Rumsfeld on Al-Qaeda and Iraq

From Rumsfeld’s speech to the Councel on Foreign Relations

QUESTIONER: My name is Glenn Hutchins. Mr. Secretary, what exactly was the connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda?

RUMSFELD: I tell you, I’m not going to answer the question. I have seen the answer to that question migrate in the intelligence community over the period of a year in the most amazing way. Second, there are differences in the intelligence community as to what the relationship was. To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two. There are–I just read an intelligence report recently about one person who’s connected to al Qaeda, who was in and out of Iraq, and there’s the most tortured description of why he might have had a relationship, and why he might not have had a relationship. There are reports about people in Saddam Hussein’s intelligence service meeting in one country or another with al Qaeda people from one person to another, which may have been indicative of something, or may not have been. It may have been something that was not representative of a hard linkage.

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