During a Q&A session with the Foreign Relations Council, Donald Rumsfeld (who has been a bit invisible as the campaign heats up; strange considering the race includes a self-described war President, no?) had some interesting things to say about the possible relationship between Al Qaeda and Saddam. It will be interesting to see if Dick Cheney remains out on a related and increasingly lonely limb on this issue. Remember, a significant number of voters (more than enough to make a difference in these neck and neck times) still think there is a link between Saddam and 9-11.
Rummy on the connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda:
“I have seen the answer to that question migrate in the intelligence community over a period of a year in the most amazing way. Second, there are differences in the intelligence community as to what the relationship was. To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two … I just read an intelligence report recently about one person who’s connected to Al Qaeda who was in and out of Iraq. And it is the most tortured description of why he might have had a relationship and why he might not have had a relationship. It may have been something that was not representative of a hard linkage.”
Rummy in 2002:
“We have what we consider to be very reliable reporting of senior-level contacts going back a decade, and of possible chemical and biological agent training. And when I say contacts, I mean between Iraq and Al Qaeda.”
Rummy on the reasons for war:
“[Saddam] ran a vicious regime that had used weapons of mass destruction on its own people, as well as its neighbors, and that it was important to set that right by removing that regime before they, in fact, did gather weapons of mass destruction, either themselves or transferring them to terrorist networks. It turns out that we have not found weapons of mass destruction.”