US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence finds no link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has found no link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. The 148-page report that was 3-years in the making states that Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qaeda and regarded Islamic extremism as a threat to his regime.

U.S. President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney maintained since before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, that the Iraqi government had direct, operational links with al-Qaeda and was thus at least partially responsible for the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon.

More recently, during an August 21 presidential press conference, President Bush responded to questions by Ken Herman of Cox Newspapers concerning the sagging Bush poll numbers with:

President Bush - ...I don't think you've ever heard me say, gosh, I'd better change positions because the polls say this or that. I've been here long enough to understand you cannot make good decisions if you're trying to chase a poll. And so the second part of your question is, look, I'm going to do what I think is right, and if people don't like me for it, that's just the way it is.

Ken Herman - Quick follow-up. A lot of the consequences you mentioned for pulling out [of Iraq] seem like maybe they never would have been there if we hadn't gone in. How do you square all of that?.

President Bush - I square it because, imagine a world in which you had Saddam Hussein who had the capacity to make a weapon of mass destruction, who was paying suiciders to kill innocent life, who would -- who had relations with Zarqawi... terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East.

Ken Herman - What did Iraq have to do with that?

President Bush - What did Iraq have to do with what?

Ken Herman - The attack on the World Trade Center?

President Bush - Nothing, except for it's part of -- and nobody has ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a -- the lesson of September the 11th is, take threats before they fully materialize, Ken. Nobody has ever suggested that the attacks of September the 11th were ordered by Iraq. I have suggested, however, that resentment and the lack of hope create the breeding grounds for terrorists who are willing to use suiciders to kill to achieve an objective. I have made that case...

43% of Americans believe that Saddam Hussein was personally involved on the attacks of September 11th, 2001 according to Opinion Research Corporation for CNN.