Saddam Hussein regarded al-Qaida as a threat rather than a possible ally, a Senate report says, contradicting assertions President Bush has used to build support for the war in Iraq.
Released Friday, the report discloses for the first time an October 2005 CIA assessment that before the war, Saddam’s government “did not have a relationship, harbor or turn a blind eye toward” al-Qaida operative Abu Musab al-Zarqawi or his associates.
According to the report, postwar findings indicate that Saddam “was distrustful of al-Qaida and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime.”
It said al-Zarqawi was in Baghdad from May until late November 2002. But “postwar information indicates that Saddam Hussein attempted, unsuccessfully, to locate and capture al-Zarqawi and that the regime did not have a relationship with, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi.”
Oh well – Bush certainly spoke truthiness to the power that was Saddam Hussein, so what he did was good either way. After all, 99.2% of Iraqis weren’t killed by coalition forces, religious fundamentalists have the right to practice their beliefs and to force them on others, and the Shi’ites are proving the rule that oppressed groups that become empowered use their power to oppress other groups.