National Public Radio Apology

And now the most scintillating two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:

Al Qaeda Trained in Iraq Prior to 9/11

A weekly newspaper in Iraq has a detailed account of how Saddam Hussein's regime, two months before the 9/11 atrocities, had nearly 100 Al Qaeda (search) members come to Iraq and train for future operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

An unnamed Iraqi officer -- save for his initial, "L" -- tells the Al-Yawm Al-Aakher newspaper that he was among those ordered to help train the  -- "dear guests."

He says Saddam's -- "senior Fedayeen officers visited [the trainees] constantly and inspected them almost daily." Then, the source says, "On April 5, 2003, orders were issued to send these individuals to the battle front immediately."

Palestinians Question U.S. Sincerity

A new poll among Palestinians shows that 95 percent of them believe the United States is -- "not sincere" when it says it seeks to establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

What's more, the poll shows that 75 percent of Palestinians support the suicide bombing in Haifa (search), Israel, earlier this month that killed 21 civilians, including four children. However, the poll also shows that 85 percent of Palestinians support a -- "mutual cessation of violence by both sides."

Independent Dissent

The Senate voted 97 to 1 last week to urge that troops in Iraq and Afghanistan receive a "Global War On Terrorism Medal." The one dissenting vote was from Vermont Independent -- and one-time republican -- Jim Jeffords (search). His office says the awards would do a -- "disservice ... [by] making a connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq that doesn't necessarily exist."

National Public Radio Apology

NPR's ombudsman says the interview two weeks ago with our very own Bill O'Reilly (search) was -- "unfair to O'Reilly" and "unlike many interviews on NPR where the tone is civil."

Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin says host Terry Gross's questions -- "were pointed from the beginning. She went after O'Reilly using critical quotes from the [new Al] Franken book and a New York Times book review...By the time the interview was about halfway through, it felt as though Terry Gross was ...carrying Al Franken's water.”