Saddam Hussein and the Al-Qaeda Connection
Saddam Hussein and the Al-Qaeda Connection
Was 9/11 the New World Order’s “Reichstag fire” and Saddam Hussein their scapegoat?
Conspiracy theorists assert that the horrors of 9/11 brought the terrible handiwork of the New World Order out of the shadows and into the living room of every American home. The events of 9/11 provided the NWO with their Reichstag fire—a cowardly attack against innocent American citizens that would justify declaring a war on terrorism and a siege against the accused architects of the sneak attack, Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. (On the night of February 27, 1933, the Nazis set fire to the Reichstag, the building where the German Parliament met, and blamed it on Communist agitators.)
After 9/11 several top administration officials declared almost immediately that there was undeniable evidence that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network were linked and had planned the attacks as a cooperative effort. “There’s no question that Saddam Hussein had al Qaeda ties,” President Bush pronounced grimly to the nation. “There’s overwhelming evidence of an Iraq–al Qaeda connection,” Vice President Dick Cheney said, adding that he was “very confident there was an established relationship there.”
In late 2001, in order to back up the administration’s claims of Iraqi involvement in the September 11 attacks, Cheney said it was “pretty well confirmed” that the mastermind of the attacks, Mohamed Atta, had met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official in April 2000 in Prague to plan the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In addition to stressing the links between Iraq and al-Qaeda and the September 11 attacks, Cheney connected Iraq to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, stating that “newly found Iraqi intelligence files revealed that a participant in the 1993 bombing had fled to Iraq where he received financing from the Iraqi government and a safe haven.”
It became an administration “fact,” often cited, that the Iraqi government or the Iraqi intelligence service had an effective working relationship with al-Qaeda that went back to the early 1990s.
After the immediate shock of 9/11 had passed and the terrible attacks could be assessed by cogent analysis, the instant accusation that Saddam Hussein was linked to 9/11 began to seem to be shaky at best. Yet the president and vice president continued to insist on such a connection. Bush, in his speech aboard an aircraft carrier on May 1, 2003, seemed desperate to assure America on that score: “The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We’ve removed an ally of al Qaeda and cut off a source of terrorist funding.” During a September 2003 appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, Cheney stated that if the U.S. military campaign in Iraq continued to be successful, it would deal a major blow directly at the heart of the geographic base of the terrorists who had kept America under assault for many years, “but most especially on 9/11.”
In June 2004, during the heated presidential campaign, Cheney asserted that Hussein “had long-established ties with al Qaeda.” And Cheney’s spokesperson pointed to a 2002 letter written by CIA director George J. Tenet stating that “we have solid reporting of senior level contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda going back a decade” and that “credible information indicates that Iraq and al Qaeda have discussed safe haven and reciprocal non-aggression.”
As the months wore on and talk of war against the evil dictator grew heated, skeptics scoffed that the Bush administration had not presented any hard evidence that Saddam had anything whatsoever to do with Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, or 9/11. In fact, there was more evidence that, far from being collaborators, Saddam and bin Laden were often at cross purposes with each other, if not actual enemies. One tape aired heavily on cable television channels and network news programs had a translator rendering in English a message that Osama spoke in Arabic. Allegedly, bin Laden said, among other things, how much he admired Saddam Hussein. However, an independent translator pointed out that bin Laden was actually saying that he would like to kill Saddam.
If Saddam Hussein had any plans of declaring war, theorists argue, his intention would be to consolidate portions or all of the Middle East under his own dictatorship, rather than have any portion of it dominated by Muslim extremists. After all, Saddam not only considered himself to be the latest in a great line of Iraqi/Babylonian kings, he believed himself to be the actual reincarnation of Nebuchadnezzar (605 to 562 B.C.E.). It is well known that during the 1980s Saddam had spent over $800 million on the reconstruction of Babylon.
The conspiracy theorists turned out to be correct in their belief that there was absolutely no connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. On June 16, 2004, the September 11 Commission reported that it found no “collaborative relationship” between Iraq and al-Qaeda, thereby challenging one of the Bush administration’s main justifications for the war in Iraq. The commission’s staff reported that during the period when bin Laden was in Sudan (1991–96), a senior Iraqi intelligence officer had a meeting with him. Bin Laden was in the process of setting up training camps and seeking assistance in getting weapons and inquired if the Hussein regime, though secular, would join the jihad against the West. The report concluded that Iraq had never responded to these requests. Perhaps by way of retaliation, bin Laden sponsored anti-Saddam Islamists in Iraqi Kurdistan. As for the Atta meeting in Prague mentioned by Cheney, the commission’s staff concluded on the basis of FBI and Czech intelligence that such a meeting never occurred. On the matter of the 1993 Trade Center bombing, there was “substantial uncertainty” that bin Laden and al-Qaeda were involved.
The commission’s finding was that there was no link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda and no evidence that Iraq had collaborated with the Islamic terrorists on the 9/11 attacks. As a kind of postscript, they added that there had been minimal contact between Iraq and al-Qaeda, but no cooperation. The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, a senior FBI official, and a senior CIA analyst concurred with the findings.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan, seizing upon the statements that there was some contact between al-Qaeda and Iraq, said that the administration’s earlier assertions were justified.
Although the conspiracy theorists were correct in doubting any links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, they would likely concede that he was a cruel dictator who deserved to be tried for his crimes against the Iraqi people, Kurds, Iranians, and Kuwaitis. However, these conspiracy researchers remain convinced that certain individuals in the FBI and CIA were involved in a cover-up of monstrous proportions. There is a great deal of documentation, including numerous photographs, proving that George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and other presidential administrations had been partners with Saddam Hussein for decades. Osama bin Laden was a highly regarded insider in the past, and the Bush family had been in the oil business with the bin Laden family since at least 1976. Neither should it be overlooked that while Hussein was committing his most heinous crimes, the U.S. government was supporting him materially and politically.
Saddam Hussein may have been an evil dictator, conspiracy theorists say, but when we were selling him arms to keep the Iranians under control, he was the same evil dictator. Saddam was a pawn, serving Western interests as a distraction for the overall plan to protect the West’s oil supply.