Monday, August 09, 2004

Miss a Day, Miss a Lot

Hey, everyone needs a day off now and then. I took one yesterday, and now I have to run to catch up on what I missed. I'm going to avoid regurgitating the Sunday CNN / MSNBC / Fox feeds here - so how about this story that has literally flown under the radar screen for the past few days? Joshua Micah Marshall comments:

According to the Associated Press the government of Iraq today issued arrest warrants for Ahmed Chalabi (on charges of counterfeiting) and his nephew Salem Chalabi (on charges of murder).

Salem, of course, remains head of the war crimes tribunal charged with trying Saddam Hussein and other leaders of the former regime. But the tribunal covers crimes committed under the former regime, not the present one. So perhaps there's no conflict.
So, where's the [snark][/snark] tags, Josh? Anyway, I find this quite amusing. And disconcerting at the same time. Here's why.

I don't give a damn about Ahmed. He's a riverboat gambler con man from way back, and whatever happens with him from this point forward, he's earned it. Perhaps a one way trip back to Jordan in the trunk of a car. But this story isn't about Ahmed, it's about Salem.

As Josh notes, Salem is the point guy in the tribunal of Saddam. If you recall, a month or two back, we saw our first images of Saddam since the spider hole episode, coiffed and natilly attired for the cameras in a makeshift Iraqi courtroom in an "undisclosed location". Though the U.S. tried to stage manage the event by attempting to cut the sound feed and selectively allowing images to be broadcast, apparently the morons running the show were either color blind or didn't know the difference between a red light and a green light on a video camera.

Because of the incompetence (we should have expected any less?), much more of Saddam's testimony left the building than the stage managers wanted. Saddam's "Q-rating" went through the roof. And now, the Iraqi and American governments are left in a quandry - how to keep Saddam off of the tube until at least November 2, or until his prostrate condition kills him (whichever comes first)?

Why, throw the war crimes tribunal into chaos! Issue an arrest warrant for Salem - like no one knew about this stuff prior to Salem being appointed to head the tribunal (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

I swear to you, if you were a NYT best selling author of poli-fiction, you could not make this stuff up and put together a believeable novel. It wouldn't sell. Even fiction has to have some basis in reality.

Yet this is real life. Instead of blowing the lid off of crap like this, what's CNN got on this morning? Mark Racicot, the Chimperor's overtly lying campaign chairman, going off on a partisan rip over John Kerry's voting record in the Senate.