Today is the 3rd anniversary of “Mission Accomplished.”
Here’s George Bush during a January 31, 2003 press conference with Tony Blair:
Q One question for you both. Do you believe that there is a link between Saddam Hussein, a direct link, and the men who attacked on September the 11th?
THE PRESIDENT: I can't make that claim.
And here’s George Bush during his May 1, 2003 speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln:
The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11, 2001 -- and still goes on.
[. . .]
The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We've removed an ally of al Qaeda, and cut off a source of terrorist funding.
[. . .]
We have not forgotten the victims of September the 11th -- the last phone calls, the cold murder of children, the searches in the rubble. With those attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States. And war is what they got.
In all fairness, though, Bush clearly stated he couldn’t make the claim, but he never said he couldn’t imply it…