Monday, October 04, 2004

Is This An October Surprise?

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I don't know what to make of this information, but if the documents are real the story will have "legs." I'll wager that if the story does get more play, that will not be because CBS, ABC, NBC, or CNN ran with it.

Here are some excerpts:

  • The documents were provided by a "senior government official who is not a political appointee."
  • They consist of "42 pages of Iraqi Intelligence Service documents. The originals, some of which were hand-written and others typed, are in Arabic. CNSNews.com had the papers translated into English by two individuals separately and independent of each other."
  • "There are no hand-writing samples to which the documents can be compared for forensic analysis and authentication. However, three other experts - a former weapons inspector with the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), a retired CIA counter-terrorism official with vast experience dealing with Iraq, and a former advisor to then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton on Iraq - were asked to analyze the documents. All said they comport with the format, style and content of other Iraqi documents from that era known to be genuine."
  • 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.
  • Other memos provide a list of terrorist groups with whom Iraq had relationships and considered available for terror operations against the United States.
  • Among the organizations mentioned are those affiliated with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Ayman al-Zawahiri, two of the world's most wanted terrorists. Zarqawi is believed responsible for the kidnapping and beheading of several American civilians in Iraq and claimed responsibility for a series of deadly bombings in Iraq Sept. 30. Al-Zawahiri is the top lieutenant of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, allegedly helped plan the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist strikes on the U.S., and is believed to be the voice on an audio tape broadcast by Al-Jazeera television Oct. 1, calling for attacks on U.S. and British interests everywhere.
This could be interesting.

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