This one can best be described as "scraping the barel". Remember, the USA was considering removing the current Iraqi regime long before Al-Qaida became an obsession. The USA has long supported terrorism. Saddam Husein and Al-Qaida have both been armed and financed by the USA.
© 2004 KryssTal
- The secret services of both the USA and UK did not believe that there were links and said so often. In the UK, the Defence Intelligence Staff Agency reported "While there have been contacts between Al-Qaida and the [Iraqi] regime in the past, it is assessed that any fledgling relationship foundered due to mistrust and incompatible ideology".
The UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, said throughout 2002 that there was no link between the two. He only began to talk about the link after it was asserted by the USA President George W Bush in early 2003.
Al-Qaida is a fundamentalist Muslim organisation. Iraq under Saddam Hussein was a secular country with a Muslim majority and Christian minority. The Al-Qaida leadership used to criticise the leadership of Iraq and accused them of being unbelievers. The Iraqi leadership resisted religious fundamentalism taking root in Iraq. In fact, Muslim clerics were persecuted.
According to UK writer Mark Steel: "There is a link between Saddam and Bin Laden - both were armed and financed by the Americans".
In October 2004, USA Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, admitted in a television interview : "I have not seen any strong hard evidence that links Saddam and Osama".
- The School of the Americas (SOA - founded in Panama in 1946 by the USA Army) was evicted by Panamanian President Jorge Illueca in 1984. He called it "the biggest base for destabilization in Latin America".
The school was moved to Fort Benning, Georgia, in the USA. Its curriculum included counterinsurgency, military intelligence, interrogation techniques, sniper fire, infantry and commando tactics, psychological warfare and jungle operations. In 2000 the school was renamed as the Defence Institute for Hemispheric Security Cooperation.
The school has trained more than 60,000 military and police officers from Latin American and Caribbean countries. Among the School's most illustrious graduates are the dictators Manuel Noriega (now serving a 40 year sentence in a USA gaol for drug trafficking) and Omar Torrijos (both of Panama), Guillermo Rodrigues (Ecuador), Juan Velasco Alvarado (Peru), Leopoldo Galtieri (former head of the brutal junta in Argentina), and Hugo Banzer Suarez (Bolivia).
The USA has been involved in many covert actions (in other words, terrorism) against regimes or movements it disagreed with:
- In 1976 a passenger airliner from Cuba was blown up killing 73 people. The act was attributed by the bombers to Luis Posada Carriles, who was trained by the USA's CIA and later turned up supplying the anti Nicaragua Contras for the USA covert war against that country. In the 1990s he was involved in destabilising Honduras.
- A bomb explosion in the railway station in Bologna in Italy killed 86 people in 1980. This was later shown to be part of Operation Gladio set up by the USA CIA to heighten public concern about the USSR and to discredit Communist and Socialist election candidates. The USA feared that these parties, if elected, would pass legislation against NATO.
- In 1981, Carlos Antonio Gomez Montano, a paratrooper stationed at Ilopango Air Force Base in El Salvador, saw 8 USA advisers (Green Berets) watching two "torture classes" during which a 17 year old boy and a 13 year old girl were tortured. Montano's unit and the Green Berets are joined by Salvadoran Air Force Commander Rafael Bustillo and other Salvadoran officers during these two sessions.
- According to testimony before the Truth and Reconcilliation Commission in South Africa during 1998, the USA encouraged the apartheid regime to produce chemical and biological weapons to be used against the black population. The project was headed by Dr Wouter Basson from 1981. He was informed by USA Major General William Augerson: "that chemical warfare is an ideal strategic weapon because infrastructure is preserved together with facilities, and only living people are killed. The warm climate of Africa is ideal for this type of weapon because the diffusion of the poison is better and the absorption is increased by perspiration and increased blood flow in the persons who are the targets".
- In 1986, the USA attacked Libyan patrol boats near the coast of Libya as well as Libyan shore installations, killing 72 people. Between 1981 and 1986 the USA CIA was behind several plots and attempts to assassinate the leader of Libya, Moammar Qaddafi. An attempt was made by the USA using bombers based in the UK. Qaddafi survived but several people were killed including the leader's infant daughter and many foreign nationals: Greeks, Egyptians, Yugoslavs and Lebanese.