Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda Links

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photoLast Friday, the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee released its latest report on pre-Iraq war intelligence. The committee officially debunked the link between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda — the link which officials have been hinting at for years.

Three days after the report was released, on the five-year anniversary of September 11th, President Bush said: "I'm often asked why we're in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was not responsible for the 9/11 attacks. The answer is that the regime of Saddam Hussein was a clear threat. My Administration, the Congress and the United Nations saw the threat. And after 9/11, Saddam's regime posed a risk that the world could not afford to take."

But in 2002, on the one-year anniversary of September 11, President Bush said about Saddam Hussein's regime: "And if an emboldened regime were to supply these weapons to terrorist allies then the attacks of September 11th would be a prelude to far greater horrors."

Hear about the report from the Senate Intelligence Committee about the 9/11-Saddam connection, and its uses.

Quotes from the Show:

"It's a devastating indictment on the [Bush] administration to get the US into a war that is impossible to get out of now." James Bamford

"It would be useful to show some humility on our part in the evaluation of what we know and don't know." Patrick Clawson

"When the committee chairman and three other Republican members vehemently oppose the conclusions of the report, it's a stretch to call it [the report] bipartisan." Patrick Clawson


Mary Louise Kelly, NPR Intelligence Correspondent

James Bamford, Investigative Reporter who has written extensively on national security issues and author of "A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies"

Patrick Clawson, Deputy Director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and formerly a senior research professor at the Institute for National Strategic Studies of the National Defense University

Frank Newport, Editor-in-Chief of The Gallop Poll

This program aired on September 14, 2006.


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