Looming Cognitive Dissonance

8 September 2006, 1845 EDT

The Senate today released portions of their official inquiry into pre-Iraq intelligence, an inquiry that compared pre-war estimates with post-war findings. Specifically, the declassified documents focused on purported links between Hussein and al-Qaeda as well as the impact of the Iraqi National Congress’ misinformation regarding Saddam’s regime.

The results are not (or at least, shouldn’t be) surprising. Some highlights:

“Saddam has viewed Islamic extremists operating inside Iraq as a threat, and his regime since its inception has arrested and executed members of both Shia and Sunni groups to disrupt their organizations and limit their influence.”

“Saddam only expressed negative sentiments about bin Ladin.”

“[W]hen the Iraqi regime started to see evidence that Wahabists had come to Iraq, ‘the Iraqi regime issued a decree aggressively outlawing Wahabism in Iraq and threatening offenders with execution.’”

“Saddam did not trust al-Qa’ida or any other Islamist group and did not want to cooperate with them.”

“…there were likely several intances of contacts between Iraq and al-Qa’ida throughout the 1990s, but that these contacts did not add up to an established formal relationships.”

“Postwar findings indicate that Saddam Hussein…[refused] all requests from al-Qa’ida to provide material or operational support.”

“Postwar information indicates that Saddam Hussein attempted, unsuccessfully, to locate and capture al-Zarqawi and that the regime did not have a relationship with, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi.”

“Postwar information supports prewar Intelligence Community assessments that there was no credible information that Iraq was complicit in or had foreknowledge of the September 11 attacks or any other al-Qa’ida strike.”

Of course, 43% of Americans will probably fail to accept these revelations due to massive cognitive dissonance and will likely find a way to make the findings support the notion that Saddam had a hand in 9/11.

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