Skip to comments.PRESS DISTORTIONS ARE OUTRAGEOUS:
Posted on 06/18/2004 6:53:36 AM PDT by .cnI redruM
The press is having a field day trying to spin the story that the 9/11 Commission has conclusively contradicted the White House on whether there were ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda. Yesterday The New York Times began their lead editorial titled The Plain Truth:
It's hard to imagine how the commission investigating the 2001 terrorist attacks could have put it more clearly yesterday: there was never any evidence of a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, between Saddam Hussein and Sept. 11. Now President Bush should apologize to the American people, who were led to believe something different.
The problem is the 9/11 Commission never said there were no links between Iraq and Al Qaeda and President Bush never said that Saddam Hussien was involved with 9/11. The panel's chairman, Thomas H. Kean , said just yesterday, "Were there contacts between al Qaeda and Iraq? Yes."
The President made it very clear following his Cabinet meeting he was not backing off one bit:
Q Mr. President, why does the administration continue to insist that Saddam had a relationship with al Qaeda, when even you have denied any connection between Saddam and September 11th. And now the September 11th Commission says that there was no collaborative relationship at all.
PRESIDENT BUSH: 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. This administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and al Qaeda. We did say there were numerous contacts between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.
Brit Hume's Special Report exposed the Associated Press line of questioning and their conclusion:
The AP leads off its story on a new 9/11-commission report by saying the document -- "bluntly contradict[s] the Bush administration" by claiming to have no credible evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the September 11th terrorist attacks.
In fact, the Bush administration has never said that such evidence exists. President Bush denied a connection to 9/11 as recently as last September, saying -- "we've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September 11th."
Bush went on to say, -- "there's no question that Saddam Hussein had Al Qaeda ties" -- an assertion that the commission's report actually supports.
Paul Mirengoff, over at Powerline does an excellent job of deconstructing similar type spin from the Washington Post's Walter Pincus and Dana Milbank.
According to the two Washington Post men, the commission found that "the contacts that took place between Iraq and al Qaeda officials never led to actual cooperation." The two then say that the commission's report thus "challenges one of the Bush administration's main justifications for the war in Iraq" that "there were extensive ties between Hussein's government and bin Laden's terrorist network."
Both claims by Pincus and Milbank are false. First, the commission didn't find that the contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda never led to cooperation. Rather, as Democratic commission member Lee Hamilton is quoted as saying later in the story, the commission was only saying "we don't have any evidence of a cooperative relationship between Saddam's government and al Qaeda operatives with regard to the attacks on the United States." In other words, the commission is limiting its finding to the issue of cooperation (or lack thereof) with respect to attacks on the United States (although the report also says there "appears" not to have been "a collaborative relationship"). Moreover, the commission is saying only that it has no credible evidence of Iraqi cooperation in al Qaeda's attacks on the U.S, not (as Pincus and Milbank would have it) that such cooperation didn't occur. No wonder Lee Hamilton insisted that this finding is no big deal.
Second, the commission's finding does not challenge the administration's claim that there were extensive ties between al Qaeda and Iraq. The commission found that there were contacts between the two entities, but did not focus on the extent of those contacts, only on their nature, i.e. whether they involved Iraq collaborating with al Qaeda, particularly with respect to attacks against the US
Third, Pincus and Milbank never show that the link between al Qaeda and Iraq was a major justification for the war, and I do not recall the Bush administration presenting it as such. The authors patch together statements by Bush and Cheney (some before the war, some after) discussing the connection, but that is not the same thing as presenting it as a "main justification," on par (in the author's latest telling) with WMD. The mainstream media's line on the nature of the Bush administration's justification[s] for the war seems to depend on which justification[s] can be depicted as the most vulnerable at any given time.
On CNBC's Capital Report Vice President Cheney really unloaded on the duplicity of the New York Times and the press in general.
BORGER: But obviously first the news of the week is the 9-11 Commission report. And as you know, the report found, quote, "No credible evidence that al-Qaida collaborated with Iraq or Saddam Hussein. Do you disagree with its findings?
CHENEY: I disagree with the way their findings have been portrayed. This has been enormous confusion over the Iraq-al-Qaida connection, Gloria. First of all, on the question of whether or not there was any kind of a relationship, there clearly was a relationship. It's been testified to. The evidence is overwhelming. It goes back to the early '90s.......There's a separate question. The separate question is: Was Iraq involved with al-Qaida in the attack on 9/11?
BORGER: Was Iraq involved?
CHENEY: We don't know. You know, what the commission says is that they can't find any evidence of that. 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.
BORGER: Well, let me just get to the bottom line here...
CHENEY: But it's very important that people understand these two differences. What The New York Times did today was outrageous. They do a lot of outrageous things but the headline, "Panel Find No Qaida-Iraq Tie". The press wants to run out and say there's a fundamental split here now between what the president said and what the commission said. Jim Thompson is a member of the commission who's since been on the air. I saw him with my own eyes. And there's no conflict. What they were addressing was whether or not they were involved in 9/11. And there they found no evidence to support that proposition. They did not address the broader question of a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida in other areas, in other ways.
Cheney is exactly right and what the press is doing, led by The Times is truly outrageous. Their collective hostility to President Bush, his foreign policy of preemption and the War in Iraq has caused them to lose all judgment when it comes to their ability to honestly report the facts.
At least not all of them.
If you have any respect for the 9/11 circus, I have a nice bridge to sell you.
The press lies? So what's new?
We know Saddam worked with the PLO and other terrorists, he funded them. He at LEAST knew that 9/11 was coming.
Less than two months before 9/11/01, the state-controlled Iraqi newspaper Al-Nasiriya carried a column headlined, American, an Obsession called Osama Bin Ladin. (July 21, 2001)
In the piece, Baath Party writer Naeem Abd Muhalhal predicted that bin Laden would attack the US with the seriousness of the Bedouin of the desert about the way he will try to bomb the Pentagon after he destroys the White House.
The same state-approved column also insisted that bin Laden will strike America on the arm that is already hurting, and that the US will curse the memory of Frank Sinatra every time he hears his songs an apparent reference to the Sinatra classic, New York, New York.
List of newspaper article in the 90's which mention the world's concern regarding the growing relationship between OBL and Saddam: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/946809/posts?page=1
Son of Saddam coordinates OBL activities:http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/951911/posts
The AQ connection (excellent):http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/944617/posts?page=2
Western Nightmare: http://www.guardian.co.uk/alqaida/story/0,12469,798270,00.html
Saddam's link to OBL: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/866105/posts
NYT: Iraq and AQ agree to cooperate: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/985906/posts
Document linking them: http://tennessean.com/nation-world/archives/03/06/34908297.shtml?Element_ID=34908297
Iraq and terrorism - no doubt about it: http://www.nationalreview.com/robbins/robbins091903.asp
A federal judge rules there are links:http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/986293/posts
Wall Street Journal on Iraq and AQ:http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/987129/posts
Iraq and Iran contact OBL: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/981055/posts
More evidence: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fnews%2F2003%2F04%2F27%2Fwalq27.xml
Saddam's AQ connection: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/969032/posts
Further connections: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1007969/posts
What a court of law said about the connections:
Some miscellaneous stuff on connections:
Saddam's Ambassador to Al Qaeda: (February 2004, Weekly Standard)
Yes - it's NewsMax but loaded with interesting bullet points.
Saddam's Fingerprints on NY Bombing (Wall Street Journal, June 1993)
Colin Powell: Iraq and AQ Partners for Years (CNN, February 2003)
The Iraq-Al Qaeda Connections (September 2003, Richard Miniter)
Oil for Food Scandal Ties Iraq and Al Qaeda (June 2003)
Saddam and OBL Make a Pact (The New Yorker, February 2003):
Al Qaeda's Poison Gas (Wall Street Journal, April 2004):
Wolfowitz Says Saddam behind 9/11 Attacks:
Saddam behind first WTC attack - PBS, Laurie Mylroie:
Growing Evidence of Saddam and Al Qaeda Link, The Weekly Standard, July 2003:
Qusay Hussein Coordinated Iraq special operations with Bin Laden Terrorist Activities, Yossef Bodansky, National Press Club
The Western Nightmare: Saddam and Bin Laden vs. the Rest of the World, The Guardian Unlimited:
Saddam Link to Bin Laden, Julian Borger, The Guardian, February 1999
The Al Qaeda Connection, The Weekly Standard, July 2003
Cheney lectures Russert on Iraq/911 Link, September 2003:
No Question About It, National Review, September 2003
Iraq: A Federal Judges Point of View
Mohammed's Account links Iraq to 9/11 and OKC:
Free Republic Thread that mentions so me books Freepers might be interested in on this topic:
The Proof that Saddam Worked with AQ, The Telegraph, April 2003:
Saddam's AQ Connection, The Weekly Standard, September 2003
September 11 Victims Sue Iraq:
Osama's Best Friend: The Further Connections Between Al Qaeda and Saddam, The Weekly Standard, November 2003
Terrorist Behind 9/11 Attacks Trained by Saddam, The Telegraph, December 2003
James Woolsey Links Iraq and AQ, CNN Interview, March 2004, Also see Posts #34 and #35
A Geocities Interesting Web Site with maps and connections:
Bin Laden indicted in federal court, read down to find information that Bin Laden agreed to not attack Iraq and to work cooperatively with Iraq:
Case Closed, The Weekly Standard, November 03
CBS - Lawsuit: Iraq involved in 9/11:
Exploring Iraq's Involvement in pre-9/11 Acts, The Indianapolis Star:
The Iraq/AQ Connection: Richard Minister again
Militia Defector says Baghdad trained Al Qaeda fighters in chemical weapons, July 2002
The Clinton View of Iraq/AQ Ties, The Weekly Standard, December 2003
Saddam Controlled the Camps (Iraq/AQ Ties): The London Observer, November 01
Saddam's Terror Ties that Critics Ignore, National Review, October 2003:
Tape Shows General Wesley Clark linking Iraq and AQ:
Freeper list of links between AQ and Iraq:
Salman Pak (Aviation Weekly)
Another freeper resource - list of links between OBL and Saddam:
Saddam/911 Link (FrontPage Magazine, Laurie Mylroie, May 2004):
Bush says Zarqawi killed Berg, cites Saddam ties (Reuters, May 2004)
The Connections (May 2004, The Weekly Standard)
Saddam's role in 9/11. (Freeper book, May 2004)
Entire link and Post #5 - Clinton mentioned how AQ was developing a relationship with Iraq.
The House of Representatives read into the congressional record the ties that Saddam had to Osama bin Laden (read down and open links in the record): June 2004
Exploring the links between 9/11 and Iraq (Richard Miniter, June 2004)
The Terrorist behind 9/11 was trained by Saddam (The Telegraph, 12/03)
New Iraqi Chief Links 9/11 to Saddam (June 2004, NewsMax)
Increasing evidence of Saddam's ties to 9/11 and AQ (National Review, June 2004)
Pre Bush Timeline of Saddam/OBL Ties (Freeper research):
Cheney claims Iraq/AQ connections (June 2004)
Well, the Commission did say there was "no credible evidence" and that's what's being put out there for the puplic. It doesn't matter if there was more to the report because that one blurb is the direction the media wants to play it.
He was gentle. I'd like Cheney to say, "Look, the NYT prints a lot of lies. When pressed, they usually claim that they made an error -- but that's another lie. They print lies on purpose. It's deliberate. They have an agenda and that agenda involves weakening this administration. So they lie. Now, let me dissect this lie, so you can see what I mean ..."
I think you nailed it. The Commission reaches the usual compromise between the parties, and the Democrats as usual ensure that the correct boilerplate is in there for the media to quote.
The media are still lying about the report, but the Democrats on the Commission have given them the means to do so plausibly, and as usual the Republicans have conceded an essential point.
Hey Peach. I've seen this before and borrowed it.
This is so complicated and deep that no liberal will ever get it. If tree frogs could talk they might get an explanation they could understand.
You can judge if they are as bad by reading their reports. But first, read this. It will also give a link to the actual reports.
You did excellent work on this.
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