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Bush administration puts kibosh on Pentagon report confirming no link between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein

Reported by Chrish - March 12, 2008 -

Remember the 19-second announcement Tuesday morning about the Pentagon's finding no links between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda prior to the US invasion? In full, it said

"There's no link between Saddam Hussein's regime and Al Qaeda, this according to an exhaustive study by the Pentagon. More than 600,000 Iraqi documents captured after the 2002 inva, 2003 invasion, were reviewed. The study is scheduled for release later this week."

The report, which was to have been released today, will not be made available on-line and can only be had by written request, due to being "too politically sensitive."

Update: Crooks and Liars has the report here.

ABCNews Jonathan Karl reports

The Bush Administration apparently does not want a U.S. military study that found no direct connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda to get any attention. This morning, the Pentagon cancelled plans to send out a press release announcing the report's release and will no longer make the report available online.

The report was to be posted on the Joint Forces Command website this afternoon, followed by a background briefing with the authors. No more. The report will be made available only to those who ask for it, and it will be sent via U.S. mail from Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia.

It won't be emailed to reporters and it won't be posted online.

Asked why the report would not be posted online and could not be emailed, the spokesman for Joint Forces Command said: "We're making the report available to anyone who wishes to have it, and we'll send it out via CD in the mail."

Another Pentagon official said initial press reports on the study made it "too politically sensitive."

ABC News obtained the comprehensive military study of Saddam Hussein's links to terrorism on Tuesday. Read the report's executive summary HERE.

While the study confirms that Hussein used terror tactics on his own people it makes the all-important distiction, which the Bush administration does not want made widely public, that he was not in league with Al Qaeda and was not a threat to the US or our interests:

"... this is the first official acknowledgement from the U.S. military that there is no evidence Saddam had ties to Al Qaeda.

The study does, however, show that Saddam Hussein did much to support terrorism in the Middle East and used terrorism "as a routine tool of state power." Saddam's government, for example, had a program for the "development, construction, certification and training for car bombs and suicide vests in 1999 and 2000." The U.S. military is still dealing with the fall-out from this particular program.

The report says Saddam's bureaucrats carefully recorded the regime's connections to Palestinian terrorists groups and its financial support for the families of suicide bombers.

The primary target, however, of Saddam's terror activities was not the United States, and not Israel. "The predominant targets of Iraqi state terror operations were Iraqi citizens, both inside and outside of Iraq." Saddam's primary aim was self preservation and the elimination of potential internal threats to his power.

I sarcastically commented Tuesday that we looked forward to endless analysis and commentary on this report on FOX News. Now it appears that nobody will be reporting on it, as the Bush administration has signalled that this is to remain hush-hush, not as a matter of national security but because of the political fallout. But what does anyone expect from this crew?