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Clinton - Saddam DID have Al Qaeda links

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posted on Oct, 28 2004 @ 09:15 AM
This is from the Wall Street Journal which requires
registration. I figured some folks wouldn't want to
register, so I brought more than 3 paragraphs over.
It's still an 'excerpt' and not the full article. If the
mods want to downsize this, please feel free to do

I don't think this is 'new' news. I got a feeling that
it's more that the WSJ is reminding us all of Clinton's
own words and the information that Clinton had that
justified his actions and his beliefs that Saddam really
did have Al Qaeda links ... and putting those actions and
words together with what we know to be true today about
the corrupt UN Oil for Food program, etc etc.

Sometimes these puzzles take decades to be put together.
But it looks like Bill Clinton was right on target when he
said that Iraq had terrorist ties and when he blew up those
factories overseas he was doing the right thing - even though
at the time many of us (myself included) thought that he was
very wrong.

As Bill Clinton Once Said . . .
Saddam did have links to al Qaeda.

The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, October 27, 2004 2:00 p.m. EDT

According to 9/11 Commission co-chairman Thomas Kean, Mr. Clinton believed with "absolute certainty" that Iraq provided al Qaeda with weapons of mass destruction expertise and technology in the 1990s. He believed it as president when he ordered the destruction of the al Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Sudan, and he believes it now. And it's not just Mr. Clinton. According to Mr. Kean, "Top officials--Bill Clinton, Sandy Berger and others--told us with absolute certainty that there were chemical weapons of mass destruction at that factory and that's why we sent missiles."

A brief chronology: On Aug. 7, 1998, al Qaeda terrorists bombed U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 257--including 12 Americans--and injuring more than 5,000.

On Aug. 20, 1998, the Clinton administration retaliated. Tomahawk missiles struck an al Qaeda terrorist training facility in Afghanistan and a pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, Sudan. Destroying a bin Laden camp in Afghanistan was a no-brainer. But the decision to take out the al Shifa plant in Sudan was immediately controversial. Top Clinton administration officials said that the building was a chemical weapons factory. "There is no question in my mind that the Sudanese factory was producing chemicals that are used--and can be used--in VX gas," said President Clinton, addressing the nation after the strikes. "This was a plant that was producing chemical warfare-related weapons, and we have physical evidence of that."

The Sudanese denied this. And when reporters on the ground found aspirin bottles and other drug paraphernalia the Clinton administration, on Aug. 24, 1998, made available a "senior intelligence official" to provide more information. The official told reporters that the intelligence indicated "strong ties between the plant and Iraq." He cited the presence of O-ethylmethylphosphonothioic acid, known as Empta. It is a precursor for deadly VX nerve gas. The official was asked which countries make VX using Empta. "Iraq is the only country we're aware of," the official responded. "There are a variety of ways of making VX, a variety of recipes, and Empta is fairly unique."

The following day, Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering, one of a handful of top officials involved in the decision to target al Shifa, spoke to reporters at the National Press Club. He was asked about an Iraqi connection. "We see evidence that we think is quite clear on contacts between Sudan and Iraq. In fact, al Shifa officials, early in the company's history, we believe were in touch with Iraqi individuals associated with Iraq's VX program."

Both the Iraqis and the Sudanese denied this. Sudanese officials made their case by pointing out that the al Shifa factory had been granted a contract for $199,000 to produce goods under the U.N.'s Oil-for-Food program. But the contract was never fulfilled and that program has, since the fall of Saddam's regime, been exposed as an elaborate money-laundering scheme that allowed Saddam to circumvent sanctions. In the days after the U.S. strikes, the Iraqi regime was characteristically defiant: Iraqi Vice President Taha Yasin Ramadan denounced U.S. "terrorism" against Sudan and on Aug. 27, 1998, Babel, a state-run Iraqi newspaper published by Uday Hussein, pronounced Osama bin Laden an "Arab and Islamic hero."

Under press scrutiny, the Clinton administration vigorously defended the strikes. Bill Richardson, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., cited "Sudan's support for terrorism, their connections with Iraq on VX . . . and Sudan's leadership support for Osama bin Laden." Sandy Berger suggested that al Shifa was a dual-use facility like those U.N. inspectors had found in Iraq. The Clinton administration had "information linking bin Laden to the Sudanese regime and to the al Shifa plant," he wrote in the Washington Times on Oct. 16, 1998. He added: "We have information that Iraq has assisted chemical weapons activity in Sudan."

Whatever the outstanding questions on al Shifa, there is little doubt that Iraqi scientists were helping al Qaeda terrorists in Sudan. Michael Scheuer, who ran the CIA's bin Laden unit from 1996 to 1999, wrote in his 2002 book "Through Our Enemies Eyes," that "we know for certain . . . that Iraq and Sudan have been cooperating with bin Laden on CBRN [chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear] weapons acquisition and development." (Mr. Scheuer, who writes as "Anonymous," has been a favorite of Bush administration critics since the publication this summer of "Imperial Hubris," his scathing indictment of the war on terror.)

Read the rest here.

[edit on 10/28/2004 by FlyersFan]

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