What Do Matt Yglesias and OJ Simpson Fans Have in Common?
Conn Carroll /
They both refuse to recognize the truth despite clear and convincing evidence.
Earlier this week, Yglesias linked to a Center for American Progress write up of a Institute for Defense Analysis review of more than 600,000 Iraqi records collected by U.S. forces. CAP selective quotes from the report: “This study found no “smoking gun” (i.e. direct connection) between Saddam’s Iraq and Al-Qaeda.” That one sentence is all Yglesias needs to proclaim:
I suppose nothing should surprise me anymore, but it seems that conservatives are using the recently-released Pentagon report showing (yet again) that there’s no Saddam/al-Qaeda connection to prove the existence of such a connection. What’s more, they’re even telling the truth about the media not paying much attention to the report. Indeed, they’re taking advantage of the fact that the media hasn’t paid attention to the report to just mislead people about what it says.
Yglesias does not then quote or even link to the actual report. We already have and will again[emphasis added]:
“Captured Iraqi documents have uncovered evidence that links the regime of Saddam Hussein to regional and global terrorism, including a variety of revolutionary, liberation, nationalist and Islamic terrorist organizations. While these documents do not reveal direct coordination and assistance between the Saddam regime and the al Qaeda network, they do indicate that Saddam was willing to use, albeit cautiously, operatives affiliated with al Qaeda as long as Saddam could have these terrorist-operatives monitored closely. Because Saddam’s security organizations and Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network operated with similar aims (at least in the short term), considerable overlap was inevitable when monitoring, contacting, financing, and training the same outside groups. This created both the appearance of and, in some way, a “de facto” link between the organizations. At times, these organizations would work together in pursuit of shared goals but still maintain their autonomy and independence because of innate caution and mutual distrust. Though the execution of Iraqi terror plots was not always successful, evidence shows that Saddam’s use of terrorist tactics and his support for terrorist groups remained strong up until the collapse of the regime.”
So the report finds that there is “evidence that links the regime of Saddam Hussein to regional and global terrorism” and that “Saddam was willing to use, albeit cautiously, operatives affiliated with al Qaeda” and that there was “a de facto link” between Iraq and al Qaeda and then Yglesias has the audacity to turn around say “there’s no Saddam/al-Qaeda connection.” Sure Matt, there is no connection between Hussein and al Qaeda and OJ Simpson is innocent.