The small lies that set up the big lies.
These are the words president Bush used to inform the speaker of the House of Representatives that he was going to war against Iraq, presumably, judging by this letter from March 18th 2003, to avenge 9/11.
"...Acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law...the United States and other countries (are)continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001."
The recent 9/11 Commission Report states, "We have no credible evidence that Iraq and Al-Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States."
Ergo, Al-Qaeda attacked us, not Iraq.
Vice-president Dick Cheney begs to differ. He apparently has a problem with the press, specifically the New York Times, who have been petulant enough to draw the conclusion that there is a fundamental disconnect between what the stated reason for the war was, versus what the actual facts were at the time according to the findings of the Commission.
In a Times article today ["Bush and Cheney respond on Qaeda-Hussein link," June 18], which I quote at length, (Sorry.) Cheney trashs that bastion of the liberal media, during an appearance on "Capital Report" on CNBC:
Gloria Borger asks "But the press is making a distinction between 9/11 and . . ." [what you said about Iraq, jerk.]
"No, they're not," Mr. Cheney said. "The New York Times does not. `The Panel Finds No Qaeda-Iraq Ties,' " he said, quoting the headline. "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 its [sic] malicious. But you'll take a statement that's geared specifically to say there's no connection in relations 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."
The only one who is "fuzzing" it up here is Cheney. He's quibbling about a headline that says, "The Panel Finds No Qaeda-Iraq Ties." Whether there were or not is beside the point. The most important "distinction" to make is, regardless of some meeting between low level members of both parties, there was no collaboration in relation to 9/11, the stated reason for going to war against Saddam Hussein; end of story.
But not for the `we were really massively wrong and can't admit it `cuz it's our ass' crowd.
The "Mohammad Atta in Prague" story keeps breathing because of Darth Vader of the undisclosed location, who, in the CNBC interview (Still from the Times), "went on to cite a Czech intelligence service report that Mohammad Atta, one of the lead hijackers, met a senior Iraqi intelligence official in April 2001. "That's never been proven," he said. "It's never been refuted."
It's never been refuted? It's the `absence of evidence is no evidence of absence' defense used by Donald Rumsfeld on the WMD question, who apparently is still trying to define what the meaning of "is," is. (Slick Willy must be beaming with pride.)
Anyway, wrong again Dick. It was refuted back in October of 2002 by the Czech president Vaclav Havel himself, who informed the White House there was no evidence to confirm reports that Mohammed Atta met with an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague.
The Commission also found videotape of him at an ATM when he should have been in Prague and, by the way; no one in his right mind is buying this crap.
One more wrinkle to this whole issue that came up after the Times article: Our good friend Vlad the Impaler of Chechnya has come to "W's" defense saying today "After Sept. 11, 2001, and before the start of the military operation in Iraq, the Russian special services ... received information that officials from Saddam's regime were preparing terrorist attacks in the United States and outside it against the U.S. military and other interests,'"
I can already see Bill Kristal getting his groove back and riding this wave, but; the butcher of Grozny didn't really say anything.
"It's one thing to have information that Saddam's regime is preparing terrorist attacks, (but) we didn't have information that it was involved in any known terrorist attacks,'' he said.
And for good measure, "Despite that information ... Russia's position on Iraq remains unchanged." (That position was "Nyet" in case you missed it.)