GOP congressman: Saddam had a hand in 9/11

In an interview with CNN, Republican Rep. Robin Hayes says that anyone who hasn't seen evidence of Saddam's involvement just hasn't looked in the right places.

By Tim Grieve

Published June 29, 2005 7:01PM (EDT)

What were we saying this morning about Republicans who have internalized the idea --- all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding -- that Saddam Hussein was involved in the attacks of Sept. 11? It turns out that it's not just random Republican voters around the country who think that way; the Republican vice chairman of the House subcommittee on terrorism apparently does, too.

In an interview about the president's Iraq speech, North Carolina Rep. Robin Hayes told CNN this morning that Saddam Hussein was "very much involved in 9/11."

According to the transcript of the interview, CNN's Carol Costello told Hayes, "But there is no evidence that Saddam Hussein was connected in any way to al-Qaida." Hayes' response: "Ma'am, I'm sorry, but you're mistaken. There's evidence everywhere. We get access to it. Unfortunately others don't. But the evidence is very clear." Costello asked, "What evidence is there?" Hayes responded: "The connection between individuals who were connected to Saddam Hussein, folks who worked for him, we've seen it time and time again."

Costello narrowed her question: "Well, are you saying that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11?" Hayes' answer: "I'm saying that Saddam Hussein -- and I think you're losing track of what we're trying to talk about here -- Saddam Hussein and people like him were very much involved in 9/11."

When Costello said that there is "no evidence" to support the claim that Hussein was involved in 9/11, Hayes shot back: "Well, I'm sorry, you haven't looked in the right places."

Dick Cheney said back in 2003 that "its not surprising that people make" the "connection" between Saddam Hussein and 9/11. With the sort of insinuation and innuendo that ran through Bush's speech last night -- and the explicit lies of people like Hayes -- we've got to agree with the vice president this once. It's not surprising at all.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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