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March 30, 2006

Cheney: Documents Will Show Close Saddam-Osama Tie


There are two major sources of frustration about this matter.

First, if there is evidence of a closer Saddam-Osama tie than recognized generally, why is the administration so reluctant to say so?

Second -- and this derives from the above -- I have had the bad feeling that war-supporters were being cynically used and misled through this period. There is just enough information dribbled out to let us suspect a stronger Osama-Hussein tie, and thus argue for such a thing, but no administration official will actually stand behind such a claim. Leading me to suspect the Administration might well know there is no strong evidence of such, and yet they're more than willing to quietly leak tidbits to the conservative press to let the faithful continue harboring misconceptions.

But if Cheney's on board, even in a somewhat muted fashion, I'm less skeptical about where this information may be leading:

Vice President Dick Cheney predicted Wednesday that thousands of boxes of documents captured from Saddam's Hussein's former regime will show that the Iraqi dictator had a much closer relationship with Osama bin Laden than was previously known.

"I think what we'll find as we get a chance to go through and analyze these documents -- there's some 50,000 boxes of them that are now being made available here over the next few months -- that we'll see a pretty complete picture that Saddam Hussein did, in fact, deal with some pretty nefarious characters out there," Cheney told Fox News Radio's Tony Snow.

Asked if he was referring to Osama bin Laden, Cheney replied:

"Yes, we don't know the full scale of it there yet, and I don't want to make a hard and fast prediction here. But there is reporting, obviously, that we've seen over the years that there was some kind of a relationship there between the Iraqis and Osama bin Laden."


The vice president stressed that nothing in the new documents uncovered so far links Saddam to the 9/11 attacks. But he added: "That's a separate proposition from the question of whether or not there was some kind of a relationship between the Iraqi government, Iraqi intelligence services and the al Qaida organization."

Yes, he's speaking in terms of the future -- "predicting" what he thinks the documents will show, not saying what they show at the moment -- but still, it's good to finally have a high-ranking Administration official stand behind the suspicions that so many war-supporters have long harbored.

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posted by Ace at 05:48 PM

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