And on the al-Qaida link, it seems to me [the press] are just not doing their job at all. There are innumerable links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida that have been demonstrated very many times. And now every broadcast and every utterance by the Ba'ath Party is as if it was written by Osama bin Laden, and half the fighters in Iraq, half the bandits there, are imported from outside jihad forces. This relationship did not begin yesterday. They are, in effect, now a fusion of those who believe in the one party and those who believe in the one-God state.
--Christopher Hitchens on MSNBC, quoted admiringly in Andrew Sullivan's blog in the wee hours last night
The report of the joint congressional inquiry into the suicide hijackings on Sept. 11, 2001, to be published Thursday, reveals U.S. intelligence had no evidence that the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein was involved in the attacks, or that it had supported al-Qaida, United Press International has learned.
"The report shows there is no link between Iraq and al-Qaida," said a government official who has seen the report.
Former Democratic Georgia Sen. Max Cleland, who was a member of the joint congressional committee that produced the report, confirmed the official's statement.
Asked whether he believed the report will reveal that there was no connection between al-Qaida and Iraq, Cleland replied: "I do ... There's no connection, and that's been confirmed by some of (al-Qaida leader Osama) bin Laden's terrorist followers."
I want to see this one argued head-to-head: on one side a bloated opportunist who a few years ago found favor with the forces of reaction in his adopted country and now carefully manicures the hand that feeds him, and on the other side a genuine war hero who lost three limbs in Nam and then served his country with distinction in the Cabinet and Senate. Come on, Hitchypoo -- look Max Cleland in the eye and tell him he's wrong. I dare you.
(UPDATE: I see TBOGG was thinking along the same lines last night.)