You couldn't make this stuff up. But someone does.
After four years of this, our credulity should not be straining so hard. We should know to expect anything. I know I try. And yet still, nearly every day, I find myself being shocked.
For instance, just look at yesterday's headline from The Dallas Morning News:
SUV with Texas registration found at Fallujah bomb workshop
An "embedded" CNN crew allegedly found Zarqawi's HQ. They can assume as much, because "al Qaeda organization" was written on the wall. Seriously. We're awaiting confirmation of "Bad Guy Hideout - No Gurls Allowed!" And there was this SUV, surrounded by bags of sodium nitrate, with 15 Iraqi plates inside and a "Texas registration sticker...on the truck's window."
The most incredible aspect of this is not the truck, but that the report of its provenance could be delivered without so much as a raised eyebrow. What will it take for CNN's incurious Paula Zahn to say "Wait a minute - what the fuck?"
Also from yesterday, this headline:
US commander says bin Laden can no longer direct terror operations
And why does Lt Gen Lance Smith, deputy commander of Central Command, say such a thing? Because "Pakistan's military has been so effective" at hemming al Qaeda leadership into the tribal areas. What he doesn't say, and what no US official, military or civilian, will admit, is that Pakistani military intelligence is virtually indistinguishable from al Qaeda. Mahmood Ahmed, the ISI chief who famously - at least to those of us paying attention - breakfasted with Porter Goss and Bob Graham the morning of Sept 11, authorized the $100,000 payment to Atta by placing cell phone calls to Omar Sheikh Saeed: al Qaeda leader and ISI asset, known as bin Laden's "favourite son."
But hey, if the US is comfortable with farming out the bin Laden file to Pakistan, just as it has done since the days of the clandestine support of the mujahideen, why should our knickers be twisted about it?
Another of yesterday's headlines:
White House Warns Ukraine to Guard Voting
No, you're not dyslexic. That's really what it says. The Bush White House claims that Ukraine's first round of voting "did not meet a 'basic test' of a truly democratic process." Many Ukrainians feel the same, too. Why? Because exit polls conflicted with the results. Exit polls had projected victory for the challenger. That's what got people into the streets of Kiev by the tens of thousands.
Hello, America? Is this thing on?
Something's not working, because here's one more headline from yesterday. And this is an American story, not Ukrainian - believe it, or not!
Exit polls to be delayed in future elections