Bush Did Not Lie!… Saddam Officials Had "Good Relationship" With Zarqawi …Update: Sen. Bond Responds

The US knew that Al-Qaeda and Al-Zarqawi had a “good relationship” with Saddam Hussein officials before the war:

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Page 67- Senate Intelligence Committee Phase II Report on Public Statements
June, 2008

This news from the WaPo today is as shocking as seeing Hillary Clinton suspend her campaign.

Fred Hiatt at The Washington Post reported- “Bush didn’t lie!”

The Anchoress is rubbing her head wondering what got into the media to suddenly admit that Bush did not lie.
She wrote a wonderful history of the antiwar crowds’ favorite chant about Bush and included this from 2003:

One reads this and thinks…it’s really too bad that when this story of Dems on the Intel Committee plotting against Bush broke in 2003, the mainstream press ignored it, taking umbrage that anyone would leak a memo (!) while ignoring its content.

Ed Morrissey at HotAir adds analysis on the prewar intelligence.

And, the New York Sun has an amazing report on last week’s Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on prewar intelligence.

The report describes direct links between Saddam Hussein officials and Al-Qaeda leader Al-Zarqawi before the war began.

This document discovered after the invastion shows photos of Al-Qaeda leader Al-Zarqawi. (Dread Pundit Bluto)
ISGZ-2004-019920
2002 Iraqi Intelligence Correspondence concerning the presence of al-Qaida Members in Iraq. Correspondence between IRS members on a suspicion, later confirmed, of the presence of an Al-Qaeda terrorist group. Moreover, it includes photos and names.

The New York Sun reported:

On many key judgments before the war, the report itself found that statements on Iraq’s biological weapons capacity, its nuclear and chemical weapons programs, the president and his cabinet secretaries generally followed the intelligence assessments of the spy services. On some issues there was disagreement. When Mr. Cheney said in September 2002 that he did not know if Al Qaeda and Iraq cooperated on the September 11, 2001, attacks, the CIA and FBI believed at that point there was no connection.

…President Bush believed the nation could not take the risk that they could. But on the question of meaningful links between Al Qaeda and Iraq, something the anti-war movement believes never existed, the evidence suggests a more nuanced picture than Mr. Rockefeller has portrayed. This is where Mr. Ford’s January 31, 2003, memo comes into play.

Mr. Ford’s memo came on the eve of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His words demolish a talking point for Democrats who still say Al Qaeda had nothing to do with Iraq until the coalition of the willing invaded. Mr. Ford wrote that the former emir of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab Zarqawi “has had a good relationship with Iraqi intelligence officials.” He added that intelligence on Qaeda “revealed the presence of safe house facilities in the city as well as the clear intent to remain in Baghdad. Also, foreign NGO workers outside of Iraq who are believed to provide support to al-Qaeda have also expressed their intent to set up shop in Baghdad.”

Bummer. It looks like the Democrats forgot to scrub that memo from their latest political hit piece before it was released.

Previously:
Picture Proof: The Saddam-Al Qaeda Connections
NYT: Saddam Was a Year Away from Building A-Bomb!
The Saddam-Al Qaeda Links: In Photos and Video

UPDATE: I just got off the phone with Senator Bond’s office.
Senator Bond (R-MO) is the Minority Leader and Vice-Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

A spokesman for Senator Bond this morning told me that the July 2004 report blamed flawed intelligence. The previous bipartisan report did not distort the facts on prewar intelligence unlike last week’s report that blamed the Bush Administration.

The 2004 report gained unanimous support from the committee members. Last week only 2 Republican senators signed on to the report.

The Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee had the same prewar intelligence as President Bush. In this latest Phase II report, the minority was entirely shut out of the process. The Demorats willingly distorted this intelligence report.

The type of partisan gamemanship displayed in the report is disgraceful.

The intelligence committee was sure that Al-Qaeda was operating in Iraq before the war.

UPDATE 2: Thomas Joscelyn at The Weekly Standard has more on the Saddam and Al-Qaeda links.

UPDATE 3: Rockefeller did lie, though.

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