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A Matter of Convenience

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Message Jayne Stahl
In an interview with Rush Limbaugh yesterday conveniently timed to coincide with a major holiday weekend, the vice president re-asserted his position that Al Qaeda's al-Zarqawi, and the terror group were operating in Iraq before an American service member set foot on Iraqi soil. (AP) Fascinating, isn't it, how potentially explosive news is always timed for release when the smallest number of people are paying attention.

Yet, Mr. Cheney's tired contention of a link between a deposed, and very dead dictator and the thugs involved with an unprecedented act of terror on American soil is an insult to every man and woman in uniform, as well as those taxpayers who pay his inflated, and superfluous salary. What's more, his argument directly contradicts a Pentagon report, declassified only yesterday, which conclusively confirms that there was no corroboration between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda before the 2003 invasion. You'll recall, too, that the 9/11 Commission report, back in 2004, also concluded that there was no connection between Saddam and bin Laden's group at the time of the U.S. invasion. The fact of the matter is, as the report suggests, that while the despised dictator we collaborated in murdering may have been on a first name basis with some key Al Qaeda figures, there was no Al Qaeda factor to speak of, in Iraq, before we invaded and toppled that regime.

Well, pay attention, pay attention to the fact that not only is your government lying to you, it is lying to itself. Pay attention to the fact that i nvestigations, and interrogations of Saddam and his former aides have compelled this administration's own military to challenge assertions made by second in command to the commander-in-chief. Pay attention to the fact that the attorney-general's top aide took the Fifth Amendment, refusing to testify on grounds that her testimony might "incriminate" herself. Who will administer justice when the Department of Justice itself has been corrupted? How can a vice president of the United States make assertions that egregiously counter findings of its own military?

When, despite evidence to the contrary, Dick Cheney continues to stubbornly insist that Al Qaeda was alive, well and operating in Baghdad before the U.S. invasion, four years ago, clearly any rational person can only deduce one thing that he and Mr. Limbaugh must be  sharing the same meds.
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Widely published, poet, playwright, essayist, and screenwriter; member of PEN American Center, and PEN USA. Jayne Lyn Stahl is a Huffington Post blogger.
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