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Bush rejects Saddam 9/11 link

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  • Ram Lau
    Bush rejects Saddam 9/11 link http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3118262.stm US President George Bush has said there is no evidence that Saddam Hussein was
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 8, 2006
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      Bush rejects Saddam 9/11 link
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3118262.stm

      US President George Bush has said there is no evidence that Saddam
      Hussein was involved in the 11 September attacks.

      The comments - among his most explicit so far on the issue - come
      after a recent opinion poll found that nearly 70% of Americans
      believed the Iraqi leader was personally involved in the attacks.

      Mr Bush did however repeat his belief that the former Iraqi president
      had ties to al-Qaeda - the group widely regarded as responsible for
      the attacks on New York and Washington.

      Critics of the war on Iraq have accused the US administration of
      deliberately encouraging public confusion to generate support for
      military action.

      "We have no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the 11
      September attacks." President Bush.

      At a time when the credibility of government intelligence and
      information is under the spotlight, President Bush probably had little
      choice but to scotch the confusion, says the BBC's Ian Pannell in
      Washington.

      But if the public believes that they were given the wrong impression
      by the administration, then there may be a political cost involved
      with the presidential campaign under way, our correspondent says.

      Lack of clarity

      "We have no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the 11
      September attacks," Mr Bush told reporters as he met members of
      Congress on energy legislation.

      Many Americans believe that some of the hijackers were Iraqi - when
      none were - and that the attacks had been orchestrated by Baghdad,
      despite any concrete evidence to support that.

      This confusion has been partly attributed to, at best a lack of
      clarity by the administration and at worst, deliberate obfuscation,
      correspondents say.

      As recently as last Sunday, Vice-President Dick Cheney, refused to
      rule out a link between Iraq and 11 September, saying "'we don't know".

      "We will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if
      you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who've had us under
      assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11."

      Jordanian link

      On Wednesday, Mr Bush said Mr Cheney was right about suspicions of a
      link between Iraq and al-Qaeda, citing the case of Jordanian Abu Musab
      al-Zarqawi, a leader of an Islamic group in northern Iraq called Ansar
      al-Islam believed to have links to al-Qaeda.

      The US believes Mr Zarqawi received medical treatment in Baghdad and
      helped to orchestrate the assassination of a US diplomat in Jordan.

      And Mr Bush denied there had been any attempt by his administration to
      try to confuse people about links between Saddam Hussein and 11 September.

      "What the vice-president said was is that he [Saddam] has been
      involved with al-Qaeda.

      "And Zarqawi, an al-Qaeda operative, was in Baghdad. He's the guy that
      ordered the killing of a US diplomat... There's no question that
      Saddam Hussein had al-Qaeda ties."
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