Rice: Saddam Did Have Links To al-Qaeda.

(September 10, 2006)--Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says there were clear links between Saddam Hussein and terrorist groups.

A Senate report Friday disclosed that a CIA's assessment last year found no link between al-Qaeda operatives and Saddam's government.

On "Fox News Sunday," Rice said she does not remember seeing that particular report, but maintained "there were ties between Iraq and al-Qaeda."

Rice says the administration is learning more now that it has "access to people like Saddam Hussein's intelligence services."

Speaking on CBS's "Face the Nation," Rice said the lesson of 9/11 is "not to let threats fester."

She also says the nation is safer now than it was before 9/11, with more security at ports and airports and a "much stronger intelligence-sharing operation."

Meanwhile Vice President Cheney says there's no evidence that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11, but he says there's no doubt that Saddam Hussein was a sponsor of terrorists and the world is better off with Saddam out of power.

On NBC's "Meet the Press," Cheney said "major progress" is being made both in Iraq and Afghanistan, though there's still "a lot to do."

Cheney also says he still believes Iraq had the capability to produce weapons of mass destruction, even though no stockpiles were found and that Saddam would have resumed work on them as soon as UN sanctions ended.

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