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Wednesday, July 30, 2003
From the Bush news conference:
QUESTION: Saddam Hussein's alleged ties to Al Qaida were a key part of your justification for war, yet your own intelligence report, the NIE, defined it as, quote, "low confidence that Saddam would give weapons to Al Qaida." Were those links exaggerated to justify war or can you finally offer us some definitive evidence that Saddam was working with Al Qaida?
BUSH: I think, first of all, remember I just said we've been there for 90 days since the cessation of major military operations. Now, I know in our world, where news comes and goes and there's this, kind of, instant news and you must have done this and you must do this yesterday, that there's a level of frustration by some in the media--I'm not suggesting you're frustrated; you don't look frustrated to me at all.
But it's going to take time for us to gather the evidence and analyze the mounds of evidence, literally, the miles of documents that we have uncovered.
BUSH: David Kay came to see me yesterday. He's going to testify in a closed hearing tomorrow, which in Washington may not be so closed, as you know. And he was telling me the process that they were going through to analyze all the documentation. And that's not only to analyze the documentation on the weapons programs that Saddam Hussein had, but also the documentation as to terrorist links.
And it's just going to take awhile. And I'm confident the truth will come out. And there is no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the United States' security and a threat to peace in the region. And there's no doubt in my mind that a free Iraq is important. It's got strategic consequences for not only achieving peace in the Middle East, but a free Iraq will help change the habits of other nations in the region which will make America much more secure.
Let me summarize:
Q: Can you finally offer us some definitive evidence that Saddam was working with Al Qaida?