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Inside the Ring
The latest comes from former Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Hugh Shelton in his new book, “Without Hesitation.”
Gen. Shelton, an Army four-star general, briefly served under Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld until his term expired and he was succeeded by Air Force Gen. Richard Myers.
Gen. Shelton does not hide his dislike for Mr. Rumsfeld, whose own memoir is due out in February. And he writes that he, like the President George W. Bush war Cabinet, believed Saddam still harbored weapons of mass destruction.
“What was bogus,” the retired general writes, “was the link that was created between Saddam and any terrorist threat to the United States.”
Perhaps that was true in regards to al Qaeda, says special correspondent Rowan Scarborough. But we now know Saddam’s regime did business with a number of terror groups. This is thanks to the work of military intelligence folks who sifted through thousands of documents seized from his intelligence apparatus after the 2003 invasion.
The papers, as reported by The Washington Times in 2008, showed Saddam supported Egyptian Islamic Jihad, whose leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, ultimately merged his group with al Qaeda.
“Iraq was a long-standing supporter of international terrorism,” said the 2008 report by the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), a nonprofit group working under contract to the Pentagon.
A captured 1993 memo to Saddam from his intelligence service, known as the Mukhabarat, said the agency was restarting efforts to help Islamic Jihad bring down the government of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
“Many terrorist movements and Saddam found a common enemy in the United States,” the IDA report said. “State sponsorship of terrorism became such a routine tool of state power that Iraq developed elaborate bureaucratic processes to monitor progress and accountability.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
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