Last week, a bi-partisan Senate Intelligence Report was released that stated there was no relationship between Saddam Hussein and either Al-Qaida or terrorist Zarqawi. They said quite clearly that "Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qaeda and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime, refusing all requests from al-Qaeda to provide material or operational support."
In relation to Zarqawi it says, "Saddam Hussein attempted, unsuccessfully, to locate and capture al-Zarqawi and…the regime did not have a relationship with, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi."
That seems very clear to me. Almost cut and dry even in fact. It does not appear that way to Condi Rice as I reported on Sunday. It does not appear that way to Cheney in a story I decided to skip in honor of 9/11.
According to Tony “Tar Baby” Snow it does not appear to the President that way…or maybe it does. Things are rarely clear with Tony Snow. You can ask the man a question and get every possible answer there is.
A great example of this gift was reported by Editor and Publisher and took place at the press briefing on September 12, 2006. Tony Snow was asked if the President still believed there was a connection between Saddam and Zarqawi. Here is Tony’s answer. Follow the bouncing ball.
The president has never said that there was a direct operational relationship between the two. And this is important. ...But did they have, you know, a corner office at the Mukhabarat? No. You know, were they getting a line item in Saddam’s budget? No. There was no direct operational relationship, but there was a relationship.
Ok, so the President does believe they did not have a working relationship, but does believe they had a passive aggressive type of mutual ignoring relationship of nothing? Did I get that about right?
The important questions are simple, and Tony did answer them and honestly, in fact. It is in there if you look at it. You must break it apart. It is like the Bible code. You must know the answer before you ask the question to see the answer. Um, never mind that analogy.
The first question Tony Snow answers is: Was there a working relationship between AQ and Saddam? The answer is no. “The president has never said that there was a direct operational relationship between the two.”