October 4, 2004

Documents Surface From Iraq

A news organization called CNSN, the Cybercast News Service, (which I have never heard of before today) has published a "Special Report" in which they claim to be in possession of documents from Iraqi Intelligence. Here's an excerpt:

(CNSNews.com) - Iraqi intelligence documents, confiscated by U.S. forces and obtained by CNSNews.com, show numerous efforts by Saddam Hussein's regime to work with some of the world's most notorious terror organizations, including al Qaeda, to target Americans. They demonstrate that Saddam's government possessed mustard gas and anthrax, both considered weapons of mass destruction, in the summer of 2000, during the period in which United Nations weapons inspectors were not present in Iraq. And the papers show that Iraq trained dozens of terrorists inside its borders.

One of the Iraqi memos contains an order from Saddam for his intelligence service to support terrorist attacks against Americans in Somalia. The memo was written nine months before U.S. Army Rangers were ambushed in Mogadishu by forces loyal to a warlord with alleged ties to al Qaeda.

CNSN has invited credentialed journalists to examine the documents, and the report contains testaments to their credibility by various experts, but I'm sure the next several days should provide more information on their provenance and their authenticity, as more experts weigh in on the evidence. In the meantime, they seem to confirm yet again the many ties between Saddam's Iraq and Islamist terrorist organizations, which have already been documented by people like Stephen Hayes. Here Hayes discusses how those links are treated by The 9/11 Commission Report, and Senate Intelligence Committee Report.

I'm not sure how much of this information could be considered "news", since others have reported on many of Saddam's ties to Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. Some connections, such as to the PLO and to Abu Nidal, have long been open or otherwise proven. However, it would certainly help the Bush campaign if these documents were found to be authentic, bolstering the case for WMD's and Iraq's links to terror.

For that very reason, it seems prudent to wait until such authentication happens before getting too wrapped up in the story.

UPDATE 10/5: Stephen Hayes points to the many ways that the Kerry campaign is distorting the truth about Saddam's links to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

Posted by dan at October 4, 2004 11:40 PM