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The Connection: How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America Hardcover – June 1, 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060746734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060746735
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,909,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Weekly Standard reporter Hayes marshals a wealth of evidence that, in contrast with the tenuous connections that have so far made news, point to ties between Saddam Hussein's regime and al-Qaeda. Most intriguingly, Hayes finds links between Iraq and the 1993 World Trade Center bombers, one of whom apparently received shelter and financial support from Iraq after the attack. Hayes also gets confirmation by Czech officials of the alleged Prague meeting between September 11 hijacker Mohammed Atta and an Iraqi intelligence agent. Elsewhere, Hayes points to Iraqi intelligence documents that mention a "good relationship" with bin Laden. Other sources note an alleged agreement for Iraq to assist al-Qaeda in making chemical and biological weapons. Relying both on "open sources" like news articles, transcripts from the 1998 embassy bombing trials, as well as anonymous intelligence reports and informants, Hayes allows that some of these stories may prove unreliable. But he contends that the number, consistency and varied provenance of reports of high-level contacts between al-Qaeda and Iraq throughout the past decade allows one to "connect the dots" into a clear pattern of collaboration. Despite the frustrating absence of source notes and no knowledge of what cooperative efforts ever came of these contacts, most readers will conclude from this volume that the Saddam–al-Queda thread has some play left in it.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Stephen Hayes is a staff writer for the Weekly Standard. He has been a commentator on CNN, the Fox News Channel, and The McLaughlin Group. He lives outside Washington, D.C.

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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 71 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Looking at the previous reviews of this book, the ones with few stars are obviously politically motivated. It's doubtful that they've read the book, and some indulge in outrageous and even dystopian tangents that have no connection to the subject at hand. However, after the outcry for "connecting the dots" after 9-11 it doesn't make sense to sweep other connected dots under the rug. Did Saddam Hussein have connections to terrorists? Indisputably. To argue otherwise is to hide one's head (to speak diplomatically) in the sand. Was he connected to 9-11? Possibly. The important thing to understand is that author Stephen F. Hayes can only put forth "dots". Like any good prosecuting attorney, he presents his case clearly, giving exhibits that build a case on circumstantial evidence. But to be fair, the "dots" that should have been connected to stop 9-11 (if it could be humanly stopped) are also tenuous, unless one sees them with the benefit of hindsight. I will not say whether Hayes (in the interest of full disclosure, it must be said he works for the _Weekly Standard_, which raises as much hackles as a worker for _The New York Times_ to a so-called Neo-Con) proves his case. READ THE BOOK FOR YOURSELF, especially before you have the temerity to write a negative review. In fact, the reviews (all reviews) of this book, including positive ones, should be ignored because they are meaningless.Read more ›
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37 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Michael Feldbush on August 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Do you really KNOW the truth about the connection? Read on and find out what I believe about this book and about "the connection"...

This review will address three issues:

1. simple, clear, hard evidence proving that there IS a connection between Iraq and al Qaeda

2. the issue of whether or not the 9/11 commission report finds "connections" between Iraq and al Qaeda

3. my reactions to reading this book

1. In April 2003 two newspapers-one in Toronto and one in Britain-published stories about a document their reporters found in the rubble of Iraq's intelligence headquarters after the fall of Baghdad. This document shows proof of a meeting between Iraqi intelligence and a highly placed al Qaeda operative in 1998. You can easily check it out for yourself. Go to one of the following newspaper web sites: [...] (that's the Canadian paper "Toronto Star") or [...] (that's the London paper "The Telegraph"). If you choose the Canadian paper, do a search for stories by journalist Mitch Potter. If you choose the British paper, do a search for stories by journalist Inigo Gilmore. In either paper, look for stories published on April 27, 2003. There's your independent proof in black and white. I am astounded that no other media outlets or government agencies have brought this out into the public's view.

2. Many folks have cited the 9/11 commission report to "prove" or "disprove" connections between Iraq and al Qaeda. Democrats have ranted that the report has found no such connection. Republicans have railed that the report shows a connection between Iraq and al Qaeda, just not a connection between Iraq and 9/11. In reality, most of those folks haven't read a single sentence of the report.
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41 of 60 people found the following review helpful By E. Lee Zimmerman TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Despite your political leanings, one can read THE CONNECTION and find that there are a wealth of connections between the international terrorism community. It's very clear that the al Qaeda had a massive network of support -- be it financial, material, or providing training space -- and that the organization was intent upon inflicting harm wherever and whenever it say a truly calculated means. I think that Stephen Hayes has done an exceptional job at gathering together what proven and speculative bits have been exposed, and I think he does an exceptional job at putting it together in a fashion that makes the most sense to the average reader.

While the book tries very hard to show a definitive connection between al Qaeda and Iraq, I'm not completely convinced it hits the nail on the head. Yes, it is very clear that members within the Iraqi intelligence community were aware of al Qaeda, offered them support and training facilites, etc., but what the book falls short of convincing me is whether or not Saddam Hussein was aware and/or endorsed these activities.

More than anything, I think Hayes underscores that, when you're dealing with intelligence, there very rarely is a "smoking gun" ... rather, there's a lot of smoke one has to peer through in order to get to the bottom in order to reach any conclusions.

Kudos to the book for being accessible to the general public: there are an awful lot of difficult names and places (for a non-political thinker and reader like myself). Instead of spending time exploring the background of these folks and places, Hayes concentrates of current events mostly -- 1990s to the present -- in order to make his case.
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