Exactly what is it going to take for Oliver to acknowledge that there was a relationship between Al Qaeda and Iraq? Today, my liberal friend is calling Bush a liar for this statement:
“The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al-Qaeda is because there was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda,” Bush told reporters after a meeting with his Cabinet.
There may have been no relationship according to Oliver, but the 9/11 commission sees things differently:
“This administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and al-Qaida,” Bush said. “We did say there were numerous contacts between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida. For example, Iraqi intelligence officers met with (Osama) bin Laden, the head of al-Qaida, in the Sudan. There’s numerous contacts between the two.”
Senior members of the commission seemed eager to minimize any disagreement with the White House.
“What we have found is, Were there contacts between al-Qaida and Iraq? Yes. Some of them were shadowy but they were there,” said Tom Kean, the Republican former governor of New Jersey, who is chairman.
Like Bush, he said there was no evidence that Iraq aided in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Even Kevin Drum has gone into back-pedal mode, moving from overtly ridiculing the Instapundit to a new strategy of downplaying the importance of the links he yesterday said did not exist.
No one thinks Saddam was behind 9/11. And no one is saying that. Why some have chosen this to attack the President is beyond me.
70% of the American public is an awful lot of nobodies.
Why some have chosen this to attack the President is beyond me
Oh, come now. is it really beyond you?
I don’t have to be hit between the eyes to understand that there is a connection between Bin Laden and Saddamn. I spent time in the middle-east during Gulf War I. The religious fervor of the islamist extremists is real and dealing strickly in the shadows. They aren’t going to advertise in the New York Times. With the way that Hate Radio (AIR AMERIKA) is spinning it, You would think that the 9/11 commission is walking on water, and whatever spews from either end is equal to Moses handing down the 10 Commandents from Mt. Sinai. They are career politicians. They are going to spin it so that they look good and to hell with the real results of what happened. As for the 70% of the people as Kimmitt says, I wonder how many of them actually look beyond the talking heads on TV or right and left wing hate radio for their prespective. A dumb public is a easily controlled public. So let the American public stay stupid and we deserve the government that we have.
“Why some have chosen this to attack the President is beyond me”
Can they attack Bush on the economy? That is fast becoming a NO.
Can they attack Bush on no UN involvement in Iraq? Umm NO.
Can they attack Bush on outsourcing? Um NO (though they will not pay any attention to the numbers)
Can they attack Bush on Iraq? Other than some piddly stuff not really. Abu Graib is about dead, Fallujah is about dead, Sadr issue is about dead, casualty count is down, Iraq takes over in 2 weeks.
So in other words. What else can they attack Bush on?
And the Vice Chair of the Commission was even more emphatic in stating that the “media are just wrong in their interpretation of what we said.” I noted your post earlier about what good and decent guys Oliver and Drum are…boy are you wrong!!!!!!
Dick Cheney and George Bush, to the contrary of all facts at hand, have portrayed Iraq and Al Qaeda as the same thing – going so far as to consider the entire campaign as the “War on Terror” for medal purposes. It isn’t true, you guys know it isn’t true yet you keep bleating it on and on because you know that without an Al Qaeda connection the already shaky support for the war comes crumbling down.
That’s just wrong, Oliver. The Bushies consistently portrayed Iraq as a battle in the greater war on terror. Why? Because Iraq was governed by a dictator who’d used WMD and who was a threat to give those over to terror groups or other rogue elements. Saddam would’ve loved to see the US destroyed. So does UBL. 1441 gave Saddam a chance to comply and save his filthy regime. He didn’t, and now he’s out of power.
None of this, however, is the same as portraying “Iraq and Al Qaeda as the same thing,” unless if by “as the same thing” you mean enemies in a larger war on terror. In which case, that was the proper way to group them together.
I believe that the comment above by Oliver illustrates exactly my point made earlier, namely, he is one dishonest and intellectually vapid individual. It is only fitting that he now serves as a comfort cushion to that other intellectually empty soul, David Brock.
Andrew J. Lazarus
I’m not sure what “contact” means here. We have contact with representatives of the North Koreans. The question is whether Saddam formed any sort of ALLIANCE with Al Qaeda: money, materiel, training, supplies. So far, that’s an oh-fer. All the evidence suggests Saddam DIDN’T allow AQ recruitment within areas under his control.
As to why so many Americans think Saddam had a hand in 9/11, it’s because for months the Administration took care to JUXTAPOSE mention of the two without specifically alleging a link. Very clever, classic advertising ploy.
Here’s VP Cheney doin’ it big-time (my comments in brackets):
MR. RUSSERT: The Washington Post asked the American people about Saddam Hussein, and this is what they said: 69 percent said he was involved in the September 11 attacks. Are you surprised by that?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: No. I think it’s not surprising that people make that connection. [Cole says nobody believes it; Cheney says it’s not surprising people believe it.]
MR. RUSSERT: But is there a connection?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: We don’t know. [You know, absence of evidemce is not evidence of absence. Who knows if the JFK assassins were hiding behind the grassy knoll. Evidemce of absence…] You and I talked about this two years ago. I can remember you asking me this question just a few days after the original attack. At the time I said no, we didn’t have any evidence of that. Subsequent to that, we’ve learned a couple of things. [Insinuates that the new information suggests a Saddam 9/11 link] We learned more and more that there was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda that stretched back through most of the decade of the ’90s, that it involved training, for example, on BW and CW, that al-Qaeda sent personnel to Baghdad to get trained on the systems that are involved. [AFAIK, all these specific allegations are false, based on Chalabi defector crap] The Iraqis providing bomb-making expertise and advice to the al-Qaeda organization. [Did the 9/11 find any such? Do you think Cheney had proof of these allegations that he withheld, or does he just make stuff up?]
So what is the proof of which you mention that Saddam DID NOT allow AQ recruitm,ent within his areas of control.
And why was a senior AQ lietenant treated so graciously in a Bagdhad hospital. What about the myriad documents that showed contacts between them on a high level? etc. etc.
Oh, what’s the point!?
Wake Up Please
Mr. Bush and Osama had numerous meetings as well. But this was before Bin Laden was evil. When he and Mr. Bush were friends, Osama was a good person, sort of like a Texan in a robe. It is not Mr.Bush’s fault that he enjoys the extended company of other billionaire oil barons. He didn’t ask to be born a wealthy oil baron!
Bush’s military actions in Iraq were purely humanitarian! If some people died then they probably had Connections to Al Qaeda. The murdered Iraqi children practically threw themselves in front of the tanks, and wore very bright clothing as to attract attention of the u-bombers. Abu-Garib, well that was the actions of the Evil Apple Orchard.
This is an interesting link on Clayton Cramer’s blog.
New York — Usama bin Laden and Muhammad Atef were indicted November 4 in Manhattan federal court for the August 7 (1998)bombings of the US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and for conspiring to kill Americans outside the United States.
“In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the Government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq,” the indictment said.
Let’s see now, was it the Bush administration Justice Dept in 1998?
Man, what’s the point of even having a Republican-dominated bipartisan commission if the right wing won’t accept its findings?
Republican dominated? That’s a laugh. Tom Kean is a “moderate.” Bwahahahahahaha. And why in the hell do so many conspriacy theory whackjobs respond to this blog? Just asking is all.
Leaving aside the question of who might have made it, when, and why, any argument for a meaningful connection – in terms of anything approaching an alliance – between Baathist Iraq and Islamist AQ is sheer nonsense.
We see Sully, Rush, AWOL, JC talking about ‘ties’, ‘contacts’, ‘relationships and, even more inanely, ‘links’. This is all bluster and intellectual subterfuge. Surely the important question is: ‘did they knowingly work together on any projects, including, for example, the 9/11 attack?’. At least Rush, with his typically extravagant take, has the decency to say, ‘Yes, Yes’ to this. For the rest of you:
A few days ago I got a text, “Hi Paul, where are you?”. I replied, “on the train”. Then i got three more, “Your sweet dream”, “you dont remember me do you?” and “So hey what’s up”. (Excellent! I have a stalker). Undoubtably, there are ‘links’ and (shadowy) ‘contacts’ between me and this person and, in their mind, ‘ties’. If they then committed a crime, maybe the police would check phone records and find out who I was. But that’s all.
Few people think Saddam and his vile spawn were not both evil and a threat to regional stability. However, this does not imply that they were a threat to the US, as AQ clearly were and are, or that they were in league with every other bad-guy.
OBL wanted to personally drive Saddam from Kuwait before the first Gulf War, and asked permission to do so from the Saudi government.
Saddam was a secular leader whose personality cult was absolutely anathemical to Islam: Rasulullah said, ‘The people with the most severe punishment by Allah will be the picture makers’. The reason for this is that Islamists (like OBL) view practices like personality cults as ‘shirk’ (acribing partners to Allah); one of only two unforgivable sins.
Perhaps so many conspiracy theory whackjobs believe in their manufactured distortions because they are high on the drug ‘peace, love and understanding’ PLU is a much like LSD, it distorts reality into mind-warping dillusions leading the addicted to follow false logic.
Whackjobs high on PLU believe in distortions like “Iraq was a sovereign nation and Saddam was elected by the people” or “Saddam was merely a contained irritant why remove him” or “if Iraqis wanted freeedom from Saddam they could have risen up and taken him out themselves” or the ever popular “Yes Saddam massacured the Kurds with mustard gas but he never had WMD’s”
Those high on PLU also believe in that everything is free at the other guys expense, Kerry was the only person to ever serve in Vietnam, and Michael Moore is a man who truly cares about the little people.
The only cure for the PLU addicted is to get off the magic bus ride and take a dose of reality.
So Ape, if you believe in what Islam is saying about Saddam, that OBL believed Saddam’s cult was an ‘unforgivable sin’ why on earth did OBL attack the US and not Saddam?
For decades Saddam ruled yet never, at any time, did Islam come to the defense of the Iraqi people.
Interesting case you made despite the fact that the American military angels have defended, liberated, and protected more Muslims than any other enitity on the face of the planet.
PLU distorts reality.
Why did OBL not attack Saddam?
After SH invaded Kuwait, OBL wanted to drive the infidel away as his next project. He expected Saudi support. He was refused. Then he went underground.
As conjecture, he concluded that the removal of US influence on the holy land of SA should be his next project instead. This would fit in with other ‘islamic causes’ in Palestine & Jerusalam, where the Israeli state and the US are equated in opression of the ummah and holy shrines. Which project would be more popular amongst Islamists? As we have seen, the defeat of Saddam has nevertheless been a great short-term benefit to AQ. We all share the hope that it will prove not to be so long term, and that a secular democratic state can emerge with the security capacity to fight both Sunni and Shia Islamism.
Andrew J. Lazarus
This one’s been cancelled: we’re no longer looking for a one-legged one-eyed man. Whether it was Chalabi disinformation or someone else, I don’t know.
As far as contacts, this is silly. If Osama said to Saddam, “Let’s work together” and Saddam replied, “Screw you, turban boy”, that’s a contact, but it hardly goes to show an alliance or cooperation between Iraq and Al Qaeda. And that’s pretty much what seems to have happened.
The 9/11 Commission can be ignored because some of the Republicans were moderates?! Well, stop pretending you have any interest in reality.
You mean the wonderful “bipartisan commission” that featured Jamie Gorelick? Farce, from the start. The readings of the findings are proof. Every two-bit staffer, reading the stuff they wrote so they can get face time. A true waste of electricity, and I wonder how many trees died for the volumes of crap they produced. Rich Galen testified, according to his website, he was told to provide 100 copies of his testimony in advance. http://mullings.com/06-16-04.htm
Get ready for the goalposts to change.
Ricky, they have changed. Right here in these comments, their argument has now come down to the fact that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden didn’t specifically sit down together and plan a joint attack on the United States.
Because that didn’t happen, there’s no ‘link’ between Al Qaeda and Saddam.
The guy with the half foot couldn’t kick a field goal with as far as these people have moved those posts.
I think the comments of Jay and Ricky are right on target. Here’s what the 9/11 Vice Chair, Lee Hamilton, said yesterday about this issue of al-Qaeda and Iraq links:
“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.”
Tom Kean, the chairman of the Commission said, “What we have found is, were there contacts between al-Qaeda and Iraq? Yes. Some of them were shadowy-but they were there.”
It now appears that revisionists wish to rewrite and redefine not only what was said by the Bush administration, but also how the American people interpreted it. Truly amazing, and another concrete illustration of the total intellectual bankruptcy of the Left’s views on this and most other issues related to national security.
Tough to discern…..those folks see someone questioning their patriotism w/o finding an actual instance to point to, but they’ll never find enough links between Al Aqeda & Iraq.
One harkens back to the good old days of 1998, when it was okay to bomb Iraq.
One wonders at the level of support from that faction if instead of telling them that we were waging war against the refusal to adhere to resolutions, tyranny & terrorism, and instead we said it was against Wal-Mart and Diebold?
Kimmet, Ape, Lazarus, Wake up,
Seen any news from Putin lately?
I think some commentators on this site are underestimating the extent of the ‘link’ which the current administration posited between Iraq & Al Qaeda:
“The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We’ve removed an ally of al Qaeda..”. (AWOL’s Flightsuit speech). Is “Ally” stronger than some of the versions of ‘link’ we’ve heard recently? If you read that speech, the interlinking of statments on AQ and Iraq is like watching a man twining a rope. He says at one point, “Our mission continues. Al Qaeda is wounded, not destroyed.”
Dean on Oliver’s site quotes Dave Sirota quoting USA today:
“Bush and Cheney also have sought to tie Iraq specifically to the 9/11 attacks. In a letter to Congress on March 19, 2003 — the day the war in Iraq began — Bush said that the war was permitted under legislation authorizing force against those who ‘planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.'”
– USA Today, 6/16/04.
None of this affects the substantive issue: Should we have got rid of the Taliban in Afghanistan? Damn right. Was Saddam an evil dictator who’s now in jail where he belongs? Damn right.
But its not Bush’s critics who are distorting matters by entwining AQ & Iraq. That’s his administration. They were in no doubt that Iraq was a response to 9/11: “The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11, 2001 — and still goes on” (Flightsuit).
This just can’t be true. Surely the fight against Saddam is a separate one, which didn’t start when he invaded Iran, or when slaughtered the Kurds, but when he invaded Kuwait.
It would appear that “ape’s” reading is limited to “authoritative” sites such as atrios and the one formerly run by Hesiod. He might want to catch up with a breaking story from Russia’s Putin relative to, in his words, “numerous” instances of identified efforts and plans by Hussein to mount terrorist attacks within the US.
There was no problem with bombing Iraq. There would have been no problem liberating Iraq, had the President and Vice President not repeatedly claim that Iraq and Al Qaeda were working together. But it isn’t true, no matter how much you guys clap your hands and try to revive the magic fairy.
Terry – brilliant. If only my reading extended to Matt ‘Kerry & the Intern’ Drudge then I could be truly au fait on Bush’s rationale for the war in Iraq.
My fault for quoting what Bush said in the past, rather than Drudge’s statements today. It’s because I’m such an illiterate liberal who hates america that i assume causes precede effects.
In any case, its good that we have a new reason for the war. I was getting bored with the old ones. I already admire the tireless energy and imagination of AWOL’s close friend Chalabi.
I thought it was because it eas a war for oil?
Or because the “American Taliban” doesn’t like gays?
How many times are you going to get caught over your own words, attempt to BS out of it, then haul ass when cornered, before deciding that going on principle (no matter where it may be) is the way to go?
BTW, hating Republicans isn’t “principle”, no matter how laudable you may think it is.
“Mr. Bush and Osama had numerous meetings as well.”
That’s from Wake Up Please above. I’ve never heard that one before. I thought Bush met with Hitler. I’ll have to get a program.
Yeah, Islamo-wackos would never ally with that secularist, Hussein. I guess Salman Pak was a figment of the NY Times’ and NPR’s imagination. I especially like the way the families of the Hezbollah and Hamas wackos who killed themselves all sent back the $25K that the evil, secularist Hussein tried to give them.
Oh wait, they didn’t? Huh, maybe the Arabs believe that saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”. Hmmm, maybe they invented that saying.
Wait, what am I doing? I, and many, many others, have been saying the same things for 2 years. Pointing out that the Dems were saying the same things when it was more politically expedient. Showing link after link between terrorists and Hussein. Pointing out the war powers resolution that had a laundry list of reasons for going to war in Iraq. All we get in return is “In any case, its good that we have a new reason for the war. I was getting bored with the old ones. I already admire the tireless energy and imagination of AWOL’s close friend Chalabi.”
Yup Shrub and Chalabi had the whole US gov’t fooled from 1990 to 2003. That Shrub sure is an evil-genius, machiavellian idiot. Even before he was governor of Texas he had the US fooled. I guess his daddy trusted him too much. Then Shrub must have used his sooper-sekrit mind ray on Clinton, Daschle, Gebhart, Kerry, Rockefeller, Kennedy and Joe Biden.
Now I have to go wash my hands after typing all those names in one sitting.
BUSH DIRECTLY LINKS 9/11 AND SADDAM. SUCK ON IT, WINGNUTS!
“Republican dominated? That’s a laugh.”
Okay, which part of “Republican majority with a Republican Chair” is too difficult for you to grasp?
It seems to me that all of this discussion about links, connections, contacts, collaborations, etc., should be analyzed in the context of the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq. Instead of using second and third-hand references to Bush’s reasons for going to war, why not use the exact premises specified in the joint resolution:
“Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;
Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of American citizens;”
The above premises, among others, were the reasons Congress (including John Kerry) voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq. I happen to believe that President Bush acted appropriately; that his actions were in accordance with the terms specified in the in the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq; and that his actions were undertaken in a good faith belief that the causes underlying the resolution were supported by intelligence community conclusions that were generally accepted at the time.
If you go back in time to the summer and fall of 2002, you will recall that the United States was in the midst of diplomatic efforts to force Iraq to comply with a number of UN Security Council resolutions, some dating from the 1991 cease fire with Iraq. The Joint Resolution, which was passed by the United States Congress in October of 2002, declared its support for the United States diplomatic efforts to “strictly enforce, through the United Nations Security Council, all relevant Security Council resolutions applicable to Iraq” AND “to obtain prompt and decisive action by the Security Council to ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay, evasion and noncompliance and promptly and strictly complies with all relevant Security Council resolutions.” A few weeks after the Joint Resolution was signed into law by President Bush, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1441.
As it title plainly states, the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq also provided the authorization for use of United States armed forces. These armed forces could be used if the President determined that “reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone EITHER (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq OR (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.” (my emphasis on the EITHER, OR) The President also had to determine that acting pursuant to the resolution was consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorists attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.
The bottom line is that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and programs to develop such weapons, and accordingly posed a threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region. The fact that large quantities of WMD have not been found to date, does not change this conclusion. And protesting the U.S. military efforts in Iraq does nothing but give aid and comfort to the enemies of our American armed forces.
This whole issue is about SPIN and MISDIRECTION on the part of the vast left-wing conspiracy (aka, the “mainstream” media).
ape- The source for my comment (relative to President Putin) that you dismissed as “Drudge nonsense,” actually came from a Bush-hating news organization called Reuters. Nice try at dismissing an unfortunate fact that interferes with your asinine, foolish and misguided beliefs.
[A]cting pursuant to the Constitution and [the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002] is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. [Italics Chatterbox’s.*]
Taking necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations is NOT limited to those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, it includes them.
I don’t hate Republicans, Ricky, except the ones that willfully lie us into combat. I don’t even hate the ones that spin for them, refusing to see the truth. I just lose respect for them.
I thought it was because it eas a war for oil? Or profiteering? Or because the “American Taliban” doesn’t like gays?
Oil, profiteering have been fringe benefits of the war in Iraq – or have you not seen any news about Halliburton (even Fox runs that). And yes, the Jerry Falwell wing of the GOP is the American Taliban. I don’t know how else I can describe their theocracy to you. Again, and again.
“I don’t hate Republicans, Ricky, except the ones that willfully lie us into combat.”
I keep hearing about how Bush lie to get us into Iraq. Please specify the willful lie/lies you are referring to.
Andrew J. Lazarus
Putin is referring to post 9/11. Says so in the first sentence. We know that four days after 9/11, Rumsfeld was already looking for a way to take out Saddam. Maybe Saddam figured that out. (Or maybe Russian intel is as bogus are ours was?!)
I already posted about the comparison of Bush’s Saddam-AQ claims with reality up-blog; I suspect the entire thread is migrating.
The US has been looking for a way to take Saddam out since AT LEAST Oct 1998. I refer you to the Iraq Liberation Act.
I thought the war in Iraq was about the Neo-cons in the White House wishing to protect Israel because Bush=Hitler.
At first it was American hegemony, then oil, then the Jews, then American Taliban…what’s next?
Do tell us great Lords of Wisdom what are the reasons for this war?
Please do not tell me it was because Middle Eastern Islamic fascist have been attacking us for decades to the point of flying airplanes into buildings killing thousands of innocent lives without provocation?
Please do not tell me Saddam was a threat even though 17 UN resolutions and the United States Congress including John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, her husband, Al Gore and so forth said he was?
I could not handle the shock of truth.
AQ had cells in the US, philiphines, Iran, Spain, Pakistan, Italy, and in fact in about 60 countries total (http://popups.ctv.ca/content/publish/popups/war_on_terror/network_of_terror/terror_groups/terror_groups.htm) “His al-Qaeda network is believed to have cells operating in more than 60 countries. ”
BUT they werent operating in Iran.
Can I have some of what you folks are smoking please?