Nowhere has this case been made more cogently or completely than by Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard in his new book, "The Connection: How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America."
Far from some crackpot conspiracy theorist, Hayes is a cautious, seasoned journalist who is careful to add caveats about each piece of evidence. Even though, as he is quick to point out, a number of the stories and events may turn out not to be true, the sheer volume of ties ? in terms of both depth and breadth ? between Iraq and al Qaeda should leave little doubt that this was a determined, ongoing relationship.
"The Connection" lives up to its title in exploring Saddam's support for and sheltering of one of the perpetrators of the first World Trade Center bombing, as well as extensive meetings between various Iraqi intelligence officials and bin Laden over the years. Also covered in depth is top Qaeda terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who has operated in Iraq since before the war, and is likely behind yesterday's deadly bombing at a military recruiting station.
Hayes even presents evidence of an agreement for Iraq to aid al Qaeda in developing WMDs. The danger is obvious: Stockpiles or no, no one disputes Saddam's WMD know-how.
With heaps of evidence documenting at least a substantial relationship, the question becomes: What more do the media need, a photograph of a Saddam-bin Laden tea party?
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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