Earlier in the week the 9/11 commission’s announced it had found no credible evidence that Iraq aided Al Qaeda in the Sept. 11 attacks and that Saddam Hussein and Al Qaida had never established close ties.
This finding directly contradicts earlier statements from both President Bush and Vice President Cheney. On Thursday both appeared publicly to claim again that such ties did indeed exist
President Bush spoke at the White House: “The reason I keep insisting that there is a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al Qaeda, because there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda.”
Cheney added, “The fact of the matter is, the evidence is overwhelming.”
Meanwhile over at the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said if the US fails in Iraq it is not because of what took place on the battlefield but how the media has portrayed it. He said: “This much is certain: coalition forces cannot be defeated on the battlefield. The only way this effort could fail is if people were to be persuaded that the cause is lost or that it’s not worth the pain, or if those who seem to measure progress in Iraq against a more perfect world convince others to throw in the towel.”
Rumsfeld also admitted on Thursday that he ordered an Iraqi man to be secretly held without giving giving him an official detainee number or informing the International Committee of the Red Cross of his existence.