drug trade as an important source of revenue.'

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/focus...243079,00.html
    Last edit by donmurray on Jun 20, '04

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