Terrorism Vice Chair: Saddam Linked to 9/11

Republican Robin Hayes, Vice Chairman of the House subcommittee on Terrorism, said that Saddam Hussein was directly linked to the 9/11 attacks.

GOP lawmaker: Saddam linked to 9/11 (CNN)

A Republican congressman from North Carolina told CNN on Wednesday that the “evidence is clear” that Iraq was involved in the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001. “Saddam Hussein and people like him were very much involved in 9/11,” Rep. Robin Hayes said. Told no investigation had ever found evidence to link Saddam and 9/11, Hayes responded, “I’m sorry, but you must have looked in the wrong places.” Hayes, the vice chairman of the House subcommittee on terrorism, said legislators have access to evidence others do not.

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said that Saddam was a dangerous man, but when asked about Hayes’ statement, would not link the deposed Iraqi ruler to the terrorist attacks on New York, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania. “I haven’t seen compelling evidence of that,” McCain, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told CNN.

On Tuesday night, President Bush mentioned the September 11 attacks five times during his address on the war in Iraq, prompting criticism from congressional Democrats.

While there’s little doubt that Saddam supported Islamist terrorists, there’s little evidence that I’ve seen that he was more than tangentially involved in the 9/11 attacks. The 9/11 Commission had access to the same information Congress did and reached that conclusion.

President Bush’s attempt to link the two is merely part of the campaign to persuade Americans that the war in Iraq is tied to the fight against global terrorism. Constant reminders of the 9/11 attacks are necessary to remind people of why we’re engaged in that fight.

FILED UNDER: Terrorism, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. ken says:

    Think of what you are saying.

    You are saying that you approve attacking a country that had nothing to do with Osama bin Laden attacking us on 9/11 because…… well because we were attacked on 9/11.

    This is worse then criminal, it is stupid.

  2. James Joyner says:

    We attacked two countries (Germany and Italy) in 1942 that had nothing to do with the Pearl Harbor attacks. Indeed, Japan was made a lower priority than Germany in that war.

  3. kenny says:

    “We attacked two countries (Germany and Italy) in 1942 that had nothing to do with the Pearl Harbor attacks.”

    Of course they had actually declared war on the US….

  4. lunacy says:

    Iraq had repeatedly ignored ceasefire agreements which meant they were STILL at war with us from the first Gulf War.

    How many ceasefire agreements should a belligerant be able to break before we can assume they may be da ngersous to us and assist our enemies?

  5. LJD says:

    Lunacy, you just don’t understand. The rules of engagement imposed on us by the left are:

    We must follow every rule to the letter. What they do just doesn’t matter.

  6. anjin-san says:

    Kenny… there you go using reason and logic again… oh yea lets not forget historical fact.

  7. Anderson says:

    We attacked two countries (Germany and Italy) in 1942 that had nothing to do with the Pearl Harbor attacks. Indeed, Japan was made a lower priority than Germany in that war.

    Do we really have to resort to this kind of thing to justify our Iraq adventure?

  8. Dodd says:

    No, Anderson, we don’t. Just to point out how insipid such attempts to change the subject are.

    I found this sentence in the posted excerpt especially amusing:

    On Tuesday night, President Bush mentioned the September 11 attacks five times during his address on the war in Iraq, prompting criticism from congressional Democrats.

    It occurs to be that it could just as easily said, “On Tuesday night, President Bush mentioned that kittens are really, really cute, prompting criticism from congressional Democrats” without sounding implausible.

  9. ken says:

    God help us. James you are completely without any moral compass. You approve of attacking a country and killing thousands of innocent people just because your dear leader attacked that country in order to kill thousands of innocent people. You and your ilk are sick, sick, sick.

  10. ICallMasICM says:

    One can only be amazed at someone posing that not deposing Saddam was a moral position.

  11. denise says:

    James, I thought our side of the GWOT debate was supposed to be simplistique and unable to grasp nuance.

  12. LJD says:

    …and now the terrorists/insurgents/extremists, call it what you will, are “thousands of innocent people”.

    The innocents, not being killed by the above, but by the U.S. Whose moral compass is outta whack?

  13. Backwards says:

    I think… I think… that the tail is doing a great job at wagging the dog. Do you realize that China is buying one of the larger oil companies in the world? Do you realize that the government is slowly revoking your rights to your privacy and your property? Do you realize that the CIA is conducting massive virtual simulations dealing with the up and coming oil crisis? Do you realize that you are doing just what about 99% of the population does when “fooled” by slight of hand tricks? Look the other way at my left hand moving around whilst I do my magic with the right.

    Silly people… we all get what we deserve.

  14. ICallMasICM says:

    Dude – put the bong down – I do realize China wants to buy Unocal and I realize it’s to compete for oil demand – the law of supply and demand for oil is going to force prices up which will force alternatives.

    The gov’t hasn’t revoked any private property rights or expanded the rights of eminent domain eventhough they did miss an opportunity to curtail them. They said the current practice was constitutional and recomended local gov’ts pass laws to control it’s use.

    Put the tin foil hat down – there’s not going to be an oil cutoff soon but it’s going to cost more.

    Maybe you’re ‘fooled’ by something but most sane people are able to figure out that these are problems we’ll need to deal with them. Which kind of is the reason why some people support the WOT as opposed to taking the ostrich position.

  15. Max says:

    LJD: “…and now the terrorists/insurgents/extremists, call it what you will, are “thousands of innocent people”.”

    Hmmm…That is a fascinatingly stupid and typical wingnut position. Apparently, Fox News failed to carry any mention of the “thousands” of innocent Iraqis who have died in the convulsion of terrorist and insurgent attacks, and as a result of collateral damage in US military operations. In fact, given the now evident lack of just cause for the invasion, any Iraqi who has died since the invasion, combatant or otherwise, could be described as an “innocent” victim of our invasion, unless you want to start arguing about their “proclivities” toward terrorism. That should feed nicely into your inevitable but unstated position: The only good Arab is…

  16. anjin-san says:

    I kind of have to go with Max about feeling sick about the many innocent people in Iraq who have been killed/maimed by US military action there. No doubt the insurgents/whatevers have killed many there too, but then there was no insurgency until we showed up, was there?

  17. JW says:

    You’re right, anjin-san.

    There wasn’t an insurgency in Iraq before the US went in.

    There was just institutionalized killing, torture, and oppression of not only the regime’s political opponents, but of anyone the regime wanted dead.


  18. carol says:

    In WWII we were fighting Germany, Japan and Italy if I remember correctly. However our 1st invasion occured where? Oh that’s right -Morocco! That stupid Roosevelt he knew noone in North Africa attacked us. Wonder what he was really after?

  19. anjin-san says:

    JW… you played no part in the bloodshead in Iraq during the saddam era… now you do. How are you sleeping?

  20. ICallMasICM says:

    ‘We are being sold that a bunch of filthy, god-hating, freedom-hating, hate-filled ragheads need killing because of their proclivity to spread their social disease.’

    OK – let’s try to make some sense of this. I think it’s real clear that jihadist aren’t ‘god-hating’ misguided as they may be they clearly believe they are doing God’s work.

    ‘hate-filled’ – Well the jihadist are real clear about their feelings for infidels, Jews and apostates.

    ‘proclivity to spread their social disease.’ Since their ‘social disease’ is terrorist murder yes I would like to stop it.

    It’s interesting to read the projection from the terror symps. We’ve sacrificed American blood to depose the Taliban and Saddam freeing 45 million Afghans and Arabs from brutal terror police states because ‘The only good Arab is…’.

    I mean how fucking stupid is that.

  21. Max says:

    Callin Em as You See Um:

    Nothing could be quite as stupid as your proposition that pointing out obvious deficiencies in someone’s argument about “innocent victims” suddenly makes one a “terror symp”.

    Oh, wait, there is something as stupid. Your suggestion that our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan (the latter being a fully justified response to the attack on our country) were motivated by a desire to free Arabs from oppression.

    That takes the cake, when it comes to stupidity.

  22. Max says:


    I’m not sure where you’re going with that comment about North Africa, but it’s widely understood Roosevelt (and, ironically, his British cohorts) was after the French Vichy troops which were nominally in control of Morocco, opening up an avenue to attack the occupying German forces in Tunisia from the rear.

    Perhaps you’re suggesting that our Iraq invasion is just a gateway into more threatening Middle Eastern countries? Iran? Syria? That it is in fact a brilliant military strategem? I guess we’ll see.

  23. bb says:

    From this thread it looks like the conspiracies are evolving. I thought it was all about cheap oil? That’s what all the clever posters at the peace marches said.

    I was wondering why oil prices keep going up. Can somebody explain to me the newest and best conspiracy i can use to understand new the bushhitlerroveenstein agenda?

  24. JW says:


    Oh, that’s where you’re wrong. When we didn’t take out Saddam after Gulf War I, we WERE a part of the bloodshed that went on afterwards–from gassing the Kurds to the shootdowns of our pilots in no-fly zones.

    How do I sleep? Fine. I accept responsibility for my choices at the voting booth. Do you?

  25. Daniel Brown says:

    One time poster, so feel free to disregard; but let’s move on here! My personal opinion is that we were lead into this war under fictitous pretense, my personal opinion is that if any of our leaders had asked anyone with real military experience about their plan it would have been vetoed. But this is all getting less and less important.
    What we need now is a way out of a war we are not winning! As long as our mere presence in Iraq is enough of an affront to turn citizens into terrorists, we will never run out of terrorists. We need to find a way towards peace in Iraq, otherwise hundreds of American soldiers and thousands of Iraqi citizens will continue to die in this war.

  26. Neal Horton says:

    As much as I’d love to believe us good American Christians are able to demonstrate Christian-like qualities (loving enemies, turning cheeks, humility, long suffering, etc)….I know better. Our Afghanistan military campaign made good strategic sense. Iraq was pure political opportunism that we Americans swallowed whole… mostly because it was PURE VENGEANCE with a side of racism, born out of frustration at not being able to get those directly responsible for 9/11. Vengeance is a normal, but not very Christian response. And like most vengeful, knee jerk reactions, it has brought little satisfaction, ugly costs, sure to breed future retaliation.

  27. Bulz I says:

    This is amazing! The republican war and propaganda machines are working superbly. You all are arguing about Iraq and the justification…. Meanwhile Osama is still free.

    Let’s get back to basics. Who attacked us on 9/11? I think we can all agree that it was Al Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden and supported by the Taliban. Right?

    So we attack in Afghanistan — again we can all agree that this was a good move. But after that it gets fuzzy, at least for me. I always wondered why we did not send 100K+ troops into Afghanistan but we sent them into Iraq. If we had sent that size of a force after Osama would we have caught him? I think we would have stood a much better chance than we did using 10K troops.

    But instead of “staying the course” as our chicken-hawk in chief likes to say. We strayed from the course and now everyone forgets where this all started and that we have unfinished business.

    Any of you who support the Iraq war should quit your jobs and go there yourself. It is that simple. If you want to free the Iraqi people go there. Get off the blog and go to Iraq. Also you should pay extra in taxes to off-set the $1 billion per week this is costing.

    Any takers?

  28. Nell Lancaster says:

    JJ: there’s little evidence that I’ve seen that he was more than tangentially involved in the 9/11 attacks.

    What evidence at all have you seen that Saddam was even tangentially involved?

    The only sense in which the Iraq war is related to the September 11 attacks is that they put enough fear into the American people that the press and politicians were unwilling to challenge the flimsy rationales of a “popular president.” So we took a fatally wrong turn in the campaign to prevent further attacks.

  29. Bruce says:

    Have I been barred from commenting? Why?