: I’m now in a room watching the debate with Micah Sifry, Scott Kurnit, Dan Gillmor, Mitch Kapor, Zack Rosen, and other lumiaries. I think I’ll enjoy the peanut gallery more than the action on stage. (Out of 600 people here, 25 are watching the debate.)

While I’m on insubstantial issues, I can already see that sitting is better than standing. I want sitting debates.

: Cheney repeats what both candidates said the other night: that our biggest threat is a terrorist having a nuke. I’m not sure I buy that. And i sure hope I’m not right.

: Edwards sure comes out shooting: “Mr. Vice President, you are still not being straight with the American people.” The rules said there were to be no opening statements. Ha!

Now I understand why politicians go to law school. Nothing about making laws. Everything about rhetorical attack.

: Paul Bremer gave Edwards his straight line yesterday, saying there weren’t enough troops.

And Cheney is on the defensive.

: Edwards, too, gets Saddam and bin Laden confused. It’s catching.

: When Cheney says Edwards has his facts wrong and he has not connected Iraq to 9/11, this room breaks out in a guffaw.

: Cheney says we are four days away from a democratic election in Afghanistan. Let’s not forget that, my friends. That is progress in the world.

Too bad Iraq ain’t Afghanistan, eh?

Edwards won’t allow that to be good news. “They are now providing 75 percent of the world’s opium.” I say that’s a mistake to find the dark center to every cloud. At least celebrate the spread of democracy, guys. That’s the vision I expect from both administrations.

: Edwards spins the “global test” quote. He says they will go over terrorists and they “will never give veto power” to another country. I’ll wager that Bush will step up the global test advertising. I smell the coming of French cheese-eating surrender monkeys.

The moderator says she’s going to come back to the global test and Edward says “yes, ma’am.” Polite southerners.

She asks: “What is a global test if it’s not a global veto.”

Right question. This is the most upsetting single thing about Kerry to me. The French f’ed us along with Old Europe and we cannot depend on these alleged allies. It is very much the right question.

He says these nations need to trust us, that we are credible. “They will not follow us without that.” They won’t follow us anyway. They’ve said they will not go into Iraq. That dog don’t hunt truffles.

: Cheney makes a big mistake answering Edwards, going after challenging facts (“the 90 percent figure is dead wrong”). No, he should be speaking in a French accent.

: Cheney says that Edwards and Kerry “voted against the troops.” That was his first contact blow.

: CNN is leaving up the Chyron for many, many minutes: “Would it be dangerous to elect Kerry President?” What the hell is wrong?

: At :27, we have the first Halliburton mention. Micah Sifry follows the rules of the drinking game: Down goes the merlot.

: Good for you Gwen: She pushes the question of whether the efforts to internatinalize the effort in Iraq are “naive” given that the French and Germans have told us to F off.

Edwards: “We have a plan for success.”

Bullshit meets bullshit.

: Wonkette almost live blogs:

8:58PM: They have just completed the essay portion of the debate. 9:10PM: Cheney: “I have never said there was a connection between Iraq and al Qaeda.” Yes! And watch these monkeys fly out of my ass!”

: Edwards’ eyebrows. That’s what it’s all about: Edwards’ eyebrows. When Kerry hit Bush, his lips got thin and he lost. When Cheney tries to attack Edwards, he raises his eyebrows: ‘What the F?’ it says.

: Edwards is the prosecutor. Cheney is the witness. Hostile witness. If it keeps going like this, he’ll be playing the role of the defendant.

Cheney gets wrapped up in specifics and doesn’t give the big-picture view Edwards is giving.

: Edwards could go overboard: Cheney, Haliburton, Ken Lay, and Enron in the same sentence. and Edwards is the definition of smug.

Cheney pushes Server immediately hammered.

And let’s factcheck the reference. It’s actually

It’s a veeplanche!

: Cheney, president of the Senate, goes on an odd attack, saying that Kerry doesn’t come to work often enough. “The first time I met you was on stage tonight.”

: Edwards is getting cocky. With reason.

: I come to think that Kerry chose Edwards only to defeat Cheney at this debate.

: Amazing that Cheney acts as if he’s talking to the moderator while Edwards knows he’s talking to the nation.

: UPDATE: Aftewards, I asked the room their score. I thought Edwards won. Micah Sifry thought it was a draw. The room voted more for draw. Some for Edwards. None for Cheney.

  • It may just be me but I sure don’t want ANYBODY who sounds like Gomer Pyle anywhere near the white house

  • sbw

    Edwards: 90 percent is the the casualty count and the cost to America.
    Possible response: One death is too many, but how much, Mr. Edwards should the cost of freedom be?
    Edwards: Insinuating strong response between Iraq and Al Qaeda.
    Edwards: [talks about beheading] Remember shock and awe. Look at wehere we are now.
    My feeling: The bastard. down on his knees because he’s had to face violence. Has he no backbone?
    Edwards is the master of the monday morning quarterback.

  • “If they can’t stand up to Howard Dean, how can they stand up to terrorists?”
    Game over

  • sbw

    Edwards: THere are 60 countries with Al Qaeda. How many of those countries are we going to invade?
    Answer: as many as it takes.
    Edwards: Halliburton.
    Answer: Who gives a rats ass about Halliburton. You invoke Halliburton, when you have no substance yourself.

  • sbw

    Edwards: 1.5 m unemployment
    Fact: More people have jobs and more people in market.
    Edwards: We have a plan.
    Comment: Hell, Nixon had a plan, too.
    Edwards: They are for outsourcing of jobs. We’re against it.
    Fact: Less than 3% of jobs lost to outsourcing.
    Edwards: Millions of people have lost jobs.
    Fact: Jobs lost for structural reasons.
    Edwards: Tax the rich.
    Fact: Clinton said the same thing and taxed the middle class, too.

  • asd (not .com) headlines:
    * Bush Mischaracterizes Kerry’s Health Plan
    * Distortions and Misstatements At First Presidential Debate
    * Kerry Ad Falsely Accuses Cheney on Halliburton
    * The “Willie Horton” Ad Of 2004? (Republican group’s ad shows Osama, Kerry. It appeals to fear, and twists Kerry’s record on defense, intelligence, Iraq.)
    * Bush Ad Twists Kerry’s Words on Iraq
    * GOP Website Uses Misleading Kerry Quote On Abortion
    Not sure Chaney wanted to point folks here if they actually check it out… And the Haliburton issue is focused on a point not mentined in the debate — does Cheney still benefit from Haliburton. It does not rebut any of the issues Edwards brought up in the debate: Haliburton is under investigation, it did deal with ‘Axis of Evil’ countries durring Cheney’s tenure, and it has a no-bid contract.

  • sbw

    Edwards: Tax policy. Millionaires make their money from dividends pay a lower tax rate than soldiers in Iraq.
    Comment. Many in Iraq don’t pay tax. And many who collect dividends are NOT MILLIONAIRES. To claim that millionaires are those affected is narrow.

  • sbw

    Cheney gets deferred comp from Haliburton, according to the WSJ and gets no money based on Haliburton performance. It is persiflage for Edwards to throw it up as an argument. Kind of like whether Kerry turned the Swift boat around 30 years ago.

  • sbw

    Edwards: John Kerry and I will tell the American people the truth.
    Comment: As Kerry and Edwards see it.
    Edwards: A long resume doesn’t equal good judgment.
    Comment: And neither does a short one.

  • asd

    “Cheney gets deferred comp from Haliburton, according to the WSJ and gets no money based on Haliburton performance. It is persiflage for Edwards to throw it up as an argument.’
    Edwards brought up were Haliburtons work with ‘Axis of Evil’ countries during Cheney’s watch, that Haliburton is under investigation for behavior while on Chaney’s watch, and has a no-bid contract.
    Didn’t hear any light teasing of Cheney on the money he gets from Haliburton…

  • sbw

    Cheney the common man. Been laid off. Carried and electrician’s ticket.
    Cheney: Some say we wait until attacked. We’ve already been attacked. Go after those did it and those who supprot terrorism.
    Edwards: But not attacked by Saddam Hussein.
    Comment: But Hussein DID support terrorism.
    Edwards: So many things could be done to protect Americans.
    Comment: And you could spend all your money and not be done. Govermentment is about the allocation of scarce resources.

  • sbw

    Question: How to bridge the divide between parties.
    Cheney: It’s unfortunate that we haven’t been able to do that.
    Comment: Thanks for admitting it.
    Cheney: We’ll keep working at it.
    Edwards: President said he would unite this country and didn’t. it is a direct result of the choices they made.
    Comment: Oh? And not Daschle’s choices?

  • no wonder Edwards Dad was working at a mill he was learning math on TV! Sesame Street anyone?

  • sbw

    Edwards: Kerry and I believe we can do a better job. We will lfight for you.
    Comment: Sounds like a lawyer’s tv commercial.
    Cheney: We put economy on upward path, added jobs. Everyone should have a job, medical care, education. There is no such thing as a routine day as President. Only viable option to agressively go after terrorists. Important to stand up democratically elected governments there.

  • Jesse

    “Cheney says we are four days away from a democratic election in Afghanistan. Let’s not forget that, my friends. That is progress in the world.”
    Lest we forget — those “elections” about to take place in Afghanistan will be a joke. More than half of those reported 10 million registered voters are actually based on double-registrations.

  • seriously Jeff, what debate did you just watch?

  • Thanks, Jeff, for your picture of what was going on in the press room. You would enjoy the press room at a race track sometime.
    Mr VP seemed kind of taken aback and it seems to be something like the reaction of Mr. P, they don’t have the experience of being opposed. Of course VP has been in positions of real importance before, so he ducks and covers better. But giving the usual lines (when will they learn that the public knows Kerry didn’t vote for the war, he voted to give the P authority) rang hollower and hollower.
    There were no references to Mr. VP’s statements in the last Bush administration about his support for the refusal to shed American lives for Mr. Hussein. That he wasn’t worth it.
    That was a disappointment, but I definitely agree that too much going for the throat isn’t best when we all know how tenuous Mr. VP’s health is.

  • Sammy

    Is it just me or after the gay marriage/Cheney’s daughter “love-fest” between the two candidates, the debate took a turn for the boring?

  • Kat

    I know I must have watched a different debate –I did not wear rose colored glasses though.
    Gomer Pyle did not win in the one I saw.

  • Steel Magnolia

    I liked Edwards in the primaries, but this NC girl thinks Edwards has never looked more like a lightweight than he did tonight. He’s my younger brother, Cheney’s my Dad.
    As for the eyebrow thing, I thought it made him look a little loopy. IMO, it’s usually guys who overestimate Edward’s surface appeal.
    I also liked the fact that Cheney was willing to flat out say he was not aware of the HIV/Black Women stats — from Edwards answer, it was pretty obvious that he didn’t either, so it just looked like he was trying to skate.

  • Sammy

    Kat — Well Darth Vader sure as hell didn’t win.

  • Okay, lets be clear about this. Neither candidate won because the questions were obviously selected by a committee composed of Forrest Gump and Rainman. What a joke that these two very intelligent men were subjected to such fluff questions for 90 minutes. In fact, you could feel the disdain both candidates had for the questions by their repeated hijacking of the debate.
    I’d have to check the transcript or watch it again, but I swear when Cheney was prompted for his rebuttal of one of the questions he said something along the lines of, “you really want me to respond to that question?”

  • ed

    Now I do think Edwards came out on top, but yes, those questions were some of the worst I’ve ever heard.

  • Kat

    I thought Cheney was classy in refusing to allow Edwards to use his gay daughter to score a point. He sure cut him short, so to speak.

  • Sebastian

    It sure looked to me like Cheney schooled Edwards on substance and style. I guess people see what they want to see. In my defense, though, my wife (who said immediately, as in minutes, after last week’s debate that Kerry had beaten Bush) also said Cheney had pretty much destroyed Edwards.
    “If you can’t stand up to Howard Dean….”
    That and the exchange where Cheney ripped Edwards for demeaning and disrespecting the sacrifices the Iraqi soldiers are making were the high points of the foreign policy section. If I was voting for Kerry I’d want to forget this one and move on as soon as possible.
    Of course, almost no one watched it and it probably won’t make any difference (except for putting a dent in Edwards’ ambitions if he and Kerry lose in November).

  • Lori

    Edwards face appeared to get redder as the debate went on, and he got flustered…..when he was not supposed to use “John Kerry” in his statement, he did so TWICE. He almost mispoke later but caught himself. He repeatedly did not answer the question and went off on his own agenda. But most of all…..if anything happened to John Kerry as president, we get stuck with this naive lawyer with “a plan for that”. Where was the debate you watched, Jeff?

  • Angus Jung

    Did Robert just say Cheney is intelligent? There’s still time to explain how you didn’t mean it as a compliment, Robert. The streets are watching!

  • Tom

    The room voted for draw or Edwards, surprise with the political makeup…. Great technologists, very similar left leaners.
    Sort of like Brokaw, Jennings, and Rather not seeing any problems with the 60 Minute piece on Bush. From there perspective there was nothing wrong with it.
    When Chris Mathews says a Republican won, you know Cheney won.

  • Soybomb

    The problem with Edwards tonight was that he could not answer the question offered by Ifill without trying to steal time to react the last question. It was unfortunate that Edwards could not follow the time limits that were placed on the responses. Ifill was gracious enough to allow him to dodge the format and Cheney was confident enough in his answers to give Edwards the benefit of the doubt for these lapses.
    The true winner of the debate was Ifill. Jim Lehrer has nothing on this smart moderator. We actually got a question about the Senate career of John Kerry something completely absent in the first Presidential debate.

  • Cheney beat Edwards like a drum. Period.
    Why? Because here’s what people will take away from this debate:
    1. “If they can’t stand up to Howard Dean…” Devastating…and has the additional benefit of ringing true with anyone who has been paying attention.
    2. “Today is the first time I met you…”
    Ouch…Try showing up once in a while, John.
    3. It’s only 90% of the casualties if you don’t count Iraqi allies. Edwards got slapped down like a little schoolboy when he tried to interrupt.
    4. When asked what his qualifications were for the office, Edwards ducked and dodged but never addressed the question. If *you* don’t know what your qualifications are, then you can’t expect anyone else to believe it either.
    Edwards didn’t say one memorable thing that anyone will remember outside of the DNC halls. Even the DNC spinmeisters’ best efforts are about Cheney looking “grumpy and mean.” They should just come out and say “We know Edwards is out of his depth and got shut out in the debate but isn’t he pretty”?

  • More interesting, perhaps, was this telling comment from CNN media/political analyst Jeff Greenfield on the ridiculous “Spin Alley” sideshow that follows these debates:
    This whole notion of people from each campaign pouring into this area to claim that their guy won

  • rivlax

    I guess you see what you want to see, even if it’s wrong.

  • Readings on my “Spin Meter”:
    Cheney: Red- High alert- a lot of spin, my friends. Don’t let facts get in the way of a good argument when this guys lips move.
    Edwards: Yellow- Low alert- Stuck with the basics and some simple rhetoric, but resisted the opportunities to twist the shit out of the truth.
    An observation from both debates- The Prez and Veep spend a lot of time trying to tell us what the challengers stand for, how they’ve voted, their attendance records, their flip flops etc. Am I the only one around with xray vision glasses on here, or isn’t this obvious and overt diversionary technique? They are diverting away from their own record of the last four years. It seems to me that if they truly were running for re-election from a position of strength, they could stand on their own record instead of spending most of their time talking about the “other guy”. On the other hand, the challengers present “new ideas” that are hardly novel (or new, for that matter) and are conspiculously lacking in details of implementation. Sure, lower health care costs would be great, but where’s the beef? How ya gonna do it John John?
    My bottom line- I didn’t grow up in an imperialistic country with a history of occupations at the expense of young lives. I don’t want to die in one. Bush, Cheney and the rest of the cronies must go, if for nothing more than that.

  • MaB

    Cheney’s already been caught telling two lies:
    1) Tonite he said he never tried to link Iraq and 9-11. MSNBC dug up a clip of him doing just that on Meet the Press.
    2) Cheney claimed he never met Edwards before tonite. On February 1, 2001 Cheney welcomed Edwards at the begining of an address at a National Prayer Breakfast. Link on my homepage.

  • Edwards: THere are 60 countries with Al Qaeda. How many of those countries are we going to invade?
    Answer: as many as it takes.

    I agree. Except for Saudi Arabia. Despite being one of the leading funders of terrorism, and despite promoting the single ideology that causes terrorism, they must remain off-limits. (Too bad Edwards couldn’t have stressed that point, but maybe next debate).
    Here’s a question. Does Cheney saying that he’d do the “same course of action” regarding Iraq mean that he would send too few troops the second time?
    Does that mean the second time he’d leave the spy headquarters unguarded? (“Press and looters vie for Saddam’s secrets”)
    The second time, would it take days to shut down the propaganda from Iraqi TV?
    Does that mean that the second time around he’d let people walk off with 1/5 of the nuclear material from al Tuwaitha?

  • Terrye

    I give it to Cheney. I liked the remark about Kerry and Edwards not being able to stand up to Dean, so how can they stand up to the terrorists. Truer words were never spoken.
    The usual stupid Halliburton song and dance from Edwards.
    I thought the remarks by Edwards about Cheney’s daughter were tacky.

  • chuck

    Well, Jeff. All I can say is that Edwards looks like a winner to the folks sharing the same crack. To me, he was pretty much a zero. I think this means he appealed to the base and left the rest of us unmoved. Upshot, no plus in the polls and Kerry/Edwards loses.

  • John Anderson

    “The true winner of the debate was Ifill.” – Soybomb
    Yep. Not much in the way of perceptible bias.
    Also see A Cheney win, but no disaster for Edwards

  • I don’t understand why the “stand up to Dean” etc remark carries any weight when the only one of the four with the balls to actually put their own boots on combat soil was Kerry.
    Stand up to terrorists? Puhleaze. By invading a country under dubious justification? The current administration squandered an enormous opportunity to build a coalition in the months following 9/11. To think back about the international support we were receiving and being promised and compare that to our current international standing is appalling to say the least, and a major screw up on the part of the administration to say the more. Face it- Bush’s lack of international diplomacy along with Cheney’s hell-bent desire to this time “get it right” with Iraq has been a disasterous recipe at the unconscionable expense of American lives.

  • Angus Jung

    Never give up, Jeff E. I think it’s working!

  • Dan (not Rather)

    This is starting to remind me of 1988 — except that, this time, Dukakis has Quayle on his ticket.

  • Eric A.

    Jeff E said: I didn’t grow up in an imperialistic country with a history of occupations at the expense of young lives.
    Yes you have Jeff E., you just haven’t been paying attention. Spanish-American War, frequent US interventions and adventures in the Caribbean and Central America, WW2, Korean War, etc. … Go crack open a history book.

  • Seriously, Jeff, how can any sober person think that Edwards came anywhere close to winning this debate? He came across as an whining, irritating school girl completely lacking in substance, and the look on his face when Cheney said “If they can’t stand up to Howard Dean, how can they stand up to terrorists?” told the whole story.
    That Halliburton tedium is so predictable that it’s time to update Godwin’s Law to encompass it.
    Edwards was crushed.
    Mitch Kapor used to teach levitation classes for the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and his cult vibes must have been out in force tonight.

  • Adam_az

    Tomorrows Dem talking point destroyed:
    Debunking the AP Claim that “VP’s Claim About Meeting Edwards Debunked”
    Bang! AP Fisked.

  • Gazzer

    Edwards: There are 60 countries with Al Qaeda. How many of those countries are we going to invade?
    Answer: First spend $100billion on invading one of the countries with no connection to Al Qaeda, no WMD and then … oh oops, we have no more money for home defense.

  • One point, Edwards comes off worse in print than on TV… a lot worse. It is probably pointless to fisk him but I just couldn’t restrain myself.
    He repeated that there was “no connection” about fifteen times. I’ve just about had it with that idiocy. Connect the dots.
    Regarding the 60 countries where Al Quaeda operates: there are very few with governments that are sufficiently friendly that they could conceivably base their headquarters there, now that Afghanistan is gone. I would say Bangladesh, Malaysia, Tunisia, Sudan and Morocco. Iraq would have been on that list too, and in fact according to some reports they were working on backup bases in the north just before we invaded. If and when there are signs that their training and HQ is located in one of those countries and the government is supporting them, well, they would go to the top of our list.

  • trueblue

    What I have taken from this debate is that fighting the WOT is way over Edwards head.
    In fighting this new form of war I expect confusion and resistance from a small percentage of the public, but from potential leaders to not clearly understand the barbaric nature of our enemy is senseless and dangerous.
    I get the feeling that a portion of the public actually believes instanteous peace and stability will occur if Kerry/Edwards are voted into office. Kerry/Edwards have not clearly represented reality.

  • rastajenk

    Obsidian, I would leave Sudan off that list. By stupidly and stubbornly making itself a center of attention, for al-Qaeda to try to set up shop there again would be irrational even by their standards.

  • sbw
  • I don’t get it… why is everyone saying Edwards won? I didn’t get that at all. I thought that Cheney did wonderfully and Edwards came back over and over with fancy schmancy tag lines. Granted he delivered them MUCH better than Kerry ever has, but come on. Cheney was debating, Edwards was spewing.
    Cheney looked, sounded and spoke like a man who knew what he was talking about. He had a number of really really good lines (“The first time we met was when you walked on stage”)
    But Edwards “won”?? What??

  • I think that the most significant lasting development of this debate is that the K/E mantra of “90% of the casualties; 90% of the cost” is now verboten. They won’t dare say it again. This was a major part of their case against the war in Iraq. Read here for more.

  • Catherine

    No one wants to talk about this, but here it is:
    Bremer – HE is the one who pulled the Marines out of the triangle so it wouldn’t piss off the Sunni’s on his council so HIS career wouldn’t take a hit if his council fell apart in the eyes of the media. No one in the Pentagon likes him (I am connected, frankly) for that, NOW they hate him for accusing the Pres of a decision HE had not only demanded, but insisted upon. TODAY he is backpeddling. F-er. The media? Talk about spinning this one.
    I wish Cheney had said this, and I can only guess why he didn’t.

  • Catherine

    # 2
    Jeff – what were you watching? I listen for substance, not for who has the best hair. I was actually annoyed by Edwards little thumb jabs. He reminds me of the “Net Zero Candidate” guy on the commercial who has all of the phony “stump” mannerism.
    Cheney may not be cuddly and warm, but I don’t want him to be. It is the thing I have always liked about him. OK – actually – I love it about him.
    Anyone on this page who talks about 2000 and says you said Sadaam wasn’t worth it, you said…
    Get a grip – 9/11 changed everything – our FP tactics, our budget, everything. And that’s not flip-flopping unless they go back to 9/10 standards.

  • Matthew Goggins

    Cheney won, Edwards lost.
    Jeff: Thank you for your interesting and revealing post. I wish I could agree with you, but we were definitely using very different filters last night.
    Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Powell, Rice, none of them, none of them, ever said that Saddam helped Al Qaeda with 9/11. It just never happened. I challenge Jeff or anyone else to cite a single instance otherwise.
    Also, I think the press don’t realize just how obnoxious it is to the average non-partisan soul to hear Senator Edwards accuse the Bush team of “colossal misjudgements”.
    Most people worry about how the war is going in Iraq, but that doesn’t mean they think the situation there is bad because Bush made dumb and/or dishonest decisions. They know that Bush cannot control everything and anticipate every setback. For Edwards to imply (actually, to insist) that Kerry would have done everything so much better just comes across as a steaming heap of arrogance. The press does not have a clue what a big turn-off this is to people who are not Kerry fans.

  • Matthew Goggins

    I learned algebra from a TV at St. Dominic’s grammar school in the Bronx, and went on to be a math major at an ivy league school. I wouldn’t disparage Senator Edwards’ dad for teaching himself math in a similar way (hopefully it’s not his fault his kid’s a major-league shyster either!).

  • Matthew Goggins

    My wife, a life-long Democrat, thought that Senator Edwards’ minute-long tribute to Vice-President Cheney’s lesbian daughter was a clear case of gay-baiting: “hey everyone, Cheney’s got a gay daughter, what do ya think of that, isn’t that special?” I’m not sure I agree with her, but it certainly did come off as patronizing and off-key.

  • Mike

    I s there one decent blogger that isn’t a flaming lib.? How can a guy be so smart but yet so naive? Like the blog, hate the politics.

  • rastajenk: naturally you are right, Sudan has been a center of attention and so perhaps not a good hideout. There are some indications that the current Khartoum government, while definitely Islamist, is not friendly to bin Laden’s people, perhaps because he backed a faction that lost in one of their numerous shakeups. Remember, he used to be based there and then he got kicked out.
    Unfortunately from the enemy point of view there are huge problems with the other possibilities as well. They are friendly enough, but they are not close to the center of Arab and/or Muslim civilization. Operationally they would be fine. Propaganda-wise, they would be a disaster. Yet I am hard pressed to come up with a replacement closer to the center. Syria? Iran? Yemen? Not especially likely…

  • Dear Mathew Goggins- you wrote:
    Please see below. This is a quote from Bush during his Mission Accomplished Aren’t We Some Kick Ass Mutha F’ers speech given from the deck of the aircraft carrier. Granted, Rummy, Rice, Cheney and Bush may have been careful enough to never come right out and say Saddam had a part in 9/11, they consistently, through reference or inuendo, link Saddam to terror to 9/11 to terror to Saddam to terror to what happened on 9/11 to terror to Saddam… well, you get the idea of the continual round robin. For instance, here’s what the President had to say:
    The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11, 2001 — and still goes on. That terrible morning, 19 evil men — the shock troops of a hateful ideology — gave America and the civilized world a glimpse of their ambitions. They imagined, in the words of one terrorist, that September the 11th would be the “beginning of the end of America.” By seeking to turn our cities into killing fields, terrorists and their allies believed that they could destroy this nation’s resolve, and force our retreat from the world. They have failed. (Applause.)

  • Apologies- the cut and past from Mathew Goggins did not show up- here it is:
    “Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Powell, Rice, none of them, none of them, ever said that Saddam helped Al Qaeda with 9/11. It just never happened. I challenge Jeff or anyone else to cite a single instance otherwise.”

  • Some more innuendo from the W himself:
    “The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We’ve removed an ally of al Qaeda, and cut off a source of terrorist funding.”
    Ok Mr Goggins, technically you are still correct in your claim, but after reading this isn’t it obvious why someone would believe the President is insistent upon the idea that Saddam had a hand in the whole “9/11 terror WMD evildoers thingy” that is now the enemy we need to extinguish?

  • Jeff E: The Saddam-Al Quaeda connections have been extensively documented. I don’t understand why you (and Kerry-Edwards) continue insisting that there is “no connection”. I have looked into this myself, tracked down sources, and I am *convinced* that they were working together. The 9/11 commission report agrees: while they caution that we do not have proof of specific attacks against the US that were joint Saddam-Al Quaeda operations, they also clearly state that Saddam and Al Quaeda were working together. I think the only question open to debate is to what extent. If you wish to continue that, please start by explaining the extensive body of evidence.