Monday, June 21, 2004
'''We believe . . . that there were a lot more active contacts, frankly, with Iran and with Pakistan than there were with Iraq,' said Kean, a former Republican governor of New Jersey. 'Al Qaeda didn't like to get involved with states, unless they were living there. They got involved with Sudan, they got involved . . . where they lived, but otherwise, no,' he told ABC's ''This Week."
Why does the Administration continue to emphasize the fact that Al Qaeda contacted Iraq? For the simple reason that it distracts us from the fact that they missed Iran and Pakistan's greater and collaborative involvement. I think this falls into the category of "make a lot of noise over here to keep people from looking over there."
Salon.com sums it up well:
Republicans are emphasizing statements from 9/11 commission leaders that the panel's staff report didn't contradict what the White House has said -- there was contact between Iraq and al-Qaida, they say, although the panel has also asked Dick Cheney to hand over his evidence on the matter. The panel's research has led members to conclude thus far that the contact between Iraq and al-Qaida resulted in no collaborative relationship.
What's important to understand here, as this Boston Globe [title link] story shows, is that commission members are saying other countries had much more active, productive contacts with al-Qaida than Iraq -- surely not one of the White House talking points.
Can we have elections now? How about impeachment proceedings? I'll settle for a little honesty like "Hey, we were focused on getting missile defense (our quid pro quo promise to our military industrial campaign contributors) through and busy ignoring N Korea - we just didn't notice Al Qaeda, despite the repeated warnings from the Clinton administration. After all, anything that Clinton said was wrong..."