Maureen Dowd on The Many Republican Fictions About Terrorism

Maureen Dowd discusses the distortion of reality in The Path to 9/11, comparing this to other distortions of reality by Bush and his supporters. The whole Republican story on terrorism is packed with fiction, from their claims about Clinton, when blocked Clinton’s attempts to fight terrorism (regardless if insufficient in retrospect) to their tying terrorism to Saddam. The claims that Saddam had anything to do with 9/11 or terrorism should have ended with the recent Senate Intelligence Committee report, but Dowd realizes that Republicans will continue to spread their fictions as long as there are gullible Bush worshippers who fall for them:

When a reporter asked President Bush a couple of weeks ago what Iraq had to do with 9/11, he blurted out the truth: “Nothing.” But momentarily dismissing that fantasy isn’t about to dissuade him from others. “One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror,’’ President Bush told Katie Couric this week. I bet. Making up is hard to do.

The administration’s shameless mau-mauing was undercut yesterday by a 376-page Senate Intelligence Committee report slapping Bush hawks for relying on the flawed information provided by Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress to help make the case for war. The report also reaffirmed that Saddam viewed Osama in a negative light, and unveiled a C.I.A. assessment rejecting the president’s continuing claims about prewar links between Saddam and the Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The 2005 C.I.A. finding concluded that Saddam “did not have a relationship, harbor, or even turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi and his associates.”

W. is pulling out all the stops this week to try to make people forget he was in charge when the twin towers were hit, but if he’s doing so great, why is Osama releasing new tapes while Afghanistan crumbles while Pakistan stands ready to implode while Lebanon has already exploded while Iran goes nuclear and taunts us while Al Qaeda in Iraq calls on its followers to kill Americans “by a sniper bullet, spear, explosive or martyrdom car”?

Conservatives are crowing at the prospect of an ABC movie written by one of their own that blames 9/11 on a flaccid Clinton national security team.

Bill was distracted by the Monica fallout, just as W. was distracted, on Osama and Katrina, by his insistence on living life as usual in Crawford. Bill had no natural inclination to use American force and fumbled on how to strike back at Osama. W., petulantly, did not want to focus on terrorism because

W. had a clear narrative thread in 2001; all he needed to do was go after the bad guys who hit us. Instead, he obsessed about other bad guys who happened to pose no danger to us.

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