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Cheney Still Associates Hussein With 9/11

September 22, 2003

In "So Which Story Is It?" (editorial, Sept. 19), The Times trumpets as a damning admission President Bush's statement denying evidence of a link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11 but downplays the rest of what the president said -- that "there's no question that Saddam Hussein had Al Qaeda ties."

Indeed, Iraq provided money, intelligence, training and weapons to numerous terrorist groups. Hussein funded Palestinian suicide bombers. He sent money to the Abu Sayyaf terrorists in the Philippines, a group linked to Al Qaeda. He maintained a training camp at Salman Pak near Baghdad where foreign terrorists practiced hijacking aircraft using only knives. He harbored terrorists like Abu Nidal and other members of his group. Whether Hussein was directly involved in 9/11 is an open question, but regardless of the answer, he was up to his neck in terrorism. The Times does a disservice to its readers and to the country by downplaying America's achievement in removing him from power.

Steven Zak

Sunland

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Now that Bush has clarified that there is no proof to connect Iraq and 9/11 (Sept. 18), what think the 70% of Americans who, according to recent polls, had made the connection? And more important, how did 70% of Americans come to think this?

To answer the latter, one need only to have listened to Vice President Dick Cheney's remarks on "Meet the Press" on Sept. 14, where he announced that success in Iraq would be a major blow to "the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault for many years, but most especially on 9/11." As our president attempts damage control, our vice president continues the deception.

How very scary -- and if the 70% don't feel duped right now by Bush's propaganda machine, then truth and ethics in America have the same status as weapons of mass destruction: missing.

Bill Rolfing

Laguna Beach

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As someone who supported the war based on the evidence presented by the administration, I am both shocked and awed by the hubris of its continual assertions. Not only have no weapons been found, the supposed connection of Hussein to 9/11 was rebuffed just two days after the vice president, on television, said it does exist.

Now we get "Payments to Cheney Questioned" (Sept. 17), on how the vice president is still receiving money from his former company, Halliburton, which won a no-bid, open-ended contract in Iraq. Am I missing something here? I would greatly appreciate it if someone in this great country of ours could explain to me why lying about sex is such a greater offense than any of the lies put forth by Bush and his administration. Who is going to be held accountable?

Ron Grinblat

Tarzana

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I was initially skeptical about the recent polls showing that 70% of the American public believes there was a connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks. But, after watching Cheney's performance on "Meet the Press," it turns out indeed there was and is a very clear connection -- it just happens to be in Cheney's head!

Bill Palace

Los Angeles

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