Joe Mariani

Saddam and 9/11: Connect the Dots
Sept 8, 2003

Those who were against the liberation of Iraq have, from the very beginning, become almost violently angry over any suggestion that Saddam was in any way connected to the events of 9/11. Why is that? Don't they want to know the truth, whatever it might be? Are they perhaps hiding some secret proof that Saddam was innocent, or are they merely following the lead of those who want -- or need -- the US to be in the wrong, in order to advance their own personal or political agendas? Who would have a vested interest in making Saddam out to be innocent? Who would "benefit" from pretending the USA attacked an "innocent" country? Liberals, Leftists, and anti-Americans (including the French and most of the United Nations) would all gain something. However, despite their angry protests at the mere suggestion of any connection, there IS some evidence of a link between Iraq and the 9/11 hijackers, enough to prove in a US district court that Saddam's government trained the 9/11 hijackers at Salman Pak -- just 20 miles southeast of Baghdad. As the second anniversary of that terrible day approaches, I'd like to know why anyone was against attacking one of the leaders responsible for thousands of American deaths.

In a bombshell finding virtually ignored by the American media, a U.S. district court judge in Manhattan ruled Wednesday [May 7, 2003] that Salman Pak, Saddam Hussein's airplane hijacking school located on the outskirts of Baghdad, played a material role in the devastating Sept. 11 attacks on America.
...according to courtroom testimony by three of the camp's instructors, the facility was a virtual hijacking classroom where al-Qaeda recruits practiced overcoming U.S. flight crews using only small knives - a terrorist technique never employed before 9/11.

Judge Harold Baer ruled Wednesday that the survivors of two people who were killed in the World Trade Center terrorist attack had presented enough evidence, "albeit barely," to be awarded $104 million in damages against the state of Iraq, Osama bin Laden, and his terrorist network.
He reviewed the testimony of [former CIA Director James] Woolsey and terrorism expert Dr. Laurie Mylroie on alleged links between the Iraqi regime and al-Qaida, including whether lead hijacker Mohammed Atta met with a high-ranking member of Iraqi intelligence in Prague before Sept. 11, and whether Saddam Hussein ran a hijacking training camp in Salman Pak, just outside of Baghdad.
"In particular, Mylroie testified about Iraq's covert involvement in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 and about the proximity of the dates of bin Laden's attack on the U.S. embassies and Hussein's ouster of weapons inspectors."

Through a translator, [Iraqi defector Sabah Khalifa] Alami described, according to the Wall Street Journal ("The Iraq Connection" by Micah Morrison, 5 Sept. 2002), a daily regimen of exercises on kidnapping, assassination, and -- using a Boeing 707 parked inside the complex -- how to hijack a plane or bus without weapons. He said that a separate group of non-Iraqis were being similarly trained by Saddam's intelligence service, the mukhabarat. Asked about the plane by an interviewer for Front Line, he said "Yes, there's a real whole 707 plane, a whole real plane, standing in the middle of the training area in this camp."

SALMAN PAK, Iraq -- The rusted shell of an old passenger jet sat out in a field, its tail broken off. Good for hijacking practice, U.S. Marines speculated Sunday [April 6, 2003] as they examined an Iraqi training base about 20 miles south of Baghdad.
...U.S. officials and others have long suspected the camp trained terrorists. Two former Iraqi military officers told the New York Times and PBS's "Frontline" in the fall of 2001 that Iraqis and non-Iraqi Arabs were brought here to practice hijacking planes and trains, planting bombs and staging assassinations.

Asked whether he believed the foreigners' camp had trained members of al-Qaeda, Zeinab said: "All I can say is that we had no structure to take on these people inside the regime. The camp was for organisations based abroad." One of the highlights of the six-month curriculum was training to hijack aircraft using only knives or bare hands. According to Zeinab, women were also trained in these techniques. Like the 11 September hijackers, the students worked in groups of four or five.
In Ankara, Zeinab was debriefed by the FBI and CIA for four days. Meanwhile he told the INC that if they wished to corroborate his story, they should speak to a man who had political asylum in Texas - Captain Sabah Khodad, who had worked at Salman Pak in 1994-5. He too has now told his story to US investigators. In an interiew with The Observer, he echoed Zeinab's claims: "The foreigners' training includes assassinations, kidnapping, hijacking. They were strictly separated from the rest of us. To hijack planes they were taught to use small knives. The method used on 11 September perfectly coincides with the training I saw at the camp. When I saw the twin towers attack, the first thought that came into my head was, 'this has been done by graduates of Salman Pak'."

Where is the evidence America's enemies surely must have that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11, since they dismiss this evidence and testimony (and much more) so quickly? Can they explain all the circumstantial evidence away, like why Saddam's entire military went on the highest state of alert in ten years just two weeks before 9/11 ("Army Alert by Saddam Points to Iraqi Role," The Sunday Telegraph (London), 23 Sept. 2001)? The main objection from most Liberals is that Saddam is a secular Sunni, and Osama is a religious Shi'ite -- and they feel there's NO WAY two ideological opposite could ever cooperate in such a way. Well, that makes a certain amount of sense... or does it? Are some people possibly more pragmatic than Liberals?

Try as you might, you would be hard-pressed to find more ideological opposites that the United States and the United Soviet of Socialist Republics in the 1940's. The USA was an openly Christian nation based on personal freedom, run on capitalistic principles. The USSR was a determinedly atheist country based on State control of everyday life, run by a communistic (State-enforced socialism) system. In every conceivable way, these two countries were opposites and opponents... deadly enemies, in fact. Yet they put those differences aside to defeat their common enemy, Nazi Germany, on the principle that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend... for now."

Perhaps the Liberals are saying they don't believe Arabs are capable of cooperating in spite of ideological differences as well as Caucasians. That would fit in well enough with their well-known elitist views, but (in the same way) doesn't reflect reality at all. After all, the same kind of people that believe minorities aren't "capable" of competing on merit to enter college, pass tests, or get jobs wouldn't think any better of Arabs' ability to cooperate to fight an enemy or form a democracy, would they?


Email Joe Mariani: CavalierX@yahoo.com

Comment on this column in the forum.

Tell a friend about this site!


Useless-Knowledge.com © Copyright 2002-2003. All rights reserved. Articles may not be reproduced.