Friday, April 02, 2004

Rice: No Iraq-9/11 connection, yet we've lied about it ever since 

Dawkins writes:

After seeing Dr. Rice sputter defensively on 60 Minutes, and gearing up to see her do more of the same before the 9/11 commission next week, I revisited her Op Ed in the Washington Post of Monday, March 22: "9/11: For the Record."

For the most part, it's a litany of pathetic excuses, lies, and mendacious insinuations, just a few of which are:
[D]uring the… first eight months of the Bush administration prior to Sept. 11 -- the U.S. government worked hard to counter the al Qaeda threat.

No al Qaeda plan was turned over to the new administration.

The president wanted more than a laundry list of ideas simply to contain al Qaeda or "roll back" the threat. Once in office, we quickly began crafting a comprehensive new strategy to "eliminate" the al Qaeda network.

Because of President Bush's vision and leadership, our nation is safer.
But what I found especially remarkable was this admission of the biggest lie, tucked near the end.
Once advised that there was no evidence that Iraq was responsible for Sept. 11, the president told his National Security Council on Sept. 17 that Iraq was not on the agenda and that the initial U.S. response to Sept. 11 would be to target al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
So basically, she's saying that Bush was told on or just before September 17, 2001, definitively, that "there was no evidence that Iraq was responsible for Sept. 11."

My question -- asked innocently, discreetly -- is if Bush was told on September 17, 2001 that there was no link between Saddam and 9/11, why did he and members of his administration say or imply that there was such a connection, repeatedly, adamantly, furiously, for the next two-plus-and-going-on-three years?

Weird: Rice makes the straightforward point that the administration had been lying about the phony Iraq-9/11 connection since the week it happened in 2001.


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