For once, The New Republic

I don't like the New Republic. They demonstrated their distance from mainstream liberal thought when they endorsed Joe "for those voters who like Bush but think he's not Jewish enough" Lieberman.

But a couple of months ago, Salon.com offered a free subscription to the digital version because I was a premium subscriber, and I signed up. What the hell--it's not like I was going to have to throw the thing away every month (like I did when I bought a subscription to Esquire from my daughter's band fundraiser) and maybe, just maybe, they'll print something interesting. Like my daddy used to say, even a dog's ass gets lucky once in its life.

And now they've gone and done it. Here it is, a story that quotes Pakistani officials as having said the White House has told them that they need to capture or kill some HVTs (High Value Targets) before the November election, and if they can manage it, during the last week of July.

Why then? Why, the last week of July is the week of the Democratic National Convention.

Don't believe me?

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.


Now I'm a firm believer in the cynicism of the American public when it comes to last minute surprises--maybe I'm the naive one here--but I don't see how there could be any reaction to the capture or killing of Bin Laden between now and November other than "What took you so damn long?" This whole misnamed "war on terror" has been a fiasco from the very beginning, so the idea that the White House would try to spin it at the last minute is no surprise. My only surprise is that anyone still buys into anything these clowns have to say.

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