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The big July surpise is here. Coincidence?
July 29, 2004 1:29 PM   Subscribe

Earlier this month, internal white house rumors were leaked saying that ideally, it'd be great to find an Al Queda suspect during the week of the Democratic National Convention, since the Democrats would likely be grabbing headlines. Sounds like some crass opportunism instead of truly protecting the republic from terrorists, doesn't it?

Well, what do you know, today this message floated at the top of CNN.com, more important than Kerry's keynote. Even though the guy was caught on Sunday, we don't hear about it until today. Foxnews looks the same way (screenshot), with the Al Queda headline above Kerry's one day in the sun at Fox News. But it's all just a coincidence and we're not being played like a fiddle. Sure.
posted by mathowie (94 comments total)

 
I'm not a fan of newsfilter, but seeing the breaking news above kerry (didn't get a complete screenshot though), it really drove the point home how dirty politics are played today. We heard they'd shoot for catching someone this week just to put a dent in Kerry in the news, and they did exactly that.

It's absolutely appalling to think a president and a party would play politics like this.
posted by mathowie at 1:34 PM on July 29, 2004


That guy looks like he's about 12.
posted by bshort at 1:38 PM on July 29, 2004


heh. the democratic response was the bush anti-depressant thing. but you fucked that up.
posted by quonsar at 1:41 PM on July 29, 2004


Please stop trying to destroy the last remaining shred of faith I have in our government and media. Lalalalalalala....
posted by gottabefunky at 1:44 PM on July 29, 2004


But seriously, if not the president and a national political party playing politics, then who? Blame the media for being in collusion, but don't blame wolves for killing sheep. That's what they do.
posted by gottabefunky at 1:47 PM on July 29, 2004


You guys are opening yourselves up to all kinds of wingnut crap now . . . "hey, that guy blew up buildings and killed people and we got him and they're screaming POLITICS!"

Let's find out if he's really anybody important first.
posted by hackly_fracture at 1:47 PM on July 29, 2004


Oh, and speaking of politics, a way for the democrats to inoculate themselves. (From Duncan.)
posted by hackly_fracture at 1:51 PM on July 29, 2004


matthowie, why do you hate America so much?!
posted by JollyWanker at 1:53 PM on July 29, 2004


you don't have to do anything special to open yourself up to wingnut crap - all you've got to do is watch the news and ask a few ackward questions and then the next conversation is about your lack of patriotism. You may as well let the wingnuts scream and hope that you can find a few reasonable people to talk to.

Sorry - but the timing is incredibly suspicious. They found him a while ago and they're releasing this on the day that Kerry accepts the nomination. Don't forget about the Tom Ridge's vague terrorist warnings when Edwards was announced as Kerry's running mate.

This administration has proven time and again that they will manipulate and control every aspect of the news that they can get a lever on. They are not about policy or morality - they are only about hanging onto power.
posted by rks404 at 1:53 PM on July 29, 2004


All I see is John Kerry on a bike and John Kerry holding a water bottle.

Oh, I found the Al Qaeda blurb. It was hiding.

Those must be some incompetent fiddle players you're talking about.
posted by techgnollogic at 1:54 PM on July 29, 2004


How can he do that and not fall over?
posted by hackly_fracture at 1:57 PM on July 29, 2004


Kerry should outdo them by catching Osama Bin Laden and dragging him onstage at the convention. Now THAT would get some headlines.
posted by Outlawyr at 2:02 PM on July 29, 2004


I have a $50 bet with a co-worker on Kerry beating Bush in November (bet was placed five months ago), with the out clause that if Osama was "found" & "captured" at any point between now & the election, the bet is off.
posted by jonson at 2:06 PM on July 29, 2004


All I see is John Kerry on a bike and John Kerry holding a water bottle.

Oh, I found the Al Qaeda blurb. It was hiding.

Those must be some incompetent fiddle players you're talking about.
So, you don't believe that mathowie is reporting what he saw on CNN.com truthfully? The breaking news alert appears in the same place on every single page. They use the alert to buy them some time to get a story together. When they publish the story, they take down the breaking news alert. Here is an example of what the site looked like when the alert was live.

Do you want to insinuate or outright accuse me outright of doctoring this screenshot?

And as for the news blurb hiding, it is the top story under "More News". The special election coverage is still in the headline spot. All other news is reported below it. I'd hardly call that hiding.
posted by sequential at 2:22 PM on July 29, 2004


Now there is one fewer scumbag to eliminate.

The big July (not surprising) surprise is that the Democratic convention is a wild success (dismal, pessimistic bomb), capped by Kerry's white-knuckled thriller of a speech (mass verbal eulogy) delivered with characteristic elan (dull, funereal philippic).

The lighthearted (grim, morose, despondent) Dems are not exactly stealing the headlines.

The announcement of the capture of a Most Wanted terrorist is delayed for three days, for which there are certainly security as well as information gathering concerns, and suddenly it's a conspiracy cooked up by the Republicans?

That's really a bit much.

When you oppose the war on terror, a captured terrorist is a disappointment for the Democrat party. A terrorist attack is a cause for celebration, because it means Bush hasn't done his job well enough. Is that not an insane
position to take?
posted by hama7 at 2:27 PM on July 29, 2004


Matt, with all due respect, I don't think capturing some unknown al Qaeda operative with links to the African embassy bombings would be viewed as some big "prize" worthy of knocking Kerry off the radar. And, as techgnollogic notes, it's already been moved down with the other regular news on CNN, with the oh-so-vigorous bike-riding Kerry resuming his rightful place atop the page. As for Fox, well, it's Fox...what can you say?
posted by pardonyou? at 2:28 PM on July 29, 2004


Mathowie... What happened to the election subsite of Metafilter that was planned? Is that still on???
posted by banished at 2:33 PM on July 29, 2004


it's a blurb now on the right. Most any breaking news of any magnitude would get the crawl.

I'd buy that the white house would do this, but it doesn't seem to be having the full effect.

Media seems to be a little inconsistent lately, as I would expect this to be bigger if they were getting played. Not that they're not at all (I'm still confused why 'shove it' from a candidate's wife to a reporter is a bigger story than 'fuck yourself' from the vp on the floor; not to mention that going to war and not finding ANY of the divisive justification is possibly the biggest scandal the nation's ever... must .. not..give in to.. outrage fatigue....)
posted by dig_duggler at 2:36 PM on July 29, 2004


well, it's not even like we caught him - Pakistani security forces did.

i wonder if that $25 million US reward the FBI was offering goes to Pakistan??
posted by NationalKato at 3:01 PM on July 29, 2004


Seems to me the easiest/classiest strategy for the Dems is to take the high road, stress unity, not division, and be positive and focused on their plans. Which is basically the tone of the convention thus far. As opposed to being immature and returning the shitslinging. Not that any of them are perfect. Just a great opportunity to grow up.
posted by yoga at 3:01 PM on July 29, 2004


Here's the original July Surprise article, subscription-free.

well, it's not even like we caught him - Pakistani security forces did.

Yes, just as we requested.
posted by homunculus at 3:14 PM on July 29, 2004


"We heard they'd shoot for catching someone this week just to put a dent in Kerry in the news, and they did it's being loosely conjectured on the interweb with scant compelling proof that they did exactly that."
Psst--did you hear Bu$h is totally on brain-melting antidepressant and antianxiety drugs????
posted by dhoyt at 3:16 PM on July 29, 2004


Let's say it's not breaking news. Even if it was known since Sunday, sometimes one network "breaks" it for excitement purposes and all the others follow as if it's new information in order to keep up. It's not like the CNN site is really freeform like a newspaper and they have varying size headlines, they always put breaking news as a header at the top, highlighted.

No conspiracy here.
posted by abcde at 3:19 PM on July 29, 2004


The media is just reacting to the information they've been given, that's all they ever do. But it would be ridiculously naive to believe that that the Pakistanis making the announcement just a few hours before Kerry's speech is just a coincidence, especially after TNR's prediction a few weeks ago.
posted by homunculus at 3:38 PM on July 29, 2004


What the hell? Even when this was breaking news, both CNN and Fox News still devoted the majority of their front-page space and airtime to the DNC. Now that it's not breaking news, you can barely find it.

I'm probably way out to the left-wing of most of you, but even I can see that there's no Right-Wing Conspiracy at work here.
posted by reklaw at 3:40 PM on July 29, 2004


I personally believe that the timing is rather suspicious, but, if we're looking for legitimate reasons for the delay, here's a couple:

a> The guy's identity had to be verified and this (especially if the Pakistani beauracracy is slow) could take a few days.

b> The Pakistani gov't didn't notify us until recently. I know their intelligence service was a key supporter of the Taliban and had a great amount of sympathy for Bin Laden, et al. Perhaps there was some sort of interference between the sympathisers and the pro-American elements in the gov't.
posted by pandaharma at 3:49 PM on July 29, 2004


I wasn't paying attention when I clicked through on the RSS feed but as I waited for the page to load I was running through the list of conspiracy nutjobs here at mefi who might have posted this.

Man was I disappointed when I saw it was number 1.
posted by Mick at 3:55 PM on July 29, 2004


...I was running through the list of conspiracy nutjobs here at mefi who might have posted this. ...


very sad--It's revealed that our government told another government to capture someone during the convention. It happens.

That's a conspiracy? Who's the nutjob, Mick?
posted by amberglow at 3:58 PM on July 29, 2004


TNR has put the original article back up, subscription-free. They're going to milk this, now that their prediction has come true.
posted by homunculus at 4:03 PM on July 29, 2004


i wonder if that $25 million US reward the FBI was offering goes to Pakistan??

Nope, think much more ca$h, flowing the other way.

The F-16s they've been jonezing for so desperately will now be likely approved, (Powell, on his recent visit to Islamabad, refused to say yes at the time) effectively giving Pakistan a bigger dick than India, for the time being.

On a slightly more sane note, can't the blogworld be counted on to counteract such base political tactics?
posted by Fupped Duck at 4:13 PM on July 29, 2004


I heard that the white, plastic chair Bush has on his patio in Crawford is the SAME KIND OF PLASTIC CHAIR Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani was sitting in when he was caught--I read it online and immediately "connected the dots" myself!

Fox News looks a whole lot like they're minimizing this story. In fact, there's a huge pic of Kerry riding a bike ("Kerry Time") in the top slot. If Ghailani's capture isn't wiping news of the DNC out of the top slot on FOX frickin' News, I wonder how much traction this conspiracy really has.

And I wonder if the conspiracy is being floated over and over because of solid, corroborated evidence for all the world to see (outside of, say, one politcal mag) or because it sounds really cool and juicy? Time will tell. I'd like nothing more than a scandal to boot Bush out of office, but by the same token I hate to see blind Bush-hatred and conspiracy theories make intelligent people do and say foolish things. Not enough is known yet for us to be stating our opinions as fact, right?
posted by dhoyt at 4:30 PM on July 29, 2004


It's certainly amusing to watch the right wing start to flip flop on their Dear Leader as we get closer to the election.

In other news, "A campaign worker for President Bush said on Thursday American workers unhappy with low-quality jobs should find new ones -- or pop a Prozac to make themselves feel better. 'Why don't they get new jobs if they're unhappy -- or go on Prozac?' said Susan Sheybani, an assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry Holt."
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 5:07 PM on July 29, 2004


Just because they weren't able to get the media effect they were looking for doesn't mean that they didn't bring pressure to the task of finding these people as a direct result of their political motivations.

That's not a conspiracy, but it does look an awful lot to me like if they were motivated to find these people earlier, then these people would have been found earlier.

They let this guy run free as a threat to the world, and more importantly as a threat to the US because they didn't care enough to make finding him a priority until they wanted to monkey with the news cycle. The fact that the news editors don't think this guy is as big a news story as they were hoping for is hardly the point.
posted by willnot at 5:14 PM on July 29, 2004


So, you don't believe that mathowie is reporting what he saw on CNN.com truthfully? . . . Do you want to insinuate or outright accuse me outright of doctoring this screenshot?

I didn't accuse anybody of anything. I just think it's sort of ridiculous to act like "Oh, Bush is manipulating the media to divert attention from Kerry!" when 25 minutes of matt posted the thread everything was back to KerryKerryKerry - and even all these 'Gotcha' screenshots are predominantly Kerry. How can anyone possibly maintain that this "diversion" was timed to have any remotely detectable impact on Kerry? Please. They control the media, get it to do what they want, but can fail miserably to have any discernable impact? This is kinda like the CIA blowing up a (slighty rare fuel-laden) train to kill Kim Jong Il and missing him by nine hours.

Interesting how you immediately try to pin some sinister accusation on me though. Must be all that conspiratorial paranoia that's been going around.

I love all these "Crass Political Timing!" accusations. The Sandy Berger story was timed, the tiny breaking news banner reporting the capture of some Al Qaeda dude nobody's even heard of was timed. Timed to what? Coincide with non-pro-Bush news? Like what? No WMD? Abu Ghraib? AWOL? Gosh, the press never covered any of those stories... must've been all those Patented BushCo Diversions, yup.
posted by techgnollogic at 5:35 PM on July 29, 2004


So, can we cross Musharraf off the list of Kerry's alleged list foreign leaders who support him?

Of course, the plan that Berger nixed in 1998 involved using Afghani operatives to capture Bin Laden and holding him for a while (it's in the 9/11 report if you care to read it), so maybe foreign ops is military/CIA procedure and not a partisan ploy.
posted by Frank Grimes at 5:39 PM on July 29, 2004


Its certainly amusing to watch the left wing handwringers cringe when another terrorist is caught during this election year.
posted by WLW at 5:46 PM on July 29, 2004


Good lord, if this news "alert" is evidence of some sort of Vast Right-Wing Consipiracy, then anyone who subscribes to said theory is truly beyond help. Certifiable tinfoil type.

Repeat after me: IT'S JUST A BREAKING NEWS STORY. Treated like many other such "breaking news" stories, emblazoned across the top of the major news sites for a few hours, and then cranked down to the usual levels. The same BREAKING NEWS alert would be used if Gary Condit confessed to killing Chandra Levy, or if Mike Tyson gets knocked-out in tomorrow's fight, or if Martha Stewart unveiled a line of prison-themed clothing.

In the words of Sergeant Hulka: "Lighten up, Francis!"
posted by davidmsc at 5:49 PM on July 29, 2004


It'[s rassuring to remember that millions of words unfairly bashing the President can wind up here, and it won't affect the election one single vote. Has the term MetafilterMasturbation been coined yet? This thread might be used to define it.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:57 PM on July 29, 2004


Check this: If this recent accusation is true, Bush has already won the terror war decisively, just waiting for the perfect time to cash in the prize. Bin Laden's capture will come in November, two days before the election!

So either Bush has triumphed in the War on Terror so overwhelmingly that he can shove Al Qaeda High Value Targets around like chess pawns, or we're not really at war and these people pose no threat to us anyway, in which case, Why the bomb-sniffing dogs? Why the snipers? Why the metal detectors, the invasive inspection of bags?

More here, too. Come back down to earth, fellas.
posted by techgnollogic at 6:02 PM on July 29, 2004


I'll admit this is easily the worst post I've ever made, but when a friend IMed me to show the front page of CNN.com along with a link to the old mefi post on the "july surprise" I was aghast. The timing seemed too good to be true or chalked up to coincidence. I'm glad we're catching Al Queda members, and hope we catch Osama as soon as possible (if it doesn't happen until October or November, I think we can revisit this timing question), but if this guy was held silently until just the right time, I do feel we're all being played for politics.

I'm not a conspiracy nut and regularly delete stupid conspriacy posts here (like the "bush is on psychotic drugs" post), but I thought the timing was too convenient to ignore. I'm glad this hasn't been the major story it might have been.
posted by mathowie at 6:09 PM on July 29, 2004


When you oppose the war on terror,

(sigh) - I know I'm feeding the troll, but seriously, how does the right get away with this shit? Guess what hama7: I'll fully support the war on terror, when we have a fucking war on terror. We've sunk nearly 200 billion dollars against an (admittedly evil) regime that posed little or no threat to us, and meanwhile we're still taking away nail clippers and making moms drink breast milk.

I'm scared shitless of another attack, of what it will do to the people who suffer through it, of what it will mean for our economy, of what it will mean for our American way of life that I love far more than your piece of shit ass. But no, I should support the cluster fuck of an eventual fundamentalist Islamic government we seem to be doing our best to foment in Iraq. I should support the government that Al Queda is rumored to support in the upcoming election, as they've done more to swell their numbers than any old man dying in a Pakistani cave somewhere.

What percentage of containers coming into this country's ports aren't even glanced at, much less inspected or x-rayed? How many people could we have trained or hired that speak Arabic or Farsi for fucking .002% of $200bn? How much intelligence could we have gathered in other countries instead of alienating them? Fuck that, let's check on my library records, or fire whistleblowers and hope the facts go away, or keep the faggots from marrying, or, since we're so proud of our brave servicemen and women, cut veteran's benefits. How in the everliving motherfucking shit is it almost the 3rd fucking anniversary of 9/11 and this administration is just getting around to even admitting we need to revamp our fucking intelligence services!!!????

Fuck you, hama7 - Fuck you PP - Fuck you and your ilk. The roots of 9/11 may have been watered under Clinton, but Bush has shoveled 40 tons of fertilizer on them. Your head in the ass stance is far more dangerous to the US of A than any hundred stinky hippies could ever be. The odor of your shit pervades any thread you despoil with your presence. I'll cheer the loudest at Bin Laden's head on a stick, but Bush won't get my gratitude, more like a "what the fuck took you so long?!"

(Ok, deep breath. Sorry - I'm just really pissed tonight, and staring a picture of my 5-month old daughter and praying she grows up in a safe world, a world not being run by those who echo hama7. I suppose I qualify as a "MetafilterMasturbator," but the long established condition for the right on MeFi is something called cognitive dissonance.)
posted by jalexei at 6:13 PM on July 29, 2004


Its certainly amusing to watch the left wing handwringers cringe when another terrorist is caught during this election year.

yeah, and what a scary one at that.
posted by quonsar at 6:14 PM on July 29, 2004


My thoughts above are still broadly accurate, but I apologize for the cussing and personal attacks - not my best moment.
posted by jalexei at 6:14 PM on July 29, 2004


More on the plastic chair angle (Google-htmled PDF from Smithsonian magazine).
posted by mwhybark at 6:23 PM on July 29, 2004


If you do not believe that your media have failed you are a fool.

If you believe there is a vast conspiracy in place, you are also a fool.

There are a lot of fools around these days.

For my part, I believe it remains true that the intersection of politics and the traditional media has become a destructive and anti-democratic force in most of our modern states, and America leads the way in the elevation of imagery and empty demagoguery over substance and thought.

Whether mathowie's post is an example of manipulation of the media, either by design or by intrinsic failure in the way that the media has come to operate, is arguable. That it points to a problem isn't.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:25 PM on July 29, 2004


It's certainly amusing to watch the right wing start to flip flop on their Dear Leader as we get closer to the election.

a) Not once have I ever identified myself with "right-wing" ideologies or Bush's policies, and you know this. This applies to others on MeFi, too, but what's it matter? As ever, your taunts are empty & misdirected and you'd die before admitting it.

b) One does not have to be a Bush supporter to know this conspiracy stuff is often an embarassment and it plays right into the hands of conservatives who love to watch us all act like hapless Chicken Littles.

OT: If you want to address "flip-floppers", why not have a word with your brethren who wasted their votes on Nader in '00--effectively helping get us in the this giant stinking mess--but who now seem to be collectively shutting the door on him, breathlessly dismissing him "egotistical" and a "spoiler". Should've thought about that four years ago.

As technollogic said: Come back down the earth.
posted by dhoyt at 6:39 PM on July 29, 2004


But this isn't about the media. The media are just relaying the information which originated in Pakistan. It was Pakistan which decided, for whatever reason, to announce it today, the day of Kerry's speech. What makes it so creepy is that TNR said weeks ago that the US was pressuring Pakistan to announce a high value capture this week. That's what makes it so hard to believe that it's just a coincidence. If it is, it's one of the biggest coincidences I've ever seen.
posted by homunculus at 6:39 PM on July 29, 2004


Er, that was a response to stavros.
posted by homunculus at 6:42 PM on July 29, 2004


Josh Marshall : [...] I'd be much obliged if anyone can tell me whether any of the MSNBC talking heads note the earlier published report in one of America's most respected political magazines (see previous post) about the White House's pressure on Pakistan to produce an al Qaida bad guy during the Dem convention.

Repeat after me: IT'S JUST A BREAKING NEWS STORY.

Repeat after me: USING YOUR BRAIN MAKES YOU HUMAN

On preview: I'm sorry, homunculus, but I think it is about the media. Much of the evil wrought by the current administration would not have happened and would not need to be reversed without the laziness, greed, cowardice and lowest-common-denominator-marketing-drive (if not complicity) of the media.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:43 PM on July 29, 2004


In other words, applying successive layers of bandaids (let alone averting our eyes and spouting platitudes about 'America's greatness' like the Dems are doing right now) ain't gonna stop the tumors from metastasizing.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:46 PM on July 29, 2004


Via Instapundit:

Either way, let me issue a challenge to Josh Marshall. Since he's ostensibly an investigative reporter (tectonic-plates a shiftin' under le tout Washington), I'd challenge him to support his musings about how the Bush Administration has put "political dirty tricks above national security itself."

I'd ask TPM to provide concrete evidence (no anonymous sources, please!) about how the Bush Administration, at any time in, say, the past 6-12 months, asked the Pakistani authorities to either delay searching for an HVT or, alternately, asked the Pakistani authorities to delay announcing the capture of an HVT (until the Democratic Convention) they had already apprehended.

posted by loquax at 6:51 PM on July 29, 2004


That's a fairly hamhanded misdirection on Glenn Reynolds' part, loquax, but not surprising.

How's this for an answer?

The New Republic : "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 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." [emphasis mine]

You and Glenn will have to do better than that, I'm afraid.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:59 PM on July 29, 2004


Today's the 29th.
posted by techgnollogic at 7:05 PM on July 29, 2004


Ah! Able refutation, techgnollogic! You are truly a master of the art of discourse! I bow to your superior analytical skills!

*doffs hat, bows deep*

(Actually, today is the 30th in other parts of the world, including the one where I live. Amazing, huh?)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:09 PM on July 29, 2004


Really, given all this evidence that the US is playing politics so that the world never hears the gospel according to Theresa Heinz Kerry, I'd say this is actually a Democrat conspiracy! It's a good old fashioned double-cross frame up! Make it look like the Republicans are up to no good and then cry foul, just as Kerry takes the stage!

Stavros, ask yourself why ul-Haq would say anything to TNR when earlier in the article the sentence for leaking secrets in Pakistan is announced to be 10 years? Clearly, I have absolutely no idea what's going on in Islamabad, or Washington, or anywhere, frankly. When a grand media conspiracy is claimed, however, I tend not to take a random Pakistani ISI official at face value.

And does it need to be said that this kind of prediction is very very easy to be made? Pick a big, obvious event, and claim that something significant will happen. This is the same kind of thing that the Homeland security folks do every long weekend. If they're wrong, who cares? If they right, they've earned their money. This predication was obviously right. Was it right because it was a setup, or was it right because it just happened to work out that way? You and I and Josh and Glenn and CNN have no idea.
posted by loquax at 7:12 PM on July 29, 2004


(BTW, has anyone else noticed that when the crowd cheers 'Kerry, Kerry' it sounds just like the cheer from a certain daytime talk show?)
posted by loquax at 7:13 PM on July 29, 2004


would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July

Those bastards! They screwed up the plan, man! They arrested this guy on Sunday -- they could have announced the 26th, 27th, or 28th, yet they wait until the 29th!
posted by pardonyou? at 7:13 PM on July 29, 2004


So when the Bush Administration told the Pakistanis to capture a High Value Target and hold the announcement until the 26, 27, or 28th of July, Islamabad thought that meant after midnight, July 30, their time, 15 hours after July 28th had ended in Boston?
posted by techgnollogic at 7:20 PM on July 29, 2004


I'll grant what you say, loquax, and repeat that arguing about minutiae like 28th? 29th! (a pointless argument into which I've been drawn) ignores the bigger problems in play, which is a dangerous and stupid game to play.

A game, I'd note, whose rules have been organically accreted in part as a result of the failings of the media I mentioned before, and one that's as much spurred on as it is thwarted by the whole blogging phenomenon.

On preview: Case in point -- techgnollogic's and pardonyou?'s focus above on something that has absolutely no significance to the larger issue at hand. Distraction, through design or dumbness, on irrelevant detail and 'winning an argument' at the cost of losing any perspective whatsoever serves no-one.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:20 PM on July 29, 2004


...and makes the arguer look like an ass too! Special bonus, free with every purchase!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:22 PM on July 29, 2004


Bush is manipulating the media and us!

It's all about the timing!

Pay no attention to the timing!
posted by techgnollogic at 7:24 PM on July 29, 2004


Its certainly amusing to watch the left wing handwringers cringe when another terrorist is caught during this election year.

It's more amusing to watch a country of idiots decide on their leader based on the actions of a foreign police force.
posted by mrgrimm at 7:24 PM on July 29, 2004


Bush is manipulating the media and us!

I don't recall saying that. If fact I said that those who believe it are fools. You really aren't very good at this, are you?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:26 PM on July 29, 2004


(I'm off to the gym. Someone else can carry on discussing timezones with my interlocutors, if they care to.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:33 PM on July 29, 2004


Orwell rolls in his grave.
posted by mr.marx at 7:44 PM on July 29, 2004


Look, for a few years now some tinfoil hat peopel have floated every type of conspiracy theory around... and everyone who thinks "Wag the Dog" was a wake up call has been following along.

Is the Bush administration workign hard to get good stuff to happen before the election? Of course they are... every administration does thats why we have elections; so that in order to win them these guys have to keep producing results we like.

Let's look at the election... the only thing worse for conspiracy nuts that a successful terrorist attack immediately preceeding the electionw oudl be thwarting one.

Can you imagine the outrage, the sheer tinfoil usage per hat, if 4 days before the electiont he FBI captured a bunch of terrorists who were planning to disrupt the election? The screams of "set up" would be resounding from coast to coast.
posted by soulhuntre at 7:47 PM on July 29, 2004


Hama7, I would love to meet you in person, because I REFUSE to believe you are really as profoundly stupid as you come across in any political thread. Your non-political posts are usually top-notch, and do not indicate someone who has a cognitive disorder.

I am subscribing more and more to the tinfoil-hat theory that hama7 is either a group experiment/project or at the very least a shared account between two very different people.
posted by Ynoxas at 7:51 PM on July 29, 2004


At what time between now and election day will news like this *not* be called "suspicious" by somebody?
posted by republican at 7:51 PM on July 29, 2004


What the fuck are you people doing? I don't see any balloons coming down!
posted by bargle at 8:04 PM on July 29, 2004


bargle: Classic.
posted by loquax at 8:18 PM on July 29, 2004


Kerry was very very good--it's too bad people are now talking about the balloon f-bomb on cnn.
posted by amberglow at 8:27 PM on July 29, 2004


jalexei: I fully understand your post, and why it contained the expletives and insults. I have the same exact reasoning.

Right now the Republican party is conducting a wildly radical experiment in the Middle East. If the endgame is happy people who don't torture each other or bomb each other, then in a hundred years Bush may be looked at as a hero.

Unfortunately, like you and many other people, I think that the endgame will just be increased radicalization, more war, and a world that'll have more than a few extra scratches and dings in it.

The libertarian in me also wants to mention that this extra death and hate requires a lot of extra tax money, and the increased long-term security demands will also create long-term inefficiencies.
posted by mosch at 8:33 PM on July 29, 2004


mosch - I be a bit more circumspect about the "endgame" if I were you. Honestly. History's judgement of "wildly radical experiments" tends not to be kind. Think : Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin...

"Is the Bush administration workign hard to get good stuff to happen before the election? Of course they are... every administration does thats why we have elections; so that in order to win them these guys have to keep producing results we like.

Let's look at the election... the only thing worse for conspiracy nuts that a successful terrorist attack immediately preceeding the electionw oudl be thwarting one.

Can you imagine the outrage, the sheer tinfoil usage per hat, if 4 days before the electiont he FBI captured a bunch of terrorists who were planning to disrupt the election? The screams of "set up" would be resounding from coast to coast. [posted by soulhuntre at 7:47 PM PST on July 29] "

Well, I guess that the "Tin Foil Hat" label now includes an exhortation to lop one's head off.....at the knees.

Seriously. I'm still wondering about this (I can provide several dozen mainstream media substantiating news story links if necessary) :

"On the morning of September 11, Pakistan's Chief Spy General Mahmoud Ahmad, the alleged "money-man" behind the 9-11 hijackers, was at  a breakfast meeting on Capitol Hill hosted by Senator Bob Graham and Rep. Porter Goss, the chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence committees.

"When the news [of the attacks on the World Trade Center] came, the two Florida lawmakers who lead the House and Senate intelligence committees were having breakfast with the head of the Pakistani intelligence service. Rep. Porter Goss, R-Sanibel, Sen. Bob Graham and other members of the House Intelligence Committee were talking about terrorism issues with the Pakistani official when a member of Goss' staff handed a note to Goss, who handed it to Graham. "We were talking about terrorism, specifically terrorism generated from Afghanistan," Graham said.

Mahmoud Ahmad, director general of Pakistan's intelligence service, was "very empathetic, sympathetic to the people of the United States," Graham said."


Well, that's all very cute. WTF ?

_____________________________

Assume total ignorance ; then, absurd incompetence. On the part of both Democrats and Republicans. Oh boy. Goss and Graham are still busily at work doing - err - something.

But, I don't feel safer.
posted by troutfishing at 11:14 PM on July 29, 2004


amberglow: huh wtf?

this just in on a secure channel, BTW, regarding an assortment of earlier quotages.

HVT 2B on CBC (not CNBC) if ISI (not TPM, TNR, or TRL) NCD 86 HVT re DNC. cc?
posted by mwhybark at 11:22 PM on July 29, 2004


Also notable : Vanishing Votes (Greg Palast, May 17 2004) :

"If you're black, voting in America is a game of chance. First, there's the chance your registration card will simply be thrown out. Millions of minority citizens registered to vote using what are called motor-voter forms. And Republicans know it. You would not be surprised to learn that the Commission on Civil Rights found widespread failures to add these voters to the registers. My sources report piles of dust-covered applications stacked up in election offices.


Second, once registered, there's the chance you'll be named a felon. In Florida, besides those fake felons on Harris's scrub sheets, some 600,000 residents are legally barred from voting because they have a criminal record in the state. That's one state. In the entire nation 1.4 million black men with sentences served can't vote, 13 percent of the nation's black male population.


At step three, the real gambling begins. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 guaranteed African-Americans the right to vote--but it did not guarantee the right to have their ballots counted. And in one in seven cases, they aren't."


"Tinfoil hat" that, my hearties, and the tinfoil will only grow legs and crawl up your asses to there slowly oxidize, under the corrosive effects of denial, as inoperable tumours..

Or, digest these truths and move along to other battles.

Your choice.
posted by troutfishing at 11:40 PM on July 29, 2004


a) Not once have I ever identified myself with "right-wing" ideologies or Bush's policies, and you know this. This applies to others on MeFi, too, but what's it matter?

~guffaw~

I know no such thing. But I do know you and others will continue backpedaling even more as the war in Iraq and other right wing wet dreams unravel, karl/dhoyt....and I'm really in awe of your attempt to assert that there are no others on MeFi who identify with "right wing ideologies", too.

Nice touch. Don't know that I've ever seen backpedal by proxy before.

~wink~
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 11:59 PM on July 29, 2004


amberglow: huh wtf?

A reaction to bargle's comment...see drudge.
posted by amberglow at 5:15 AM on July 30, 2004


troutfishing -- I found that Mahmoud Ahmad story interesting. I tried some googling to see how "confirmed" it is that Ahmad was, in fact, the "money man" behind the hijackers. As near as I can tell, that claim stems entirely from an October 2001 claim by India (no friend to Pakistan, of course) that Ahmad had ordered Ahmad Umar Sheikh to wire $100,000 to Atta. There are some (unsupported) claims on some of the more conspiracy-minded sites that the FBI "confirmed" this, but I've been unable to find any concrete sources. Do you have any?
posted by pardonyou? at 5:56 AM on July 30, 2004


attempt to assert that there are no others on MeFi who identify with "right wing ideologies"

That wasn't my assertion, shithead. The assertion was that there are many who disagree with some of the less practical aspects of far-left politics represented here but who are still squarely in the center and thus NOT rabid Bush-supporters, but it doesn't ever stop you from making the same thuddingly predictable assumptions about the "right wing", does it? I know thinking in non-binary terms is impossible for you, but try it just this once. If you ever bothered to contribute to a non-Iraq-war thread, you be able to see the larger spectrum of opinions.

I find it funny that such a self-described Activist who's been arrested so many many times, by his own telling, spends so much of his time performing such humanitarian activities as anonymously haranguing total strangers on the internet. Do they teach you how to do that down at the Peace Center? Seems like you have an awful lot in common with the 101st Keyboard warriors, and you'd die before admitting it.

By the way, I noticed you haven't once addressed the topic of this post. What a shock!
posted by dhoyt at 7:35 AM on July 30, 2004


Timothy Leary to F&M/Eldridge Cleaver: "people who say you're either part of the solution or part of the problem are themselves part of the problem."

Stop drawing nasty little boxes around people, Aunt Tilde.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:48 AM on July 30, 2004


My God, even more backpedaling and explaining. Careful: retreat can become a lifestyle, as I'm sure you're aware. And such incredible sensitivity on this flip-flop issue! Tell us, dhoyt....what made you think I was referring specifically to you or "others" on Metafilter above in my original comment, SINCE THE FUCKING ARTICLES LINKED TO ABOVE DISCUSS A 21 POINT SWING IN WHAT WAS ONCE A "prohibitive 21-point [political] advantage on [Bush's] signature issue", the "war on terror" and SINCE THE FPP TOPIC OBVIOUSLY HAS TO DO WITH SUPPOSED ATTEMPTS TO ARREST THAT KIND OF CHANGE OF HEART ABOUT DEAR LEADER? Obviously a whole hell of a lot of the right wing (and, since YOU brought yourself and MetaFilter into this, that obviously includes you and many "others" here on MetaFilter) is flip flopping on these issues, and that was exactly pertinent to the topic of this post. But you took it personally. I wonder why. First you bring yourself and "others" on MetaFilter into this in response to a general observation, then you want to backpedal and get you and "others on Mefi" out of it.

I think we were discussing "shitheads", were we not, kettle?....or was it just "flip floppers"?

~chuckle~

And frankly, dhoyt, obviously you're the one here with the "haranguing" problem since you took it and made it personal. If you and yours find that simple general observations about flip-flopping on the issues is "haranguing", I really suggest a bit of spine stiffening and a look in the mirror. And since you brought up "haranguing" on the internet, should we count the times you have gutlessly criticized Mefites behind their back, in threads in which they're not even participating?

Oh, and Pink...kindly point out where I've drawn boxes around people, or maintained "people who say you're either part of the solution or part of the problem are themselves part of the problem". In other words, you're simply putting words in someone's mouth. That's actually what's nasty...and little....Aunt Irony.

~tilde~
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 4:48 PM on July 30, 2004


what made you think I was referring specifically to you or "others" on Metafilter above in my original comment

1) Well, you've made that artificial accusation about a billion times before ("dhoyt, UR t0tally teh neocon! LOL!!!1") and 2) because your original comment came immediately after mine. I "connected the dots".

*shrugs*

So did you write all that or did you just copy-paste? I merely skimmed it due to ALL THE CAPS and underlines and general thudding, one-note haranguing that surely came from a random generator.

Tell us again, keyboard warrior, exactly how is your chatroom-activism helping anyone?
posted by dhoyt at 5:05 PM on July 30, 2004


Oh, and Pink...kindly point out where I've drawn boxes around people, or maintained "people who say you're either part of the solution or part of the problem are themselves part of the problem".

Every time you paint a centrist like dhoyt as a rabid right winger, ~chuckle~head.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 5:10 PM on July 30, 2004


With all the political stuff floating around at this time - is there any time in the last three months or the next three months this news could break and NOT be seen as proof of a conspiracy or something?

Just wondering...

JB
posted by JB71 at 5:53 PM on July 30, 2004


nope, JB : >
posted by amberglow at 5:57 PM on July 30, 2004


Well isn't that strange...."billions"....no links...no examples....gutlessly made-up quote....no links....no examples...."every time you paint"....no links....no examples.

So much for that horseshit.

And in other words, as I pointed out and which you now admit, you painted yourself and made the connection yourself and took it personally yourself, which is completely telling. And completely pathetic. You might want to revisit my comment about spines.

You tell us again, keyboard warrior...how exactly is your backpedaling and getting off topic here because you "shitheadedly" took something personally helping anyone? Way to make it all about you.

Oh, and Pink...kindly point out where I've drawn boxes around people, or maintained "people who say you're either part of the solution or part of the problem are themselves part of the problem". In other words, you're simply putting words in someone's mouth. That's actually what's nasty...and little....and "painting someone"....Aunt Irony/Aunt-I-Can't-Support-My-Assertions-Strangely-Like-dhoyt/Karl.

In other words, you couldn't and you didn't. You two are the only ones "painting" here. Don't waste any more of my time, lightweights. There are other barrels and other fish to shoot.

~wink~
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 6:10 PM on July 30, 2004


And by the way, dhoyt, if you have some kind of continuing personal problem with me, my personal contact information is there...and has been...although you've never brought yourself to use it. I recommend you do so, rather than bringing your personal issues here.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 6:16 PM on July 30, 2004


There are other barrels and other fish to shoot.

Translation: I've got more threads to troll and more derision to heap on strangers. Wow, the peace-movement scene has really changed since my day.

See the difference between you and me, foldy, is that I don't put on some phony, macho, save-the-world persona. Like most people, I would freely admit I don't spend enough time helping people, though I do what I can (Habitat for Humanity, Computers 4 Kids, and so on). You, on the other hand, act like you have all this compassion yet you're constantly on Metafilter writing long, aggressive, mean-spirited diatribes that let us all know what a misanthrope you really are. You're not informing anyone. You're not helping anyone. You're not bringing anyone together. Hell, you don't even appear to ever leave the computer. So in the end, you're a giant phony, and once again, you'd die before admitting it.

my personal contact information is there

Hell no I'm not calling you. For someone who simply loves to characterize other people as "cowards" you sure seem to be reluctant to provide an email addresss like everyone else does. What's the matter--afraid to have your views challenged? Hypocrite.
posted by dhoyt at 6:27 PM on July 30, 2004


Oh, and Pink...kindly point out where I've drawn boxes around people, or maintained "people who say you're either part of the solution or part of the problem are themselves part of the problem".

You're right: I'm attacking you because of a personal dislike of your style (which I do find condescending and arrogant) and I should knock it the fuck off.

So sorry. That said, could you point me to a time when you honestly tried to reach consensus here?

No, never mind. I'm just being a shit. Always happens when I wander into these contentious thread and let my dander get up. I'll be over here, looking at the maps.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:31 PM on July 30, 2004


Foldy: perhaps you should take IronTom's (who everyone knows is SUCH a raging Neocon) advice?
posted by dhoyt at 6:37 PM on July 30, 2004


Pink, that was gracious....no doubt more than I could have mustered under the same circumstances. Sorry to have jumped on you as I did. I emailed you.

And now for dhoyt, whose behavior is a study in contrast. Since you brought all this shit up and insist on continuing it, and are unwilling to do what it takes to haul your stinking personal bile off MetaFilter when given the opportunity, perhaps you could learn a lesson here. You're clearly in the wrong here, got called on it, can't support yourself, and you continue acting badly. Maybe you could take things not quite so personally, instead of as you did above. Maybe you could think about supporting your assertions when challenged, instead of failing as you did above. Maybe you could think about how insecure you appear when you merely childishly insult over and over as you're doing now (and for some reason, needing to post a resume). Maybe you could think about confronting someone personally and settling things, instead of continuing to tap-tap from your keyboard and your mutliple MetaFilter account posting total that far exceeds mine. Perhaps you could refrain from hiding behind the comments of others as you do immediately above, and learn to create and stand behind your own words instead.

And if you (or anyone) had wanted to challenge my views personally or challenge me in any way, you know how to get in touch with me, and you always have. Email creates its own problems (including the last time my email got out, when there was a really marvelous little gutless stalking incident, which I'm sure you yourself recall, right dhoyt?), email is not required here (except for admin's use), is obviously not published by all members here, and....frankly....if all you want to do is spout off with the same kind of lame chickenshit as I see above, kindly have or develop the balls to do it like a man, directly to me. As you noted, however, you seem to find that kind of personal confrontation daunting.

Hell, everyone's got their own problems, and maybe I'm just catching a hell of a lot of bad days of yours, including today. If you want do the right thing and talk about it instead of spewing more insults, you know how. That's all the time I'm willing to waste in this thread on your bullshit, though, including reading any further followups here, so don't waste your time. As I already stated above, if you have anything you want to resolve with me personally, you already know how.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 2:07 AM on July 31, 2004


can somebody please tell john kerry to STOP SHUFFLING on his feet when he makes a speech ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:09 AM on July 31, 2004


Daily Times (Pakistan): Timing of Ghailani’s arrest considered ‘intriguing’
posted by amberglow at 8:29 AM on July 31, 2004


With all the political stuff floating around at this time - is there any time in the last three months or the next three months this news could break and NOT be seen as proof of a conspiracy or something?

amidst the (mildly entertaining) bluster, a lot of people miss the point. it's not that the news broke, its that the announcement of the arrest was potentially (i'm not sure i believe it) delayed from Sunday to Thursday to coincide with Kerry's speech.

for instance, if another "major" al-qaeda figure (as if there were more than one (or two) that matter) was caught on Labor Day (September), but it wasn't announced until the first of November, people would be (rightly) suspicious.

fwiw, (a perhaps ugly) part of me likes it when trivial links turn into shitstorms, but i do feel sympathy for those involved. deep breaths, everyone ...

thanks for the link, amber.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:34 PM on July 31, 2004


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