Just in time for Tony Blair, and those sagging approval rallies comes the announcement of the capture of Al Qaeda's No. 3 honcho.Of the latest No 3 the NYTs notes,
But how many times have we capture the "purported No. 3"?
We said we got No. 3 here in 2002, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed .
And here in 2003, Saif al-Adel.
And now "Scooter" Al Libbi?
But some intelligence officials in Europe expressed surprise at hearing Mr. Libbi described as Al Qaeda's third-highest leader, pointing out that he does not figure on the F.B.I.'s most-wanted list.Here is my favorite part of Attaturk's post,
There is another Qaeda operative on the list with a similar name, Abu al-Liby, also a Libyan, who was indicted for an "operational role" in the bombings of two American embassies in East Africa in August 1998. (The surname, in its various transliterations, means simply the Libyan.)
American officials, when asked about the doubts, dismissed the idea that they had confused the Libyans, saying they know Mr. Liby is on the list, and reaffirming the importance of Mr. Libbi. To be included on the F.B.I.'s most wanted list, they noted, a terrorist must have been indicted by a federal grand jury, which Mr. Libbi has not.
Look for this to shake out over the next couple days, but bear in mind the Bush Administrations mantra, as we've discussed before.
1. Something Happens.
2. Spin immediately and hard that it is the greatest thing EVER!
3. Say it is because of Dear Leader.
4. Move on to next over-the-top declaration of Dear Leader's greatness before anyone notices what happened is not the greatest thing ever, but actually made things worse.
5. Blather, Rinse, Repeat!