THE FORMER IRAQI REGIME OF Saddam Hussein trained thousands of radical Islamic terrorists from the region at camps in Iraq over the four years immediately preceding the U.S. invasion, according to documents and photographs recovered by the U.S. military in postwar Iraq. The existence and character of these documents has been confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD by eleven U.S. government officials.
The secret training took place primarily at three camps--in Samarra, Ramadi, and Salman Pak--and was directed by elite Iraqi military units. Interviews by U.S. government interrogators with Iraqi regime officials and military leaders corroborate the documentary evidence. Many of the fighters were drawn from terrorist groups in northern Africa with close ties to al Qaeda, chief among them Algeria's GSPC and the Sudanese Islamic Army. Some 2,000 terrorists were trained at these Iraqi camps each year from 1999 to 2002, putting the total number at or above 8,000. Intelligence officials believe that some of these terrorists returned to Iraq and are responsible for attacks against Americans and Iraqis. According to three officials with knowledge of the intelligence on Iraqi training camps, White House and National Security Council officials were briefed on these findings in May 2005; senior Defense Department officials subsequently received the same briefing.
The photographs and documents on Iraqi training camps come from a collection of some 2 million "exploitable items" captured in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan. They include handwritten notes, typed documents, audiotapes, videotapes, compact discs, floppy discs, and computer hard drives. Taken together, this collection could give U.S.
intelligence officials and policymakers an inside look at the activities of the former Iraqi regime in the months and years before the Iraq war.
The discovery of the information on jihadist training camps in Iraq would seem to have two major consequences: It exposes the flawed assumptions of the experts and U.S. intelligence officials who told us for years that a secularist like Saddam Hussein would never work with Islamic radicals, any more than such jihadists would work with an infidel like the Iraqi dictator. It also reminds us that valuable information remains buried in the mountain of documents recovered in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past four years.
My goodness. This will make some heads explode as they try to reconcile the information with deeply held (nearly religious) beliefs about how inappropriate the Iraq War was and how evil Bush is.
Expect to see all sorts of bizarre responses from Democrats and their lunatic fringe. Since they will never stoop to re-evaluating their fundamental premises, it simply means their conspiracy theories about the Bush Adminitration are about to become more complex and unbelievable as they are adapted to fit the new information. I predict it will not set them back one iota in their pursuit of extreme irrationality. Paranoia, after all, is merely rationality in the service of the irrational.
As we say in the Psychiatric business --this new data will simply be incorporated into their paranoid delusional system.
UPDATE: Let's keep track, shall we? Here's one response from our own resident troll on this thread:
Weak. Very weak. I'll keep my head until I see some f.a.c.t.s.Apparently all of Haye's documentation and its verification by 11 intelligence sources aren't enough to overcome DENIAL.
I note that so far (10:00 EST 1/7/06) NOT A SINGLE LEFTY BLOG HAS COMMENTED ON THIS STORY. Cconservative blogs commenting are:
Right Wing Nut House, Elephants in Academia, Power Line, Ed Driscoll.com, Ace of Spades HQ, Michelle Malkin, Betsy's Page, AMERICAN FUTURE, Common Sense and Wonder and Gateway Pundit
I also note that there are no reports in the MSM as yet, but I will wait for those since they respond in about 1-3 days after the blogsphere.