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Cheney Ignores Senate Intel Report, Cites Zarqawi As Evidence of Iraq/Al Qaeda Connection

By Judd Legum on September 10, 2006 at 11:06 am

"Cheney Ignores Senate Intel Report, Cites Zarqawi As Evidence of Iraq/Al Qaeda Connection"

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On Friday, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report that concluded there was no relationship between Saddam Hussein and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. According to the report, “a CIA assessment in October 2005 concluded that Hussein’s government ‘did not have a relationship, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi and his associates.’” In fact, Hussein tried to capture Zarqawi.

This morning on Meet the Press, Cheney repeatedly cited Zarqawi as the link between pre-war Iraq and al-Qaeda. When Tim Russert mentioned the Senate Intelligence Committee report, Cheney said he “hadn’t seen it.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2006/09/cheney.320.240.flv]

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Transcript:

CHENEY: You’ve got Iraq and Al Qaeda, testimony from the Director of C.I.A. that there was indeed a relationship — Zarqawi in baghdad. et cetera. Then the

RUSSERT: The committee said there was no relationship. in fact saddam —

CHENEY: I haven’t seen the report. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

RUSSERT: But Mr. Vice President the bottom line is…

CHENEY: We know that Zarqawi running the terrost camp in Afghanistan prior to 9/11. After we went in after 9/11, then fled and went to Baghdad and set up operations in Baghdad in the spring of 2002 and was there and then basically until the time we launched into Iraq.

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