I’m going to do something that I’ve not done before — I’m going to devote this space to quote extensively someone else’s work. The Marxist Left in this country has long said that there have been no Iraq / Al-Qaeda ties. While I have written about this before, I am going to transcribe a news report from 1999, thanks to Jim Quinn bringing this to light. You can download the mp3 here with Quinn’s commentary, or read my transcription of the report below. Any errors are my own fault.
Quinn: This is a tape from ABC News in 1999, before the attacks of September 11th, talking about Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.
ABC Reporter: In Germany, Mandu Salim [phonetic spelling - CM], alleged to be a key military advisor and believed to be privy to bin Laden’s most secret projects is also apprehended. The U.S. government alleges he was under secret orders to procure enriched uranium for the purpose of developing nuclear weapons. [male speaking Arabic in background] These are allegations that bin Laden does not now deny.
Male translation of Arabic: It would be a sin for Muslims not to try to possess the weapons that would prevent the infidels from inflicting harms on Muslims. But how we could use these weapons, if we possess them, is up to us.
Quinn: OK, so here you have an ABC report about Osama bin Laden trying to get nuclear weapons for Al-Qaeda in 1999. Now, keep listening!
ABC Reporter: With an American price on his head, there weren’t many places bin Laden could go, unless he teamed up with another international pariah, one also with an interest in weapons of mass destruction.
Quinn: Now my, my! Who might that be?
Male voice: Osama believes in, uh, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend and is someone I should cooperate with.” That’s certainly the current case with Iraq.
ABC Reporter: Saddam Hussein has a long history of harboring terrorists.
Quinn: You’re kidding! You know, after Bush got elected, nobody in the media would admit that. This is before Bush got elected, and so everybody, including the Democrats in the Senate and the Congress, they didn’t have a problem with tying Osama bin Ladin with Saddam Hussein and terrorism to Iraq. No problemo! As soon as Bush gets elected, it goes right down the memory hole. Well, here’s something — here’s a blast from the past, kids. From the groove-yard of golden goodies.
ABC Reporter: Carlos the Jackal, Abu Nidal, Abu Abbas, the most notorious terrorists of their era, all found shelter and support at one time in Baghdad.
Quinn: Isn’t that amazing! Gee, the media had no problem with that back then, did they?
ABC Reporter: Intelligence sources say bin Laden’s long relationship with the Iraqis began as he helped Sudan’s fundamentalist government in their efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Three weeks after the bombing, on August 31st, bin Laden reaches out to his friends in Iraq and Sudan.
Quinn: Gee, I thought he didn’t have any interaction at all with Iraq and Sudan.
ABC Reporter: Iraq’s Vice-President arrives in Khartoum to show his support for the Sudanese after the U.S. attack. ABC News has learned that during these meetings, senior Sudanese officials, acting on behalf of bin Laden, asked if Saddam Hussein would grant him asylum.
Quinn: Sudanese officials acting on behalf of Osama bin Laden asking the representatives of Saddam Hussein in Iraq for asylum. Gee, it’s funny now. We’ve got this bright line the Democrats have drawn between Iraq and the War on Terror. [Imitating a pompous Democrat] “Why Iraq is just his … it … I would have made Osama bin Laden the target. Why, this is a distraction from the war.” B. S.!
ABC Reporter: Iraq was indeed interested. ABC News has learned that in December an Iraqi intelligence chief, named Faruq Hijazi, now Iraq’s ambassador to Turkey, made a secret trip to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden.
Quinn: Well, isn’t that interesting?! Now where’s that been, all these years now?
ABC Reporter: Three intelligence agencies tell ABC News they cannot be certain what was discussed, but almost certainly, they say, bin Laden has been told he would be welcome in Baghdad. And intelligence sources say they can only speculate on the purpose of an alliance.
ABC Reporter: What could bin Laden offer Saddam Hussein? Only days after he meets Iraqi officials, bin Laden tells ABC News that his network is wide, and there are people prepared to commit terror in his name who he does not even control.
Male voice translating Arabic: It is our job to incite and to instigate. By the grace of God, we did that, and certain people responded to this instigation.
Quinn: Uh-hmm. So the next time someone tells you there is a bright line between Iraq and Osama bin Laden and the War on Terror, tell them to go pound salt!