BUSH: The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East.
QUESTION: What did Iraq have to do with it?
BUSH: What did Iraq have to do with what?
QUESTION: The attack on the World Trade Center.
BUSH: Nothing. Except itâ€™s part of â€” and nobody has suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a â€” Iraq â€” the lesson of September 11th is take threats before they fully materialize, Ken. Nobodyâ€™s ever suggested that the attacks of September the 11th were ordered by Iraq.
Oh whats Iraq got to do, got to do with it
What`s Iraq but a second hand scapegoat
What`s Iraq got to do, got to do with it
Who needs a brain
When you’ve got the Marines …
President Bush said Monday the United States would lose “our soul as a nation” if it gave up on the Iraq war now, warning it would be a “disaster” if U.S. troops left before the new Iraqi government can control the country.
“We’re not leaving so long as I’m president,” an animated Bush said in a wide-ranging White House press conference. “That would be a huge mistake.” He conceded, though, that the war was “straining the psyche of our country” with U.S. deaths now standing at more than 2,600.
I’d say it’s straining a lot more than our psyche.
In other news, a judge in Miami dismissed the lead terror charge against Jose Padilla:
A federal judge in Miami on Monday dismissed the lead terror count against Jose Padilla, the U.S. citizen once identified as a “dirty bomb” suspect and detained as an “enemy combatant.”
U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke said in a written opinion that the charge — conspiracy to “murder, kidnap and main persons in a foreign country” — duplicated other counts in an federal grand jury indictment handed down last year.
“An indictment is multiplicitous when it charges a single offense multiple times, in separate counts,” Cooke wrote. As charged, she added, the indictment exposes Padilla and his codefendants to multiple punishments for a single crime.
The indictment, Cooke noted, “alleges one and only one conspiracy” and that the same facts are “realleged in each of the consecutive counts.”
Cooke also ruled that the second count against Padilla and his co-defendants was “duplicitous” — charging them with the same offense under two sections of federal law. She ordered the government to choose one of the two counts, which provide for different penalties, by Friday.
Padilla still faces charges of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, and providing material support to terrorists.