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Saturday, July 31, 2004
Did the GOP Have Lori Hacking Killed? (And Other Tales of Paranoia)

By Steven Taylor @ 10:54 am

Yesterday I noted a little paranoia emanating from Mr. Drum (also here) over the idea that the Bush administration has specifically pressured the Paks to arrest a top suspect to spoil the DNC. Drum wondered earlier in the week as to the timing of the arrest of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani(a key suspect in the African embassy bombings of 1998) and ponderes whether it may fit the bill and prove the theory-especially since it seems that the Paks waited a few days to release the information.

However, given that people who are paying attention wonder in public, Who Is It?, one wonders as to the strength of this argument. And yes, I know, just because it didn’t distract from the DNC, or wasn’t as high a value of a target as it coudl have been doesn’t disprove the theory. Still, I find the whole concept to be paranoid and simply fuels the idea that the Democrats would rather see Bush lose than to see Bush have any success in the war on terror between now and November.

Indeed, I have noted that despite a great deal of news consumption, I have heard precious little about the arrest. In fact, it occured to me that if the GOP is trying to take media time from the Dems, then maybe they had Lori Hacking killed, because that has taken up a whole lot more news time than has the arrest of Ghailani. And it is the kind of story that is more likely to attract the attention of the less-politically invovled swing voter. (Yes, I am being silly, but so are Drum and the New Republic).

I would note that the The New Republic Online story that Drum cites suggests that the administration is pressuring Pakistan specifically for electoral reasons (based on some quotes from sources within the Pakistani intellgence agency). While I have no doubt that the administration would love to have high value target arrested during the campaign, I also am sure that the administration would have liked to have arrested a HVT at any time. This onging paranoia that the administration has the ability to produce whomever they wish on command borders on the insane. It is akin to the more radical right-wing nonsense aimed at Clinton (such as the idea that he had people killed or used to run drugs when he was Governor of Arkansas). As such, this kind of nonsense does not befit the New Republic.

And further, haven’t the anti-administration types been screaming that we aren’t doing enough against al Qaeda specifically? So now that it appears that pressure is mounting, it must be political? Is it at all possible that whatever is currently going on is the natural evolution of the policy? Is it not also possible that the sources that NR used were misinterpreting the requests of the admin, or that they wanted to damage the Bush administration (let’s face fact: the Pakistani intelligence community, sectors of which aided the Taliban, aren’t all pro-American).

And by the way, note to Kevin Drum, the New Republic and whomever else it applies: capturing Ghailani is a good thing.

Filed under: 2004 Campaign

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