Americans who still believe Saddam Hussein had no ties to terrorists in general or al Qaeda in particular should visit husseinandterror.com. This website is adapted from a speech I delivered on September 22 at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Husseinandterror.com includes photographs of Baathist-supported terrorists, pictures of the mayhem they have perpetrated, and portraits of those they have killed, including American citizens. It offers disturbing proof that Saddam Hussein and his regime operated a one-stop-shop for terrorists, including cash, diplomatic assistance, safe haven, training, and even medical care.
Readers may be startled to see, among other things, copies of checks given to the families of Palestinian homicide bombers in Israel. Perhaps for the first time (not the case for NRO readers), they will read the words of former Italian prime minister Bettino Craxi explaining that terrorist Abu Abbas–ring leader of the October 1985 Achille Lauro cruise-ship hijacking–was freed from Italian custody because he traveled on an Iraqi diplomatic passport.
There also is a web image of an online CBS News story headlined, “Court Rules: Al Qaida, Iraq Linked.” It discusses a May 7, 2003 decision by Clinton-appointed U.S. District Judge Harold Baer Jr. to award the families of two September 11 victims $104 million in damages after their attorney proved that Saddam Hussein’s government provided “material support” to al Qaeda in the September 11 massacre. So much for Senator John Edwards’s claim in the October 5 vice-presidential debate that “there is no connection between Saddam Hussein and the attacks of September 11th–period.”
With the generous and able assistance of journalist, web designer, and fellow Twin Towers rebuilding advocate Justin Berzon, I have backed this evidence with 22 footnotes and suggestions for further reading on this subject, including links to 15 of my previous writings on this topic, all but one of them previously published on National Review Online.
The only mystery deeper than Osama bin Laden’s home address is why the White House never has assembled a website, brochure, DVD, or even a speech presenting the overwhelming evidence of Saddam Hussein’s philanthropy of terror. Highlighting the clear and extensive links between Hussein and global terrorists, including al Qaeda, would help Americans understand this key rationale for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Communicating this message with Americans and audiences abroad would generate cheers rather than jeers for President Bush’s decision to lead more than 30 countries in dislodging Saddam Hussein in March 2003.
While Team Bush discusses this vital issue in whispers, at best, I hope husseinandterror.com will help Americans learn how Saddam Hussein operated Grand Terror Terminal, and why handcuffing him last year was then, and remains today, the right thing to have done.