Patron of Terrorism

Cheney, in Florida visit, claims ties between Hussein and al-Qaida

It's a claim that's been repeatedly challenged by some analysts and lawmakers but Vice President Cheney is sticking to it.  In a speech to a conservative think-tank in Florida yesterday, Cheney said Saddam Hussein had "long-established ties" with al-Qaida.  He called the former Iraqi dictator "a patron of terrorism."

Cheney also says the Bush administration has made strides in the war on terrorism, including budding democracies in Iraq and Afghanistan and a pledge by Libya to scrap its nuclear weapons.  Florida Democratic Senator Bob Graham has said the administration has a "sorry record" in the war on terror.  Graham also noted that last week, the State Department said it was wrong in stating that terrorism declined worldwide last year.  The department says both the number of incidents and casualties went up.