Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Talking Points Memo

See CNN's Breaking News Alert: "Security forces have captured a high-level al Qaeda operative in a raid in central Pakistan, Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat said."

Then, after you see that, remember that we noted in May and then The New Republic reported out extensively early this month, that this White House has been telling the Pakistanis for months that they wanted to see a big-time al Qaida leader -- hopefully bin Laden -- produced during the Democratic convention.


via Glenn


Hi Ito,

I just hope that your blog is read VERY widely in the US for the population to see the connection between the election and the capture of this Al Quada person. I believe there will be more captures as the US is closing in to the November election. Sad, but true. More years with Bush would be a global tragedy!!

My god. I just can't believe this. Why for Christ's sake are we pursuing Al-Queda criminals in the midst of an election cycle? What are we thinking?

It is far better to suspend all of our war on terror activities and give Al-Queda free reign and initiative than risk so much as even a slight tainting of the political process.

Please people... exactly when (and by this I mean a date) will it jive with your political calendar that we can prosecute this war against those who are directly responsible for the 2001 attacks? When are we allowed to defend ourselves? Or are you more comfortable with Al-Queda generals operating without restrictions than you are with them being caught?

No. Kerry can get on stage and say, "I will defend America by taking the fight directly to the people responsible." And you cheer. But if Bush actually does that you sneer and claim it's a transparent political hack job.

This is tin-foil beanie conspiracy clap-trap and you, Mr. Ito, should be much more sophisticated than to fall for it.

These guys just can't do anything right: they caught Saddam way too soon!

It'd be nice to think that Bin Laden's capture is only a couple months' away. But somehow I don't think his capture can just be ordered up.

Maybe with the supposed intensified Al Quaeda plans for terrorism before the elections, some sort of communications will be intercepted: The 9/11 commission report said that Bin Laden demanded to be informed of the date of the 9/11 attack in advance.

I don't care when they caught him or why they caught him. I'm just happy they caught him.

Ron C - "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself". It's the profound advice of a previous "War President". Our current Commander in Chief has crucified that idea and instead offers us, "Stay scared, but be happy." Meanwhile, the same administration proposes a postponement of the democratic process on the basis of that same fear. With all this hogwash, it's natural to wonder about the intentions of an admistration that has assailed our values and our democracy. Is the administration our enemy just as much as the foreign terrorists are?


The point is that "this White House has been telling the Pakistanis for months that they wanted to see a big-time al Qaida leader -- hopefully bin Laden -- produced *during* the Democratic convention."

During. Not before. Not after. Doesn't that seem a tad strange? Nobody was saying to "suspend all of your war on terror activities" as you call it. It just so happens that the timing of this particular request from the White House was... interesting.

It' snot about the fact that they cought someone. It's the request, and not just the timing, but the explicitness of it. "We want a good catch while our political opponents are gearing up against us so that we 'look good'."

This isn't shrill leftist outrage, this is serious head scratching "hmmm" stuff.

You know, this post on another blog is starting to highlight the "conspiracy" theories of Kerry's people. It's getting a bit funny how there seems to be some "dark forces" behind everything that goes bad for Kerry or good for Bush.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of other closed-minded people who buy into all this...

If no one outside of the intelligence community, i.e. general public, has ever heard of these guys were they really that high a level operative?

When you want to see evil in a story you will, I heard it plenty being in DC during the Clinton years around Republicans. Just as likely if you want to see evil coming from Bush I am sure you will find a way to see it in every news release.

Wait a second, let me get this straight.

...A magazine that has no love for Bush...

...quotes an Anonymous "Pakistani Intelligence Source..."

...who says another "anonymous American White House person"...

...asked for an arrest on specific days of July....


Tin foil alert! Tin foil alert!

Thomas V - I think that Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani is reasonably well known. Homeland security made a televised announcement about him and a few others suspects a number of weeks ago.