SEATTLE, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- A Washington-state Democratic congressman says the capture of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was staged by the Bush administration.
Jim McDermott, D-Wash., told a Seattle radio interviewer U.S. forces could have captured Saddam "a long time ago if they wanted," the Washington Times reported.
Asked by interviewer Dave Ross on KIRO-FM whether the capture was timed to help the president, McDermott replied: "Oh, yeah. There's too much by happenstance for it to be just a coincidental thing."
Pressed about whether he meant the timing of the capture was driven by politics, McDermott said, "I don't know that it was definitely planned on this weekend, but I know they've been in contact with people all along who knew basically where he was."
The congressman made the remarks on the day the president fired back at Howard Dean, the front-runner in the Democratic presidential primaries, for suggesting that he had advance knowledge of the Sept. 11 attacks.
"It's an absurd insinuation," the president said at a news conference.