Why do many people think that Iraq may have had something to do with 9/11? Cheney provided the answer today. It’s the media’s fault! That’s right. According to Cheney, the anti-Bush liberal media has been making an argument for war against Iraq that the White House never made.
THEN, in the same press conference, Cheney goes on to suggest that, despite the 9/11 Commission assertion to the contrary, he is still of the opinion that Iraq might have had something to do with 9/11.
Yet, according to Cheney, it’s the MEDIA’S fault for planting that connection in the peoples’ minds.
Go figure. Here’s the story.
Oh, and here’s a few Cheney quotes where he tries to dispel the Iraq-9/11 connection that the media has so stupidly foisted on the American people:
"If we’re successful in Iraq, if we can stand up a good representative government in Iraq, that secures the region so that it never again becomes a threat to its neighbors or to the United States, so it’s not pursuing weapons of mass destruction, so that it’s not a safe haven for terrorists, now we will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11." Source: Meet the Press, NBC (9/14/2003).
"QUESTION: When I was in Iraq, some of the soldiers said they believed they were fighting because of the Sept. 11 attacks and because they thought Saddam Hussein had ties to al Qaida. You’ve repeatedly cited such links. . . . I wanted to ask you what you’d say to those soldiers, and were those soldiers misled at all? VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: . . . . With respect to . . . the general relationship. . . . One place you ought to go look is an article that Stephen Hayes did in the Weekly Standard . . . That goes through and lays out in some detail, based on an assessment that was done by the Department of Defense and forwarded to the Senate Intelligence Committee some weeks ago. That’s your best source of information. I can give you a few quick for instances, one the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993. Source: Transcript of interview with Vice President Dick Cheney, Rocky Mountain News (1/9/2004).
"We did have reporting that was public, that came out shortly after the 9/11 attack, provided by the Czech government, suggesting there had been a meeting in Prague between Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker, and a man named al-Ani (Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani), who was an Iraqi intelligence official in Prague, at the embassy there, in April of ’01, prior to the 9/11 attacks. It has never been — we’ve never been able to collect any more information on that. That was the one that possibly tied the two together to 9/11." Source: Transcript of Interview with Vice President Dick Cheney, Rocky Mountain News (1/9/2004).
"VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: Well, I want to be very careful about how I say this. I’m not here today to make a specific allegation that Iraq was somehow responsible for 9/11. I can’t say that. On the other hand, . . . new information has come to light. And we spent time looking at that relationship between Iraq, on the one hand, and the al-Qaeda organization on the other. And there has been reporting that suggests that there have been a number of contacts over the years. . . . There is — again, I want to separate out 9/11, from the other relationships between Iraq and the al-Qaeda organization. But there is a pattern of relationships going back many years. And in terms of exchanges and in terms of people, we’ve had recently since the operations in Afghanistan — we’ve seen al-Qaeda members operating physically in Iraq and off the territory of Iraq. . . ." QUESTION: But no direct link? VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: I can’t — I’ll leave it right where it’s at. I don’t want to go beyond that. I’ve tried to be cautious and restrained in my comments." Source: Meet the Press, NBC (9/8/2002).
There are also dozens of examples where Cheney, quite intentionally it seems, speaks about Saddam/Iraq and 9/11 in the same sentence. In fact, it is quite common that a question about Saddam invokes a response which references 9/11 (and vice versa).
And it’s the MEDIA’S fault for blurring that distinction?
And speaking of distinctions:
"You can’t distinguish between Al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror". – George Bush, September 2002