Mr. Hamilton, a former Democratic House member from Indiana and former chairman of the House intelligence committee, said the commission has found evidence of repeated contacts between Iraqi officials and the Qaeda terrorists and may describe those contacts in greater detail in its final report next month. But he said the panel had been unable to document any ”collaborative relationship” between Iraq and the terror network – against the United States or any other target.
. Bush and Mr. Cheney would continue to be aggressive in countering the commission’s conclusions – or in the White House’s official view, the misinterpretation by the news media of the commission’s conclusions – because failing to do so would undermine their credibility and their rationale for taking the country to war.
The Bush campaign and the Republican National Committee sent e-mail messages to supporters highlighting comments by Mr. Kean and Mr. Hamilton on Thursday suggesting that they saw no big gulf between the White House’s position and the commission. Mr. Bartlett said Mr. Bush had no specific plans at the moment to revisit the issue in a speech, but that he would raise https://rksloans.com/title-loans-mi/ it when he had the opportunity in coming weeks.
”We’ll continue to talk about how Saddam Hussein was a threat, and his ties to terrorism, and we will not give an inch on what we’ve said in the past,” Mr. Bartlett said.
If it’s not part of the war on terror, then what is it – some cockeyed adventure on the part of George W
One outside adviser to the White House said the administration expected the debate over Iraq’s ties to Al Qaeda to be ”a regular feature” of the presidential campaign.
”They feel it’s important to their long-term credibility on the issue of the decision to go to war,” the adviser said. ”It’s important because it’s part of the overall view that Iraq is part of the war on terror. If you discount the relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda, then you discount the proposition that it’s part of the war on terror. Bush?”.
When the commission studying the 9/11 terrorist attacks refuted the Bush administration’s claims of a connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, we suggested that President Bush apologize for using these claims to help win Americans’ support for the invasion of Iraq. We did not really expect that to happen. But we were surprised by the depth and ferocity of the administration’s capacity for denial. President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have not only brushed aside the panel’s findings and questioned its expertise, but they are also trying to rewrite history.
Mr. Bush said the 9/11 panel had actually confirmed his contention that there were ”ties” between Iraq and Al Qaeda. Both statements are wrong.
Before the war, Mr. Bush spoke of far more than vague ”ties” between Iraq and Al Qaeda. He said Iraq had provided Al Qaeda with weapons training, bomb-making expertise and a base in Iraq. On , Mr. Bush said that ”an Al Qaeda operative was sent to Iraq several times in the late 1990’s for help in acquiring poisons and gases.” The 9/11 panel’s report, as well as news articles, indicate that these things never happened.
He said his administration had never connected Saddam Hussein to 9/11
Mr. Cheney said yesterday that the ”evidence is overwhelming” of an Iraq-Qaeda axis and that there had been a ”whole series of high-level contacts” between them. The 9/11 panel said a senior Iraqi intelligence officer made three visits to Sudan in the early 1990’s, meeting with Osama bin Laden once in 1994. It said Osama bin Laden had asked for ”space to establish training camps, as well as assistance in procuring weapons, but Iraq apparently never responded.” The panel cited reports of further contacts after Osama bin Laden returned to Afghanistan in 1996, but said there was no working relationship. As far as the public record is concerned, then, Mr. Cheney’s ”longstanding ties” amount to one confirmed meeting, after which the Iraq government did not help Al Qaeda. By those standards, the United States has longstanding ties to North Korea.