I grabbed this page from a Google search when the link came up dead, but the search cache had a copy of the page. I will see if I can find out who the author is and authenticate this material with same. Until then, enjoy! But use with caution when referencing it...
Pre-War Quotes from Democrats
"One way or the other, we are determined
to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction
and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
"Together we must also confront the new hazards of chemical
and biological weapons, and the outlaw states, terrorists and
organized criminals seeking to acquire them. Saddam Hussein has
spent the better part of this decade, and much of his nation's
wealth, not on providing for the Iraqi people, but on developing
nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to
"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there
matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a
rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons
against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we
"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and
consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take
necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile
strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the
threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass
"As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly
aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons
is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein
has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass
destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the
region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection
"This December will mark three years since United Nations
inspectors last visited Iraq. There is no doubt that since that
time, Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs.
Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs
continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In
addition, Saddam continues to refine delivery systems and is
doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop
longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and
"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a
tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He
has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building
weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."
"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October 1998. We
are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of
chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked
on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological
warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is
seeking nuclear weapons..."
"I will be voting to give the President of the United States
the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam
Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of
mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our
"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is
working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely
have nuclear weapons within the next five years .... We also
should remember we have always underestimated the progress
Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past
11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that
he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and
any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do."
"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence
reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his
chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery
capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid,
comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda
members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam
Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage
biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop
"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling
evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of
years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of
weapons of mass destruction.
"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a
brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime .... He
presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so
consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is
miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and
his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction .... So the
threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is
Iraq and a History of Terrorism
On December 3, 1976, the New York Timesreported that radical Palestinians have gathered in Iraq to mount a terrorist campaign against "moderate" Arab governments. The group referred to in the article was known as Black June and they were led by the terrorist Abu Nidal. On August 5, 1978, the New York Times reported that this Palestinian group was linked to Iraq's intelligence service. Abu Nidal was a ruthless terrorist who planned the 1973 assault on an American passenger plane in Rome that resulted in 34 deaths and the 1974 bombing of TWA 841 which resulted in 88 deaths.
On April 24, 1977, the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) was reorganized under the leadership of the terrorist Abu Abbas. According to an October 13, 1985 article in the New York Times, the group was organized with money and help from the Iraqi government.
On July 15, 1978, the LA Times reported that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) had formally asked the government of Iraq to hand over the terrorist Abu Nidal "so he would get what he deserves." The article reported Iraq had given support to Abu Nidal and even provided him with his own radio station which he called "the voice of the Palestinian revolution." Among other things, the radio station had launched virulent attacks on two Palestinian leaders shortly before they were assassinated earlier that year.
In 1979, Congress passed legislation (Export Administration Act of 1979) which required the executive branch to create and maintain a list of countries deemed to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism. In December 1979, the Carter Administration declared four countries as state sponsors of terrorism including: Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Southern Yemen.
On August 30, 1980, the New York Times reported in an article titled "U.S. Forbids Sale of Jetliners to Iraq" that the Carter Administration decided to block the sale of five Boeing jets due to Iraq's involvement in recent terrorist activities. The article reported that, within the previous few months, Iraqi diplomats were involved in attempted bomb attacks in Vienna and West Berlin.
On November 9, 1982, the Los Angeles Times reported in an article titled "Top Arab Terrorist Back in Baghdad" that Abu Nidal had recently moved back to Iraq after being expelled from the country four years earlier. His presence in Iraq was confirmed by President Saddam Hussein.
Abu Abbas was the mastermind of the October 1985 Achille Lauro cruise ship hijacking. Leon Klinghoffer, a 69-year-old Manhattan retiree, was rolled by Abbas's men, wheelchair and all, into the Mediterranean. After holding some 400 passengers hostage for 44 hours, the hijackers surrendered to Egyptian authorities in exchange for safe passage to Tunisia aboard an Egypt Air jet. The airliner, however, was forced by U.S. fighter planes to land at a NATO base in Sicily. Italian officials took the hijackers into custody but Abu Abbas possessed a get-out-of-jail card: an Iraqi diplomatic passport. Seeing that this terrorist traveled as a credentialed Iraqi diplomat, the Italian authorities let Abbas flee to Yugoslavia.
On January 21, 1986 the Associated Press reported the May 15 Organization is an Iraqi-based terrorist group headed by a Palestinian who goes by the name of Abu Ibrahim. The article quoted an Israeli military officer who said the group "specializes in blowing up planes in the air. They operate with the active support of Iraqi intelligence." The May 15 Organization was responsible for five attacks on American and Israeli airliners between 1982 and 1983 including the August 11, 1982 bombing of Pan Am flight 830 over Honolulu which killed one teenager and injured 15 other passengers. Members of the group are also suspected in the April 2, 1986 bombing of TWA flight 840 which killed four Americans near Athens.
On May 13, 1986, the New York Times reported that the French Interior Ministry had received confessions for three terrorist bombings including the Marks & Spencer department stores in Paris and London. According to reports, the terrorist in custody had received his orders from a "contact in Baghdad." That contact was Abu Ibrahim, the leader of a radical Palestinian organization called the "Arab Organization of May 15." This group, which received Iraqi government support, was known for its use of sophisticated explosive devices in the form of plastic explosives and suitcase bombs.
On March 20, 1990, four months prior to the invasion of Kuwait, the Chicago Tribune asked, "Why is Bush gentle with the Butcher of Baghdad?" The newspaper was upset a British journalist had been recently hanged in Iraq as a spy. Saddam had also declared a school holiday to swell the crowds ordered to demonstrate in front of the British embassy. The Iraqi propaganda minister declared, "Mrs. Thatcher wanted him alive, we gave her the body."
On March 31, 1990, months prior to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY) reported that five people were indicted for illegally exporting nuclear warhead triggering devices to Iraq. The article reported, "Hussein is one of the world's foremost sponsors of terrorism. Numbered among his clients are a varied assortment of highjackers, bombers and kidnappers around the world."
During the first Gulf War, on February 4, 1991, the Washington Times wrote an article titled, "Terrorist Camps Deserted in Iraq." The article reported that several terrorist camps inside Iraq were abandoned shortly after the start of the allied bombing campaign. One camp in the western desert was operated by the terrorist Abu Nidal for weapons and explosives training. A terrorist camp near Bagdad was operated by Abu Ibrahim, leader of the Arab Organization May 15. And another terrorist camp near Bagdad was occupied by terrorists of unknown affiliation. Later, after the war, the Washington Times wrote another article dated November 24, 1992 reporting that terrorists were once again training at a camp near Bagdad in violation of the cease-fire terms that ended the Gulf War.
On February 4, 1992, The Canadian Press reported, "A Palestinian ex-businessman said Tuesday he was sent on a bombing mission to Europe in 1982 by an Iraqi-based guerrilla group whose leader had close connections with the Baghdad government. Adnan Awad told a U.S. Senate hearing he took a sophisticated briefcase bomb to Switzerland where he was to blow up either an Israeli or an American installation but could not bring himself to do it." Awad said the leader of the group, Abu Ibrahim, had an "open and clear" relationship with the Iraqi government and enjoyed special privileges "like any big officer in Iraq."
On June 6, 1992, the Associated Press reported that, "U.S. officials knew Palestinian terrorists were finding a safe haven in Baghdad, but for eight years the Reagan and Bush administrations rejected congressional attempts to punish Iraq, newly declassified documents show." A July 1, 1986 memo to then-Secretary of State George Shultz said, "The Iraqis initially endeavored to preserve their terrorist assets, resorting to subterfuge to divert attention from their continued support for terrorist groups." The memo was declassified by the State Department at the request of Rep. Sam Gejdenson, D-Conn.
During the 1992 presidential campaign, Al Gore criticized the first Bush administration for its "blatant disregard" of Iraq's ties to terrorism. On September 29, 1992 Al Gore said, "The Reagan-Bush administration was also prepared to overlook the fact that the terrorists who masterminded the attack on the Achille Lauro and the savage murder of American Leon Klinghoffer, fled with Iraqi assistance. Nor did it seem to matter that the team of terrorists who set out to blow up the Rome airport came directly from Baghdad with suitcase bombs." Al Gore went on to say, "There might have been a moment's pause for reflection when Iraqi aircraft intentionally attacked the USS Stark in May of 1987 killing 37 sailors, but the administration smoothed it over very fast."
Former President George H. W. Bush visited Kuwait between April 14 and April 16, 1993, to commemorate the allied victory in the Persian Gulf War. In late-April 1993, the United States learned that terrorists had attempted to assassinate Bush during his visit to Kuwait and evidence indicated that the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) was behind the assassination attempt. The Kuwaiti authorities arrested 17 persons suspected in the plot to kill Bush using explosives hidden in a Toyota Landcruiser. On June 26, 1993, the United States launched a cruise missile attack against a building housing the Iraqi Intelligence Service in Baghdad in retaliation for the assassination attempt on former President Bush.
On June 27, 1994 ABC News reported that Abdul Rahman Yasin (indicted for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) was known to be living in Iraq. A reporter working for ABC News and Newsweek spotted Abdul Yasin at his father's house in Baghdad. Newsweek reported that, according to neighbors, Yasin was "working for the Iraqi government." At the time, the U.S. government was offering a $2 million reward for information leading to his capture. Yasin was never brought to justice and still remains at large today. The reward for his capture has since increased to $5 million.
On October 12, 1994, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Pentagon had placed 155,000 additional ground troops on alert in response to the recent build-up of Iraqi forces near the Kuwait border. These soldiers were in addition to the 36,000 already being sent to the Persian Gulf. "For the next several hours, we're going to watch and see what Iraq is going to do," one official said. "Meanwhile, we are getting ourselves prepared in case the worst comes to pass."
On September 4, 1996, Newsday reported the United States had launched cruise missile strikes against Saddam Hussein to make him "pay a price" for unleashing his army against the northern Kurds. Over a two day period the United States launched a total of 44 cruise missiles into Iraq. President Clinton said, "Our objectives are limited but clear: To make Saddam pay a price for the latest act of brutality, reducing his ability to threaten his neighbors and America's interests."
On September 12, 1996, National Public Radio interviewed a former CIA chief of counter-terrorism who said Iraq might have been a state sponsor behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. NPR pointed out that Ramzi Ahmed Yousef came to the United States with an Iraqi passport and also reported that indicted co-conspirator Abdul Rahman Yasin was currently living in Baghdad.
On March 2, 1998, U.S. News & World Report wrote that Saddam Hussein had dispatched some 30 terrorist teams around the world to strike U.S. interests prior to the first Gulf War. Disaster was averted, the article reported, by a combination of U.S. intelligence and Iraqi incompetence. Iraq had shipped automatic weapons and explosives to embassies overseas but most of the Iraqi agents were amateurish and easily detected. Two men who did get through accidentally blew themselves up in the Philippines before they could bomb a U.S. cultural center in Manila.
On January 27, 1999 an article in the New York Times titled "A Much-Shunned Terrorist Is Said to Find Haven in Iraq" stated that "Abu Nidal, one of the world's most infamous terrorists, moved to Baghdad late last year and obtained the protection of President Saddam Hussein, according to intelligence reports received by United States and Middle Eastern government officials." The article quoted a counterterrorism expert who said that, regarding Abu Nidal, "Osama bin Laden is a student by comparison."
On January 12, 2001 The Miami Herald reported that the Navy changed the status of Lt. Commander Michael Scott Speicher from killed in action to missing. Speicher was listed as the first casualty of the Gulf War when his F/A-18 Hornet was shot down on January 17, 1991. This change in status also made him the last to be still unaccounted for. President Clinton said information about the case "makes us believe that at least he survived his crash... and that he might be alive." Clinton said U.S. officials have begun trying to determine whether Speicher is alive, and "if he is, where he is and how we can get him out."
After the Gulf War in 1991, no-fly zones were established in northern and southern Iraq to protect the Iraqi Kurds and Shiites from Saddam's forces. The U.S. military enforced these no-fly zones up until the second Iraq war in March 2003. Iraq considered this an affront to its sovereignty and in December 1998 began shooting at American aircraft patrolling these zones. On March 28, 2001, General Tommy Franks reported to the House Armed Services Committee that during the prior year alone, coalition forces had flown nearly 10,000 sorties inside Iraqi airspace and those aircraft were engaged by surface-to-air missiles or anti-aircraft fire more than 500 times. Franks reported that during the prior year, naval forces had intercepted 610 ships while enforcing U.N. sanctions designed to limit Saddam Hussein's ability to smuggle oil out of Iraq. On any given day, U.S. Central Command operated in the region with some 30 naval vessels, 175-200 military aircraft, and between 18,000 and 25,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines.
On October 14, 2001, a former Iraqi army captain named Sabah Khodada granted an interview to the PBS television program "Frontline" in which he talked about a terrorist training camp in Iraq called Salman Pak. During this interview Khodada stated, "This camp is specialized in exporting terrorism to the whole world."
Saddam Hussein paid $25,000 bonuses to the families of Palestinian homicide bombers. "President Saddam Hussein has recently told the head of the Palestinian political office, Faroq al-Kaddoumi, his decision to raise the sum granted to each family of the martyrs of the Palestinian uprising to $25,000 instead of $10,000," Iraq's deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz declared on March 11, 2002. Mahmoud Besharat, who dispensed these funds across the West Bank, gratefully said: "You would have to ask President Saddam why he is being so generous. But he is a revolutionary and he wants this distinguished struggle, the intifada, to continue."
Before the rise of Usama bin Laden, Abu Nidal was widely regarded as the world's most ruthless terrorist. The Associated Press reported on August 22, 2002 that Nidal entered Iraq during the late 1990's "with the full knowledge and preparations of the Iraqi authorities." He lived there until August, 2002 when he died of between one and four gunshot wounds. It is believed by many that Abu Nidal was killed on the orders of Saddam Hussein although the Iraqi government claimed that Nidal had committed suicide.
On February 13, 2003, the Philippine government expelled Iraqi diplomat Hisham al Hussein, the second secretary at Iraq's Manila embassy. Cell phone records indicated that the Iraqi diplomat had spoken with Abu Madja and Hamsiraji Sali, leaders of Abu Sayyaf, just before and just after this Al-Qaeda allied Islamic militant group conducted an attack in Zamboanga City. Abu Sayyaf's nail filled bomb exploded on October 2, 2002, injuring 23 individuals and killing two Filipinos plus killing U.S. Special Forces Sergeant First Class Mark Wayne Jackson, age 40.
After the fall of Saddam's government, coalition forces found and destroyed a terrorist training camp located near Baghdad called Salman Pak. This terrorist training camp featured an airplane fuselage where Iraqi defectors had earlier reported foreign terrorists were being trained in hijacking aircraft.
On April 7, 2003, Agence France Presse reported that US Marines discovered a terrorist training camp operated by the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF). The complex featured bomb-making facilities and pictures of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and PLF faction leader Abu Abbas. Other pictures included the terrorist leader Abu Abbas posing with a Republican Guard brigadier general inside the camp.
On April 14, 2003, Abu Abbas was captured by U.S. Special Forces during a raid near Baghdad. Abbas had lived in Baghdad since 1994, where he was living under protection of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Khala Khadr al-Salahat, accused of designing the bomb that destroyed Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988 (259 killed on board, 11 dead on the ground), also lived in Iraq. He surrendered to U.S. Marines in Baghdad on April 18, 2003.
On September 18, 2003, USA Today ran an article with the headline "U.S. says Iraq sheltered suspect in '93 WTC attack." The article reported that U.S. authorities have evidence Saddam Hussein's regime gave money and housing to Abdul Rahman Yasin, a suspect in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. Military, intelligence and law enforcement officials reported finding a large cache of Arabic-language documents in Tikrit, Saddam's political stronghold. Some analysts have concluded that the documents show Saddam's government provided monthly payments and a home for Yasin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on June 18, 2004, "I can confirm that after the events of September 11, 2001, and up to the military operation in Iraq, Russian special services and Russian intelligence several times received ... information that official organs of Saddam's regime were preparing terrorist acts on the territory of the United States and beyond its borders, at U.S. military and civilian locations."
Connections between Iraq and Al-Qaeda
On August 20, 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered a cruise missile attack against a chemical weapons factory in Sudan. The cruise missile strike was in retaliation for the August 7, 1998 truck bomb attacks on U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya which killed more than 200 people and wounded more than 5,000 others. The chemical weapons factory in Sudan was funded, in part, by Osama bin Laden who the U.S. believed responsible for the embassy bombings. Richard Clarke, a national security advisor to President Clinton, told the Washington Post in a January 23, 1999article that the U.S. government was "sure" that Iraqi nerve gas experts had produced a powdered substance at that plant for use in making VX nerve gas.
On August 25, 1998 the Fort Worth Star-telegram reported a link between Iraq and the Sudanese chemical weapons factory destroyed by the United States in a cruise missile attack. The chemical weapons factory was hit because of links to Osama bin Laden who the U.S. believed responsible for the recent embassy bombings. A senior intelligence official said one of the leaders of Iraq's chemical weapons program, Emad al-Ani, had close ties with senior Sudanese officials at the factory. The intelligence official also said a number of Iraqi scientists working with al-Ani attended the grand opening of the factory two years earlier. Emad Husayn Abdullah al-Ani surrendered to U.S. military forces on April 18, 2003.
On November 5, 1998 a Federal grand jury in Manhattan returned a 238-count indictment charging Osama bin Laden in the bombings of two United States Embassies in Africa and with conspiring to commit other acts of terrorism against Americans abroad. The grand jury indictment also charged that Al-Qaeda had reached an arrangement with President Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq whereby the group said that it would not work against Iraq, and that the two parties agreed to cooperate in the development of weapons.
On January 11, 1999, Newsweek magazine ran the headline "Saddam + Bin Laden?" The sub-headline declared, "It would be a marriage made in hell. And America's two enemies are courting." The article points out that Saddam has a long history of supporting terrorism. The article also mentions that, in the prior week, several surface-to-air missiles were fired at U.S. and British planes patrolling the no-fly zones and that Saddam is now fighting for his life now that the United States has made his removal from office a national objective.
On January 14, 1999, ABC News reported, "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."
On February 13, 1999, CNN reported, "Osama bin Laden, the Saudi millionaire accused by the United States of plotting bomb attacks on two U.S. embassies in Africa, has left Afghanistan, Afghan sources said Saturday. Bin Laden's whereabouts were not known....." The article reports, "Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has offered asylum to bin Laden....."
On February 18, 1999, National Public Radio (NPR) reported, "There have also been reports in recent months that bin Laden might have been considering moving his operations to Iraq. Intelligence agencies in several nations are looking into that. According to Vincent Cannistraro, a former chief of CIA counterterrorism operations, a senior Iraqi intelligence official, Farouk Hijazi, sought out bin Laden in December and invited him to come to Iraq." NPR reported that Iraq's contacts with bin Laden go back some years, to at least 1994, when Farouk Hijazi met with bin Laden when he lived in Sudan.
On February 14, 1999, an article appeared in the San Jose Mercury News claiming that U.S. intelligence officials are worried about an alliance between Osama bin Laden and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The article states that bin Laden had met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official near Qandahar, Afghanistan in late December 1998 and that "there has been increasing evidence that bin Laden and Iraq may have begun cooperating in planning attacks against American and British targets around the world." According to this article, Saddam has offered asylum to bin Laden in Iraq. The article said that in addition to Abu Nidal, another Palestinian terrorist by the name of Mohammed Amri (a.k.a. Abu Ibrahim) is also believed to be in Iraq.
On February 28, 1999, an article was written in The Kansas City Star which said, "He [bin Laden] has a private fortune ranging from $250 million to $500 million and is said to be cultivating a new alliance with Iraq's Saddam Hussein, who has biological and chemical weapons bin Laden would not hesitate to use. An alliance between bin Laden and Saddam Hussein could be deadly. Both men are united in their hatred for the United States....."
On December 28, 1999, an article appeared in The Herald (Glasgow, Scotland) titled, "Iraq tempts bin Laden to attack West." The article starts, "The world's most wanted man, Osama bin Laden, has been offered sanctuary in Iraq....." The article quotes a U.S. counter-terrorism source who said, "Now we are also facing the prospect of an unholy alliance between bin Laden and Saddam. The implications are terrifying."
On April 8, 2001, an informant for Czech counter-intelligence observed an Iraqi intelligence official named al-Ani meeting with an Arab man in his 20s at a restaurant outside Prague. Following the 9/11 attacks, the Czech informant who observed the meeting saw Mohammed Atta’s picture in the papers and identified Mohammed Atta as the man who met with the Iraqi intelligence official.
Able Danger, a highly-classified U.S. Army intelligence program under the command of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, supports information from the Czech Republic’s intelligence service that Mohammed Atta meet with the Iraqi ambassador at the Prague airport on April 9, 2001.
On July 21, 2001 [less than two months prior to 911] the Iraqi state-controlled newspaper "Al-Nasiriya" predicted that bin Laden would attack the U.S. "with the seriousness of the Bedouin of the desert about the way he will try to bomb the Pentagon after he destroys the White House." The same state-approved column also insisted that bin Laden "will strike America on the arm that is already hurting," and that the U.S. "will curse the memory of Frank Sinatra every time he hears his songs" - an apparent reference to the Sinatra classic, "New York, New York."
After the 9/11 attacks, Saddam
became the only world leader to offer praise for bin Laden, even
as other terrorist leaders, like Yassir Arafat, went out of
their way to make a show of sympathy to the U.S. by donating
blood to 9/11 victims on camera. Saddam later
pays tribute to 9/11 by having a mural painted
depicting the World Trade Center attack at an Iraqi military
base in Nasariyah.
On March 15, 2002 the Christian Science Monitor reported that a Taliban-style group known as Ansar al-Islam was threatening stability in the Kurdish northern region of Iraq. Prior to the start of the Iraq War in 2003, Colin Powell addressed the United Nations and pointed out that both Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida had links with the Ansar al-Islam terrorist group. Saddam had provided arms and funding for this terrorist group waging a jihadist war against the Kurds. One month prior to the formation of Ansar al-Islam, leaders from several Kurdish Islamist factions had visited the al-Qaida leadership in Afghanistan. Ansar al-Islam announced their formation on September 1, 2001 just days prior to the September 11 attacks in the United States.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a director of an al Qaeda training base in Afghanistan, fled to Iraq after being injured as the Taliban fell (prior to the U.S./Iraq war). He received medical care and convalesced for two months in Baghdad. He then opened a terrorist training camp in northern Iraq and arranged the October 2002 assassination of U.S. diplomat Lawrence Foley in Amman, Jordan.
CIA director George Tenet (appointed by President Bill Clinton July 11, 1997) wrote in a letter to Senator Bob Graham dated October 7, 2002. "We have solid reporting of senior level contact between Iraq and al Qaeda going back a decade. Credible information exists that Iraq and al Qaeda have discussed safe haven and reciprocal nonaggression. . . . We have credible reporting that al Qaeda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire WMD capabilities."
On October 16, 2002, the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 was signed into law. The authorization (Public law 107-243) had passed the House by a vote of 296-133, and the Senate by a vote of 77-23. This resolution stated, "Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;" and "Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of United States citizens."
Babil, an official newspaper of Saddam Hussein's government, run by his oldest son Uday, published information that appeared to confirm U.S. allegations of the links between the Iraqi regime and al Qaeda. In its November 16, 2002 edition, Babil identified one Abd-al-Karim Muhammad Aswad as an "intelligence officer," describing him as the "official in charge of regime's contacts with Osama bin Laden's group and currently the regime's representative in Pakistan."
On April 25, 2003 CNN reported that Farouk Hijazi had been captured by U.S. forces. Farouk Hijazi was a former intelligence official who may have plotted the attempted assassination of George H. W. Bush in 1993. He was also a contact between Saddam Hussein's regime and Osama bin Laden. Farouk met with bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1998 and is also believed to have met with bin Laden in Sudan in the early 1990's.
While sifting through the Iraqi Intelligence Service's [Mukhabarat] bombed ruins on April 26, 2003 the Toronto Star's Mitch Potter, the London Daily Telegraph's Inigo Gilmore and their translator discovered a memo in the intelligence service's accounting department. Dated February 19, 1998 and marked "Top Secret and Urgent," it said the agency would pay "all the travel and hotel expenses inside Iraq to gain the knowledge of the message from bin Laden and to convey to his envoy an oral message from us to bin Laden, the Saudi opposition leader, about the future of our relationship with him, and to achieve a direct meeting with him."
On May 7, 2003, a federal judge in New York awarded damages against the government of Iraq after ruling that the families of two victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, suicide hijackings had shown that Iraq had provided material support to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida. Judge Harold Baer ruled that the two families were entitled to $104 million compensation from Iraq, bin Laden, al-Qaida, the Taliban movement and their government of Afghanistan. "Plaintiffs have shown, albeit barely, 'by evidence satisfactory to the court' that Iraq provided material support to bin Laden and al-Qaida."
On September 13, 2006, a deputy prime minister of Iraq by the name of Barham Salih gave a speech in which he said, "The alliance between the Baathists and jihadists which sustains Al Qaeda in Iraq is not new, contrary to what you may have been told." He went on to say, "I know this at first hand. Some of my friends were murdered by jihadists, by Al Qaeda-affiliated operatives who had been sheltered and assisted by Saddam's regime."
Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction
In the 1970s, Iraq was unsuccessful in negotiations with France to purchase a plutonium production reactor similar to the one used in France's nuclear weapons program. With French assistance, Iraq then built the Osiraq 40 megawatt light-water nuclear reactor near Baghdad. When Israeli intelligence confirmed Iraq's intention to produce weapons at Osiraq, the Israeli government decided to attack. According to some estimates, Iraq in 1981 was still as much as five to ten years away from the ability to build a nuclear weapon. Others estimated, at that time, Iraq might get its first such weapon within a year or two. On June 7, 1981 Iraqi defenses were caught by surprise and the reactor at Osiraq was destroyed.
It is estimated that the Iran/Iraq war cost the two sides a million casualties. Iraq used chemical weapons in that war extensively from 1984. Some twenty thousand Iranians were killed by mustard gas, and the nerve agents tabun and sarin. This marked the first time a country had been named for violating the 1925 Geneva Convention banning the use of chemical weapons.
On March 16, 1988, the Iraqi Air Force appeared over the city of Halabja. At the time, the city was home to roughly eighty thousand Kurds. The attack on Halabja was the most notorious and the single deadliest gas attack against the Kurds killing 5,000 civilians and injuring 10,000 more. But, it was just one of some forty chemical assaults staged by Iraq against the Kurdish people.
On April 3, 1990, four months prior to the invasion of Kuwait, the Los Angeles Times reported, "Iraqi President Saddam Hussein declared Monday that his military machine has nerve gas and the means to deliver it, threatening to destroy 'half of Israel' if it attacks Iraqi targets." The LA Times also reported that, the week prior, five Iraqi agents were arrested in London attempting to smuggle nuclear triggering devices to Baghdad.
After invading Kuwait, Iraq attempted to accelerate its program to develop a nuclear weapon by using radioactive fuel from the Osiraq reactor. It made a crash effort in September, 1990 to recover enriched fuel from this supposedly safe-guarded reactor, with the goal of produced a nuclear weapon by April, 1991. The program was only halted after Coalition air raid destroyed key facilities on January 17, 1991.
After the first Gulf War, on April 3, 1991, the U.N. adapted ceasefire resolution 687. As part of this agreement, Iraq was required to destroy, under international supervision, all chemical and biological weapons and stocks of agents and all related development, research, and manufacturing facilities. In the following years, however, Iraq would not cooperate with inspectors. At the end of the second Gulf War, U.S. forces found over 500 chemical weapons proving that Iraq never destroyed their WMD in violation of this ceasefire agreement.
On January 18, 1993 the Seattle Post-intelligencer reported that the United States launched a cruise missile attack delivering "the political and diplomatic point" that Iraq must comply with United Nations resolutions. "In a dramatic crescendo for President Bush's final weekend in office, U.S. forces shot down a MiG-23 warplane and struck an Iraqi air defense installation. Hours later, U.S. warships launched about 40 Tomahawks into the night skies near Iraq's capital," they reported. A White House Spokesman said a nuclear fabrications plant was targeted in response to a series of weekend military provocations by Iraq.
On September, 15 1996 the Washington Post reported the CIA had spent $100 million, or an average of $20 million a year, in efforts to topple Saddam Hussein since the Gulf War. The Post reported that, "Although no U.S. order was given to any Iraqi dissident to kill Saddam, the CIA provided funds to groups that it knew were attempting to do so." When the covert program was expanded early in the year, the agency was authorized by the White House to support acts of sabotage inside Iraq that would create an image of a country descending into chaos. Several Iraqi dissidents claimed a military rebellion failed to materialize because Washington withheld a promised aerial bombardment of Iraqi military positions, but the Clinton administration dismissed the claim that aerial support was promised.
On November 20, 1997 the New York Times reported that no arms inspections had taken place in Iraq since October 29 when Baghdad threatened to expel Americans on the monitoring teams. The Times also reported that the head of the United Nations inspection team recently went to the Security Council with photographs and documents demonstrating that Iraq continued to pose a threat in almost every area of weapons development. The photographs showed a convoy of trucks entering and leaving a factory after inspectors indicated it was a site they wished to visit. As an example of how Iraq changed its accounting, a chemical weapons expert said that in 1995 Iraq admitted to having made 160 kilograms of VX nerve agent. Then Iraq altered its figures to 240 kilograms, then to 1,250 kilograms. By June 1996, the Iraqis acknowledged they produced at least 3.9 tons of VX.
On November 23, 1997 CBS News "60 Minutes" ran an interview with Iraqi defector and former chief of military intelligence Wafiq al-Sammarrai. During this interview, Sammarrai said that Iraq had an active biological weapons program. He said the U.N. weapons inspectors were being deceived and that they would never be allowed inside the Presidential Palace because of documents kept there. Wafiq Sammarrai also said that Saddam Hussein had considered carrying out a biological weapons attack against the United States using anthrax.
On January 28, 1998 the Senate passed Concurrent Resolution 71 "condemning Iraq's threat to international peace and security." Among the co-sponsors of this bill were Tom Daschle, John Kerry, Bob Graham, Patrick Moynihan, Robert Byrd, Patrick Leahy, and Christopher Dodd. This resolution "urges the President to take all necessary and appropriate actions to respond to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." In defense of President Clinton's inclination to use military force in Iraq, Daschle said this resolution would "send as clear a message as possible that we are going to force, one way or another, diplomatically or militarily, Iraq to comply with international law."
On February 10, 1998, Yossef Bodansky, director of the U.S. House of Representatives Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, published a task force report compiled from information obtained from Arab opposition movements as well as from British, German and Israeli intelligence sources. The report said that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction at that time including anthrax, nerve gas, and mustard gas. It also claimed that some Iraqi nuclear materials were being held in Algeria. Yossef Bodansky said a chemical weapons factory was being built at that time, with the help of Iraqi experts, south-west of Sudan's capital Khartoum for Islamic terrorists associated with Osama bin Laden. This 1998 report concludes, "And so, the US is planning an instant-gratification bombing campaign that would neither destroy Iraq's WMD operational capabilities nor touch its main WMD production lines in Libya and Sudan."
By late February 1998, U.S. forces in the gulf region had reached more than 40,000 and were reinforced with British and other allied contingents. The U.S. military build-up was due to Iraq's obstruction of U.N. (UNSCOM) weapons inspections. On February 18, 1998 President Bill Clinton said, "If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow." Five days later, however, Kofi Annan struck a deal with the Iraqi dictator that once again allowed U.N. inspectors permission to inspect. As the crisis receded, U.S. forces were drawn back down to their pre-1997 levels. Ten months after Saddam accepted Annan's offer, Saddam kicked U.N. weapons inspectors out of Iraq for good.
On May 1, 1998, President Clinton signed Public Law 105-174, which made $5,000,000 available for assistance to the Iraqi democratic opposition for such activities as organization, training, communication and dissemination of information, developing and implementing agreements among opposition groups, compiling information to support the indictment of Iraqi officials for war crimes, and for related purposes.
On August 20, 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered a cruise missile attack against a chemical weapons factory in Sudan. The chemical weapons factory the U.S. hit was funded, in part, by Osama bin Laden who the U.S. believed responsible for the U.S. embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya. Thomas Pickering, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, told reporters, "We see evidence that we think is quite clear on contacts between Sudan and Iraq. In fact, El Shifa officials, early in the company's history, we believe were in touch with Iraqi individuals associated with Iraq's VX program."
The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 31, 1998) stated "It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime." This legislation also allocated $97,000,000 to aid Iraqi democratic opposition organizations.
On December 17, 1998 The Washington Post reported, "The opening U.S. attack against Iraq yesterday involved more than 200 cruise missiles launched from ships in the Persian Gulf and scores of bombs dropped from aircraft flying from the carrier USS Enterprise against targets across the country, defense officials said. With the strikes planned to last at least three days and possibly longer, officials said U.S. and British warplanes stationed in Persian Gulf states and B-52 bombers operating out of the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia would join the effort, which aims to pummel a broad range of targets critical to Iraq's weapons manufacturing and President Saddam Hussein's hold on power."
In an August 3, 1999 interview, Richard Butler, former chief weapons inspector for UNSCOM, said that Saddam Hussein had an "addiction" for weapons of mass destruction.
On November 25, 2001 The Washington Post wrote an article with details regarding Iraq's germ warfare program. According to the article, U.N. weapons inspectors got their first glimpse of Iraq's biological weapons program during an August 1991 inspection of Salman Pak, one of Iraq's premier biological weapons facilities. Iraqi documents later obtained by the United Nations indicated that Baghdad subsequently filled more than 50 bombs and missile warheads with a liquid form of anthrax. The Washington Post also reported that Iraq acknowledged producing at least 19,000 liters of botulinum toxin, using more than half to fill at least 116 bombs and missile warheads.
On September 24, 2002, the British government released a report titled "Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government." It was the judgment of the British government that Iraq had: continued to produce chemical and biological agents; tried covertly to acquire technology and materials which could be used in the production of nuclear weapons; sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa; and had learnt lessons from previous UN weapons inspections and had already begun to conceal sensitive equipment and documentation in advance of the return of inspectors. In his January 28, 2003 State of the Union address, George Bush said, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." This quote would later be referred to as his "famous 16 words."
During the 9/11 hearings, former Clinton Defense Secretary William Cohen testified that the manager of a chemical weapons plant in Sudan (which was funded by Osama bin Laden and later destroyed by U.S. cruise missiles on Aug. 20, 1998) met in Baghdad with an Iraqi nerve gas expert.
On May 17, 2004, the U.S. military said a roadside bomb containing sarin nerve agent had recently exploded near a U.S. military convoy. The discovery of nerve gas was followed by a second revelation from the military that another shell, equipped with mustard gas, had been found two weeks earlier.
On January 25, 2006, Former Iraqi General Georges Sada gave an interview to FOX News regarding Iraq's missing WMD's. Sada, a top military advisor and the number two man in the air force, claims that Iraq's chemical weapons were moved to Syria prior to the war. Georges Sada is the author of the book called, "Saddam's Secrets: How an Iraqi General Defied and Survived Saddam Hussein."
WMD found in Iraq. On June 21, 2006, Senator Rick Santorum (R, PA) called press conference and stated, "We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons." Reading from a declassified report Santorum said, "Since 2003, coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent. Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq's pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist."
Life in Iraq under Saddam
On July 8, 1982 Saddam Hussein drove into the city of Dujail, Iraq. After six men attempted to ambush the dictator, thousands of Dujail residents were thrown in jail and tortured. At least 148 men and boys were executed on orders signed by Saddam Hussein.
Saddam pursued a long-term program of persecuting the Iraqi Kurds, including the use of chemical weapons. During the Iran/Iraq war, Saddam appointed his cousin, Ali Hassan al-Majid, as his deputy in the north. In 1987-88, al-Majid led the "Anfal" campaign of attacks on Kurdish villages. Amnesty International estimates that more than 100,000 Kurds were killed or disappeared during this period.
Army officers were an important part of the government's network of informers. Suspicion that officers had ambitions other than the service of the President led to immediate execution. It was routine for Saddam to take pre-emptive action against those who he believed might conspire against him.
As well as ensuring his absolute control inside Iraq, Saddam tried to make Iraq the dominant power of the region. In pursuit of these objectives he led Iraq into two wars of aggression against neighbors, the Iran-Iraq war and the invasion of Kuwait.
Human rights abuses under Saddam:
Saddam issued a series of decrees establishing severe penalties for criminal offences. These include amputation, branding, cutting off ears, and other forms of mutilation. Those found guilty of slandering the President could have their tongue removed.
Saddam's son Uday maintained a private torture chamber known as the Red Room in a building on the banks of the Tigris disguised as an electricity installation. He ordered the Iraq football team to be caned on the soles of the feet for losing a World Cup match. He created a militia in 1994 which used swords to execute victims outside their own homes. He has personally executed dissidents, for instance in the Shia uprising at Basra which followed the Gulf War.
Members of Saddam's family were also subject to persecution. Some 40 of Saddam's relatives, including women and children, were killed.
The Fedayeen (Uday Hussein's militia) assassinated opposition figures, broke the backs of those accused of lying to the government and chopped off tongues, fingers, hands and heads. Sometimes victims were decapitated and the heads were delivered to their families.
On April 9, 2003 U.S. forces entered the city of Bagdad. CBS News reported, "With the regime's feared security forces nowhere to be seen, Iraqis dared to cheer U.S. troops and attack the symbols of Saddam's rule. They danced in the streets, waving rifles, palm fronds and flags, and defaced posters of the longtime Iraqi president..."
The Oil-for-Food Program was established by the United Nations in 1995 and it terminated in late 2003. Its intent was to allow Iraq to sell oil on the world market in exchange for food, medicine, and other humanitarian needs. The program was introduced as a response to arguments that ordinary Iraqi citizens were inordinately affected by the economic sanctions aimed at demilitarizing Saddam Hussein's Iraq, imposed in the wake of the first Gulf War. Under UN supervision, the Oil-for-Food program became a major financial scandal allowing Saddam to pocket billions of dollars through kickbacks and other illicit deals. In addition to the billions of dollars Saddam received illegally under Oil-for-Food, many more billions were gained by smuggling oil to neighboring countries outside of the program. During this period, the United States Navy searched thousands of ships bound for or departing Iraq as part of its Maritime Intercept Operations and the enforcement of U.N. economic sanctions.
Much of the recent controversy
surrounding Abu Ghraib has made only vague reference to the
prison's nightmarish past. Under Saddam Hussein, some thirty
thousand people were executed there, and countless more were
tortured and mutilated, returning to Iraqi society as visible
evidence of the brutality of Baathist rule instead of being lost
to the anonymity of mass graves.
In October of 2003, an Iraqi torture tape was obtained by the media. On the tape, what appear to be Fedayeen Saddam members and Republican Guard troops are shown administering cruel punishments, including chopping off fingers, cutting off tongues, breaking a wrist with a heavy stick, and throwing people off a multi-story building. Also depicted is a beheading by sword, which takes several attempts to complete.
In July of 2004, the Iraqi National Olympic Committee put on display torture devices which were used by Uday Hussein to punish soccer players who failed to perform to expectations. Journalists were shown medieval-style torture equipment, including an "iron maiden-like" casket with metal spikes fixed to the inside. Talip Mutan, an Olympic Committee official said, "There were torture camps of Uday Hussein where sportsmen and women had been murdered or tortured, beaten and left to rot. Your worst nightmares came true in those camps. Using an iron maiden, Uday used to punish not only athletes but also everyone who made him angry. Tortured people were kept in it for hours. When he was nearly dead, he would be brought out..." Also on display was a chain whip with steel barbs the size of a tennis ball attached to the end. Uday would also beat them with iron bars, tan the soles of their feet, and drag them on pavements until their backs became bloodied, then dunk them in sewage to ensure the wounds became infected.
The Clinton Administration's Public Case Against Saddam Hussein
The Saddam-al Qaeda link
12 Iraqi War Myths from www.TheReligionofPeace.com
Saddam Hussein's Philanthropy of Terror - by Deroy Murdock
Debunking 8 anti-war myths lied about the conflict in Iraq
WMD Stockpiles Or No Stockpiles: 11 Reasons Why We Were Right To Hit Iraq
The Mother of All Connections (between Iraq and al-Qaeda)
Life Under Saddam Hussein (White House press release)
See men shredded, then say you don't back war
IRAQ- some links to terror by 'backhoe'
Links to articles connecting Saddam, Al Qaeda, and terrorism by 'peach'
The Connection : How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America (book by Stephen Hayes)
Saddam: King of Terror (book by Con Coughlin)
WMD: The Murderous Reign of Saddam Hussein (movie/documentary)
Translating the Iraq Documents (blog by jveritas)
Regime of Terror: Documenting Saddam Hussein's Support of Terrorism (blog by Mark Eichenlaub)
Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Download videos from www.reasons-for-war-with-iraq.info