Challenging the Culture of Obedience
Why invade and occupy Iraq? Vice President Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice represented to us, without qualification, that there were strong ties between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda.
In September, 2002, President Bush made the incredible claim that "You can't distinguish between Al Qaeda and Saddam."
President Bush represented to Congress, without any factual basis whatsoever, that Iraq planned, authorized, committed, or aided the 9/11 attacks.
Our President and Vice-President, along with an unquestioning news media, repeatedly led our nation to believe that there was a working relationship between Al Qaeda and the Iraqi government, a relationship that threatened the US.
Even last week, when I met with Thomas Bock, National Commander of the American Legion, I asked him why we are engaged in the war in Iraq. He said, "Why, of course, because of the 9/11 attacks on our country." I asked, "What did Iraq have to do with those attacks?" He looked puzzled, then said, "Well, the connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq."
I was shocked. Here is a man who has criticized us for opposing the war in Iraq--and he is completely wrong about the underlying facts used to justify this war.
Not only has there never been any evidence of any involvement by Saddam Hussein or Iraq with the attacks on 9/11, but there has never been any evidence of any operational connection whatsoever between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda.
Colin Powell finally conceded there is no "concrete evidence about the connection." "The chairman of the monitoring group appointed by the United Nations Security Council to track Al Qaeda" disclosed that "his team had found no evidence linking Al Qaeda to Saddam Hussein." And the top investigator for our European allies has said, 'If there were such links, we would have found them. But we have found no serious connections whatsoever.'"
President Bush himself finally admitted nine days ago during a press conference that there was no connection between the attacks on 9/11 and Iraq. It's terrific that the President has now admitted what others have known for so long--but where is the accountability for the tragic war we were led into on the basis of his earlier misrepresentations?