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Freedom's Fidelity

Monday, July 14, 2003

Proof of the Osama/Saddam link?

It's not quite proof, but it certainly is noteworthy and something to keep an eye on. The invaluable InstaPundit Glenn Reynolds posted this letter from Judge Gilbert S. Merritt (a life long Democrat and friend of the Al Gore family) who has been in Iraq on a judicial assistance mission with the ABA:
Through an unusual set of circumstances, I have been given documentary evidence of the names and positions of the 600 closest people in Iraq to Saddam Hussein, as well as his ongoing relationship with Osama bin Laden.

I am looking at the document as I write this story from my hotel room overlooking the Tigris River in Baghdad.

One of the lawyers with whom I have been working for the past five weeks had come to me and asked me whether a list of the 600 people closest to Saddam Hussein would be of any value now to the Americans.

I said, yes, of course. He said that the list contained not only the names of the 55 ''deck of cards'' players who have already been revealed, but also 550 others.

When I began questioning him about the list, how he obtained it and what else it showed, he asked would it be of interest to the Americans to know that Saddam had an ongoing relationship with Osama bin Laden.

I said yes, the Americans have, so far as I am aware, have never been able to prove that relationship, but the president and others have said that they believe it exists. He said, ''Well, judge, there is no doubt it exists, and I will bring you the proof tomorrow.''

So today he brought me the proof, and there is no doubt in my mind that he is right.

The document shows that an Iraqi intelligence officer, Abid Al-Karim Muhamed Aswod, assigned to the Iraq embassy in Pakistan, is ''responsible for the coordination of activities with the Osama bin Laden group.''

The document shows that it was written over the signature of Uday Saddam Hussein, the son of Saddam Hussein.

Uday was the publisher of The Babylon Daily Political Newspaper and printed the list. He also decided to splash on the front page, side by side pictures of bin Laden and Hussein inexplicably never realizing the potential damaging effect of his own newspaper publicly linking the two. A relationship that at the time of publication (November 2002) Saddam was adamantly denying existed. Saddam must have hit the roof because within two hours, the newsstands were relieved of all copies, as was anyone else who had been known to receive one. No word if Saddam hooked up the electrodes to Uday's genitals for this one.

Now, today Glenn Reynolds offers more on the subject. Among the more compelling is another letter from Judge Merritt indicating he's been gagged by the U.S. Government as well as a decent sized list of articles from 1999 indicating a connection between Saddam and Osama. Check it out here.

It would be hard for me to believe that not one of Saddam's billions of dollars ever made it to terrorism groups, in fact, I think that has been well documented, as it provided him an easy method of waging war against the west by proxy. There were also terrorist training camps found in Northern Iraq, but I never thought the relationship was much deeper than that. The above suggests otherwise, it will be interesting to see what kind of coverage this gets and if it turns out to be credible, which so far, it seems to be.


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