Barham Salih (A deputy prime minister of Iraq) said, "The alliance between the Baathists and jihadists which sustains Al Qaeda in Iraq is not new, contrary to what you may have been told." He went on to say, "I know this at first hand. Some of my friends were murdered by jihadists, by Al Qaeda-affiliated operatives who had been sheltered and assisted by Saddam's regime."There are some things we should take home from this. First, we must always keep this in mind. Secondly, to think that the government of Iraq under Saddam Hussein didn't know Al-Qaeda was there is just nonsense. Let's get real here! It appears that this may be some much-needed evidence. I guess those who would rather put politics ahead of national security will just say that this is a very timely release of this information less than 2 months before the elections. It's the same playbook everytime!
A Kurdish politician who took his high school exams from inside a Baathist prison, Mr. Salih said he was the target of the alliance between jihadists, Baathists, and Al Qaeda in 2001, when a group known as Ansar al-Islam tried to assassinate him. In 2002, envoys of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, one of the two Kurdish parties sharing sovereignty over northern Iraq between the two Iraq wars, presented the CIA with evidence that the organization that tried to kill Mr. Salih had been in part funded and directed by Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard.
Those words directly contradict a recent report from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that declassified a 2005 CIA assessment of Iraq's pre-war ties to Al Qaeda and found that none existed. In an interview after the speech yesterday, Mr. Salih said he was unaware of the CIA assessment. But he added, "There were links between Ansar al-Islam and Al Qaeda. The information at time [in 2002] was quite different. Now, we could not prove this in a court of law, but this is intelligence."
Now Playing: "Open Skies" by David Crowder Band