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Iraq's Ties to Al Qaeda at Crux of the Debate

June 20, 2004

Re "Despite Findings, Bush Sees Iraq Tie to Al Qaeda," June 18: Leading up to our attack and invasion of Iraq, President Bush asserted that Saddam Hussein was an immediate threat because he possessed weapons of mass destruction and was likely to supply them to Al Qaeda. Now Bush defies the investigative findings of the 9/11 commission staff, which determined that there were no ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda, let alone some form of "dealing."

Die-hard supporters of Bush have continued to accept or ignore his repeated lies, while tens of thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of Americans have been slaughtered. Isn't it time for all people who care about what's right to admit the truth about Bush's lies?

Rick Palardy

Temecula

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There was a meeting in Sudan between Osama bin Laden and a senior Iraqi intelligence officer in 1994. There was an operational Al Qaeda base in northern Iraq. The administration never stated that Saddam was in on the 9/11 attacks -- only that it was investigating that possibility. Only a fool wouldn't conduct such an investigation. The evidence, so far, is inconclusive. The administration did state, however, that there were Iraqi-Al Qaeda connections, and it has been proven correct on that score. Only die-hard partisans can unblushingly declare that there are no connections when the evidence proves otherwise.

Daniel Bartkowski

La Mirada

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It should now be abundantly clear to all precisely why the Bush administration fought the creation of the 9/11 commission. Having finally been caught in a web of lies and deception of their own making, Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney lash out at the media for publishing "outrageous" reports of the commission's findings. The fact is that the media in the U.S. have given the president a free ride for three years, allowing him time to convince the all-too-gullible public that Iraq had a direct connection to 9/11.

Michael Reynolds

Palm Springs

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Just when we were beginning to miss weapons inspector Hans Blix, along comes the 9/11 commission with its Mr. Magoo impression. Unable to connect lines, let alone dots, the commission sees no congruence of purpose between Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and the rest of their ilk? Saddam sent $25,000 to the families of homicide bombers, and the commission sees no encouragement, aiding or abetting of terror in that act? This commission would see Pearl Harbor as the acts of a few out-of-control pilots.

Barry Hofeld

Riverside

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Max Boot seems to think that the Bush administration is plagued only by incompetence rather than mendacity (Commentary, June 17). If only things could be corrected so easily. It's hardly incompetence when Bush and Cheney continue falsely to assert links between Hussein and Al Qaeda and when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, until June 17, did not admit authorizing the illegal practice of imprisoning a "ghost" detainee in Iraq. Even the best new coaching team won't be able to turn lies into honest mistakes.

Richard Burt

Gainesville, Fla.

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