Anybody surprised by this?
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.
The study, which was due to be released Wednesday, found no "smoking gun" or any evidence of a direct connection between Saddam's Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist organization.
The report 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.
Others have reached the same conclusion, but no previous study has had access to so much information. Further, this is the first official acknowledgement from the U.S. military that there is no evidence Saddam had ties to Al Qaeda.
UPDATE: According to ABC News, "[The report] won't be emailed to reporters and it won't be posted online."
According to our great C&L commenters, it can be found here.