Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Cheney Admits No Iraq-Al Qaeda Link, Sorta

Dick Cheney has been a busy talker these past few weeks, and to continue the trend, he had no short supply of comments yesterday. Apart from the pro-gay marriage statement, there was also a mention of the supposed link between Iraq and al-Qaeda. Back before the war the Bush Administration and Cheney specifically made heavy use of a purported connection between Hussein and the terrorists that attacked us as a rationale to go to war with Iraq. Several years later, he has finally begun to acquiesce on that point, just a little bit.

From Bloomberg:

June 1 (Bloomberg) -- Former Vice President Dick Cheney disavowed intelligence he once cited to suggest that then-Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein collaborated with al-Qaeda to stage the Sept. 11 attacks.

Cheney said today that information by the Central Intelligence Agency of collaboration between Iraq and al-Qaeda on Sept. 11 “turned out not to be true.” Still, Cheney said a longstanding relationship existed between Hussein and terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda, that justified the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

“I thought it was strong at the time and I still feel so today,” Cheney said at a National Press Club lunch in Washington. “There was a relationship between al-Qaeda and Iraq that stretched back 10 years. That’s not something I made up.” Citing 2002 Senate testimony by George Tenet, then the CIA director, he said, “We know for a fact that Saddam Hussein was a state sponsor of terrorism."

We also know for a fact, that Dick was using false intelligence to make claims that were simply not true. We knew it then, he knew it then, but only now is he beginning to admit that there was no smoking gun, even if he still tries to push that there was a valid reason to invade and occupy Iraq.