- Fake Intelligence: “US Manipulated Public Opinion before Iraq war”. Former Intel. Officer!
by Russia Today, http://www.globalresearch.ca/, RT Op-Edge
The US used every possibility to prove that Iraq was reluctant to cooperate in the war against terror, while it wasn’t, argues Salim Khalaf al-Jumayli, a former Iraqi intelligence officer, who made the revelation to RT.
Ten years after Iraq was occupied by the US, RT Arabic channel Rusiya Al-Yaum talked with a man who played a key role in getting intelligence to the Iraqi government right before the invasion. Their guest was General Salim Khalaf al-Jumayli, an Iraqi intelligence officer, former chief of the American desk of the Iraqi Intelligence Service.
RT: Mr. Salim, as an officer you destroyed all documents after the war was over. You burned them in a safe house near Baghdad. But I am sure there is still a lot of information that you committed to memory. Let’s start with the pretext that the US used to justify the invasion. They claimed that Iraq had ties with Al-Qaeda. Is it true or was it just a pretext?
Salim Khalaf al-Jumayli: Of course, America did everything to prepare public opinion inside the US and internationally for the war against Iraq. There were two major parts to this work: the US tried to convince everyone that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that it had close ties with Al-Qaeda and terrorists in general. In the 1980s, we did have certain relations with some organizations. But in the 1990s, we received orders to stop all contact with any organization that had terrorist connections. Talking about ties with Al-Qaeda, George Bush said that President Saddam Hussein had sent his envoys to meet with Osama bin Laden, but he never mentioned what the result of that meeting was. In 1992, after the war with Kuwait, Iraq was trying to restore relations with Arab countries, especially Saudi Arabia. At that moment, Saudi Arabia was very anti-Iraq, and the President ordered to put all our efforts into changing that situation. We had to gather intelligence that could help us reach that goal. So we put more personnel in the Gulf countries department, and focused on Saudi Arabia. I was responsible for Syria at the time. We had connections with the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, Adnan Uqla’s group. They had connections with Osama Bin Laden who was in Sudan at the time. That group offered to establish contacts with Bin Laden in order to work against Saudi Arabia. We got permission to establish that contact through the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, namely through a brother of Adnan Uqla, who was in an Arab country bordering with Iraq. We invited him to Baghdad, and I met with him at the Mansour Milia Hotel. I told him to get our message to Osama bin Laden. We all were against the American presence in Saudi Arabia. We had the same enemy, therefore we could work together undermining the Saudi regime and pressuring it to remove Americans from the Arabian Peninsula. This person went to Sudan with our message, there he met with Osama bin Laden. Then we got a reply from bin Laden – he said the Ba’ath regime in Iraq was apostate, and that it was because of the Iraqi regime that the Americans came to the Middle East, therefore he couldn’t have any contacts with this regime. There were other attempts to establish a connection, through Hassan al-Turabi for example. But Osama bin Laden’s position never changed. All of this happened before 1995, when he moved to Afghanistan and began to work against the Russian presence.
RT: Against the Najibullah regime…
SHJ: Americans also contacted bin Laden, they were the ones who transferred him to Afghanistan to fight against the Russians.
RT: If bin Laden refused to work with Saddam Hussein, does it then mean that it was the US who cooperated with al-Qaeda and not Iraq?
SHJ: I would not define it as cooperation though as it was later revealed they did have contacts. They coordinated their actions and supported al-Qaeda’s fight against the Russians in the Soviet Union. When Bush said that Saddam Hussein sent an envoy to bin Laden, he didn’t talk of the results of that mission. So formally his statement was true but in terms of the meaning he was wrong.
RT: So that’s about Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. Now let’s talk a little bit about the weapons of mass destruction. Did Iraq really have these weapons as America claimed when it invaded the country?
SHJ: One more thing about Al-Qaeda. Before the war against Iraq, the US media talked a lot about Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who allegedly was in Iraq and had connections with the Iraqi regime. I didn’t have any information about that. And since al-Zarqawi was from Jordan, I asked my colleague at the Jordan desk about that. He said that they had received reports from Jordan’s intelligence about Musab al-Zarqawi being sick and getting treatment at a hospital in Baghdad. He even told me that this hospital was in Bataween. We searched the area, but didn’t find Musab al-Zarqawi. So we had no connections with Musab al-Zarqawi or Al-Qaeda. There was an attempt to establish a connection with the Taliban through one of the ministers, who was in Pakistan. Iraqi intelligence proposed this, but Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz said that it was an unstable regime and it wouldn’t benefit Iraq to have relations with it.