Notes on the Atrocities
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Thursday, June 17, 2004  

The news that there was no connection between Iraq and al Qaida isn't really news--it's a rebuke of White House propoganda. Anyone who was paying attention (a group that exludes something like 60% of Americans) knew this. Now that we have a more or less official statement by the 9/11 Commission refuting the claim of a link, people will stop making the claim, right?

Of course, you know the answer: no. Facts don't bother the right. Thus:

In fact, the Bush administration has never said that such evidence exists. President Bush denied a connection to 9/11 as recently as last September, saying -- "we've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September 11th."

--Brit Hume of Fox

(Apparently Hume doesn't realize Dick Cheney is a part of the administration.)

The National Review offer a slightly more nuanced refutation, owing to the fact that its readers aren't the dittoheads who watch Fox. Here we have the old non-denial denial: the 9/11 Commissions findings are muddy and unreliable, so who's to say what really happened? By switching the subject to the 9/11 Commission, you argue the point without really arguing the point. Never mind that all the evidence is agin' you, just keep changing the subject and maybe no one will notice. An example:

What difference should it make that no one can find an actual bomb that was once in Saddam's closet and ended up at the Cole's hull? If al Qaeda and Iraq were cooperating, they had to be cooperating on terrorism, and as al Qaeda made no secret that it existed for the narrow purpose of inflicting terrorism on the United States, exactly what should we suppose Saddam was hoping to achieve by cooperating with bin Laden?

Of course, we may yet find that Saddam was a participant in the specific 9/11 plot. In that regard, the commission staff's report is perplexing, and, again, raises — or flat omits — many more questions than it resolves.

The apologists might put it another way. There are known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns. The Iraq-al Qaeda connection remains, failing any proof of the absence of a relationship, a known unknown.

posted by Jeff | 9:15 AM |
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