Tenuous links, weird logic: Bush and Cheney keep trumpeting on about how there really are links between al Qaida and Iraq, despite the 9/11 commission's findings to the contrary. Their tactic will probably work, to a degree: those who trust authority more than facts will buy their arguments (only, what authority does this lot of bunglers have anymore? The Commission's report shows an administration bordering on incompetence in their preparedness for and response to the 9/11 attacks). But whatever links may exist seem far more tenuous than Bush's links to bin Laden's family, Rummy's handshake with Saddam in 1983 (back when the Evil One was on the US payroll), or the US's $40 million payout to the Taliban in early 2001 for their efforts in the War on Drugs. As Condi implied in an NPR interview this morning, changing the subject: does anyone dispute the world's better off without Saddam in power in Iraq? 'Course not, but a more appropriate question is: was it worth it? Was shooting our proverbial wad in Iraq worth it when Osama runs free and his henchmen continue to capture and decapitate Americans?

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