May 09, 2005

Okay, from now on, first question in the interrogation: who the hell are you?

A classic example of the comedic form once popularized as "Keystone," from the Times:

Abu Farraj Al-Libbi's arrest in Pakistan, announced last Wednesday, was described in the United States as "a major breakthrough" in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.

Bush called him a "top general" and "a major facilitator and chief planner for the Al- Qaeda network". Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state, said he was "a very important figure". Yet the backslapping in Washington and Islamabad has astonished European terrorism experts, who point out that the Libyan was neither on the FBI's most wanted list, nor on that of the State Department 'rewards for justice" programme.

Another Libyan is on the FBI list -- Anas al-Liby, who is wanted over the 1998 East African embassy bombings -- and some believe the Americans may have initially confused the two...

The best part, though, is at the end, where an unnamed official says the reason this terrorist was never on a watch list was because, "We did not want him to know he was wanted."

Posted by BruceR at 08:14 PM