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Friday, June 18, 2004

"The Connection"

Damn, I'm sick of this issue, and it's been exhaustively flame-warred on tons of sites, so I'll be quick. Real Clear Politics posts a quote from Lee Hamilton of the 9/11 Commish:

I must say I have trouble understanding the flack over this. The Vice President is saying, I think, that there were connections between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's government. We don't disagree with that. What we have said is what the governor just said, we don't have any evidence of a cooperative, or a corroborative relationship between Saddam Hussein's government and these al Qaeda operatives with regard to the attacks on the United States. So it seems to me the sharp differences that the press has drawn, the media has drawn, are not that apparent to me.

But what's the point of a relationship if it's not "cooperative" or "collaborative"? It seems that would be the kind of thing that concerns us, whereas some contact that did not have anything to do with an Iraq/AQ alliance is irrelevant. Fred Kaplan has Cheney dead to rights on whether the administration linked Iraq to 9/11 too:

Last Sept. 14, on Meet the Press, Cheney said that a U.S. success in Iraq will mean "that we will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11."

We know for a fact that the 9/11 terrorists were based in Afghanistan, not Iraq (and that most of them were Saudis). Polls have shown that most Americans erroneously believe Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11, and the White House hasn't exactly tried to change this perception--they have encouraged it with hazy rhetoric instead. If people didn't think Iraq was involved in 9/11, do we really believe the public would've supported the Iraqi invasion as it did?

You can pre-order Fahrenheit 9/11 tix at this site. Now back to Friday non-seriousness.

MORE: What Spencer Ackerman says here and here.