Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Iraq, 9/11 and Bush

Where ever did so many Americans get the idea Iraq was related to 9/11 ? Oh, that's right, the Presidential Letter to Congress requesting authorization to invade Iraq.

This is likely the single most important document of the Bush Presidency. It was created caregully, with incredible focus and thought placed on every word, sentence and paragraph.

It is unimaginable that the placement of 9/11 into the 2nd half of this authorization request was anything but a conscious, deliberate act:

Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate

March 18, 2003

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

Consistent with section 3(b) of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), and based on information available to me, including that in the enclosed document, I determine that:

(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither (A) adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed byIraq nor (B) likely lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and

(2) acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.



Oh, and just in case it ever disappears from WhiteHouse.gov, heres a pdf:

Download file

Presidential Letter (HTML)

Posted at 07:18 AM in War/Defense | Permalink


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Where ever did so many Americans get the idea Iraq was related to 9/11 ? Oh, that's right, the Presidential Letter to Congress requesting authorization to invade Iraq: Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the... [Read More]

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Where ever did so many Americans get the idea Iraq was related to 9/11 ? Oh, that's right, the Presidential Letter to Congress requesting authorization to invade Iraq: Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 22, 2004 7:30:50 AM


this letter was obviously written by people running around with digital word processors and writing these unbelievable letters and then passing them off, against the law, to the media....

Posted by: roj | Jun 22, 2004 9:44:57 AM

Either that, or posted to the White House website!

Posted by: Barry Ritholtz | Jun 22, 2004 9:48:29 AM

It's not the same letter I have seen. The one I saw concluded with "and those who harbor them".

Regardless, this is boilerplate required by the stautues named in the letter. The debate was over by the time this was delivered.

Think what it says about your case when you stretch this far to make it.

Posted by: spongeworthy | Jun 22, 2004 3:46:55 PM

I'm pretty sure that originally Bush said that it was a "WAR ON TERROR", and I'm pretty sure that saddam and Iraq had ties with terrorism due to the fact that Saddam himself publically offered $25,000.00 to any family of a suicide bomber or anyone who perpatrated a terrorist act against israel or the west. It is also funny how the liberal media quickly swept the news of terrorist training camps in Iraq under the proverbial rug. Even if Iraq had no ties with Al Queda they were still harboring terrorists and funding it, therefore Iraq needed to be dealt with swiftly, and nevermind their nuclear bomb program that would have ended up with a bomb that could be smuggled in by any terrorist. Someday everyone who thinks that going to Iraq was a bad idea will realize that they were wrong and that they let petty political hatred get in the way.

Posted by: zeejay | Jun 22, 2004 10:01:23 PM


Do you honestly believe that Americans think there was a connection between Iraq and 9/11 because of this letter?

Posted by: Shane | Jun 23, 2004 12:58:20 AM


I believe this letter shows the administration was disingenuous at best when claiming "We don't know how or why 57% of Americans believe Saddam Hussein & Iraq were behind 9/11."

This false blame was something very carefully orchestrated and encouraged -- and its understandable why a shellshocked public came to believe this falsehood.

The Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate requesting authorization to invade Iraq is but one of many many examples of that.

FUD . . . look it up

Posted by: Barry Ritholtz | Jun 23, 2004 6:42:08 AM

Oh, for crying out loud. All of a sudden the BA is some kind of perfect propaganda machine? How do you account for the fact that the Washington Post poll taken 2 days after 9-11 shows more folks thought Saddam behind 9-11 than any poll taken since? Nobody at the White House had placed blame upon anybody but Al Qaeda then. [EDITORS NOTE: THIS COMMENT REFERS TO AN ARTICLE FROM 2003, NOT 2001]


Could it be that the media had previously linked Saddam and Al Qaeda?


If these Bushies are this clever, then a lot of other theories you loonies have endorsed go right out the window. Imagine linking Saddam and OBL before they were even nominated!

Posted by: spongeworthy | Jun 23, 2004 9:15:26 AM

Former Iraqi military officers have described a highly secret terrorist training facility in Iraq (right outside of Baghdad) known as Salman Pak, where both Iraqis and non-Iraqi Arabs receive training on hijacking planes and trains, planting explosives in cities, sabotage, and assassinations. (www.whitehouse.gov) As far as 9/11 and Iraq... It is well known that Saddam offered Bin Laden asylum in 99'. Obviously they had some sort of correspondence, so it is not far fetched that they would work together. Ahmed Allawi, a member of the oppositon Iraqi congress has stated Bin Laden had met with a rep from Iraq to discuss matters of asylum and other things, which I'm sure had nothing to do with harming the U.S. and it's people. U.S. Marines even found a Boeing 707 at the Salman Pak terror camp, so there is even more proof that Iraq had had terrorists training there that could have even been used to train the hijackers there for the 9/11 attack. It's kind of weird how no one really ever heard about this on CNN (Communist News Network), NPR (National Palestinian Radio), The New York Slimes, ETC. There were even directions, manuals, and areas of the camp to train terrorists on how to use chemical and biological weapons for terror purposes, but the country which was sponsoring these training camps in no way had these weapons? YEAH RIGHT!!!

Posted by: zeejay | Jun 24, 2004 4:23:36 PM

Much of what was initially known or passed around as fact by the Bush administration regarding Salman Pak was the result of information provided by Ahmed Chalabi and his hand picked defectors. Chalabi was welcomed by Bush and the neocons ,but was always viewed with suspicsion by the CIA, even as far back as the Clinton administration. Chalabi produced produced several defectors who made up details that suited Chalabi's and Bush's agenda. Chalabi is currently under investigation by the FBI for transmitting senstive data to the Iranians, while his chief aid has fled to safe haven in Tehran, Iran. In one instance one of Chalabi's defectors who claimed to be an engineer said there was a secret tunnel packed with Saddam's secret documents telling of their revived WMD programs, yet weapons inspectors just before the war found only an old drainage tunnel and no documents. The U.N. soon after stopped using Chalabi and his defectors as sources for information as this kind of misinformation had become common place.
Salmam Pak does exist and has become part of the conspiracy lore of right-wing web sites. The Pak site was constructed with the help of the British in the 1980's and has been well known to the American intelligence community for years. Its hardly the big bad omnious secret that its touted as being. There is even an old battered Iraqi Airlines Boeing 707 there. Weapons inspectors visited the area several times and there are ariel photos dating back for years. The plane shell was used by the Iraqi military for anti-sabotage training and urban warfare techniques. Iraq under U.N. sanctions approved by the first Bush adminstration was allowed to have an active military force, certain types of missles and other weapons systems. To date no evidence has ever been produced that al-Quida trained there or that any training there was linked to 9-11.

After the incredible military victory in Afghanistan, Al Qaeda prisoners were interrogated in an effort to uncover past secrets and interdict future threats to the United States and the world. Its sad and ironic that it was confirmed that the web of terrorist networks forged by OBL is far reaching. Its ironic in that the exposed links are not surprising - including Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. Notably absent was Iraq. Given the administrations hype of 9-11 and the "axis of evil" and the avalanche of post-Sept. 11 media reports linking Iraq with bin Laden, one would expect a flood of evidence coming from Afghanistan confirming such a relationship. No such papers have been found to date.

Asylum? Yes Saddam did offer asylum to OBL in November of 2001 after the invasion of Afghanistan by coalition forces. Just my admittedly biased take on this; that Saddam did it as a way to thumb his nose at America.
The recycled “reports” of alleged meetings between Iraqi officials and Al Qaeda that do date back to the Clinton administration and Bush Sr. when OBL first set up shop in Sudan. Many of these reports were old, uncorroborated and came from sources of unknown if not dubious credibility (many from the Chalabi Team of "defectors" enhanced/hyped by Perle, Wolfowitz, and the Defense Policy Board...even then grave doubts and caveats were held by U.S. intelligence officials-- Like much of the “reporting” on Iraq’s ever-elusive weapons of mass destruction. Let's also remember the fake "Niger" documents, and the "student thesis" presented by prime Minister Blair. Many reports—some of which came from foreign intelligence services and Iraqi defectors—were selectively presented by the Feith team( Secretary Rumsfeld's special unit at the pentagon) and were, as one U.S. official told NEWSWEEK, “contradicted by other things. The Weekly Standard, The National Review, and the right-wing web-site Newsmax have sighted a purported Saddam's overture to Osama that made its way into the mainstream press, The Guardian contended the purpose of Hijazi’s visit was to offer bin Laden asylum in Iraq. Vince Cannistraro, a former CIA counterterrorism official, says that bin Laden actually rejected the Hijazi overture, concluding he did not want to be “exploited” by a regime that he has consistently viewed as “secular” and fundamentally antithetical to his vision of a strict Islamic state.
In Feb. 11, 2003, audiotape released by Al-Jazeera, (confirmed to be OBL by the CIA) bin Laden called on Arabs to rise up and strike at the U.S. invaders, bin Laden emphasized in the same tape his interest was in defending the Iraqi people, not an “infidel” like Saddam.“The socialists and their rulers [had] lost their legitimacy a long time ago and the socialists are infidels regardless of where they are, whether in Baghdad or in Aden." In a Pentagon memo sighted by right-wing conspiracy theorists Stephen Hayes , the memo concedes that much of the more recent reporting about Iraqi-Al Qaeda ties is “conflicting.” It quotes one Iraq intelligence officer in U.S. custody, Khalil Ibrahim Abdallah, as saying that “the last contact” between Iraqi intelligence and Al Qaeda was in July 1999 and that it was actually Saddam, not bin Laden, who cut off the contacts. " Ibn Al-Shaykh al-Libi, who reported to his interrogators that he was “told by an Al Qaeda associate” (who is unidentified) that two Al Qaeda operatives were sent to Iraq in December 2000 for training in the use of chemical and biological weapons. (Both national-security adviser Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld later relied on al-Libi’s claims to make the same allegation.) But U.S. intelligence officials note that al-Libi’s claims are hearsay (he professed no firsthand knowledge) and that his credibility, like that of many captured Al Qaeda detainees, is sometimes spotty." After the interrogations of high-level Al Qaeda and Iraqi detainees—including notables as Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Abu Zubaydah, and Hijazi himself. All of them have reportedly dismissed the idea that Al Qaeda and Saddam had any working relationship.
Bush and Cheney have also used a terrorist named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as evidence of a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda. Mr. Bush used to refer to Mr. Zarqawi as a "senior Al Qaeda terrorist planner" who was in Baghdad working with the Iraqi government. But former CIA, George Tenet, told the Senate earlier this year that Mr. Zarqawi did not work with the Hussein regime, nor under the direction of Al Qaeda.

Daniel Benjamin, who directed counterterrorism efforts on the National Security Council in the Clinton administration, said: ''No one disputes that there have been contacts over the years. In that part of the America-hating universe, contacts happen. But that's still a long way from suggesting that they were really working together.''
''In my judgment, Saddam assessed Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda as a threat rather than a potential partner to be exploited to attack the United States,'' said Judith Yaphe, who worked on counterterrorism at the CIA for three years, specializing in Iraq during the administration of George H.W. Bush. ''Bin Laden wanted to attack Iraq after it invaded Kuwait in 1990 rather than have the Saudi government depend on foreign military forces.''

Posted by: inkdog | Jun 25, 2004 5:49:14 AM

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