Thursday, July 24, 2003

The 9/11 report

Move along people, move along. There's no story here.

Others do the tinfoil chapeau thing a lot better than I do, but I still find statements like this curious:

[N]o evidence surfaced in the probe by the House and Senate intelligence committees to show that the government could have prevented the attacks that killed more than 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Or this:

Said Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill.: ''Anybody who makes an assertion that this could have been prevented is making a political statement because there is no evidence, no information that was shared with the top people in our government that could have led them to believe this was going to happen. It wasn't there.''

How can we know these statements are true?

First, the section on the Saudis has been deleted entirely.

Second, it's my impression—alert readers correct me on this—that there's nothing in the report to show what was passed to the White House, and they, after all, have the ultimate responsibility on this. And we have a pretty good picture now, based on the uranium fiasco, of how the White House (mis)handles intelligence information.

So, there may be no evidence in the report. But in Rummy's famous words: "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." Eh?

NOTE: Oh, report's revelation that there was no AQ-Iraq link (YABL) sank beneath the waves of the news cycle this morning (back). The most durable urban legend of all, zealously propagated by the administration in the run-up to the war and in the SOTU, still lives.