DNC Surprise


My first thought when Pakistan, on the eve of John Kerry’s speech at the DNC, announced the capture of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a top al-Qaeda fugitive, was very much the same as that of Kevin Drum:

Maybe it’s time to get measured for a tinfoil hat after all.

I mean, just how convenient could the timing be? Especially when, as Kevin reminds us, four weeks ago The New Republic wrote that

the administration was turning the screws on the Pakistanis to round up an al-Qaeda bigshot before the election.

Well today Kevin Drum has more. It turns out that the Pakistanis delayed the announcement of the arrest by four days. The LA Times and the Washington Post seem to differ as to whether that delay was too much or too little. On the one hand, once the arrest was announced it would certainly have led to al-Qaeda’s rapid destruction of any and all links to Ghailani, hindering further action. But, on the other hand, all other major al-Qaeda arrests were announced almost immediately. Of course, the answer is that the timing of the announcement was neither too late, nor too soon. It was just as the Pakistanis assumed Bush would have wanted it. I mean, he didn’t have to spell it out for them, did he?