IT NEVER ENDS…. On Wednesday’s episode of MSNBC’s “Hardball,” Ari Fleischer defended the war in Iraq by saying, “After Sept. 11, having been hit once, how could we take a chance that Saddam might not strike again?”

Last night’s “Hardball” managed to be even more mind-numbing, with Frank Gaffney taking the bizarre Iraq theories to the next level:

“He [Saddam] kept saying he was going to try to get even against us for Desert Storm, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable for people to conclude maybe that that’s what he was doing. There is also circumstantial evidence, not proven by any means, but nonetheless some pretty compelling circumstantial evidence of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq being involved with the people who perpetrated both the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center and even the Oklahoma City bombing.”

He was entirely serious.

Later, in the same interview, Gaffney said those who were responsible for 9/11 had “collaborative relationships with Iraqi intelligence.”

Honestly, listening to some of these guys talk about Iraq and 9/11 is a bit like watching the “Dead Parrot” sketch. The argument is obviously dead. Gaffney can push the cage, but the argument won’t move.

I’m curious. Is there nothing these guys can say that would force them from polite company? How crazy need one be before they’re no longer invited back onto national television to share their ridiculous ideas?

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.