As so often in the coverage of Iraq, those who make the (illogical) claim that there was no such contact and therefore no cause for war saw in this report only what they wanted to see.
They read the words: “We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al-Qa’eda co-operated”, and claimed official confirmation that no links had existed. But the report actually says: “We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al-Qa’eda co-operated on attacks upon the United States” – not that they never dealt with each other. On the contrary, it says they did deal with each other, particularly in Sudan.
Then, there’s someone else saying, “There are all kinds of ties,” he told PBS’s “The News Hour” late Wednesday, in comments that establishment journalists have refused to report. “There are all kinds of connections. And it may very well have been that Osama bin Laden or some of his lieutenants met at some time with Saddam Hussein’s lieutenants.”, and “What we have found is, were there contacts between al-Qaeda and Iraq? Yes. Some of them were shadowy – but they were there.” but I guess whatever is inconvenient for the NYTimes doesn’t get reported, whether it comes from Lee Hamilton or Tom Kean themselves. Instead, the NYT asked for apologies from the President on June 19, no matter that, as reported in The Weekly Standard,
By the end of the day, 9/11 Commission chairman Tom Kean and vice chairman Lee Hamilton were emphasizing that the commission had never said Iraq-al Qaeda links did not exist. Nor, Hamilton explained, did he “disagree” with Cheney’s statement that there were “connections between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein’s government.” The New York Times, having asserted on Thursday that the commission’s report “challenges Bush,” failed on Friday to report this statement of Hamilton’s
It took them until today to actually print some words Kean actually said.
Public apologies are a favorite tool of opressive regimes, since public humiliation and social pressure are highly effective for achieving mind control. By now the Times has shown itself interested in promoting what it wants us to believe, not what is factual. A “whatever news we see fit to print”, sporadically showing opposite views in the editorial page (usually by old standbys like Safire).
The New York Times has completely divested itself of whatever little integrity it had left.
Update (thanks to Roger and Allah): In spite of this, one of my neighbors thinks we’re all nuts. At least it’s not The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.