Wednesday, June 16, 2004
The rest of the story: The 9/11 commission's declaration that they have found "no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States" is being turned into a stick to beat the president with the "Bush lied" canard.
The panel investigating the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks found "no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States," according to a staff report issued on Wednesday.
The report contradicts statements from the Bush administration that Saddam Hussein had ties to al Qaeda.
No, it doesn't. And if you read the rest of the story, you'll find out that the second paragraph there is factually untrue. In fact, the remainder of the story is full of evidence that Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda had regular, friendly contacts -- though not necessarily with regard to the 9/11 attacks.
A senior Iraqi intelligence officer reportedly made three visits to Sudan, finally meeting bin Laden in 1994.
Bin Laden is said to have requested space to establish training camps, as well as assistance in procuring weapons, but Iraq apparently never responded.
If a member of the Bush family had met bin Laden three times in 1994, then you can bet Michael Moore would make a movie about it. (Oh, Bush didn't meet bin Laden and Moore has still made a movie about it? Interesting.)
To prove how much of a farce the 9/11 commission is, you'd think at least a cursory glance would be made to the reporting of The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes.
Saddam Hussein may or may not have been in on the 9/11 terrorist attacks -- but there should be no doubt that he and Osama bin Laden took the old axiom "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" to heart.
*CLARIFICATION/UPDATE* I still think the 9/11 commission is a farce, but should have noted that the commission is not completely to blame for this inaccurate reporting. As Instapundit points out, the mistake being made by nearly every press outlet is confusing the meager evidence of Saddam/Sept. 11 links with plenty of evidence of Saddam/al Qaeda links. Saddam may not have been "in the know" with regard to 9/11, but the belief that the secular Saddam would have nothing to do with the fundamentalist bin Laden (and vice versa) is without basis.
With the press reporting this the way they are, however, it would be advisable for the publicity-loving 9/11 commission members to get on TV and talk to the print press and set them straight.