The Pentagon just released a new report covering hundreds of documents recovered in Iraq following the invasion. What it shows is a clear link between Saddam and al Qaeda:

“Captured documents reveal that the regime was willing to co-opt or support organizations it knew to be part of al Qaeda — as long as that organization’s near-term goals supported Saddam’s long-term vision.”

And there’s this:

“Saddam supported groups that either associated directly with al Qaeda (such as the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, led at one time by bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al Zawahiri) or that generally shared al Qaeda’s stated goals and objectives.”

The media, of course, jumped on the line in the Executive Summary of the report (that’s as far as they read) that said there was no “smoking gun.”

For this, Stephen Hayes is a must read.