Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Friday, August 12, 2005
Rusty logic
Every so often, a member of the vast right wing conspiracy makes perfect sense. Consider this just such a winger lucid moment. From Rusty Shackleford at Jawa today, in response to a load of tin foil hattery by Crazy ole' Captain Ed:

No, Iraq Had Nothing to do with 9/11

Is the 9/11 Report flawed? Yes. But that does not mean there was a conspiracy to keep information out of the report. It is the inherent nature of government reports, all government reports, to be flawed. If you don't want a flawed government report then you should not ask the government to report on anything.

Do the Able Danger revelations impeach the entire 9/11 Report so that nothing in the report should be believed? No. Of course not. It would be silly to have ever imagined that the report represented reality unbiased and unfiltered.

The 9/11 Report represents a consensus view on intelligence failures that led to the 9/11 attrocities. Consensus views, by their very nature, are never complete and are never 100% accurate. They can't be. But the alternative to producing a consensus view is producing competing reports, each with their own set of biases, each with a different set of assumptions, and each with a different focus and emphasis.
So, when Captain Ed began speculating that there may actually have been operational ties between al Qaeda and Iraq, I was a bit taken aback...
For the right, the Iraq-9/11 link belief has always been on a hair trigger, particularly as the war has gone sour. Clearly, they understand that the belief that Saddam Hussein was involved in the horrendous attacks of that day underpinned Americans' support for the Iraq invasion, and that the erosion of that belief (along with the daily escalation in violence) has corresponded with a decline in support for the war. Americans experienced a kind of cognitive dissonance after the attacks, whereby they wouldn't -- or couldn't -- let the connection go. I have interviewed soldiers and family members who held onto the belief long after the administration's ever-shifting cases for war began to fall apart. I chalked it up to a preference to fight for something (avenging the attacks), rather than to risk dying for God knows what... I can tell you that there are members of the military who are much more jaded now.

Dr. Rusty is right: the Able Danger revelation doesn't advance the Iraq-9/11 ball any further down the road. In fact, the fact that this kind of information wasn't shared -- not with the commission, but with the National Security Council when it mattered -- is further proof that the bohemoth federal government is almost congenitally unequal to the task of managing intelligence information efficiently. Perhaps Donald Rumsfeld should give up trying to streamline the military and find a way to convince his big government national party that "transformation" begins at home...

Still, it never ceases to amaze me that so many on the right continue to hold onto an almost manic need to believe in the Saddam-9/11 fairy tale, and with it, every word that drips from the mouths of the Bush administration. Total surrender to government is a pretty unseemly quality, and not one normally associated with "conservatives" who are supposedly skeptical of government. But then, the Bush cultists are not really conservatives, are they...
posted by JReid @ 9:54 PM  
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"I am for enhanced interrogation. I don't believe waterboarding is torture... I'll do it. I'll do it for charity." -- Sean Hannity
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