Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Speaking of Waterboarding

This was a brief blip in the Brit press in 2009:
Dick Cheney, the former US vice-president, suggested waterboarding an Iraqi prisoner whom White House officials suspected might possess knowledge of a potential connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, it has emerged.
Two senior intelligence officials said that the April 2003 request was made regarding Muhammed Khudayr al-Dulaymi, head of the M-14 section of the Mukhabarat secret police, whose responsibilities included chemical weapons and contacts with terrorist groups.
There's that al-Dulaimi name again.

This story was covered here at the time. There wasn't much on the web on Khudair Dulaimi then--nothing has changed today, although the Emptywheel did a "what happened to.." story on him back in August.  They don't know much either. 

An earlier Telegraph story from 2003 suggested he was an important thug in Saddam's crime family and perhaps an outreach link between the regime and terrorists, which is no doubt why Cheney's office had interest.
He also worked closely with the Saddam Fedayeen and foreign fighters in the run-up to war, building the contacts vital for the resistance.
Of course the notion that Saddam would even allow an AQ-like figure in his country is preposterous!  We all know he had no use for terrorists.  Curiously the Telegraph piece mentions the following:
His name is on a second, unpublished, list of most-wanted Iraqis who do not appear in the original deck of cards of 55 former regime leaders, although no photograph has been circulated.
Hmm, that's news.  Who else was on the second secret list?  Was it people involved in this?  Here's the final sentence, rather prescient:
Documents found in the suitcase of Saddam's vice-president, Taha Yassin Ramadan, when he was captured last month detailed plans by Ba'athist cells for establishing links with radical Islamic leaders and reorganising the party.
And that's exactly what Izzat al-Duri and friends have done.

Anyway, despite a lack of reporting we have a few scraps to puzzle over. The 2003 Telegraph article dated September gives no indication Dulaimi was in captivity, matter of fact quite the opposite, but the 2009 Telegraph story on Cheney's alleged request says he was in captivity in April 2003, or at least that's when the request was received.  So one of them, at least, is wrong. 

One can imagine that since he was also on some kind of double secret most-wanted list and no picture was ever distributed it's possible he never actually existed.  Maybe he was made up by Iraqis interested in selling information.  We could say the CIA made him up to justify the war and be right, according to most Democrats at least.  Or maybe someone at Langley was trying to snooker Cheney.  April 2003....that was about the same time Joe Plame Wilson was starting to whisper "Bush lied, people died" to Nicholas Kristof at the Times after his colleague Judy Miller found nothing much in Iraq. We all know what happened next.

If he did exist and was what they said he was, surely he was non-harshly interrogated and jailed, but it seems likely that had they found anything such as a link between Saddam and AQ other than that visit by Egyptian Islamic Jihad members to Baghdad before the invasion it would have been made public long ago.   But it's hard to say.   Maybe somebody can ask Cheney.  Or maybe we can get George Ramos to ask Obama, since he's the only one with balls enough to ask real questions anymore.

IS THE GWOT OVER?  12/12/14

Listening to the screed from Feinstein announcing her release of the CIA hit job report (a remarkable journey into the world of hypocrisy and denial) the question should be asked--do these Democrats think the threats are over?  Do they really believe Obama 2012?   If another massive 9/11 scale attack were to happen tomorrow what would DiFi say about belly slapping KSM?   It's as if some Democrats have gone bonkers since the mid-term shellacking.

Speaking of which, CNN had a top headline today about a gripping story that everyone is talking about-- Mohammed Atta in Prague.
A recently released CIA cable casts heavy doubt on a key claim used by the Bush administration to justify the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. It discounts intelligence that said Mohammed Atta, one of the 9/11 ringleaders, met with an Iraqi official in the Czech Republic a few months before the attacks.
The Bush administration -- which maintained that Atta had met with Iraqi agent Ahmad al-Anian in Prague in April 2001 -- had used the report to link the September 11 attacks to Iraq. CIA Director John Brennan included a portion of the cable in a letter to Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan. Levin, the retiring chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, made the letter public on Thursday.
Well, it's nice to see Brennan included a "portion" of the cable in his release.  Fact is Carl Levin has been pressing this for a long time and probably wants Cheney locked up. The thing is, the story was pretty much debunked a long time ago. 

These Democrats and their sycophants in the media are so desirous for stories bashing Republicans they've resorted to re-hashing old bashes.  At the same time they've almost completely ignored the Gruber hearing on Tuesday, the Benghazi hearing on Wednesday, and the latest revelations from Lerner's emails, Obama increasing troops in Iraq, Iran cheating on their nuke framework agreement, and the lies told about immigration.   Utterly amazing.  But it's worse--it's dangerous for America.

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