The 9/11 Commission,…
The 9/11 Commission, as most folks know by now, said that it found “no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States.” But just because they may have not been actively cooperating, does that mean there was not any “link” (as the subhead states in that article) at all?

There were plenty of links, going back some 10 years. They were helping each other out, even if Hussein had no direct involvement in 9/11. As Cox & Forkum suggest, it’s as if the commission (and the media) expect to find a signed contract between bin Laden and Hussein and video of a press conference announcing cooperation before they’ll even consider there to be something as tenuous as a “link” between the two. C’mon folks, welcome to the 21st century.

UPDATE: The Media Research Center is calling the major networks on this.

The Republican Chairman and Democratic Vice Chairman of the 9-11 Commission on Thursday rejected the media’s widespread reporting that the commission’s report issued the day before had directly contradicted Bush administration statements about connections between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

Yet on Thursday night ABC’s Peter Jennings declared that there “continues to be a discrepancy between the commission’s findings and the President’s on whether al-Qaeda has a link to Saddam Hussein,” and CBS anchor Dan Rather repeated how “the commission yesterday said it had found no credible evidence of a quote, ‘collaborative relationship’ between al-Qaeda and Iraq — no plotting together against the United States,” but, he added in treating President Bush as out of step, without mentioning how Kean and Hamilton had corrected CBS’s mis-reporting, “President Bush insisted again today that there was a quote ‘relationship’ of some kind and defended his position.”

NBC’s Tom Brokaw took a similar tack, repeating how the commission had found “that there was no ‘collaborative relationship’ between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.” But, Brokaw lectured, “despite that conclusion, President Bush insisted there was a relationship between the two.” NBC buried what should have been its lead. At the very end of his report, almost as an afterthought, David Gregory informed viewers of how “Lee Hamilton said today that he does not see much different between administration statements and the commission’s report.”

And, as is typical, Fox News Channel gives the “fair and balanced” take on it all, reporting what the broadcast networks refuse to.

FNC’s Special Report with Brit Hume, but hosted by Jim Angle, on Thursday night played these clips of Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton made at an early afternoon press conference:

Kean: “Were there contacts between al-Qaeda and Iraq? Yes. Some of them are shadowy, but there’s no question they were there.”

Hamilton, two soundbites: “I must say I have trouble understanding the flap over this. The Vice President is saying, I think, that there were connections between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein’s government. We don’t disagree with that.”
“So it seems to me that the sharp differences that the press has drawn, the media has drawn, are not that apparent to me.”

Thus Hamilton undermined the premise of two days of the media line on how the report supposedly undermined Bush and Cheney.

Oh, that liberal media.

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