Tuesday, February 11, 2003

I have been following (although not really writing about) the near-disintegration of the Powell case over the past week or so with no small amount of relish. First, of course, there's the British plagiarism, which hurt Powell's credibility. Then there were the questions about the context of the intercepted conversations, and the accuracy of the interpretation of those satellite photos. Then there was the news that the "agent" within that terrorist organization operating in Northern Iraq (which is not controlled by Saddam) was more a spy than a liason, thus making Saddam no more tied to said organization than anybody else with HUMINT resources within terrorist organizations. (Not to mention the news that apparently, the organization isn't overly tied to Al Qaeda).

Now, as the icing on the cake, we have proof that Al Qaeda likes Saddam about as much as bush does. I'll let Atrios sum it up:

Powell announces al-Jazeera has a tape which demonstrates a nexus of al Qaeda and Saddam. al-Jazeera says they don't. Then Powell claims they'll have the tape soon. They get the tape. They run it. Far from it demonstrating a link between OBL and Saddam, OBL says they should overthrow Saddam.
Finally, in about the clearest bit of evidence yet that Alterman has the "liberal" media nailed, we find out that MSNBC edited their own story because it clearly and devastatingly contradicted the Bush administration's attempts to link Saddam and Usama. At time of writing, they've claimed that the initial translation was "a mistake", but have torpedoed their own credibility by altering their stories without acknowdgement of the alterations. (A common problem nowadays; technology makes the truth easier to cover up than to ferret out, which is why one should be more than a little skeptical about pronouncements from this notoriously-averse-to-truthtelling administrations.)

Oh, and it looks like the next target might not be Saudi Arabia, Iran, or North Korea... but France and Germany, as the NATO alliance lurches on the edge of oblivion. Which, of course, would be WWIII. And the domestic economic indicators couldn't be worse, as Bush releases a budget that most serious economists simply stare in shock at.

It's hard to think of how the neo-conservatives could have screwed up their world domination coming-out party any more than they already have. If there's any consolation to be taken from this, it's that when all is said and done, there's no doubt that the movement will be utterly discredited, and the Union will be stronger for it.

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