SADDAM AND AL-QAEDA….This isn’t really news to anyone but Stephen Hayes and Dick Cheney, but a new Pentagon study demonstrates what the rest of us have known for years: Saddam Hussein was a vicious thug, but he didn’t have any serious connection to al-Qaeda:

The study, which is due to be released Wednesday, is based on the analysis of some 600,000 official Iraqi documents seized by US forces after the invasion. It is also based on thousands of hours of interrogations of former top officials in Saddam’s government who are now in U.S. custody. The headline: “This study found no ‘smoking gun’ (i.e., direct connection) between Saddam’s Iraq and al Qaeda.”

….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.

Warren Strobel has a bit more here.