No Credible Evidence


PRESIDENT BUSH (2/8/03): "Saddam Hussein has longstanding, direct and continuing ties to terrorist networks. Senior members of Iraqi intelligence and Al Qaeda have met at least eight times since the early 1990s. Iraq has sent bomb-making and document-forgery experts to work with Al-Qaeda. Iraq has also provided Al Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training. And an Al-Qaeda operative was sent to Iraq several times in the 1990s for help in acquiring poisons and gases. We also know Iraq is harboring a terrorist network headed by a senior Al Qaeda terrorist planner. This network runs a poison and explosive training camp in northeast Iraq, and many of its leaders are known to be in Baghdad."

9/11 BI-PARTISAN COMMISSION PANEL (2/16/04): "We have no credible evidence that Iraq and Al-Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States."

 

VICE-PRESIDENT CHENEY (9/14/03): "We learned more and more that there was a relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda that stretched back through most of the decade of the '90s, that it involved training, … that Al Qaeda sent personnel to Baghdad to get trained on the systems that are involved. The Iraqis providing bomb-making expertise and advice to the Al Qaeda organization."

 

9/11 BI-PARTISAN COMMISSION PANEL (2/16/04): "We have no credible evidence that Iraq and Al-Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States."

 

DONALD RUMSFELD (11/2/03): "We weren't going into Iraq when we were hit in 9/11…. If you know there are terrorists and you know there's terrorist states... and you know there are countries harboring terrorists…. You simply have to take the battle to them."

 

9/11 BI-PARTISAN COMMISSION PANEL (2/16/04): "We have no credible evidence that Iraq and Al-Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States."

 

CONDOLEEZZA RICE (11/28/03): "No one has said there is evidence that Saddam Hussein directed or controlled 9/11, but let's be very clear, he had ties to Al Qaeda."

 

9/11 BI-PARTISAN COMMISSION PANEL (2/16/04): "We have no credible evidence that Iraq and Al-Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States."

 

COLIN POWELL (2/5/03): "But what I want to bring to your attention today is the potentially much more sinister nexus between Iraq and the Al Qaeda terrorists network, a nexus that combines classic terrorist organizations and modern methods of murder."

 

9/11 BI-PARTISAN COMMISSION PANEL (2/16/04): "We have no credible evidence that Iraq and Al-Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States."

 

PRESIDENT BUSH (5/1/03): "The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We have removed an ally of Al Qaeda and cut off a source of terrorist funding. And this much is certain--No terrorist network will gain weapons of mass destruction from the Iraqi regime, because that regime is no more."

 

9/11 BI-PARTISAN COMMISSION PANEL (2/16/04): "We have no credible evidence that Iraq and Al-Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States."

 

Say what you will now--that Hussein was a brutal dictator, that he killed his own people, etc.--but the centerpiece of our reasoning for invading Iraq was 9/11.

 

When we invaded Iraq, polls taken at that time indicated that over 50 percent of Americans answered yes to the question: Do you think Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? As of two months ago, 40 percent of Americans still answered yes to that question.

 

We were fighting a war against terrorism--first and foremost. This nation was attacked, and we were responding to that attack so that it would never happen again.

 

This administration led us to war in Iraq because of 9/11. Yet, we have no credible evidence that Iraq and Al-Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States.

 

Thus, either this administration lied or it is incompetent. You choose. The bottom line is that we were wrong.

 

Okay, now let's cleanse ourselves. Repeat after me: "We have no credible evidence that Iraq and Al-Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States." Then say: "No weapons of mass destruction were in Iraq." Come on, I know you can say it. Just start by sounding out the words.

 

Yes--it is easier to believe in ideologies rather than acknowledging the facts. I know it is hard to proclaim the truth, but trust me--the truth will set you free.

 

Miguel De La Torre, a Cuban American, is professor of theologies of liberation at Hope College in Holland, Mich. He is a graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a former Baptist pastor in Kentucky. His column also appears in the Holland Sentinel.

 

Order Miguel De La Torre's book Reading the Bible from the Margins now from Amazon.com

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