RUMSFELD ON AL-QAEDA….Via Tim Dunlop, it appears that Donald Rumsfeld is a wee bit off the reservation when it comes to the infamous Saddam-al-Qaeda relationship. Here’s what he told the Council on Foreign Relations today:
To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two.
Still, what are the odds that this will slow down Dick Cheney in tomorrow’s debate? Slim and none, I’d guess, since Saddam’s terrorist connections are a favorite talking point of his regardless of whether they actually ever existed or not.
For more about this, Tapped has the expected talking points here and a quickie analysis of how deeply misleading they are here. Bottom line:
Saddam had only slight contact with al-Qaeda during the 90s.
According to the 9/11 Commission, he had virtually no contact after that.
Overall, he had less contact with al-Qaeda than virtually any other Arab state in the Middle East.
The fact that Cheney and other Republicans continue to flog the spurious Saddam-al-Qaeda tale is a sign of their deep unseriousness about both Iraq and the war on terror. Serious people could make their case for both without resorting to ghost stories more suitable for children than for leaders of the free world.