13 Sep

Did President Bush Link Saddam Hussein to 9/11?

                                       

Mr. RUSSERT: Do we have any evidence linking Saddam Hussein or Iraqis to this operation?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: No.
Meet the Press, September 16, 2001

I can’t remember who it was now, but a commenter on another blog posed a challenge to me that echoed what I have already been pondering upon: If Bush didn’t lie, why do (or did) so many Americans think that Saddam is linked to the events of 9/11?

I ran a quick Google search, and found this Washington Post article by Dana Milbank, dated from September 6, 2003. This is months after the Invasion (and a year before I even knew what a blog was). The piece is fascinating to me, as I find disagreement with some of the facts, a perpetuation of some of the media distortions regarding Administration statements, and a few points that do make sense to me.

Hussein Link to 9/11 Lingers in Many Minds
By Dana Milbank and Claudia Deane
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, September 6, 2003; Page A01

Nearing the second anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, seven in 10 Americans continue to believe that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein had a role in the attacks, even though the Bush administration and congressional investigators say they have no evidence of
this
.

The emphases are mine.

Whenever I ask Bush war critics for evidence where President Bush or Vice President Cheney ever stated that Saddam had a hand in 9/11, the response I get back is, “Well…it was insinuated.”

Sixty-nine percent of Americans said they thought it at least likely that Hussein was involved in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, according to the latest Washington Post poll. That impression, which exists despite the fact that the hijackers were mostly Saudi nationals acting for al Qaeda, is broadly shared by Democrats, Republicans and independents. The main reason for the endurance of the apparently groundless belief, experts in public opinion say, is a deep and enduring distrust of Hussein that makes him a likely suspect in anything related to Middle East violence. “It’s very easy to picture Saddam as a demon,” said John Mueller, a political scientist at Ohio State University and an expert on public opinion and war. “You get a general fuzz going around: People know they don’t like al Qaeda, they are horrified by September 11th, they know this guy is a bad guy, and it’s not hard to put those things together.”

That would make sense, given that even though America was largely asleep before 9/11 to the metastasizing threat of Islamic terrorism, media reports and politicians throughout the 90′s were pointing to links between al Qaeda and to Saddam; those links weren’t just magically pulled from out of thin air by Feith’s Office of Special Planning.

You don’t suppose the American public might have been “misled” into the Saddam/al-Qaeda connection belief, by following a decade’s worth of news coverage regarding Saddam’s defiance and brutality? “Regime change”/Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998 created as official U.S. policy toward Iraq under Clinton? How about tuning into TV news programs like this one:

The ABC news video segment, Target America: The Terrorist War, is from “Crime and Justice”. It aired on January 14, 1999 and featured John Miller, the late John McWethy, Sheila MacVicar, and Cynthia McFadden.

Other examples:

“Last week, [television program] Day One confirmed [Yasin] is in Baghdad…Just a few days ago, he was seen at [his father’s] house by ABC News. Neighbors told us Yasin comes and goes freely.” -Sheila MacVicar, Former ABC News correspondent, “‘America’s Most Wanted’ – Fugitive Terrorists.” ABC News’ “Day One,” July 27, 1994

Saddam link to Bin Laden, by Julian Borger in The Guardian, Saturday February 6, 1999
Bin Laden reportedly leaves Afghanistan, whereabouts unknown reported by CNN/AP February 13, 1999

Numerous media reports in 1999 mention Saddam offering Osama bin Laden asylum.

Iraq-Bin Laden boat bomb link
, October 19, 2000 by Julian Borger in the Guardian:

Investigators in Yemen yesterday uncovered evidence suggesting the bomb attack on the warship USS Cole had been a meticulously organised conspiracy, which a leading US terrorism expert said may have been the first joint operation between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

~~~

Vincent Cannistraro, the CIA’s former head of counter-terrorist operations and a respected expert on Middle Eastern terrorism, said the timing, location and method of the attack pointed to Bin Laden’s terrorist network, al-Qaeda.
~~~

He argued that the sophistication of the bomb – an estimated 272kg of high explosive shaped and placed within a metal container to channel the blast and penetrate the armoured hull of the USS Cole – suggested the involvement of a state.

“The Iraqis have wanted to be able to carry out terrorism for some time now,” Mr Cannistraro said. “Their military people have had liaison with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, and could well have supplied the training.”

He said the theory was still speculative but was consistent with the series of recent contacts between Baghdad and the Bin Laden organisation.

Don’t you suppose that if people were paying attention to the news, a decade of reports like these might have influenced and reinforced the dangers and defiance Saddam posed? The terror links and ties to bin Laden? I’m not talking about actual operational ties that might have since been discounted; just the perception of a connection, due to media reports, which took place before the Bush presidency, thereby cementing upon the American psyche, an indelible imprint of a link between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

And then this from May 7, 2003, as reported on CBS News:

A federal judge Wednesday ordered Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and others to pay early $104 million to the families of two Sept. 11 victims, saying there is evidence – though meager – that Iraq had a hand in the terrorist attacks.

Back to the September 2003 WaPo piece:

Although that belief came without prompting from Washington, Democrats and some independent experts say Bush exploited the apparent misconception by implying a link between Hussein and the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the months before the war with Iraq. “The notion was reinforced by these hints, the discussions that they had about possible links with al Qaeda terrorists,” said Andrew Kohut, a pollster who leads the nonpartisan Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

The poll’s findings are significant because they help to explain why the public continues to support operations in Iraq despite the setbacks and bloodshed there. Americans have more tolerance for war when it is provoked by an attack, particularly one by an all-purpose villain such as Hussein. “That’s why attitudes about the decision to go to war are holding up,” Kohut said.

Bush’s opponents say he encouraged this misconception by linking al Qaeda to Hussein in almost every speech on Iraq.

I’m a little lazy to go through all of these speeches; I’ve seen them before, and think it’s mostly “Bush opponents”, as described in the above, who are misrepresenting the actual text and context of what is said in those speeches.

Critics can’t seem to wrap their minds around how something like the following:

“We’ve had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11th. There’s no question that Saddam Hussein had al Qaeda ties.” – Pres. Bush 9/17/03

is not a contradiction in statements.

Many people also seem to have fixated narrowly on al-Qaeda as the sole enemy, not understanding the long war we find ourselves in against international terror, and how Saddam is connected to that, strategically. Basically, they are stuck on the 9/10 law enforcement mindset, thinking the war is about “bringing to justice, dead or alive” Osama bin Laden and his merciless band of al Qaeda crazies. Douglas Feith makes clear in his book, War and Decision, however, that war discussions were not about retribution, but about how to prevent the next terror attack.

“Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.”
-President Bush in an address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People, United States Capitol, Washington D.C., September 20, 2001.

Indeed, administration officials began to hint about a Sept. 11-Hussein link soon after the attacks.

Read my opening quote, dated the first Sunday following 9/11. It is true, though, that Iraq was mentioned early on in discussions, given that “9/11 did not mean simply that the United States had an al Qaida problem. We had a terrorism problem. A strategic response to 9/11 would have to take account of the threat from other terrorist groups…and state sponsors beyond Afghanistan, especially those that pursued weapons of mass destruction.” [pg. 50, War and Decision]

According to Feith, in regards to the charge that the Bush team came into the office hell-bent on going to war with Iraq,

The question of how to deal with Iraq was a key national security issue inherited from the Clinton administration.

Feith also writes in War and Decision, pg. 51-2:

Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz also wanted to sketch out the case for acting soon, in one way or another, against the threat from Iraq. Powell and Armitage had been arguing that the U.S. response to 9/11 should focus tightly on Afghanistan and al Qaida. State officials assessed, probably correctly, that our allies and friends abroad would be more comfortable with retributive U.S. strikes against the perpetrators of 9/11 than with a global war against Islamist terrorists and their state supporters. A narrowly scoped campaign of punishment would keep U.S. policy more in line with the traditional law enforcement approach to fighting terrorism.

Here we came back to the distinction between punishment and prevention. Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and I all thought that U.S. military action should aim chiefly to disrupt those who might be plotting the next big attack against us. Of greatest concern was a terrorist attack using biological or nuclear weapons. We needed actions that would affect the terrorist network as extensively as possible.

Rodman and I proposed in our memo that “the immediate priority targets for initial action” should be al Qaida, the Taliban, and Iraq. Iraq was on this list, we noted, because Saddam Hussein’s regime posed a “threat of WMD terrorism,” and was systematically undermining the ten-year-old efforts of the United States and the United Nations to counter the dangers of his regime. Among terrorist-supporting states with records of pursuing chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, only Iraq had been subjected to prolonged, multinational diplomatic pressure, yet Saddam remained defiant and securely in power- and hostile to the United States. The experience of 9/11 sharpened the concern about anti-U.S. terrorism from any quarter, not just al Qaida.

The purpose of a campaign in Iraq, we noted, would be “to destabilize a regime that engages in and supports terrorism, that has weapons of mass destruction and is developing new ones, that attacks U.S. forces almost daily and otherwise threatens vital U.S. interests.” Action against Iraq could make it easier to “confront- politically, militarily, or otherwise- other state supporters of terrorism” such as the regimes of Muammar Qadafi in Libya and Bashar al-Assad in Syria, which had a record of backing down under international pressure. We identified Libya and Syria as problems that might be solvable through coercive diplomacy rather than through military action.

At the Camp David strategy sessions, Rumsfeld’s remarks generally tracked the ideas in our memo. He left it to Wolfowitz, however, to present the case for action against Saddam Hussein. The President decided to initiate U.S. military action in Afghanistan, but to defer such action against Iraq.

The “link” the Administration drew early on in regards to Saddam and 9/11, wasn’t about fabricating a belief that Saddam had a role in plotting 9/11. It was about preventing the next terror attack that might come in the form of a wmd attack, supplied by a state-sponsor of terrorism, known also for its love for acquiring wmd capabilities.

Of course, given what we did know about Saddam, the Bush Administration would have been derelict in its duty to protect the American public had it not examined that possibility.

WaPo:

In late 2001, Vice President Cheney said it was “pretty well confirmed” that attack mastermind Mohamed Atta met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official.

Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Cheney was referring to a meeting that Czech officials said took place in Prague in April 2000. That allegation was the most direct connection between Iraq and the Sept. 11 attacks. But this summer’s congressional report on the attacks states, “The CIA has been unable to establish that [Atta] left the United States or entered Europe in April under his true name or any known alias.”

I’ve already gone through a number of Cheney’s MtP interviews for those “gotcha” statements that the vice president is alleged to have made, and have yet to see the damning evidence that Dick Cheney misled the American public.

December 9, 2001:

RUSSERT: The plane on the ground in Iraq used to train non-Iraqi hijackers.

Do you still believe there is no evidence that Iraq was involved in September 11?

[in a previous appearance on MTP, the Sunday following 9/11, when directly asked if there was evidence that Iraq had a part in 9/11, Cheney flat out said “No.” So much for the theory that since day one the Bushies had war in Iraq on their collective minds- wordsmith]

CHENEY: Well, what we now have that’s developed since you and I last talked, Tim, of course, was that report that’s been pretty well confirmed, that he did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack.

Now, what the purpose of that was, what transpired between them, we simply don’t know at this point. But that’s clearly an avenue that we want to pursue.

RUSSERT: What we do know is that Iraq is harboring terrorists. This was from Jim Hoagland in The Washington Post that George W. Bush said that Abdul Ramini Yazen (ph), who helped bomb the World Trade Center back in 1993, according to Louis Freeh was hiding in his native Iraq. And we’ll show that right there on the screen. That’s an exact quote.

If they’re harboring terrorist, why not go in and get them?

CHENEY: Well, the evidence is pretty conclusive that the Iraqis have indeed harbored terrorists. That wasn’t the question you asked the last time we met. You asked about evidence involved in September 11.

MTP 3/24/02:

VICE PRES. CHENEY: With respect to the connections to al-Qaida, we haven’t been able to pin down any connection there. I read this report with interest after our interview last fall. We discovered, and it’s since been public, the allegation that one of the lead hijackers, Mohamed Atta, had, in fact, met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague, but we’ve not been able yet from our perspective to nail down a close tie between the al-Qaida organization and Saddam Hussein. We’ll continue to look for it.

MTP 9/08/02:

Mr. RUSSERT: One year ago when you were on MEET THE PRESS just five days after September 11, I asked you a specific question about Iraq and Saddam Hussein. Let’s watch:

(Videotape, September 16, 2001):

Mr. RUSSERT: Do we have any evidence linking Saddam Hussein or Iraqis to this operation?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: No.

(End videotape)

Mr. RUSSERT: Has anything changed, in your mind?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, I want to be very careful about how I say this. I’m not here today to make a specific allegation that Iraq was somehow responsible for 9/11. I can’t say that. On the other hand, since we did that interview, new information has come to light. And we spent time looking at that relationship between Iraq, on the one hand, and the al-Qaeda organization on the other. And there has been reporting that suggests that there have been a number of contacts over the years. We’ve seen in connection with the hijackers, of course, Mohamed Atta, who was the lead hijacker, did apparently travel to Prague on a number of occasions. And on at least one occasion, we have reporting that places him in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence official a few months before the attack on the World Trade Center. The debates about, you know, was he there or wasn’t he there, again, it’s the intelligence business.

Mr. RUSSERT: What does the CIA say about that and the president?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: It’s credible. But, you know, I think a way to put it would be it’s unconfirmed at this point. We’ve got…

Mr. RUSSERT: Anything else?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: There is-again, I want to separate out 9/11, from the other relationships between Iraq and the al-Qaeda organization. But there is a pattern of relationships going back many years. And in terms of exchanges and in terms of people, we’ve had recently since the operations in Afghanistan-we’ve seen al-Qaeda members operating physically in Iraq and off the territory of Iraq. We know that Saddam Hussein has, over the years, been one of the top state sponsors of terrorism for nearly 20 years. We’ve had this recent weird incident where the head of the Abu Nidal organization, one of the world’s most noted terrorists, was killed in Baghdad. The announcement was made by the head of Iraqi intelligence. The initial announcement said he’d shot himself. When they dug into that, though, he’d shot himself four times in the head. And speculation has been, that, in fact, somehow, the Iraqi government or Saddam Hussein had him eliminated to avoid potential embarrassment by virtue of the fact that he was in Baghdad and operated in Baghdad. So it’s a very complex picture to try to sort out.

And…

Mr. RUSSERT: But no direct link?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: I can’t-I’ll leave it right where it’s at. I don’t want to go beyond that. I’ve tried to be cautious and restrained in my comments, and I hope that everybody will recognize that.

Timelines are important. And it’s one of those things that Bush-haters conveniently ignore when they criticize a statement made in the past, based upon the best available information at the time, and “debunk” it, with more recent information that makes the old beliefs obsolete.

WaPo:

Bush, in his speeches, did not say directly that Hussein was culpable in the Sept. 11 attacks. But he frequently juxtaposed Iraq and al Qaeda in ways that hinted at a link. In a March speech about Iraq’s “weapons of terror,” Bush said: “If the world fails to confront the threat posed by the Iraqi regime, refusing to use force, even as a last resort, free nations would assume immense and unacceptable risks. The attacks of September the 11th, 2001, showed what the enemies of America did with four airplanes. We will not wait to see what terrorists or terrorist states could do with weapons of mass destruction.”

Then, in declaring the end of major combat in Iraq on May 1, Bush linked Iraq and the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks: “The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11, 2001 — and still goes on. That terrible morning, 19 evil men — the shock troops of a hateful ideology — gave America and the civilized world a glimpse of their ambitions.”

Moments later, Bush added: “The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We’ve removed an ally of al Qaeda, and cut off a source of terrorist funding. And this much is certain: No terrorist network will gain weapons of mass destruction from the Iraqi regime, because the regime is no more. In these 19 months that changed the world, our actions have been focused and deliberate and proportionate to the offense. We have not forgotten the victims of September the 11th — the last phone calls, the cold murder of children, the searches in the rubble. With those attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States. And war is what they got.”

Again, I believe this is merely a failure on the part of those not paying attention (as well as the fault of the Administration for not communicating better, to the American public, what our war strategy was) and understanding that the connection between the events of September 11th and Iraq, as put forth by the Bush Administration, is one of dealing with stopping the next terror attack. Not going solely and surgically after those involved directly with planning and carrying out 9/11, but with taking a “zero tolerance” approach to dealing with not only those engaged in committing terrorist acts, but also in going after those who train, finance, support, and provide safe-haven for Islamic extremist terrorists.

A number of nongovernment officials close to the Bush administration have made the link more directly. Richard N. Perle, who until recently was chairman of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, long argued that there was Iraqi involvement, calling the evidence “overwhelming.”

Ah, yes….Richard Perle is one of those neocon boogeymen, along with Douglas Feith and Paul Wolfowitz. According to David Brooks,

the people labeled neocons (con is short for “conservative” and neo is short for “Jewish”) travel in widely different circles and don’t actually have much contact with one another. The ones outside government have almost no contact with President Bush. There have been hundreds of references, for example, to Richard Perle’s insidious power over administration policy, but I’ve been told by senior administration officials that he has had no significant meetings with Bush or Cheney since they assumed office. If he’s shaping their decisions, he must be microwaving his ideas into their fillings.

It’s true that both Bush and the people labeled neocons agree that Saddam Hussein represented a unique threat to world peace. But correlation does not mean causation. All evidence suggests that Bush formed his conclusions independently. Besides, if he wanted to follow the neocon line, Bush wouldn’t know where to turn because while the neocons agree on Saddam, they disagree vituperatively on just about everything else. (If you ever read a sentence that starts with “Neocons believe,” there is a 99.44 percent chance everything else in that sentence will be untrue.)

As a civilian advisor to the Defense Department (Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee), Perle doesn’t even count as an administration employee. I do admit, that there have been those like Perle and Wolfowitz who had at one time made mention of the possibilities of an operational connection, and/or a Saddam involvement or perhaps pre-knowledge of the 9/11 plot; and also those like Laurie Mylroie who pushed the angle hard; but at no time did the speculation ever become part of official Administration rhetoric when presenting its case to the American public:

Discussing the secretary’s [Wolfowitz] comments on MSNBC on Friday, Tanenhaus [Vanity Fair] said that the reason Saddam’s role in 9/11 never became the centerpiece of the Bush administration’s rationale for war was because there was no consensus on the issue.

Here’s a full context response by Wolfowitz during Tanenhaus’ Vanity Fair interview:

TANENHAUS: Was that one of the arguments that was raised early on by you and others that Iraq actually does connect, not to connect the dots too much, but the relationship between Saudi Arabia, our troops being there, and bin Laden’s rage about that, which he’s built on so many years, also connects the World Trade Center attacks, that there’s a logic of motive or something like that? Or does that read too much into–

WOLFOWITZ: No, I think it happens to be correct. The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason, but . . . there have always been three fundamental concerns. One is weapons of mass destruction, the second is support for terrorism, the third is the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people. Actually I guess you could say there’s a fourth overriding one which is the connection between the first two. . . . The third one by itself, as I think I said earlier, is a reason to help the Iraqis but it’s not a reason to put American kids’ lives at risk, certainly not on the scale we did it. That second issue about links to terrorism is the one about which there’s the most disagreement within the bureaucracy, even though I think everyone agrees that we killed 100 or so of an al Qaeda group in northern Iraq in this recent go-around, that we’ve arrested that al Qaeda guy in Baghdad who was connected to this guy Zarqawi whom Powell spoke about in his U.N. presentation.

WaPo:

Some Democrats said that although Bush did not make the direct link to the 2001 attacks, his implications helped to turn the public fury over Sept. 11 into support for war against Iraq. “You couldn’t distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein,” said Democratic tactician Donna Brazile. “Every member of the administration did the drumbeat. My mother said if you repeat a lie long enough, it becomes a gospel truth. This one became a gospel hit.”

The only lie repeated for the last 5 years, has been the narrative spun by the media into “gospel truth”: “Bush lied, people died”.

In a speech Aug. 7, former vice president Al Gore cited Hussein’s culpability in the attacks as one of the “false impressions” given by a Bush administration making a “systematic effort to manipulate facts in service to a totalistic ideology.”

Gore is all hot air and zero credibility. Next

Finally, WaPo cuts through the feldercarb:

Bush’s defenders say the administration’s rhetoric was not responsible for the public perception of Hussein’s involvement in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. While Hussein and al Qaeda come from different strains of Islam and Hussein’s secularism is incompatible with al Qaeda fundamentalism, Americans instinctively lump both foes together as Middle Eastern enemies. “The intellectual argument is there is a war in Iraq and a war on terrorism and you have to separate them, but the public doesn’t do that,” said Matthew Dowd, a Bush campaign strategist. “They see Middle Eastern terrorism, bad people in the Middle East, all as one big problem.”

A number of public-opinion experts agreed that the public automatically blamed Iraq, just as they would have blamed Libya if a similar attack had occurred in the 1980s. There is good evidence for this: On Sept. 13, 2001, a Time/CNN poll found that 78 percent suspected Hussein’s involvement — even though the administration had not made a connection. The belief remained consistent even as evidence to the contrary emerged.

“You can say Bush should be faulted for not correcting every single misapprehension, but that’s something different than saying they set out deliberately to deceive,” said Duke University political scientist Peter D. Feaver. “Since the facts are all over the place, Americans revert to a judgment: Hussein is a bad guy who would do stuff to us if he could.”

To me, the above is at the heart of why so many Americans believe(d), in 2003, there was a connection between Saddam and 9/11. Compound that with confusion on what exactly is meant by “connection”, as one can read that multiple ways; and I’m sure some of those Americans who have been polled on this question, probably responded from an informed perspective. It all depends on how one interprets the question.

Key administration figures have largely abandoned any claim that Iraq was involved in the 2001 attacks. “I’m not sure even now that I would say Iraq had something to do with it,” Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, a leading hawk on Iraq, said on the Laura Ingraham radio show on Aug. 1.

A top White House official told The Washington Post on July 31: “I don’t believe that the evidence was there to suggest that Iraq had played a direct role in 9/11.” The official added: “Anything is possible, but we hadn’t ruled it in or ruled it out. There wasn’t evidence to substantiate that claim.”

But the public continues to embrace the connection.

The general public seems to embrace a good many things that are not grounded in the facts; so I’m not at all that surprised.

This article and the polls were conducted in 2003. Today, I wonder how many Americans would respond informatively, when asked, “Were there any connections between Saddam’s Iraq and al-Qaeda?” Apparently, it doesn’t even take a 9/11-Truther to think this sort of kay-rap. (Osama and Zawahiri must be pissed).

I would suspect, due to the media and talking heads drumbeat, that most Americans would say there weren’t any connections. And they’d be incorrect. And because so many people, informed and otherwise, put forth the strawman, “Saddam didn’t have anything to do with 9/11″, I bet if you polled the average American (and global citizen) with the question, “Did President Bush say Saddam had something to do with 9/11?”, most would answer “yes”, with the interpretation of the question to mean that President Bush said/stated/implied/insinuated/suggested that Saddam had a hand in orchestrating the events of 9/11.

More good stuff:

In follow-up interviews, poll respondents were generally unsure why they believed Hussein was behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, often describing it as an instinct that came from news reports and their long-standing views of Hussein. For example, Peter Bankers, 59, a New York film publicist, figures his belief that Hussein was behind the attacks “has probably been fed to me in some PR way,” but he doesn’t know how. “I think that the whole group of people, those with anti-American feelings, they all kind of cooperated with each other,” he said.

Similarly, Kim Morrison, 32, a teacher from Plymouth, Ind., described her belief in Hussein’s guilt as a “gut feeling” shaped by television. “From what we’ve heard from the media, it seems like what they feel is that Saddam and the whole al Qaeda thing are connected,” she said.

Deborah Tannen, a Georgetown University professor of linguistics who has studied Bush’s rhetoric, said it is impossible to know but “plausible” that Bush’s words furthered such public impressions. “Clearly, he’s using language to imply a connection between Saddam Hussein and September 11th,” she said.

“There is a specific manipulation of language here to imply a connection.” Bush, she said, seems to imply that in Iraq “we have gone to war with the terrorists who attacked us.”

Tannen said even a gentle implication would be enough to reinforce Americans’ feelings about Hussein. “If we like the conclusion, we’re much less critical of the logic,” she said.

The Post poll, conducted Aug. 7-11, found that 62 percent of Democrats, 80 percent of Republicans and 67 percent of independents suspected a link between Hussein and 9/11. In addition, eight in 10 Americans said it was likely that Hussein had provided assistance to al Qaeda, and a similar proportion suspected he had developed weapons of mass destruction.

Now, having just read the last few paragraphs alone, you’d think some people would come away from the article with the relevant information (which I emboldened). Yet there are plenty of kool-aid drinkers out there, who will read this piece and others like it, and will walk away from it, (mis)citing it, as supporting the notion that Bush said Saddam responsible for 9/11 and “Bush lied, people died”.

Partisans and BDS sufferers really need to develop better comprehension skills.

As well as get a grip on reality.

This entry was posted in 9/11, American Intelligence, Bush Derangement Syndrome, Iraq/Al-Qaeda Connection, MSM Bias, The Iraqi War, War On Terror. Bookmark the permalink. Saturday, September 13th, 2008 at 9:38 pm
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44 Responses to Did President Bush Link Saddam Hussein to 9/11?

  1. Wordsmith says: 1

    Mr. RUSSERT: Do we have any evidence linking Saddam Hussein or Iraqis to this operation?

    VICE PRES. CHENEY: No.
    Meet the Press, September 16, 2001

    Why would Russert even bring up such a question, less than a week after 9/11 hit, if the constant menace of Saddam wasn’t already deeply ingrained in the American psyche? Questioning Saddam involvement was natural and reasonable to put out there. Similarly, Administration officials who wanted to probe the issue had ample justification from the U.S. history of involvement with Saddam since the first Gulf War. Saddam was a U.S. and international problem. Not a partisan Administration problem.

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  2. Scott Malensek says: 2

    Great piece word.

    One other thought…On Sept 11, 2001, as reports were still coming in about planes being hijacked, crashing, false car bomb reports, and more…there was but one…single…other report of an attack:

    Saddam’s Iraq shot down an unarmed Predator that was monitoring the 1991 cease-fire.

    It’s not at all unreasonable given the years of msm reports linking Osama/Saddam, the long history of Saddam’s working with AQ groups, the reports of Saddam’s regime meeting w AQ leaders (as cited in Section 4 of the 1998 indictment of Bin Laden by the Clinton Admin and in the trials of the African Embassy bombers’ own testimony)…then you get all these reports of complex terror attacks against the US, and a report that Saddam’s Iraq has attacked and shot down a drone (a very rare thing at the time)….no, in the wake of all that it’d have been stupid to NOT ask if Iraq was involved.

    Again, great piece Word. Sadly, I don’t think the numb nuts will dare to read it. They prefer sounbites and pipedreams.

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  3. Missy says: 3

    Wordsmith, how much clearer could you make it, too bad the multitude of the confused won’t see this. It’s excellent!

    Both my husband and I were one of five siblings, out of the 10 of us, three left the Dem party and we have paid dearly, our relationship with our siblings and extended family is strained. But our little Army Sarge is on board with us and we will support him forever. His dad, my brother, passed away March 19, 2003, the night the Iraq war began, he supported President Bush and would have been very proud of his son.

    Throughout the WOT the rest have been in the Bush Lied, people died category. None of them have ever bothered to do any research, read any books or keep up with the war, they get their news in soundbites and the union halls my brothers belong to. Hubby’s side is too busy socially to pay attention but still have ill informed opinions. All have been bitter since the 2000 election and choose to believe the worst and will until Obama saves them. If I e-mailed this to them, they wouldn’t even read it.

    I suspect this is the way it goes across the nation, many that supported our efforts in the beginning are simply, worn down at this point.

    The FA blog hosts are the best, it’s Christmas everyday in here, thank you.

    ReplyReply
  4. Dc says: 4

    Great piece! btw…ever eat at the square egg diner in West Chester?

    I was in WTC plaza on 9/11. We were busy for quite a while just trying to reach safety and didn’t really know what was going on after the first explosion. But, my first thought, and I said it out loud, after the 2nd plane hit and I picked myself up off the ground was….. “Saddam”. I guess, because there was a heavy Iraq link to the first WTC bombing in 93.

    There were known connections in that case between AlQueda (Kalid Sheik Muhammad was Ramsi Yoseff’s uncle) and several of the conspirators. I think at the time, this was passed over/glossed over because AlQueda, at that time had yet to gain the kind of attention in the Clinton admin that Iraq/Saddam had. There were also complications in the prosecutions of this, including of the Blind Shiek, because of the Gorelick memo/Reno “Wall”, that kept a lid on information reaching the public in a broader way. The Clinton admin was “heavily” focused on Saddam/Iraq.

    But, there were at least 2 times..when the Clinton admin (Cohen, R. Clarke and Sandy Berger) made a “clear’ link. One was the Shifa Pharma plant bombed in Sudan, it’s connection with Bin Laden and its connection to Saddam. Perhaps “that’ might be where we’ve heard it before????

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  5. Wordsmith says: 5

    Thanks, Scott.

    The FA blog hosts are the best, it’s Christmas everyday in here, thank you.

    Ho, Ho, Ho! On behalf of the FA crew, THANK YOU for such a morale-boosting, ego-injecting compliment.

    Missy, what part of the country do you live in? I’m out here in Los Angeles, and I’m drowning in a sea of blue. The funny thing is, I think at least half the people I talk to would not be pro-Obama and anti-Bush if they were better informed. It may sound presumptive and arrogant of me, but I really do believe that the MSM in general has made Bush “damaged goods” by how they’ve characterized him and his presidency and his policies, as much as anything Bush himself has actually done to earn the image and reputation.

    btw…ever eat at the square egg diner in West Chester?

    Sounds like a question for skye.

    Glad you survived 9/11, Dc. That must have been quite the surreal experience. I think your first instincts regarding possible involvement from Saddam wasn’t at all unusual from anyone who follows the news.

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  6. Richard Romano says: 6

    What a fabulous post — great work!

    When you have left-wing lunatics out there, like Jeanine Garofalo, it’s no wonder such myths spread.

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  7. Missy says: 7

    Wordsmith, I live in Illinois. 40 minutes NW of O’Hare, it’s pretty “blue” here too. Will soon be retiring to our farm in NW Missouri, something we’ve looked forward to since 1985, long wait for a “red” neighborhood.

    I mentioned this book yesterday, it’s about how the media and democrats damaged President Bush and this country’s war efforts to gain power. Borden worries that it also damaged our future ability to take on Iran. Just ordered it, haven’t read it yet but I think it will be much like your line of thought.

    A Better Country: Why America Was Right to Confront Iraq”
    Arthur Borden

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  8. Dc says: 8

    Ah, Ws, You are right (a question for skye).

    There are many things about that day (9/11) that the general public doesn’t know.
    For example: many of us thought there were “3″ attacks (not 2)

    After the 1rst collapse, visibility south of the area was lousy. The sky was entirely blocked out. Visibility was very low. At one point, I was crawling on my hands and knees trying to help an elderly woman climb over construction and power generators on the west side of the building as the aftermath of the first collapse raged around us. (like being in a hurricane of debris and dust) At that point, we knew it was “planes” that had hit the buildings and that we were under attack. Here’s the point…..we could not see…but we could “hear” jets going super sonic over us. We thought it was more rogue planes. (it was only later, that I found out that they were in fact “our” planes) And as we shuffled along towards the brooklyn bridge…some people were praying…and everytime a plane would go over…people would start to moan, shuffle a little faster…and people just tried to stay calm and keep moving. There were “thousands’ of people. Shoulder to shoulder. We were using our shirts, whatever, to try and breath.

    Every now and again…another plane…moans, a scream…and people would calmly press forward and say keep moving, keep moving. There were woman, children, injured, elderly, ….and we all pressed on. Some helping others, some carrying others, some just left by the wayside, who had abandoned all hope. Then came a quick Swwwossssshhhh….BOOM and a huge rumble/explosion. (it was the 2nd collapse, but we thought it was another plane (a 3rd) landing close by). A blinding rush of debris/dust came rolling up the foot of the brooklyn bridge, onto the bridge. People disappeared in the cloud right in front of us…and you could hear screams. Then…some started jumping off the bridge ramps. People panic’d and rushed back down the bridge ramp…and others tried to stop them. The family in front of me..eyes wide….started to run back….realizing we could not go back…then tried to go forward, realizing they couldn’t go forward…then jumped off the side of the bridge ramp down to the street. All of them. Baby included. (it’s about 15-20 feet).

    I had to stop and get my self straight. I held my head with my hands to try and drown out the screams…and I started shaking. I knew I could not go back. And I knew it was only getting worse…so I pulled my shirt over my face…and held my breath…and started pushing forward as fast as I could. When I entered the debris….I started stripping over stuff I couldn’t see. My hand came off my face. And the dust blinded me. I reached out with my hand and I could hear people around me….but I couldn’t see them. And I kept walking. I ran into a car or something on the bridge. I could not really even see it. I felt around it and kept walking. By this time, my lungs were about to explode, I let the air out and I took a quick shallow breath which was so acrid…I immediately began coughing. And the more I coughed, the worse it got. I fell down on my knees…I was right next to the railing. And I heard another plane. I thought about jumping. And then my lungs were in full panic mode.

    There is this moment of great clarity. It’s like the difference between “thinking” you’ve locked your keys in your car….and looking through the window to see them dangling there. That was the feeling. A sinking feeling, where the possibilities for other outcomes run out. I knew I was going to die. And my mind raced with thoughts….what about my wife, what about the bills, what about..etc..and they quickly left because you realize…ain’t crap you can do about it now. And although I was very scared, and panicked….I kind of knew…it was going to be ok. That people I loved…”knew” I loved them. Thats all that really mattered at that moment…that I was not leaving the world with things unsaid to the people I love. I was just going to try and make it as far as I could. But, it wasn’t that long..the air started to dissipate…clear. The smoke got thinner. The air got clearer. Although my eyes were crusted and watering…I could see. I was still coughing but it was easing. The screams were becoming muted behind me and seemed far off. And I “knew” I was going to make it. I stopped, next to an old woman gasping for air…in what was left of her tattered dress. And we watched people come out of that fog as we caught our breath.

    Out of the fog…very calmly, walks this wall streeter. His suit, torn and burned off. Some of it stuck to his burned skin. His scalp was laid open…sticking up. Blood from his nose. He was carrying only the handle and what was left of the top of his brief case. Like he was going to work.
    The woman and I just watched..in shock as he teetered down to the bottom where a temp aide station had been setup…and they rushed out to get him. I walked into a deli on Atlantic Ave to get some water. There were 2 ME men, celebrating, laughing as they watched the planes on a small tV flying into the buildings over and over. The entire scene was so out of place I could not even take it in. My brain was shutting down. I struggled to get a bottle of water, and just started to walk out and one of them said something. I realized I had not paid for the water and he was asking for a dollar. I reached in my pocket…and it was full of glass/debris and dust and wadded up bills. I piled the entire thing up on his counter and left. I have no idea how much was in there. But, I was going into shock and my systems were shutting down and it was getting harder and harder to think and I knew I had to try and get somewhere.

    I walked 7 miles to a friends house which was the only thing I could force my mind to remember or remember the way to get there from where I was. It was there, that I pulled pieces of what used to be a human being out of my hair in the shower. They say I slept for almost 2 days, then just sat in the back garden and stared…drinking large amounts of alc. I still have bouts of PTSD. I still have trouble with some things. But, one thing I “don’t” have trouble with…is understanding what that day meant and what kind of a war we are in, and that it goes FAR beyond “Al Queda” in caves in Aghanistan and Pakistan or a few dozen disgruntled well to do saudis kids attending college in Europe. I knew it was far beyond a logistical/tactical military campaign. It was more the realization that EVEN my own damn neighbors…had been part of this, supported this, gave money to this, recruited and even trained for this….offered logistical support to them, etc. People who lived “here”. How were we going to change that? How were we going to fight that without loosing who we are and what we are as Americans?

    Regardless of what anyone believes…what has happened in Iraq….is what needed to happen to change this dynamic. Even as we fought in Afghanistan….people STILL held up Osama as a hero and supported his call and cause. Now, because of Iraq and what they have done there…people are rejecting them and their ideology and beliefs. They reject it also because they have in front of them a future that they concluded would never exist for the majority of people who live there (courtesy of OIF and our coaltion partners thank you very much) and have watched AlQueda, and others try and dismantle and destroy any semblance of hope for that and to try and replace that with ethnic cleansing and holy war to divide everyone along those lines. They reject it because it has been exposed for what it truly is and what it stands for…despite their “glorious” propaganda they can use knowing us so well…and with help from people like Adam Gadhan (may he rot in hell).

    I’ve always understood, since 9/11, that this was a “war” and that Iraq was a 2nd front in a larger war. It took Iraq, and a bunch of very, VERY brave young men and women who have sacrificed enormously….while we play dressup and pretend we live in repression at home (if real dictators were only as easy to get rid of) to get to the very heart of this, expose AlQueda and groups like them and slowly begin to turn this around. This isn’t Bush’s war. It’s America’s war. Bush will be gone in a few months. It’s America and our way of life that is on the line here. Not Bush. He’ll go on to be Bush the private citizen after this. But, if you want to know what is at stake in this war….regardless of how you feel about Iraq or any other action taken by this president…..take a look across your dinner table at your family. Look at your neighbor…your friends. Everything that you hold dear…is at stake in this war.

    You may not know it. You may not feel it like some other families do who have people right now with their lives on the line in this war. But, you ARE part of it and your life “is” on the line every single day. Even if all you do is just show up for work one bright sunny Sept morning.

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  9. Missy says: 9

    DC, this is the first time I have seen anyone relate their personal experience of that day in such a way that it put me right there with you. Instead of the numbing horror I experienced that day from just watching my television, you’ve made it clearer as to how difficult the struggle was coupled by the terror you had to endure to get out of there. When thinking of those that were able to cross the bridge, I always assumed they were safe, never understanding what all of you faced during what I now see as a very long, hard walk out of there all the while fearing for your lives. We saw the horrific scenes around the buildings, your story was never told and what you all are living through to this day was never told until now, by you.

    Starting us out with your personal experience and then explaining why you believe this to be America’s war is also a more compelling explanation for this war than I’ve ever seen.

    My hope and prayer is that your scars will heal and peace reigns in your life again.

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  10. wordsmith says: 10

    Dc,

    I echo Missy’s sentiments. That was an outstanding read, and should be made into a post for a wider audience. Your vivid, concrete detailing made me feel the horrors of being there more than simply watching the video footage. Difficult to imagine, so accounts like yours helps one to empathize. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.

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  11. Pingback: Flopping Aces » Blog Archive » 911 from a survivor’s point of view: Courtesy post of DC’s comment

  12. Craig says: 11

    This blog is so fantastic ! The stuff you read here is so well documented and interesting. Thank you Wordsmith for the good work. And also a special thank to you DC for your post, people need to realize what New-Yorkers went trough on that fatal day.

    I am always surprised to see how the World perceives Georges W.Bush. I have admiration for that President who did what he had to do to protect America. But the Medias as so biased that they have succeeded worldwide, to ruin his reputation. I do believe History will have the last word and will restore Georges W.Bush reputation in future books.

    The best book I have read so far on G.W. Bush is:

    WHAT BUSH WANTS – A Reconstruction of the World”, by Guy Millière (Editions de La Martinière)

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  13. Wordsmith says: 12

    Perpetuating the distortion and blurring the distinctions:

    Palin Links Iraq to Sept. 11 In Talk to Troops in Alaska

    By Anne E. Kornblut
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, September 12, 2008; A01

    FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska, Sept. 11 — Gov. Sarah Palin linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, telling an Iraq-bound brigade of soldiers that included her son that they would “defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.”

    The idea that the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein helped al-Qaeda plan the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a view once promoted by Bush administration officials, has since been rejected even by the president himself. But it is widely agreed that militants allied with al-Qaeda have taken root in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion.

    “America can never go back to that false sense of security that came before September 11, 2001,” she said at the deployment ceremony, which drew hundreds of military families who walked from their homes on the sprawling post to the airstrip where the service was held.

    Palin’s return to Alaska coincided with her first extensive interview since she became the Republican vice presidential nominee. In the interview, with ABC News correspondent Charles Gibson, she was confronted with questions about the U.S. relationship with Russia and her fitness for office, and she appeared to struggle when asked to define the “Bush doctrine” on foreign policy. Palin drew repeated follow-up questions from Gibson about whether she believed in the right to “anticipatory self-defense” and crossing other nations’ borders to take action against threats.

    “I believe that America has to exercise all options in order to stop the terrorists who are hellbent on destroying America and our allies,” she said after several questions on the topic. “We have got to have all options out there on the table.”

    That response put her in line with a view expressed by Sen. Barack Obama, now the Democratic presidential nominee, in August 2007, when he stirred controversy by saying that if he were elected president, he would be willing to attack inside Pakistan with or without approval from the Pakistani government. “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will,” Obama said. At the time, McCain called Obama’s comments “naive.”

    Palin continued to take a hard line on national security issues when asked whether war with Russia could be necessary if Georgia were to join NATO and Russia crossed its borders again. Palin replied, “Perhaps so.”

    “I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you’re going to be expected to be called upon and help,” she said.

    In the interview, Palin said “I’m ready” when asked whether she had sufficient experience to serve as vice president. She added that she did not hesitate when McCain offered her the No. 2 spot on the ticket.

    “I answered yes because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can’t blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we’re on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can’t blink,” she told Gibson.

    The event Thursday, held on a barren Army post on the seventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, provided a powerful visual backdrop for Palin’s first solo appearance after weeks of traveling alongside McCain and reading from a carefully prepared script.

    McCain aides were adamant that the ceremony had not been coordinated with the campaign, and officers at the installation said the Alaska governor had agreed to attend months before she was chosen for the GOP ticket. Palin’s son Track, 19, will deploy to Iraq with his unit later this month. McCain’s son Jimmy is with his Marine Corps unit in Iraq, but the senator from Arizona has taken pains to keep him out of the campaign spotlight.

    As she has been since McCain plucked her from relative obscurity two weeks ago, Palin continues to be surrounded by senior McCain advisers even here; the senator’s top strategist, Steve Schmidt, and several others accompanied her to Alaska. The group is guiding Palin through a crash course on policy issues and is revising the campaign’s original plan to send her on fundraising missions separately from McCain.

    Instead, seeking to seize on the outpouring of enthusiasm for Palin, McCain advisers are “seriously considering” having McCain and Palin campaign together on the road. It would be an unusual arrangement — running mates traditionally split up to cover as much ground as possible — but aides believe it would help brand McCain and Palin as a single unit. It would also prevent Palin from having to contend with her own dedicated press contingent as she works to become more comfortable with an array of national and international issues. The campaign is also cognizant of the fact that McCain has consistently drawn bigger crowds since adding Palin to the ticket.

    “It is under serious consideration that they will spend more time together than not, and more time together than is traditional,” said a senior McCain adviser, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “They are a great duo together, from the perspective of delivering a message.” The adviser added: “Sometimes these vice presidential selections, the pairings work in a magical way; they click.”

    Other campaign formalities have also been taken care of in recent days. Aides confirmed that Palin and her husband, Todd, have been assigned Secret Service names: hers is Denali, after the Alaska national park and wildlife preserve that includes Mount McKinley; his is Driller, a nod to his work as an oilman on the state’s North Slope.

    On the Army post outside Fairbanks early Thursday afternoon, thousands of soldiers stood in formation as a low sun beamed on the chilly tarmac. One officer who said he had come to know Track Palin said that the ceremony would have taken place in the same way had the governor not been tapped to run for higher office, and that her son was determined to remain as anonymous as possible.

    Pvt. 1st Class Palin is being sent to Iraq with the Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division. Palin, 19, will be deployed to northern Iraq and will be primarily tasked with protecting and helping transport the deputy commander of his unit, Lt. Col. Michael W. Smith. His position is one of dismounted infantryman.

    “He wants to pave his own route in life. He wants to do his own thing,” Maj. Chris Hyde said. “He doesn’t want to just be known as Governor Palin’s son.”

    Hyde said Col. Burt Thompson had arranged the deployment ceremony to coincide with the Sept. 11 anniversary as a symbol of the importance of the military. “That was intentional,” Hyde said, describing the effort as a “theatrical” one but adding quickly that it had nothing to do with the Palins. “I talked to Track Palin last week, and he’s still just an all-American kid,” Hyde said.

    The governor did not address her son by name in her remarks but spoke broadly on behalf of the troops’ families. “Don’t mind us — your parents, your friends, your family — if we allow for a few tears or if we hold you just a little closer once more before you’re gone,” she said. “We’re going to miss you. We can’t help it, we’re going to miss you.”

    She continued: “You may not need our protection anymore. In fact, you’re the ones who will now be protecting us, protecting America.”

    Hat tip: Scott’s post and American Power

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  14. MataHarley says: 13

    Ya, Word da man. That article by Kornbutt caught my eye, and I posted it on the ABC editing Palin interview thread on Sept 12th. That was before I realized it was Scott’s “also mentioned” link in his post… duh. But Korbutt’s always good for a laugh.

    What a laugh. A desperate Anne Kornbutt goes the tired route of 911/Saddam accusations. Typical one trick monkey that thinks if a jihad movement isn’t wearing an AQ badge, and carrying the membership card, they just can’t be the enemy that “planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.”

    To use Kornbutt’s anal analysis, we never should have removed the Taliban as the rule of Afghanistan. After all, they didn’t attack us on Sept 11th either…

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  15. john e morrissey says: 14

    I have won a number of bets from people who have said to me “Bush Lied etc”.No one has been able to find a quote from GW saying that Saddam had WMD.What he said was that “We do not know if he has WMD but we know he is working to get them and we will not wait for him to choose the time to use them”
    Who said Saddam had WMD? Well for starters Bill Clinton,Sandy Berger,John Kerry ,Jay Rockefeller and most of the Dem leaders.Who called for force to remove Saddam well Bill Clinton when he was President and Hillary and most of the Dems when GW was. How they get away with it is amazing.

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  16. Son of Bill Brasky says: 15

    Bush would mention Saddam Hussein and 9/11 repeatedly in his SOU addresses often in the same breath. That repetition has an effect as is seen in the numbers of people who do think there is that connection.

    Vice President Cheney said in a speech on (6/14/04) that Saddam Hussein “had long-established ties with al Qaeda.”

    Let me ask you something. When has the Administration EVER made the link between 9/11 and Saudi Arabia? Most all of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi nationals. Yet you would never hear of that link. This is obvious distortion.

    It’s kind of like the subliminal messages they used to put into movies. You know, flashing an image of popcorn in between frames to make people hungry for popcorn. It’s the exact same thing.. if you hear Saddam Hussein and 9/11 together repeatedly..it starts to be ingrained into your mind.

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  17. Wordsmith says: 16

    Bush would mention Saddam Hussein and 9/11 repeatedly in his SOU addresses often in the same breath. That repetition has an effect as is seen in the numbers of people who do think there is that connection.

    The connection was made by others (re: media). And yet you still can’t find a single quote where Bush stated Saddam had anything to do with 9/11, can you?

    Basically, you’re just rehashing the arguments that I already covered in my post.

    Vice President Cheney said in a speech on (6/14/04) that Saddam Hussein “had long-established ties with al Qaeda.”

    Yeah….and…..?……?

    Hussein did have long established ties, and as reported to the public- by the media and politicians- during the Clinton Administration.

    Again, you’re doing what has been done for the last 5 years…what VP Cheney actually said on MtP in the full context of when he said it, isn’t as well known as what journalists and pundits say (and distorted) what he said. Like the Senate Select Committee on Pre-War Intell’s phase II report, are 5 speeches alone, the sole cause of what the public believes?

    Let me ask you something. When has the Administration EVER made the link between 9/11 and Saudi Arabia? Most all of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi nationals. Yet you would never hear of that link. This is obvious distortion.

    I wasn’t aware that we were under cease-fire agreements with the Saudi Royals; nor that they violated UN Resolutions that needed enforcement.

    Our relationship to the Saudis is a complex one; but those terrorists are just as much enemies of the Saudi government. al-Qaeda’s war is just as much with secular Middle Eastern governments as much as with the U.S.

    It’s kind of like the subliminal messages they used to put into movies. You know, flashing an image of popcorn in between frames to make people hungry for popcorn. It’s the exact same thing.. if you hear Saddam Hussein and 9/11 together repeatedly..it starts to be ingrained into your mind.

    So then you agree with me that the media is by and large responsible for pushing the connection.

    Pass me the butter…

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  18. i was watching fox news and 911 plane struck and another it so scary to try to figure if people could escape and as i just read DC a real person who escape that against the odds it is something we will always remember best to you DC thank you it should be kept made a book on wath you just wrote

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  19. Unbelievable says: 18

    Where did you get the ridiculous notion that “neocon” translates as “jew” “conservative”?

    “Neo” means NEW, not jew.

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  20. @Unbelievable:

    Ummm… that would be David Brooks who said that.

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  21. this only a mistake of the keypad

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  22. Jon says: 21

    Bush Defends Assertions of Iraq-Al Qaeda Relationship

    President Bush yesterday defended his assertions that there was a relationship between Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda, putting him at odds with this week’s finding of the bipartisan Sept. 11 commission.

    “The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al Qaeda: because there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda,” Bush said after a Cabinet meeting. As evidence, he cited Iraqi intelligence officers’ meeting with bin Laden in Sudan. “There’s numerous contacts between the two,” Bush said.

    “This administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and al Qaeda,” Bush said. “We did say there were numerous contacts between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A50679-2004Jun17.html

    The impact of Bush linking 9/11 and Iraq

    In his prime-time press conference last week, which focused almost solely on Iraq, President Bush mentioned Sept. 11 eight times. He referred to Saddam Hussein many more times than that, often in the same breath with Sept. 11.

    Bush never pinned blame for the attacks directly on the Iraqi president. Still, the overall effect was to reinforce an impression that persists among much of the American public: that the Iraqi dictator did play a direct role in the attacks. A New York Times/CBS poll this week shows that 45 percent of Americans believe Mr. Hussein was “personally involved” in Sept. 11, about the same figure as a month ago.

    Sources knowledgeable about US intelligence say there is no evidence that Hussein played a role in the Sept. 11 attacks, nor that he has been or is currently aiding Al Qaeda. Yet the White House appears to be encouraging this false impression, as it seeks to maintain American support for a possible war against Iraq and demonstrate seriousness of purpose to Hussein’s regime.

    “The administration has succeeded in creating a sense that there is some connection [between Sept. 11 and Saddam Hussein],” says Steven Kull, director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0314/p02s01-woiq.html

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  23. Jon says: 22

    18 September, 2003

    US President George W Bush has explicitly stated for the first time that there is no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 11 September attacks.

    Mr Bush has never directly accused the former Iraqi leader of having a hand in the attacks on New York and Washington, but he has repeatedly associated the two in keynote addresses delivered since 11 September. Senior members of his administration have similarly conflated the two.

    Despite his stated rejection of any clear link between Saddam Hussein and the events of that day, Mr Bush continues to assert that the deposed president had ties with al-Qaeda, the terrorist network blamed for the 11 September attacks.

    BBC News Online looks at some of the remarks made by Mr Bush and members of his administration both in the run-up to war and after hostilities had officially ended.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3119676.stm

    Bush links Al Qaeda in Iraq to 9/11; critics reject connection

    July 13, 2007

    BAGHDAD — In rebuffing calls to bring troops home from Iraq, President George W. Bush employed a stark and ominous defense. “The same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq,” he said, “were the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th, and that’s why what happens in Iraq matters to the security here at home.”

    It is an argument that Bush has been making with heavy frequency in the past few months, as the challenges to the continuation of the war have grown. On Thursday alone, he referred at least 30 times to Al Qaeda or its presence in Iraq

    But his references to Al Qaeda in Iraq, and his assertions that it is the same group that attacked the United States in 2001, have greatly oversimplified the nature of the insurgency in Iraq and its relationship with the Qaeda leadership. Bush’s critics say that he has overstated the Qaeda connection in an attempt to exploit the same kinds of post-Sept. 11 emotions that helped him win support for the invasion in the first place.

    BBC News Online looks at some of the remarks made by Mr Bush and members of his administration both in the run-up to war and after hostilities had officially ended.

    Intellectually honest much?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3119676.stm

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  24. Jon, hi, so what I read is that PRESIDENT BUSH did the right thing, to show them that any terrorist movement where ever they are, who ever they connect with,wont get away easy,and that should be
    the policy of today also, because they are again with IRAN include, taunting the AMERICAS,
    and using the money supply in their SWISS BANK not for helping their people, but to finances
    the not so peacefull people to emigrate in here and try to empower their own brothers who realy
    are too scare to resist and show their names publicly, that is done underground and get some sympathic support from administration who pass it by very diligently, to the detriment of THE AMERICANS
    bye

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  25. Wordsmith says: 24

    @Jon:

    Intellectually honest much?

    After wading through your two posts, the phrase I just blockquoted from you appears to be your only original comment-contribution. Care to elaborate? Just what did you not get from reading my blogpost (if you actually took the time to read it) that you think is trumped by your links? The “substance” of which, I believe, has already been covered in the original post? What is it that you aren’t getting?

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  26. Wordsmith says: 25

    Pg 415-416, In My Time:

    WHEN I APPEARED ON Meet the Press on the Sunday after 9/11, Tim Russert asked me whether we had any evidence linking Saddam Hussein or the Iraqis to the 9/11 attacks. “No,” I answered. But shortly afterward, George Tenet brought me information that suggested the possibility: The CIA had a report that Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker of 9/11, had met with a representative of the Iraqi intelligence Service in Prague prior to the attacks. I was subsequently shown a photograph said to have been taken in Prague and told that there was a high probability that the man in the photo was Mohammed Atta. Thus when I sat down with Tim Russert on December 9, 2001, I mentioned a report, “pretty well confirmed,” that Atta had gone to Prague and met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official. Colin Powell, apparently shown the same information, went even further, telling Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s Late Edition, “Certainly those meetings took place.”

    In the summer of 2002, having been told that the case for Mohammed Atta’s Prague meeting was weakening, I began to alter my statements. I said to Tim Russert on September 8 that the meeting was “unconfirmed at this point.” The next year, following along with what the CIA was reporting, I told Tim, “We’ve never been able to develop any more of that yet, either in terms of confirming it or discrediting it. We just don’t know.” I was careful with what I said- and disappointed when Director Tenet later erroneously wrote that I continued to claim the story was “pretty well confirmed” after the CIA began to doubt it.

    I was also disappointed on June 2, 2004, when Tenet, citing personal reasons, told the president he would be leaving. The Senate Intelligence Committee was soon to issue a report that many thought would be critical of Tenet, and I suspected that entered into his thinking. The president had kept Tenet on when we came into office, a move I had supported. Throughout the intelligence mistakes of Tenet’s tenure, the president and I had backed him. For him to quit when the going got tough, not to mention in the middle of a presidential campaign, seemed to me unfair to the president, who had put his trust in George Tenet.

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  27. Wordsmith, yes, and I remember a link from MISSY, that the DEMOCRATS where giving pressure to go to war with SADAM HUSSEIN, BEING KNOWN BEFORE THE WAR as using torture on his people and on the one tribe living on the north the KURDS, SADAM WAS ALREADY KNOWN TO BE DEFEATED EVEN BEFORE 9/11
    FOR THE SAKE OF FREEDOM AND TO STOP THE TORTURE,
    THE DEMOCRATS WHERE PUTTING A BIG INFLUENCE ON THE MATTER AND AGREED TO WAR IN IRAK
    so, who accuse BUSH, CAN PUT THE DEMOCRATS IN THE SAME ACCUSASION

    ReplyReply
  28. Vincent says: 27

    Here is an excellent website with many links that show how involved Iraq was in 911 and the negligence of the Clinton Administration. The liberal media knew early on that they must divert attention away from the truth because all roads lead to Saddam and that would place the blame squarely on Bill Clinton’s negligence, as well as their own.

    It’s on the web at Spirit Of Truth – Iraqi Links To Terrorism Against America – I could not post the link, but it’s easy to find.

    As for President Bush having to publicly deny any Iraqi involvement while making the occasional slip, how could a President implicate or admit that the previous administration (and the government he is now in charge of and responsible for) was negligent in it’s sworn duties to protect the American people from all enemies?. And ask yourselves, on August 7th 1998, 2 American Embassies were bombed by OBL and Al qeada, killing over 500 Americans, so what does the Clinton administration do?

    They call up the Taliban controlled government of Afghanistan, warn them that they would be shooting cruise missiles at OBL’s base camp in 3 hours and it was not an act of war against them (enough warning for OBL to escape) and a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan. So just a few months later, why did Bill Clinton declare on national TV that Saddam Hussein must be remove from power by force for not only WMDs, but for supporting terrorism?( Al qeada, OBL) And who shoots millions of dollars worth of cruise missiles at a master terrorist, misses, and doesn’t expect retaliation and warn the American people to stay vigilant about it?

    Oh, and where was President Bush in 1998? He was the popular Governor of Texas and no where near the White House.

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  29. Greg says: 28

    It all comes back to me now . . .

    As the threat of al Qaeda was growing, the most pressing business of the GOP was to bring down the Clinton administration over some ridiculous matter of sexual misconduct that basically had little or no real significance. I recall Clinton’s efforts to focus on al Qaeda being repeatedly depicted by republicans as nothing more than an attempt to divert attention from the monumental national issue of some silly girl who was old enough to know her own mind and take care of herself. A missile attack that narrowly missed killing bin Laden was depicted exactly that way. Republicans didn’t give a rat’s ass about al Qaeda or bin Laden. What they cared about was Monica’s dress. Remember? That’s all FOX News seemed to care about. At about that time it first occurred to me that FOX was turning into a right wing propaganda outlet.

    The Bush administration rolled into the White House totally clueless. They ignored the previous administration’s warnings and seemed only dimly aware of al Qaeda before 9/11, which apparently caught them totally by surprise. They screwed up our chance to contain and destroy al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and bungled an early opportunity to kill bin Laden. They then lost focus by unnecessarily invading Iraq, with no clear definition of winning and no clear exit strategy in mind. Think this intention resulted from 9/11? Think again. Declassified documents show regime change in Iraq was on the to do list when Bush and Cheney arrived in the White House. The Project for a New American Century had that war on their agenda long before the election. 9/11 provided the Bush Administration with the needed excuse.

    Oh, yeah. And while doing all of that, they also managed to totally screw up the American economy, precipitating the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression a year before leaving office.

    For the past four years the GOP has done nothing but attempt to justify their past actions, and to shift all blame to the democrats. Their only real objective is to regain control of the government, no matter what it takes, and then to apply all of the same crack-brained policies that fouled everything up to begin with.

    Does that about sum it up?

    What this discussion chiefly tells me is that many on the right haven’t learned a damn thing from past mistakes. They refuse to even acknowledge past mistakes. I guess it serves as a timely reminder, with another election coming up shortly.

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  30. Vincent says: 29

    Greg, thanks for the standard biased liberal media talking points, I see you could not disprove a single fact presented and believe every word uttered by the likes of negligent partisan left wing hacks of MSNBC, CNN, NYT, etc, etc, etc. It’s a chilling reminder of why this country is so divided, every other sentence is another concocted bogus charge against Republicans and the GOP with zero proof, created at the time as diversions to protect their puppet du jour disbarred, negligent and disgraced Bill Clinton. And the sad part is you don’t even know or care that you’ve been used like a tool. Was it the GOP and the Republicans that controlled and lead every liberal media news story for months about Clinton’s petty misdeeds while ignoring to report on the much bigger issues? Who was distracting who, Greg?

    Tell us, was it the GOP or Republicans that stopped Bill Clinton from visiting NYC for 2 full years after the 93 World Trade Center Bombing? Care to discuss the facts? Why did the liberal American news media neglect to mention that Ramsey Yusef was an Iraqi, especially since that attack was just 2 short years to the day that the Gulf War began? Or how about the fact that there was a 55 gallon drum full of liquid cyanide in the van full of explosives? Oh you didn’t know that? add it to the other list of thousands because the liberal media suppressed it. Their tortured excuse? the cyanide vaporized in the explosion and was a non factor. SO THEY TOOK IT UPON THEMSELVES TO NOT REPORT IT TO US? But the BBC had no problem mentioning and discussing the cyanide. Ramsey Yusef the Iraqi was on a mission to topple both buildings on top of surrounding buildings and any survivors would be killed in a toxic cloud of cyanide gas, it was supposed to be an apocalyptic attack, estimates were made that over 300,000 people were targeted for death in lower Manhattan that day, myself included. And THAT was just a few crazies Clinton wanted to send the police after in his press conference? Just 2 years after the Gulf War? And doesn’t warn the country and our enemies with a visit to the WTC? Sorry, but the truth was that bombing was state sponsored retaliation for the Gulf War by Saddam Hussien and Clinton could care less about it.

    And in 1995, when by sheer luck and no thanks to the Clinton administration, Ramsey Yusef was caught by the Pakistanis and put on trial in a secret federal tribunal and easily convicted, on the day the transcripts of the trial were to be made public by federal law, the Clinton administration had the trial documents sealed by Presidential order, talk about secretive. What was the Clinton administration hiding from the public? Or was the GOP and Republicans at fault too? And it is a well known and 100% documented fact that the very same group that failed in 93 were THE VERY SAME ONES THAT PLOTTED PLANNED AND EXECUTED THE 911 TERRORIST ATTACKS. Saddam wasn’t involved? This country WILL NEVER HEAL UNTIL THE TRUTH COMES OUT.

    You say President Bush was clueless? a popular Governor of Texas for 8 years and the son of former President Bush who had a total of 12 years of White House and Presidential experience? For most of those 12 years, George W Bush was in his father’s White House, knew what it took to be a President long before being one, and the liberal media had the audacity to call this man dumb? Vicious and gutless partisan liberal hacks that have divided this country, that’s who. And who went after President Bush, non stop like vicious animals, disrupting the government any way they could from election day until the morning of 911? Talk about obstruction distraction and negligence committed by the democrats. It continued right after 911, right up until 2006 mid term elections when democrats took control of both houses. Their first order of business? destroying the economy and President Bush. A 15% increase in ethanol production? It sent food and gasoline prices thru the roof. Chuck Schumer causing a run on a California bank with a private letter he read at a press conference, causing the beginning of the bank collapses? That was President Bush’s fault, Greg? There are many things a great majority of this country will never forget.

    Personally Greg, I could really care less what you think, because since you lack critical thinking skills, you’ve said nothing at all and are a glowing example of why we have one of the worst puppets in American history as POTUS, you probably cling to the lies to not feel the guilt. The teleprompter reader in Chief act has worn really thin. Oh, and the reason why President Obumbles refuses to release his college records besides the fact he was never in class, had horrible grades and did “all kinds of drugs enthusiastically”?(or as Tom Brokaw said, “we know nothing about this man”)

    On his applications, he listed himself as a FOREIGN student. And guess what? It doesn’t even matter where he was born because his mother was an American citizen making him an automatic American citizen. John McCain was born in Panama. But boy does the liberal media keep democrats foaming at the mouth and distracted with non stop bogus birther stories. Don’t worry, we’ll rescue the country from the left wingers, it won’t be long now. And thanks Greg. For nothing.

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  31. Jerry says: 30

    In a letter dated March 21, 2003, from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Bush says:

    “I have also determined that the use of armed force against Iraq 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.”

    Clear as day…

    You can read the entire letter here.

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  32. Wordsmith says: 31

    @Jerry: That isn’t even a “nice try”. Murky at best; “clear as day” only by a stretch. “Clear as day” would be: “…authorizes the President to use “all necessary and appropriate force” against Iraq for planning, authorizing, committing, or aiding the 9/11 attacks….” That would be “clear as day.”

    Re-read what you cited. Then weigh this against the bulk of what I wrote in this post. There is nothing out there where President Bush stated that Saddam had a hand in the events of 9/11, as part of the case for war.

    The letter doesn’t state that Iraq itself is a nation that “planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001″. However,

    Military action against Iraq might also be authorized, under certain circumstances, pursuant to Pub. L. No. 107-40, the “Authorization for Use of Military Force” enacted shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Pub. L. No. 107-40 authorizes the President to use “all necessary and appropriate force” against those nations, organizations or persons whom ‘he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the [September 11] terrorist attacks . . . or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.” 115 Stat. 224 (emphasis added). Were the President to order military action against Iraq because, in his judgment, Iraq provided assistance to the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks, he also would be acting with prior statutory authorization pursuant to Pub. L. No. 107-40.

    “Also” as in “addition to”. Plenty of justification was based upon enforcement of UNSCR 678 and all subsequent, related UNSCRs. Saddam’s involvement in the events of 9/11 were fully questioned and researched (rightfully so, as any responsible administration would have done, based upon a decade of history; which is why there are so many quotes from both Democrats and Republicans warning about the dangers of Saddam. To not even speculate involvement and leave Iraq’s stone unturned would have been irresponsible); but involvement at the time the decision to invade was made was never established; any relationship, found murky at best; and so the case for an operational Iraq-al-Qaeda relationship was never made an official part of the war justification by the Bush Administration.

    3 of the 23 “Whereas” clauses in the AUMF you might find questionable:

    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;

    After the Afghanistan invasion, al-Qaeda fighters did flee the battlefield, with a number of them going to Iraq for refuge. Still, that “whereas” clause does not state al-Qaeda and Iraq had an operational hand in the events of 9/11.

    And as we just covered:

    Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war
    on terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding
    requested by the President 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, or harbored such persons or organizations;

    Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue
    to take all appropriate 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, or
    harbored such persons or organizations;

    Nowhere is it writ that Iraq is a stated nation “who planned, authorized, committed, or aided
    the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001″

    AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY
    FORCE AGAINST IRAQ RESOLUTION OF 2002
    (PUBLIC LAW 107–243—OCT. 16, 2002)


    OLC memorandum on Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002

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  33. Wordsmith
    it’s strange that your post was made in 2008, and jump 2009, no comment there on that year,
    than came back in 2010, 2011, 2012 until now,
    I guess there was enough blame BUSH NARRATIVE COMING FROM OBAMA in 2009,

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  34. MISSY
    WISH YOU THE BEST YEAR COMING,
    MISSING YOUR SO SMART COMMENTS SINCE YOU LEFT US.
    BYE

    ReplyReply
  35. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL HERE FOR THE YEAR 2013 COMING SOON OR ALREADY HERE DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU LIVE, MAY YOUR WISHES COME THROUGH

    ReplyReply
  36. Pingback: 10 Yr Anniversary of OIF: The Lie that Bush Lied | Flopping Aces

  37. Bob From District 9 says: 35

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/06/18/cheney.iraq.al.qaeda/

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — Vice President Dick Cheney said Thursday the evidence is “overwhelming” that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, and he said media reports suggesting that the 9/11 commission has reached a contradictory conclusion were “irresponsible.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/06/17/Bush.alqaeda/index.html

    Thursday, June 17, 2004 Posted: 3:33 PM EDT (1933 GMT)

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Bush on Thursday said that there were “numerous contacts” between Iraq and the terror network.

    Bush, in a brief appearance before reporters, was asked why the administration insists that Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda had a relationship “when even you have denied any connection between Saddam and September 11, and now the September 11 commission says that there was no collaborative relationship at all?”

    The president answered:”The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al Qaeda, because there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2008/03/17/20468/cheney-iraq-al-qaeda-again/?mobile=nc

    I always hark back to the testimony that George Tenet, then CIA director, gave in I think it was 2003 in public session — this was open testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee — that there was a
    relationship between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaida that went back a decade.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/17975678/#

    WASHINGTON — Vice President Dick Cheney repeated his assertions of al-Qaida links to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq on Thursday as the Defense Department released a report citing more evidence that the prewar government did not cooperate with the terrorist group.

    Cheney contended that al-Qaida was operating in Iraq before the March 2003 invasion led by U.S. forces and that terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was leading the Iraqi branch of al-Qaida. Others in al-Qaida planned the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

    “He took up residence there before we ever launched into Iraq, organized the al-Qaida operations inside Iraq before we even arrived on the scene and then, of course, led the charge for Iraq until we killed him last June,” Cheney told radio host Rush Limbaugh during an interview. “As I say, they were present before we invaded Iraq.”

    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2004/06/16/bush_backs_cheney_on_assertion_linking_hussein_al_qaeda/?page=full

    Bush backs Cheney on assertion linking Hussein, Al Qaeda

    By Michael Kranish and Bryan Bender, Globe Staff | June 16, 2004

    WASHINGTON — President Bush yesterday defended Vice President Dick Cheney’s assertion this week that Saddam Hussein had longstanding ties with Al Qaeda, even as critics charged that the White House had no new proof of a connection.

    At a news conference with Afghan president Hamid Karzai, Bush stood by his vice president, saying Hussein ”had ties to terrorist organizations,” though he did not specifically mention Al Qaeda.

    ”I look forward to the debates where people are saying, ‘Oh gosh, the world would be better off if Saddam Hussein were still in power,’ ” Bush said.

    Bush has previously said there was ”no evidence” linking Hussein to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, but he and other members of his administration have continued to say they believe there were ties between Hussein and Al Qaeda. In a speech to the conservative Madison Institute in Orlando on Monday, Cheney called Hussein ”a patron of terrorism” and said ”he had long established ties with Al Qaeda.”

    http://open.salon.com/blog/je_robertson/2009/06/02/cheney_admits_to_lying_about_iraq-911_connection_sort_of

    JUNE 2, 2009 10:14AM
    Cheney Admits to Lying About Iraq-9/11 Connection, Sort of
    Rate: 13 Flag

    Former vice president Dick Cheney told a gathering at the National Press Club on Monday that Saddam Hussein had no ties to al Qaeda and no link to the attacks of 11 September 2001. He had previously been a committed proponent of intelligence reports (never published) he claimed demonstrated such a link.

    According to a book by Washington Post investigative reporter Barton Gellman, former Republican House leader Dick Armey, who was skeptical of the need to invade Iraq, at the outset, has said he changed his mind when Cheney, then vice president, told him in no uncertain terms “that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had direct personal ties to al-Qaeda terrorists and was making rapid progress toward a suitcase nuclear weapon”.

    As reported by the Washington Post:

    Cheney’s assertions, described by former House majority leader Richard K. Armey (Tex.), came in a highly classified one-on-one briefing in Room H-208, the vice president’s hideaway office in the Capitol. The threat Cheney described went far beyond public statements that have been criticized for relying on “cherry-picked” intelligence of unknown reliability. There was no intelligence to support the vice president’s private assertions, Gellman reports, and they “crossed so far beyond the known universe of fact that they were simply without foundation.”

    In fact, for several years, Dick Cheney was the most vehement supporter of the theory that Saddam Hussein might have had links to the attacks. While he tended to prefer public statements alleging a “direct link” or “secret meeting in Prague”, Cheney was persistent, until long after the invasion of Iraq, about his assertion that Iraq was involved in helping al Qaeda to fund and plan its attacks.

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  38. OBAMA SAID AND KEEP REPEATING
    ASSAD MUST GO, ASSAD MUST GO,
    DOES IT REMIND YOU OF DEJA VU? EGYPT, LYBIA YEMEN,,
    and ASSAD could have left his loyals citizens many times before
    to get a new life out of battle with terrorist,
    but he stayed to face them and combat them, he choose the hard life, what does it tell you?compare to the other choice of government, don’t we have enough proof of what is going on,
    it is so easy to make him look like a butcher by adverse force the MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD
    THEY WHERE THERE TO GET SOME TO JOIN THEM WAY BEFORE THE REVOLT,
    JUST LIKE THEY ARE HERE GATHERING SUPPORT, RECALL THE BIG DEBATE QUESTION
    AND ANSWER,
    DO YOU WANT GOD IN THE DEBATE OR NOT? THEY WHERE LOUD, AND NOW WOULD BE LOUDER,
    AND LOUDER AS THEY CONTINUE TO INFILTRATE AND LET FREE BY OBAMA.
    NOW HE REPEAT ASSAD MUST GO ON AND ON.
    DID ASSAD KEPT KILLING HIS PEOPLE BEFORE THE REBELLION? NO,
    KING OF JORDAN SAID, THEY ARE TRYING TO INFILTRATE AND
    MAKE TROUBLE HERE,
    HE WILL BE NEXT ON OBAMA CALL TO RESIGN,
    are we waiting for the CRESCENT TO BECOME FULL CIRCLE?
    IT WILL THEN BE TOO LATE,

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  39. Vinny says: 37

    @Bob From District 9:
    Forgot about this, which should prove to everyone just how deceptive and criminal the leftwing media is, because if this happened at Fox News, liberals would be burning Roger Ailes in effigy. Isn’t it AMAZING that CNNâ��s chief news executive Eason Jordan has admitted that for a decade, the network has systematically covered up stories of Iraqi atrocities?. Reports of murder, torture, and planned assassinations were suppressed in order to maintain CNNâ��s Baghdad bureau and WHO EVEN TALKED ABOUT IT? It was COMPLETELY IGNORED by the leftwing media, and the op-ed was in THE NEW YORK TIMES!

    CNN�s Iraqi Cover-Up

    The lengths to which the left wing democrat party mainstream media has gone to inorder to protect the NEGLIGENT CLINTON ADMINISTRATION. So do I blame Cheney for giving up his valiant decades long fight for the truth to come out? No, he has taken more than his share of arrows. But the truth will be told one day, and god help the criminals that covered it up.

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  40. Wordsmith says: 38

    @Bob From District 9: Sorry for the tardy response. I don’t get notifications to my primary address, and since this is an old thread, I don’t wander in here that often.

    I don’t quite get how anything you cut-and-pasted trumped the thrust of my post? Did you even bother to read my post carefully so that you can understand the argument?

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/06/18/cheney.iraq.al.qaeda/

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — Vice President Dick Cheney said Thursday the evidence is “overwhelming” that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, and he said media reports suggesting that the 9/11 commission has reached a contradictory conclusion were “irresponsible.”

    There was a “relationship” there. This is confirmed by the 2007 Iraqi Perspectives Project, based upon the Harmony Database. I would think this trumps anything misreported in 2004. Furthermore, as Scott points out in regards to the 9/11 Commission Report,

    the 9/11 Commission saying no evidence of collaborative ties or the SSCI report of “no evidence of ties”…all of those comments are only half quoted.

    ~~~

    When the 9/11 Commission and Senate Intelligence Committee both said there was a lack of evidence, they BOTH continued on to say that the reason for the lack of evidence was a lack of intelligence reporting (evidence gathering) from 98-01. In fact, we know from both that monitoring of AQ prior to 9/11 never numbered more than 40 people and averaged only 4! As bad is the comment from the Senate Intelligence Committee that after 98 there were ZERO human intelligence assets reporting on Iraq. No one collecting evidence equals no evidence.

    Basically the question about the extent of Saddam’s ties to al Qaeda were left open-ended, until such times as more information could be gathered.

    The question is, up to 2003 and 2004 (when Cheney is cited in the article; in which case he is sticking to what was argued, pre-war), what did we know at the time? Did Bush and Cheney and the NSC act in good faith based upon what was known at the time, based upon the best intell reports they had at their disposal to make judgments on? Or did they simply “make stuff up”?

    And how does this even address my point in this post? It doesn’t. I do like the rest of the CNN article that you chose not to cite:

    However, the commission also found that bin Laden did “explore possible cooperation with Iraq.”

    Cheney told CNBC that cooperation included a brigadier general in the Iraqi intelligence service going to Sudan, where bin Laden was based prior to moving his operations to Afghanistan, to train al Qaeda members in bomb-making and document forgery.

    Both Cheney and President Bush are strongly disputing suggestions that the commission’s conclusion that there were no Iraqi fingerprints on the 9/11 attacks contradicts statements they made in the run-up to the Iraq war about links between Iraq and al Qaeda.

    Bush, who has said himself that there is no evidence Iraq was involved in 9/11, sought to explain the distinction Thursday, saying that while the administration never “said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated” with Iraqi help, “we did say there were numerous contacts between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.”

    “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,” the president said. (Full story)

    In his CNBC interview, Cheney went a bit further. Asked if Iraq was involved in 9/11, he said, “We don’t know.”

    “What the commission says is they can’t find evidence of that,” he said. “We had one report, which is a famous report on the Czech intelligence service, and we’ve never been able to confirm or to knock it down.”

    The uncorroborated Czech report, which has been widely disputed, alleged that 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta met with an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague before the attacks.

    Asked if he knows information that the 9/11 commission does not know, Cheney replied, “Probably.”

    You did include part of the above in your next link, again as if it’s somehow revelatory (it is not. Read my post very carefully):

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/06/17/Bush.alqaeda/index.html

    Thursday, June 17, 2004 Posted: 3:33 PM EDT (1933 GMT)

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Bush on Thursday said that there were “numerous contacts” between Iraq and the terror network.

    Bush, in a brief appearance before reporters, was asked why the administration insists that Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda had a relationship “when even you have denied any connection between Saddam and September 11, and now the September 11 commission says that there was no collaborative relationship at all?”

    The president answered:”The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al Qaeda, because there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda.”

    Like the press, apparently you don’t get what is being said. *sigh*

    I love me some think progress from your mobile device:

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2008/03/17/20468/cheney-iraq-al-qaeda-again/?mobile=nc

    I always hark back to the testimony that George Tenet, then CIA director, gave in I think it was 2003 in public session — this was open testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee — that there was a
    relationship between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaida that went back a decade.

    Glad Think Progress includes the Cheney moneyquote:

    CHENEY: Well, this is no operational link. But there was, as I recall from looking at it, extensive links with Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Egyptian Islamic Jihad was the organization headed by Zawahiri, and he merged EIJ with Al Qaeda when he became the deputy director of Al Qaida, Osama bin Laden’s number two. Now, was that a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda? Seems to me pretty clear that there was.

    But it’s a question — I would urge you to go read the report. I know ABC reported on it. If you dig into the report in depth, I think you may find that there was an extensive relationship with a broad range of terrorist groups, that he was a state sponsor of terror. And I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.

    If you and Think Progress don’t get what Cheney references, you guys are a lockstep behind. Looks like they are also misstating what the DoD study actually reported (I didn’t click on, and am assuming it’s to the Iraqi Perspectives Project). Sounds like Cheney actually read the report, unlike journalists who merely piggybacked on the McClatchy reporter who misrepresented what is actually found within the Report.

    Basically, same mainstream news story, different link:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/17975678/#

    WASHINGTON — Vice President Dick Cheney repeated his assertions of al-Qaida links to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq on Thursday as the Defense Department released a report citing more evidence that the prewar government did not cooperate with the terrorist group.

    Cheney contended that al-Qaida was operating in Iraq before the March 2003 invasion led by U.S. forces and that terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was leading the Iraqi branch of al-Qaida. Others in al-Qaida planned the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

    Really?! I’d appreciate it if you can find me a direct quote on that, rather than a misreport/misreading of what Cheney actually is arguing.

    Regardless of al Qaeda presence the previous 10 years, I don’t see how anyone can even question Zarqawi’s presence in Iraq pre-war, along with the hundreds of al Qaeda fighters who fled the battlefield of Afghanistan post-OEF and sought safe-haven in Iraq, pre-OIF.

    “He took up residence there before we ever launched into Iraq, organized the al-Qaida operations inside Iraq before we even arrived on the scene and then, of course, led the charge for Iraq until we killed him last June,” Cheney told radio host Rush Limbaugh during an interview. “As I say, they were present before we invaded Iraq.”

    And so once again….what is your point? What is it you are arguing by including the links and quotes?!

    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2004/06/16/bush_backs_cheney_on_assertion_linking_hussein_al_qaeda/?page=full

    Bush backs Cheney on assertion linking Hussein, Al Qaeda

    By Michael Kranish and Bryan Bender, Globe Staff | June 16, 2004

    WASHINGTON — President Bush yesterday defended Vice President Dick Cheney’s assertion this week that Saddam Hussein had longstanding ties with Al Qaeda, even as critics charged that the White House had no new proof of a connection.

    At a news conference with Afghan president Hamid Karzai, Bush stood by his vice president, saying Hussein ”had ties to terrorist organizations,” though he did not specifically mention Al Qaeda.

    ”I look forward to the debates where people are saying, ‘Oh gosh, the world would be better off if Saddam Hussein were still in power,’ ” Bush said.

    Bush has previously said there was ”no evidence” linking Hussein to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, but he and other members of his administration have continued to say they believe there were ties between Hussein and Al Qaeda. In a speech to the conservative Madison Institute in Orlando on Monday, Cheney called Hussein ”a patron of terrorism” and said ”he had long established ties with Al Qaeda.”

    *Yawn*….Why cite more than one link to the same media “scoop”? Especially when nothing in it trumps my post.

    Please read carefully what my post claims. Not the strawman you wish it to have claimed.

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  41. Wordsmith
    what a great post you author,
    this is a precious one for HISTORY,
    I’m glad it resurface, a good suply of facts under the PRESIDENT BUSH,
    he never try to mislead AMERICAN,
    and as he said, HE NEVER SOLD HIMSELF, and so true,
    thank you

    ReplyReply
  42. S. Donovan says: 40

    As an attorney, a student of history, and someone who lost a friend in the No. Tower on 9/11, I am always on the hunt for new info about the 9/11 attacks. I read about half of your piece before the phone rang. When I returned, I perused your site and immediately caught the liberal vs. conservative bias. (Liberals all wrong, conservatives always right). I approached this thinking you might actually have approached this topic without a political axe to grind. I discovered the opposite to be true. Oh well. Time wasted I cannot get back.

    ReplyReply
  43. Wordsmith says: 41

    @S. Donovan:

    When I returned, I perused your site and immediately caught the liberal vs. conservative bias. (Liberals all wrong, conservatives always right). I approached this thinking you might actually have approached this topic without a political axe to grind. I discovered the opposite to be true. Oh well. Time wasted I cannot get back.

    Welcome to FA! I’m saddened to hear that you allowed your own bias regarding “conservative vs. liberal” shut down your interest in reading further.

    FA is a conservative blog, and yes I have a conservative bias. However, FA is made up of several authors who are not all cookie-cutter conservatives, nor all far to the right. I’d classify myself as more center-right; and if you judge my writings based upon the crowd I hang out and associate with and what others write rather than on the actual content of my own voice, then you do yourself a disservice. You are stereotyping.

    I admit to a bias (we all have them). But I’m more interested in the truth, even if filtered through a conservative lens. I think distorting truth to push through an agenda only harms. And that the best way to arrive at the truth is to read both sides with a bias and figure out for yourself what is spin and what is honesty.

    Please don’t walk away and leave this stone unturned, simply because it’s posted on a conservative site. If you find anything in this post to be dishonest or inaccurate in your own research, please lay down the challenge. I want this post to be subjected to as much scrutiny as possible. At the end of the day, it either holds water, or it doesn’t.

    Please take the time to read through my post. I think you’ll find the perspective interesting, even if you disagree at the end of it- especially so, if you disagree with the main thrust of my arguments.

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  44. Wordsmith says: 42

    @S. Donovan:

    and someone who lost a friend in the No. Tower on 9/11, I am always on the hunt for new info about the 9/11 attacks.

    Sorry for the loss of your friend. I also knew someone who flew aboard Flight 175- the 2nd plane to hit….and the one we have so many images and film footage of, capturing the murder of my boss and his family.

    FA has some content in regards to al Qaeda and the events of 9/11 that I believe stands up to scrutiny, beyond politics and bias. One of the authors who doesn’t blog anymore did a tremendous amount of research into 9/11, Iraq, and al-Qaeda. Rather than merely relying upon journalists filtering and interpretation of source material (and sometimes misinterpreting or infusing their own personal biases into their accounts), Scott Malensek would often read the source materials directly, himself. Senate intell reports, declassified intell, military accounts, etc.

    Please look through some of the archive material and don’t let the “left vs. right” turn you off from what amounts to great research on the part of someone like Scott (who, incidentally, was a registered Democrat).

    ReplyReply

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