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June 16, 2004

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» Connections.... from QandO
The 9/11 Commission has released a report on the evidence of ties - and lack thereof - between Iraq and 9/11. (also here) To save you some time around the blogosphere today, I'll summarize what you're going to read..... The... [Read More]

» Connections.... from QandO
The 9/11 Commission has released a report on the evidence of ties - and lack thereof - between Iraq and 9/11. (also here) To save you some time around the blogosphere today, I'll summarize what you're going to read..... The... [Read More]

Comments

All hail our malfunctioning robotic overlords.

Apparently Dick has a better memory than you.

Newsweek magazine ran an article in its January 11, 1999, issue headed

[As per the revised Posting Rules, the cut-n-pasted text has been removed without prejudice for the purposes of conservation of bandwidth. The link is there solely because it was also provided.]

Timmy the Wonder Dog: the Stepford Lassie.

speculation, heresay, etc., etc., etc.,

Timmy, with access to all that themselves, why would the 9/11 commission conclude there's no EVIDENCE of a "collaborative relationship" if in fact there was any EVIDENCE?

this is a

possibly futile attempt to fix the open blockquote.

er, that should be "hearsay," and definitely not not "heresy" (although, what's the difference in some quarters, eh?)

Well done Slarti.

I've heard a lot of that stuff before, but a great deal of it wasn't specifically Saddam Hussein, or even representative members of his government/regime.

Since Operation Enduring Freedom, we have solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of Al Qaeda members, including some that have been in Baghdad.

You'll be attacking the UK next, won't you (even *think* about it and I'll sell my Kevin Smith DVDs)?

Well done Slarti.

Now I can't say I've been completely useless this week.

You're never completely useless, Slarti. At least you raise hopes that there will be something juicy to rant against when your name joins the Recent Posts list. : )

Ah...Right Wing Deathbeast and Slayer of Hope. Life is good.

Just to string you along a little further...that the 9/11 Commission found no evidence to support that Hussein and bin Laden collaborated in an attack on the U.S. doesn't necessarily imply that Hussein and bin Laden haven't ever had any relationship.

Not saying they have, mind you, just saying your point doesn't quite cover the situation as well as you're (at least seemingly) representing.

The 9/11 commission also concluded there's no EVIDENCE of a "collaborative" relationship between the Saudi Princes and AQ. Now if you believe there was absolutely no relationship, well if you believe that, I will sell you St. V's cheap.

Apparently, you will have to ask the Commission about their parameters for evidence (documentary evidence is what I expect though). Until then, I'll run with a connect the dot analysis and ask Dick to continue to run with it.

Jes, I liked the shades but the silver is a no go, sorry.

James, you could have evidence of agents in ol Baghdad without evidence of the relationship.

That is, we have evidence of AQ agents in the US but no evidence they are working for the Kerry campaign, yet.

I think I covered my ass well enough by saying we'll need to read the report on that particular point, Slarti, but I'm standing with the way the news article phrased it:

While Saddam dispatched a senior Iraqi intelligence official to Sudan to meet with bin Laden in 1994, the commission said it had not turned up evidence of a "collaborative relationship."

As far back as 1994, the only contact was one intellignce official meeting with bin Laden? How does that qualify as anything in the overal scheme of things?

I'll run with a connect the dot analysis and ask Dick to continue to run with it.

After all, we ARE talking POLITICS here, aren't we...no sense in suggesting some topics should not be played with that way, eh?

I think, too, that the absence of collaboration can't be said to constitute evidence of no relationship.

Just sayin', is all.

When did anyone accuse Saddam having anything to do with 911? After 911 the world was warned that those who support terrorism do so at their own peril. Saddam then gave us so many reasons to jerk his sorry ass out of his rathole, that it was an offer we couldn't refuse. Hit me when you see an opening.

I think, too, that the absence of collaboration can't be said to constitute evidence of no relationship.

That would apply equally well to the existence a working relationship between George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden.

That would apply equally well to the existence a working relationship between George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden.

LOL

Ahhh...back in good form, I see Jes... ; )

RD: When did anyone accuse Saddam having anything to do with 911?

Dick Cheney, most recently on Tuesday, June 15, 2004, as Edward pointed out in the link.

Saddam then gave us so many reasons to jerk his sorry ass out of his rathole,

Yeah... cooperating with UN inspectors is clearly an act justifying war.

RD: When did anyone accuse Saddam having anything to do with 911?

Jesu: Dick Cheney, most recently on Tuesday, June 15, 2004, as Edward pointed out in the link.

Edward's link:

"In making the case for war in Iraq, Bush administration officials frequently cited what they said were Saddam's decade-long contacts with al-Qaeda operatives. They stopped short of claiming that Iraq was directly involved in the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States,..."

Not

"but critics say Bush officials left that impression with the American public."

Not

Jesu: "Yeah... cooperating with UN inspectors..."

Not

Jesu: "is clearly an act justifying war."

False premise wasn't, everything else was.

Mr. J, you must truly be tortured by the truth. I hope your worried mind can be eased some day, I truly do.


That would apply equally well to the existence a working relationship between George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden.

Except that no one outside of the moonbat colony is making such claims. Or is there yet another thing I don't know?

Except that no one outside of the moonbat colony is making such claims. Or is there yet another thing I don't know?

I forget, has Michael Moore left the colony?

Slartibartfast: Except that no one outside of the moonbat colony is making such claims.

And no one outside of the moonbat colony is making claims that Saddam Hussein had strong links with al-Qaeda. You could say that making false claims about links with al-Qaeda is practically the definition of a moonbat.

"Or is there yet another thing I don't know?"

I think it has more to do with the point about proving a negative.

It's entirely understandable why Americans are prone to believe in cooperation. Saddam and members of al-Qaeda are all 'Middle Eastern' (I'll try not to wander into arguing about racism. But honestly, all they have in common is their ethnicity. Saddam wasn't Islamic), they both hate America, and they're all -- to American eyes -- roughly in the same place on the globe.

That easy tendency is more than enough to explain to me why people tend to believe it, and why people continue to argue for it though they have no evidence. And it's also more than enough to make me very suspicious until hard evidence appears.

Imagine, for a moment, that US intelligence had irrefutable evidence that Saddam Hussein had met with members of Osama bin Laden's family on several occasions. And that money exchanged hands at these meetings.

Would it be considered "moonbat" for this administration to conclude Saddam had a "working relationship" with bin Laden?

You guys are rubbing off on me. Isn't it fairly obvious that since no one's seen bin Laden for a while, that he has eluded detection thus far with such a tempting price on his head; and that since Al Gore fell into such deep depression from his inexplicable failure in 2000, only to emerge as this oddly demented, ranting creature recently, that bin Laden is, in fact, masquerading as Gore, foaming at the mouth and spewing his hatred of himself and all things American. Where is the lady in red when you need her.

RD, nice, but Al Gore is an unconvincing candidate. Obviously Ashcroft is Osama bin Laden in disguise: subtly working to destroy America from within.

Ashcroft isn't tall enough.

I think Rasheed Wallace is clearly Osama. Osama had been wearing a turban to hide the odd gray spot on the back of his head.

You could say that making false claims about links with al-Qaeda is practically the definition of a moonbat.

Yes, I could say that.

RD: When did anyone accuse Saddam having anything to do with 911?

Jesu: Dick Cheney, most recently on Tuesday, June 15, 2004, as Edward pointed out in the link.

Edward could you point out where Cheney said Iraq was involved with 9-11.

I voted for Kodos.

You mean Cheney isn't Kodos? I feel robbed.

Cheney is Kang. Kodos was the ninja, and will be returning in the guise of John Kerry's running mate, sometime in July.

They believe they will not be foiled this time if they seek the vast power of the Vice-Presidency.

Also, they like warm buckets of piss.

This explains much about Cheney, and his recent differences from the man he was in the Ford Administration.

It is also why (don't hit me, Moe) John McCain so adamantly refuses Kerry's entreaties. He Knows.

Timmy, I hope you'll forgive me, but I trust Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton to have more knowledge of the facts than you do.

I think, too, that the absence of collaboration can't be said to constitute evidence of no relationship.

"Pi-1 != Sigma-1. Discuss."

I think, too, that the absence of collaboration can't be said to constitute evidence of no relationship.

Or, if you prefer something less abstruse, absence of collaboration is, in fact, evidence -- though not determinative -- supporting the hypothesis that there was no relationship, since collaboration is itself a form of a relationship.

Edward could you point out where Cheney said Iraq was involved with 9-11.

Timmy:

I've done nothing but read the distinction by Bush supporters--like so many exhausted souls clinging to a floating tree branch as the flood waters show no signs of abatting--between "ties" to Al Qaeda and "cooperation" on the 9/11 attacks. You know as well as I do that the 69% of Americans who were convinced that Iraq was connected to the attacks came from statements made by this White House, such as:

Cheney, Jan. 21: ``I continue to believe -- I think there's overwhelming evidence that there was a connection between al-Qaida and the Iraqi government. I'm very confident that there was an established relationship there.''

Cheney, Monday: Saddam Hussein ``had long-established ties with al-Qaida.''

Now they're going to try anc creep back through some technical loophole...well I for one am tired of this shell game. Let these "leaders" stand up and own their actions for once and not skirt around the issue like naughty little school boys caught lying.


since collaboration is itself a form of a relationship

Well. Maybe my employer and I could be said to be in collaboration, then, by that definition. Well, the dictionary does drift over time.

Edward, Maureen Dowd totally copied you.


Maybe she was just a little too drunk to come up with something original, Katherine.

Katherine, yeah, I read that this morning...do you think I can sue her?

Just kidding...highly unlikely she saw our beloved little blog...

Still does that matter? Can I sue her anyway?

Just kidding...

Slarti, as you calling Maureen a boozer?

"are you calling..."

clearly I'm slurring my typing...*hiccup*

damn bloody mary's...

Well. Maybe my employer and I could be said to be in collaboration, then, by that definition. Well, the dictionary does drift over time.

I did not say that relations were a type of collaboration. The subset relation isn't symmetric, you know.

Then let's not pretend that it is, ok? Hussein and bin Laden not having a collaborative relationship doesn't in any way rule out that there wasn't another sort of relationship.

Not saying that does anything to support claims of relationship, just that it doesn't do anything to refute that they had some sort of relationship.

You know, it really all boils down to whether or not what Bush and Cheney said made Americans think that Hussein was connected to the 9/11 attacks and whether or not now they'll accept that they never meant to send that message.

...whether or not what Bush and Cheney said made Americans think that Hussein was connected to the 9/11 attacks...

Ah...mind control.

"Not saying that does anything to support claims of relationship, just that it doesn't do anything to refute that they had some sort of relationship."

What, sexual? If it wasn't collaborative, who cares?

"Ah...mind control."
Riiiight. . because saying things doesn't affect peoples' perceptions. Makes you wonder why the White House has a press strategy at all. Makes you wonder why Scaife, Moon, and Murdoch dump all that money into their media. Clearly they perversely believe in the psychic powers of their media mind control. Makes you wonder why the constant whining about the liberal media never ends. You'd think conservatives believed that the media can magically control the minds of people who read papers. Silly liberals and their addiction to mind-control theories like determining 'intent' and 'effects'.

gotta side with sidereal, Slarti.

To take your argument to its logical conclusion is to say that it's not Bush and Cheney's fault if Americans misunderstood what they were saying and concluded that Hussein was connected to 9/11. Stupid people...who cares if they're about the commit their sons and daughters to war...if they chose to believe that's what we meant, it's their own damn faults.

Wait, wait. I'm not done coming up with florid ways to equate setting talking points with mystical mind control.

Okay. . maybe I am.

If all of you who are outraged at what I said can actually point out where Cheney and/or Bush said that Hussein and Al Qaeda banded together to drive airplanes into the WTC, I'll cheerfully retract. If not, well, people are stupid. Deal with it. So far all I see is the unevidenced assertion that Bush/Cheney deliberately faked people out, and then diabolically allowed them to remain in that faked-out state.

So far all I see is the unevidenced assertion that Bush/Cheney deliberately faked people out, and then diabolically allowed them to remain in that faked-out state.

That is the assertion, yes. You can cling to the "unevidenced" bit if you like, but there are plenty of speeches by these folks where they mention 9/11 and then Al Qaeda and then Iraq---in the same context---and really only the most stubborn of observers would conclude they didn't want folks to connect the dots and take away the idea that Hussein was connected to 9/11.

In fact, the rest of us concluded that:

[T]he Bush administration convinced a substantial majority of Americans before the war that Saddam Hussein was somehow linked to 9/11.

and really only the most stubborn of observers would conclude they didn't want folks to connect the dots and take away the idea that Hussein was connected to 9/11

Well, remaining supporters of Bush & Co pretty much have to be "the most stubborn of observers"...

Hellooooo.... Maureen Dowd... stop copying Edward's work for your columns... plagerism city!

Then let's not pretend that it is, ok? Hussein and bin Laden not having a collaborative relationship doesn't in any way rule out that there wasn't another sort of relationship.

Nor did I say it did. Rolling tape, with bold for emphasis:

Or, if you prefer something less abstruse, absence of collaboration is, in fact, evidence -- though not determinative -- supporting the hypothesis that there was no relationship, since collaboration is itself a form of a relationship.

The non-existence of a collaborative relationship does not preclude the existence of a different kind of relationship; it does, however, act as (non-determinative, I repeat) evidence of the non-existence of a relationship.

To be more concrete about it: Suppose I wish to establish that Proposition X is false. Proposition X comes in five varieties, X1 through X5; X is false iff X1 through X5 are false. If I can verify that X5 is false, this provides evidence -- though not determinative -- towards the contention proposition X is false. It is entirely possible that X2 will be true -- hence, X5 being false is not determinative of the falsity of X as a whole -- but, in a sort of Bayesian way, our confidence in the falsity of X can measurably increase by the elimination of a possibility.

Or, in brief: "absence of collaboration is, in fact, evidence -- though not determinative -- supporting the hypothesis that there was no relationship."

[This, btw, was the core of my "Pi-1 != Sigma-1" remark above: the verification of existential and universal statements are markedly different, and one cannot use the standards of one to confirm the other.]

Anarch: Or, in brief: "absence of collaboration is, in fact, evidence -- though not determinative -- supporting the hypothesis that there was no relationship."

Quite. And, even though it's restating the obvious, those who lower the standard of "evidence" accepted as "proof" that Saddam Hussein had a relationship with al-Qaeda, are opening the doors to "proof" that George W. Bush has a relationship with al-Qaeda: if judged by the same standards of evidence, the proof for Bush and al-Qaeda is rather more compelling than the proof for Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.

[This, btw, was the core of my "Pi-1 != Sigma-1" remark above: the verification of existential and universal statements are markedly different, and one cannot use the standards of one to confirm the other.]

Well, yeah. But not everyone speaks math.

(I speak math about as well as I speak French: that is, I have a small degree of functional comprehension when other people speak it, though I often have to ask them to go slow... but apart from a few memorized terms, I always have to use a phrasebook when I speak.)

Well, yeah. But not everyone speaks math.

I know. The problem is that I'm a logician and this kind of thing -- analyzing the logical complexity of a given statement and the resultant effectiveness/constructibility/definability issues that derive from it -- is my stock and trade.

[Why, you ask? Because it relates to computability theory, which was my original field, and to certain embeddability criteria in constructible set theory, which is sort of my current field.]

I'd normally just stick with "you can't prove a negative", but a) that's false (consider "I am not a chicken"), b) the correct formulation allows one greater insight into the nature of proof (in layish terms, only existentially quantified statements over a decidable predicate may be "proven" in the strictest sense; the more accurate rendition is "Sigma-1 is equivalent to c.e.", but that's not exactly transparent to the layperson), and c) I'm a pretentious git when it comes to mathematics, especially mathematical logic :)

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