Saddam and Al Qaeda

Would you believe there still are some who try to point towards a link between Saddam and Al Qaeda? (See here) a Washington Times article by Michael Barone that tries to paint such a picture.

Mr Barone does accurately make the connection between the insurgency now going on in Iraq and Al Qaeda. He will not get any argument from me on that. Al Qaeda may not have been active in Iraq BEFORE the invasion but they most certainly are busy there now. However we can not blame Saddam for what happened in Iraq AFTER we invaded and threw him into chains.

How does Mr Barone deal with the absence of evidence of operational cooperation between Saddam and Al Qaeda? Why he quotes Donald Rumsfeld:

"But, as Donald Rumsfeld likes to say, absence of evidence is not evidence
of absence."

He goes on to say:

Neither al Qaeda nor Saddam operated under a Freedom of Information Act. Any
collaboration between them on September 11 would have been kept very secret --
al Qaeda did not want to leave a return address. We do not know there was such
collaboration. Nor do we know there was not.

So there you have it, the - ahem - "strong" argument of those who continue to insist Saddam was somehow behind the 9-11 attacks. There is not evidence of this and that proves they are right. "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" so the fact that there is no evidence proves Saddam must have been behind it. Yeah, right.

Gosh, what a powerful argument. Heck, I can use this one all the time. If I want to argue that within the beltway of Washington DC resides the greatest minds within the United States for example? And if someone demands that I "prove it", why I can just quote Donald Rumsfeld, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" and I guess I would then win the argument. Why should I have to bother proving something when "wisdom" from the "great" Donald Rumsfeld will suffice?

As for Michael Barone, why he really is an intelligent columnist, trust me. Don't be fooled by the drivel he publishes, he really is one smart fellow. What do I have for proof? Well let me just quote Donald Rumsfeld, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence".


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