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Document links Saddam, bin Laden

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thepennyking   Tuesday, 03/23/04 05:16:57 PM
Re: midas98 post# 2478
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Document links Saddam, bin Laden

For The Tennessean Wednesday, 06/25/03

Federal appellate Judge Gilbert S. Merritt of Nashville is in Iraq as one of 13 experts selected by the U.S. Justice Department to help rebuild Iraq's judicial system.

Merritt, 67, has made trips to Russia and India to work with their judicial systems. He has been sending periodic reports to The Tennessean about his experiences in Iraq and filed this dispatch recently:

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. The story of how the document came about is as follows.

Saddam gave Uday authority to control all press and media outlets in Iraq. Uday was the publisher of the Babylon Daily Political Newspaper.

On the front page of the paper's four-page edition for Nov. 14, 2002, there was a picture of Osama bin Laden speaking, next to which was a picture of Saddam and his 'Revolutionary Council,' together with stories about Israeli tanks attacking a group of Palestinians.

On the back page was a story headlined 'List of Honor.' In a box below the headline was 'A list of men we publish for the public.' The lead sentence refers to a list of 'regime persons' with their names and positions.

The list has 600 names and titles in three columns. It contains, for example, the names of the important officials who are members of Saddam's family, such as Uday, and then other high officials, including the 55 American 'deck of cards' Iraqi officials, some of whom have been apprehended.

Halfway down the middle column is written: 'Abid Al-Karim Muhamed Aswod, intelligence officer responsible for the coordination of activities with the Osama bin Laden group at the Iraqi embassy in Pakistan.' (For more about the list, see accompanying article on this page.)

The lawyer who brought the newspaper to me, Samir, and another lawyer with whom I have been working, Zuhair, translated the Arabic words and described what had happened in Baghdad the day it was published.

Samir bought his paper at a newsstand at around 8 a.m. Within two hours, the Iraqi intelligence officers were going by every newsstand in Baghdad and confiscating the papers. They also went to the home of every person who they were told received a paper that day and confiscated it.

The other lawyer, Zuhair, who was the counsel for the Arab League in Baghdad, did not receive delivery of his paper that day. He called his vendor, who told him that there would be no paper that day, a singular occurrence he could not explain.

For the next 10 days, the paper was not published at all. Samir's newspaper was not confiscated and he retained it because it contained this interesting 'Honor Roll of 600' of the people closest to the regime.

The only explanation for this strange set of events, according to the Iraqi lawyers, is that Uday, an impulsive and somewhat unbalanced individual, decided to publish this honor roll at a time when the regime was under worldwide verbal attack in the press, especially by us. It would, he thought, make them more loyal and supportive of the regime.

His father was furious, knowing that it revealed information about his supporters that should remain secret.

For example, at the same time this was published, Saddam was denying that he had any relationship with Osama. Therefore Saddam had all the papers confiscated, and he ordered that publication of the paper be stopped for 10 days.

That is the story of the 'Honor Roll of 600,' and why I believe that President Bush was right when he alleged that Saddam was in cahoots with Osama and was coordinating activities with him.

It does not prove that they engaged together in any particular act of terror against the United States.

But it seems to me to be strong proof that the two were in contact and conspiring to perform terrorist acts.

Up until this time, I have been skeptical about these claims. Now I have changed my mind. There is, however, one big problem remaining: They are both still at large and the combined forces of the free world have been unable to find them.

Until we find and capture them, they will remain a threat — Saddam with the remnants of his army and supporters in combination with the worldwide terrorist organization of Osama bin Laden.


Will Saddam Confess his Sins at the War Crimes Trial?

"the great whore that sitteth upon many waters...
arrayed in purple and scarlet...is that great city,
which reigneth over kings of the earth...
and in her was found the blood of the prophets,
and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth."

Revelation 17:1, 4, 18; 18:24

Whom the gods destroy will first make made with power./b]

Who knows where that quote came from? I don't.

Puzzling passage precedes list of top Iraqi officials

The newspaper list of top Iraqi officials that Judge Merritt describes in the accompanying article was also the subject of a mid-May report in the Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine. The list, published in an Iraqi newspaper before the U.S. invasion, has received little public attention elsewhere.

The magazine noted, as did Merritt, that one person on the list was characterized as being in charge of relations with Osama bin Laden at the Iraqi embassy in Pakistan. The magazine also mentioned that the list was prefaced by this puzzling passage:

'This is a list of the henchmen of the regime. Our hands will reach them sooner or later. Woe unto them.'

Since the list was published in a newspaper run by Saddam Hussein's son, it was not clear why this passage would have been allowed to appear.

Officials at the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency and the CIA were asked by Gannett News Service for comment yesterday on the list.

Both agencies said they were aware of the list but declined to comment on its status or authenticity.

'There are innumerable lists,' said one official at the Defense Intelligence Agency, who declined to be identified for publication. 'So you have to ask what does it mean to be on this list? It takes time to sort through all this. People give names all over the place.'


there is the other side of the coin...

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