Friday, June 18, 2004

The Bush administration said Saddam Hussein was tied to the 9/11 attacks

Why you're right:

1. Bush explicitly stated that Hussein was involved in 9/11. In a letter to Congress on the day the war started, Bush wrote that he was acting pursuant to authority permitting him to act against "those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001." USA Today wrote that it was an effort "to tie Iraq specifically to the 9/11 attacks." (Bush Letter, USA Today)

2. Cheney said that Hussein provided a base for 9/11 perpetrators. On Meet the Press on 9/14/03, Cheney said Iraq was the "geographic base of the terrorists who had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11." (Meet the Press)

3. Bush said that it was impossible to distinguish between al-Qaeda and Saddam. On 9/25/02, Bush said "you can't distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror." Clearly, if Saddam was not involved in 9/11 and al Qaeda was, that would be a clear way to distinguish them. (White House)

Why They're Wrong:

The White House line is that they simply said there were contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda. Although the White House did make such claims, the record shows they went much farther. They are responsible for everything they said, not just the comments that afford them the most political cover.

A Better Idea:

Bush and Cheney should admit they were wrong.