Cheney contradicts DOD on al Qaeda connection


Geraldine Sealey
January 23, 2004 3:16AM (UTC)

Dick Cheney told a Rocky Mountain News interviewer this month that "the best source of information" to learn about the purported relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida is a Weekly Standard story from the Nov. 24, 2003, issue.

Here's what Cheney actually told the RMN (courtesy of the Center for American Progress, who pointed this out): "Was there a relationship between al Qaeda and Iraq, between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, or the al Qaeda and the Iraqi intelligence service? With respect to ... the general relationship, I would refer you ... There are several places you can go. One place you ought to go look is an article that Stephen Hayes did in the Weekly Standard here a few weeks ago, that goes through and lays out in some detail, based on an assessment that was done by the Department of Defense and forwarded to the Senate Intelligence Committee some weeks ago. That's your best source of information."

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But weeks before, right after the Hayes piece ran, the Pentagon knocked it down, saying it was based on raw reports that were classified. "The classified annex was not an analysis of the substantive issue of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda, and it drew no conclusions," the DOD release said.

Who is right, the Pentagon or Cheney?


Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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