Friday, 1 May 2009

Melanie Phillips tortures the truth

It's not a tabloid, by an article by Mail columnist Melanie Phillips in the Spectator requires comment as it includes such bizarre inaccuracies.

She is commentating on an article by Andrew Sullivan about the so called 'torture memos', released by the Obama administration.

At first she says 'alleged use of torture' which is a ridiculous thing to say now we know Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times. Bush apologists such as Phillips claim waterboarding isn't torture or/and that it works. Well, if it works, why do you need to do it 183 times in one month? And if it isn't torture, why were Japanese soldiers convicted and executed for doing it to American and Allied soldiers after the Second Word War?

Anyway, Phillips goes on to claim there is mindless anti-Bush lobby who wrongly accuse him and his cronies of linking 9/11 with Saddam, Al-Qaeda with Iraq.

'This claim was always false. Bush said no such thing...Bush did not at any time say there was an operational link. He said rather that there had been high level contacts.' She talks of 'repeated statements by the Bush administration that there was no evidence linking Saddam to 9/11'.

This is clearly, provably wrong. Here's Cheney on Meet the Press in September 2003 saying:

"We learn more and more that there was a relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda that stretched back through most of the decade of the '90s that it involved training, for example, on [biological and chemical weapons], that Al Qaeda sent personnel to Baghdad to get trained on the systems."

That's not making an operational link, Mel? OK, it's not Bush saying that, but Sullivan in fact accuses 'the Bush and Cheney ideology' of an 'operational link' so it would be intellectually dishonest of her to narrow that (yes, I know, that wouldn't stop her).

Bob Woodward in his book Bush At War quoted Bush at a Camp David meeting saying:

"I believe Iraq was involved, but I'm not going to strike them now. I don't have the evidence at this point."

David Corn, who has written a book on the lead up to war, says:

'Before the war, Bush said that Saddam "was dealing" with al Qaeda. He even charged that Saddam had "financed" al Qaeda'.


'What did Cheney tell Russert? Saddam, he insisted, "had a relationship with al Qaeda." When Russert pointed out that the intelligence committee "said that there was no relationship," Cheney interrupted and commented, "I haven't had a chance to read it."'

Watch this and see Cheney say Saddam had links with Al-Qaeda and that the lead hijacker on 9/11 met with Iraqi intelligence, and then lie about saying it, and then hear Bush confirm he said it.

The BBC also has a series of quotes here which shows how Cheney, Rice and Powell nudged and winked people towards a link. Note Cheney's statement that:

'We will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the...geographic base of the terrorists who've had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11.'

That was a few examples just from a quick Google search. I am totally convinced many more could be found. So why couldn't Phillips find any? Because like the loyal Bushies, she has an agenda to push and won't let anything like facts or evidence get in the way.

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