The Larger al Qaeda Network:

On a visit to Charleston AFB, S.C. on July 24, President Bush talked about the war on terrorism, specifically attempting to explain in a 3,600-word speech that the al Qaeda element in Iraq is “a full member of the al Qaeda terrorist network.” He noted that the US Intelligence Community believes the Iraqi element and the larger al Qaeda “are united in their overarching strategy.” He went on to say: “Despite all the evidence, some will tell you that al Qaeda in Iraq is not really al Qaeda—and not really a threat to America.” Bush prefaced his remarks with thanks to “Team Charleston” for the “crucial role” its C-17s play in the war in Iraq. Of his C-17 tour, the President said, “Nice big airplanes carrying a lot of cargo.”