Cole on outing of Al Qaida double agent
Sat Aug 7th, 2004 at 04:01:06 GMT
Juan Cole sums it up nicely:So one scenario goes like this. Bush gets the reports that Eisa al-Hindi had been casing the financial institutions, and there was an update as recently as January 2004 in the al-Qaeda file. So this could be a live operation. If Bush doesn't announce it, and al-Qaeda did strike the institutions, then the fact that he knew of the plot beforehand would sink him if it came out (and it would) before the election. So he has to announce the plot. But if he announces it, people are going to suspect that he is wagging the dog and trying to shore up his popularity by playing the terrorism card. So he has to be able to give a credible account of how he got the information. So when the press is skeptical and critical, he decides to give up Khan so as to strengthen his case. In this scenario, he or someone in his immediate circle decides that a mere double agent inside al-Qaeda can be sacrificed if it helps Bush get reelected in the short term.
On the other hand, sheer stupidity cannot be underestimated as an explanatory device in Washington politics.
People, this is bigger than the Plame Affair (as horrible as that outing was). We are locked in a bona fide war against a shadowy enemy. We finally infiltrate an Al Qaida cell, and our asset is burned in a matter of days either out of political expediency or sheer stupidity.
It boggles the mind.
As Juan Cole, regardless of which it is, the current administration does not deserve to be in power. Kerry needs to make this an issue.
Saturday, August 7, 2004
Posted by Fixer at 10:27