Thursday, November 20, 2003

Weekly Standard's Latest

Here is the Weekly Standard reply to Newsweek's article responding to the Weekly Standard article on the Feith Memo.

Apparently, the Weekly Standard had not included a complete description of all the "data points" in the memo, for when the Newsweek reporters observed that "The Pentagon memo pointedly omits any reference to the interrogations of a host of other high-level al Qaeda and Iraqi detainees--including such notables as Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Abu Zubaida, and Hijazi himself," Stephen Hayes replied with "bullet-point 39," summarizing an interview with none other than Hijazi himself. Hayes continued, "either Isikoff and Hosenball have not seen the memo or they misreport its contents."

Hayes concludes:

It is, of course, possible that the information in the Feith memo is "cherry-picked" intelligence. It's also possible that some of the bullet points listed won't check out on further analysis. But Feith isn't alone in his conclusion that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden had a relationship. CIA Director George Tenet said more than a year ago that his agency had "solid reporting of senior level contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda going back a decade," that the CIA had "credible information" about discussions between Iraq and al Qaeda on "safe haven and reciprocal nonaggression" and "solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of al Qaeda members, including some that have been in Baghdad," and "credible reporting" that "Iraq has provided training to al Qaeda members in the areas of poisons and gases and making conventional bombs."

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