Here’s Paul at Powerline:
According to ABC News, the documents show that the Iraqis were, at a minimum, interested in exploring a potential relationship and prepared to show good faith by broadcasting the speeches of al Ouda, the radical cleric who was also a bin Laden mentor. The documents do not establish that the two parties did in fact enter into an operational relationship. But Iraq’s position was that further "development of the relationship and cooperation between the two parties [should] be left according to what’s open [in the future] based on dialogue and agreement on other ways of cooperation."
Got that? They were interested in exploring a potential relationship, but didn’t actually have one.
Now, here’s Paul, two paragraphs later:
These documents further undermine the claim that ideological differences precluded a relationship between secular Saddam and fundamentalist bin Laden. The documents show that they had a relationship and that Iraq was prepared to cooperate with al Qaeda to the extent that it would be beneficial to do so. Whether or to what extent such coooperation occurred is still not known.
So to summarize, Saddam and bin Laden had a relationship to explore a potential relationship at some point in the future . . but only if it was beneficial for them to do so . . . but it’s not clear if that future day ever came.
So, in other words, the documents prove nothing. Then, to save himself, Paul writes:
But the documents support the view that Saddam, who was almost universally thought to have WMD and clearly had the capability of producing them, might well cooperate with al Qaeda in future attacks on the U.S. or its interests. That’s something we don’t have to worry about anymore.
Right. And by the same tortured logic, Paul has the potential to kill me one day, if he hooks up with bad elements at some point in the future and might well find it beneficial for him to do so. So I should kill him so I won’t have to worry about it anymore.
Seriously, Paul seems to think that a joint Saddam-bin Laden attack on the U.S. would have been more destructive than 9/11. Seeing as how Saddam and his country was inert, locked down, and flown over, I wonder how much Saddam could have hoped to contribute to such an effort. In fact, given the bureaucratic nature of Iraq under Saddam — not to mention Saddam’s propensity for, well, lying — it’s quite easy to see how such an unholy alliance would simply prevent such an attack from ever taking place. (Hey, this spekulatin’ thing is fun!!!)