Repudiates Henry Hyde:
MR. RUSSERT: Yesterday, very painful memories of September 11, parents and grandparents remembering their loved ones. Henry Hyde, the chairman of the House International Relations Committee, said this on Thursday. “There is a direct connection between the war in Iraq and the bombing of September 11th. Our response to that bombing of September 11th was Iraq – and based on the best information available.”
Is that true?
SEC’Y POWELL: I have no indication that there was a direct connection between the terrorists who perpetrated these crimes against us on the 11th of September, 2001, and the Iraqi regime. We know that there had been connections and there had been exchanges between al-Qaeda and the Saddam Hussein regime and those have been pursued and looked at, but I have seen nothing that makes a direct connection between Saddam Hussein and that awful regime and what happened on 9/11.
Has second thoughts about attacking Iraq:
MR. RUSSERT: If you knew today that Saddam did not have those weapons of mass destruction, would you still advocate an invasion? SEC’Y POWELL: I would have to look at the total picture and we’d have to sit down and talk about his intention to have such weapons, the capability that was inherent.
MR. RUSSERT: Do you believe if John Kerry was elected and we were attacked by terrorists, he would simply treat it as a criminal act? Or would he deal with it in a robust way, an act of war?
SEC’Y POWELL: I can’t tell you how he might respond to it. As commander in chief, I think he’d respond in a robust way.