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Thursday, June 17, 2004

Ignoring the connection: Why?
The Power Line guys take a critical look at the 9/11 Commission's preliminary report. Relying heavily on Andrew McCarthy's ("the former chief assistant United States Attorney who successfully prosecuted the blind sheik and eleven other defendants for the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993") analysis in NRO, the Big Trunk asks why the commission is ignoring all evidence of an Iraq-Al Qaeda connection.

The wire services and newspapers certainly got the headlines they wanted:

"No Iraq Ties To Al-Qaida Found" (Mpls. Star Tribune)

"Report Discounts Iraq Ties To Al-Qaida" (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

Also, the New York Post editorial today takes a shot at the way news reporting, and Democrat hacks, have skewed the conclusions of the commission's report. The editorial also makes a couple interesting points. First:
In fact, as Stephen Hayes writes in The Weekly Standard, the conventional wisdom in Washington long before George W. Bush took office was that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were partners in terrorism.

Two Clinton-administration stalwarts, Attorney General Janet Reno and U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, brought an indictment against bin Laden and a deputy, Mohammed Atef, in 1998 — charging that Saddam and Osama "reached an understanding . . . that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the government of Iraq."
Hmmm. And,
Meanwhile, back in 1999, ABC News reported that Saddam had offered bin Laden asylum, citing their "long relationship" and a December 1998 meeting in Afghanistan between Osama and Iraqi intelligence chief Faruq Hijazi.

That same year, the Congressional Research Service reported that if Saddam Hussein "decide[s] to use terrorists to attack the continental United States, [he] would likely turn to bin Laden's al Qaeda," which was then recruiting "Iraqi chemical weapons experts."
Again, hmmmm. The next sentence, "Did everyone mislead America?" Exactly. There's much more in the editorial, read it.

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