Even more documents show Saddam targeted US interests

Via Investor’s Business Daily:

Origins Of War: The latest in a stream of eye-opening Iraqi documents shows Saddam Hussein’s regime was planning suicide attacks on U.S. interests six months before 9-11. Why won’t Washington get the word out?

Last month the Pentagon began releasing records captured during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Among the documents is a letter dated March 11, 2001, written by Abdel Magid Hammod Ali, one of Saddam’s air force generals.

According to an unofficial translation, Page 6 of the letter asks for “the names of those who desire to volunteer for suicide mission to liberate Palestine and to strike American interests.”

Assuming the document’s accuracy, this shows that Saddam’s regime was not only providing aid and support for terrorist organizations of other countries. It was also planning its own bombings directed at U.S. facilities and personnel.

As counterterrorism consultant Dan Darling wrote last week on the Weekly Standard’s Web site, that would mean Russian intelligence services under Vladimir Putin were better informed about Iraq’s terrorist abilities than the U.S. spy community.

Though little noticed by the press, during a July 2004 visit to Kazakhstan the Russian president said that between 9-11 and the U.S. invasion of Iraq, “Russian special services and Russian intelligence several times received . . . information that official organs of Saddam’s regime were preparing terrorist acts on the territory of the U.S. and beyond its borders, at U.S. military and civilian locations.”

This new document, said Darling, “would seem to refute a long-standing contention among members of the U.S. intelligence community that Iraq ceased its involvement in international terrorism after its failed 1993 plot to assassinate former President George H.W. Bush.” Darling cites former National Security Council official Richard Clarke’s book “Against all Enemies,” which contends that the NSC, the CIA and the FBI all agreed Iraq posed no terrorist threat to the U.S.

Why is the WH not trumpeting this info? Rep. Pete Hoekstra thinks it’s because the admin doesn’t want to embarass our allies:

At present, we’re relying too much on translations by bloggers and other amateurs. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., says the White House has been dragging its feet for fear of embarrassing supposed allies (such as Russia) whose links with Saddam would come under scrutiny.

These documents make it even plainer who our enemies are and why we’re at war. The administration should move to get out accurate translations so Americans can better understand why we fight.

Indeed. Our “allies” didn’t mind trying to embarass us prior to the Iraq war, so we shouldn’t have any qualms about embarassing them back. But that shouldn’t be the reason the WH should start talking about these documents. They need to do it to remind people why we’re fighting there, and to boost support for the Iraq war here at home. The constant media barrage of negativity, faulty declarations made by those who would rather see a US pullout before the job is done, has had a decidedly negative effect on public opinion. The administration would do well to try to turn the tide in their favor. Our resolve to win this war depends on it.

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