Los Angeles Times's Tim Rutten is at it again. In an op-ed in today's paper (Wed. 8/6/08), Rutten buttresses a new book by author Ron Suskind and asserts that "Vice President Dick Cheney and his inner circle long have insisted" that Iraq was directly connected to the September 11 attacks.
Rutten's claim is an easy one to debunk. Here's Vice President Cheney in a Meet the Press interview with Tim Russert a mere five days after the September 11 attacks:
RUSSERT: Do we have any evidence linking Saddam Hussein or Iraqis to this operation? [Sept. 11 attacks]
VICE PRES. CHENEY: No.
Does it get any simpler than "No"?
Cheney's words also strike a major blow to a wild accusation in Suskind's new book. According to Politico's Mike Allen (and quoted by Rutten), Suskind claims, "The White House had concocted a fake letter [that] said that 9/11 ringleader [Mohamed] Atta had actually trained for his mission in Iraq -- thus showing, finally, that there was an operational link between Saddam and Al Qaeda, something the vice president's office had been pressing CIA to prove since 9/11 as a justification to invade Iraq."
There's a lot more that can be written about the media's wild claims about Vice President Cheney's public remarks before the Iraq War. I addressed this in a September 2006 post. NB's Brad Wilmouth also addressed the same issue in a November 2005 post.