Condoleezza Rice told Charlie Rose yesterday that no one in the White House pushed a link between Iraq and 9/11:
ROSE: But you didn’t believe it had anything to do with 9/11.
RICE: No. No one was arguing that Saddam Hussein somehow had something to do with 9/11.
ROSE: No one.
RICE: I was certainly not. The President was certainly not. … That’s right. We were not arguing that.
The truth is that the White House repeatedly made that linkage, and it is demonstrably provable that they intentionally made that linkage even though they knew it was false.
As I wrote in 2005:
“Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda”.
In addition, a Defense Intelligence Terrorism Summary issued in February 2002 by the United States Defense Intelligence Agency cast significant doubt on the possibility of a Saddam Hussein-al-Qaeda conspiracy.
And yet Bush, Cheney and other top administration officials claimed and continue to claim that Saddam was behind 9/11. See this analysis. Indeed, Bush administration officials apparently swore in a lawsuit that Saddam was behind 9/11.
Indeed, President Bush’s March 18, 2003 letter to Congress authorizing the use of force against Iraq, includes the following paragraph:
(2) acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.
Therefore, Bush expressly justified the Iraq war to Congress by representing that Iraq planned, authorized, committed, or aided the 9/11 attacks.
Grounds for impeachment based on 9-11 lies are just as important as those based on lies regarding Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Why? Because the administration’s false claims about Saddam and 9/11 helped convince a large portion of the American public to support the invasion of Iraq. While the focus now may be on false WMD claims, it is important to remember that, at the time, the Saddam-911 link was at least as important in many people’s minds as a reason to invade Iraq….
Indeed, the WMD hoax probably would not have worked if it wasn’t for the anti-Arab hysteria after September 11th. And the government policy of torture would not have been tolerated if we weren’t misled into thinking that Saddam and Al-Qaeda had formed an unholy, all-powerful alliance on 9/11, and had to be stopped at any cost. Thus, I would argue that the Saddam-911 deception was a necessary precursor to the administration’s WMD lies and torture policies.
And polls show that almost 90% of the troops in Iraq are under the mistaken belief that the U.S. mission in that country is “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9-11 attacks.” In other words, our kids are fighting and dying because of this lie….
It has also just been revealed that 5 hours after the 9/11 attacks, Rumsfeld said “my interest is to hit Saddam”. This confirms previous reports that hours after the 9/11 attacks, Rumsfeld said “Go massive . . . Sweep it all up. Things related and not.” And at 2:40 p.m. on September 11th, in a memorandum of discussions between top administration officials, several lines below the statement “judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. [that is, Saddam Hussein] at same time”, is the statement “Hard to get a good case.” In other words, top officials knew that there wasn’t a good case that Hussein was behind 9/11, but they wanted to use the 9/11 attacks as an excuse to justify war with Iraq anyway.
(See also this).
But Cheney now claims that the White House never said Bin Laden was behind 9/11.