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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Washington Post: Administration Made Too Much of Made Too Little of Zarqawi

Via Powerline:

Finally, we have this unbelievably partisan news story (!) by Karen DeYoung and Walter Pincus in the Washington Post:

From the moment President Bush introduced him to the American people in October 2002, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi served a crucial purpose for the administration, providing a tangible focus for its insistence that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was linked to the al-Qaeda terrorist network responsible for the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

In addition to his indisputably prominent role in the Iraqi insurgency, Zarqawi was always a useful source of propaganda for the administration. Magnification of his role and of the threat he posed grew to the point that some senior intelligence officers believed it was counterproductive.

But the administration also occasionally found it useful to play down Zarqawi's importance and influence.

So the administration both over-estimated and under-estimated Zarqawi, and it was blameworthy either way. In fact, though, after criticizing "the administration" for purportedly conflicting messages, the Post quotes, not members of the administration, but a series of military commanders in Iraq.

The Post should be ashamed of itself; this is the kind of journalism we expect from the New York Times.

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