Friday, April 27, 2007

Trotting out al Qaeda

[Update below]

It is always amusing to watch the Bush administration being licked by flames of recrimination. This certainly has been true lately, despite various media organs trying to cover for them. The Tillman and Lynch testimonies were only the latest in an ongoing rush of bad news for Bush. So, you just had to know some vital announcement was in the offing. Right?

Well, here it is. The Pentagon hastily trots out another captured, "high value" al Qaeda operative. But it is not an grand announcement of capture. al Hadi is merely be transferred from one military prison to another. The Washington Post, however, sees fit to portray the transfer as a recent capture with an entirely misleading headline:
Al Qaeda operative in U.S. custody
What does that make the story sound like?
An Iraqi al Qaeda member accused of assassination plots against Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and other attacks was transferred by the CIA to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo this week, the Pentagon said on Friday.

Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi was also accused of commanding al Qaeda's paramilitary operations in Afghanistan and launching attacks on U.S. and coalition forces from Pakistan, the Defense Department said.
We've seen this often enough, though you'd think by now the military would get their story straight before making these announcements.
One U.S. government official said al-Hadi was captured by the CIA, but another said he was first in military custody and given to the CIA for interrogation.
Even more amusing still is that the acutal capture of al Hadi probably occurred years ago, while WaPo would have readers think it has just occurred, at least from the headline. No one knows for sure because the Pentagon won't say when they captured him:
The Pentagon would not say when he was captured.

Some security analysts previously said the U.S.-led military coalition in Afghanistan captured al-Hadi in 2001, but the Defense Department on Friday accused him of providing leadership and reconnaissance support in attacks on U.S. forces as late as 2003.
According to Global Security, there is confidence that al-Hadi was captured in January, 2002.

Once again, we are being treated to the sight of the American media serving as a vehicle for White House/Pentagon propaganda designed to distract us from current imbroglios -- and there are a lot of them -- and make it seem like the military is winning, or at least not losing, the War on Terror™ by announcing the mere transfer of a years-long captured prisoner to Guantanomo Bay.

Freedom of the press. That really has a weird sound to it these days.

Update: Well, it seems that, rather than recognizing the Washington Post headline for it was, other major outlets are jumping on the propaganda bandwagon and declaring that the US has "nabbed" an al Qaeda operative, this from Murdoch's reliable network of dull-witted bridge trolls. The Voice of America is claiming that Abdul Hadi al-Iraqi was captured last year rather than the generally believed time of January, 2002. The NY Times jumps in with a blaring headline much like the Washington Post's, noting as well that the Pentagon refuses to say when he was actually captured. How the VOA comes by its "information" is not clear.


Post a Comment

<< Home