From the CBC:
WASHINGTON – U.S. President George Bush on Wednesday sent Congress a formal justification for invading Iraq, citing the attacks on the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001.
Via Atrios. This is the letter they’re referring to. Key paragraph:
(2) acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.
Carl from Wasted Irony notes via email:
Note the textual trickery? He doesn’t actually say that Iraq had anything to do with Sept 11; what he says is the US has the right to attack terrorists and terrorist organizations, INCLUDING those nations…[that were part of Sept 11]. In other words, we can go after Iraq because they are a terrorist organization, which is basically true as Hussein does provide minor aid to anti-Israel terrorist groups. To the casual reader, the word “including” implies a connection between Iraq and Sept 11, but in reality the word draws a lawyerly line between the two. Basically Bush is saying that we can go after any terrorists anywhere, and a sub-set of the general family of terrorists are those terrorists who attacked us on Sept 11. He isn’t actually saying that Iraq is part of that sub-set.
This is what is so sleazy about the Orwellian way these boys use words. On the surface the paragraph is actually accurate, so the media and Congress can’t call Bush on the carpet for lying. But the purpose of the paragraph like all those speeches Bush makes where he mentions Sept 11 and Iraq repeatedly together is to reinforce in most readers the false belief that Sept 11 was the Iraqis fault. And, even more Machiavellianly, the Bushies know that this lie will be reinforced in peoples’ minds because nobody is contradicting it, and they’re not contradicting it because technically it’s not a lie. Talk about DoubleSpeak.