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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Commission Staff Finds No Hussein Link to 9/11

June 18, 2004

Re "No Signs of Iraq-Al Qaeda Ties Found," June 17: President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have repeated endlessly their contention that Iraq had close and supportive ties with Al Qaeda. This was one of their justifications for taking the nation to war.

The 9/11 commission staff report has now made abundantly clear that there is "no credible evidence" of ties between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. Iraq had nothing whatsoever to do with the attacks of 9/11.

The Bush-Cheney technique is clear: Repeat a lie over and over again in the secure knowledge that at least some of the people will be fooled. Not so long ago we impeached a president who lied about a sexual relationship with a White House intern. How many lives were lost as a result of Bill Clinton's lies?

Donald Broder

Studio City

The headline "No Signs of Iraq-Al Qaeda Ties Found" is not only misleading, it is untrue.

The article says that "Bin Laden also 'explored' possible cooperation with Iraq" and that "Bin Laden allowed a senior Iraqi intelligence officer to make three visits to Sudan, and to finally meet with him personally in 1994." It continues, "At that time, [the report] added, Bin Laden is said to have requested space to establish training camps and assistance in procuring weapons." Looks like "signs" of a tie to me.

The fact that there is no smoking gun linking Iraq to 9/11 does not mean there was no relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

Sue Sailhamer

Fullerton

No weapons of mass destruction. No link to Al Qaeda. Billions of dollars wasted (or, it appears in the case of Halliburton, stolen). Hundreds of Americans dead, thousands of Iraqis dead, maimed or tortured -- and, it turns out, no more of a threat to America than killer bees.

Meanwhile, the true enemy of America and our way of life, Al Qaeda, is stronger than ever because we have made the Muslim world believe an "evil empire" exists -- us. Bush keeps telling us that Iraq is better off without Hussein, but is America better off than we were before we invaded? Have we reduced the threat of terror or increased it?

Larry Berardino

Redondo Beach

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