'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Cheney's Disease 

Jon Stewart just interviewed Ralph Reed and asked him why the Bush adminstration invaded Iraq. Ralph Reed cited among other things page 66 of the 911 commission report flagging the following paragraph:

In mid-1998, the situation reversed; it was Iraq that reportedly took the initiative. In March 1998, after Bin Ladin's public fatwa against the United States, two al Qaeda members reportedly went to Iraq to meet with Iraqi intelligence. In July, an Iraqi delegation traveled to Afghanistan to meet first with the Taliban and then with Bin Ladin. Sources reported that one, or perhaps both, of these meetings was apparently arranged through Bin Ladin's Egyptian deputy, Zawahiri, who had ties of his own to the Iraqis. In 1998, Iraq was under intensifying U.S. pressure, which culminated in a series of large air attacks in December.

which is all fine and good. However, here is page 66 of the report and if one takes the trouble to read the whole page one finds that the very next paragraph after the above is

Similar meetings between Iraqi officials and Bin Ladin or his aides may have occurred in 1999 during a period of some reported strains with the Taliban.According to the reporting, Iraqi officials offered Bin Ladin a safe haven in Iraq. Bin Ladin declined, apparently judging that his circumstances in Afghanistan remained more favorable than the Iraqi alternative. The reports describe friendly contacts and indicate some common themes in both sides' hatred of the United States. But to date we have seen no evidence that these or the earlier contacts ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship. Nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States.

which, call me crazy, seems rather important to the point Reed was making. One wonders why he didn't mention it. Cheney seems to have an oddly specific form of dyslexia, or perhaps it's more a kind of aphasia, that renders him incapable of reading, comprehending, and retaining the information I emphasized in the above passage. Maybe Ralph Reed caught a case of this disorder from Dick? A communicable strain of Cheney's Disease would explain a lot.

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