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earlier burfling | later burfling

It's official - no Iraq-9/11 connection


The bipartisan commission investigating the 9/11 attacks released two more "staff statements" - unclassified summaries of what the commission has learned - earlier today. In Staff Statement 15 (an 80kb PDF file), the commission states:

Bin Laden also explored possible cooperation with Iraq during his time in Sudan, despite his opposition to Hussein's secular regime. Bin Laden had in fact at one time sponsored anti-Saddam Islamists in Iraqi Kurdistan. The Sudanese, to protect their own ties with Iraq, reportedly persuaded Bin Laden to cease this support and arranged for contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda. A senior Iraqi intelligence officer reportedly made three trips to Sudan, finally meeting Bin Laden in 1994. Bin Laden is said to have requested space to establish training camps, as well as assistance in procuring weapons, but Iraq apparently never responded. There have been reports that contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda also occurred after Bin Laden had returned to Afghanistan, but they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship. Two senior Bin Laden associates have adamantly denied that any ties existed between al Qaeda and Iraq. We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States.


Of course, Vice President Cheney hasn't given up claiming "long established ties" between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda, as his speech last Monday at a reception for the James Madison Institute shows.

On the other hand, America's Finest News Source (tm) The Onion is reporting that the whole thing was preventable. The whole 9/11 commission, that is ...