Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Ubiquitous Artifice

From The Progress Report:

On Sunday, it will have been 2,000 days since the 9/11 terror attacks -- 2,000 days that Osama bin Laden has spent on the loose, living in freedom.

Yesterday, a reporter asked White House Press Secretary Tony Snow about new U.S. intelligence showing that bin Laden is in Pakistan actively re-establishing al Qaeda training camps. At first, Snow claimed that this was "an intelligence matter that I'm not going to be able to go into," despite the fact that the new National Intelligence Director had testified about this topic the day before. He then suggested that bin Laden may now be "marginalized." A reporter responded, "Isn't he the leader of al Qaeda?" Snow answered, "Well, I don't know. It's a real question about who assumes operational command."

But last month, Vice President Cheney referenced the #3 of al Qaeda "underneath Osama bin Laden and Zawahiri." In December, Snow himself referred to al Qaeda as "the bin Laden organization." Moreover, President Bush, Tony Snow, and other White House officials frequently quote bin Laden as proof that al Qaeda considers Iraq "the central battlefield in the war on terror." Only when the Bush administration is asked to face the truth about the threat that bin Laden poses do they pretend he might be a bit player. Otherwise, the White House is happy to use bin Laden's propaganda to justify its failing policies.


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