Oooooooh ... smoking gun!
"Saddam Hussein's intelligence agency secretly financed a trip to Iraq for three U.S. lawmakers during the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion, federal prosecutors said Wednesday."
Depressingly, one doesn't even need to find a different link for refutation, as the very article Kate links to supplies the details:
Saddam Hussein's intelligence agency secretly financed a trip to Iraq for three U.S. lawmakers during the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
Um, yeah, what's the deal with that "secretly" thing? What's up with that? Oh ...
The three anti-war Democrats made the trip in October 2002, while the Bush administration was trying to persuade Congress to authorize military action against Iraq. While traveling, they called for a diplomatic solution.
OK, diplomacy is good. If that had worked, maybe 4,000 members of the U.S. millitary would still be alive. But I digress. Onward.
Prosecutors say that trip was arranged by Muthanna Al-Hanooti, a Michigan charity official, who was charged Wednesday with setting up the junket at the behest of Saddam's regime...
The lawmakers are not named in the indictment but the dates correspond to a trip by Democratic Reps. Jim McDermott of Washington, David Bonior of Michigan and Mike Thompson of California. None was charged and Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said investigators "have no information whatsoever" any of them knew the trip was underwritten by Saddam.
"Obviously, we didn't know it at the time," McDermott spokesman Michael DeCesare said Wednesday. "The trip was to see the plight of the Iraqi children. That's the only reason we went."
And there we have it; apparently, none of the Dems realized who was behind the financing and were unaware of any connection to Hussein. Unlike, say, this guy:
Yes, that was so easy, it was almost unfair. So sue me.
IN HINDSIGHT, I'm not sure why I bothered with this. The nugget above is collected under one of Kate's "Reader Tips" posts. If I had received a similar tip, my only reaction would have been, "Yeah, so ... what's your point?"
I apologize. I will try to be snarkier and more informative in the future.