Glimmers of Senate Intelligence
Bush Lies, Part 2,038 (*)
Pierre Tristam/Candide's Notebooks, September 9, 2006
The Senate Intelligence Committee says al-Qaeda-Iraq links were bogus. But why the disclosure now? This is what the committee has known all along, but chooses to reveal only now, for the expediency of it: Many Republicans are facing tough reelection fights, they want to distance themselves from the Bush junta’s Iraq policies. The very same Senators who knew from the evidence presented them that there’d not only been any Saddam-al-Qaeda links, but that he’d repeatedly rejected al-Qaeda’s overtures, are now making themselves look like Captain Renault in Casablanca—they’re shocked, shocked to reveal that there’d never been any such link, President Bush’s lies notwithstanding: “As recently as Aug. 21,” the Times writes, “President Bush said at a news conference that Mr. Hussein “had relations with Zarqawi.’’ But a C.I.A. report completed in October 2005 concluded instead that Mr. Hussein’s government “did not have a relationship, harbor or even turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi and his associates,” according to the new Senate findings.” New? Funny how the Senate “finds” evidence that magazines and newspapers have harped on year after year. “The C.I.A. report also contradicted claims made in February 2003 by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, who mentioned Mr. Zarqawi no fewer than 20 times during a speech to the United Nations Security Council that made the administration’s case for going to war. In that speech, Mr. Powell said that Iraq “today harbors a deadly terrorist network’’ headed by Mr. Zarqawi, and dismissed as “not credible’’ assertions by the Iraqi government that it had no knowledge of Mr. Zarqawi’s whereabouts. The panel concluded that Mr. Hussein regarded Al Qaeda as a threat rather than a potential ally, and that the Iraqi intelligence service “actively attempted to locate and capture al-Zarqawi without success.” Still, Colin Powell remains one of the left’s unfortunate heroes. His mythical status should go the way of his once-touted presidential ambitions.
The Senate report also unravels the sham that was the Iraqi National Congress, that pathetic creation of the Rendon Group that was made to look like a legitimate Iraqi opposition, with Ahmad Chalabi, a renegade criminal, telling Judith Miller and the Bush junta everything they wanted to hear to make the case for war. Here’s another reason the sham went so far: With newspapers like the Times peddling the lies then, and newspapers like the Washington Post mitigating the lies with qualifiers now, there’s always been ample room for the Bush junta to exploit gray areas that never existed. In other words, the gray areas were created by the media, when it was the media’s job to demolish those grays. The Post is at it again today: Iraq’s alleged al-Qaeda ties were disputed before war,” goes its lead headline. Disputed? No. The Bush administration was proven to be lying before the war: that’s what the headline should read. But no. Let’s keep up the charade of qualifying incontrovertible evidence to give the Bush junta the benefit of the doubt. It’s like apologizing for a serial murderer.
(*) That’s the number of days Bush has been in office, as of Sept. 9.