Stephen F. Hayes

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Hayes in September 2011.

Stephen F. Hayes (born 1974) is a columnist for The Weekly Standard, a prominent American conservative magazine. Hayes has been selected as the official biographer for Vice President Dick Cheney.[1]

Before joining The Weekly Standard, Hayes was a senior writer for National Journal's Hotline. He also served for six years as Director of the Institute on Political Journalism at Georgetown University. His work has appeared in the New York Post, Washington Times,, National Review, and Reason. He has been a commentator on CNN, The McLaughlin Group, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNBC, and C-SPAN.

Personal life[edit]

A graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and DePauw University, Hayes was born and raised in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin in suburban Milwaukee County. He is a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He lives on the Chesapeake Bay with his wife and two children.

In September 2014, Hayes' name was added to the Department of Homeland Security's Terrorist Watchlist after receiving additional scrutiny on several airline flights.[2]

Writings and political views[edit]

Foreign policy writings[edit]

Hayes has "been a regular critic of the Bush administration" on issues such as overspending and North Korea. He is well known[3] for his writings postulating an operational relationship between Saddam Hussein's Iraq and the al-Qaeda terrorist organization. He wrote, for example, "there can no longer be any serious argument about whether Saddam Hussein's Iraq worked with Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda to plot against Americans."[4] Hayes authored a book on this subject titled: The Connection: How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein has Endangered America [ISBN 0-06-074673-4]. His major source was a leaked memo from Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith to the U.S. Congress on 27 October 2003.[5]

In a June 2, 2004 interview with writer Kathryn Jean Lopez, Hayes stated that his book's argument was backed up by a variety of public statements by people connected with the Defense Department, particularly by senior figures in the Democratic Party. He referenced Indiana Senator Evan Bayh's description of Iraq and al Qaeda as in a relationship of "mutual exploitation" and Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman's comment that "There are extensive contacts between Saddam Hussein's government and al Qaeda." Hayes told Lopez, "Bin Laden has dissed Saddam several times. And I would certainly never argue that they were buddies. It was an on-again, off-again relationship based... on mutual exploitation and a common enemy." He said that he broadly accepted the Feith report, despite the inclusion of "old" and "raw" pieces of intelligence, because "most of the report tracks with what Tenet has said publicly" (the CIA director George Tenet).[6]

Critics of Hayes such as have stated that the intelligence community consistently held that the relationship between Saddam and al-Qaeda was not operational, with Tenet telling 60 Minutes, "We could never verify that there was any Iraqi authority, direction and control, complicity with al-Qaeda for 9/11 or any operational act against America, period."[7]

Bill Moyers dispute[edit]

In 2002, Hayes penned an opinion article describing former PBS host Bill Moyers as a left-leaning activist who exhibited on-air bias.[8]

Published work[edit]


  • The Brain: Paul Wolfowitz and the Making of the Bush Doctrine. New York: HarperCollins. 2005. ISBN 0-06-072346-7. 
  • The Connection: How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein has Endangered America. New York: HarperCollins. 2004. ISBN 0-06-074673-4. 
  • Cheney: The Untold Story of America's Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President. New York: HarperCollins. 2007. ISBN 0-06-072346-7. 


  1. ^ U.S. News & World Report: "Washington Whispers." August 28, 2006.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Judd Legum, "Cheney Praises Stephen Hayes, Pushes Hussein/Al-Qaeda Link," Think Progress (12 January 2006); Matthew Yglesias, "Disconnected," The American Prospect (8 June 2004).
  4. ^ Stephen F. Hayes, Case Closed," Weekly Standard (24 November 2003).
  5. ^ Weekly Standard: "Preview: Case Closed."
  6. ^
  7. ^ Grieve, Tim. "Welcome back, Tony",, 04-30-2007. Retrieved 05-01-2007.
  8. ^ Weekly Standard: "PBS's Televangelist."

External links[edit]