By way of implying that Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda were connected, Dick Cheney claimed that a poisons lab existed before the war in Iraq in a town called Khurmal.
The vice president didn’t say so, but Khurmal is in northern Iraq, an area that was controlled by the Kurds, not the former Iraqi regime.
There is more. The alleged lab, in fact, was located in a village called Sergat. Colin Powell made the same mistake in his February 2003 speech to the United Nations, when he showed a satellite photo of Sergat.
After Powell’s speech, I visited both villages. I found residents of Khurmal terrified that they were about to be bombed by the U.S.
Following his speech to the U.N., Powell corrected his mistake. I am sure the residents of Khurmal would be happy if Vice President Cheney corrected his own misstatement.
KEVIN McKIERNAN lives in Santa Barbara.