Topic: Couldn't be so...
Sunny optimism or early onset Alzheimer's - We report and you decide...
The big story of the week turns out to be more of the same.
Panel Finds No Qaeda-Iraq Tie; Describes a Wider Plot for 9/11
Philip Shenon and Christopher Marquis, The New York Times
WASHINGTON, June 16 - The staff of the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks sharply contradicted one of President Bush's central justifications for the Iraq war, reporting on Wednesday that there did not appear to have been a "collaborative relationship" between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. ...
The president says there is a link, sort of, really. The vice president says there is, and attacks the Times as irresponsible. The Times editorializes that Bush and Cheney should apologize. Bush and Cheney say the Times should apologize.
To be clear, the commission's report does not, really, have anything to do with whether or not we should have gone to war in Iraq. That wasn't what they were up to. And is there a contradiction? It is not true that these findings really do contradict what Bush and Cheney said, literally, about Al Qaeda and Iraq. And Bush is carefully saying that he does NOT dispute the findings of the commission.
The problem is with what is said literally, and what is implied.
On his Thursday broadcast Jon Stewart on his satiric "newscast" The Daily Show did run the clip of Bush saying, "You can't distinguish between Iraq and Al Qaeda when you're talking about the War on Terror." And Stewart made great fun of that.
But Bush was speaking of the big picture, the moral "good and evil" overview, not the details. The idea is Saddam Hussein did not, of course, have anything to do with the four hijacked airplanes and that whole really bad day almost three years ago. But he was still bad. He was, sort of, one of THEM. Sort of. "We never said that Saddam specifically...."
You get the idea.
You might glance at this comment -
Well, the situation is a little awkward. Perhaps we should have listened more carefully.
There were connections, a few meetings and such, and Iraq never really did anything for Al Qaeda in the end, but, but, they MIGHT have.
Matthew Yglesias offers some thoughts, and an interesting theory to the mix:
Oh man, that just makes my head hurt.
And Yglesias knows he's being unclear - and links to David Adesnik saying something much simpler:
Yep, that's right.
And if Bush wants to be associated with the dead Reagan, he should remind people he's as good at denying reality as the Gipper ever was. Folks find that comforting. You stay the course, in spite of everything. Sunny optimism or early onset Alzheimer's. Whatever.
It was Ronald Reagan who famously said, "Facts are stupid things." He said that in 1988, and probably was confusing it with - "Facts are stubborn things." But who needs details? You get the gereral idea. Sort of.
So, it comes down to who are you going to trust? As the old Groucho Marx line goes, "Who are you going to trust - me or your own eyes?"