Whiz! Go The Goalposts

Shorter Powerline:


How much contact did there have to be between al Qaeda and Saddam for the U.S. to be legitimately concerned?

  • Although we actually went to war with Iraq because of [mumble mumble], the fact that Saddam didn’t have a relationship with Al Qaeda only enabled the threat that he could have started one.

‘Shorter’ concept created by Daniel Davies and perfected by Elton Beard.

Update: Toot-toot! Here’s Noonan:

Saddam and al-Qaeda
By Mark Noonan at 08:54 PM

The left is whooping it up over this Washington Post story – Powerline disposes of it:


None of this common sense will matter in the least to our leftwing critics…in their minds, “Bush LIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” has been firmly ingrained since 2003 and no amount of fact will shake them from it. Still, it is worthwhile to get things like this on the record in order that future historians will know who the boneheads were in the early 21st century.

I think it’s most elegant simply to let that hang sweetly in the air, like the scent of April crocuses.


Comments: 41


By right-wing logic, the USA was a close Soviet ally during during the Cold War because prominent US officials (including Presidents!) are known to have met with Soviet agents and government people.

Why did WaPo run this anyway? The whole al Qaeda/Iraq bs was debunked in, what, 2004?

Qetesh the Abyssinian

I thought your headline was a joke, but no, it’s the actual headline. I read the article, then read some of the comments.

Folks, these people scare the crap out of me. Maybe it’s because a relative of mine died a few days ago, so I’ve been thinking about life and death and things like that. Or maybe it’s because I’m a girly progressive. Or maybe it’s because I’m barking mad. Dunno.

But the fact that these people are seriously espousing what amounts to genocide, based on fear of some possible attack in the future, scares the absolute bejeezus out of me. It doesn’t matter to them whether or not Saddam had any contacts with al Qaeda at all. It doesn’t matter to them whether or not Saddam had any WMDs: hell, he coulda maybe got some, sooner or later, and that’s enough for these folks.

And the blind, stubborn, pig-headed insistence that what they believe will happen, will happen, or indeed is happening, just knocks the wind out of me. They believe firmly that killing a bunch of Iraqis will make the turr’rists sit up and pay attention, and lordy lordy, that’s what they see. They believe that the US has the right, nay, the duty, to go out killing furr’ners, in their own homes no less, and fail completely to entertain the thought that those same furr’ners might not like it.

To say nothing of the absolute, solid gold, all-singing all-dancing, Stupid involved in the idea that the US is threatened by anyone, anywhere. Jesus wept, people, don’t you have the slightest idea of the enormous weapons disparity between the US and the rest of the world? That’s like Mike Tyson being afraid of a 3-year-old.

And, of course, the long-running idiocy of claiming the War Against Teh West, when these idiots (a) have likely never been out of the US; (b) don’t know any furr’ners at all; (c) don’t speak the language and therefore have no idea of translation issues or local non-US news. All that ignorance in one sweaty, cheeto-stained package, yet they claim superior knowledge based on god knows what.

I’ve had it. I’ve had enough of being human (or at least pretending). From now on, I’m from a different species than these bozos. I want nothing to do with this homocidal idiocy.


Look, Saddam and Al-Qaeda might not have any working relationship and perhaps they did not jointly attack America on 9/11. But the fact that they didn’t shows their underhandedness. I mean, if we thought Iraq was behind 9/11 BUT it turns out they weren’t, doesn’t that show how sneaky and nefarious they were? They tricked us or something.

Herr Doktor Bimler

Dick Cheney seems to be choosing his words with unusual care (and managing to miss out the regular ‘fuck you!’). He is no longer asserting that Al-Qaeda had links to Saddam Hussein; but rather, that Al-Qaeda had links to Iraq.

If he wanted to be more specific (not to mention more honest), he could have said that Al-Zarqawi was active in Kurdish north Iraq — which was not under Saddam’s control at the time, on account of US and UK air power — and did not accept Al-Qaeda affiliation until after the invasion. So the opportunity for him to be active in Iraq was created by US policies, then used as a post-facto rationale for invading. But fair enough, mentioning too many details would expose Cheney to partisan accusations of being prolix.


…in their minds, “Bush LIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!â€? has been firmly ingrained since 2003…

…Bush has been lying since his inauguration in 2001…

Happy Magical Bunny Day, people!


Pre-emptive genocide (channeling Qetesh after reading Powderline)…Brilliant.


Al-Zarqawi was active in Kurdish north Iraq

And, of course, anyone who follows the news knows that the US refused several chances they had to kill Zarqawi prior to the invasion. Why? Likely to provide a rationale for the invasion.

Hysterical Woman

Yeah, funny how us libs stubbornly mantain that Bush is lying. Perhaps it’s because Bush keeps lying?


I’ve had it. I’ve had enough of being human (or at least pretending). From now on, I’m from a different species than these bozos. I want nothing to do with this homocidal idiocy.

I, for one, welcome my feline overlords.

Smiling Mortician

…Bush has been lying since his inauguration in 2001…

Bush has been lying for a lot longer than that, ittdgy. My plan was to provide a link but great holy bunny of goodness, the number of hits I got from googling “Bush campaign lies 2000” was staggering. Impossible to choose.


Apparently this stuff does write itself


Mirengoff is applying the Castor Doctrine of Potentiality: Because Hussein and Al Qaeda did not have a direct relationship, they had the potential to develop one. This doctrine was first expounded by Jimmy Castor in his seminal work on international security, “Potential”:

The word’s potential. P – O -T – E – N – T – I – A – L. No matter how fast you say it, how slow you say it, swiftly, slowly, it still means the same thing. Potential.

The Castor Doctrine is one of building blocks for the Bush Doctrine of Preemption.


I’ve always found it odd that they refer to the Iraquis fighting the invasion as ‘insurgents’.

I call them The Resistance.


it’s hard for me to believe that 12 comments in and no one has mentioned the blimp over mirengoff’s shoulder.

i picture him ending the C-Span interview, ripping off his suit to expose his “Super-Power” t-shirt, and leaping out the window into the blimp, aka “the hot air express” and slowly, slowly, slowly, making good his escape.


I know this point is somewhat pendatic but I feel it has to be made – While Noonan calls this a “Washington Post Story” the information in that story came from that hot bed of lefty pacifist Socalism The Department of Defense.

Does someobody dress and feed him – honestly I wouldn’t let him have anything other than a spoon, he might hurt himself otherwise.

Qetesh the Abyssinian

I, for one, welcome my feline overlords.

Order of the day: breakfast at 7; nap; brunch at 11; nap; lunch at 1; nap; afternoon tea at 4; big nap; dinner at 8; nap; bit of play up and down the hallway; dead rat parade; bed.

There’s just no time for genocide, with a packed schedule like that.


Future historians will scarce believe the idiocy of the American right wing. There was one nation (perhaps two) that trained and supported Al Quaeda in the 1990s — Pakistan (and maybe Saudia Arabia).

True, the Taliban did receive editorial support from the WSJ (when they weren’t wondering about how Hillary killed Vincent Foster). But editorial support from the WSJ and $1.00 won’t buy a cup of coffee.

To talk of protecting American lives by attacking Iraq because of the potential of WMD and links to terrorist groups reveals the distinction between Iraq and Pakistan.

Pakistan has WMD (and the systems to deliver them) but no oil. Alas, Iraq had no WMD (nor the systems to deliver even if they had them) but plenty of oil.

The choice was between attacking a nation that would result in the deaths of thousands of Amercans and innoncent cilivians but would end the scourge of terrorism and avenge the deaths of of 9/11 or having a cakewalk with the treasure of oil at the end.

The course chosen by the AWOL drunk and the Serial Draft Dodger is not at all surprisng.


That sound you hear of a turd circling a drain, then being flushed? That’s the electoral hope of the Republican Party in 2008, notwithstanding the spinning and lying of Buttrocket and the boys. Face it, guys, the country’s wise to you, they’re sick of you, and there’s no amount of lipstick you can put on the Iraq mess that’s going to make a majority of voters want to kiss it.

Prudence Goodwife

“this assesment is based in part on interviews with Saddam himself and his top henchmen, hardly reliable sources.”

Shorter Paul (Pot)Mirenghoff- Iraqis like Saddam can’t be trusted to tell the truth under torture but Al Queda members like Kahlid Sheik Muhammed and those guys at Guantanamo are another story.

I can’t wait for history to find out who the boneheads really are.


Obviously the Powerline bloggers are all Llap Goch blackbelts.

Dismember your opponent before he’s even aware of your existence!


From the Powerline article;

“Saddam’s regime, which nearly everyone thought possessed WMD and which certainly had the capacity to produce such weapons, was in contact with the folks who attacked us on 9/11.”

Why would Saddam want to talk to a bunch of traitorous neocons? Dude, I would not want to be you in about two years. This is gonna get ugly.


How much contact did there have to be between al Qaeda and Saddam for the U.S. to be legitimately concerned?

Actually, this is a completely legitimate question. It’s when the decision making process is twisted to the point of madness that “legitimate concern” is somehow translated into invading a sovereign nation and occupying it for years. Seems to me that legitimate concern should have resulted in stepped-up intelligence gathering and perhaps some specops missions, but what we got instead is something unspeakably crazed. And to continue to try to find a way to defend it? Words fail me…



And why am I having to play the kind-a-captcha game? Is that new? Is it everybody, or am I being punished for my “bad behavior”?



If I promise not to lead a delegation to Syria can I get off the wingnut watch list or whatever it is?



Iraq always inspires me to quote Douglas Adams and this is as good a time as any:

”The history of warfare [is divided into] the phases are retribution, anticipation, and diplomacy. Thus, retribution: “I’m going to kill you because you killed my brother.â€? Anticipation: “I’m going to kill you because I killed your brother.â€? And diplomacy: “I’m going to kill my brother and then kill you on the pretext that your brother did it.â€?”


I have yet to team up with Darth Vader and Zombie Hitler, but that only leaves open the dreadful possibility that I might at some point in the future.


Back in 2003, the wingnuts managed to smuggle some goalposts onto a satellite that was set to launch. Dude, they are never going to hit the ground again. The goalposts are going to be travelling through space until the damn thing hits an asteroid orbiting Uranus.

Smiling Mortician

Saddam’s regime . . . was in contact with the folks who attacked us on 9/11.�

Small point. Tiny point. Infinitesimal point, I know, but still: Why do these neocons refer to the 9/11 hijackers, those fingerprints-all-over-the-damn-weapon, standing-in-a-pool-of-blood-waving-a-signed-confession perpetrators as “folks”?



And I’m the traitor for asking, pretty-please, for my Constitution back?



Wow, if the maybe possibly might have eventually potentially had terroristic charnel relations reasoning is convincing enough to these guys to justify a multi-billion dollar war and the resultant hundreds of thousands dead, the near world-wide unanimity among scientists on human-influenced climate change should bowl them right over. We’ll finally be able to put the global warming debate behind us and take action! Huzzah!



You have crocuses?!?!?!? We just have ice!!

Oh, and nice post. I like the mental image of Noonan as a portly little tugboat. Toot! Toot!


Give him a break!

I mean, what point would there be in espousing conservatism if you couldn’t move the goalposts at will?

You libs and your quaint (and treasonous) notions of “consistency.”

Liberals. Hmf.


You have crocuses?!?!?!? We just have ice!!

They bloomed, then got whacked by the cold — twice!!1


Order of the day: breakfast at 7; nap; brunch at 11; nap; lunch at 1; nap; afternoon tea at 4; big nap; dinner at 8; nap; bit of play up and down the hallway; dead rat parade; bed.

Qetesh the Abyssinian, you left out the consumption of mass quantities of catnip!

Qetesh the Abyssinian

I don’t talk to breasts. At least not right ones.


The CIA had contact with the proto-al Qaeda in Afghanistan in the 1980’s. Donald Rumsfeld had contact with Saddam Hussein in the 1980’s. The CIA had contact with Donald Rumsfeld. Ergo, we should have invaded Donald Rumsfeld years ago.


I think it’s most elegant simply to let that hang sweetly in the air, like the scent of April crocuses.

I dunno. Doesn’t that “hang sweetly in the air” more like, say, a refried-beans-and-sauerkraut fart? Just sayin’.


For some reason this all reminds me of a scene from “Dumb and Dumber” . . .

Lloyd: What are the chances of a guy like you and a girl like me . . . ending up together?
Mary: Well, that’s pretty difficult to say.
Lloyd: Hit me with it! I’ve come a long way to see you, Mary. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?
Mary: Not good.
Lloyd: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?
Mary: I’d say more like one out of a million.
Lloyd: So you’re telling me there’s a chance.

The updated version:

Paul Mirengoff: Level with me. How much contact did Saddam Hussein have with al-Qaeda?
The Pentagon: Not much.
Paul Mirengoff: You mean, not much like they only got together and planned one or two terrorist attacks?
The Pentagon: I’d say more like hardly any contact whatsoever.
Paul Mirengoff: A-ha! So you admit they were in contact with one another!


How about if you people stop shifting me about the place… it’s making me dizzy.


Doug, you’ve pointed out the double-secret provision of the One Percent Doctrine: any amount of threat less than one percent may, at the discretion of the Vice President, be rounded up to one percent.


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