March 24, 2006


"Osama bin Laden Contact With Iraq" (ABC News, March 23, 2006)

A newly released prewar Iraqi document indicates that an official representative of Saddam Hussein's government met with Osama bin Laden in Sudan on February 19, 1995, after receiving approval from Saddam Hussein. Bin Laden asked that Iraq broadcast the lectures of Suleiman al Ouda, a radical Saudi preacher, and suggested "carrying out joint operations against foreign forces" in Saudi Arabia. According to the document, Saddam's presidency was informed of the details of the meeting on March 4, 1995, and Saddam agreed to dedicate a program for them on the radio. The document states that further "development of the relationship and cooperation between the two parties to be left according to what's open [in the future] based on dialogue and agreement on other ways of cooperation." The Sudanese were informed about the agreement to dedicate the program on the radio.

The report then states that "Saudi opposition figure" bin Laden had to leave Sudan in July 1996 after it was accused of harboring terrorists. It says information indicated he was in Afghanistan. "The relationship with him is still through the Sudanese. We're currently working on activating this relationship through a new channel in light of his current location," it states.

(Editor's Note: This document is handwritten and has no official seal. Although contacts between bin Laden and the Iraqis have been reported in the 9/11 Commission report and elsewhere (e.g., the 9/11 report states "Bin Ladn himself met with a senior Iraqi intelligence officer in Khartoum in late 1994 or early 1995) this document indicates the contacts were approved personally by Saddam Hussein.

Thus far the document dump seems just another instance of how poorly secrecy serves us. Had all of this stuff been made available as we got it there might have been less argument down the road over discrete portions of the case for war, though the Left and far Right would obviously still have opposed it,

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 24, 2006 5:48 PM

Then we opened up our squirrel guns and really gave 'em hell.

Posted by: ghostcat at March 24, 2006 6:22 PM

Somewhere, Johnny Horton smiles. Are there briars and brambles in Iraq?

Posted by: jdkelly at March 24, 2006 6:47 PM

It's not in the song, but Jackson actually went out and attacked a vastly larger British force, then lured them (via strategic retreat) into that devastating ambush. He may have killed a bunch of my Indian ancestors, but he also learned from their tactics.

And Bush is a student of Old Hickory.

Posted by: ghostcat at March 24, 2006 7:13 PM

The conspirator in me says they held all this back specifically for 2006. They figured they'd get past 2004 in a squeeker, but held back the really big guns for 2006, when they would really need them.

Hayes wrote a piece in the Weekly Standard over a year ago detailing the timeline between Osama being broke in early 1996, kicked out of Sudan, and flush with cash in late 1996, talking jihad.

An intervening event....

The start of Kofi's Oil for food scheme. It seems obvious that Saddam was funding terror in every area he could find. Is there an ironclad audit trail. Maybe not, but...

Res ipsa loquiter.

Posted by: Bruno at March 25, 2006 12:22 AM