More on the Saddam-9/11 link -- or not

The office of North Carolina Rep. Robin Hayes stands by his claim -- sort of -- that Saddam Hussein was "very much involved" in the attacks of 9/11.

By Tim Grieve
Published June 30, 2005 12:44PM (EDT)

Republican Rep. Robin Hayes' office is standing by -- sort of -- the congressman's claim Wednesday that Saddam Hussein had a hand in the attacks of 9/11. Carolyn Hern, Hayes communications director, told North Carolina's Independent Tribune Wednesday: We know Iraqis did not board the planes, but there is strong evidence a connection exists between Saddam and al Qaida. All he's sayings there is a connection between the two.

But that's not "all" that Hayes said, of course. In a CNN interview Wednesday, Hayes didn't just say that there's a "connection" betwen "Saddam and al Qaida." He said: "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."

Hayes suggested that members of Congress know things about 9/11 that the rest of us -- including, apparently, the members of the 9/11 Commission -- don't. His colleagues in Congress don't agree. John McCain said Wednesday that he's seen no compelling evidence of a link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11, and Rep. Brad Miller, a North Carolina Democrat, told the Independent Tribune that he hasn't, either. "Unless Robin is going to some tippy-top secret briefing, Im not sure what Robins source of information is," Miller said.

Hayes says that anyone who hasn't seen the evidence of Hussein's involvement in 9/11 just hasn't "looked in the right places." At the suggestion of a reader, we just went looking on Hayes' Web site. Sure enough, there's a link there for the "Hayes statement on terrorist attacks." It leads to Hayes' biography. We're not sure how the fact that Hayes has two kids and owns the Mt. Pleasant Hosiery Mill establishes a connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11. But we're the first to admit: Robin Hayes knows things that we don't.

Tim Grieve

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

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