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Hayes, Stephen F.

PERSONAL:

Born in Wauwatosa, WI. Education: DePauw University, graduated; Columbia University, graduate degree.

ADDRESSES:

Office—The Weekly Standard, 1150 17th St. N.W., Ste. 505, Washington, DC 20036.

CAREER:

Former senior writer for the National Journal Hotline; Georgetown University, Washington, DC, director of the Institute on Political Journalism for six years; Weekly Standard, Washington, DC, currently senior editor.

WRITINGS:

The Connection: How Al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2004.

Contributor to periodicals, including the National Review, Washington Times, Reason, New York Post, and Salon.com.

SIDELIGHTS:

Political journalist Stephen F. Hayes is a former director of the Institute on Political Journalism and has written for the National Journal and Weekly Standard. His debut book, The Connection: How Al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America, assumes a currently out-of-vogue position that there was, in fact, a connection between the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and the terrorist organization Al Qaeda. The connection between the two was one of the justifications of President George W. Bush's decision to invade that country, along with the belief that Iraq was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction (WMD). After no WMD's were discovered, the theory of a connection between Iraq and the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden was also discredited by many reporters and politicians. Hayes, on the other hand, maintains that there was, indeed, a connection, and he seeks to support this position in his book.

The Connection draws its information from sources such as interviews, court records, newspaper reports, and documents readily available on the Internet. While the author did conduct research in Iraq, most of his analysis was conducted at home. One of Hayes's key pieces of evidence for his argument is the so-called Feith memo. This, the author explained in a National Review Web site interview with Kathryn Jean Lopez, was a report supporting the Iraq-Al Qaeda link by "Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith sent to the Senate Intelligence Committee … in response to a request by that panel to see information the Pentagon gathered on Iraq-al Qaeda connections." It is a document that the Pentagon later denied as relevant. Hayes also contends, among other evidence, that an Iraqi agent named Ahmed Hikmat Shakir was employed by Malaysian Airlines and through this connection met with September 11 terrorist Khalid al Mihdhar. But even while Hayes admitted to Lopez that the alleged Shakir-al Mihdhar meeting story "is far from conclusive," he insists that this, along with other circumstantial evidence, makes his case. For example, he tells of reports that Mohammed Atta, the man who planned the September 11 event, met with Iraqi representatives in Prague, Czech Republic, in the spring prior to the attacks.

A number of reviewers felt that Hayes's book is too one-sided, favoring supportive evidence while dismissing evidence that puts his theories in doubt. "Hayes cannot bear to let his pet theory fall by the wayside, whether it is borne out by the facts or not," stated Gideon Rose in a New York Times Book Review assessment. Rose added: "What Hayes ducks is the 130 billion dollar question that should have been at the core of his book: "whether a Hussein-bin Laden alliance was not merely conceivable, but so worrisome as to require a preventive war to stop it." A Publishers Weekly critic, frustrated by the fact that Hayes does not include source notes in his book, felt that "most readers will conclude from this volume that the Saddam-al-Qaeda thread has some play left in it."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

National Review, July 12, 2004, Andrew C. McCarthy, "Connected," p. 44.

New York Times Book Review, September 19, 2004, Gideon Rose, "Proof," p. 19.

Publishers Weekly, May 31, 2004, review of The Connection: How Al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America, p. 66.

ONLINE

America's Future Foundation,http://www.affbrainwash.com/ (June 6, 2004), Justin Logan, "Book Review: The Connection."

Front Page Magazine Online,http://www.frontpagemag.com/ (January 28, 2004), Jamie Glazov, "The Al-Qaeda/Saddam Link," interview with Stephen F. Hayes.

National Review Online,http://www.nationalreview.com/ (June 2, 2004), Kathryn Jean Lopez, "The Terror Ties That Bind Us to War," interview with Stephen F. Hayes.

Weekly Standard Online,http://www.weeklystandard.com/ (February 6, 2008), brief biography of Stephen F. Hayes.

Hayes, Stephen F.

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