ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL REPORT
GNS correspondent John Yaukey and photo chief Jeff Franko traveled to Iraq in March. Browse their word and photo journals.
Glimpses of life in a war-torn country by GNS national security correspondent John Yaukey and photo director Jeff Franko.
Recall key dates, browse defining photos from six weeks of combat in Iraq. (Requires Flash)
January 26, 2005
January 25, 2005
January 25, 2005
January 20, 2005
Also on the Web
Special coverage and photo galleries of American troops serving in Iraq from The Honolulu Advertiser.
Take an interactive tour of Saddam's hide-out and capture at USATODAY.com's Iraq home page.
Click here to browse more than 1,000 Iraq war news stories from the front lines and the home front.
Reality check: Is there a connection between 9/11 and Iraq?
By John Yaukey | GNS
WASHINGTON - President Bush contends there were ties between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida but stops short of claiming the toppled dictator was behind the 9/11 attacks.
Sen. John Kerry says the Bush campaign - not merely Bush himself - has misled Americans by trying to claim there were closer connections between al-Qaida and Iraq than actually existed.
Here are the highlights of each candidate's position, along with what experts say.
Bush and his administration:
- Claim numerous contacts between Saddam's regime and al-Qaida.
- Say a senior Iraqi official visited Sudan to meet with Osama bin Laden in the mid-90s.
- Argue that a disputed meeting between an Iraqi operative and one of the 9/11 hijackers in Prague before the attacks cannot be disproved.
- Maintain that before the war, Iraq gave haven to Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi and that he was an associate of bin Laden.
Kerry and his campaign:
- Says there is no evidence of any connection between Saddam and 9/11.
- Contends Bush and his administration misled Americans on how tough Iraq would be.
- Insists Bush owes Americans a ``fundamental explanation about why he rushed to war.''
An independent panel that investigated 9/11 and experts:
- Agree on meetings between Iraqis and al-Qaida but say there is ``no credible evidence'' that Saddam helped in the 9/11 attacks.
- Believe there were meetings between an Iraqi operative and bin Laden in Sudan in 1994 but nothing came of it.
- There is no evidence of any meeting in Prague between a 9/11 hijacker and an Iraqi operative.
- Zarqawi did travel to Iraq before the war but there is no evidence of any close relationship to bin Laden.
Check for yourself on the Web: