Mr. He told Tim Russert of NBC on , that this report has “been pretty well confirmed.” If so, no one seems to have informed the C.I.A., the Czech government or the 9/11 commission, which said it did not appear to be true. Yet Mr. Cheney cited it, again, on Thursday night on CNBC.
Mr. Cheney said he had lots of documents to prove his claims. We have heard that before, but Mr. Cheney always seems too pressed for time or too concerned about secrets to share them. Last September, Mr. Cheney’s adviser, Mary Matalin, explained to The Washington Post that Mr. Cheney had access to lots of secret stuff. She said he had to “tiptoe through the land mines of what’s sayable and not sayable” to the public, but that “his job is to connect the dots.”
The message, if we hear it properly, is that when it comes to this critical issue, the vice president is not prepared to offer any evidence beyond the flimsy-to-nonexistent arguments he has used in the past, but he wants us to trust him when he says there’s more behind the screen. So far, when it comes to Iraq, blind faith in this administration has been a losing strategy.
What did the 9/11 Commission actually say about Iraq-al Qaeda connections? And what did the Bush administration actually say about them?
An e-mail sent out from the White House Office of Public Liaison titled,”TALKING POINTS: 9-11 Commission Staff Report Confirmes Administration’s Views of al-Qaeda/Iraq Ties” claims:
And indeed, as the, uh, talking points memo notes, President Bush stated that”We’ve had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved https://rksloans.com/title-loans-nm/ with . September 11th.” Of course, what the memo quickly adds is that he said that on . And what it leaves out entirely is why he said that on . It was in response to this:
Cheney has repeatedly referred to reports that Mohamed Atta met in Prague in with an Iraqi intelligence agent
MR. RUSSERT: The Washington Post asked the American people about Saddam Hussein, and this is what they said: 69 percent said he was involved in the September 11 attacks. Are you surprised by that?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: We dont know. You and I talked about this two years ago. I can remember you asking me this question just a few days after the original attack. At the time I said no, we didnt have any evidence of that. Subsequent to that, weve learned a couple of things. We learned more and more that there was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda that stretched back through most of the ple, on BW and CW, that al-Qaeda sent personnel to Baghdad to get trained on the systems that are involved. The Iraqis providing bomb-making expertise and advice to the al-Qaeda organization.
We know, for example, in connection with the original World Trade Center bombing in 93 that one of the bombers was Iraqi, returned to Iraq after the attack of 93. And weve learned subsequent to that, since we went into Baghdad and got into the intelligence files, that this individual probably also received financing from the Iraqi government as well as safe haven.
Now, is there a connection between the Iraqi government and the original World Trade Center bombing in 93? We know, as I say, that one of the perpetrators of that act did, in fact, receive support from the Iraqi government after the fact. With respect to 9/11, of course, weve had the story thats been public out there. The Czechs alleged that Mohamed Atta, the lead attacker, met in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence official five months before the attack, but weve never been able to develop anymore of that yet either in terms of confirming it or discrediting it. We just dont know.