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Darth Cheney Strikes Back
April 6, 2007 8:26 PM   Subscribe

Hussein's Prewar Ties To Al-Qaeda Discounted. A newly declassified report (PDF) by the Pentagon's inspector general claims that Iraq was not working with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion and that the intelligence was manipulated by then-Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith. On the same day as the report came out, Dick Cheney claimed that they did have a relationship via Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Zarqawi may be dead, but he's still useful. [Via TalkLeft.]
posted by homunculus (65 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I thought everyone knew this four years ago?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:28 PM on April 6, 2007


Yup
posted by taosbat at 8:30 PM on April 6, 2007


I would've posted this, if I could. I ended up finding out about it on Le Monde's website - so far, there seems to be little coverage.
posted by djgh at 8:31 PM on April 6, 2007


I would've posted this, if I could. I ended up finding out about it on Le Monde's website - so far, there seems to be little coverage.

Why would there be? Is there anyone in the world who doesn't know this? Anyone capable of believing it anyway?
posted by delmoi at 8:33 PM on April 6, 2007


Is there anyone in the world who doesn't know this?

Sadly, my country is specialized in not knowing things. There was some poll that pointed out MORE Americans thought Iraq was responsible for 9/11 now than before.

If ignorance is bliss, it's too bad we can't bottle it and sell it, we'd be able to pay off our war debts...
posted by yeloson at 8:40 PM on April 6, 2007


Surely this will....sorry, what was the question?
posted by zardoz at 8:40 PM on April 6, 2007


And, On Friday, a top aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Monica M. Goodling, abrubtly quit, and said she would not testify about her role in the firings of federal prosecutors.
posted by taosbat at 8:42 PM on April 6, 2007


Why would there be?
Because bashing the reasons for the war is the new Olympic sport?

I guess you're right. I suppose I'm just wistfully waiting for an outraged "We were lied to?!" from the electorates involved. Everyone seemed to react with apathy.
posted by djgh at 8:44 PM on April 6, 2007


SURPRISE!
posted by KingoftheWhales at 8:51 PM on April 6, 2007


In related news -- 'New York Sun' Wants Cheney to Join 2008 Race for President.

Dick, go for it. With an favorability rating of 18% [CBS News/New York Times Poll. March 7-11, 2007] you're sure to go far!
posted by ericb at 8:53 PM on April 6, 2007


Is there anyone in the world who doesn't know this?

I still can't decide if Cheney himself believes it or not. I hope he's just an unrepentant liar and not just completely delusional. The later scares me slightly more.
posted by homunculus at 8:58 PM on April 6, 2007


I hope he's just an unrepentant liar and not just completely delusional.

Being a complete ideologue for decades on end and maintaining a near religious regimen of actively denying self examination will do that do you.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:02 PM on April 6, 2007


Questions Linger About Bushes and BCCI
posted by homunculus at 9:03 PM on April 6, 2007


The guys at the New York Sun are nutjobs (with a serious persecution complex, to boot). Naturally they would want Cheney to run, they go together like cocaine and booze.
posted by chlorus at 9:05 PM on April 6, 2007


LOL REPUBLICANS
posted by 2sheets at 9:18 PM on April 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'm really waiting for the media to start questioning Cheney when he says shit like this.

He seems to regularly say things that are completely contradicted by pretty solid evidence (like Pentagon reports).

Yet, he gets a pass. The Tim Russerts of the world nod, maybe throw him a softball "liberals disagree" come back. They are hardly any different than Rush, when it comes to calling Cheney on what can only be considered blatant lies. Cheney CAN NOT back his statement up, the Pundit class knows this, and they let him lie like this on their shows. WTF?

And to think, I once thought journalism was a decent, honorable career. It's become such a joke in the last 20 years (and it was not anywhere near perfect to begin with).
posted by teece at 9:20 PM on April 6, 2007


I have a fun idea, let's put Douglas Feith on trial. There has to be some criminal charges which could be pressed for manipulating data which got us into this mess.

I don't really particularly care if we find him guilty or not, I just like the idea of hanging him out there and seeing if he implicates any of the others.
posted by quin at 9:21 PM on April 6, 2007


I just like the idea of hanging him [and] any of the others...
posted by taosbat at 9:24 PM on April 6, 2007


More like LOL USAns. Sad to say. Even most people who oppose the war don't know why we oppose THIS war except for the "Bush Is Not Nice!" and "War Is Not Healthy!" stickers on their SUVs.
posted by davy at 9:24 PM on April 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


I once thought journalism was a decent, honorable career. It's become such a joke in the last 20 years

Anecdotal, but my dad says it was pretty much the same when he was studying journalism in the 60's. To hear him tell it his class was full of people who wanted to know how to throw softballs to politicians and look good for the camera.
posted by lekvar at 9:25 PM on April 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


An oxymoronic
cacophony


orchestrated
to scare the timid


rally
the base


and
to drive the reasoned, observant



few of us


that
remain


absolutely


conveniently


mad.


posted by HyperBlue at 9:29 PM on April 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


I have a fun idea, let's put Douglas Feith on trial. There has to be some criminal charges which could be pressed for manipulating data which got us into this mess.

LOL.

Anecdotal, but my dad says it was pretty much the same when he was studying journalism in the 60's. To hear him tell it his class was full of people who wanted to know how to throw softballs to politicians and look good for the camera.

One interesting thing about Karl Rove is that he never appears on camera. He'll give text interviews, and meets with reports a lot, but never goes on camera. I did a youtube search just now and got a bunch of crap about "Rapping MC rove." But no video of him just talking, being interviewed in the last 30 years. That's probably why the video of him working for Nixon's CREEP in 72 as a college republican got so much play in the past few days.

The thing about this is that these guys really shmoze the press, to the point that the press sees them as their friends, and when you are someone's friend, or at least see them as a human it's hard to really picture them as criminals which is exactly what they are. They can see it, but from the outside these guys are just as much criminals as the guys at Enron (who loaned bush their corporate jet in the 2000 election).

One thing I found, Anderson Cooper discussing the close relationship with the and the politicians. He's not a fan, apparently.
posted by delmoi at 9:45 PM on April 6, 2007


Btw, check out this video from TPM's Josh Marshall. If you're not reading TPM you really should be. By far the best source on scandals out there.
posted by delmoi at 10:31 PM on April 6, 2007


they go together like cocaine and booze.

Obviously, you've never tried it. Cheney goes with the presidential race like DXM and heroin. Try THAT shit.
posted by IronLizard at 10:44 PM on April 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Cheney's doing heroin? Did he get it from Rush?
posted by homunculus at 11:03 PM on April 6, 2007


Dick Cheney and his gang remind me of Caligula looting the Senate and throwing parties in Rome before marching all those legions up into France for a fruitless foray against hidden Germans and then losing them in the forest, sending his own German bodyguard out into the wilds for his own legions to attack and capture, triumphantly marching them enchained back to the city, sequestering every ship in the Mediterranean to bridge the Adriatic so he could ride a horse across the water, sparking a personal battle against Poseidon which culminated in legions marching into the surf to stab and spear the very waves, and murdering thousands of relatively innocent citizens to steal their money; one can only hope Cheney and his gang meet the same end as Caligula, stabbed and hacked to death by disgruntled followers fed up with his caprices and fearful that they might be next to die.

Or something like that.
posted by breezeway at 11:21 PM on April 6, 2007


Um, breezeway, I never met Caligula, but I'm pretty sure Dickless Cheney is no Caligula. He's more like one of those Nazis who looted a burning Berlin while Hitler munched bonbons and drooled onto his lap.
posted by davy at 11:34 PM on April 6, 2007


Well, at least we didn't do anything too drastic to Hussein and we can sort all this out...

...what?
posted by Smedleyman at 11:43 PM on April 6, 2007


Declassified report huh?
posted by bam at 12:16 AM on April 7, 2007


Cheney is just a guy who would borrow that horrid movie about Caligula and not return it, then tell you to fuck off when you asked for it back. Then he'd take a shit right on your living room floor and lecture you on your bad behavior.
posted by 2sheets at 12:16 AM on April 7, 2007


Au contraire, davy. Dickless Cheney in fact IS a very big Dick....and therein lay the rub of this and so many other similar posts on the blue about him. (Pardon that dry humping reference but hey!....I got your attention) lol

I can only speak as Penny Wise. We need MORE big Dick's in this world!
posted by Penny Wise at 12:24 AM on April 7, 2007


I'm really waiting for the media to start questioning Cheney when he says shit like this.

Interviewer: Mr. Cheney, Have We Switched Sides on the War on Terror?

Cheney: Go Fuck Yourself.
posted by homunculus at 12:46 AM on April 7, 2007


In related news, the sky is blue.
posted by Falconetti at 1:26 AM on April 7, 2007


Interviewer: Mr. Cheney, why is your son-in-law fighting against efforts to secure our nation's chemical plants against sabotage and/or terrorism?

Cheney: *shoots interviewer in the face*
posted by homunculus at 1:26 AM on April 7, 2007


Interviewer: I served with Caligula. Caligula was a friend of mine. You, sir, are no Caligula!

Cheney: *eats baby*
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:29 AM on April 7, 2007


Also, this will be the last time I tap the Red Meat well for a while.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:31 AM on April 7, 2007


Dry PDFs will not be read. Plodding commissions will be believed by nobody. Nothing will convince the electorate that this was a bad idea until we have actual video footage of a tearful, blubbering Bush sobbing out, "He said that the bad man was gonna hurt my Daddy!" as a leering Cheney, blood running from the corners of his mouth, chuckles and says, "I did. Just to squeeze a little more money out of the war machine for my next heart transplant. The next one is from a sixteen year old who is scheduled to have a little accident."

Cut to white robed cabinet members and other members of the administration shuffling forward, eyes glittering with a combination of cocaine and zeal (proporitons unknown) lifting small crucifixes bearing the face of our President. "When the Rapture comes, Adam Smith's invisible hand will lift us up to Heaven! We've already got our Keds on!"

Final scene: A dejected Ann Coulter, wearing some travesty of a nurse's uniform, watches Limbaugh manhandle a mental patient before he leaves, pocketing his medications. Our President, wearing a straitjacket made from a certain jumpsuit, rocks back and forth, smiling over a drool-slick chin, repeating endlessly, "Mission accomplished. Mission accomplished!" Fade to black.
posted by adipocere at 6:47 AM on April 7, 2007 [3 favorites]


Is there anyone in the world who doesn't know this?

Yes, the Vice-President of the United States.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:01 AM on April 7, 2007


The reason why the ties are being "discounted" when everybody here thinks they are non-existent is because there WERE ties. That is why the 9/11 Commission used caveats like "no direct collaborative" ties. The bottom line is that the debate is much more interesting than you think if you bother to read carefully.

It is really such silliness. If anyone claims that Iraq was working with Al-Qaeda to plan 9/11, then they are wrong. If anyone claims that Iraq had no ties -- nothing to do with Al-Qaeda -- then they are wrong too, ok? That means that Dick Cheney is not a stinking liar about this any more than any screaming face who denied any connection between Iraq and Al-Qaeda is a stinking liar.
posted by Slap Factory at 7:16 AM on April 7, 2007


My metaphor was clumsy and inept, though in its defense I should point out my use of the loose phrasing, "reminds me," and I should also make clear that I don't mean Caligula the debauched, incestuous child-God who murdered courtesans just to see their beutiful necks severed, but the paranoid, delusional one who forced his subordinates to gamble against him in fixed games, used accusations of conspiracy to rid the Senate of detractors, and auctioned the belongings of the condemned to surviving Senators forced to bid high or be themselves hurled from the Tarpeian Cliff of the Capitoline Hill for treason.

Like I said, an inept metaphor, but fun. I like the part where he's hacked to death by his own guards, one dipping his finger into a still-bleeding wound and tasting it, saying "I swore I'd drink his blood."

Metaphorically speaking, of course.
posted by breezeway at 8:10 AM on April 7, 2007


Dan Froomkin: Cheney Sticks to His Delusions
posted by taosbat at 8:27 AM on April 7, 2007


I thought everyone knew this four years ago?

Actually close to 69% of Americans were bamboozled into thinking that there was a connection between Hussein/Iraq and al-Qaeda.

"Directly after September 11, 2001, when Americans were asked open-ended questions about who was behind the attacks, only three percent of those polled mentioned Iraq or Saddam Hussein."*

After two-years of Bush, Cheney, Rice and others claiming a connection (propaganda, much?), "Sixty-nine percent in a [September 2003] Washington Post poll published...said they believe it is likely the Iraqi leader was personally involved in the attacks carried out by al-Qaeda."*
posted by ericb at 8:53 AM on April 7, 2007


That means that Dick Cheney is not a stinking liar about this any more than any screaming face who denied any connection between Iraq and Al-Qaeda is a stinking liar.

Christ, what an asshole.
posted by trondant at 9:09 AM on April 7, 2007


Come on, Dick, get with the program. Iraq didn't plan 9/11--Iran did!
posted by EarBucket at 9:22 AM on April 7, 2007


According to Moderate Maverick John McCain, "The consequences of failure are catastrophic because if we come home, bin Laden and Zarqawi, they are going to follow us." (3/29/07)

That'd be Zombie Zarqawi, I think. Also getting Osama to follow us home may be a good idea, since it's the only way Republicans are ever going to find him.
posted by swell at 10:05 AM on April 7, 2007


If anyone claims that Iraq had no ties -- nothing to do with Al-Qaeda -- then they are wrong too, ok?

Yeah, right. Define "ties."

America also has "ties" to al Queda, by any definition that ties Saddam to AQ. Hell, our ties are much stronger.

Saddam had no relationship with AQ. Period. Full stop.

There were AQ agents in N. Iraq -- in the Kurdish part that Americans denied Saddam control over. There were cursory meetings of vague and suspect provenance between AQ and Saddam intelligence folks. Keep your enemies close and all that. They went NO WHERE.

The bottom line is that the debate is much more interesting than you think if you bother to read carefully.

Um, no it's not. You should read a little more closely. You're playing a word game. America has no "direct collaborative link" to AQ, but we do have "ties" to them.
posted by teece at 10:12 AM on April 7, 2007


America also has "ties" to al Queda, by any definition that ties Saddam to AQ. Hell, our ties are much stronger.

Indeed.
posted by homunculus at 12:06 PM on April 7, 2007


There were AQ agents in N. Iraq -- in the Kurdish part that Americans denied Saddam control over.

And we probably could have killed Zarqawi there before the war, but we chose not to.
posted by homunculus at 12:10 PM on April 7, 2007


One interesting thing about Karl Rove is that he never appears on camera.

This is like lesson three in The Evil Grand Vizier Handbook.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:53 PM on April 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


"If anyone claims that Iraq had no ties -- nothing to do with Al-Qaeda -- then they are wrong too, ok?"

Sure, in the sense that claiming that the US has no ties to the klan or neo-nazis would be wrong as well.
A big difference there of course is that if you could have an honest accounting of actual material support contributed to al Queda(when we used to call them freedom fighters), you would probably find that only Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have contributed more than the US. And I wouldn't even be so sure about that.
posted by 2sheets at 1:04 PM on April 7, 2007


One interesting thing about Karl Rove is that he never appears on camera.


Not really. There have been plenty of snippets of Cabinet meetings where Bush will be discussing something, like Plame-gate, and Rove can be seen in the corner of the shot. But mainly, he's not shown very much because reporters are afraid of the kind of dirty work he can do behind the scenes to cause problems for him.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:30 PM on April 7, 2007


Is there any truth to 'the enemy would follow us here?':
U.S. military, intelligence and diplomatic experts in Bush's own government say the violence in Iraq is primarily a struggle for power between Shiite and Sunni Muslim Iraqis seeking to dominate their society, not a crusade by radical Sunni jihadists bent on carrying the battle to the United States.

Foreign-born jihadists are present in Iraq, but they're believed to number only between 4 percent and 10 percent of the estimated 30,000 insurgent fighters - 1,200 to 3,000 terrorists - according to the Defense Intelligence Agency and a recent study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a center-right research center.

"Attacks by terrorist groups account for only a fraction of insurgent violence," said a February DIA report.

While acknowledging that terrorists could commit a catastrophic act on U.S. soil at any time - whether U.S. forces are in Iraq or not - the likelihood that enemy combatants from Iraq might follow departing U.S. forces back to the United States is remote at best, experts say.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:17 PM on April 7, 2007


Come on, Dick, get with the program. Iraq didn't plan 9/11--Iran did!

No wait, it was Syria!
posted by homunculus at 11:34 AM on April 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


In other news: U.S. helps North Korea break sanctions.
posted by homunculus at 1:40 PM on April 8, 2007


Saddam had no relationship with AQ. Period. Full stop.

This is false. If it weren't false, then why didn't the 9/11 Commission say so? And why are we still reading news reports two years after the 9/11 Commission Report and six years after 9/11 that "discount" the ties between Saddam Hussein and Iraq.

Here is the truth, and (as I said) it is much more interesting than either side calling the other a liar: Saddam Hussein provided material support to terrorist groups, and the report cited in the FPP says as much. But this idea of "al qaeda" did not exist as such between 9/11, after which Zarqawi and other assorted terrorist groups had to decide whether they would join "the base" or claim to have been part of it, or whether they would still maintain their own separate identity.

Seriously, Teece, provide a citation for your "full stop" assertion. And then tell me why the ties are still being "discounted" when they supposedly never existed.

This is another argument, sadly, where the politics have gotten way out in front of the facts.
posted by Slap Factory at 7:35 PM on April 8, 2007


Slap Factory, I think if you read it again, you'll realize that your latest comment is incoherent: of course there are ties between Saddam Hussein and Iraq...what do you mean by, this idea of "al qaeda" did not exist as such between 9/11...

wtf?
posted by taosbat at 9:29 PM on April 8, 2007


Al Qaeda-Hussein Link Is Dismissed :
The Sept. 11 commission reported yesterday that it has found no "collaborative relationship" between Iraq and al Qaeda, challenging one of the Bush administration's main justifications for the war in Iraq.
...
The staff report said that bin Laden "explored possible cooperation with Iraq" while in Sudan through 1996, but that "Iraq apparently never responded" to a bin Laden request for help in 1994. The commission cited reports of contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda after bin Laden went to Afghanistan in 1996, adding, "but they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship. Two senior bin Laden associates have adamantly denied that any ties existed between al Qaeda and Iraq. We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States."
There were AQ agents in N. Iraq -- in the Kurdish part that Americans denied Saddam control over.

Not really. Zarqawi's group was called Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad until September 2004, when it changed its name to "al Qaeda in Iraq."

Wikipedia has an extensive article about the alleged links between Iraq and al Qaeda.

this idea of 'al qaeda' did not exist as such between 9/11

Wikipedia lists uses of "al Qaeda" going back to 1988.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:30 AM on April 9, 2007


“Saddam Hussein provided material support to terrorist groups...”

He tried to. They refused.
In terms of ‘relationship’ - he did meet with them, yeah.
If we’re going to define ‘relationship’ so loosely - Rumsfeld had a ‘relationship’ with Hussein. Ergo Rumsfeld was providing material support to terrorists.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:11 AM on April 9, 2007


Okay, Smedleyman, this is from The Washington Post article cited in the FPP:

Instead, the report said, the CIA had concluded in June 2002 that there were few substantiated contacts between al-Qaeda operatives and Iraqi officials and had said that it lacked evidence of a long-term relationship like the ones Iraq had forged with other terrorist groups.

So my question would be, why do you say that Saddam Hussein only tried to provide material support to terrorist groups, but that the groups refused, while according to this article, there existed "long-term relationship[s] . . . Iraq had forged with other terrorist groups"?

I always enjoy reading your comments, so I am not going to believe the CIA over you without giving you a chance to explain why the CIA is mistaken about this. Thanks.
posted by Slap Factory at 11:00 AM on April 10, 2007


White House Cites ‘Experience From September 11th’ To Justify Staying In Iraq
posted by homunculus at 2:34 PM on April 10, 2007


Two Explosive Books Tell the Inside Story of the Forged Iraq-Niger Docs That Helped Build the Case for War
posted by homunculus at 2:47 PM on April 10, 2007


Record of Iraq War Lies to Air April 25 on PBS
posted by homunculus at 12:55 PM on April 14, 2007


Al-Qaida's next generation: Young jihadists have climbed the ranks in Pakistan and Afghanistan, restoring the group's chain of command -- and ability to plan attacks.
posted by homunculus at 9:09 PM on April 15, 2007


Rove: ‘I Wish The Iraq War Never Existed,’ It Was ‘Osama Bin Laden’s Idea’
posted by homunculus at 1:35 PM on April 21, 2007


Right-wing blogs discover massive conspiracy to hide WMDs in Iraq
posted by homunculus at 1:03 AM on April 22, 2007


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