9/11 Report Finds No Iraq Link to al-Qaeda (RETRACTED)

This just in off the UPI wire: the report of the joint Congressional inquiry into the 9/11 hijackings, which will be made public today, will reveal that the U.S. government had no intelligence linking Iraq to al-Qaeda prior to launching the war. I always suspected this was the case (the alleged link always seemed a little tenuous to me), but it’s striking to see it stated so plainly.

What’s more damning is that some members of the committee that produced the report charge that the Administration threw monkey wrenches into the process to prevent the report from being released before the war could be started. The committee was formed last Februrary and completed the report this January — three months before the start of hostilities — but the Administration forced it to be kept secret until now by alleging that parts of it were too sensitive to be declassified. In all cases those allegations proved to be off base, but they did keep the report out of the news until now — almost eight months after it was completed.

In fairness, the only committee member who’d go on the record for the story is former Democratic Senator Max Cleland, who lost his seat in the Republican upset of 2002. Losing his seat might mean that Cleland has an axe to grind. However, considering that he lost mostly because of a campaign backed by the Administration that portrayed him as soft on national security — even though Cleland is a Vietnam vet who lost both his legs fighting in that war — he may also feel he’s the only member of the committee who has nothing to lose by telling the truth. We’ll know more when the report hits the streets later today.

UPDATE (7/25): Well, it appears that UPI is retracting the story. In the words of Emily Litella, “neeeeever mind”. (And don’t give me flak about passing it along, it’s not like UPI is the Drudge Report.)