7.12.2004

Fahrenheit Fact no. 33: The Iraq-Al Qaeda connection

From the film:
PRESIDENT BUSH: Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists. Including members of al Qaeda. VP CHENEY: There was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda. PRESIDENT BUSH: Saddam / al Qaeda / Saddam / al Qaeda / Saddam / al Qaeda / Saddam / Saddam / Saddam / al Qaeda SECRETARY RUMSFELD: It is only a matter of time before terrorists states armed with weapons of mass destruction develop the capability to deliver those weapons to US cities. SECRETARY POWELL: What we're giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence. PRESIDENT BUSH: This is a man who hates America. / This is a man who cannot stand what we stand for. / His willingness to terrorize himself. / He hates the fact, like al Qaeda does, that we love freedom. / After all, this is a guy that tried to kill my dad at one time. REP. JIM MCDERMOTT: They simply got people to believe that there was a real threat out there, when in fact there wasn't one. SECRETARY RUMSFELD: You get told things every day that don't happen. It doesn't seem to bother people. NARRATOR: Of course, the Democrats were there to put a stop to all these falsehoods.
Moore groups the Iraq/Al Qaeda connection under the word "falsehoods". But there is a well-documented Iraq/Al Qaeda connection. Dave Kopel writes:
...consider the facts presented in Stephen F. Hayes's book, The Connection : How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America (N.Y.: HarperCollins, 2004). The first paragraph of the last chapter (pp. 177-78) sums up some of the evidence: Iraqi intelligence documents from 1992 list Osama bin Laden as an Iraqi intelligence asset. Numerous sources have reported a 1993 nonaggression pact between Iraq and al Qaeda. The former deputy director of Iraqi intelligence now in U.S. custody says that bin Laden asked the Iraqi regime for arms and training in a face-to-face meeting in 1994. Senior al Qaeda leader Abu Hajer al Iraqi met with Iraqi intelligence officials in 1995. The National Security Agency intercepted telephone conversations between al Qaeda-supported Sudanese military officials and the head of Iraq's chemical weapons program in 1996. Al Qaeda sent Abu Abdallah al Iraqi to Iraq for help with weapons of mass destruction in 1997. An indictment from the Clinton-era Justice Department cited Iraqi assistance on al Qaeda "weapons development" in 1998. A senior Clinton administration counterterrorism official told the Washington Post that the U.S. government was "sure" Iraq had supported al Qaeda chemical weapons programs in 1999. An Iraqi working closely with the Iraqi embassy in Kuala Lumpur was photographed with September 11 hijacker Khalid al Mihdhar en route to a planning meeting for the bombing of the USS Cole and the September 11 attacks in 2000. Satellite photographs showed al Qaeda members in 2001 traveling en masse to a compound in northern Iraq financed, in part, by the Iraqi regime. Abu Musab al Zarqawi, senior al Qaeda associate, operated openly in Baghdad and received medical attention at a regime-supported hospital in 2002. Documents discovered in postwar Iraq in 2003 reveal that Saddam's regime harbored and supported Abdul Rahman Yasin, an Iraqi who mixed the chemicals for the 1993 World Trade Center attack...
The Iraq Al-Qaeda connection is well-documented, and hardly a "falsehood" as Moore claims. -a_sdf (all emphasis in quoted articles and transcripts mine)