Sunday, May 15, 2005

White House keeps lying about 9/11 and Iraq

Secretary of State Rice had this to say today in Iraq, from CNN

Appearing Sunday in one of Saddam's former palaces, Rice received loud cheers and applause from U.S. forces and diplomats.

"I want you to keep focused on what you are doing here," Rice told the diplomats and troops.

Although the U.S. decision to launch the war in 2003 was condemned in many nations and the original justification -- Saddam's alleged weapons of mass destruction -- turned out to be based on flawed intelligence, Rice said, "This war came to us, no the other way around."

Referring to the attacks of September 11, 2001, Rice said, "The absence of freedom in the Middle East -- the freedom deficit -- is what produced the ideology of hatred that allowed them to fly airplanes into a building on a fine September day."

Wait a second. This war came to us? (see previous post) But Iraq and Qaeda weren't connected until we invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam. Even Bush has admitted that Iraq and 9/11 weren't connected.

But at the time President Bush said, "We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11 [attacks]. What the vice president said was that he has been involved with al Qaeda."

The problem is that even this wasn't true, from Staff Statement 15 of the 9/11 commission

Bin Ladin also explored possible cooperation with Iraq during his time in Sudan, despite his opposition to Hussein's secular regime. Bin Ladin had in fact at one time sponsored anti-Saddam Islamists in Iraqi Kurdistan. The Sudanese, to protect their own ties with Iraq, reportedly persuaded Bin Ladin to cease this support and arranged for contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda. A senior Iraqi intelligence officer reportedly made three visits to Sudan, finally meeting Bin Ladin in 1994. Bin Ladin is said to have requested space to establish training camps, as well as assistance in procuring weapons, but Iraq apparently never responded. There have been reports that contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda also occurred after Bin Ladin had returned to Afghanistan, but they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship. Two senior Bin Ladin associates have adamantly denied that any ties existed between al Qaeda and Iraq. We have no evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States.
But we know this, and we also know that Iraq destroyed its WMD capabilities years ago. Bush's plan for war, regardless of its rationale, was designed even before he was president.
“He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999,” said author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz. “It was on his mind. He said to me: ‘One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.’ And he said, ‘My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.’ He said, ‘If I have a chance to invade….if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it. I’m going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I’m going to have a successful presidency.”
But Bush would need an excuse to attack Iraq. One that would drive the nation to call for blood. Those who had studied Qaeda knew that Iraq wasn't behind 9/11, and attacking Iraq would have been, well, odd.
[Richard] Clarke says that as early as the day after the attacks, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was pushing for retaliatory strikes on Iraq, even though al Qaeda was based in Afghanistan.

Clarke suggests the idea took him so aback, he initially thought Rumsfeld was joking.
If only he had been. Rumsfeld just doesn't seem like he has much of a sense of humor.

by Robster @ 5/15/2005 08:37:00 PM PERMALink