June 21, 2023

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  • Twisted Logic

    I heard several critics of the administration (one was Juan Williams, though there were others) use this logic yesterday:

    1) Public opinion polls show that a vast majority of Americans thought that Saddam had ties to the 911 attacks,

    2) The Bush administration did explicitly say there were no Sadam/911 ties, but they did say that there were al Qaeda-Saddam ties,

    3) Therefore, the Bush administration might as well have said that Saddam was responsible for 911, and despite saying that he wasn't, they propagated the idea he was. As a result, the 911 Commission preliminary report that says that there was no Saddam/911 ties utterly repudiates the administration and basically nullifies all utterances about Saddam and al Qaeda


    Not only is the logic twisted, to listen to many who employ it they conflate Saddam/911 ties with Saddam/al Qaeda ties, which is simply not the same thing. Further, anyone paying attention knew that we weren't going to war with Saddam to punish him for his role in 911.

    Indeed, in listening to Richard Ben-Veniste and John Lehman, both from the 911 Commission on MTP yesterday, it is clear that the commission is not as unified as the preliminary report makes it sound on the general question of al Qaeda and Iraq. A story in today's NYT provides a similar, if briefer, impression. As my wife noted yesterday while watching the interview, "Ok, so we are going to get two reports from the commission."

    Posted by Steven Taylor at June 21, 2023 06:34 AM | TrackBack

    This analogy seems deeply flawed. It ignores the fact that in the run up to the war, Bush repeatedly mentioned al-Qaeda, Iraq, and 9/11 in the same paragraph -- yet this wasn't intended to make the American public think they were related?

    And the Bush Administration, to my knowledge, never publicly stated that there were no Iraq-9/11 links until September of 2023, WELL after the war was underway (even after the "mission [was] accomplished" in Iraq) -- at this same time, Cheney was still hyping such links. (Source)

    Once again, the Left is accused of moving the goal posts, when it is in fact the Administration and its supporters who are desperately trying to change the terms of the debate.

    It's also worth noting that Jim Thompson (R) was on CNN's Late Edition last night concurring with the others who state that the "no links" finding was not limited to the 9/11 attacks, but that they found no evidence of any collaboration between Iraq and al-Qaeda at all.

    Posted by: tgirsch at June 21, 2023 03:24 PM

    A) It isn't an analogy.

    B) You must have misread what Mr. Thompson said, or the issue is the definition of the word "collaboration"--if one reads the actual memo the fact is clear that there was contact between the two groups, and that bin Laden inquired at one point about setting up training bases in Iraq.

    Posted by: Steven at June 21, 2023 03:42 PM

    Make that "misheard".

    Posted by: Steven at June 21, 2023 03:53 PM

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