“The terrorists who attacked us on September the 11th, 2001, are men without conscience, but they’re not madmen,” Bush said. “They kill in the name of a clear and focused ideology, a set of beliefs that are evil but not insane.”
Speaking before a crowd of military officers and diplomatic representatives Bush pressed home his thoughts about terrorists.
Bush cited a “grisly al Qaida manual” found in 2000 by British police which included a chapter called 'Guidelines for Beating and Killing Hostages.' He said the manual bore an eerie resemblance to a 2002 Justice Department memo advising the White House how to legally torture al Qaeda terrorists.
“It is obvious what this means,” the President said. “The terrorists are trying to use our own tactics against us. They will fail.”
Bush then began the precarious task of trying to connect 9/11 and Al Qaida with the current effort in Iraq. The politically essential connection between Iraq and 9/11 took a serious hit on August 21 when Cox news reporter Ken Herman asked the president what Iraq had to do since 9/11. “Nothing,” Bush defiantly answered.
That clip can be seen here.
Since then the White House as worked very hard to make sure Iraq has something to do with 9/11.
On August 28, Vice President Dick Cheney tied the two together while attacking Democrats. “They overlook a fundamental fact. We were not in Iraq on September 11, 2001, but the terrorist hit us anyway.”
On September 2 Bush declared the war in Iraq to be vital to the war on terror as part of the strategy to fight terrorists abroad.
Yesterday Bush cited what he said was a captured al Qaida document found during a recent raid in Iraq. He said the document described plans to take over Iraq's western Anbar province and set up a governing structure including an education department, a social services department, a justice department, and an execution unit.
A hostile take over? Standing-up a governing body? Creating education, services, and instilling justice? Bush’s point was clear: the terrorists want nothing less than to reshape Iraq in their own image.
Bush’s speaking tour comes during the White House release of a 23-page summary of the U.S. approach to combating terrorism which declares “America is safer, but we are not yet safe.”The President, like the document, will offer no fresh plans about how to turn things around in Iraq or the war on terror or how they're related.