Nothing To Do With the Truth
John Kerry continues to insist that Saddam Hussein had "nothing to do with al Qaeda." And he continues to be wrong.
12:00 AM, Sep 22, 2004 • By DANIEL MCKIVERGAN
YESTERDAY, John Kerry repeated what has become a standard Kerry-Edwards campaign talking point: Saddam's Iraq had "no ties to al Qaeda," or, as Kerry recently told Time, Saddam Hussein had "nothing to do with al Qaeda."
These statements are false.
Numerous reports, ranging from those of the September 11 Commission to the Senate Intelligence Committee, have detailed a relationship between Saddam Hussein's Iraq and al Qaeda. In July, the co-chairman of the September 11 Commission, Governor Thomas Kean, stated "there was no question in our minds that there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda."
Or consider this, from the memoir of the former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, General Tommy Franks, American Soldier:
"One known terrorist, a Jordanian-born Palestinian named Abu Musab Zarqawi who had joined al Qaeda in Afghanistan--where he specialized in developing chemical and biological weapons--was now confirmed to operate from one of the camps in Iraq. Badly wounded fighting coalition forces in Afghanistan, Zarqawi had received medical treatment in Baghdad before setting up with Ansar al Islam. And evidence suggested that he had been joined there by other al Qaeda leaders, who had been ushered through Baghdad and given safe passage into northern Iraq by Iraqi security forces. . . . [p. 332] And while many al Qaeda leaders had been killed [in Afghanistan], others had sought sanctuary in Iraq. [p. 403]"
People can disagree over the necessity of gong to war to remove Saddam. But they should not deny facts in order to make it easier to sell their particular policy position.
Daniel McKivergan is deputy director of The Project for the New American Century.