‘Wash Post’: New Report Finds No Prewar Al-Qaeda/Iraq Link

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By: E&P Staff

A front-page Washington Post article on Friday directly contradicts a statement by Vice President Cheney on a radio show on Thursday.

The Post’s R. Jeffrey Smith reports that captured Iraqi documents and interrogations of Saddam Hussein and two former aides “all confirmed that Hussein’s regime was not directly cooperating with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, according to a declassified Defense Department report released yesterday.

“The declassified version of the report, by acting Inspector General Thomas F. Gimble, also contains new details about the intelligence community’s prewar consensus that the Iraqi government and al-Qaeda figures had only limited contacts, and its judgments that reports of deeper links were based on dubious or unconfirmed information. The report had been released in summary form in February.”

Coincidentally, the report’s release came as Cheney, appearing on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program, repeated his oft-voiced allegation that al-Qaeda was operating inside Iraq “before we ever launched” the war. Cheney used this in arguing now that withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq would “play right into the hands of al-Qaeda.”

The complete article is available at www.washingtonpost.com.

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