"Dick Cheney Still Thinks Saddam Hussein Was Involved in 9/11"
In an interview on CNN, former Vice President Dick Cheney suggested that while there was no confirmation tying the deposed late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to the al Qaeda plot that brought down the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, the possibility still existed that there was collaboration.
Rather than telling host Wolf Blitzer that allegations about Hussien and 9/11 had been wrong, Cheney repeatedly said that there was no confirmation of the links:
BLITZER: But just to be precise, [Hussein] had no involvement with al Qaeda and planning or implementing 9/11?
CHENEY: He had no responsibility that we were ever able to confirm for 9/11. We were told right after 9/11, I received a briefing from the CIA provided to me by George Tenet that he had. [...]
BLITZER: But that turned out to be false?
CHENEY: Turned out to be false.
But at the time, he — supposedly, Mohamed Atta, who was the leader hijacker, had met with one of the senior officials of the Iraq intelligence service in Prague five months before 9/11. That was information provided to us by our intelligence.
BLITZER: False intelligence.
CHENEY: Yes, but you didn’t know it was false. The CIA didn’t come in and say this is false. There were months that went by that they in fact had that very much on their platter.
Now, in the final analysis, they were never able to confirm it. But initial reporting was that there had in fact been this cooperation if you will between Mohamed Atta and the head of Iraqi intelligence.
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CNN analyst Peter Bergen, commenting on the interview with Blitzer, said the “largest criminal investigation that has ever been being conducted in history” concluded that there were no ties:
[T]he United States government proved definitively that there was no link between Saddam and 9/11, that there was no meeting with Mohamed Atta, the lead hijacker, and the Iraq intelligence agent and that was known well before the war.
Another CNN analyst, Gloria Borger, said Cheney was the “last person standing who seemed to believe that Mohamed Atta had been in Prague that day” to meet with Iraqi intelligence about the 9/11 attacks.