19 November 2003

Joe Conason's Journal

Most of the rest of the story -- and apparently the most damning items in the Feith memo -- is old material. The Standard story offers up its chestnuts in a breathless tone that sometimes verges on the comical. To explain why more evidence of the al-Qaida connection has yet to surface, Hayes notes that 'both Saddam and bin Laden were desperate to keep their cooperation secret. (Remember, Iraqi intelligence used liquid paper on an internal intelligence document to conceal bin Laden's name.)' Obviously, those villains assumed that nobody would have a penknife handy to scrape away the White-out.

Still, the nation's intelligence agencies were clearly alarmed by the leaking of the Feith memo, which names various important sources. On Saturday, with a screaming New York Post front-page headline on the newsstands, the Pentagon issued this statement:

'News reports that the Defense Department recently confirmed new information with respect to contacts between al-Qaida and Iraq in a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee are inaccurate ...

White-out? Will these fiends stop at nothing? Cannot the UN immediately declare the use of White-out a crime against humanity? Meanwhile the right hemisphere of blogland is busy circulating and recirculating this exciting material, even after the White House and the US Defence Department have disavowed it. Perhaps they have confused velocity with veracity...

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