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Archive for July 11th, 2008

IUPUI Smears Student in Wall Street Journal with Bogus Racial Harassment Charges – Updated!

Posted by iusbvision on July 11, 2008

This story has gotten a bit large and complex – the best bet is to scroll down to where it says “Original Story” – start there and read the updates as numbered in order – Editor

Welcome National Review, The Torch and Townhall readers – There are many new updates. After you read this post follow the link in update VIII at the bottom of this post.  – Editor

* * * * * * Original Story * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Readers of the IUSB Vision are well aware of the lengths that some university administrators will go to censor student messages they do not appreciate, file bogus charges against students in an effort to shut them up, retaliate or otherwise punish those who resist university administration injustice. A simple examination of (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) will show you an near endless list of just such cases.

This case of abuse by campus administrators is as revolting as they come and IUPUI (Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis) Chancellor Charles Bantz’ lack of action against this latest smear of an already victimized student is both negligent and unethical.

The Vision first wrote about this case here –

IUPUI student Keith Sampson was reading a book in a break room titled ‘Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan’. The book tells about how members of Sampson’s Irish-Catholic heritage stood up to Klan violence and intimidation and beat up the Klanners in what has been described as the biggest street fight in the history of South Bend.

Nakea Vinson, a co-worker of Sampson, (Sampson is working his way through school as a janitor at IUPUI) decided to complain about Sampson’s choice of scholarly reading material. The head of the AFSCME Union on campus told Sampson that his choice of reading material was like bringing porn to work and refused to even hear the explanation about what the book was about (as if it matters, the law is clear that scholarly work can be as offensive and offensive can be and attempts to retaliate are unlawful).

The Wall Street Journal (July 7th) tells of the next step Sampson faced:

The assistant affirmative action officer who next summoned the student was similarly unimpressed. Indeed she was, Mr. Sampson says, irate at his explanation that he was, after all, reading a scholarly book. “The Klan still rules Indiana,” Marguerite Watkins told him – didn’t he know that? Mr. Sampson, by now dazed, pointed out that this book was carried in the university library. Yes, she retorted, you can get Klan propaganda in the library.

Rational Americans can see through such radical nonsense, however there is no shortage of such irrational nut cases working in university administrations making five and six figures a year to peddle such poison and abuse.

Shortly after Sampson received the following letter from the head of the Affirmative Action Office Lillian Charleston:

Upon review of this matter, we conclude that your conduct constitutes racial harassment in that you demonstrated disdain and insensitivity to your co-workers who repeatedly requested that you refrain from reading the book which has such an inflammatory and offensive topic in their presence. You contend that you weren’t aware of the offensive nature of the topic and were reading the book about the KKK to better understand discrimination. However you used extremely poor judgment by insisting on openly reading the book related to a historically and racially abhorrent subject in the presence of your Black co-workers. Furthermore, employing the legal “reasonable person standard,” a majority of adults are aware of and understand how repugnant the KKK is to African Americans, their reactions to the Klan, and the reasonableness of the request that you not read the book in their presence.

During your meeting with Marguerite Watkins, Assistant Affirmative Action Officer [sic] you were instructed to stop reading the book in the immediate presence of your co-workers and when reading the book to sit apart from the immediate proximity of these co-workers. Please be advised, any future substantiated conduct of a similar nature could result in serious disciplinary action.

Selwyn Duke, a columnist for Renew America writes:

The affirmative-action officer – who draws a salary of $106, 000 a year to perform her crucial role and is obviously a woman of inestimable intellect – neither examined the book nor spoke with Sampson. He wasn’t guilty until proven innocent. He was just guilty.

Mr. Sampson would never have been charged with racial harassment for reading a history book relating to the Klan were he not white; in fact, it’s hard to imagine such a charge being leveled against a black person for any reason, given the double standards in the academy’s politically-correct environment.

The only racism displayed in this case is by grossly overpaid radicals working in the IUPUI administration like Watkins and Charleston, and the complainant Nakea Vinson. Why? If Mr. Sampson had been black there never would have been a complaint. Sampson is white, therefore he is guilty. A similar attitude that I have seen in some administrators at IUSB.

IUPUI would not listen to reason. The administration had made a baseless assumption and who is Keith Sampson to dare challenge the assumptions of these “brilliant PhD’s”. Who would IUPUI listen to if not Keith Sampson?

Sampson contacted Kenneth Falk at the Indiana ACLU who sent IUPUI the following two letters:

On Feburary 7th, instead of getting the apology that IUPUI and the Indiana ACLU agreed to, Sampson recieved the following non-apology from Lillian Charleston, which simply attempted to rewrite history:

I wish to clarify that my prior letter was not meant to imply that it is impermissible for you to limit your ability to read scholarly books or other such literature during break times. There is no University policy that prohibits reading such materials on break time. As was previously stated, you are permitted to read such materials during appropriate times.

I also wish to clarify that my prior letter to you was meant only to address conduct on your part that raised concern on the part of your co-workers. It was the perception of your co-workers that you were engaging in conduct for the purpose of creating a hostile atmosphere of antagonism. Your perception was that you were reading a scholarly work during break time, and should be permitted to do so whether or not the subject matter is of concern to your coworkers.

Not to imply that  you cant read the book? Are you kidding? I will go so far and state the glaringly obvious that Charleston is lying about the contents of her first letter.

IUPUI did not follow IU due process or the IU Code of Conduct through this matter. Of course, universities violating their own rules and the law to persecute students is nothing new and a simple examination of FIRE’s web site ( documents thousands of just such cases.

By now FIRE (The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) and various other media outlets picked up the story and apparently the shame and criticism convinced IUPUI Chancellor Charles Bantz to issue what we had thought at the time was a genuine apology:

I can candidly say that we regret this situation ever took place and that IUPUI takes this matter very seriously. IUPUI is committed to ensuring that its future approach to such matters is consistent with and affirms the long-standing commitment of this campus to the principles of freedom of expression, lifelong learning, and respect for the rights of all members of the IUPUI community. In the near future, IUPUI will be reexamining the campuswide affirmative action processes and procedures related to internal complaints.

So we had all considered the matter closed…until IUPUI smeared and slandered Sampson to a reporter for the Wall Street Journal. The efforts to rewrite history had begun. The article appeared in the July 7th 2008 issue:

This [the second letter sent to Sampson by Lillian Charleston], indeed, was now the official story – as any journalist asking about the case would learn instantly from the university’s media relations representatives. It would take a heart of stone not to be moved – if not much – by the extraordinary efforts of these tormented agents trying to explain that the first letter was all wrong: No reading of any book had anything to do with the charges against Mr. Sampson. This means, I asked one, that Mr. Sampson could have been reading about the adventures of Jack and Jill and he still would have been charged? Yes. What, then, was the offense? “Harassing behavior.” While reading the book? The question led to careful explanations hopeless in tone – for good reason – and well removed from all semblance of reason. What the behavior was, one learned, could never be revealed.

So IUPUI alleged that there was other harassing behavior and that the book now, magically, had nothing to do with it. IUPUI never mentioned any other allegations to Sampson in any of its communications to him or to his attorney at the Indiana ACLU. IU due process procedures mandate that the student be informed of all allegations made against him (a rule that IUSB also violated in the Robert Francis case).

So once again, Sampson gets no hearing, no explanation of any supposed allegations against him, once again he is not innocent until proved guilty, he is just guilty; now of secret racial harassment charges that can never be elaborated on.

The Wall Street Journal wasn’t buying it – then again, neither is anyone with functional critical thinking skills:

There was, of course, no other offensive behavior; had there been any it would surely have appeared in the first letter’s gusher of accusation. Like those prosecutors who invent new charges when the first ones fail in court, the administrators threw in the mysterious harassment count. Such were the operations of the university’s guardians of equity and justice.

Needless to say FIRE was not amused:

INDIANAPOLIS, July 8, 2008-Two months ago, in the face of withering public criticism, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) revoked its original finding that student-employee Keith John Sampson had committed racial harassment by reading a book at work that celebrated the defeat of the Ku Klux Klan in a 1924 street brawl. Now, IUPUI is claiming that Sampson was in fact punished for some other behavior, but the school refuses to reveal any details of this alleged conduct. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is calling on IUPUI to either reveal and prove this alleged offense or stop publicly smearing its own student.

“This looks like a classic example of a college making things worse in an unprincipled attempt to save face,” FIRE Vice President Robert Shibley said. “IUPUI’s own letters to Sampson made clear that his reading a book about the Ku Klux Klan was the problem, and the university claims to have completely exonerated him of all charges. If so, why are its spokespeople now telling The Wall Street Journal that the problem was really some other mysterious conduct that the university will not reveal to anyone, including Sampson himself?”

It is no secret that I am authoring a book on the problems of academic culture that lead to injustices like we see here so I took it upon myself to write IUPUI Chancellor Bantz the following letter:

Dear Chancellor Bantz,

I was very happy to see IUPUI apologize to Mr. Sampson for the blatant violation of his rights and I was pleasantly surprised to see that you took action to clear his record in the matter (a step that IUSB refuses to follow your example on in its bogus allegations previously made against student Robert Francis).

I had considered the matter closed in my writings and was prepared to give you credit for doing the right thing in my upcoming book on the problems in academic culture that lead to censorship and bogus charges and such that have been epidemic since the early 1990’s. However, your administration slandered Mr. Sampson in the July 7th Wall Street Journal saying [paraphrasing] that the matter was not just about the book (which sits in every branch of the IU Library system) but that there was other racially harassing behavior that he was guilty of.

None of the communications between IUPUI and Mr. Sampson indicated that there was any such conduct alleged that was separate from the bogus book charge. Why would IUPUI pick The Wall Street Journal of all places to announce such allegations against a student? How is that not a violation of the IU Code of Conduct and IU judicial procedure? After all that has happened, it strains credibility that the statements made by IUPUI to the Wall Street Journal about Mr. Sampson are accurate. If they are not accurate it is difficult to imagine a more cut and dry case of actionable slander/libel.

Do you intend to apologize to Mr. Sampson again? Are you going to correct this? How is Mr. Sampson going to be compensated? When anyone does an internet search on Mr. Sampson’s name they will find a Wall Street Journal article where IUPUI says he is guilty of racial harassment. Can this damage ever be fully undone?

I will begin to pen a new article about this late tomorrow. I hope that your office will have some good news for me to write about.

Chuck Norton

Today I recieved the following response from Rich Schneider of the public relations office at IUPUI:

Thank you for your inquiry regarding the Wall Street Journal column.

The conduct cited in the July 7th Wall Street Journal column refers to the conduct cited in the second letter sent by IUPUI to Mr. Sampson.

The second letter stated that Mr. Sampson was free to read what he wanted. It also clarified that the first letter was only meant to address conduct on his part that raised concern on the part of Mr. Sampson’s co-workers that he was engaging in conduct for the purpose of creating a hostile atmosphere of antagonism. The second letter states that the Office of Affirmative Action was unable to draw any final conclusion concerning what was intended by the conduct. Because no final conclusion was drawn, no disciplinary action was or will be taken in connection with the circumstances at hand.

We have not elaborated on the conduct, as perceived by his co-workers, nor do we intend to do so.

Why would IUPUI pick The Wall Street Journal of all places to announce such allegations against a student? Please be assured that we did not pick the Wall Street Journal to announce anything about this matter. We have only responded to questions we have received about this matter, including questions from the author of the Wall Street Journal column concerning Mr. Sampson. We did not ask the Wall Street Journal to write about Keith Sampson. We have not asked any media to write or report anything about Keith Sampson.

Given the Wall Street Journal column, the chancellor is considering what steps he may take to best address the matter.

Rich Schneider
IUPUI Media Relations Director

After having some frustrating computer difficulties while typing my reply, I hurrily sent off the following response in hopes to catch Schneider before he left the office:

Dear Mr. Schneider,

Thanks for your response. However your response points out rhetorical distinctions that add up to a distinction without a difference and is misleading.

You stated, “The conduct cited in the July 7th Wall Street Journal column refers to the conduct cited in the second letter sent by IUPUI to Mr. Sampson.” Perhaps you should read that letter again. For your convenience I have included a link to the letter

The conduct “perceived” by fellow employees is the alleged conduct that has to do with the incident that generated the bogus book reading charge. IUPUI’s letter to Mr. Sampson makes that crystal clear. Now it seems that you trying to make the case that the conduct that the employees “perceived” was separate from the bogus book charge. It would seem that you are trying to rewrite history.

The IU Code of Conduct/judicial procedures mandate that the student be advised of all allegations against him. Your response seems to make it clear that you have admitted that there were other allegations we know that Mr. Sampson was not made aware of. By telling the Wall Street Journal that there were other allegations about racial harassment and having not advised Mr. Sampson of such allegations it is the same thing as announcing allegations against a student in the Wall Street Journal.

Making the case that you did not ask the Wall Street Journal to write about it therefore it does not meet your technical definition of an “announcement” is no different than when a politician says “that depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.” In your case it is what the definition of ‘announcement’ is. Your response you have given me, while an eloquent rhetorical dodge, is void of genuine substance and is what PR professionals understand as a non-denial denial.

If this was merely a case of the Wall Street Journal misunderstanding you and getting it wrong you would have immediately made it clear to the Journal, to FIRE and to Mr. Sampson that the conduct “perceived” by employees was the reading of the book, but you didn’t do that and you let it float in the Journal that there was indeed other conduct alleged.

You have stated, “We have not elaborated on the conduct, as perceived by his co-workers, nor do we intend to do so.” So you have dropped the allegation against a student as a bomb as it were to a reporter in a major national newspaper and when called on it you clam up and you dare try to shift the responsibility to the Wall Street Journal for your misconduct.

Mr. Schneider, your response has confirmed that IUPUI has once again violated the IU Code of Conduct and the rights of Mr. Sampson.

Chuck Norton

If Chancellor Bantz’ original apology was genuine, he could have demonstrated it by acting fast after the slander appeared in the Wall Street Journal; it is becoming obvious that his original apology was anything but.

Keith Sampson, I hope that you work with FIRE and the Indiana ACLU and sue the pants off IUPUI as they have well earned it.

Very special thanks to the Indiana ACLU and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education for standing up for the rights of Keith Sampson and other students abused by university administrations.

Chuck Norton


UPDATE I – Saturday I sent the following email to Rich Schneider, the IUPUI Media Relations Director who has been smearing Keith Sampson:

Dear Mr. Schneider,

Are you a member in good standing with the Public Relations Society of America?

Linked below is the preamble to their code of ethics. It tells how it is unethical to hold back information that is important for people to make a good judgment about your statements. It also speaks of fair and ethical conduct of which no reasonable person, in regards to your conduct in smearing Mr. Sampson, can say your conduct has been.

Chuck Norton

The PRSA and ethical communications professionals understand, that while part of the job is speaking for others, or when you sign your name at the botton of a communication, or when you make disparaging remarks against someone, there is a code of ethics that comes with being a communications professional. Violating that code of ethics not only results in the people involved being unfairly damaged as Keith Sampson was, but it also damages all communications and PR professionals who do follow the ethical rules. It damages the entire industry. PR ethics is a part the education for every communications student in the IU system. Mr. Schneider made a choice to violate that code of ethics.

Update – Schneider admits to Dr. Mike Adams that his statements about secret racial harassment were false –


UPDATE II – IUPUI Chancellor apologizes to Sampson – but nothing about IUPUI’s ongoing slander campaign to national press:

The silent implication from the latest apology letter is that Schneider is doing this to Sampson on his own. It is possible that Chancellor Bantz is playing the “good guy” while Schneider at PR smears Sampson or it is possible that Chancellor Bantz is sincere. If Bantz is sincere he will take action against Schneider so we will be watching. I am well aware how an administration can behave when a “mere student” dares to stand up to them. The apology is carefully worded. If I were Keith Sampson I would ask for an apology for Schneider’s comments to the Wall Street Journal, especially since Schneider lied about the contents of the second letter.

The next question is, what to do about Schneider. Should he be sued in his capacity as PR director at IUPUI?

Some have asked me how to get in touch with Schneider for comment. He sent his contact information in his email to me smearing Mr. Sampson.

Rich Schneider
IUPUI Media Relations Director

The Vision has also learned that IUPUI sent an apology letter to Nakea Vinson, whose bogus charges of racial harassment started the entire affair.

Controversial IUPUI PR Director Rich Schneider told the Vision:

In addition to a letter of apology sent to Keith Sampson, the chancellor sent letters of apology to the co-worker of Sampson who filed the complaint and two other co-workers who were interviewed as part of the investigation. We view the letters as confidential. Generally speaking, in all four letters the chancellor expressed regret about the situation and wrote that the situation could have and should have been handled differently.

Perhaps they should have apologized to her for ever listening to her in the first place.


FIRE sent another letter to Chancellor Bantz over IUPUI PR Director Rich Schneider’s whispering campaign against Sampson:

FIRE Calls on IUPUI to Resolve Sampson Matter for Good

by Azhar Majeed

July 17, 2008

In a letter sent today to Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis(IUPUI) Chancellor Charles R. Bantz and others, FIRE calls on IUPUI to clarify the university’s official stance regarding the racial harassment charge against Keith John Sampson.

As we have discussed on The Torch recently, IUPUI Director of Media Relations Rich Schneider has engaged in publicly smearing Sampson to the press, stating that the racial harassment finding against Sampson was based not on his reading the book in question, but rather some undisclosed harassing behavior. Schneider has refused to reveal the nature of this alleged behavior. In light of the vague, unsubstantiated statements made by Schneider, it is perhaps not very surprising that Sampson’s case continues to generate plenty of press coverage.

In today’s letter, FIRE calls on IUPUI to set the record straight once and for all:

Does IUPUI believe that Sampson has engaged in any harassing or not? If so, due process demands you let him know what he is being charged with and by whom, but if not, you should inform Mr. Schneider that baseless accusations of such a serious nature should not be made against students or employees. It appears that almost all parties in this case wish it to be resolved, and we hope that everyone can finally move on.

It is indeed our hope that this matter will soon be behind us. That, however, is up to the IUPUI administration.


UPDATE III – CBS NEWS/AP Covers the story. Fair but somewhat incomplete


UPDATE IV – FIRE chimes in again with new article – And here –


UPDATE V – Hotair covers the story and comes to the same analysis as The Vision – Reports on Schneider’s whisper campaign against Sampson.


Nakea Vinson, who filed the bogus racial harassment charge against Keith Sampson for reading a book about how members of his Irish-Catholic heritage defeated the Klan, and then later changed her story long after the fact to claim other racial harassment, had an axe to grind against Sampson.

Sources at IUPUI told The Vision that almost one year previously, Vinson’s cousin, also a janitor at IUPUI, approached Sampson at work and threatened to “F him up” and said Sampson “needed to get busy”. The threatening janitor was not a supervisor. Sources say Sampson replied ordering the threatening janitor to, “Get your punk *ss out of my face”.

The incident was reported and the threatening janitor, Vinson’s cousin, was terminated and Sampson was placed on one year probation. The year was nearly at an end when Vinson filed her racial harassment complaint in an effort to get Sampson fired. An employee at IUPUI tells The Vision, “Vinson is a very intelligent and conniving person. She certainly is not a victim.”

The Vision would like to know if the IUPUI Affirmative Action Office was upset over the termination of Vinson’s cousin. We would like to know if administrators in that office, namely Marguerite Watkins and Lillian Charleston who violated IU rules, IU procedures and First Amendment protections to persecute Sampson, knew about it as well, but that office is not returning calls.

UPDATE on Axe to Grind – July 29th – More Evidence of Whispering Campaign – Some of Vinson’s black fellow employees were approached by Vinson who after telling her story were asked, “are you with me.” Not all of the IUPUI employees Vinson approached were with her. Some even knew Sampson to be a good man.

So a new question must be posed; when the AAO interviewed all of Sampson’s black fellow co-workers and if some did not agree that he created a ‘racially hostile’ environment, why would such an exculpatory piece of evidence be left out? – Editor


IU PLANET MARCH 21 – While my initial reaction (based on the preceding logic) was to consider the accusation of racial harassment ridiculous according to the available facts, the situation does cause one to wonder why Sampson’s co-workers took the case so far. There was obviously no shortage of ill will between him and his fellow employees, who argued that “he was creating a hostile environment of antagonism.” It doesn’t seem extremely likely that the co-workers would be so determined to persecute Sampson for the simple fact that he was reading a book concerning the KKK.

So why were the co-workers so determined to strike out against Sampson? Did they have personal non-race-related issues with him? Was he exhibiting a racist attitude in their midst, intentionally trying to offend them with his “repeated” readings, and covering his tracks by making sure it was an anti-KKK book? Were the co-workers and the Affirmative Action Office actually the ones doing the discriminating?


Editor’s Commentary – Now, finally in July we know what that axe to grind was and it had had nothing to do with race. Those who said that this was a case of get-even-with-em-ism were more correct than even they suspected. IU Planet is popular in the IU system. This report from IU Planet makes it almost impossible that AAO, the administration, and at least part of the faculty and staff did not know about some IUPUI’s employees axe to grind against Sampson.

How could the firing of the IUPUI employee who threatened Sampson with bodily harm magically transform Sampson into a racist? That’s an easy one to anyone who understands the radical PC mentality. The IUPUI employee who threatened Sampson (who is ethnic looking but not black) was related to Vinson by marriage and was fired, and Sampson is white and wasn’t fired; those mired in such a PC mentality likely would have chocked up the firing to racism and the whispering campaign began.

I have seen the double standards, persecution, and radical political correctness that is epidemic on campuses across the nation. If you wish to see more examples, feel free to take a look at to find a multitude of such cases and then  go to the Alliance Defense Fund to find a list of such lawsuits.


Cover up at IUPUI? Some of this is speculation but the entire picture is starting to look like this:

IUPUI knows by now why Vinson filed the bogus racial harasment charges against Sampson. It is obvious that IUPUI Affirmative Action Administrators Watkins and Charleston went far beyond extreme PC, racist, nutcake zeal in going after Sampson indicating that the Affirmative Action Office wanted Sampson’s scalp because of the firing of Vinson’s cousin. [The IU Planet knew as indicated above 7-19-08].

If more evidence of this got out other than what we have already… the IU President in Bloomington would likely get involved. By Schneider trying to make it look like Sampson is guilty of “something” with his whispering campaign of slander to the press, it keeps IUPUI from being guilty of everything.

This is an indicator that IUPUI PR Director Rich Schneider is not doing this slander campaign on his own accord, he has a behind the scenes mandate, which explains why Chancellor Bantz has not put an end to it in spite of massive press attention it has generated and IUPUI being made a laughing stock in the national press corps. Chancellor Bantz’ legacy is at stake, not to mention damages if a lawsuit came of it. Under oath depositions would prove to be most revealing. Rest assured I am not the only one investigating this case.

Chancellor Bantz allow me to give you a history lesson. It wasn’t the crime that brought Nixon down, it was the cover up.

Keith Sampson needs a lawyer who would be willing to take the case.

Chuck Norton

NOTE – The story is continued in a new post here:

UPDATE VIII IUPUI Black Faculty & Staff Council running interference for those who falsely persecuted Sampson  – More Developing …FOLLOW THIS LINK

Related Links

Posted in Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton | 13 Comments »

‘600,000 Pieces of Evidence’ that Saddam Actively Aided Terror Groups Including Al-Qaeda

Posted by iusbvision on July 11, 2008

 UPDATED!! – See Below

A new Pentagon report reveals proof of how Saddam actively aided Al-Qaeda – surprise the elite media ignored or distorted the evidence.

The United States has had control of Iraq for 5 years giving inspectors plenty of time to go through Saddam’s memos, military, intelligence and bureaucratic records. A recent report released by the Pentagon from inspectors on the ground reveals 600,000 pieces of evidence showing all of the former Iraq regime’s terrorist connections. The evidence shows that Saddam supported, trained and equipped virtually ANY terror group that opposed American or Israeli interests, including deliberate support for Al-Qaeda and groups that reported to Osama bin Laden.

The Wall Street Journal Summarizes the details:

Saddam’s Terror Links

Five years on, few Iraq myths are as persistent as the notion that the Bush Administration invented a connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. Yet a new Pentagon report suggests that Iraq’s links to world-wide terror networks, including al Qaeda, were far more extensive than previously understood.

Naturally, it’s getting little or no attention. Press accounts have been misleading or outright distortions, while the Bush Administration seems indifferent. Even John McCain has let the study’s revelations float by. But that doesn’t make the facts any less notable or true.

The redacted version of “Saddam and Terrorism” is the most definitive public assessment to date from the Harmony program, the trove of “exploitable” documents, audio and video records, and computer files captured in Iraq. On the basis of about 600,000 items, the report lays out Saddam’s willingness to use terrorism against American and other international targets, as well as his larger state sponsorship of terror, which included harboring, training and equipping jihadis throughout the Middle East.

“The rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the region gave Saddam the opportunity to make terrorism, one of the few tools remaining in Saddam’s ‘coercion’ toolbox, not only cost effective but a formal instrument of state power,” the authors conclude. Throughout the 1990s, the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) cooperated with Hamas; the Palestine Liberation Front, which maintained a Baghdad office; Force 17, Yasser Arafat’s private army; and others. The IIS gave commando training for members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the organization that assassinated Anwar Sadat and whose “emir” was Ayman al-Zawahiri, who became Osama bin Laden’s second-in-command when the group merged with al Qaeda in 1998.

At the very least the report should dispel the notion that outwardly “secular” Saddam would never consort with religious types like al Qaeda. A pan-Arab nationalist, Saddam viewed radical Islamists as potential allies, and they likewise. According to a 1993 memo, Saddam decided to “form a group to start hunting Americans present on Arab soil; especially Somalia,” where al Qaeda was then working with warlords against U.S. humanitarian forces. Saddam also trained Sudanese fighters in Iraq.

For 20 years, such “support” included using Fedayeen Saddam training camps to school terrorists, especially Palestinians but also non-Iraqis “directly associated” with al Qaeda, continuing up to the fall of Baghdad. Saddam also provided financial support and weapons, amounting to “a state-directed program of significant scale.” In July 2001, the regime began patronizing a terror cartel in Bahrain calling itself the Army of Muhammad, which, according to an Iraqi memo, “is under the wings of bin Laden.”

For years we have heard from the elite antique media that “Saddam had no operational link with Al-Qaeda” and reported it with the attitude that Saddam and Al-Qaeda were opposed to each other in some way. In fact some of the elite media said the same thing about this report.

What does “operational link” mean? George Soros doesn’t control the day to day operations of, yet without the support of Soros, could not exist in any meaningful way. Saddam’s relationship with Al-Qaeda was no different. Saddam did not call the day to day shots in Al-Qaeda, he didn’t have to as they had the same enemies. Saddam helped to made it possible for Al-Qaeda to exist in the form that it did by supplying them with money, weapons, training, sanctuary and medical support. The media tried to redefine “operational link” to no “operational control”. Definitions and context means things and in journalism context is everything.

 Chuck Norton

UPDATE: A leftist blogger took issue with my post and with the Wall Street Journal article.

Leftist blogger said this:

The WSJ article did all it could to obfuscate the issue. I forwarded you the actual report URL. The report found evidence of Saddam support for PLO terrorist activity and NO al Qaeda direct involvement. You needn’t have gone any farther than the Executive Summary: “This study found no “smoking gun” (i.e., direct connection) between Saddam’s Iraq and al Qaeda.”  

My response:

As far as the report. It is obvious that you didn’t read it any farther than the summary. No “smoking gun” was elaborated on in the report in detail, meaning that Saddam did not have operational control or even any great operational influence on bin’ Laden. The report does say that the Iraqi regime supported terror groups of all kinds, including material support and training for groups they knew full well were working with bin-Laden. George Soros does not have operational control over – he just makes it possible for them to exist through financial support. Its the same thing.

You really should correct yousrelf on your blog. All someone would have to do is pull the quotes and documents out of the report to show that you didn’t read it. The real question is, do you want to tell your readers the truth and the WHOLE truth without spin or leaving critical details out [like the elite media did]…?

Do you have the courage to just admit that Saddam was helping all sorts of terror groups including bin-Laden’s with money, training, materials, and sanctuary? The report states it and Iraqi regime evidence admits it, will you?

Posted in Campaign 2008, Chuck Norton, Journalism Is Dead, Other Links | 1 Comment »