...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

June 17, 2004

Read My Lips

There seems to be a disconnect between the mainstream media and reality. i never heard President Bush say that Hussein was involved in 9/11. But the media keeps reporting the 9/11 commission's conclusion that there was no Hussein Al Qaeda connection in the attacks as if it was news.

As the President said this morning, yet again:

This administration never said that the 9-11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and al-Qaeda. . . . We did say there were numerous contacts between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, for example, Iraqi intelligence agents met with (Osama) bin Ladin, the head of al-Qaeda in Sudan.
Nobody said there was a connection in the attacks. Why would there be? Ben Ladin wanted money, training camps and protection from Hussein, but that doesn't mean Ben Ladin would have told him about the 9/11 plans. Hussein didn't need to be in the loop on that. Obviously, Al Qaeda was capable of carrying out the attack without Hussein's help.

The point that always seems to get lost in these pissing contests, and the only point that matters in my view, is that Saddam Hussein and Ben Ladin both hated us badly. Therefore it was too dangerous to leave Hussein around and able to help Al Qaeda in the future. Did anybody seriously believe that Ben Ladin would not have eventually approached Hussien for support and training camps after we kicked him out of Afghanistan?

If anyone had doubts on that point, the 9/11 Commission's report should clear that up:

Al Qaeda did approach Hussein.

Al Qaeda did meet with the Iraqi government.

There was an Iraqi-Al Qaeda connection.

Just not on 9/11.

It's not necessary to take Bush's word or even my word on it. That's what the 9/11 Commission said. But the media keeps trying to put words in the president's mouth. Yet even The Washington Post couldn't find a quote that states what their editorial writers want us to believe. In this collection of administration quotes they call "White House Statements on Iraq, al-Qaida", i defy anyone to find a direct statement by any admininstration official saying that Iraq and Al Qaeda collaborated on the 9/11 attacks.

You'd think if such a quote were there, the Washington Post would have found it. Instead, the Post's anthology of quotes merely shows that the administration was right about the budding relationship between Hussein's Iraq and Al Quada. We can believe they were right because the 9/11 Commision agrees that there were links.

And it therefore follows, i say, that we were right to take out Saddam Hussein before those links turned into a full fledged alliance.

More on topic: read DANEgerus.

Posted by annika, Jun. 17, 2004 |
Rubric: annikapunditry


Greetings Annika! Hope you are enjoying your new home.

The NYT and WaPo stories I have read have buried the 9/11 Commission's bombshell assertion deep in their stories- Al Qaeda and Saddam were in contact over the years. The real story is that the 9/11 Commission made this assertion- since contact between Al Qaeda and Saddam totally justifies the Iraq invasion as a viable part of the WOT.

Serious people agree with you-- the legitimate possibility of Al Qaeda/Saddam cooperation justified invasion of Iraq. The NYT and WaPo are completely wedded to story that Osama and Saddam would never cooperate. They buried the bombshell story under a mountain of misleading headlines and lead paragraphs. This is about the media willfully distorting the story in order to protect their reputations and their claims of righteousness, and also to get Bush defeated in November.

Posted by: gcotharn in Texas on Jun. 17, 2004

"and also to get Bush defeated in November."

You're absolutely right GC.

They place politics above the safety of Americans, even their own safety.

They completely and conveniently ignore the question of whether it is reasonable and likely that Al Qaeda and Saddam would ever cooperate in the future. Given that they most certainly would, our response to Saddam's failure to comply with numerous UN resolutions is totally justified.

i don't understand what's so hard to understand about that.

Posted by: annika! on Jun. 17, 2004

Actually the money quote from the commission report does not say that there was no Iraq involvement with al Qaeda attacks on the U.S. It says that the commission has no "credible evidence" of cooperation.

This from a group that didn't consider the Goerlick memo establishing a wall between intelligence and law enforcement, one of the principal pre 911 failures, as credible evidence of a conflict of interest.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin on Jun. 17, 2004

My exact thoughts today annika and the nature of my post to -- I'm just curious if anyone really wants to change their mind. I've concluded that those who still oppose the war in Iraq either lack the intellectual courage to overcome their stubbornness (they just hate Bush) or seek to change what for so long it has meant to be an American (because we're racist, greedy imperialists).

Posted by: Scof on Jun. 17, 2004

CNBC's 'Capital Report':

GLORIA BORGER, co-host: Thank you so much for being with us, Mr. Vice President. And we will get to talk about the economy in a few minutes.

Vice President DICK CHENEY: OK.

BORGER: But obviously first the news of the week is the 9-11 Commission report. And as you know, the report found, quote, "No credible evidence that al-Qaida collaborated with Iraq or Saddam Hussein. Do you disagree with its findings?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: I disagree with the way their findings have been portrayed. This has been enormous confusion over the Iraq-al-Qaida connection, Gloria. First of all, on the question of whether or not there was any kind of a relationship, there clearly was a relationship. It's been testified to. The evidence is overwhelming. It goes back to the early '90s. It involves a whole series of contacts, high-level contacts between Osama bin Laden and Iraqi intelligence officials.
BORGER: Well, my reading of the report is that it says that, yes, contacts were made between al-Qaida and Iraq, but they could find no evidence that any relationship, in fact, had been forged between al-Qaida and Iraq.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: And you're talking generally now, not just 9/11.

BORGER: Not just 9/11. And let's talk generally and then we'll get to 9/11.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Talk generally.

BORGER: Generally.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: That's not true.

BORGER: So you disagree?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Absolutely.
BORGER: Mr. Vice President, I don't think I've ever seen you, in all the years I've interviewed you, as exercised about something as you seem today.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: I was. I admit, Gloria, and you and I have known each other a long time. But I do believe that the press has been irresponsible, that there's this temptation to take...

BORGER: But the press is making a distinction between 9/11 and...

Vice Pres. CHENEY: No, they're not. They're not. The New York Times does not. The Panel Finds No Qaida-Iraq Ties. That's what it says. That's the vaunted New York Times. Numerous--I've watched a lot of the coverage on it and the fact of the matter is they don't make a distinction. They fuzz it up. Sometimes it's through ignorance. Sometimes it's malicious. But you'll take a statement that's geared specifically to say there's no connection in relation to the 9/11 attack and then say, `Well, obviously there's no case here.' And then jump over to challenge the president's credibility or my credibility....

Posted by: gcotharn in Texas on Jun. 18, 2004

you guys seem to be from a different planet: Bush and Cheney ARE international terrororists and should be tried in a court of law. Its is very evident that ever since Bush (unlawfully) took office America's standing in the world became considerably worse and its security just as well. No need to blame anyone for this aside from that idiot from Texas. And, dont get me wrong, no body hates him, its just that he is quite obviously an idiot.

Posted by: Denis on Jun. 22, 2004