Regardless, we're sure that Saddam has had dealings with bin Laden.
The CIA learned in late September 2002 from a high-level member of Saddam Hussein's inner circle that Iraq had no past or present contact with Osama bin Laden and that the Iraqi leader considered bin Laden an enemy of the Baghdad regime, according to a recent Senate Intelligence Committee report. Although President Bush and other senior administration officials were at that time regularly linking Hussein to al-Qaeda, the CIA's highly sensitive intelligence supporting the contrary view was apparently not passed on to the White House or senior Bush policymakers.Look closely at the chronology there. That's September 2002...before the invasion. In case you're wondering how on Earth administration officials (i.e., the President himself) could be running around saying things like "Al-Qaeda hides. Saddam doesn't, but the danger is, is that they work in concert" only days after this report was produced, here's a clue:
According to the three Republicans, the CIA said it did not disseminate the intelligence about the lack of a Hussein-bin Laden connection because "it did not provide anything new."But other information obtained at the same time from the same source that paralleled what administration officials were saying was immediately passed on to "alert" the president and other senior policymakers, the three Republicans said.Those guys at the CIA weren't stupid. They knew which side the bread was buttered on and if they forgot, Vice President Cheney was only a short drive away.