Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Saddam and the Terrorists

Stephen Hayes has a must read piece in the Weekly Standard for anyone who accepts the current anti-Bush line that the secularist Saddam would never have had any relationship with an Islamist terror organization and that Bush's claims that he was sponsoring and sheltering terrorists was a lie. Hayes' devastates that argument. He writes:

THE FORMER IRAQI REGIME OF Saddam Hussein trained thousands of radical Islamic terrorists from the region at camps in Iraq over the four years immediately preceding the U.S. invasion, according to documents and photographs recovered by the U.S. military in postwar Iraq. The existence and character of these documents has been confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD by eleven U.S. government officials. The secret training took place primarily at three camps--in Samarra, Ramadi, and Salman Pak--and was directed by elite Iraqi military units.

Interviews by U.S. government interrogators with Iraqi regime officials and military leaders corroborate the documentary evidence. Many of the fighters were drawn from terrorist groups in northern Africa with close ties to al Qaeda, chief among them Algeria's GSPC and the Sudanese Islamic Army. Some 2,000 terrorists were trained at these Iraqi camps each year from 1999 to 2002, putting the total number at or above 8,000. Intelligence officials believe that some of these terrorists returned to Iraq and are responsible for attacks against Americans and Iraqis. According to three officials with knowledge of the intelligence on Iraqi training camps, White House and National Security Council officials were briefed on these findings in May 2005; senior Defense Department officials subsequently received the same briefing.

The photographs and documents on Iraqi training camps come from a collection of some 2 million "exploitable items" captured in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan. They include handwritten notes, typed documents, audiotapes, videotapes, compact discs, floppy discs, and computer hard drives. Taken together, this collection could give U.S. intelligence officials and policymakers an inside look at the activities of the former Iraqi regime in the months and years before the Iraq war.

The discovery of the information on jihadist training camps in Iraq would seem to have two major consequences: It exposes the flawed assumptions of the experts and U.S. intelligence officials who told us for years that a secularist like Saddam Hussein would never work with Islamic radicals, any more than such jihadists would work with an infidel like the Iraqi dictator. It also reminds us that valuable information remains buried in the mountain of documents recovered in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past four years.

Nearly three years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, only 50,000 of these 2 million "exploitable items" have been thoroughly examined. That's 2.5 percent. Despite the hard work of the individuals assigned to the "DOCEX" project, the process is not moving quickly enough, says Michael Tanji, a former Defense Intelligence Agency official who helped lead the document exploitation effort for 18 months. "At this rate," he says, "if we continue to approach DOCEX in a linear fashion, our great-grandchildren will still be sorting through this stuff."

There is much, much more at the link confirming what the administration told us prior to the war about Saddam's involvement with terrorism. Those who have been calling Bush a liar over this and other issues related to Iraq would do well to moderate their rhetoric lest they wind up completely discredited and uncredible. But, of course, they won't.

Please Get it Right, Senator

Teddy Kennedy, whose family manse at Hyannis Port, we may assume, regularly hosts soirees for poor, disenfranchised African Americans, made this claim yesterday:

In an era when America is still too divided by race and riches, Judge Alioto [sic] has not written one single opinion on the merits in favor of a person of color alleging race discrimination on the job. In fifteen years on the bench, not one.

Senator Teddy might want to present a severance check to whomever it is in his office who's doing his research for him. The Committee For Justice lists several cases where Alito did exactly what Kennedy claims he's never done. This is not an auspicious beginning for the Democratic inquisitors as they seek to make the case as to why "Alioto" should be burned at the stake.

Thanks to Michelle Malkin for the tip.


Add the name of Harry Belefonte to the list of people suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS), an affliction brought on by an intense, irrational hatred for the president that causes the sufferer to say and do the most astonishingly stupid things:

CARACAS, Venezuela - The American singer and activist Harry Belafonte called President Bush "the greatest terrorist in the world" on Sunday and said millions of Americans support the socialist revolution of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

Belafonte led a delegation of Americans including the actor Danny Glover and the Princeton University scholar Cornel West that met the Venezuelan president for more than six hours late Saturday. Some in the group attended Chavez's television and radio broadcast Sunday.

"No matter what the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world, George W. Bush says, we're here to tell you: Not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of the American people ... support your revolution," Belafonte told Chavez during the broadcast.

Maybe Harry's advancing years are causing him to hallucinate, but I doubt that there are a million people in this country who can even spell Venezuela, find it on a map, and name its national leader, much less who also know about the socialist/communist revolution taking place there, and actually support it.