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June 13, 2004 - Choosing friends and allies ...

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It seems the new prime minister of Iraq, our new best buddy, Bush’s special guest at this week at the G8 summit at Sea Island Georgia, has a bit of a history of terrorist bombings – you know, blowing up civilians for political ends – financed by the CIA. 


The source seems to be guys who used to work in the CIA.  But details are sketchy. 

Ex-C.I.A. Aides Say Iraq Leader Helped Agency in 90's Attacks
Joel Brinkley, The New York Times, Published: June 9, 2004


WASHINGTON, June 8 — Iyad Allawi, now the designated prime minister of Iraq, ran an exile organization intent on deposing Saddam Hussein that sent agents into Baghdad in the early 1990's to plant bombs and sabotage government facilities under the direction of the C.I.A., several former intelligence officials say. 

… Dr.  Allawi's group, the Iraqi National Accord, used car bombs and other explosive devices smuggled into Baghdad from northern Iraq, the officials said.  Evaluations of the effectiveness of the bombing campaign varied, although the former officials interviewed agreed that it never threatened Saddam Hussein's rule. 

No public records of the bombing campaign exist, and the former officials said their recollections were in many cases sketchy, and in some cases contradictory.  They could not even recall exactly when it occurred, though the interviews made it clear it was between 1992 and 1995. 

The Iraqi government at the time claimed that the bombs, including one it said exploded in a movie theater, resulted in many civilian casualties.  But whether the bombings actually killed any civilians could not be confirmed because, as a former C.I.A. official said, the United States had no significant intelligence sources in Iraq then. 


Well, I’m sure Allawi is a better man now.  And this all seems vague.  Maybe it never happened. 

Assume it isn’t true.  This country does not associate with terrorists.  They’re evil.  Bush would never have a press conference and sit next to anyone who had done such things, and say nice things about him. 

Who are you going to believe? 

But wait, there’s more. 

I saw this in This Modern World here - and Bob Patterson (The World’s Laziest Journalist from Just Above Sunset) also sent me the link to the Saint Petersburg newspaper story

We all know Michael Moore’s new movie suggests the Bush family is too close to the Saudi royal family.  Well, “suggests” is too mild a word.  Anyway, Kevin Phillips wrote the book on that whole business of how the house the Saudi royal family is entwined with the Bush dynasty - reviewed here (middle column) in early January. 

You do remember how everyone insisted that those flights the day after the 9/11 attacks - quickly getting some important Saudi royals, relatives of Osama bin Laden, out of the country - only happened after regular air travel had resumed?  That was the line.  Then it might have happened before the air travel ban was lifted.  But things weren’t clear.  And then the story changed - it turned out to be quite verifiable that Saudis had been flown somewhere or other during the air travel ban, but only within the country, not out of the country. 

Now we find out more, from this in the Saint Petersburg Times. 


TAMPA - Two days after the Sept.  11 attacks, with most of the nation's air traffic still grounded, a small jet landed at Tampa International Airport, picked up three young Saudi men and left. 

The men, one of them thought to be a member of the Saudi royal family, were accompanied by a former FBI agent and a former Tampa police officer on the flight to Lexington, Ky. 

The Saudis then took another flight out of the country.  The two ex-officers returned to TIA a few hours later on the same plane. 

For nearly three years, White House, aviation and law enforcement officials have insisted the flight never took place and have denied published reports and widespread Internet speculation about its purpose. 

But now, at the request of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks, TIA officials have confirmed that the flight did take place and have supplied details. 


And the Bush administration is sort of saying that, well, maybe something like that happened - but absolutely refuses to say who authorized such flights. 

Well, both these are minor items. 

The first is too vague to used as any indication that the Bush team is so desperate for just anyone to take over Iraq for us that a former terrorist will do for now.  Or if it turns out that the story actually is true – that the guy we laud as the heroic new leader of Iraq has a history of planting bombs in movie theaters for political ends – at least the cause was good, blowing up innocents to help rid the world of Saddam Hussein, and that’s why we financed the effort.  Regrettable.  But noble.  Ends justify the means.  Worrying about the specific means and precise methods is for wimps.  Sometimes you have to play rough.  That seems to be the way we operate now. 

The second item?  So some folks got to fly to safety when everyone else was grounded, and they happened to be from the family of the rulers of the country that produced all but two of the 9/11 hijackers?  You have to trust the Bush crew that the Saudis are our allies – that the Saudi nationals who participated in the death of nearly three thousand of our citizens were just, say, “bad apples.” That also seems to be the way we operate now. 


Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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Paris readers add nine hours....