Skip to comments.Cheney Had No New Data on Saddam, Al Qaeda-Panel
Posted on 07/06/2004 6:56:27 PM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Sept. 11 commission, which reported no evidence of collaborative links between Iraq (news - web sites) and al Qaeda, said on Tuesday that Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) had no more information than commission investigators to support his later assertions to the contrary.
The 10-member bipartisan panel investigating the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington said it reached its conclusion after reviewing available transcripts of Cheney's public remarks on the subject.
The vice president has asserted long-standing links between the former Iraqi president and Osama Bin Laden's Islamist militant network.
"The 9-11 Commission believes it has access to the same information the vice president has seen regarding contacts between al Qaeda and Iraq prior to the 9-11 attacks," the commission said in a statement.
The vice president's office had no immediate comment. Nor were commission Chairman Thomas Kean or Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton available to elaborate on the panel's statement.
Al Qaeda is blamed for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that killed about 3,000 people and prompted President Bush (news - web sites) to launch his war on terrorism with an invasion that ousted Afghanistan (news - web sites)'s former Taliban regime.
Assertions that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and could be prepared to provide chemical or biological agents to al Qaeda for attacks on the United States were a main justification for Bush's decision to invade and occupy Iraq.
No such weapons have been found, and recent opinion polls have suggested growing public skepticism about the Bush administration's reasons for launching a war in which 870 U.S. soldiers have died and nearly 5,400 have been wounded.
The commission called White House claims about links between Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) and al Qaeda into question on June 11 with a staff report that found no evidence of a collaborative relationship between the Iraqi leader and al Qaeda before the day of the attacks.
But Bush and his top aides stood firm, with Cheney forcefully maintaining that evidence depicting an Iraqi role in the Sept. 11 attacks may yet emerge.
"The notion that there is no relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda just simply is not true," the vice president said in an interview with CNBC.
The New York Times later reported that Kean and Hamilton hoped to see any additional information Cheney had on the subject.
As part of the White House reaction to the Sept. 11 commission's report, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites) who said she believed the panel was actually denying that Saddam had control over al Qaeda. Kean and Hamilton flatly rejected her interpretation.
Isn't it nice to know that the "9/11 Commission" is relentlessly doggedly interested in pursuing truth over transparent politicking?
(Note: several searches / no matches.)
"The Sept. 11 commission, which reported no evidence of collaborative links between Iraq (news - web sites) and al Qaeda...."
This is of course a half truth. What the 9-11 commission reported was that the staff found no evidence of collaborative links between Iraq and al Qaeda ON ATTACKS AGAINST THE US. Amazing that every article is spun these days.
Indeed, good point very weird.
The report that started this, if I recall was issued by the "staff" and the not the actual commission members.
Reuters has me confused. Now is this the same 'bipartisan' panel that avowed that there were no links betweeen AQ and Iraq, latter disavowed by the 9/11 commission chair?
Or is this a statement by the full 'bipartisan' commission?
If the former, than this bit of grandstanding carries no more weight than their previous pronouncement on the subject.
Perhaps VP Cheney just said to the Committee - F' yourselves instead of giving them the information he has/had that they didn't have. Someone here is going to get an F for 'plays well with others'.
He won't, for the same reason that the Brits can't or won't give out the names of the "human intel" that reported on the Niger/Iraq uranium plot.
If this country continues to define "intelligence" to be irrefutable tangible proof that would stand up in a court of law with every "i" dotted and every "t" crossed, we're due for another 9/11, since that's exactly why that atrocity wasn't prevented -- the spooks were/are busy one-upping each other and thinking about their next promotion, and we have a massive grave in New York City to show for it.
Isn't this commision over yet?
This is not even a news story --- it is entirely op-ed.
"recent opinion polls have suggested growing public skepticism..."
So what? What does public opinion have to do with a report on the 911 Commission?
I had to read that final paragraph about Condi Rice, 5 times to vaguely understand what he was trying to say.
And of course even that ignores the spin factor in this weird notion that there's some huge important difference between "collaborative links" and just "links".
Quick, can anyone here envision what a "link" might look like which was not "collaborative"? Of course not. The 9/11 Commission is faced with explaining away actual evidence of links and decided to invent this phony "collaborative link" category that (they can pretend) hasn't been met.
That "staff" sure is awfully busy. Whoever the heck they are.
What a great process. We all agreed from the get-go that we'd accept at face value, as holy writ, the edicts of the unelected, un-vetted, un-publicized "staff" of the 9/11 Commission. Um... didn't we?
But it's even worse than that. The Committee (or their "staff" - whoever) is just saying that they looked at the transcripts of Cheney on Meet the Press (or wherever) and concluded from those transcripts that he possesses no information that they do not.
Which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. I mean I read this and just thought 'what the f___' ...
My working theory is that too many people in this country were conditioned by early viewings of Perry Mason, or 12 Angry Men, to think that on ALL matters (i.e. not merely on criminal juries) the most noble, heroic thing you can possibly do is insist upon a beyond-reasonable-doubt standard for everything.
Come on - be fair.
To some extent, it's an actual parroting of an actual news release and/or leaked statement. ;-)
If you ever figure out, let me know.
As the "sentence" in question does not seem to contain a predicate, I think technically it does not actually say anything. :-)
Try this......."...Condoleezza Rice said she believed the panel was actually denying that Saddam had control over al Qaeda."
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