On the eve of the vice presidential debate Donald Rumsfeld states that there were no ties between Iraq and al Qaeda:
“I have seen the answer to that question migrate in the intelligence community over the period of a year in the most amazing way,” Mr. Rumsfeld said when asked about ties between Mr. Hussein and the terror network run by Osama bin Laden. Senior administration officials cited the existence of ties between them as a rationale for war on Iraq.
“Second, there are differences in the intelligence community as to what the relationship was,” Mr. Rumsfeld said at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. “To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two.”
He said that even Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born terrorist leader blamed for some of the most violent attacks inside Iraq since the end of major combat operations, probably had no formal allegiance to Mr. bin Laden, although “they’re just two peas in a pod in terms of what they’re doing.”