President Bush is defending his decision to invade Iraq, saying the discovery of a letter attributed to a suspected terrorist there shows that the country is the central front in the fight against terrorism.
Before the war, President Bush says, the White House, the U.S. Congress and the United Nations all looked at intelligence reports and agreed that Iraq was a threat.
At the time, Mr. Bush made the immediacy of the threat from weapons of mass destruction his biggest justification for invading Iraq. Nearly a year later, no such weapons have been found.
In his weekly radio address, the president said the interception of a letter attributed to suspected terrorist Abu al-Zarqawi shows Iraq is still a threat, as the letter calls for recruiting and training suicide bombers to wage war against U.S. forces and the Iraqi people.
"Zarqawi and men like him have made Iraq the central front in our war on terror. The terrorists know that the emergence of a free Iraq will be a major blow against a worldwide terrorist movement. In this, they are correct," Mr. Bush said.
Mr. Bush says U.S. officials are working with Iraq's Governing Council and the United Nations to draft a basic law with a bill of rights and to prepare for a transition to full Iraqi sovereignty.