“But they went in to fight us. So since we weren’t there, why would they have gone into Iraq?” Zakaria countered.
“Why have they gone into Yemen and Somalia?” Rumsfeld asked. “Why do al Qaeda go anywhere? They go where it’s hospitable.”
“Right, and Iraq hadn’t been hospitable,” Zakaria said.
A Department of Defense Inspector General report declassified in 2007 debunked claims that Pentagon official Douglas Feith had made to bolster the Bush administration case for war, that there was a connection between Iraq and al Qaeda.
“The Feith office alternative intelligence assessments concluded that Iraq and al Qaeda were cooperating and had a ‘mature, symbiotic’ relationship, a view that was not supported by the available intelligence, and was contrary to the consensus view of the Intelligence Community,” Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin said in a statement.
In fact, George Piro, the former FBI agent who interrogated Saddam Hussein, confirmed to CBS News that the Iraqi dictator had viewed Osama bin Laden as a threat.
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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