Letter to the Editor

Your view: Why we are there

Monday, September 20, 2004

Many Americans today do not believe that there was any connection between Saddam Hussein and the events of 9/11. The findings of the 9/11 Commission support this view. However, I do not believe this settles the matter by any means.

No matter how well-qualified a person is, people are human and are subject to personal opinion and interpretation of evidence. For example, two doctors who graduated from the same medical school can examine the same person and come up with two different diagnoses. An even better example is the U.S. Supreme Court. After having listened to the very same arguments, some justices will interpret the evidence one way (majority opinion), while others will come to an entirely different conclusion (minority opinion). Just because an individual is well qualified does not always mean he/she is correct.

As an American citizen and a veteran, I feel that I have an obligation to examine evidence for myself when it comes to America's security and I wish to encourage all Americans to do so as well.

1. Saddam Hussein was a sworn threat to America. He repeatedly threatened to destroy America over and over. In April 1993, he tried to assassinate President Bush. President Clinton responded by sending cruise missiles into Baghdad.

2. Terrorists tried to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993 the first time. Evidence revealed that 1994 trial of the suspects linked Iraqi sponsorship to the terrorists. Ahmed Ramzi Yousef used an Iraqi passport to enter the U.S. The man who mixed the chemicals used in the explosive, Abdul Rahman Yasin, immediately fled to Baghdad, Iraq. The former head of the New York FBE office who investigated the bombing, Jim Fox, declared that overwhelming evidence pointed to Iraq's intelligence service as the supporter, planner and instigator of the attack, using foreigners.

3. In 1998, bin Laden and al-Zawahiri issued a statement dealing with Iraq's complaints against America. The liberal news media would have us believe that bin Laden and Hussein had no connection and were even enemies. Oh, really?

4. On Aug. 5, 1998, Iraq renounced the agreement that allowed U.N. weapons inspectors into Iraq. Two days later, Aug. 7, 1998, al-Qaida destroyed two American embassies in East Africa. Was this just a coincidence?

5. A British newspaper, The Sunday Telegraph released a story right after 9/11. The story was in the Oct. 28, 2001, issue. President Saddam Hussein hosted a three-day terrorism planning conference in Baghdad only three weeks before 9/11. Al-Qaida, Egypt's Gamaa al Islamiya, Iraq's Jund al Islam and other terrorist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad were present. Hussein, Taha Ramadan and Izzet Douri sat at the head table, together with Iraq's senior intelligence officers.

6. Although controversial, many intelligence experts still believe Mohammed Atta met with senior Iraqi intelligence officer Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim al Ani in Prague before 9/11. Incidentally, al Ani was kicked out of the Czech Republic for "engaging in activities beyond his diplomatic duties." On Sept. 20, 2001, Iraqi intelligence Col. Mohammed Nouri traveled to Bangkok to meet with an al-Qaida associated terrorist. On Sept. 24, Iraqi Brig. Gen. Abdul Khader Majid traveled to Bangladesh to meet al-Qaida representatives.

7. Former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter found evidence of a vast terrorist training program led by Directorate M-21 of Iraqi intelligence.

8. In mid-October 2001, a former Iraqi intelligence officer reported the existence of a Baghdad training facility that trained terrorists in the art of hijacking. On Nov. 14, 2001, PBS declared that its research confirmed that Iraqi intelligence trained 40 Islamic terrorists between 1995 and 2000 in sophisticated hijacking techniques using a Boeing 747 passenger plane.

9. Scores of Iraqi defectors gave information on Iraq's WMDs. Just because we have not found any yet, we are now supposed to believe that there weren't any, that Hussein was bluffing the world all along.

You have got to be kidding me! A more likely explanation is that the weapons were moved or hidden very well. I cannot believe that all of these informants in crucial places were lying.

I would like to give author Grant Jeffrey credit for compiling these facts in his book, "War on Terror..."

Although President Bush does not question the findings of the 9/11 panel, publicly at least, he did allude briefly to Iraq's terrorist ties in his speech here on Labor Day. I feel that George W. Bush did the correct thing by including Iraq in the war on terror. I encourage you to look at the evidence for yourself.

Our troops are not fighting for no reason regarding Iraq, as some would suggest. I believe in their mission there and I support them totally.

Scott Coatney