News

US Senate Report Rules Out al-Qaida Link with Saddam

A report by a Senate committee says there is no evidence former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had any relationship with the al-Qaida terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi or his associates before the U.S. and allied forces invaded Iraq in 2003.

The report is part of an ongoing investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has been looking into intelligence used to justify the invasion of Iraq, it was widely thought at the time to eliminate weapons of mass destruction.

According to the 400 page document, an assessment by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 2005 stated that before U.S. and allied forces invaded, the Saddam Hussein regime did not, in the words of the report, have a relationship, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi and his associates.

President Bush and other administration officials have acknowledged that no evidence has emerged to show a direct link between Saddam and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

However, the president, along with Vice President Dick Cheney and other key officials have maintained that Zarqawi's presence in Iraq before the war constituted proof of an al-Qaida connection. 

At a news conference Friday, Senate Democrats asserted the report proves that the Bush administration sought to exploit the fears Americans had in the wake of the 2001 al-Qaida attacks in New York and Washington to justify military action in Iraq.

On the basis of the report, Senator John Rockefeller, the committee's ranking Democrat, says the administration's case for war in Iraq was, in his words, fundamentally misleading.

"Most disturbingly the administration in its zeal to promote public opinion in the U.S. for toppling Saddam Hussein pursued a deceptive strategy prior to the war," he said.

The Senate Intelligence Committee investigation has sparked intense partisan battles on Capitol Hill, with Democrats charging Senate Pat Roberts, the Republican chairman, with deliberately slowing down the probe.

Senator Roberts has strongly denied these allegations.  Statements by committee Democrats, he said in a written statement Friday, are little more than a rehashing of the same unfounded allegations they've used for over three years.

White House spokesman Tony Snow took the same approach, repeating the argument that Democrats had access to the same intelligence the Bush administration had prior to military action in 2003.

But Senator Carl Levin says what he calls unrelenting, misleading and deceptive attempts to convince Americans of the existence of links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida had far-reaching effects.

"And to make repeated public statements that gave the misleading impression that Saddam Hussein's regime was connected to the terrorists who attacked us on September 11 cost him [President Bush] any credibility that he may have had on this issue," he said,

The release of the second part of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report comes just days before Americans observe the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

In its final report on intelligence and other failures leading to the 2001 attacks, the independent 9/11 Commission also found that there had been no collaborative relationship between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs