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Posted on Oct 18, 2005 in Armchair Reading

May 2005 Issue, Editor’s Letter re: Iraq

By Peter Martinson

As a current military intelligence officer and lifelong board and computer wargamer, I can’t even begin to say how impressed I continue to be with your magazine and website!  I eagerly devour each issue once it hits my mailbox.  I actually have been doing some "catch-up" reading though as I just returned from a deployment to Afghanistan, which is why I’m writing. 
As I read John Anatal’s Editor’s Letter in your May 2005 Issue, I became concerned with his passage that stated, "Covertly, Iraq was an al-Qaida ally; this is one reason we are fighting there today".  Iraq was a lot of things under Saddam Hussein, but an ally of al-Qaida was not one them.  I thought the 9-11 Commission’s report was quite clear (and accurate) on the matter.  In response to a presidential tasking on the question, a memo was prepared in response that concluded "only some anecdotal evidence linked Iraq to al Qaeda" and "found no compelling case that Iraq had either planned or perpetrated the attacks" of 9-11.  Further "arguing that the case for links between Iraq and al Qaida was weak, the memo pointed out that Bin Laden resented the secularism of Saddam Hussein’s regime".  Finally, the memo also said that "there was no confirmed reporting on Saddam cooperating with Bin Laden on unconventional weapons". 
Consequently, I remain concerned when I read and/or hear people write or discuss of an "alliance" between Iraq and al-Qaida.  And please correct me if I’m wrong, but since our occupation of Iraq, I am also unaware of any information and/or intelligence that has emerged to suggest something other than what the 9-11 Commission concluded.
Meanwhile, keep up the great work and please do seriously consider becoming a monthly magazine!
Peter Martinson
Alexandria, Virginia



Thanks for taking the time to write.  There will always remain some level of doubt about the events surrounding the link you mention, until such time as the relevant information is declassified. As to when or even whether that will happen, it is anyone’s guess. 

Brian King
Website Editor
Armchair General Magazine

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