The final accounting of the hundreds of false administration statements that led us into war with Iraq has been assembled by the inestimable Center for Public Integrity.
Per their numbers, George Bush made 28 statements falsely linking Al Qaeda to Saddam Hussein, inarguably the most explosive — and least defensible — claim in the run up to war.
Bush, Cheney & Co. were not alone in pushing this falsehood. They got an invaluable assist from Senator Hillary Clinton, who echoed their claim in her October 2002 floor speech before her vote “with confidence” to authorize the war:
There was never any proof for this claim of a link between Saddam and Al Qaeda. Indeed, this alleged relationship was explicitly debunked in the National Intelligence Estimate… the one that the New York Senator never bothered to read before she voted:
From the New York Times:
In fact, the classified reports available to all senators at the time found that Iraq was not allied with Al Qaeda, and that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden harbored feelings of deep mistrust and enmity for each other… In an interview, [Former Florida Senator] Bob Graham said: ‘I don’t think any agency pretended to make a case that there was a strong linkage between Saddam Hussein and 9/11. It wasn’t in the N.I.E.’
Maybe Hillary got snowed on the question of Iraq’s WMD. A lot of decent people did.
But she went out on a limb to promote the non-existent connections between Saddam and Al Qaeda — and in so doing participated in the snowing of America.