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[casi] Always Said to Stear Clear From These

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-------- Message d'origine --------
Sujet: [AL-AWDA-Canada] Pentagon Questions Reports on Osama-Saddam Ties
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2003 00:42:30 -0500
De: bahija2 <>
A: undisclosed-recipients:;
NOVEMBER 18, 2003
Pentagon Questions Reports on Osama-Saddam Ties
Some Outlets Run With 'Weekly Standard' Story

By Seth Porges

NEW YORK -- Updated at 11 a.m. ET, Nov. 19

Several newspapers and other media outlets had egg on their face Monday
after reporting or endorsing a Weekly Standard story revealing new
evidence of an "operational relationship" between Saddam Hussein and
Osama Bin Laden.

Several outlets, including the New York Post, The Washington Times and
FOX News, ran with the story. There was just one problem: On Saturday,
the Pentagon issued a press release stating that "news reports that the
Defense Department recently confirmed new information with respect to
contacts between al-Qaida and Iraq ... are inaccurate."

Despite this, the New York Post on Monday titled its editorial on the
subject: "Bush Was Right." [And on Wednesday, New York Times columnist
William Safire endorsed the report, alleging that the secret memo "has
gone relatively uncovered by the major media" only because it had
surfaced in Weekly Standard. Oddly, his column is titled "Mistakes Were
Made" and in it he suggests 10 different areas (but not this one) where
corrections are due. ]

In the current Nov. 24 issue of the conservative journal The Weekly
Standard, Stephen F. Hayes writes that Osama bin Laden and Saddam
Hussein "had an operational relationship from the early 1990s to 2003
that involved training in explosives and weapons of mass destruction,
logistical support for terrorist attacks, al Qaeda training camps and
safe haven in Iraq, and Iraqi financial support for al Qaeda."

The magazine's revelations allegedly came from a "top secret U.S.
government memorandum obtained by The Weekly Standard." The Pentagon
press release, however, states that the classified sections of the
document contained "raw reports" and "was not an analysis of the
substantive issue of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaida and it
drew no conclusions."

The Nov. 17 New York Post editorial made no mention of the Pentagon
refuting the charge as "inaccurate."

Also on Monday, The Washington Times carried an editorial on the issue,
using The Weekly Standard article as evidence. At the end of the
editorial, the Times mentions the Pentagon release, but urges "readers
to examine the Weekly Standard article and decide for themselves."

On Nov. 16, The Washington Post's Walter Pincus reported that the CIA
has found "no evidence that Hussein sought to arm terrorists."

The New York Post editorial opens:

"As blood flowed freely again this weekend in the War on Terror, this
time in Turkey as well as Iraq, a new report in The Weekly Standard
suggests that events there may not be unrelated.

"In fact, the report by Stephen Hayes -- based on a top-secret
government memo -- documents an even more profound linkage: between none
other than Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

"The memo, provides enormous evidence that the Bush team was right all
along about Saddam's terrorist ties -- despite charges to the contrary
by the president's foes, particularly Democrats ..."

Source: Editor & Publisher Online

Seth Porges ( is a reporter for E&P.

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