They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Monday, September 19, 2005

Saddam's Revenge

Time: Five men met in an automobile in a Baghdad park a few weeks after the fall of Saddam Hussein's Baathist regime in April 2003, according to U.S. intelligence sources. One of the five was Saddam. The other four were among his closest advisers. The agenda: how to fight back against the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. A representative of Saddam's former No. 2, Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, was there. But the most intriguing man in the car may have been a retired general named Muhammad Yunis al-Ahmed, who had been a senior member of the Military Bureau, a secret Baath Party spy service. The bureau's job had been to keep an eye on the Iraqi military - and to organize Baathist resistance in the event of a coup. Now a U.S. coup had taken place, and Saddam turned to al-Ahmed and the others and told them to start "rebuilding your networks."

The 45-minute meeting was pieced together months later by U.S. military intelligence. It represents a rare moment of clarity in the dust storm of violence that swirls through central Iraq. The insurgency has grown well beyond its initial Baathist core to include religious extremist and Iraqi nationalist organizations, and plain old civilians who are angry at the American occupation. But Saddam's message of "rebuilding your networks" remains the central organizing principle. Read more

db: In the current Zarqawi fixated climate it is interesting to see on page five of the above Time report that US intelligence officials were firmly of the belief that Z was not in fact responsible for the bombing of the UN on August 19th 2003. See clip below:

...Far more ominous was the Aug. 19 blast that destroyed the U.N.'s headquarters in Baghdad, killing U.N. representative Sergio Vieira de Mello and 22 others. Although al-Qaeda leader Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi claimed responsibility for the attack, U.S. intelligence officials believe that remnants of Saddam's Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) carried it out. "It was a pure Baathist operation," says a senior U.S. intelligence official. "The Iraqis who served as U.N. security guards simply didn't show up for work that day. It wasn't a suicide bomb. The truck driver left the scene. Our [explosives] team found that the bomb had the distinctive forensics of Saddam's IIS."

The above US intelligence judgment that IIS forces carried out the bombing of the UN did not prevent that event from appearing in al-Zarqawi's CV - supported by - as if you need anything more - a website pronouncement, a tape, and a contemporary 'CIA assessment'. As CNN reported:

The newly released audiotape said to be of fugitive terrorism suspect Abu Musab Zarqawi is "probably authentic," according to a CIA assessment.

An intelligence official said references made in the tape suggest it was recorded "fairly recently."

On the audio tape, published Tuesday on a Web site, Al-Zarqawi claimed credit for a score of attacks on coalition forces, including the August 19 bombing of U.N. headquarters in Baghdad that killed 23 civilians including the U.N.'s chief envoy to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello.

This is the first time Zarqawi has claimed responsibility for attacks. A U.S. official said that could indicate Zarqawi is "attempting to explain himself."

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