Is this a "smoking gun"?

While not a contributor to GD I thought this might be more appropriate in this forum.

Is this a “smoking gun”?

I’m not sure what to make of it, but it’s far from a smoking gun.

I don’t know that it’s a smoking gun, but this paragraph should give the “There’s no connection between Saddam and Osama” people a pause:

The jury is still out on this, but it’s certainly interesting.

Hard to say until we get some experts to look at it, but off the top of my head it smells like a forgery to me.

[ul]
[li]Why would such an important document be given to a (relatively speaking) low-ranking American official, when it could just as easily be delivered straight to Paul Bremer?[/li][li]If Saddam was so furious that this list was published, to the point of having all the newspapers confiscated, why didn’t he destroy the original list as well?[/li][li]The list entry ''Abid Al-Karim Muhamed Aswod, intelligence officer responsible for the coordination of activities with the Osama bin Laden group at the Iraqi embassy in Pakistan" is an awfully convenient :rolleyes: piece of incriminating evidence, ainnit? I would have thought that a sharp cookie like Saddam wouldn’t spell out his connections so blatantly, where his enemies could find it and use it against him.[/li][li]It defies all known intelligence information about the relationships between Iraq and al Qaeda, and does not explain why the two would be working together given their long history of disdain for each other.[/li][/ul]
I’m putting my money on “fake,” Alex.

I don’t see how this is even interesting. We have no evidence the documnyt even exists other than the word of the author of the article.

There is nothing in the article that is even remotely suggestive of Iraqi involvement in 9/11. There was some vague evidence in the past that Hussein may have had some contact with bin Laden long before 9/11 but that nothing had ever come of it.

This not a smoking gun. It’s not even a squirt gun.

Yet another steaming plate of desperate Bushit. And the locksteppers will dutifully line-up, spoon in hand, mouth agape.

Please Sir, may I have another…

Gee, you guys are awfully quick to call this a forgery, based on no evidence whatsoever.

BTW, the author is a judge on the sixth circuit court of appeals, and a lifelong Democrat.

I agree that it *could be a forgery, but it could also be legitimate. Why don’t we wait and see, before calling it a ‘steaming plate of desperate bullshit’? At least until we have, say, evidence of that?

The burden of proof is not on us. I will assume it’s bullshit until proven otherwise.

The burden of proof IS on you if you make a claim such as, “That document is a pile of steaming horseshit.”

If you had said, “Well, prove that it’s legit”, then you’d be right. But then, that’s MY position. I want to see corroboration. The rest of you have already discounted it.

The US has had a relationship with al Qaeda. We have ongoing intensive contacts with AQ operatives on a daily basis. We coordinate activities w/ AQ.

There just has to be more info to give a reasonable judgement on a vaguely worded, translated snippet of a document half way around the world.

From the info provided, I’d say, “No.”

Well, here are some supporting documents.

First Salam Pax, the Baghdad blogger, reported on the newspaper being confiscated back in November 2002:
http://where_is_raed.blogspot.com/2002_11_01_where_is_raed_archive.html
So did the International Herald Tribune (well, the Washington Post did, and the IHT used to be a foreign press service of the Post and the NY Times. Now it’s just the Times):
http://www.iht.com/articles/78001.html

The BBC reported on the newspaper being recalled, too:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2495481.stm

National Review Guest Columnist Mansoor Ijaz also reported on meetings between Saddam’s WMD people and Al Qaeda in the Iraqi embassy in Pakistan:
http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-ijaz021803.asp

So, still a fake?

I concur. I think it’s downright pathetic for someone to immedietly declare “bullshit!” about something right away, just because it might show their position to be wrong.

Especially considering that these same people would wholeheartedly embrace a similar news article declaring they had evidence supporting their own position, even if the evidence was just as scant as what is provided in this article.

Seriously, how many of you could say that you didn’t know what rjung and Diogenes were going to write the second you saw the OP?

Well, the first question should be whether the document is authentic.

If it’s found to be authentic, I’m sure there will be declarations that the U.S. was justified in its war on Iraq. I’m not so sure, since we still haven’t found a single WMD. How was Saddam going to aid Al Queda in its aggressions against the U.S.?

I’m really skeptical, though. Especially after the blunder on the forgery supposedly proving Iraq was seeking equipment for nuclear weapons.

This item was published on June 25. This thread was started on July 11. Don’t you suppose that if the was a legit connection between Sadam and OBL at the Iraqi Embassy in Pakistan or any where else we would have had Dr. Rice, The Secretary of Defense, the Vice President, the President and any other spokesman for the Administration who could be trusted with a pencil or a microphone spreading this story to the four winds? If there is reliable information of a terrorist-September 11 connection it is just what the President needs to bolster his case now that he is abandoning the Niger Nukes and trying to lay the blame for bad info on the CIA. Since we haven’t heard about this anyplace but a regional newspaper, I question its reliability.

As we some time say of information and arguments from some of our fellows on these boards: INTERESTING IF TRUE.

No. It is not a “smoking gun.” However Fred Velma Shaggy, Scooby and Daphne could all be legitimately excited that they had found what is known as a “clue.”

Dated Wednesday, June 25. Story seems a mite slow in getting traction. Seeing as how if the Bushistas could prove it, they would most likely not be shy about letting us know.

I find it totally bizarre. Here in America we’re debating whether there’s any Saddam-al Qaeda link, but meanwhlie a Baghdad newspaper casually lists the name of the official coordinator. I suspect that more than one copy of this newspaper still exists and that the article really appeared there. The bigger question is just what it means.

Frankly, I always assumed that there was some degree of contact between Saddam and al Qaeda. Why wouldn’t there be? I would think al Qaeda had some sort of relationship with many middle eastern governments. In other words, we never could be sure that al Qaeda and Saddam might not cooperate in some way. This article means that the potential cooperation would have been a more likely.

Note that the anti-war position had 3 or 4 legs:[ol][li]Saddam would never give WMDs to al Qaeda.[]Saddam had no WMDs.[]Saddam was never going to develop any WMDs, or alternately, We didn’t need to attack until Saddam actually got a threatening arsenal of WMDs.[/ol]This article weakens #1 by some degree. We still don’t know for sure about #2. There’s no way to ever demonstrate #3 (although it might also be impossible to demonstrate that Saddam was going to develop WMDs.) IMHO #4 makes no sense at all when one thinks about it. Once Saddam had a threatening arsenal of WMDs, it might be too late to safely attack him. Or, at least, an attack would risk enormous amounts of casualties. [/li]
So, this article somewhat weakens one leg of the anti-war position, if it’s confirmed that ''Abid Al-Karim Muhamed Aswod really was in charge of coordinating with a branch of al Qaeda.

Might it not also be plausible that a Saddamite might try to exploit Osama’s “celebrity status”? Or are we to assume that OBL’s public denunciation of Saddam was just a bit of show, nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

“You see, Ozzie, you go on TV and you pretend you really really don’t like me and that’ll fool 'em! Then meet me by the grassy knoll…”

I dunno; how many of us could say that we didn’t know what december or Sam Stone were going to write the second we saw the OP? :wink:

At least my skepticism is based on precedent. Or have you forgotten about those breathlessly exciting – and ultimately proven false – reports of Iraqi chemical factories and Iraqi chemical warheads and banned Iraqi SCUDs and Iraqi mobile chemical laboratories that we’ve been marinating in for the last few months?