Friday, April 6, 2007

Self Inflicted Wounds . . . .

There are so many things that we should be talking about today . . . the surge - is it working; the Iranian nuclear crisis; what will happen if we significantly draw down in Iraq; - those are three things that pop immediately to mind. What we do not need are lead headlines in the Washington Post like:

Hussein's Prewar Ties To Al-Qaeda Discounted

Pentagon Report Says Contacts Were Limited

By R. Jeffrey SmithWashington Post Staff WriterFriday, April 6, 2007; Page A01

Captured Iraqi documents and intelligence interrogations of Saddam Hussein and two former aides "all confirmed" that Hussein's regime was not directly cooperating with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, according to a declassified Defense Department report released yesterday.

As a lead story, this is flatly ridiculous. This is rehashing old news about which there was only minimal disagreement to start, and which has zero bearing on whether to leave Iraq, or what to do about Iran. The Post should be roasted alive for running this as a lead . . .

Except that they were giving an opening by Dick Cheney, who mischaracterized what is known about al Qaeda operating in Iraq prior to 2003 and then uses it as the primary argument for keeping our troops in Iraq.
The report's release came on the same day that Vice President Cheney, appearing on Rush Limbaugh's radio program, repeated his allegation that al-Qaeda was operating inside Iraq "before we ever launched" the war, under the direction of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the terrorist killed last June.

"This is al-Qaeda operating in Iraq," Cheney told Limbaugh's listeners about Zarqawi, who he said had "led the charge for Iraq." Cheney cited the alleged history to illustrate his argument that withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq would "play right into the hands of al-Qaeda."

Read the entire story here. This is insane. Yes, Zarqawi was in Iraq - but northern Iraq inside the no-fly zone where Hussein had no control. Stupid acts like this only provide grist for even more insane statements by Pelosi and company. It gives them a straw man argument they can easilly discredit while ignoring the truly salient arguments. This is a self inflicted wound. Somebody needs to reign in Mr. Cheney. Sit him in the room with the Democrat's House Intelligence Committee Chairman and give them both a briefing on Iraq, for God's sake.

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