The Washington Post has revealed that while President Bush publicly said last October there was a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, top secret intelligence reports circulating within the Administration at the time questioned any such link.
One still classified report, the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, represented the consensus of the U.S. intelligence community. The Post reports that it contained cautionary language about Iraq’s connections with al Qaeda. It also questioned the reliability of conflicting reports by Iraqi defectors and captured al Qaeda members.
But this cautionary report did not stop Bush in an Oct. 7 speech in Cincinnati from telling the country that Iraq posed an immediate threat because of its weapons of mass destruction and links to Al Qaeda. Four days later, Congress overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution granting the president authority to wage a preemptive war.