Wednesday, December 18, 2002

While I'm on the American Prospect, a small point about an interesting article:

But for all the declared unity over Iraq, there's one little thing America and Britain disagree on: whether Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party regime has links with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network. Behind the claims of "common purpose" and "unity of mission," U.S. and U.K. officials are at loggerheads over the Bush administration's allegation that Hussein and bin Laden are in cahoots.

Leading Bush officials have made claims of a Hussein-bin Laden link central to their justifications for invading Iraq. "There clearly are contacts between al-Qaeda and Iraq that can be documented," said National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice in September, though she didn't provide any evidence for these "contacts," much less documentation. Asked whether there is a link between Hussein and bin Laden, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld replied, "I have no desire to go beyond saying the answer is 'yes.' "
Last I checked, the only officials that were trying to make that connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq were political appointees; the civil service (including, especially, the CIA) has been pretty clear that they haven't really found any clear proof that there are real links between Al Qaeda and Iraq. Yes, the Bushies are saying that they are, but they also say that the tax cut doesn't go to the wealthy; you've gotta be careful trusting them. The civil service has less reason to be deceitful, and they're pretty open about the lack of connections.

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