Friday, April 06, 2007

Profiles in Pre-Senile Dementia

In spite of shitloads of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, yesterday on the Rush Limbaugh show Dick Cheney repeated the thoroughly debunked propaganda that Saddam Hussein was linked to Al Qaeda:

"Vice President Dick Cheney repeated his assertions of al-Qaida links to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq on Thursday as the Defense Department released a report citing more evidence that the prewar government did not cooperate with the terrorist group.

"Cheney contended that al-Qaida was operating in Iraq before the March 2003 invasion led by U.S. forces and that terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was leading the Iraqi branch of al-Qaida. Others in al-Qaida planned the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."

In fact, fundamentalist al qaeda was philosophically opposed to Saddam's secular dictatorship, and may have been planning to overthrow it if they could get closer to Saddam. That's why Saddam repeatedly rejected al qaeda and tried to capture al-Zarqawi, according to a US intelligence report released in 2004:

"Far from aligning himself with al-Qaeda and Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Hussein repeatedly rebuffed al-Qaeda's overtures and tried to capture Zarqawi, the report said. Tariq Aziz, the detained former deputy prime minister, has told the FBI that Hussein 'only expressed negative sentiments about [Osama] bin Laden.'"

Zarqawi, who owed his reputation as a Major Terrorist Leader to the bush administration spin machine, actually started his terrorism career as a loner, unaffiliated with al qaeda or anyone else:

"Zarqawi, whom Cheney depicted yesterday as an agent of al-Qaeda in Iraq before the war, was not then an al-Qaeda member but was the leader of an unaffiliated terrorist group who occasionally associated with al-Qaeda adherents, according to several intelligence analysts. He publicly allied himself with al-Qaeda after the U.S. invasion, in early 2004."

Of course, being charitable here, there's always the chance that Dick is just a victim of the ravages of time, confusion and memory loss being chief among them. On the other hand, it was the Limbaugh show, so maybe he was just following the Limbaugh format and making shit up.