Tuesday, June 03, 2014

About those Taliban Terrorists...

...you know, the harmless ones traded for the mysterious non-POW prisoner of war who served with honor and distinction by wandering off his base.  It's interesting that an administration that has expressed the importance of trying every AQ terrorist in federal court to show the strength of our American 'democracy' the same does not apply to any Taliban detainees because they are 'prisoners of war'.  This despite their coming from a government the US did not formally recognize when hostilities began in 2001.  Which is why the State Dept yesterday formally called them 'enemy combatants'.  For some reason they will not face any courts despite their complicity in the 9/11 'crime' for which KSM and others will be tried. 

Anyway, consider this from some years ago...
Meeting of Mr. M.O.M. with Sheikh Maulana Fazlur Rahman on Sunday, 11/28, 7:45 PM

Words of welcoming.

Probably M.O.M.: We are aiming to arrange a meeting between you and Mr. President Leader (translator’s note: this is how Iraqi officials refer to Saddam). But in the beginning we were instructed that Mr. Vice-President will meet you. I personally met Hekmatyar (translator’s note: an Afghani warlord fighting the Taliban) and he asked us to interfere for the possibility of closer relations with the Taliban. And he sent us emissaries concerning this issue.
Fazlur Rahman: I am the one who started with this issue, the relation between Taliban and Iraq, and it is our idea. The brothers in Afghanistan are facing the pressure of America, and are struggling against America and aim to have some connections between Afghanistan and Iraq, and it is a good start to establish the relations with Iraq and Libya and our association has taken this responsibility upon her. I already met with Mr. the Vice-President and the previous head of the directorate, may God rest his soul (translator’s note: apparently the head of the directorate passed away) and both proposed that Hekmatyar and the Taliban should get to an agreement. I spoke with the Taliban about this issue and they started meeting with delegations from the Islamic Party, and I met Mullah Omar and his reply was positive.
As a party, our stand is that there should be an agreement between the Taliban and the rest of the opposition, Shah Ahmad Massoud and Rabbani. And Mullah Omar said that we are looking towards this and that (not clear) and (not clear) and Ahmad Al Kilani and Jalal Al Din Hakkani do not oppose us. Therefore, Hekmatyar is on the positive way but we are in a war situation and that needs a lot of trust, and there are hurdles to this because he fought us and killed us and he has problems with the opposition in the North and with us. After repeated contacts we will reach an agreement, but in the form of steps. Concerning the relations with Iraq, he said that they are our brothers and Muslims and are facing pressures from America, like us and like Sudan and Libya. And he (Mullah Omar) desires to get closer relations with Iraq and that Iraq may help us in reducing our problems. Now we are facing America and Russia. He requested the possibility of Iraq intervening to build a friendship with Russia since Russia is no more the number one enemy. And we request Iraq’s help from a brotherly point of view. They are ready for this matter and they prefer that the relation between Iraq and Taliban be an independent relation from Hekmatyar’s relation with the Taliban. We want practical steps concerning this issue and especially the relationship with the Taliban and (not clear, but could be Iraq).
The above was supposedly taken from a notebook carried by an Iraqi Intelligence Service officer, which was captured after the fall of Baghdad.  It covers a time period around 1999, right after Clinton bombed both Iraq and Afghanistan.  Whether it's genuine or not, there were documented contacts between the Saddam government and the Taliban from other sources. One has to figure they weren't talking about the price of chai...
Mr. VINCENT CANNISTRARO (Former Chief of CIA Counterterrorism Operations): Farouk Hijazi, who was the Iraqi ambassador in Turkey, went to Afghanistan in December with the knowledge of the Taliban and met with Osama bin Laden. It's known through a variety of intelligence reports that the US has, but it's also known through sources in Afghanistan, members of Osama's entourage let it be known that the meeting had taken place.
SHUSTER: Iraq's contacts with bin Laden go back some years, to at least 1994, when, according to one US government source, Hijazi met him when bin Laden lived in Sudan. According to Cannistraro, Iraq invited bin Laden to live in Baghdad to be nearer to potential targets of terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. There is a wide gap between bin Laden's fundamentalism and Saddam Hussein's secular dictatorship. But some experts believe bin Laden might be tempted to live in Iraq because of his reported desire to obtain chemical or biological weapons. CIA director George Tenet referred to that in recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee when he said bin Laden was planning additional attacks on American targets.

This is where the Clinton aspect comes in.   The 'other half' is running in 2016, so what might spill out about Bubba's actions back in the halcyon 90s before America knew the terrorists really hated us?  You can find things on the net about the UNOCAL oil deals in the 90s in Afghanistan, which implicate both political sides.  Here's one that blames Bubba for allowing the modern Taliban to form in the mid-90s:
According to Rohrabacher, the Clinton administration played a role in creating the Taliban by giving a 'green light' to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and other gulf states to fund, direct, and organize the Taliban. Rohrabacher said at one point on the house floor in a Sept. 17th [1999] speech that the Clinton administration promised Pakistan and Saudi Arabia that it wouldnt overthrow the Taliban.
The UPI reported it. Also he made all to familiar accusations during the past eight years. He accused a department; the state department to be exact, of key withholding documents that would show the Clinton administration supported the terrorist Taliban movement and its seizure of power in Afghanistan. The official he blamed specifically was assistant secretary at that time, one Karl Inderfurth.
This past history would not be a problem were Billary not in the mix.  It's been long-forgotten and could stay in that fuzzy place.  The reason it didn't come up in 2008 is because it helped Obama, and McCain wanted nothing to do with dredging up the past.  But if memories get revived things like this may pop back up (it's useful to watch that MacVicar report from 1999 again because it solidifies what bin Laden was really trying to do with 9/11).  All it takes is a rogue candidate to do it during a debate.   

Anyway, clearly there was considerable jockeying for power in South Asia during the late 90s. If Clinton was favoring the Taliban at the behest of getting a pipeline deal for UNOCAL then where did bin Laden fit in?  An agent of Saudi Arabia in stopping it?  An independent agent for the Muslim Ummah?  The cruise missiles launched by Bubba in 1998 at Khost and other places across Afghan were in response to the African Embassy bombings and surely would seem like the end of any relationship.  Indeed the Coll book "Ghost Wars" claims the Taliban stopped playing ball on the pipeline around then, so perhaps they became an enemy at that juncture.  Perhaps the Iraqi contacts explain why the vaunted Richard Clarke would worry that bin Laden might "Boogie to Baghdad" if we missed killing him...
Specifically, in February 1999 Clarke wrote the Deputy National Security Advisor that one reliable source reported Iraqi officials had met with Bin Ladin and may have offered him asylum. Therefore, Clarke advised against surveillance flights to track bin Laden in Afghanistan: Anticipating an attack, “old wily Usama will likely boogie to Baghdad”, where he would be impossible to find.[24]
Clarke also made statements that year to the press linking Hussein and al-Qaeda to an alleged joint-chemical-weapons-development effort at the Al Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Sudan.[25] In Against All Enemies he writes, "It is certainly possible that Iraqi agents dangled the possibility of asylum in Iraq before bin Laden at some point when everyone knew that the U.S. was pressuring the Taliban to arrest him. If that dangle happened, bin Laden's accepting asylum clearly did not," (p. 270).
In an interview on March 21, 2004, Clarke claimed that "there's absolutely no evidence that Iraq was supporting al-Qaeda, ever."[26]

So there's that.  But who the hell knows for sure. The international drug trade surely plays a shadowy role in all of this.  One thing is for sure--Billary cannot afford to have any of their past dredged up before 2016.  Benghazi will be enough.  None of the GOP presidential candidates will likely have any past connections to the politics of Iraq or 9/11, like Obama, who will be bringing the war to a responsible loss around the main campaign season. They'll probably do everything possible to look forward and not 'in the rear view mirror', perhaps to include threats and intimidation. It's worth noting that this time the press will be fully on Billary's side against any Republican. 

Lots of questions.  But nobody is still talking about Shinseki.

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