Friday, June 18, 2004

Best evidence

A message to Shrub from out here in the land of logic regarding this statement: “The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al-Qaeda is because there was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda.” That’s not a “reason.” A “reason” involves logic, or factual evidence. It is not simple assertion or, worse, repetition. Your saying it again is not proof. (Ok, now is it really just me, or does everything this week echo British sketch comedy? Was I the only one thinking of this?

What’s Newt Gingrich up to these days? Posting reviews of novels at

Bush cited the presence of Zarqawi in Iraq as the “best evidence” of a Sadam/AQ connection. The problem is that Zarqawi operated out of Kurdistan, where Saddam’s writ did not run. Also, Zarqawi is in Ansar al Islam, not Al Qaida. But other than that, it’s the best evidence.

Some rather hilarious slash pathetic attempts by Bushies to blame the media for their difficulties. Cheney blames the NYT for reporting accurately that the 9/11 commission found no AQ-Iraq tie: “The fact of the matter is, the evidence is overwhelming. The press is, with all due respect, and there are exceptions, oftentimes lazy, oftentimes simply reports what somebody else in the press said without doing their homework.” I’m sorry, WHO is accusing WHO of laziness and not doing THEIR homework?

And there’s a creepy Rummy thing about how the media is stabbing the military in the back by talking about torture. Click here
and start at “coalition forces cannot be defeated on the battlefield. The only way this effort could fail is if people were to be persuaded that the cause is lost or that it's not worth the pain, or if those who seem to measure progress in Iraq against a more perfect world convince others to throw in the towel.”

Condi today tried to spin the 9/11 Commission. When they said there was no connection at all between Saddam and AQ, what they actually meant to say, according to her, was that Iraq didn’t have operational control over AQ. Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton knocked that particular straw man down.

By the way, the vocabulary word of the week at the White House: opine.

R’s on the Senate Judiciary Committee vote not to subpoena Ashcroft for the memos he committed contempt of Congress by not handing over in the first place. They said he was so cooperative that subpoenas were not necessary. He said that he’s waiting for the subpoenas before cooperating.

I’ve always said that Bush could have been blown out of the water after 9/11 by somebody running the footage of him being told about the planes hitting the Twin Towers, then calmly reciting a book to a classroom of children (I say reciting because I still don’t believe that he can read) for, what was it, seven minutes, in a split screen with what was going on in NYC. I gather the classroom footage is used in the Michael Moore film. Bush’s explanation to the 9/11 Commission: “his instinct was to project calm, not to have the country see an excited reaction at a moment of crisis”. If we believe this story, rather than that Bush simply failed to understood what was going on, how does he come off better? 3 or 4 weeks after 9/11, I commented on how the Bushies were trying to make Americans *feel* that it was safe to fly again, rather than trying to make flying actually safe. What Bush is now saying is that was his strategy from the start: instead of trying to find out what the situation was (especially essential since he was the only person with the authority to order civilian aircraft shot down, although he now seems to have passed that authority to Cheney, illegally I think), he immediately tried to reassure America that this situation he knew almost nothing about was nothing to be alarmed about. Bush in a nutshell.

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