tpm on the iraq debate
Talking Points Memo links to some interesting debate going on over Iraq at Slate, and then has the following analysis of the lates Administration
lies claims WRT a connection between Iraq and al Qaeda:
Powell told a Senate Committee that while there was evidence of Iraqi-al Qaida cooperation there was still "no smoking gun" connecting Iraq to 9/11. I would hasten to note that there is also still no definitive proof that the author of Talking Points lives in a mansion in Georgetown or even that he owns that villa in Capri. But somehow stating this undeniable fact in such a fashion strikes me as a touch misleading.
Normally when you have a claim for which you have no evidence you characterize this as 'a claim for which you have no evidence.' Or one might even be bold and say 'it's not true, as far as we know.'
When you say there's no smoking gun, the obvious implication is that there is a lot of information, a lot of clues pointing in that direction, but no real slam-dunk evidence. But of course there simply isn't any evidence pointing to an Iraq-9/11 connection, and a lot of circumstantial evidence -- to the extent that one can ever prove a negative -- to the contrary.
So, as I asked several days back, why the endless attempts to fudge? Why the resistance to having this debate on the basis of the very serious facts and threats at hand? ...It's almost like these little bogus stories are the bon-bons of war, the little morsels and appetizers to chum up those who can't quite swallow the whole complicated rationale whole.
While it's true that had Iraq been behind 9/11 there'd be all the causus belli you could ask for, I can't help but wonder why, if the Administration is sooooo convinced of the righteousness of its case, it keeps grasping at these flimsy straws?
(Hey, remember back when "no smoking gun" was spun to indicate Bush has a squeaky clean record as CEO of Harken?)