Monday, March 20, 2006

Iraq/Al Qaeda link?

Michelle Malkin (and others) are tracking the translation of a mass of documents unearthed during Operation Iraqi Freedom which, they say, might indicate a link between the former Iraqi government and the Afghan Taliban -- and, by extension, Al Qaeda.

Timing is an odd beast. This story started with a "blogswarm" last week, and seems to be getting little, if any, play in national media outlets. The "smoking gun" many are hoping to find may or may not be hidden away in these thousands of documents, but their release brings up an interesting point. Most people, it seems, have given up on the two major claims the Bush administration made for the war -- namely, Iraq's possession or near-possession of weapons of mass destruction and a link between Saddam Hussein's regime and Al Qaeda's terrorism.

Maybe "given up" is too weak a term -- most people seem to think that there never were either weapons or link.

They might be right, but here's the point: it's very tough, at best, to prove a negative proposition. The idea is that "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence," also known as an "argument from ignorance."

That's not to lend any additional credence to the argument that there were weapons or that there was a link. The only thing they can say at the moment is that "we haven't found them yet." However, there is no proof that such weapons or such links did not exist... only the fact that up to now, they haven't been unearthed.

You can see where the Army's at with translating some of the documents here, at Fort Leavenworth's Foreign Military Studies Office Joint Reserve Intelligence Center.

Anyway -- that's all from me for now. Enjoy your Monday. I know I am.