Byline: Joseph Curl, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
A political drumbeat is building from the Pentagon to Capitol Hill in support of a pre-emptive military strike against Iraq, but Bush administration officials are split on how to proceed and on whether Congress must first approve an attack.
While Bush officials have assured key lawmakers no U.S. attack on Iraq will occur before the November elections, the issue has moved center stage as the administration seeks to establish a link between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden's terrorist group, al Qaeda.
"Things have definitely ramped up recently, both at the Pentagon and Congress," one Bush official said. "But that doesn't mean we're any closer to action."
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld last week said he believes there is a link between Iraq and al Qaeda, but added the United States cannot be sure because troops are not on the ground in Iraq.
Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, Mississippi Republican, also said last week he suspects members …