The news service is attempting to rewrite history (again):
The administration of former US President George W. Bush had hastily linked Saddam Hussein, the ousted Iraqi dictator, to the 9/11 attacks.
That was one of the justifications for the 2003 US-led invasion, but the argument has since been widely dismissed.
No one in the administration claimed that Saddam was involved in 911, despite ongoing leftist lies to the contrary at the time, for which AP and others were happy to (and apparently remain happy to) be stenographers. The administration claimed operational links between Saddam and Al Qaeda, which did in fact exist.
The irony, of course, is that the reporter perpetuates this historical lie in the service of accusing Leon Panetta of a “gaffe.”