To make your research easier, I am posting this link
to a searchable version of the 9/11 Commission Report (thanks Instapundit.com). Please take the time to look up Iraq and Al-Qaeda's connections.
Faced with this information AFTER 9/11 - what should the President have done?? Sit back and wait for another attack?? HOPE that Saddam Hussein would DO NOTHING with Al-Qaeda?? The contacts and relationship building between them is clear in the 9/11 report.
ADD - Zarqawi entering Iraq in 2002 for surgery as well as Abu Abbas in Iraq (since the 1980s).
If you review this information COMBINED with the Iraq/Niger Uranium reports (also proven true by the recent Senate Intelligence Report and the Butler Report in the U.K.) you can CLEARLY SEE:
1) The President was justified in eliminating Iraq as a possible save-haven for Al-Qaeda
2) The President was justified in believing Saddam Hussein HAD WMD and would give/sell Al-Qaeda WMD or working on a joint terrorist attack against us or our interests
3) The President was faced with reports of both Iraq and Al-Qaeda trying to purchase URANIUM to do the most damage to the U.S.
For the most eye-opening part of the report - see the last paragraph highlighted here. The ONLY way to stop these terrorists is to become 'Islamic' according to their rules.
So I guess becoming friends with France isn't gonna do it.
Paragraph #347 (on page 66)
In mid-1998, the situation reversed; it was Iraq that reportedly took the ini tiative. In March 1998, after Bin Ladin’s public fatwa against the United States, two al Qaeda members reportedly went to Iraq to meet with Iraqi intelligence. In July, an Iraqi delegation traveled to Afghanistan to meet first with the Taliban and then with Bin Ladin. Sources reported that one, or perhaps both, of these meetings was apparently arranged through Bin Ladin’s Egyptian deputy, Zawahiri, who had ties of his own to the Iraqis
. In 1998, Iraq was under intensifying U.S. pressure, which culminated in a series of large air attacks in December.
Paragraph #348 (on page 66)
Similar meetings between Iraqi officials and Bin Ladin or his aides may have occurred in 1999 during a period of some reported strains with the Taliban. According to the reporting, Iraqi officials offered Bin Ladin a safe haven in Iraq. Bin Ladin declined, apparently judging that his circumstances in Afghanistan remained more favorable than the Iraqi alternative
. The reports describe friendly contacts and indicate some common themes in both sides’ hatred of the United States. But to date we have seen no evidence that these or the earlier contacts ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship. Nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States.
Paragraph #325 (on page 60)
Another scheme revealed that Bin Ladin sought the capability to kill on a mass scale
. His business aides received word that a Sudanese military officer who had been a member of the previous government cabinet was offering to sell weapons-grade uranium.After a number of contacts were made through intermediaries, the officer set the price at $1.5 million, which did not deter Bin Ladin.Al Qaeda representatives asked to inspect the uranium and were shown a cylinder about 3 feet long, and one thought he could pronounce it genuine. Al Qaeda apparently purchased the cylinder, then discovered it to be bogus.
49 But while the effort failed, it shows what Bin Ladin and his associates hoped to do. One of the al Qaeda representatives explained his mission: “it’s easy to kill more people with uranium.”50 Bin Ladin seemed willing to include in the confederation terrorists from almost every corner of the Muslim world. His vision mirrored that of Sudan’s Islamist leader,Turabi, who convened a series of meetings under the label Popular Arab and Islamic Conference around the time of Bin Ladin’s arrival in that country. Delegations of violent Islamist extremists came from all the groups represented in Bin Ladin’s Islamic Army Shura. Representatives also came from organizations such as the Palestine Liberation Organization, Hamas, and Hezbollah.
Paragraph #285 (on page 51)
Bin Ladin’s grievance with the United States may have started in reaction to specific U.S. policies but it quickly became far deeper.To the second question, what America could do, al Qaeda’s answer was that America should abandon the Middle East, convert to Islam, and end the immorality and godlessness of its society and culture:“It is saddening to tell you that you are the worst civilization witnessed by the history of mankind.” If the United States did not comply, it would be at war with the Islamic nation, a nation that al Qaeda’s leaders said “desires death more than you desire life.”
15 History and Political Context Few fundamentalist movements in the Islamic world gained lasting political power. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, fundamentalists helped articulate anticolonial grievances but played little role in the overwhelmingly secular struggles for independence after World War I.Western-educated lawyers, soldiers, and officials led most independence movements, and clerical influence and traditional culture were seen as obstacles to national progress.