No terrorism in Iraq before the war?

As always, Stephen Hayes at Weekly Standard is on the case:

IN THE LAST FEW DAYS, John Kerry’s campaign has challenged Bush administration claims of an Iraq-al Qaeda connection. The effort has been amateurish and confused. Kerry has conflated two separate issues–an Iraq-September 11 connection (which cannot be proven) and the Iraq-al Qaeda connection (which has been)–in a lame attempt to accuse the Bush administration of “misleading” America about the Iraq war.

No one should be surprised at distortions coming from a presidential campaign. (Journalists, however, continue to surprise. Where are the John Kerry versions of the fact-checking articles on Bush that the Associated Press distributes on the wire and that the Washington Post, and the New York Times splash on their front pages?)

On the other hand, on September 7 Kerry said that the soldiers who have died in Iraq have done so “on behalf of freedom in the war on terror.” It was a moment of lucidity the Kerry campaign could not let stand. Kerry spokesman Stephanie Cutter told the Los Angeles Times that the comment should not be misinterpreted as endorsing Bush administration claims of an Iraq-al Qaeda connection. And then she dropped the stunner at the top of the page: “There was no terrorism in Iraq before we went to war. There is now terrorism there now.”


Please read the entire piece. As per the norm, John Kerry is saying something different today than he did yesterday (sigh).