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September 07, 2004

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If you are going for that kind of conspiracy theory you really have to go all the way. It makes no sense for us to engineer the timing of the capture, he could slip away. The only thing that would make sense (as much as ridiculous conspiracy theories could) would be if we had already captured bin Laden and were delaying the announcement.

And if the administration were capable of pulling that level of secrecy off, you wouldn't be able to accuse them of incompetence.

It makes no sense for us to engineer the timing of the capture, he could slip away.

If he slips away, you'd be in no worse position than before. OTOH, timing it right reaps extraordinary political benefit. It's like betting with someone else's cash.

BTW, if one reads the international papers in Pakistan, the story of OBL's imminent capture is almost a daily feature.

"BTW, if one reads the international papers in Pakistan, the story of OBL's imminent capture is almost a daily feature."

And has been for almost 2 years.

"If he slips away, you'd be in no worse position than before. OTOH, timing it right reaps extraordinary political benefit. It's like betting with someone else's cash."

Gotcha. Except an administration that evil would have just planted WMD evidence in Iraq--yet another area where the BUSH LIED PEOPLE DIED crap doesn't make any logical sense.

Keeping in mind this speculation originates with Edward's conspiracy friend, if the capture of Bin Laden was delayed by even 10 seconds for political purposes, and Bin Laden used those seconds to murder people in Spain, and now, Russia, then we have, umm, a situation, which will not be dealt with adequately under the rule of law.

The stone-walling by this Administration (bad name) to protect the Saudis and the various tentacles of the Bin Laden family influence is of a piece. That is, if you believe conspiracies.

There are true, dangerous conspiracies and there are false, useful conspiracies. I think we're somewhere in the middle; we're in grave danger but the proof will arrive too late to be useful.

And if the administration were capable of pulling that level of secrecy off, you wouldn't be able to accuse them of incompetence.

Huh? Neither the charge of secrecy nor the charge of incompetency are all-embracingm nor are they mutually exclusive. See, for example, Abu Ghreib.

Gotcha. Except an administration that evil would have just planted WMD evidence in Iraq...

The distinction here would be that WMD evidence would need to be fabricated out of whole cloth, whereas one could make a national security argument that the capture of bin Laden needed to be kept quiet until more Al Qaeda operatives could be rounded up.

[I'm not saying I buy either conspiracy theory, just that they're qualitatively different.]

Except an administration that evil would have just planted WMD evidence in Iraq

Too difficult. And the risk (political fallout)associated with exposure would be too high to bear.

The risk associated with exposure of a timed bin Laden capture plan would be significantly be offset by the fact we got him.

The Bush administration/campaign is one of the most focused spin machines in history.

Just a hunch, but I'm guessing there's no metric by which this statement could be substantiated.

But what would happen if we found out that Bush is a BiSexual coke sniffer, who has not repented of these transgressions?

What then?

Note that planting WMD in Iraq would have been a major operation -- a couple of drums of sarin stashed out in the desert somewhere would fool no one. You'd need a fleet of trucks to carry enough stuff, and a place to stash it that was halfway believable. Possible, but not really something you'd want to have to do.

Having Delta Force grab bin Laden from a Pakistani safe house, hit him over the head, and stuff the body into a freezer (to be thawed as necessary) is a much smaller, simpler operation.

Have they already done it? It's possible, but I doubt it. Too many risks, too many uncertaities, and a potential disaster if they get caught at it.

Note that planting WMD in Iraq would have been a major operation

Oh, please. We have so many men and so much equipment in Iraq, all it'd take is a few truckloads of "supplies". If we'd really wanted to plant the evidence, it would have been found.

Could we have an Osama-captured-announcement pool? I pick October 11th.

October 19th.

what's the prize?

Edward: what's the prize?

A fabulous vacation to the Sunny Caribbean! Enjoy 100 weeks at the all-inclusive Guantanamo Bay resort. Crystal-clear waters! Powder-soft sand! No need to even pack your toothbrush, our attentive staff will cater to your every need. And for the first eight months, each guest enjoys his own private luxury accommodations--it's like having the island all to yourself from the moment you arrive!

Nice one Gromit.

The complementary welcome basket is a nice touch. Souvenirs are always a hit:

US army standard-issue 2cm-thick foam sleeping mat
One blanket
Two buckets (one for water, one for waste)
A one quart flask
Two orange boiler suits
A pair of flip-flops
Two bath towels (one for washing, one for use as a prayer mat)
A washcloth
Toothpaste
Soap
Shampoo
A copy of the Koran

That last one leaves me a bit confused though. I mean if you listen to certain right-wing bloggers, the instructions for becoming a die-hard terrorists are all right there in the Koran. Why would we supply suspected terrorists with a training manual?

"Why would we supply suspected terrorists with a training manual?"

I'm glad that you guys are enjoying yourselves, but make up your minds. You can either mock the Bush administration for their policies on illegal combatants, or you can mock them for their attempts to show at least some cultural sensitivity in the process - but mocking both is just a touch shabby.

Ah...that's the tone I was searching for.

Of course, Edward's just kidding, aren't you Edward?

You can either mock the Bush administration for their policies on illegal combatants, or you can mock them for their attempts to show at least some cultural sensitivity in the process - but mocking both is just a touch shabby.

You're right. I'm trying to have it both ways. Although I don't believe that desire is limited to my side.

Clearly I have been enjoying myself lately, though (remnants of a lovely Labor Day weekend). I promise to become my old dour self as quickly as possible.

On this topic. I have consistently given Bush very high marks for his cultural sensitivity in the War on Terror. I'll dig up the comments if anyone doesn't remember that.

And just so you know I'm not selfish, there's an easy joke for your side waiting in that list of items the prisoners are given as well. I was tempted to make the joke myself, but thought I'd let one of you have the pleasure.

And just so you know I'm not selfish, there's an easy joke for your side waiting in that list of items the prisoners are given as well. I was tempted to make the joke myself, but thought I'd let one of you have the pleasure.

Would that be "A fella could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff?"

Actually, that's better than mine d-p-u.

I thought someone would run, so to speak, with the 6th item.

"You're right. I'm trying to have it both ways."

You know, having somebody - anybody, anywhere - come out and admit it about anything is actually somewhat cheering. Thank you.

I thought someone would run, so to speak, with the 6th item.

Ho ho. Missed it.

You know, having somebody - anybody, anywhere - come out and admit it about anything is actually somewhat cheering. Thank you.

I'm trying to do that more often, actually. It's liberating. The idea that I should be right about everything struck me as absurd a few months back. So I'm proceeding with the attitude that this is my current belief and I'll explain why I feel that way, but if someone will point out or convince me that I'm wrong, I won't self-combust or have an irreversible existential crisis, so why not admit it. This environment, above all others, should provide a safe, comfortable forum for such epiphanies and admissions.

As to what Slarti's on about, however... ;PPPPPPP

Hmm. I thought that what Edward was mocking was not the Bush administration's decision to give prisoners a copy of the Qur'an, but "certain right-wing bloggers'"
views about what the Qur'an says. Oh well.

thanks hilzoy...kind of got lost in what followed, but you're right. The idea that the Koran demands violence is what I wanted originally to mock...

must. stay. focused. tricksy. opponents. constantly. confuse. me.

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