According to a 2005 CIA report released today by the Senate Intelligence Committee, there is no evidence of a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda prior to the start of U.S. military action there in 2003. The report states that Hussein's Iraqi government "did not have a relationship, harbor, or turn a blind eye" with regard to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi or his al-Qaeda associates.
WH spokesman Tony Snow called it "nothing new" and spun it thus:
"In 2002 and 2003, members of both parties got a good look at the intelligence we had and they came to the very same conclusions about what was going on..."
Meanwhile, Senator John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) put it this way:
"[The Bush administration] exploited the deep sense of insecurity among Americans in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, leading a large majority of Americans to believe _ contrary to the intelligence assessments at the time _ that Iraq had a role in the 9/11 attacks."
Predictably, we have one side claiming that everyone, not just them, bought into faulty intelligence, while the other side claims innocence and points the finger. The way I see it, both sides have something to answer for. The Democrats, out of fear of looking like unpatriotic appeasers, let themselves be swept away in the current of Rove/Cheney/Rumsfeld's efforts to parlay the momentum of the successful operation in Afghanistan into the execution of a far more questionable mission in Iraq. But in the end, it's those in power (the Republicans) who should be held to final account for the screwups of the last four years. The buck always gets passed up, not down, and the guy at the top wears red.
This brings up an interesting question to ponder: Who is more wrong, the offender or his enablers?
Just a small dose of reality to counteract the upcoming pre-election 9-11 propagandathon.