Terrorists In Saddam's Iraq? Weekly Standard Says Yes, Media Out To Lunch

In the latest issue of The Weekly Standard there is an interesting article by Stephen F. Hayes titled “Saddam’s Terror Training Camps”. In it the author reports the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein... “Trained thousands of radical Islamic terrorists from the region at camps in Iraq over four years immediately preceding the U.S. invasion, according to documents and photographs recovered by the U.S. military in postwar Iraq.”

Now this can’t possibly be correct. The mainstream media and the liberal left have repeatedly told us there were no terrorists in Iraq and it was only the United States involvement in mid-east that brought terrorists into the country. This is the stock statement when anything on the matter is broadcast or placed in print. It would be difficult indeed, to find an article in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times or the New York Times that makes those contrary statements penned by Stephen Hayes.

Many of the terrorists training in Iraqi camps were drawn from groups in northern Africa with close links to al Qaeda. More than 2,000 were trained in Iraq and the author claims many have returned and are responsible for the attacks, which have taken place since the invasion.

How does Hayes justify these statements? He says, “The photographs and documents on Iraqi training camps come from a collection of some 2 million exploitable items captured in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan. They include handwritten notes, typed documents, audiotapes, videotapes, compact discs, floppy discs and computer hard drives.”

These could very well be the rantings of some very right wing conservative writer attempting to justify the Bush decision to continue the War of Terror by attacking Iraq. That can be the only excuse other media sources could have for not reporting such important news. The documentation is there for any other legitimate source to examine.

There are other reports too, which should have waved flags at traditional publications and launched them on an extensive investigation to disprove the facts being presented.

For example, those documents show that Abdul Rahman Yasin, the only member of the al Qaeda cell that detonated the bomb in the 1993 World Trade Center attack to remain at large, fled to Iraq, where he was given a house and a monthly salary.

An al Qaeda member now in United States custody has confessed that in the 1990s bin Laden made an agreement with Saddam Hussein to cease all terrorist attacks inside Iraq.

Another report has a former colonel in Saddam’s Fedayeen says bin Laden’s fighters were in Iraq in 1997 and that he observed them in a training camp in Salman Pak, southeast of Baghdad.

Reports upon reports are available and could be reviewed by legitimate press services. Little effort has been made by these media sources to make that information a central factor of the debate on why the war is being fought in Iraq. Instead, from CNN News to the Democrat Bloggers and from party line newspapers to the New York Times, all the public hears are chants that “Bush Lied!”

Many of the facts mentioned in this article and in the Weekly Standard are contained in a book by Richard Miniter titled “Losing bin Laden: How Bill Clinton’s Failures Unleashed Global Terror”, which was on the bestseller lists in 2003. Mr. Miniter is a senior fellow at the Center for the New Europe and his writings can also be found online at Tech Central Station.com.

These facts, according to the Weekly Standard article have come to light after translation of only 50,000 documents. There has been so much intelligence uncovered that at the current rate of translation two more generations of language experts will be required to bring all the details to light. But, even if that happens there will be those in government and the media who claim there was no involvement with al Qaeda and there was no terrorist activity in Iraq before the Americans launched their attack.