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Bush makes false claim about Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda

Found while looking for something else. You cannot make this stuff up.

I know it’s hard to believe Mr. President, but they have these things know that actually record what you say and are able to play back what they record. Even after a long period of time. Keith Olbermann supplies the evidence.

Video-WMP Video-QT (Longer clip coming)

Today in his speech in Cleveland:

Bush: “First-just if I might correct a misperception, I don’t think we ever said, at least I know I didn’t say that there was a direct connection between September 11th and Saddam Hussein.”

In days gone by-SOTU-three years ago:

Bush: “Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al-Qaeda.”

Now-anyone listening and watching his speech back then would make that connection easily enough since al-Qaeda was responsible for 9/11-don’t you think? Keith analyzes it very nicely.

This is from Crooks and Liars, which I think means that the other guys are crooks and liars. So why is the writer pretending that the first quote contradicts the second quote? He’s either being crooked, being a liar, or being ignorant.

This is what I run into time and time again when discussing the supposed reasons supposedly given before the invasion of Iraq. The critic of the invasion finds a quote that says something, makes some assumption or between-the-lines reading, and then pretends that the the assumption or reading between-the-lines is what was actually said. Then they bandy that about as some sort of proof of something or another, and like to play “gotcha” with some other half-imagined “quote” they picked up somewhere.

This is the apparent “logic” here:

1. Bush said Iraq was harboring members of Al Qaeda.
2. Al Qaeda perpetrated 9/11.
3. Therefore Bush said there is a direct connection between Iraq and 9/11.
4. If he says he didn’t ever say that, he’s a liar and loses double points.

I’m all for debating the issues, but let’s not act like three-year olds while doing it, okay?

Comments

  1. I think you meant to say: 1. Bush said Iraq was harboring members of Al Qaeda. 2. Al Qaeda perpetrated 9/11. 3. Therefore Bush said there is a direct connection between Iraq and 9/11. 4. If he says he didn’t ever say that, he’s a liar and loses double points.

  2. So… Bluto from Animal House was right when he was talking about the Germans attacking Pearl Harbor? 😉

  3. Nicholas (and others who emailed): Yes, 9/11, not Al Qaeda in point 3. Sorry. Fixed. Thanks. Sheesh, I hate it when I’m a meathead.

  4. And let me beat the dead horse again. When confronted with bad or fake reasons for invading Iraq, Bush on Monday again failed to tell his audience the good reasons for ousting Saddam. There were reasons like ending Saddam’s repression, stopping Saddam’s support for any number of terrorists, punishing Saddam’s failure to return 600 Kuwait POWs, and stopping Saddam’s grand theft from the Oil-for-Food program. Bush didn’t mention one of these justifications, at least not directly. I don’t get it.

  5. Great point Frank- this administration seems to be entirely incapable of getting its arguments across. Not that the press would print anything positive anyway…

  6. Frank and Jay: No argument here. It’s very frustrating. I didn’t even check out the rest of Bush’s statements, as the material required to shoot down the post I quoted (in full, BTW) was already there in the post itself.

  7. Sure, its just some wild coincidence that the Decepticons repeatedly conflated these two issues by mentioning 9/11, saddam and AQ in the same sentance. And its just another wholely unrelated wild coincidence that 70% OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC WERE CONNED into believing the Saddam 9-11 link. http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-09-06-poll-iraq_x.htm Always great to come here and see the credibility related program activity in action.

  8. Oh, and the best line from bush last night: … I don’t want to be argumentative, but I was very careful never to say that Saddam Hussein ordered the attacks on America. Which brings to mind other typical uses of this particular semantic construct… * … I was very careful never to say you couldn’t lose money. * … I was very careful never to say I love you. * … I was very careful never to say I was still on the pill. * … I was very careful never to say I’ve been tested recently.

  9. Aaron: Nothing you wrote contradicts any of my points. Rather, it supports them rather nicely. It can’t be helped if you or others took it upon yourself to read things into what was said. Bush never said there was a connection and you decided that he meant there was and that, therefore, he was lying. Looks to me like it’s you at fault. Your quote examples are very convincing, BTW. Hard to argue with those parallels. I, personally, have been very careful never to say that I killed JFK. Therefore I’ve admitted to doing so? Your powers of persuasion are simply stunning. As for ‘70% OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC WERE CONNED’, let’s take a look. The American public gets its info either directly from the horse’s mouth (seeing or hearing the speeches and statements with its own eyes and ears in person or via live coverage) or from the media (reading or watching news coverage and/or opinion columns). So far everyone has been shamefully unable to show us where the horse’s mouth said what you say they said, so where, pray tell, did this ‘conning’ occur if it did, in fact, happen? Here’s a logic exercise for you: 1. Bush et al never said there was a connection 2. Media covered the speech 3. 70% of the American public was conned into thinking there was a connection 4. [fill in the blank] conned them Was there conning? I think that there was, to an extent. But WHO did the conning? Just ASSUME it was Bush & Co., like you ASSUME Bush means the opposite of what he says?

  10. Aaron, two days after Sept. 11, 2001, about 78 percent of the American public believed Saddam was involved the attacks. That’s 78 percent before Bush said anything about Saddam. By February 2003, a month before the Iraq invasion, 72 percent of the American public believed Saddam was involved in 9-11. That’s 72 percent. In other words, in the year and a half between 9-11 and the Iraq invasion, the belief in a Saddam-9-11 tie had dropped. Maybe that’s because, in spite of Saddam’s support of various terrorist groups (in violation of U.N. resolutions), no one was claiming he carried out 9-11.

  11. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Zarqawi (sp?) escape Afghanistan and take up refuge in Iraq after the US invasion of the former? If so, wouldn’t that pretty much prove the argument that Iraq was harboring terrorists and members of AQ?

  12. Heartless, there is some question over how much harboring Saddam gave Zarqawi, since Zarqawi’s camps were in remote northern Iraq. The one report that connects Zarqawi, then considered an al-Qaida ‘affliate,’ with Saddam is the possibility Saddam allowed Zarqawi into Baghdad in 2002 for medical treatment. This still isn’t nailed down. But certainly Saddam paid off families of terrorists who blew themselves up killing innocents in Israel. And certainly Saddam habored Abu Nidal (a terror leader from 1974 to 1991), Abu Abbas (planner of the deadly 1985 Achille Lauro hijacking); and Abdul Yasin (who mixed the chemicals for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing). Newly released documents also show Saddam funded the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, an al-Qaida affiliate in the Philippines. So yes, Saddam’s regime was harboring and supporting terrorists, in violation of U.N. Resolution 1373 and other resolutions.

  13. One more thing on whether Saddam had a personal 9-11 connection. ‘Documentary maker’ Michael Moore fed the false debate when he took this post-invasion quote of Condoleezza Rice:

    ‘Oh, indeed there is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9-11. It’s not that Saddam Hussein was somehow himself and his regime involved in 9-11, but, if you think about what caused 9-11, it is the rise of ideologies of hatred that lead people to drive airplanes into buildings in New York.’

    And inserted it into his movie ‘Fahrenheit 9-11’ only as:

    ‘Oh, indeed there is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9-11.’

    Michael Moore edited out the truth by clipping Rice’s words, ‘It’s not that Saddam was … involved in 9-11.’ The truth was, Americans suspected Saddam of personal ties to 9-11, but their suspicions were higher two days after 9-11 than they were a month before the March 2003 Iraq invasion. Saddam probably wasn’t involved in the 9-11 attacks. He probably didn’t kill those 3,000. He killed hundreds of thousands more.

  14. This junk cracks me up. Aaaah, my side. Yes, 78 percent of Americans believed Saddam was behind 9/11 two days after the attack because, um, we are a collective of retards who are in desperate need of some culture-wide ritalin. This explains why the polls tend to do the uppy-downy thing all the time (‘wait, you mean, people die in war… that’s bad, mmmkay.’), and why everyone hates Congress but loves their particular congressional loser because they dole out free stuff. Heartless, I think your intel is off. Zarqawi is a Jordanian, and was wanted at-large by the Jordanians for various bad things before Iraq flared up and he saw an exploding (forgiveness for pun) market of opportunity. I keed.

  15. Zarqawi, a Jordanian, was in and out of Afghanistan from 1989 to 2002. And as Heartless said, the U.S.-led coalition probably chased Zarqawi out of Afghanistan in early 2002, sending him through Iran into Iraq. Jordan’s King Abdullah said Saddam harbored Zarqawi, but U.S. investigators have not found clear evidence of Saddam’s assistance.

  16. Wow the misinformation comes fast and deep… ‘about 78 percent of the American public believed Saddam was involved the attacks.’ No- the ‘suspected’ he was involved. the Neocon lies started on 9/11, claiming it was Sadam. That Bush, used this alleged connection to promote his war is a crime. What was the evidence- a meeting which never happened, that the FBI and Chek intel both deny? Pathetic. Terrorist were ‘harbored’ by saddam? that sounds like just about every country in the middle east. How many have just been transiting on phony passports? Thats a real connection- in the decepticons wet dreams… Operational connection- thats the answer we were looking for… ‘Operational connection’ And since were being nit pickers- giving money to the families of deceased suicide bombers is not ‘supporting terrorism’- its supporting the families of deceased terrorists. ‘Newly released documents also show Saddam funded the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, an al-Qaida affiliate in the Philippines.’ Yeah- heard about those. Lets see- documents for which there is no chain of custody, and no evidence they are real, and no one is sure if they are translated accurately and possibly coming from our buddy Chalabi- a man who lied us into Iraq, and is known to have his own document forgery shop, suggest, possibly, that Abu Sayef may have once contacted Saddam. maybe. Well I guess if you wingnuts are desparate enough, you can hang your hat on anything. Of course there is one sure way to know that its all bullshit: The bush and the decepticons have not pushed it. and they are desperated to build support for the bush’s really big Iraq adventure. So yeah, its all bullshit thats so weak, even they wont use it. But you wingnuts, you dont have to worry about credibility so you keep pushing your malarky. Oh and Murduc: ‘I don’t want to be argumentative, but I was very careful never to say that Saddam Hussein ordered the attacks on America.’ Thats an admission of a deliberate intent to decieve. So yeah, crooks and liars. and decepticons.

  17. Aaron: ‘I don’t want to be argumentative, but I was very careful never to say that Saddam Hussein ordered the attacks on America.’ Thats an admission of a deliberate intent to decieve. So yeah, crooks and liars. and decepticons. Yes, I understand that you think it is. What I’m trying to figure out is WHY you think that. You haven’t said. Please enlighten us. All you gave were some unrelated examples, mostly related to sex. You are apparently reading more into what he’s saying than he’s saying, which is exactly what I wrote about. You are doing it. You are PROVING MY POINT FOR ME, thank-you very much. If you would like to prove YOUR point, please go ahead and begin. Don’t act like a troll.

  18. And since were being nit pickers- giving money to the families of deceased suicide bombers is not ‘supporting terrorism’- its supporting the families of deceased terrorists.’ That’s the most laughably naive thing I’ve read in years. Thanks for cheering me up, Aaron.

  19. The Neocon lies started on 9/11, claiming it was Sadam.’ Which neocon, liberal or other American leader claimed on 9/11 that Saddam directed the 9/11 attacks?

  20. Murdoc: The use of armed forces against Iraq is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. [Bush’s Letter to Congress, 3/21/03] Frank: I believe it was former cia director and noted neocon james Woolsley (sp?) who said it on cnn on 9/11/01 at 3pm. I gotta check that later though.

  21. Aaron: Okay. We’ll get back to that in a moment. Please explain how that quote you made such a big deal about proves that he’s a liar. For bonus points explain how those other quotes have anything to do with anything.

  22. No doubt people like James Woolsey were speculating on Sept. 11, 2001, on the possibility, even probability, that someone like Saddam Hussein would have been involved in the 9-11 attacks. On the 24-hour-a-day talk shows, everyone was speculating about everything. Osama was the prime suspect, and it was no giant leap to view Saddam suspiciously, too. After all, we had driven his forces out of Kuwait, and the guy who mixed chemicals for the first World Trade Center bombing was living in Iraq. Saddam was viewed as one who harbored terrorists, as one who committed genocide, as one who committed crimes against humanity and war crimes, as one who brutally repressed his own people. He also was seen as possibly supporting Zarqawi, an al-Qaid affliate, in Iraq. But there was no general campaign, neoconservative or not, to claim Saddam was personally involved in the 9-11 attacks. Bush, his Cabinet and leading Bush administration neoconservatives made lots of speeches in the months before the Iraq invasion. I’d be surprised if you could find one speech in which Bush or a Bush aide made Saddam’s involvement in 9-11 as a central theme.

  23. Lets review: 1. Bush and the Neo-cons want to invade Iraq. 2. 9/11 happens 3. Bush and the Neo-cons decide to use 9/11 to push the invasion of Iraq. 4. Bush follows his MO and leaves the more outright lies to his buddies (cf. swiftboat scumbags). 5. They decide that Bush will avoid lying outright and instead repeatedly use the phrase 9/11 and Saddam in close proximity in his speaches. 6. Bush puts in 9/11 reference in his letter asking for the AUMF-Iraq. 7. Public is decieved. 8. Bush claims the other night: ‘I was very careful never to say that Saddam Hussein ordered the attacks on America.’ 8. Bush apologists keep claiming that he never did lie. From Free Dictionary: Lie: 2. Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression. As Keith Olberman put it:’give me an efing break’

  24. Nicholas: Why dont you find an amputee war vet. then you can explain to him that he lost his limbs and his buddies to protect Israel from the threat of Saddam giving money to the families of deceased suicide bombers. Tell him thats the best reason we know of to explain the invasion. Im sure he will find it hillarious too.

  25. Aaron: You continue to prove my point. Please stick to one train of thought long enough finish it. Please answer questions instead of just railing on with more of your talking points. Please explain how the quotes in the Crooks And Liars piece (which is what this post is about) prove anything other than what I say they prove, which is that critics simply read into Bush’s words anything they want and then claim that what they read is what he said. I am not going to respond to any of your follow-on points until you respond to the original post and the original questions/comments about your first two comments in a logical and meaningful way. I don’t mind if you meander on and on and on. But I mind if you do it here. You want to do things your way? Fine. Go get your own site and fire away. I take a lot of heat for taking the time to take you seriously. Don’t prove them right.

  26. Aaron, why do you insist on trying to argue with Murdoc about anything that he says.You mustn’t forget that your entering Murdoc’s kingdom, and woe to he that says that he has no clothes on.Just come in for a giggle sometime its quite amazing what military views and opinions that the guy writes. Back home in the UK on our military sites we call the Murdoc’s of the world ‘Walters’they are quite easy to spot with their off centre military jargon buzz talk.So you go to a site that doesn’t ridicule you for trying to make a valid point.Gotcha murdoc.

  27. Dave: If someone’s going to say I’ve got no clothes on, I sort of expect them to be able to back it up. Aaron usually doesn’t have any supporting matierial germaine to the discussion, and if asked a direct question he either refuses to answer or answers in an indirect way. That’s why I get tired of him, not because he doesn’t agree with me. If you’d look around you’d see that there a quite a few regular commenters who often disagree with me, especially about politics. But there are only a few who debate like five-year olds. Seems to me that if I’m so clueless it should be easy to prove I’ve got no clothes on. You, on the other hand, do nothing but say ‘Yeah, but you were never in the military’. That’s the only point I think you’ve ever made. Again, if I’m so clueless (and I might be) why not just shoot down my clueless opinions instead of attacking me over something I freely and continually make a point to be clear about. I try to take all commenters seriously, and I try to respond to many of them. But I’m finding it’s pointless with some folks, and that’s very disappointing.

  28. Incidentally, I’ve been very careful never to say that I’ve been in the military. Does that prove that I’ve been in the military?

  29. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews: ‘I think the president made a big mistake this week, and maybe I’m the only one that caught it, but when he came out and said he never said that we went to Iraq because of what happened on 9/11, that Saddam was never involved in 9/11, that whole mentality, the whole culture, the country music, everything, was saying this was payback. We are getting them in Iraq because of what they did to us on 9/11, and now they come out and say I never claimed that. Well you know it’s in the actual language of when he said to congress, I’m now going to pick you up on that authorization to go to war, but we are going to war tomorrow, this is in 2003 in March, we are going to war tomorrow and the reason we are going is because we are going to get the countries attacked us on 9/11 we are going to get them. He clearly said all along. The Darryl Worley song remember how you felt, and you know all that stuff, the Vice President saying that Saddam was involved in 9/11 again and again. To come out now and say I never said this was payback is B.S.’ Imus: ‘Didn’t they actually say, because we were talking about that as well, because the way they left it out… didn’t he actually say that they harbored terrorists, and as I pointed out the way that people pay attention to the news, which is not as much as you and I do, it was easy for Americans to infer that he meant… and by the way they did these polls, as you well know, in which the majority of the American people actually thought that the people who flew the airplanes into the World Trade center, the Pentagon and then the field in Pennsylvania actually came from Iraq, so while they didn’t specifically say that they said that they harbored terrorists and the implication was… well you are right, but did he actually say that?’ Chris Matthews: ‘He said in the statement he gave to Congress when he said ok boys we are going to war tomorrow morning, in that statement he said I’m operating under the authorization that allows me to go after organizations or countries that attacked us on 9/11. Many times he said we can’t distinguish between the people who attacked us on 9/11, we can’t separate the two. The vice president was very clear, continually talking about coordination between the Iraqi intelligence and Muhammad Atta, who was the chief hijacker, it’s right there in the tapes, and then Cheney comes out and denies it even though it’s right on tape. Remember Gloria Borger interviewed him, I’m not sure if she was CBS at the time, but she interviewed him and he directly lied about it, and said that he did not say that. A number of times we have showed the tape and when he actually said exactly what he was denying on tape, we got the tape of what he was denying.’

  30. Uh, Aaron, you’ve enlisted Matthews and Imus to help prove my point now, too… I don’t have any idea where those quotes come from or when they were made, but they’re just more of EXACTLY WHAT THIS POST IS ABOUT. I think you need to review the post and try to understand what I’m getting at before you try to argue against it. You really don’t seem to get it. Really.

  31. Murdoc, The point I think your making is that its all just some crazy misunderstanding and the decepticons never did claim the really great Iraqi adventure had anything to do with 9/11 and where do people get this crazy idea? Am I missing something? is that it? my point-no. decepticons => deception. its on purpose.

  32. Aaron: Now we’re getting somewhere! You’ve actually responded to a something in your own words and in a meaningful way. This is great. You’re very close on my point…my only nitpick would be that I don’t really mean to say that it’s a ‘misunderstanding’ about what Bush and others said about the connection between Iraq and 9/11. I mean to say that the media (and others) are being either ‘willfully ignorant’ or ‘outright liars’ about what Bush and others said, for the reasons given several times above. You seem to be saying liars lie, with which I cannot disagree. However, your point, in and of itself, proves nothing, and the evidence you’ve supplied about this particular case has been pretty uncompelling so far. If you want to count the words between ‘Iraq’ and ‘9/11’ to determine what Bush was REALLY saying while simultaneously ignoring what he really said, I can’t help you. I’m not claiming that no one ever said that Iraq might not have been involved. I’m not claiming that Bush never mentioned the two in the same sentence. I’m not claiming that Bush never said places like Iraq contribute to terrorism in one way or another and that terrorism results in things like 9/11. I’m not claiming that some thought then and still think now that there were closer links between Iraq and Al Qeada than we know of today. (In fact, some of the recently-released papers hint that this may actually be so.) What I’m claiming is that people who like to pretend that ‘Iraq helped with 9/11’ was given as a major reason for invading Iraq and that Bush suddenly changed course at some point and just started talking about Iraqi freedom and democracy out the blue are either ‘willfully ignorant’ or ‘outright liars’. As a prime example of my case, I presented the ‘Crooks and Liars’ post, wherein the writer uses his own interpretation of what Bush meant to be what Bush said. He makes a joke about ‘things that actually record’ and actually quotes the actual words. He then uses his own interpretation of what was said to prove his point. If Bush really said what the writer says he said, why doesn’t he use the actual words from the actual recording? Oh, because it says something completely different.

  33. Why is there a 9/11 reference in the president’s request to congress for the Iraqi invasion? This is no accident. period. let me reprint the relevant section: The use of armed forces against Iraq is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. [Bush’s Letter to Congress, 3/21/03]

  34. Aaron: FWIW, here’s a far, far more relevant section of that same document which refers to 9/11: Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq; Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of American citizens; I’m not exactly sure what you’re trying to accomplish with this document, which is the only proof you’ve supplied that Bush gave Iraq’s direct ties to 9/11 as a major reason for invading Iraq. There are MANY references to 9/11 in the document…what on earth do you expect? That’s not quite the same as claiming that Iraq was involved in 9/11 and that said involvement was given as a major reason for invading Iraq. Okay. I’m playing along with you. Now will you PLEASE RESPOND TO THE TOPIC OF THIS POST INSTEAD OF JUST COPYING AND PASTING TALKING POINTS OUT OF DOCUMENTS THAT YOU APPARENTLY EITHER HAVEN’T READ OR HAVEN’T THOUGHT ABOUT VERY CAREFULLY. Thanks.