Wednesday, November 19, 2003

White House Statement on the Weekly Standard Memo

Scott McClellan had this to say on Monday:

Q There's an article in the Weekly Standard outlining something like a 13-year relationship between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, based on intelligence reports, and how they were trying to coordinate or work together on terrorist activities. Your reaction to the article, and also, do you think that the administration sees this as more justification --

MR. McCLELLAN: I haven't had an opportunity to read the actual article. I've seen the reports. But the ties between, or the relationship between Saddam Hussein's regime and al Qaeda were well-documented. They were documented by Secretary Powell before the United Nations, back in February, I believe. And we have previously talked about those ties that are there.

Q More justification for the war, then?

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry?

Q Do you see that as more justification for the war?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we outlined -- the justification for the war was clear in all the Security Council resolutions that were passed. Resolution 1411 called for serious consequences if Saddam Hussein continued to defy the international community. He did, and the President acted to make the world a safer and better place by removing his regime.

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