From: Think Progress
Today, President Bush defended his foreign policy over the past eight years in an address to the Saban Center for Middle East Policy in Washington, DC. At one point, he acknowledged that there was no link between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks but justified using such a connection to push for the Iraq war:
It is true, as I have said many times, that Saddam Hussein was not connected to the 9/11 attacks. But the decision to remove Saddam from power cannot be viewed in isolation from 9/11. In a world where terrorists armed with box cutters had just killed nearly 3,000 people, America had to decide whether we could tolerate a sworn enemy that acted belligerently, that supported terror, and that intelligence agencies around the world believed had weapons of mass destruction. It was clear to me, to members of both political parties, and to many leaders around the world that after 9/11, this was a risk we could not afford to take.
Bush has repeatedly stated that Saddam was not connected to 9/11. However, those statements came only after the war. Prior to the war, Bush and other administration officials repeatedly strove to create the impression that the Iraqi dictator was directly involved in the attacks: