As several of us have noted countless times, there are influential elements of the Intelligence Community who are unmovably vested in the absence of a meaningful relationship between Saddam Hussein's regime and radical Islam. By some calculated leaks to friends in the mainstream media, they've once again managed to put an Orwellian spin on an important study, claiming the new Pentagon report on Iraq's terror shows, as the New York Times and ABC put it, "no link" between Saddam and al Qaeda. They are trying to write the narrative before anyone can read what the report actually says.
What it says is breathtaking. Today's required reading should be Steve Hayes's post over at the Weekly Standard's blog and Eli Lake's article in the New York Sun. There is simply no doubt that there were serious ties between Saddam's Iraq and al Qaeda elements — most especially, Egyptian Islamic Jihad (run by al Qaeda's No. 2, Ayman Zawahiri, who merged formally EIJ into al Qaeda in 1998).