As Dick Cheney makes the rounds of all the talk shows, including Meet the Press (where Chuck Todd probably had really difficult questions ready for him like “Why are you so awesome?”), he continues to spew lie after lie. Politifact took his Meet the Press performance — and that’s what it was — and found virtually everything he said to be false.
“We got to the point where we were very concerned about the possible linkage between terrorists on the one hand and weapons of mass destruction on the other,” Cheney said. “Saddam Hussein had previously had twice nuclear programs going. He produced and used weapons of mass destruction. And he had a 10-year relationship with al-Qaida.”
Cheney is relying on some thin evidence to tie Hussein to al-Qaida. His claim rates False.
This shows just how much of a liar Cheney is. More than a decade later, he’s still pretending that Iraq had something to do with Al Qaeda and 9/11. PolitiFact rightly points out:
The 9-11 Commission, an independent, bipartisan body created by Congress and Bush, had the job of writing a complete account of the circumstances surrounding the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Among its tasks: Examine the ties between al-Qaida and Hussein’s regime.
The commission found isolated contacts over the years between Iraq and al-Qaida terrorists but nothing more.“To date we have seen no evidence that these or the earlier contacts ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship,” the report, released in 2004, said. “Nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with al-Qaida in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States.”
In 2007, the Institute for Defense Analyses, a nonprofit research branch of the Pentagon’s Joint Forces Command, completed its assessment based on over half-a-million captured Iraqi documents.
That study “found no ‘smoking gun’ (i.e., direct connection) between Saddam’s Iraq and al-Qaida,” the analysts wrote.
When it suited their goals, both the Hussein regime and al-Qaida leaders might support the same third-party militant groups in different countries, but the researchers said the two parties had little else in common.
“To the fundamentalist leadership of al-Qaida, Saddam represented the worst kind of ‘apostate’ regime,” they wrote. “A secular police state well practiced in suppressing internal challenges.”
Al-Qaida had good reason to mistrust Hussein. In the mid 1990s, the Iraqi government cracked down and arrested religious extremists who it saw as a threat to Hussein’s power.
But rule #1 on the right wing is this: No lie that is useful will ever cease to be repeated.