Hayes: master of bad analysis
From the Weakly Standard:
THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION Tuesday received further support for its claims of a connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda from an important source: new Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. Allawi, who has long claimed knowledge of the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship, reiterated these beliefs in an interview with NBC's Tom Brokaw.
Brokaw: I know you and others like you are grateful for the liberation of Iraq. But can't you understand why many Americans feel that so many young men and women have died here for purposes other than protecting the United States?
Allawi: We know that this is an extension to what happened in New York. And the war have been taken out to Iraq by the same terrorists. Saddam was a potential friend and partner and natural ally of terrorism.
Brokaw: Prime minister, I'm surprised that you would make the connection between 9/11 and the war in Iraq. The 9/11 commission in America says there is no evidence of a collaborative relationship between Saddam Hussein and those terrorists of al Qaeda.
Allawi: No, I believe very strongly that Saddam had relations with al Qaeda. And these relations started in Sudan. We know Saddam had relationships with a lot of terrorists and international terrorism. Now, whether he is directly connected to the September atrocities or not, I can't vouch for this. But definitely I know that he has connections with extremism and terrorists.
OK, so basically Allawi is either just to be trusted, or he's going to show us intelligence that proves him right. Right? Well, clearly not. Basically what Hayes wants us to do is say "Wow, this little puppet we set up MUST know what he's talking about." But that isn't going to happen. He also admits the fragile nature of Allawi's words:
Allawi's claims of an Iraq-al Qaeda link have not always been credible. Earlier in December, he provided journalists with a document claiming that lead hijacker Mohammed Atta had trained in Baghdad the summer before the 9/11 attacks. The three-page report, which also claimed Iraq had sought uranium from Niger, was quickly rejected as a forgery. (That last claim, however, received a boost yesterday with an article in the Financial Times that laid out intelligence suggesting that despite the fact that a key document relating to the Iraq-Niger uranium story had been forged, the broader contention was likely true.)
So who else should we believe? Barham Salih, the current deputy prime minister in Iraq. Perhaps Hayes knows not the meaning of "agenda," but isn't it a little ridiculous to say that we just need to trust these people?