Beating Dead Horses Week at WaPo

| April 6, 2007

Back on Tuesday, the Washington Post was having conniptions over the “16 words” in President Bush’s State of the Union speech of 2003 (please note it was four years ago) today it’s Hussein’s ties to al Qaida;

Captured Iraqi documents and intelligence interrogations of Saddam Hussein and two former aides “all confirmed” that Hussein’s regime was not directly cooperating with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, according to a declassified Defense Department report released yesterday.

The declassified version of the report, by acting Inspector General Thomas F. Gimble, also contains new details about the intelligence community’s prewar consensus that the Iraqi government and al-Qaeda figures had only limited contacts, and about its judgments that reports of deeper links were based on dubious or unconfirmed information. The report had been released in summary form in February.

We already know that nothing we can say can convince anyone on the Left, those poor victims of Bush Derangement Syndrome, that war against Hussein was justified. In fact I’ve been involved in a month-long email argument with a old high school buddy who lives in Spain these days. He trots out all of the tired old “Bush lied…” lines and the “Where’s the WMDs…?” and poor old Saddam Hussein was just sitting there minding his own business when suddenly Bush sent our troops into Iraq with no provocation. Ho-hum.

Nothing can convince the terrorist/dictator hugging Left that the war was justified. So why do we bother?

I guess the fact that Abu Nidal lived in an apartment in downtown Baghdad for two decades isn’t an indication that Hussein supported terrorists. Or the fact that Hussein was writing checks to Palestinian suicide bomber’s families points fingers at Iraq as a rogue nation. And I guess Hussein’s forces attacking UN-sanctioned flights to enforce the no fly zones wasn’t proof that he had no intention to function as a rational actor in world politics.

Remember why Operation Desert Fox started in 1998? Because twice in three years, Hussein had massed his troops on the Kuwaiti frontier and threatened his neighbor again. And twice in three years, Clinton had to deploy US troops to Kuwait to stand by and act as a speed bump to Hussein’s newest assault, should it come to pass. Yeah, OK, it never came to pass, but how much money were we spending every year to send a Brigade task force and it’s accompanying accoutrements to sit in the Kuwaiti desert?

But that’s not enough for the Washington Post. They continue;

The CIA had separately concluded that reports of Iraqi training on weapons of mass destruction were “episodic, sketchy, or not corroborated in other channels,” the inspector general’s report said. It quoted an August 2002 CIA report describing the relationship as more closely resembling “two organizations trying to feel out or exploit each other” rather than cooperating operationally.

The CIA was not alone, the defense report emphasized. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) had concluded that year that “available reporting is not firm enough to demonstrate an ongoing relationship” between the Iraqi regime and al-Qaeda, it said.

So you see, the reasons we go to war have to be rooted in evidentiary terms now. War is fought by lawyers apparently, not by using common sense and drawing straight lines from event to event and predicting the final outcome.

Why would the Washington Post get their panties in wad? Because the Vice President went on the Rush Limbaugh show (over the heads of the traditional media – that sneak) and said, according to the Post;

“This is al-Qaeda operating in Iraq,” Cheney told Limbaugh’s listeners about Zarqawi, who he said had “led the charge for Iraq.” Cheney cited the alleged history to illustrate his argument that withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq would “play right into the hands of al-Qaeda.”

So Chris Dodd and the Washington Post needed a comeback. So the Washington Post puts out a frontpage article telling the world how Bush lied (when and where he lied, I have no idea…Washington Post doesn’t go into that…but then their readers aren’t smart enough to get past the headline, anyway), and at the end of the story (their readers probably won’t get that far) they bury;

Zarqawi, whom Cheney depicted yesterday as an agent of al-Qaeda in Iraq before the war, was not then an al-Qaeda member but was the leader of an unaffiliated terrorist group who occasionally associated with al-Qaeda adherents, according to several intelligence analysts. He publicly allied himself with al-Qaeda in early 2004, after the U.S. invasion.

So Zarqawi was only occasionally associated with al Qaida. That makes him harmless, I suppose. Excellent job at muddying the waters with a non-story, R. Jeffrey Smith. 

Curt at Flopping Aces has much more.

Category: Historical, Media, Politics

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