White House Defends President Bush

White House defends Nine-Eleven ties to Iraq in Bush speech

The White House is defending President Bush's repeated references to September Eleventh in last night's speech aimed at shoring up support for the Iraq War.

War critics, including House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, accuse the president of "exploiting the sacred ground of Nine-Eleven" knowing there's "no connection" between the attacks and Saddam Hussein's regime.

Bush made five direct references to Nine-Eleven, and several indirect ones, in his speech at Fort Bragg.  He said terrorists want to shake America's will in Iraq, just as they did by attacking New York and Washington.

Spokesman Scott McClellan says Bush wasn't talking about any link between Baghdad and the hijackings.  But he was saying those attacks "changed the equation," forcing America to "go on the offense" against terrorists.

The spokesman says in Iraq, America is fighting "the enemy abroad, so we don't have to fight them here at home."