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Condoleezza Rice now insists "No one was arguing that Saddam Hussein somehow had something to do with 9/11."

Original post made by Dr. Ferragamo, Stanford, on Mar 19, 2009


YouTube video of Condi appearing on a recent episode of Charlie Rose:

Web Link

On the eve of the sixth anniversary of the Iraq war, Condoleezza Rice joined the long list of Bush White House figures taking to the airwaves to rewrite their boss' tragic legacy. "No one," she told Charlie Rose last night, "was arguing that Saddam Hussein somehow had something to do with 9/11." Of course, Rice was just one of many Bush administration officials making that claim before and after the invasion. And as it turns out, Ari Fleischer and George W. Bush himself among others are continuing to peddle that same mythical link between Iraq and September 11th.

As ThinkProgress noted, then national security adviser Rice argued in September 2002 that Saddam had "links to terrorism [that] would include al-Qaeda." But on Wednesday, the former Secretary of State traveled back in time to whitewash history:

ROSE: But you didn't believe it had anything to do with 9/11.

RICE: No. No one was arguing that Saddam Hussein somehow had something to do with 9/11.

ROSE: No one.

RICE: I was certainly not. The President was certainly not...That's right. We were not arguing that.

Of course, Rice wasn't the only one in the Bush White House contending "there were ties going on between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's regime," as she insisted as late as September 2006. Echoing President Bush's farewell in January, former press secretary Ari Fleischer made the Saddam - September 11 connection just seven days ago.

Last week, Fleischer used to an appearance with Chris Matthews on MSNBC's Hardball to display his gift for fiction regarding the Iraq war and 9/11:

"After September 11th having been hit once how could we take a chance that Saddam might strike again? And that's the threat that has been removed and I think we are all safer with that threat removed."

But if Fleischer was butchering history to justify the calamity in Iraq, he was only following George W. Bush's lead.

An unapologetic President Bush made that clear during his final address to the American people on January 15, 2009. Just days before his departure, Bush seamlessly wove the invasion of Iraq into his revisionist history of the aftermath of September 11, 2001:

"As the years passed, most Americans were able to return to life much as it had been before 9/11. But I never did. Every morning, I received a briefing on the threats to our nation. I vowed to do everything in my power to keep us safe....

...And with strong allies at our side, we have taken the fight to the terrorists and those who support them. Afghanistan has gone from a nation where the Taliban harbored al Qaeda and stoned women in the streets to a young democracy that is fighting terror and encouraging girls to go to school. Iraq has gone from a brutal dictatorship and a sworn enemy of America to an Arab democracy at the heart of the Middle East and a friend of the United States."

Of course, Bush's subtlety in January was nowhere on display during his jaw-dropping December 15, 2008 interview with ABC's Martha Raddatz. The President wasn't merely content to ignore the bipartisan 9/11 Commission's conclusion that Al Qaeda and Iraq had no "operational relationship." Boasting that "there have been no attacks since I have been president, since 9/11," the President simply dismissed any criticism that it was only his 2003 invasion which brought Al Qaeda forces to Iraq:

BUSH: One of the major theaters against al Qaeda turns out to have been Iraq. This is where al Qaeda said they were going to take their stand. This is where al Qaeda was hoping to take -

RADDATZ: But not until after the U.S. invaded.

BUSH: Yeah, that's right. So what? The point is that al Qaeda said they're going to take a stand. Well, first of all in the post-9/11 environment Saddam Hussein posed a threat. And then upon removal, al Qaeda decides to take a stand.

In an address ten days earlier to the Saban Center for Middle East Policy in Washington, DC, President Bush argued on December 5th that the truth should not be the lens through which his decision to invade Iraq should be viewed. Whether Saddam had actual connections to Bin Laden, Al Qaeda and the September 11 calamity, he proclaimed, was virtually irrelevant:

"It is true, as I have said many times, that Saddam Hussein was not connected to the 9/11 attacks. But the decision to remove Saddam from power cannot be viewed in isolation from 9/11. In a world where terrorists armed with box cutters had just killed nearly 3,000 people, America had to decide whether we could tolerate a sworn enemy that acted belligerently, that supported terror, and that intelligence agencies around the world believed had weapons of mass destruction. It was clear to me, to members of both political parties, and to many leaders around the world that after 9/11, this was a risk we could not afford to take."

For his part, Dick Cheney (aided and abetted by his biographer and 9/11-Iraq fabulist Stephen Hayes) has continued to proclaim as fact the nonexistent Bin Laden-Hussein connection. (In March 2008, Cheney anticipated Bush's "so what?" response to Martha Raddatz, shrugging off her assertion that "two-thirds of Americans say it's not worth fighting" in Iraq by simply remarking, "So?") And in an interview with Jim Lehrer of the PBS News Hour on January 14, 2009, Vice President Cheney regurgitated his blatantly discredited claim about an Iraq-Al Qaeda nexus. Answering "I think so" when asked whether the 4500 Americans killed in Iraq was worth it, Cheney continued:

"He'd had a nuclear program in the past. He killed hundreds of thousands of his own people and he did have a relationship with al-Qaida. Now, we've had this debate, keeps people trying to conflate those arguments.

That's not to say that Saddam was responsible for 9/11; it is to say - as George Tenet, CIA director testified in open session in the Senate - that there was a relationship there that went back 10 years."

Of course, as ThinkProgress detailed, President Bush and Vice President Cheney throughout 2002 and 2003 warned of the mythical alliance between Saddam and Bin Laden. For example, on October 14, 2002, Bush announced that "We know that Iraq and Al Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade." On the eve of the war, the President told Americans that Iraq "has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al Qaeda." And as hostilities commenced, Cheney on March 21, 2003 decried Iraq as the "geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11."

As I documented back in June 2005, President Bush continued to nurture the false Iraq connection to 9/11 long after he grudgingly admitted on September 17, 2004 that "we've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September the 11th." Bush's intentional conflation of the two included the amazing June 18, 2005 statement that "we went to war [with Iraq] because we were attacked." By December 2008, Bush's linkage had morphed into the "risk we could not afford to take."

As it turns out, for George W. Bush the "risk we could not afford to take" was not averting war with Iraq, but the absence of a compelling sales pitch for it. And to be sure, Bush was in that regard quite successful. As an October 2003 PIPA survey showed, even after the invasion of Iraq, majorities of Americans continued to believe Bush administration claims about Saddam (Iraq role in 9/11, an alliance between Saddam and Al Qaeda, and Saddam's WMD) all long since proven false. (Unsurprisingly, viewers of Fox News were the most delusional.) And as late as July 2006, fully 50% of Americans still believed the discredited claim that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction.

In his predictably self-absorbed farewell address to the nation, President George W. Bush grudgingly acknowledged, "There are things I would do differently if given the chance." But as he demonstrated that night, rejecting his repeated linkage of the 9/11 attacks to his war on Iraq is not among them. As for Condi Rice, she insists the deception never took place.

Of course, Rice's denial may be explained by the fact the "smoking gun" never took the form of "a mushroom cloud."

Comments (22)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 20, 2009 at 5:24 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

I watched the same interview and said nothing to suggest Dr. Rice was dissembling or lying. Your straw dog is not tall enough to make me forget the reason we invaded Iraq, reasons fully explained and valid.
1. The invasion was a continuation of the U.N. sanctioned war to expel Iraq from Kuwait.
2. The Invasion was separately sanctioned by the U.N. as an appropriate response to Iraqi violations of the terms of the cease fire.
3. The invasion was an appropriate response to the daily attempts to kill American airmen validly patrolling the no fly zones.

There is not a direct cause/effect relationship between 9/11 and Iraq, but to deny the general animus of the Islamic world toward the United States and the rest of the free world, and the general approval of any action that harms the U.S. denies the reality of dancing in the streets in celebration of 9/11.

It is not a Simon Says world out there. The consensus in the civilized world that motivates our fairness even toward sworn enemies is not reciprocated by the immature societies. It is the utmost folly to continue to adhere to the rulebook even when the other team does not.

It is past time for Palo Alto to honor Dr Rice by renaming Sand Hill Road to Dr. Condoleezza Rice Boulevard.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 20, 2009 at 6:27 am

Extremely well said, Walter. Thank you.

Don't be too frustrated, though, ...there will always be people who believe what Dr. F believes, just like there will always be people who believe we never landed on the moon.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 20, 2009 at 6:50 am

Thank you Dr. Rice for your courage and patient persistence. You have more faith remaining in our people than I do, and I am grateful that you and others are continuing to try to educate the uneducated.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dr. Ferragamo
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 20, 2009 at 7:50 am


Our economy is on the brink of total collapse due in part to the Federal Reserve flooding trillions of dollars into our money supply to pay for the Iraq Disaster.

Millions of Iraqis and thousands of Americans are dead thanks to Condi and the neocons.

In the entire history of USA never once did Iraq attack USA or threaten to attack USA.

What was so intolerable about Saddam Hussein again?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 20, 2009 at 10:39 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

"What was so intolerable about Saddam Hussein again?" [Dr. Ferragamo, a resident of Stanford]
Saddam invaded the sovereign state of Kuwait, slaughtered Kurds and tried to kill American airmen. Outside of that and the rape rooms and the WMD programs, I suppose he was an all right Joe by some standards. After all, Hitler was a non-smoking vegetarian.
Taking one consideration with another, a [world] policemans' lot is not a happy one.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 20, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Not to mention that Saddam is responsible for the deaths of at least 1,200,000 Muslims in the 2 wars he started, and at least 300,000 tortured and massacred Shias in his own country ( by the absolute most conservative estimates possible).

But hey, like you said Walter, all things consdiered not bad in comparison to say..Stalin, his hero.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 20, 2009 at 3:18 pm

"It is true, as I have said many times, that Saddam Hussein was not connected to the 9/11 attacks. But the decision to remove Saddam from power cannot be viewed in isolation from 9/11. In a world where terrorists armed with box cutters had just killed nearly 3,000 people, America had to decide whether we could tolerate a sworn enemy that acted belligerently, that supported terror, and that intelligence agencies around the world believed had weapons of mass destruction. It was clear to me, to members of both political parties, and to many leaders around the world that after 9/11, this was a risk we could not afford to take."

Thank you, GWB. You get it. History wll treat you kindly for your leadership, especially your liberation of Irag from Saddam.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 20, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Bravo President Bush. I wish I could trust this one to protect us as well as President Bush did.

I fault Pres Bush for a lot of stuff, frankly, from being the first President to approve Embryonic Stem Cell research with Federal assistance, the expansion of Medicare and Education fed spending, the porousness of our borders, the constant expansion of our fed govt, the lack of pushing hard enough of social security and health insurance private reform, etc..but above all our President must keep us safe, and this he did brilliantly, against constant leaks, harping, and flat out sabotage by our leftists here and abroad.

Thank you President Bush.

Your turn President Obama. Which State are you going to release the Guantanamo prisoners into?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 23, 2009 at 11:59 am

"Which State are you going to release the Guantanamo prisoners into?"

Why would any of them be released? Because the bumbling Bush administration failed to convict them, or even to bring them to trial, and it fouled up the evidence so thoruoghly they can never be tried except in kangaroo court, which the Bushies also failed to convene.

Either the Bushies were the very best friends these people could ever have, or this was just another routine screwup from the incompetents that brought us that mother of all screwups - the Iraq-Afghan war.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Dr. Ferragamo is accusing Rice and Bush of lying. Yet all they ever said was that Saddam had ties with al Qaeda, not that Saddam was behind 9/11. And that is what the bipartisan commission also said: "no operational relationship" to 9/11, not "no relationship" with al Qaeda.

Bush and Rice are not lying. Dr. Ferragamo, on the other hand, seems to have a problem with reading comprehension.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 23, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Enemy combatants, who are not part of a uniformed military (and reporting to a state apparatus) have few, if any rights. FDR simply treated them as spies and hanged them. It is a big mistake to inject them into our normal legal system.

Bush did the right thing. Obama is about to blow it, big time.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 23, 2009 at 2:36 pm

"Enemy combatants, who are not part of a uniformed military (and reporting to a state apparatus) have few, if any rights. FDR simply treated them as spies and hanged them."

Wrong, of course. If the Gitmo Grads were actually enemy combatants, any competent administration could have quickly convicted them in court and taken the appropriate measures as FDR's successor, Truman, did at Nuremberg. Instead, for 7 years Cheney and Bush served up a Circus Gitmo slapstick that made the Keystone Kops look like The Untouchables.

But it accomplished its mission (where have we heard that before?); The Base ate it up.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 23, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Please name the enemy combatants that were tried at Nuremberg. FDR made swift work of them, when he captured them...and this was supported by the Supreme Court.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 23, 2009 at 5:37 pm

You're kidding!!! You know nothing of Nuremberg?!? But why am I surprised? I knew you made up history as you went along, and thank you for proving it in front of everybody.

But I'm not about to do your homework for you. At least you can Wikipedia and Google it for yourself, fergodssake.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 23, 2009 at 6:38 pm

One more time:

Please name the enemy combatants that were tried at Nuremberg.

I can't think of any, but you seem to be so sure about it...so name them. I am only aware of state-sponsored combatants at Nuremberg.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 24, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Gary

Are you trying to tell me the German state was not our enemy in WWII, or that the Werhmacht was not state sponsored, or that the German soldiers shooting at our GIs were friendly combatants, or some combo of these? I think you need to rethink your version of history. The books and the vets disagree with you.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 24, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Paul,

The term "enemy combatant", used by FDR and Bush, refers to non-uniformed agents captured on the battlefield or in this country. Hitler infiltrated some non-uniformed soldiers (by submarine) into this country during WWII. They were all captured, and FDR gave them a quick military commission trial then hanged most of them. The Supreme Court affirmed his decision that such non-uniformed agents do not deserve prisoner-of-war or habeus corpus protections. Bush used that same standard for non-uniformed prisoners captured on the various al qaeda battlefields.

Nuremberg was a trial of the Hitler hierarchy, most, if not all of which, wore the uniform. They were all part of the state apparatus reporting to the main uniform, namely Hitler. Al qaeda, and various other jihadists, is a stateless set of non-uniformed irregulars. The U.S. signed agreement with the Generva Accords does not cover such actors as prisoners-of-war. Obama has decided to treat an act of war by these irregulars as a legal eagle affair...it is not. Bush handled it almost perfectly, including the selective use of waterboarding.

If you need any more history lessions, just let me know, Paul. BTW, who is your high school history teacher? It sounds he/she needs some help, too. Just for the heck of it, when you go to class tomorrow, show my response to your teacher.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 24, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Cotton candy history - spun to taste.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 25, 2009 at 6:55 am

How I would love to have such excellent history taught to our kids here. Would save us from repeating, ad nauseum, the same foolish errors. Like now.

Gotta give that Marcuse a hat's off tip. He nailed it with his 1965 essay "Repressive Tolerance",calling for the change of society through suppressing conservative speech and views in academia and other cultural platforms. This was taken up by college students at the time who have now been tenured in Universities across our nation for 30 years, and have succeeded in turning our academia into indoctrination, not education, machines.

The teachers of our children, including high school history..and now college history, for the last 20 years have been graduates of this indoctrination, and it shows in the latest vote, where "redistributing wealth" and "it is only fair" and "to each what he needs, from each what he can give" are considered perfectly rational, nice economic theories, with no clue about where these sentiments led in the 20th century.

This historical evolution of our education system has dovetails nicely with the belief of Marxist "leaders" that revolution would come from controlling the education of the children. Bill Ayers ( remember BHOChavez's buddy) subscribes to this also, and has applauded the continuing revolution through education in Chavez-land. He is now one of the educational advisors to the most powerful person in our nation. Can't wait to see the results of that!

In any case, thanks Gary, for the historical clarification.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 25, 2009 at 7:01 am

Another tangent, but gotta say it. This "ends justifies the means" thinking has also led to our our Congress people, like FRANK, calling for the names of PRIVATE CITIZENS who were following the LAW and thus received bonuses, in order to make a public flagellation of them.

And now, tour buses going by these same PRIVATE CITIZEN homes, chanting horrible things, spitting and throwing...and mobs outside the homes. When will they wear their white cone hats and cover their faces? Anybody see any correlation to the POGROMS that national "leaders" incited in the lead up to WW2? Masterful manipulation of mob anger and emotion over completely innocent private people to distract the people from the truth.

And nobody is outraged in the media, in government, not even the POTUS, who could stop it all with a snap of his fingers, but is using it for his own gain. (Remember ACORN tactics? HE TAUGHT THEM to ACORN staff).

This is all very scary, folks. Prepare to defend yourself if you have anything at all. Our government has abrogated the duty of government to defend innocent civilians from mob rule.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hypocritical Perspective
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 25, 2009 at 8:00 am

Interesting, how Perspective, in his zeal to criticize Obama is now supporting the AIG bonuses. Seems to me in other threads, he was ripping into Obama and the administration for these very same actions.
Does anyone see the hypcorisy in this?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 25, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Interesting how much the far left is trying so hard to spin what is fact and truth. I support living up to our laws, which means I support the AIG bonuses. They were contractually agreed to, then specifically protected by Dodd's language in the DeStimulus bill..and now they are being scapegoated by the same government whose job it is to defend the law and citizens.

No hypocrisy in this at all.

I was opposed to rescuing AIG, and all the other businesses, having a strong belief in the power of BANKRUPTCY to prune off dead weight and allow the strong to emerge. That is evidently what you have missed in your misreading of my posts. So, your post makes no sense at all to me. Explain the hypocrisy you think you see?


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