By the way, O'Reilly completely lied AGAIN (I should be surprised when he doesn't):
Letterman: But why didn't we stay in Afghanistan? Why didn't we stay in Afghanistan. It seems to me that Afghanistan was more directly the source. I mean there has been no tie proven between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda, the Taliban, anything. Why didn't we stay there?
O'Reilly: You know what Ansar-al-Islam, do you know what that is? You don't. And I'm not saying this in a condescending way, I'm really not. Okay? I'm not going to call you a bonehead or a pinhead?
O'Reilly: Ansar-al-Islam was the al Qaeda affiliate in Northern Iraq who tried to poison the British water supply with Ricin. They operated with Saddam Hussein's okay. Again, complicated, but it isn't so black and white, Dave. It isn't we're a bad country, Bush is an evil liar.
Letterman: I didn't say we were a bad country,
O'Reilly: That's not true.
Letterman: I didn't say he was an evil liar. You're putting words in my mouth. Just the way you put artificial facts in your head.
O'Reilly: We're really friends. Gimme one artificial fact.
Your Ansar-al-Islam claim is an artificial fact:
The Senate Intelligence Committee writes on pages 71-72 that Saddam had virtually no control over the northern Kurdistan region of Iraq, that there were flaws that "undermined confidence in the reporting" of such a relationship and that Ansar al-Islam that was not "a branch of al Qaeda." Furthermore, Saddam's regime had no contact with the group other than to possibly infiltrate it to gather intelligence. The report concludes on page 110: "Postwar information reveals that Baghdad viewed Ansar al-Islam as a threat to the regime and that the IIS attempted to collect intelligence on the group."
In other words, not only does Bill grasp at straws to justify the unjustifiable — namely, a working relationship between Saddam Hussein and terrorist groups that legitimized invasion — he mischaracterizes a relationship that is highly dubious at best and completely non-existent at worst to do so. It's amazing that Bush-supporters still try to use these unsubstantiated claims in order to somehow validate the all-out, guns-a-blazing, disastrous war we have waged.
By the way, he doesn't publicize it, but over the last several years Letterman (and Leno too I should add) has made several USO trips.