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Pentagon Report Documents Iraq – al Qaeda Connections…

…and the corrupt and/or incompetent DeMSM grossly misrepresent its findings –

The headline from ABC News: “Report Shows No Link Between Saddam and al Qaeda”

From the NY Times: “Oh, By the Way, There Was No Al Qaeda Link”

From CNN: “The U.S. military’s first and only study looking into ties between Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and al Qaeda showed no connection between the two, according to a military report released by the Pentagon.”

But from the actual report from the Pentagon (via The Weekly Standard):

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.


When attacking Western interests, the competitive terror cartel
came into play, particularly in the late 1990s. Captured documents reveal that the
regime was willing to co-opt or support organizations it knew to be part of al
Qaeda – as long as that organization’s near-term goals supported Saddam’s longterm


Saddam’s interest in, and support for, non-Iraqi non-state actors was
spread across a wide variety of revolutionary, liberation, nationalist, and Islamic
terrorist organizations. For years, Saddam maintained training camps for foreign
“fighters” drawn from these diverse groups. In some cases, particularly for Palestinians,
Saddam was also a strong financial supporter. Saddam supported groups
that either associated directly with al Qaeda (such as the Egyptian Islamic Jihad,
led at one time by bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri) or that generally
shared al Qaeda’s stated goals and objectives.

No unbiased, objective reading of the report justifies the headlines used by ABC News or the NY Times, period.

UPDATE: Stephen F. Hayes has a detailed article on the Pentagon report at The Weekly Standard.

Hot Air
The Corner

posted by: The Editors @ 6:16 am March 14, 2008


  1. Then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld claimed in September 2002 that the United States had “bulletproof” evidence of cooperation between the radical Islamist terror group and Saddam’s secular dictatorship

    Defend that statement. Does defending incompetence ever get old to you. At least start doing what the neocons are doing…blame others…that sure would make you look more intelligent than asserting reality has a liberal bias.

    Comment by Brent Axline — March 18, 2008 @ 5:59 pm March 18, 2008

  2. Brent,

    Care to comment on the Pentagon report and the MSM lying about it?

    Comment by The Editors — March 18, 2008 @ 7:33 pm March 18, 2008

  3. No…not if that is your weak response to my challenge. There are a litany of pre war statements similar to the one above that blatantly making a connection I could provide you with. The 9/11 report, NIE, Senate Intelligence Report, and now the Pentagon study have all concluded those pre war statements have no basis in fact. Yet you seem more troubled by merely the headlines (not even the whole article) used in MSM papers, than the representations previously made that have proven wrong. Representations our country based a decision to go to war upon. I do not, as you, allege lying took place. I do however question the judgment of not just those who made the pre war representations, but yours as well.

    Comment by Brent — March 19, 2008 @ 6:16 pm March 19, 2008

  4. What statements had no basis in fact? The Pentagon report documents multiple connections between Saddam Hussein’s regime and various terrorist groups, including al Qaeda affiliated terrorist groups.

    Comment by The Editors — March 19, 2008 @ 7:57 pm March 19, 2008

  5. […] and a generous interpretation of how the newspaper world got the story wrong. Thanks also go to The Unalienable Right, the blog from the editors of The Federalist Journal, for providing links to the most relevant […]

    Pingback by Plumb Bob Blog » Captured Papers Prove Saddam Ties to Terrorists; Press Lies Again — March 24, 2008 @ 6:43 am March 24, 2008

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