Question: A lot of the consequences you mentioned for pulling out seem like maybe they never would have been there if we hadn’t gone in. How do you square all of that?
THE PRESIDENT: I square it because, imagine a world in which you had Saddam Hussein who had the capacity to make a weapon of mass destruction, who was paying suiciders to kill innocent life, who would — who had relations with Zarqawi.
Press conference 8/21/06
Postwar information indicates that Saddam Hussein attempted, unsuccessfully, to locate and capture al-Zarqawi and that the regime did not have a relationship with, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi. Postwar information from an al-Qa’ida detainee indicated that Saddam’s regime ‘considered al-Zarqawi an outlaw’ and blamed his network, operating in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq, for two bombings in Baghdad.
Report of the Select Committee on Intelligence, page 109, 9/8/06