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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
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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.



Previous Campaign Memos:



Lugar's Other Comments, The media played up Richard Lugar's recent remarks about President Bush; will they do the same with his assessment of Senator Kerry? September 21, 2004

For Kerry, It's Always Vietnam, The subtext of John Kerry's Monday morning Iraq speech. September 20, 2004

Kerry's Flip-Flopping on Russia, The senator has two views on promoting democracy in Russia, too. September 16, 2004

Wrong Choices, A look at John Kerry's record. September 15, 2004

Another New Kerry Position on Iraq . . . and the same one on Vietnam. September 15, 2004

Kerry and the "Direct Link," The Kerry campaign is distorting Dick Cheney's words. September 13, 2004

Kerry's North Korea Non-policy, John Kerry calls the New York Times with complaints, but no plan. September 13, 2004

If John Kerry Were President, . . . Saddam would still be in power. September 8, 2004

Kerry vs. Kerry, What does "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time" mean? September 7, 2004

The Kerry Record, What John Kerry about foreign policy and defense in 1984 and 1985. September 3, 2004

It Was This Big . . ., Does John Kerry still believe that the terror threat is an "exaggeration"? September 1, 2004

John Edwards: Disrespecting Our Allies, America isn't acting alone. September 1, 2004

No Bargain, The "grand bargain" John Kerry and John Edwards are prepared to offer Iran deserves serious scrutiny. September 1, 2004