Despite all evidence to the contrary, Republicans keep the fiction going that Saddam Hussein was somehow connected to September 11 and that the Iraq War is part and parcel of the war against Al Qaeda.
Here was Tom DeLay last week, during Congressional debate on a resolution marking the third anniversary of September 11. Said DeLay, "It is one and the same conflict."
Here was Dick Cheney, on September 10, of all dates, saying that Iraq had "a relationship with Al Qaeda."
Cheney surely knows that the 9/11 Commission concluded there was no "collaborative, operational relationship" between the two.
But Cheney doesn't care. He keeps repeating there was a relationship, and though he doesn't say "collaborative" or "operational," there can be little doubt he wants the American public to think that.
Before the war, Cheney and Bush and Colin Powell, for that matter, weren't so circumspect.
Maybe Cheney has a faulty memory. If so, let me remind him. At the Heritage Foundation on October 10, 2003, he said Saddam was "providing training to Al Qaeda members in the areas of poisons, gases, making conventional weapons."
At least Powell admits that he has seen "nothing that makes a direct connection between Saddam Hussein" and 9/11.
No such frankness from Cheney. And none from Bush, either, not on the campaign trail, anyway.
Instead, the tactic continues to be blur, blur, blur, the better to keep the public on board for the rocky Iraq ride.
It's a disgraceful tactic, but they seem to be getting away with it.
Copyright 2004 The Progressive