What’s always been very scary to me is that, despite it being patently false, a lot of Americans felt there was a connection between Saddam Hussein and September 11, 2001 because of the language games the Administration decided to play leading up to the US attack on Iraq. There were a lot of insidiously crafted sentences parroted by high-ranking officials; speechwriters usually packaging Hussein and 9-11 together into some twisted declarative statement about stopping terror – but they never actually made any direct statements to that effect. The Administration has denied lying, of course. But it’s hard for them to deny deceiving all those busy Americans who are both easily confused and don’t bother to pay too much attention to the facts. If their President says it, or seems to imply it, well, it must be true. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, they’d say. Ugh.
Today in Ohio, the President took unscripted questions from an audience of business leaders. He gave a very revealing answer to a question about their constant drum-beating and the attempts to insinuate connections between Saddam Hussein and 9-11. The questioner essentially asked the President what he had to say now that all the reasons he gave for us to attack Iraq have proven to be false (one of them the implication that Hussein was involved in 9-11).
The President responded, in part: “I don’t want to be argumentative, but I was very careful never to say that Saddam Hussein ordered the attacks on America.”
Yes, sir, you sure were. Very careful indeed. And now, to show for your great care, we have 17,000 young Americans wounded, 2300 dead, and a much larger number of people who hate us in the world.