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Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Will Cheney ever see the light?

The Vice-President of the United States continues to hide in the darkness of denial. Whenever it appears the rays of reality may penetrate his lair, Cheney rushes forth to block the illumination with his draperies of delusion.

In an earlier blog entry, we gave some background on the 4 most popular Iraqi/al Qaeda connections. Though objective investigations conducted by countless writers, journalists and the 9/11 commission have found that there was no collaboration or cooperation between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, Dick Cheney has continued to insist that there was a "connection." This "connection" was a series of contacts, in the Sudan, occuring in 1994. All available evidence has led analysts to conclude that the contacts never developed into a collaborative relationship. All credible evidence suggests that the overtures from al Qaeda to Iraq began and ended in 1994.

Cheney has used a rhetorical ruse to give the impression that this isolated interaction was merely one incident in a long term collaboration. What Cheney usually says,citing this Sudan incident, is"al Qaeda and Iraq have ties that stretch back a decade." A more appropriate phrasing would be"al Qaeda and Iraq tried to establish ties, a decade ago, but nothing ever came of it."

When the New York Times reported that a 9/11 staff report established that there was "no collaboration" between Iraq and al Qaeda, Cheney was quick to condemn the NYT. He then took to the talk show circuit to repeat that Iraq and al Qaeda had ties and hinted that he was in possession of evidence that would support his claims.

Cheney is trying to confuse the issue by blurring the meaing between the words connection & collaboration. He is correct in stating that there was a connection . Just as there was a connection between Saddam Hussein and the United States. Just as their was a connection between Osama bin laden and the United States. However, there was no collaboration between al Qaeda and Iraq, at least before the U.S invaded Iraq. Collaboration means to work with one another as on a project. A connection is a link between 2 things, and doesn't signify a working relationship.

Today, the 9/11 commission once again clarified that they had no evidence that established a collaboration between Iraq and al Qaeda.

"The Sept. 11 commission is standing by its finding that al-Qaida had only limited contact with Iraq before the terrorist attacks.

The 10-member, bipartisan panel issued a one-sentence statement Tuesday saying it had access to the same information as Vice President Dick Cheney, who suggested strong ties between ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida.

That assertion was one of the justifications the Bush administration gave for going to war with Iraq. In a preliminary report released last month, the Sept. 11 commission cited contacts between Saddam's regime and Osama bin Laden but said there was no ``collaborative relationship.''

``After examining available transcripts of the vice president's public remarks, the 9/11 commission believes it has access to the same information the vice president has seen regarding contacts between al-Qaida and Iraq prior to the 9/11 attacks,'' the commission said.

Since no information was provided, the panel wished to make clear that after some double-checking it was basing its findings on the same intelligence and material that Cheney had, Democratic commissioner Timothy Roemer said in an interview.

``Our position is firm, unchanged and committed to our previous finding,'' said Roemer, a former congressman from Indiana. ``We have not discovered collaboration-cooperation between al-Qaida and Iraq in general terrorist activities across the world, against the United States.'' full article

Perhaps not trusting his self-restraint, Cheney had his spokesperson reply with this non-sequitor.

"`We are pleased with today's statement from the 9-11 commission, which puts to rest a non-story,'' Kevin Kellems said. ``As we have said all along, the administration has provided the commission with unprecedented access to sensitive information so they can perform their mission."

Kellem's answer may be puzzling but it was a more decent response than the type that Cheney has been making recently. A couple of weeks ago, Cheney had this to say to Sen Patrick Leahy while both were on the Senate floor.

Will Cheney ever see the light? By that I mean, will he ever acknowledge that there was no collaboration between al Qaeda and Iraq, prior to the U.S invasion? Or will he continue to hiss and snarl whenever he is approached with evidence that contradicts his ideological views?

Perhaps,in the coming months, Cheney will one day rise to find that all his efforts to protect himself from seeing the light will have been for naught. How he will respond I cannot say. But this is an image that comes to mind.


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