Amazing, that on July 7 Josh Marshall wrote:
From TNR’s new piece, ‘July Surprise’…
A third source, an official who works under ISI’s director, Lieutenant General Ehsan ul-Haq, informed tnr that the Pakistanis “have been told at every level that apprehension or killing of HVTs [i.e., high-value al Qaida targets] before [the] election is [an] absolute must.” What’s more, this source claims that Bush administration officials have told their Pakistani counterparts they have a date in mind for announcing this achievement: “The last ten days of July deadline has been given repeatedly by visitors to Islamabad and during [ul-Haq's] meetings in Washington.” Says McCormack: “I’m aware of no such comment.” But according to this ISI official, a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that “it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July”–the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
Imagine that …
Right on schedule, the Pakistanis have indeed come through for us, only hours before Kerry speaks. Amazing. Do I think the whole thing was choreographed? Yes, I do. Like everything else we’ll see from now until election day, it’s pure show, scripted by Karl Rove to help george win again.
We may have captured an important al Qaeda man; it’s the timing that’s choreographed. It’s vintage Rove, just like yesterday’s whisper campaign about Kerry’s “re-eneacted” Vietnam movies, just a few hours before Edwards spoke. Distract, distort, demolish — it’s been Rove’s winning formula for decades, and he’s not changing it now.
[Marshall link is via Kos.]
Update: Here’s what Marshall says.
This is just the latest, but perhaps the most blatant, example of how this administration has placed politics and, really, political dirty tricks above national security itself, and along the way persisted in defining political deviance down until tactics we used to associate with banana republics start to seem commonplace here.
And while we’re at it, this is yet another example of how truly important it is that we democratize the Middle East. Because once we have, some of them will be able to come back here and redemocratize us.
Before reading Kevin Phillips’ American Dynasty I may have been a skeptic about this type of story. Not anymore. The Bush’s I and II thrive on covert operations and trickery like this; it is the norm.. It is not a matter of conspiracy but of documented fact. Just like the whisper campaigns against John McCain and Max Cleland, these things are always coordinated and intentional. According to the WaPo:
Pakistani officials have rejected allegations that they delayed the announcement for four days to obtain maximum publicity. Hayat said the delay was a result of “double checks and even triple checks in such cases.”
But in the arrests of other high-profile al Qaeda targets in Pakistan, including Abu Zubayida, Khalid Sheik Mohammad and Ramzi Bin al Shibh, the news media received word almost immediately.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.