Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Monday he knew of no "strong, hard evidence" linking Saddam Hussein's Iraq and al Qaeda, despite describing extensive contacts between the two before the Iraq invasion.
Rumsfeld, during a question-and-answer session before the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, was asked to explain the connection between Saddam and Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, blamed for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America.
"I have seen the answer to that question migrate in the intelligence community over a period of a year in the most amazing way. Second, there are differences in the intelligence community as to what the relationship was," Rumsfeld said.
"To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two," Rumsfeld added.
Oh, and the weapons of mass destruction?
"It turns out that we have not found weapons of mass destruction," Rumsfeld said.
"And why the intelligence proved wrong, I'm not in a position to say. I simply don't know. But the world is a lot better off with Saddam Hussein in jail than they were with him in power," Rumsfeld added.
Something tells me that's about as close to an apology as this administration will get.