In news shocking to almost no one with any intelligence, a US military-backed report (download and read the report for yourself) released yesterday found no pre-war link between former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda. No bulletproof evidence. No sinister nexus. No aid and comfort. Nothing.
According to the Washington Post this is the first study to examine Hussein's links to terrorist organizations, including those other than Al-Qaeda, using solely Iraqi documentation. Also according to the Post, while the study is said to have found non-operational links with other groups considered terrorist in nature, these links are said to have been of a nature to bolster his image as a leader in the region.
So, the count so far is no WMD, no link with Al-Qaeda, and almost how many dead as of today on both sides? I am no fan of Hussein's and I am somebody who wrestles with questions about what role other countries can and should play in ending dictatorships. And having one friend in the military, I am well aware there are good men and women trying to do good things in Iraq, who believe they can help. The lies and spin are an insult to them. The issue here is that time and time again, this administration lied again and again to bolster their plans. Time and again VP Cheney stood in front of the media and repeated the lie that there was a link, the words for years like a somber drumbeat. Certainly the uncritical, overly accepting public and media also had a role in the relationship. And now, several years into a war based on lies that has left a country in tatters with no end in sight we wait to hear any sort of coherent plan from candidates and leaders as to how to get out of this filthy mess.