Powerline dissects a Washington Post story that bugged the heck out of me as well. The main problem for me is that the WaPo is implying without actually having the nerve to state that U.S. psychological operations are targeting American citizens with factually incorrect information about jihadist al Zarqawi, the guy from those beheading videos.
The U.S. military is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to internal military documents and officers familiar with the program. The effort has raised his profile in a way that some military intelligence officials believe may have overstated his importance and helped the Bush administration tie the war to the organization responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Apparently the WaPo does not believe that a guy beheading people on video sent around the world as propaganda to turn political opinion against Operation Iraqi Freedom bares any significance as a threat to the stability of Iraq. And never mind the fact that he and his followers excel at bombing the crap out of Mosques, markets or even U.S. soldiers. No big deal says the WaPo.
But what really irritates me is that the day before this WaPo article came out, I happened to read this article from ABC News .
The New Head of Jihad Inc?
March 28, 2005 — However big a shock a recent suicide bombing in Doha was to the Qataris, it was far from unexpected in Western capitals, where intelligence agencies had discreetly put out a travel warning through their respective embassies.
The emirate, a key ally in the Bush administration's war on terror, has been high on the terrorist target list ever since it became home to the U.S. Central Command's operational headquarters in early 2003. Just five days before the March 19 blast, which killed a British teacher and wounded 12 others, the State Department issued a general warning to all Americans travelling in the Gulf that "extremists may be planning to carry out attacks against Westerners and oil workers" in the region. What did surprise intelligence officials was the name of the group which claimed responsibility for the bombing: Jund al-Sham ("Soldiers of the Levant").
Although the group said that this was its first statement, Jund al-Sham is the same name as a group started by the Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Intelligence officials believe it may be a sign that Zarqawi is beginning to attack targets outside Iraq, and may, in fact, be emerging as a replacement to Osama bin Laden as the operational leader of the global jihad. Analysts are concerned that Zarqawi may now begin to redeploy his cadre of militants who, having gained important combat experience in Iraq, are capable of carrying out deadly missions elsewhere.
- Alexis Debat, a former French Defense official, is a terrorism analyst and consultant to ABC News.
Note the author is a French military analyst, a group not exactly know for supporting Bush administration policies.
So almost exactly one year ago the implication was that OIF had produced a super terrorist who could threaten the world with his Jihad followers thus degrading our security. Now the implication is that OIF has exaggerated al Zarqawi's importance to make him more of a threat in public opinion to garner political support thus degrading the public trust of the President's office.
So the MSM actually provided both sides of the story for once. Either Bush harmed national security or he violated the public trust. They report, you pick a side against the President and OIF.