Secretary Condoleezza Rice
September 10, 2006
QUESTION: So looking back with hindsight -- obviously all of us are smarter with hindsight -- no weapons of mass destruction, absolutely no connection to the 9/11 plot from Saddam Hussein; is that right?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, it depends on how you think about 9/11. I think we've all said Saddam Hussein, as far as we know, had no knowledge of, no role in, the 9/11 plot itself. But if you think that 9/11 was just about al-Qaida and the hijackers, then there is no connection to Iraq. But if you believe, as the President does and as I believe, that the problem is this ideology of hatred that has taken root, extremist ideology that has taken root in the Middle East, and that you have to go to the source and do something about the politics of that region, it is unimaginable that you could do something about the Middle East with Saddam Hussein sitting in the center of it threatening his neighbors, threatening our allies, tying down American forces in Saudi Arabia. We are in much better shape to build a different kind of Middle East with Saddam Hussein gone.
Except, Saddam in jail has been "tying down" more American forces than when he was in the palace. How is that in "much better" shape?