What the 9/11 Commission Actually Said

An argument with a gentleman whose blog is called HairyFishNuts.com pointed out the need to remind people what the 9/11 Commission said about Saddam’s ties to terrorism. To wit:

Iraq under Saddam supported international terrorist organizations to bolster Iraq’s revolutionary credentials, ensure his own role as Great Arab leader, and intimidate rival governments. In examining the history, methods, and patterns of behavior of Saddam Husayn in supporting international terrorism, some “truths” stand out. Beginning in the early 1970s, Saddam provided safe haven, training, arms, and other forms of assistance to Palestinian and Arab extremists. Baghdad hosted the Abu Nidal Organization (ANO), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), and the Hawari faction of the PLO. In addition, Baghdad created the Arab Liberation Front (ALF) as its personal surrogate in the wars against Israel. Although the ALF conducted no terrorist operations, Saddam used it in the 1970s and resurrected it again in the current Palestinian intifada as a means to recruit Palestinians and, in 2001, to win praise for offering $25,000 to the family of each Palestinian “martyred” in an Israeli attack. Some examples of Iraqi support include:

  • Abu Nidal. While enjoying safe haven in Iraq, the ANO conducted a number of terrorist attacks on Jewish and Israel targets in the 1970s and 1980s, including murders at synagogues and attacks on El Al airline passengers in Turkey, Austria, Belgium, and Italy, and the hijacking of a Pan Am airliner (Pan Am 73) in Karachi, in which 22 people (2 Americans) were murdered. ANO also attacked PLO representatives in Europe, murdered Jordanian diplomats, and attempted to assassinate Israel’s ambassador in London. (This attack became the cause celebre for Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982.) When ANO leader Sabri al-Banna refused to conduct operations against the Syrian regime ordered by Iraq, he was cast out of the country, only to later be allowed back. He died in August 2002 in Baghdad from 4 gunshot wounds to the head, a suicide according to Iraqi security officials. I assume Saddam had decided to remove evidence of his links to one of the most notorious of international terrorists at a time when the United States was increasing pressure on him to reveal his WMD programs and was accusing him of sponsoring al-Qaida.

  • Abu Abbas. Palestinian terrorist Mahmud Abbas, known as Abu Abbas, and his organization, the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), enjoyed safe haven and support in Saddam’s Iraq. Abu Abbas was responsible for the October 1985 hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro and the murder of Leon Klinghoffer, an elderly American confined to a wheelchair. In October 2000, following the outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian fighting, Abu Abbas announced from Baghdad that the PLF would resume attacks on Israel.

  • Others: In the 1970s Saddam aided Palestinian radical factions that conducted terrorist operations on Israeli, Jewish, Western, and moderate Arab targets. In the 1980s, he sheltered the Kurdish anti-Turkish terrorist group, the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) at the same time he allowed Ankara hot pursuit of PKK terrorists across its border. In the 1990s, he provided safe haven and supported attacks by the leftist anti-Iranian Mujahideen-e Khalq on targets inside Iran, including rocket attacks on government office buildings in Tehran.

(Emphasis the original)

Mr. FishNuts claims Saddam’s only ties to internation terrorism came in the form of payments to families of Palesinian suicide bombers.

The only established link between Saddam and terrorism is his blood money to the families of suicide bombers in Isreal.

He attributes any other interpretation to the Swift Vets. Mr. FishNuts is not alone in his ignorance. For the edification of that cadre, here is the link to the entire final report of the National Committe on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States.

Read our entire conversation in the comments here

UPDATE: Mr. FishNuts translates the above quote from the Commission report as

Yes I’ve read that bit of the 9-11 commission, the shorter version “All terrorists hate the U.S. Saddam hates the U.S. therefore Saddam is a terrorist and is connected to all terrorists who attack America.”

I can only paraphrase William F. Buckley by saying that statement is conducive of the kind of pity one feels for the ignorance of animals.