On 2: You’re just being unresponsive here

On 1: Your claim that I didn’t ask the question about “full fledged” is literally self-contradictory: you quote the very question I asked. Somehow, you seem either to be ignoring or evading the fact that his post was obviously aimed at me (read the last line) but that it didn’t address the issue I raised in the question I asked–which you have quoted, but which you bizarrely assert I didn’t ask.

I said Clarke deferred an answer. I don’t need to “know what’s on his mind” to say that. I just need to know that he didn’t answer the question–which is evident to anyone who can see the page and read what is (or isn’t) on it.

On 3: Looking over his post, I note that he asked for citations in the plural. Looking over your post, I note you don’t address that obvious fact in any form.

On 4: This is a textbook case of begging the question. Obviously, I don’t think my charges are “unfair.” I think they’re fair and relevant. And I haven’t quite seen what is unfair or irrelevant about insisting that a person who is criticizing me respond to what I have said rather than criticize what I have said, change the subject, and insist that I now discuss the subject *he* has raised.

The absurd irony is that so far, no one has been able to answer my original question: In what way was Al Qaeda less than fully title loans New Jersey fledged in 1996 if that was the year that it declared war against the US? This question doesn’t assert a connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda, so Mr. Clarke’s attempt to respond to it by demanding that I produce evidence of this connection is an obvious attempt to pretend that my question isn’t worth asking or answering. Of course, it’s an “attempt” that never spells out in so many words what it intimates with its unargued scorn. That is Mr. Clarke’s modus operandi, I know, but it is not a modus operandi that I allow my interlocutors to get away with.

Maybe the next time he wants to discuss something with me–if there is a next time–he’ll manage to restrict his comments to me to claims that I have actually made. Not such an unreasonable request, I think.

Irfan Khawaja – 8/4/2006

Nor is that the only discussion of “other channels” in the documentary record. Consider the following little passage from a long article in Section 3 of the Sunday NY Times of June 6. The bank in question is The Commercial Bank of Syria, Syria’s main state-owned bank:

“Numerous transactions that may be indicative of terrorist financing and money laundering have been observed” moving through the Syrian bank’s accounts, according to a Treasury Department document, adding that the transfers include several transactions “that reference a reputed financier for Osama bin Laden.”

(Timothy L. O’Brien, “Lockboxes, Iraqi Loot, and a Trail to the Fed: How Regulators Traced a Hoard of US Cash,” New York Times, Sunday Business Section, Section 3, p. 7).

This raises the distinct possibility that Iraq cooperated with Al Qaeda through intermediaries and at arm’s length–the usual way in which covert operations take place. To dismiss such possibilities without exhausting absolutely every lead concerning them is simply moronic.

Irfan Khawaja – 8/4/2006

Just to clarify my last post, the transactions mentioned in the excerpt involve Iraqi government funds stolen from the UN oil-for-food program, running through Syrian bank accounts–which in turn involved transactions that reference Osama bin Laden’s financier. Mind-boggling, of course, but covert operations aren’t supposed to be transparent.