jamiebk wrote:I found it absolutely remarkable that even GWB himself admitted in his news conference of yesterday that there was no connection between Al qaeda and Iraq... So, now we have managed to ignite a total inferno for what reason?
I find no reference to any such remark other than certain 'satirical' websites. Would/Could you quote your source, please, jamiebk?
My source of Bush's comments was the evening news on, I believe, NBC, however, here is a transcript of the entire news conference: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases ... 60821.html
BUSH: The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East.
QUESTION: What did Iraq have to do with it?
BUSH: What did Iraq have to do with what?
QUESTION: The attack on the World Trade Center.
BUSH: Nothing. Except it’s part of — and nobody has suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a — Iraq — the lesson of September 11th is take threats before they fully materialize, Ken. Nobody’s ever suggested that the attacks of September the 11th were ordered by Iraq.
I see this in conflict with statements that Cheney made a couple of years ago:
http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/06/ ... .al.qaeda/
Cheney blasts media on al Qaeda-Iraq link
Says media not 'doing their homework' in reporting ties
Friday, June 18, 2004 Posted: 2:25 AM EDT (0625 GMT)
Cheney said the press is "often times lazy, often times simply reports what somebody else in the press said."
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Vice President Dick Cheney said Thursday the evidence is "overwhelming" that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, and he said media reports suggesting that the 9/11 commission has reached a contradictory conclusion were "irresponsible."
"There clearly was a relationship. It's been testified to. The evidence is overwhelming," Cheney said in an interview with CNBC's "Capitol Report."
Further...here was an interview from Meet the press...the weblink is from the White House Press archive:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/vicepresident ... 11209.html
RUSSERT: Let me turn to Iraq. When you were last on this program, September 16, five days after the attack on our country, I asked you whether there was any evidence that Iraq was involved in the attack and you said no.
Since that time, a couple of articles have appeared which I want to get you to react to. The first: The Czech interior minister said today that an Iraqi intelligence officer met with Mohammed Atta, one of the ringleaders of the September 11 terrorists attacks on the United States, just five months before the synchronized hijackings and mass killings were carried out.
And this from James Woolsey, former CIA director: ``We know that at Salman Pak, in the southern edge of Baghdad, five different eye witnesses--three Iraqi defectors and two American U.N. inspectors--have said, and now there are aerial photographs to show it, a Boeing 707 that was used for training of hijackers, including non-Iraqi hijackers, trained very secretly to take over airplanes with knives.''
And we have photographs. As you can see that little white speck, and there it is.
RUSSERT: The plane on the ground in Iraq used to train non-Iraqi hijackers.
Do you still believe there is no evidence that Iraq was involved in September 11?
CHENEY: Well, what we now have that's developed since you and I last talked, Tim, of course, was that report that's been pretty well confirmed, that he did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack.
Now, what the purpose of that was, what transpired between them, we simply don't know at this point. But that's clearly an avenue that we want to pursue.
RUSSERT: What we do know is that Iraq is harboring terrorists. This was from Jim Hoagland in The Washington Post that George W. Bush said that Abdul Ramini Yazen (ph), who helped bomb the World Trade Center back in 1993, according to Louis Freeh was hiding in his native Iraq. And we'll show that right there on the screen. That's an exact quote.
If they're harboring terrorist, why not go in and get them?
CHENEY: Well, the evidence is pretty conclusive that the Iraqis have indeed harbored terrorists. That wasn't the question you asked the last time we met. You asked about evidence involved in September 11.
CHENEY: Over the years, for example, they've provided a safe harbor for Abu Nadal (ph), worked out of Bagdad for a long time.
The situation, I think, that leads a lot of people to be concerned about Iraq has to do not just with their past activity of harboring terrorist, but also with Saddam Hussein's behavior over the years and with his aggressive pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.
When we go back and look at 1981, he was pursuing nukes. The Israelis preempted when they hit the Osirak reactor and shut down the program. In 1991, 10 years later, when we went in, we found evidence of a very aggressive nuclear program.
For the last three years, there have been no inspectors in Iraq, and he has aggressively pursued the development of additional weapons of mass destruction. He's had significant sums of money from smuggling oil that are outside the oil for food program that are available to him to undertake these activities.
And we know, as well, he's had a robust biological weapons and chemical weapons program, and unlike just about anybody else in the world, he's used them. He used those weapons against the Kurds in Iraq and against the Iranians in the Iran-Iraq War.
RUSSERT: You were very critical of the Clinton administration for not inspecting for two years. It's been a full year since you've been in office. Why hasn't the Bush administration demanded and gotten inspections?
CHENEY: The president's made it clear, and did the other day in connection with a question he was asked, that he believes that the inspectors ought to go back into Iraq. Of course, Saddam Hussein subsequently rejected that option. We've not yet made a decision about how best to proceed.
But clearly, given the events of September 11, given the vulnerability of the United States that's now been demonstrated, given the increasing linkage, if you will, between terrorist and weapons of mass destruction, we have to be very deliberate in terms of how we proceed to make certain that the United States is not vulnerable to that kind of an attack.
And so, all of those considerations will, I'm sure, influence the president's decision. But he'll ultimately have to make the decision about what kind of policy we best want to pursue with respect to Iraq.
So, now, by invading Iraq, we have actually focused al-Qaeda's efforts: Read on.......
By Paul Reynolds
BBC News Online world affairs correspondent
Too few US and foreign troops in Iraq for the task, report says
The war in Iraq probably helped boost al-Qaeda recruitment, according to a report from leading Western think-tank.
The report, the annual Military Balance by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, does not dwell on the causes of the war.
But it does consider its effects and has some highly critical comments.
It says that the risks of terrorism to Westerners and Western assets in Arab countries "appeared to increase after the Iraq war began in March 2003".
It says that al-Qaeda was forced to disperse after the invasion of Afghanistan but remained "a viable and effective 'network of networks' ".
Iraqi insurgents need to be brought into the political process
"It is probable that recruitment generally has accelerated on account of Iraq," the report concludes.
So...here are the "references" you asked for, with sources quoted. This is what I have been saying....war was not and is not the solution here...it has only made the problem worse.