No Link Between Saddam & al Qaeda
The 9/11 commission has issued a staff report that declares there is "no credible evidence" that Saddam Hussein collaborated with al Qaeda on any terrorist attacks, including 9/11. Will this stop Cheney from lying once more? Probably not. And according to this report, Bush has fallen off the reality wagon once more asserting that there was too a link. Although it was just a while ago, he admitted there was not. Do you think this makes him a flip flopper?
From TPM yesterday there was this exchange about the Cheney/Bush conundrum.
MR. McCLELLAN: We certainly talked about the ties with terrorism between the -- between the regime that was removed from power, and we talked about those ties prior to the decision to remove that regime from power. So that was well-documented. Secretary Powell went before the United Nations and talked about some of those ties to terrorism, as well. And Zarqawi is certainly a senior al Qaeda associate who was in Iraq prior to the decision to go in and remove the regime from power.
Q There's also al Qaeda in the United States. That does not mean the United States is cooperating with those members of al Qaeda. Just by the presence of someone does not mean there's a cooperation.
MR. McCLELLAN: But, remember, we're talking about an oppressive regime that was in power in Iraq that exercised control over that country. And go back and look at what we documented, Norah. We documented all this, and I think that's what the Vice President was referring to.
Q So today you're saying the President does agree there were long --
MR. McCLELLAN: We stand by what we've said previously, in terms of the regime's ties to terrorism, yes. And I think that's what the Vice President was referring to.
Q The President said there were no ties in the run up to the war.
MR. McCLELLAN: No, Helen, that's a mischaracterization. There were clear ties to terrorism between the regime --
Q He said there were no ties with al Qaeda.
MR. McCLELLAN: -- certainly supporting suicide bombers in the Middle East.
Q Are you repudiating what the President said?
MR. McCLELLAN: No, I think you're talking about September 11th.
According to the 9/11 Commission report, Osama bin Laden did not fund al Qaeda thru a personal fortune, but by being able to raise funds from sympathic backers. After 9/11 the ability to raise funds has slowed, but it still a viable terrorist organization.
Yet, al Qaeda remains interested in carrying out chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attacks against the United States, the report says. Although an attempt to purchase uranium in 1994 failed -- the material proved to be fake -- "al Qaeda continues to pursue its strategic objective of obtaining a nuclear weapon," according to the report.
By any means possible, it warns, "al Qaeda is actively striving to attack the United States and inflict mass casualties."
The war in Iraq was a distraction from the real enemy as al Qaeda is still out there, dangerous, and waiting to strike at America. Such is the legacy of Bush's war on terrorism.