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Friday, January 09, 2004

Secretary Powell: No evidence of link between Iraq and al Qaeda

This New York Times story by Christopher Marquis goes even further than President Bush did back in September, when he pointed out the lack of evidence linking Iraq to 9/11. Now, administration officials admit they have no evidence even linking Iraq to al Qaeda. :
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell conceded Thursday that despite his assertions to the United Nations last year, he had no "smoking gun" proof of a link between the government of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and terrorists of Al Qaeda.

"I have not seen smoking-gun, concrete evidence about the connection," Mr. Powell said, in response to a question at a news conference. "But I think the possibility of such connections did exist, and it was prudent to consider them at the time that we did."

Mr. Powell's remarks on Thursday were a stark admission that there is no definitive evidence to back up administration statements and insinuations that Saddam Hussein had ties to Al Qaeda, the acknowledged authors of the Sept. 11 attacks.
The story also acknowledges that the Bush administration has withdrawn 400 weapons inspectors from Iraq who were looking for chemical and biological arms.

Repeat this chorus: no WMD, no link to 9/11 and no link to al Qaeda. And all these are now facts acknowledged by top Bush administration officials.

Saddam Hussein was a really bad guy, but he was a bad guy when the US found common ground with him in the 1980s. And he was a bad guy locked in a box of sanctions and deterrence.

The war in Iraq was horribly misguided policy, diverting resources from the real war on terror. This is all redundant coming from me, of course, but I'm going to keep saying it until Americans hold the political leaders accountable.

Bush et al must go.

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