Newly declassified documents exonerate Saddam of Bush's last remaining preemptive war justification
Sep 23, 2010

Newly declassified documents exonerate Saddam of Bush's last remaining preemptive war justification

For years we have been hearing about the alleged Saddam Hussein - al Qaeda connection, the evidence for which has always been spurious at best. Today, newly declassified documents of FBI interrogations of some of Saddam Hussein's top people show definitively that this is not the case and that there was no direct connections.

The nature of this connection was a very important component of the justification given in the public discourse during the lead-up to the Iraq war. At times, polls indicated that perhaps as much as 70% of Americans believed some level of connection actually existed. As part of the same release set of documents, there are indications of the level of top down directives there were originating as high up as Rumsfeld to find evidence of this connection.

One further interesting note is how the media is presenting this story, and how innately complicit they are in perpetuating the anti-Saddam narrative that was so critical to the war justification. Consider this AP story, which has been widely circulated as most AP stories are. The focus is not on the fact that Saddam Hussein has been exonerated of the alleged al Qaeda connections - so important in the pro-war rhetorical narrative - but that Saddam Hussein is just a really bad guy who delights in the al Qaeda attacks despite not influencing them. While I of course do not condone his delight, to focus on that aspect of the story as the media does is a classic example of the way we attack leaders of countries we oppose.

One can look at the treatment the US media is giving to Ahmadinejad in a similar light, where the major content and legitimacy of his comments are nearly entirely ignored while his more ridiculous statements (the ones that completely rouse his base back home and give him support for standing up to the American led world they perceive as oppressive) are blasted onto newspapers everywhere. Glenn Greenwald expressed this view rather eloquently - and several other interesting topics about iran - here.

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