Sunday, December 18, 2005

Bush Lied!!! didn't lie, redux

A year and a half ago, the New York Times of all places reported in its own half-hearted way that Bush and his administration did not lie about a link between Al Qaeda and 9/11:
Critics of the Bush administration argue that it falsely created a link between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks to help justify the war. Last week, the administration countered that it had never made such an assertion — only that there were ties, however murky, between Iraq and Al Qaeda. A survey of past public comments seems to bear that out — although whether there was a deliberate campaign to create guilt by association is difficult to say.
The Times backs this up with a series of quotations from key members of the administration.

But the Times editorial writers don't seem to have gotten the memo. Jim Miller wondered at the time, if they would take back some of their editorials, like this one:
It's hard to imagine how the commission investigating the 2001 terrorist attacks could have put it more clearly yesterday: there was never any evidence of a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, between Saddam Hussein and Sept. 11.

Now President Bush should apologize to the American people, who were led to believe something different.
Or this one:
Mr. Bush said the 9/11 panel had actually confirmed his contention that there were "ties" between Iraq and Al Qaeda. He said his administration had never connected Saddam Hussein to 9/11. Both statements are wrong.
I hope Miller wasn't holding his breath.

(Hat tip from June 2004.)