WASHINGTON - There’s no evidence Saddam Hussein had ties with al-Qaida, according to a Senate report issued Friday on prewar intelligence that Democrats say undercuts President Bush’s justification for invading Iraq.
Bush administration officials have insisted on a link between the Iraqi regime and terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Intelligence agencies, however, concluded there was none.
It discloses for the first time an October 2005 CIA assessment that prior to the war Saddam’s government “did not have a relationship, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi and his associates.”
Bush and other administration officials have said that the presence of Zarqawi in Iraq before the war was evidence of a connection between Saddam’s government and al-Qaida. Zarqawi was killed by a U.S. airstrike in June this year.
Meanwhile, in fantasyland:
Rice, giving a series of interviews ahead of the fifth anniversary of the September 11 Al-Qaeda attacks on the United States, brushed aside a recently released US intelligence report (PDF) saying there was no evidence Saddam's regime was helping Al-Qaeda obtain such arms.
"There were ties between Iraq and Al-Qaeda," she said on Fox News Sunday.
And in the Oval Office in Fantasyland:
As recently as two weeks ago, President Bush said at a news conference that Mr. Hussein "had relations with Zarqawi.''
No wonder 40+% of the American people still believe there was a relationship. That number includes everyone in the White House.
Thus, it can't be repeated enough: THERE WAS NO IRAQ-AL QAEDA RELATIONSHIP, THERE WAS NO IRAQ-AL QAEDA RELATIONSHIP, THERE WAS NO...