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Thursday, October 23, 2008

McCain camp rattled after WaPo and AP write that Al Qaeda is pro-McCain

Spencer Ackerman:

I just got off a conference call the McCain campaign held to deny that al-Qaeda, contrary to reports in the AP and the Washington Post, is rooting for their man.

To describe the call as panicked would be an understatement. ...

What was absent from the call, oddly enough, was any discussion about why al-Qaeda might want McCain to win. And there the case is simple enough. al-Qaeda prefers an indefinite U.S. occupation of Iraq and a bellicose U.S. all across the Muslim world in order to radicalize Muslims to its terrorist cause and drain the U.S. of its financial wealth -- what Osama bin Laden calls his "bleed to bankruptcy" strategy. Hence the reason why, as the CIA eventually concluded, bin Laden tried to help George W. Bush's reelection in 2004 by releasing a late-October tape. McCain pledges basic continuity with Bush on the Iraq war. As Scheunemann put it, "John McCain will spend what it takes to win."

Yet the idea of al-Qaeda preferring a U.S. strategy that strengthens it confounded the McCain camp. "It is ridiculous to believe that in its heart of hearts, al-Qaeda wants John McCain to be the president," Woolsey said. "It's ludicrous."

You know, the funny thing is, I think that Woolsey really doesn't believe it's true (despite the opinion of the CIA, which he used to head). Not only are they absurdly wrong about mid-East policy -- they don't even know it.

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