Memo to Senator LiebermanDuring yesterday's Senate hearing investigating the prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq, the Honorable Joseph Lieberman stated in his opening remarks:
“I cannot help but say, however, that those who were responsible for killing 3,000 Americans on September 11th, 2001, never apologized.”
I had to respond.
Dear Senator Lieberman:
Please be advised that there were no Iraqis on the planes that hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, or on the airliner that crashed in Pennsylvania.
Let me repeat this, in case you somehow missed my point. There were no Iraqi nationals among the hijackers who attacked this nation on 9/11.
In fact, there is no credible case to be made with regard to any Iraqi involvement with 9/11. The myth of Iraqi involvement with 9/11 was one that was subliminally (and sadly, successfully) sold by the Bush Administration to the American people – with a substantial majority of respondents telling pollsters in early 2003 that they believed that Iraqi nationals were involved in the attack.
Hence, your remark on May 7 was not only irrelevant with regard to the need for Secretary Rumsfeld and General Myers to apologize, but also gives comfort to the kind of fuzzy thinking that I witness so much of the time on conservative talk radio or across the internet. This mindset postulates that because of 9/11, Americans somehow have a license to attack “Muslims” everywhere – and ultimately associates all Muslims with the 9/11 terrorists.
I strongly believe that the endorsement of such imprecise thinking fundamentally undermines our system of government. When an electorate can be so easily fooled by an obvious, completely transparent falsehood (with not even a single shred of evidence presented in support), then I worry that our great American experiment is entering its twilight hours. If you love this country, as I know that you do, I ask you to cease and desist with this unfortunate comparison. Base your case for supporting Secretary Rumsfeld, or the Iraq invasion, on intellectually tenable assertions – of which 9/11 is decidedly not one.
Matthew Carnicelli © 2004. All rights reserved.
Originally published May 8, 2004; revised May 10, 2004.