Wednesday, September 13, 2006

What Is The Definition Of "Operational Relationship?"

It is disturbing how big a hole the W, Rove and Co has gotten themselves into. First there is a relationship with terrorists and Saddam, then there is none.

Then it's an "opperational relationship," which means what? That Saddam knew the terrorists were in Iraq?

Well, the W, Rove and Co apparently knew there were terrorsts in America, how is George Bush any different from Saddam in the category of relationships with terrorists?
Q Just one more. Back to something from yesterday, you said that the President never said there was an operational relationship between Saddam Hussein and Zarqawi. Are you saying he didn't suggest there was a relationship --

MR. SNOW: He said there was a relationship --

Q What does that mean?

MR. SNOW: What it means is -- again, had you been in Iraq before the war? You may have. And I had, too. And you understand --

Q Before the war? No, no --

MR. SNOW: Okay, well, let me tell you about the old days, when you went in before the war, strangers didn't just sort of wander into Baghdad when Saddam was there. They knew who was there. And Zarqawi was in Baghdad. And he, in fact -- as we've said, they organized the murder of a U.S. diplomat in Amman, Jordan. We also know that there were other members of al Qaeda operating within Iraq. But what we've taken pains to say is -- being a little colloquial about it -- but they didn't have a corner office, the Mukhabarat. They were not line-items in the Iraqi budget. They were people who were there, but they were also not officially part of the Iraqi government and there was no official or functional coordination, at least as far as we can tell. And this was what the CIA has told us, that there was no operational relationship -- no direct, demonstrable operational tie between the two --

Q They said there was no relationship.

MR. SNOW: They weren't -- a relationship means that they were there. We knew they were there.

Q So all of your comments about the relationship between Saddam Hussein and Zarqawi -- we just knew they were there. Did we know what they were up to? I mean, how far does that go?

MR. SNOW: I don't know. We'll have to look at the documents --

Q No, but that's important, Tony.

MR. SNOW: How so?

Q You don't know -- I mean, there was a lot of rhetoric coming out of the White House in the build-up to the war, and since, that there was this relationship between Saddam Hussein and Zarqawi, and thus linking them to al Qaeda.

MR. SNOW: No, the argument has been that Saddam Hussein was a supporter and sponsor of terror. And we talked more often about, for instance, the fact that people who went in and committed suicide bombings against Israelis were getting paid bounties, and that Saddam was working as best he could to try to support and foment terror.

Q -- no relationship with al Qaeda, no relationship with Zarqawi.

MR. SNOW: That's right, no operational relationship, as far as we can tell. But they were there. And Zarqawi was committing acts of terror while he was in Baghdad, but we don't -- look, if we had the goods, we'd share them, but we don't have the goods to demonstrate --

Q But Saddam Hussein didn't know about that?

MR. SNOW: I don't know. I don't know if he knew about it. What we have been unable to demonstrate or discover is whether they're sitting around in the map room, spreading out the map, saying, okay, you bomb there. We just don't have that kind of granularity in terms of the relationship, and therefore, we're not going to go -- we're going to -- not going to out-run the facts.

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