Pentagon: No Connection Between Saddam Hussein And al Qaeda

(NORFOLK, Va. - March 20, 2008) -- United States Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) has released online an unclassified redacted version of the Joint Center for Operational Analysis (JCOA)-sponsored study entitled “The Iraqi Perspectives Project -- Saddam and Terrorism: Emerging Insights from Captured Iraqi Documents.” The five volumes of the document, linked below, document the history of the Saddam regime. The study’s authors completed the report after screening more than 600,000 captured documents including several hundred hours of audio and video files archived by U.S. Department of Defense. Volume 1 contains the executive summary of the report; Volumes 2-5 provide supporting documentation.

Vol 1 - Vol 2 - Vol 3 - Vol 4 - Vol 5

Although 4,000 Americans and many more Iraqis have died as a result of the misrepresentations Bush, Rumsfeld, Powell and Rice made to Congress to trick it into approving GBW's "pre-emptive war", we are not holding our breath for Bush, the neo-cons, or the Project for the New American Century to come clean about their false "justifications" for the 5-year-old Operation Iraqi Liberation.


  1. Mark, I know that you must be smart, because you're a lawyer. But in your haste, you ignore the very first sentences of Volume 1:

    The Iraqi Perspectives Project (IPP) review of captured Iraqi documents uncovered strong evidence that links the regime of Saddam Hussein to regional
    and global terrorism. Despite their incompatible long-term goals, many terrorist movements and Saddam found a common enemy in the United States. At
    times these organizations worked together, trading access for capability. In the period after the 1991 Gulf War, the regime of Saddam Hussein supported a complex
    and increasingly disparate mix of pan-Arab revolutionary causes and emerging pan-Islamic radical movements. The relationship between Iraq and forces of
    pan-Arab socialism was well known and was in fact one of the defining qualities of the Ba'ath movement. But the relationships between Iraq and the groups advocating radical pan-Islamic doctrines are much more complex. This study found no "smoking gun" (i.e., direct connection) between Saddam's Iraq and al Qaeda.
    Saddam's interest in, and support for, non-state actors was spread across a variety of revolutionary, liberation, nationalist, and Islamic terrorist organizations. Some in the regime recognized the potential high internal and external costs of maintaining
    relationships with radical Islamic groups, yet they concluded that in some cases, the benefits of association outweighed the risks.

    Except for the objective of misdirection, it is impossible to read the opening paragraphs of Volume 1 and not concluded that Hussein was creating havoc in the region through his support of terrorism. So, reading the first volumen, it is clear that while there were no direct contacts with al Qaeda, Hussein was clealry in cahoots with and supporting both state sponsored and non-state terrorism.

  2. If you review the "Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq", available under the entry "False Premises", you will see that the administration asserted (among other things) that there was a link between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. My point is not to suggest that Iraq was not a bad place under the thumb of a very bad guy, but that the justifications advanced for the invasion of Iraq were false. It appears from a variety of sources currently available that the real grounds for the Iraq invasion were to establish permanent bases, provide some security for oil supply, perhaps open up new markets, and so on. The thing that really annoys me (OK; ONE of the things) is that there were grounds (maybe even legitimate grounds) for invasion which were kept from the American people while phony grounds were made public. The rationales for the invasion which the administration presented to Congress to convince it to authorize the invasion, had NOTHING to do with the real reasons the administration wanted to invade. There is a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth on the "right" about media bias, but this aspect of the real story behind the Iraq gets essentially no media play at all, at least not in the NYT, WaPo, LAT, and so on, and National Review, the WSJ and their brethren do not acknowledge this aspect of the story at all.