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July 13, 2005 7:57 AM   Subscribe

In November 2003, Weekly Standard writer Stephen Hayes published a report alleging collusion between terrorist agents and Saddam Hussein which received little attention in the press. In June of '04, Hayes published another article called "The Connection" excerpted from his book of the same title. His newest follow-up, with economist Thomas Joscelyn, entitled "The Mother of All Connections" goes one step further to illustrate the alleged connections, contradicting what the 9/11 Commission & Bush himself have claimed.
posted by jenleigh (39 comments total)

 
Ah yes, extraordinarily plausible this is, that while the administration was trying to drum up reasons to go to war with Iraq that it failed to explore what might have been perhaps the single more legitimate reason for its war - and not only that, contradicted it.

I'm thinking there's a reason this theory "received little attention in the press."
posted by kgasmart at 8:16 AM on July 13, 2005


Bush's comments leading up to the war were a significant reason why a large percentage of the population believed there were connections between Saddam and 9/11. I don't really know if it's wise to use his later back-pedaling as part of an argument.
posted by odinsdream at 8:19 AM on July 13, 2005


U.S. Rep. Brad Miller, a Raleigh Democrat who serves in the House with Hayes, said he believes Hayes’ remarks hurt the United States’ efforts to win the war in Iraq.

“I think it undermines the confidence of the American people,” Miller said. “I think it shows a contempt for the American people.”

He added that he, like Hayes, has security clearance and has seen nothing in top secret hearings to substantiate a Hussein-Sept. 11 connection.

“Unless Robin is going to some tippy-top secret briefing, I’m not sure what Robin’s source of information is.”


Yup.
posted by 40 Watt at 8:26 AM on July 13, 2005


"An Iraqi of that name, Carney knew, had been present at an al Qaeda summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on January 5-8, 2000."

An al-qaeda summit? Whereas I could believe that radical Islamists met with Iraqi nationals, I think that this link to Al-Qaeda is based on a misunderstanding of what Al-Qaeda is(the "summit" comment only solidifies this).

Indeed claims of any links between Saddam and al-Qaeda were based on a fundamental misconception of the nature of modern Islamic militancy...It is also true that representatives of bin Laden did have some contact with Saddam Hussein's regime, as the American administration has often said. But bin Laden rejected all of Baghdad's approaches - a point that is less often made by hawks in Washington.
posted by iamck at 8:29 AM on July 13, 2005


This is just the tip of the iceberg. Saddam Hussein was not only connected to Al-Qaeda and the September 11th attacks, he put into motion the events that would ultimately lead to the california fires, the tsunami, and there's even evidence that he helped john kerry betray the nation back when he was in vietnam.

The administration actually kept insisting, describe all evidence, that Iraq and Al-qaeda were interchangeable. Bush point blank declaired "The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al Qaeda, because there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda." Cheney himself on meet the press claimed that "it was pretty well confirmed that Mohammed Atta met with Iraqi intelligence. (cheney later denied having said this when confronted on another news show)

There was some weaseling by the Bush administration for a while regarding what the definition of "relationship" is, but then, ultimately, foreign correspondents at a joint press conference with Blair asked Bush point blank if Saddam Hussein was involved in the Sept. 11th attacks, and he had to deny it, because the claims were becoming untenable, even as Dick Cheney (and William Safire) kept insisting.

People like Hayes are just ideological hacks who write for ideological hack journals. They have a vested interest in banging the drums of war, and one of the best ways to do so is to tie everything to the september 11th attacks. The reason these claims get ignored by the press is because the press, for all of its low standards, has slightly higher standards than the ravings of a guy with an ideological axe to grind and a right-wing journal willing to pay him.
posted by deanc at 8:35 AM on July 13, 2005


I have no doubt that al-Qa'ida representatives met with representatives of the Ba'athist regime in Iraq--in the same capacity that U.S. and U.S.S.R. representatives met during the Cold War.
posted by jefgodesky at 8:42 AM on July 13, 2005


Wow. Maybe we should all start reading the Weakly Substandard and LaRouche's Executive Intelligence Review. They're just chock full of things the media doesn't take seriously.

"Let's go check the Hot Sheets." - MIB
posted by warbaby at 8:48 AM on July 13, 2005


Stephen Hayes is a hack. I tend to steer clear of the recent punditerature out there, but I accidentally picked this up, mistaking it for The Corrections. Is this really a post on metafilter that's supposed to liven debate? Just read the first 25 pages of this crap-fest and decide for yourself -- should I use this as toilet paper (eek, paper cut risk) or a gift for your slightly insane co-worker who leaves at the end of the day with "Seacrest out!"
posted by hautenegro at 8:59 AM on July 13, 2005


What difference does it make if someone digs up a bunch of evidence now? Bush was still clearly full of shit when he was selling the war.

I don't think it's good foreign policy to go around invading countries then sifting through their records for a justification.
posted by belling at 9:19 AM on July 13, 2005


Article 1: "Case Closed"
Book 1: "The Connection"
Article 2: "The Mother of All Connections"
Book 2: "There's a Super Solid Undeniable Connection Here Damnit Why Won't You People Listen to Me?!!!"
Article 3:"OK This Time I'm Serious: Saddam and Osama Were Lovers"
posted by pitchblende at 9:26 AM on July 13, 2005


Jenleigh, honest question:

If Hayes is correct, then perhaps the war would have been more acceptable to the people of the United States and of most of the rest of the world.

Playing devil's advocate for a moment and taking that premise as true, given the intense animosity that led to over half the country disagreeing with George Bush about the reasons for going to war with Iraq, and given George Bush's failed efforts to convince the UN — destroying Powell's credibility along the way — and given George Bush's steadily eroding popularity since going to war with Iraq, why would George Bush not have publicized Hayes' research, if it is indeed true?

Given the end result of how the Bush administration has handled its attempts to justify this war, whatever "factual information" in Hayes' work leads to one of two opposing conclusions:

• Bush's staff didn't know about the content of Hayes' research, i.e. did not know about clandestine meetings, funding exchanges, etc.

• Bush's staff knew about the content of Hayes' research, but it was so poor quality that it could not be used to justify this war

I find it hard to believe that the Bush administration, with access to intelligence that Hayes likely does not, would not know what Hayes knows.

After all the known lies and half-truths, in fact, used by the Bush administration to justify going to war with Iraq, the skeptic in me says that Bush would not have used the information in Hayes' report, because it is even more full of holes than the lies Bush did decide to tell, which he thought he could get away with, but did not.
posted by Rothko at 9:35 AM on July 13, 2005


Why would Bush ignore evidence that helped his case? Especially now that support for the war is waning? That horse won't run. [/perot]
posted by drezdn at 9:35 AM on July 13, 2005


Let me get this straight.
First it was all about Al Queda and 9/11,
then it was all about WMDs,
then it was all about gettin' rid of evil Saddam,
then it was all about making the desert bloom with our Manure Spreader of Democracy
and now it's all about Al Queda and 9/11 again??
No WONDER The Left is so angry, it's frustration from trying to keep up!
posted by Floydd at 9:55 AM on July 13, 2005


Little attention in the press? This guy's been everywhere. I even saw him on the Daily Show flogging this story. His book was an amazon.com bestseller for a while. No liberal media cover-up there.

The thing to understand about Hayes is that is claim is mostly based on a single source - the much-debated "Feith memo", written in October 2003 by the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth, and packed full of cherry-picked raw intelligence goodness. The DoD quickly disowned the memo, and no one except the blindest neocons take it seriously.
posted by barjo at 10:03 AM on July 13, 2005


One last time. Saddam and his baathist regime were secular pan-arabists.


Usama and his goons are militant islamic Jihadis.


Saddam and Usama working together is about as likely as Michael Moore and Jerry Falwell having brunch together.
posted by stenseng at 10:06 AM on July 13, 2005


This is The Mother Of All Pointless FPPs.
posted by wakko at 10:07 AM on July 13, 2005


Let's put it this way: the same administration that let the yellowcake fantasy be part of the SotU in 2003, wouldn't touch this story with a ten-foot pole. Need we say more?
posted by clevershark at 10:14 AM on July 13, 2005


There is no doubt that The Jihadists and Saddam had things in common-- religion, desire to hurt the United States, some common backgrounds, etc. So naturally there would have been some interaction. But the main point is that, despite interaction, nothing serious was ever revealed or known of or released. And as others have said, if there was a defensible position here, you know Bush et. al. would have taken it.
posted by chaz at 10:24 AM on July 13, 2005


And, for those who try to make it so easy "Saddam was secular", remember that Saddam was power-mad. He was a secular pan-arabist because that was the prevailing current of the times when he took power. A better argument is that Saddam did not had little to gain by partnering with Bin Laden and other unstable non-state actors. Everything Saddam did was to keep him self in power.
posted by chaz at 10:25 AM on July 13, 2005


Saddam and Usama working together is about as likely as Michael Moore and Jerry Falwell having brunch together.

No. It would be more like Michael Moore and Jim Wallis having brunch together.

People who do not share the same views, but have similar objectives often form alliances of political convenience.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:29 AM on July 13, 2005


I think S@L has a point - but remember this: Usama bin Laden thinks that Saudi Arabia is just way too liberal for his taste, so Saddam's Iraq which was based not on the Holy Book but a secular tyrant, is both an anathema and evil.

Also, Usama's brand of terrorism is wholly non-State supported terrorism - the President's and his supporters still believe that the only way terrorism can survive is through direct State support. IE - the only way 9/11 could have happened is because Iraq helped them (which they didn't).

As London 7/7 showed, very little financial or logistical support is needed to engage in terrorism.

It tires me that we are still having this discussion.
posted by plemeljr at 10:44 AM on July 13, 2005


I even saw him on the Daily Show flogging this story.

I remember that show. Jon Stewart served Stephan Hayes a heaping plateful of his own head. I especially liked the profiteroles du haque and terrine de la jackhole with a lovely cream sauce made with Richard Perle's crocodile tears. Who knew Jon was such a good chef?
posted by RakDaddy at 10:44 AM on July 13, 2005


People who do not share the same views, but have similar objectives often form alliances of political convenience.

An excellent point, but if your comment started with, "jenleigh's posts are thoroughly discredited, but...." it would do more to improve your credibility.

Let's consult the wayback machine to find out where al-qaeda was operating back in 2001, shall we? There's a certain little country that is not listed.
posted by deanc at 10:50 AM on July 13, 2005


This is The Mother Of All Pointless FPPs.

No, there is a point - to throw a rhetorical hand grenade in the midst of the liberal blue. Every jenleigh post I've ever seen can be summed up thus: Progressive fools, bow before the eternal truth that is conservatism.
posted by kgasmart at 10:51 AM on July 13, 2005


I'm sorry to disappoint, but I'm no conservative. And I haven't a clue whether there is validity to Hayes' claims or not. But the amount of research he's done and the point he is making is worthy of note whether you agree or not. I don't swallow every topic I bring to the table here, but I try and bring articles/authors/sources that are not usually discussed: sometimes for good reason and sometimes because it's simply unfashionable.

Debate Hayes' research, not the poster's alleged motives.
posted by jenleigh at 11:18 AM on July 13, 2005


Oh, OK. Now I'm clear. The super evil Hussein did if fact communicate in some limited way with the super evil bin Laden. Gosh. Who'd a thunk it?

Well, I for one now feel a lot better about this administration having committed the worst strategic blunder in modern memory:
To put it bluntly, he attacked the wrong target. While he boasts of removing Saddam Hussein from power, he did far more than that. He decapitated the government of a country that was not directly threatening the United States and, in so doing, bogged down a huge percentage of our military in a region that never has known peace. Our military is being forced to trade away its maneuverability in the wider war against terrorism while being placed on the defensive in a single country that never will fully accept its presence.

--Commie pinko James Webb, former undersecretary of the Navy for bleeding heart liberal Ronald Reagan.
posted by mondo dentro at 11:25 AM on July 13, 2005


Debate Hayes' research, not the poster's alleged motives.

Okay, but if the research is valid, why was it never used by the administration to justify a genuinely controversial decision to go to war?

It seems like the kind of dynamite material that would go a long way to appease anti-war centrists. I find it hard to believe that one private citizen would know more about a Saddam-Usuma connection than the CIA (and the Bush administration by proxy), or that the administration would not use this information, if true.

That this research was never used gives rise to concerns about its validity. Since you raised this in a FPP, jenleigh, can you please respond to this point?
posted by Rothko at 11:28 AM on July 13, 2005


But the amount of research he's done and the point he is making is worthy of note whether you agree or not.

Next in the blue: Answers in Genesis! The True Origins archive! Why isn't creationism getting play in the liberal media???
"It's worthy of note" whether you 'agree' with it with your pesky facts or not!
posted by deanc at 11:40 AM on July 13, 2005


That this research was never used gives rise to concerns about its validity. Since you raised this in a FPP, jenleigh, can you please respond to this point?

I thought I just had:

"And I haven't a clue whether there is validity to Hayes' claims or not."

Again, as with other kinds of theories discussed the other day, in neither case am I trying to make the thread about me but about this or that piece of controversial information which has not been covered before at MeFi. If Hayes writing has been FPP'd before, I apologize for overlooking it. But there's a reason I try to avoid editorialization or axe-grinding in my posts.
posted by jenleigh at 11:47 AM on July 13, 2005


You don't want your islamofobia to shine through?
posted by mr.marx at 11:54 AM on July 13, 2005


"And I haven't a clue whether there is validity to Hayes' claims or not."

But you post it nonetheless.

I don't know, I'm not trying to suggest what your motives are, but what exactly is the point in posting this if you don't know — or seem to care to know — whether Hayes' research is true or not?

So far, by any rational standard, this material is known to be bogus very simply because the people who would benefit most from these "revelations" don't use them.
posted by Rothko at 11:54 AM on July 13, 2005


jenleigh writes "And I haven't a clue whether there is validity to Hayes' claims or not"

I am afraid I misunderstand you. Are you saying then that anything goes on the blue, no matter how offlandish, it just needs to be a "piece of controversial information which has not been covered before at MeFi"? So what's next, new proofs of creation theories, astrology reborn, Scientology justified? And by the way, why do you post this one theory and forget all other crackpottish 9/11 conspiracies out there?
posted by nkyad at 12:49 PM on July 13, 2005


I don't agree with Hayes, but this an interesting post. Thanks for the links, jenleigh.
posted by homunculus at 1:32 PM on July 13, 2005


Debate Hayes' research, not the poster's alleged motives.

That's actually impossible, jenleigh. Hayes' "research" is all based on raw intelligence. (Intelligence that the CIA won't back up, by the way).

Raw intelligence is like raw sewage. Most of it is just shit.

The actual hard work at the CIA is sifting through the raw intelligence and finding the truth: the diamond ring flushed down the toilet, to abuse my metaphor.

The problem is, the CIA does not stand by Hayes' ridiculous assertions, and the average Joe and Jane has absolutely no ability to verify the raw intelligence (unless you happen to be 007).

The fact that Bush, who has tried every justification for the Iraq war he could think of, chose to do nothing with this tells you all you need to know. There isn't anything to discuss.

In other words, Hayes is an ass making baseless claims.
posted by teece at 1:43 PM on July 13, 2005


I am afraid I misunderstand you. Are you saying then that anything goes on the blue, no matter how offlandish, it just needs to be a "piece of controversial information which has not been covered before at MeFi"? So what's next, new proofs of creation theories, astrology reborn, Scientology justified?

This hints at the real problem with this post, I think. There's really not much difference between this post and one that gives equal credence to any other debunked theory, like creationism.
posted by Rothko at 2:13 PM on July 13, 2005


Metafilter: It tires me that we are still having this discussion.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 3:18 PM on July 13, 2005


Debate Hayes' research, not the poster's alleged motives.

Not much to debate in the former so they went for the latter. Hayes being full of it shouldn't be a surprise especially considering where it was published. It's not much different from the sludge churned out from places like techcentralstation.


mondo dentro,

I agree with James Webb except that I have my doubts that a War of Terrorism can be fought by the military barring special forces type missions. Traditional wars seem to breed more terrorism rather than curb it. The real use for our military would be for joint UN humanitarian interventions in various African nations.
posted by john at 6:15 PM on July 13, 2005


We shouldn't worry about the Iraq war.

In the immortal words of ParisParamus: The thing is, this will likely be a 14-day or even 7-day war, so watch as the pacifists quickly move from telling us how evil President Bush is, to how, The Occupation is destroying Iraqi society.

Once again: PATHETIC, delusional, A-HOLE PACIFISTS.
posted by mosch at 11:28 PM on July 13, 2005


Let's see...it's now come almost full circle....9/11....terrorists....WMD...."liberation"....and now back to terrorism.

Funny how the justification for war must change so often. So look for a non-editorializing, non axe-grinding post Real Soon Now that just happens to non-conservatively detail speculation that Saddam actually had nerve gas hidden in his underwear when captured.

Case open?
But there's a reason I try to avoid editorialization or axe-grinding in my posts.

Methinks "there's a reason" the lady doth protest so everlastingly much.

~chuckle~
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 7:33 AM on July 14, 2005


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