Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Wag the Dog: Bush right on schedule! 

This morning, Krugman warns us:

The campaign against Social Security is going so badly that longtime critics of President Bush, accustomed to seeing their efforts to point out flaws in administration initiatives brushed aside, are pinching themselves. But they shouldn't relax: if the past is any guide, the Bush administration will soon change the subject back to national security.
(via NY Times)

This afternoon, the story breaks:

A Virginian who had been detained in Saudi Arabia as a suspected terrorist was charged Tuesday with conspiring to assassinate President Bush and with supporting the al-Qaida terrorist network.
(via AP)

Is Krugman good, or what? When do the domestic roundups begin?

Of course, I'm sure the Saudis didn't torture the Virginian. And I'm also sure that the US didn't send the Virginian (a US citizen?) to Saudi Arabia to be tortured under extraordinary rendition procedures. I mean, that would mean that Bush was willing to torture people to gain a smidgeon more political capital. Which is clearly tinfoil hat territory.

So, we can forget all that. I'm sure that this latest terror alert is, like all the others, extremely non-political. Phew! My faith in His Godliness was shaken there for a minute!

NOTE Now we know the answer to the question of why Bush endorses anti-Semitic Saudi conferences. You scratch my back...

UPDATE Yes, according to Reuters, the Virginian is a US citizen.

How odd, then, that he was picked up by the Saudis and held in Saudi since 2003. I wonder why that would be?

The prosecutor is Paul McNulty. Presumably he's been tasked, on the 4th circuit's "Rocket Docket," with establishing a precedent for extracting testimony under torture. (Not, of course, that Bush would ever use such testimony for a bump in the polls.)

I don't envy McNulty his job, since testimony extracted using cruel and unusual punishment is useless. Then again, I guess that just means they'll have to try the guy in the press instead of the courts.

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