Tuesday, April 3, 2007

WSJ Having Fun With al-Reuters

This is at once quite humorous (WSJ) and, at the same time, incredibly insipid and partisan (al Reuters). From James Tarantan at the WSJ:

The Bad News Is the Good News Is Right President Bush has done a good job in the war against al Qaeda, Reuters reports. Seriously:

"Bush's administration has crippled al Qaeda's ability to carry out major attacks on U.S. . . .

Even as al Qaeda tries to rebuild operations in Pakistan, experts including current and former intelligence officials believe the group would have a hard time staging another September 11 because of U.S. success at killing or capturing senior members whose skills and experience have not been replaced.

But of course you know this is really bad news. The dispatch is titled "Bush Success vs. al Qaeda Breeds Long-Term Worries," and the text we omitted from the lead paragraph reads, ". . . but at a political and economic cost that could leave the country more vulnerable in years to come, experts say."
One of those "experts" is Michael Scheuer, who was last seen describing the Holocaust Museum as part of a Jewish conspiracy to control America:
"Look at al Qaeda's plans," said Michael Scheuer, who once led the CIA team devoted to finding al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. "They're very simply defined in two phrases: spread out America's forces and bleed the United States to bankruptcy. I'd argue America has been under attack successfully every day since 9/11 from that perspective.

"If you're looking at it from the cave, or wherever al Qaeda is hiding at the moment, you have to be pretty happy with the way the world is moving," he said.

Our favorite, though, is the closing quote in the piece:
IntelCenter chief executive Ben Venzke said the chance of an al Qaeda attack on U.S. soil has grown based on the militant network's increasing references to the American homeland in public messages.

"Our leading thinking is that we are closer now to an attempt at a major attack in the United States than at any point since 9/11," Venzke said.

There is no denying Venzke is right. If an al Qaeda attack is in the future, then it is closer now than at any point since 9/11. Venzke has stumbled onto something profound: the linear and sequential nature of time.

There are other disturbing implications as well. If you survived 9/11--and this is true no matter who you are--you are more than five years closer to death now than you were then. Reuters should look into this aspect of the story. No doubt they can find some experts to explain that it's President Bush's fault.

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