STEPHEN F. HAYES has a story in the Weekly Standard about the Al Qaeda / Saddam connection. Unfortunately, the Standard’s site has been down since last night. But you can read excerpts here and here, where the interlineated comments add a lot of interest and perspective.

UPDATE: Read this, too.

And, though not precisely related, read this, as well.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Roger Simon observes that this is devastating evidence of how Big Media folks missed the Iraq/Al Qaeda story: “The other major media are lagging behind perhaps because this information cries out: WHERE WERE THEY? Well, they were reporting on our “quagmire” in Iraq while a ton of justification for our intervention was waiting for them to sift through. Why weren’t they interested?”

Why, indeed?

MORE: Here’s a link to the story.

STILL MORE: Robert Tagorda has links to various blog reactions.

MORE STILL: Hmm. This news release from DoD is interesting. It denies that DoD has found a connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda, but doesn’t actually say that there isn’t one. I think this is the key bit: “The classified annex was not an analysis of the substantive issue of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaida, and it drew no conclusions.” I’m not sure what to make of that — “Steve Hayes said it, we didn’t” seems the best reading — but no doubt it will get a full airing in time.

AND MORE: Josh Chafetz has more on this. Read it.