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7/14/2004

Weird Correction

This Knight Ridder story starts out:

President Bush continued to insist Monday that there was an operational link between former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida despite reports by the Senate Intelligence Committee and the commission that's investigating the Sept. 11 attacks that there was no evidence that Saddam and Islamic terrorists collaborated to kill Americans.
It bases the claim that Bush asserted an operational link on this evidence:
"Although we have not found stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, we were right to go into Iraq," the president said. "We removed a declared enemy of America, who had the capability of producing weapons of mass murder, and could have passed that capability to terrorists bent on acquiring them."

He added: "In the world after September 11th, that was a risk we could not afford to take."

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said Bush was speaking broadly about "the nexus between terrorists and outlaw regimes." Asked if the president was speaking about a Saddam-al-Qaida connection, McClellan said, "We know there were ties between Iraq and terrorists, including al-Qaida."

McClellan noted that Abu Musab al Zarqawi, a Palestinian from Jordan held responsible for numerous terrorist attacks in Iraq and who ran an al-Qaida camp in Afghanistan, was a "senior al-Qaida" member who was in Iraq.
That sounds like a tough, but reasonable interpretation of Bush's statement. But appended to the bottom of the article is this correction:
President Bush's comments Monday about terrorism were incorrectly reported in that saying the president insisted there was an operational link between al Qaida and Saddam Hussein. The president suggested that such a link existed, but didn’t explicitly make that connection. His comments, as correctly reported in the story, were: "Although we have not found stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, we were right to go into Iraq. We removed a declared enemy of America, who had the capability of producing weapons of mass murder, and could have passed that capability to terrorists bent on acquiring them. In the world after September 11th, that was a risk we could not afford to take."
Sounds like they got a talking to. The whole article is good, continuing the trend of Knight Ridder producing the best intelligence reporting.

 

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