James Clay Fuller

Things We're Not Supposed to Say

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Time the Bin Laden capture and win

Don’t be shy, folks. Make your guess on when the capture of Osama bin Laden will be announced and win a deck of Shareholders Most Wanted playing cards.

Each card bears the face and a short biography of one of this country’s top corporate crooks. If you don’t want to use them yourself, send them to the White House as a gift to the nominal president; his handlers could use them as flash cards to help him recognize his major contributors at $5,000 a plate fund raisers around the country.

Just under my bio on the right of this page is a heading that says “Contact.” Under that is an email address. Click on the email address and send me a note with your name, your address or at least an email address and your guess about the capture date. The three closest guesses will get cards.

Think of the debate in the White House: Should they spring Osama soon, so that they have months to trumpet the capture? Or do they think the political usefulness wear off too quickly? Should they wait until fall, so that it’s still very fresh, still in the news daily? What do you think they’ll do?

Too far fetched? Are we sure?

Here’s one I hesitate to mention, yet somebody has to:

Mehr News Agency, founded in June 2003 and based in Tehran, Iran, reported a few days ago that it had learned from a “source from the Iraqi Governing Council” that American troops, aided by British soldiers, unloaded a “large cargo” of long-range missile parts and other “weapons of mass destruction” from a ship or ships in Iraqi ports recently.

The unloading was done at night in great secrecy, the Mehr story says, and at least some of the weapons and weapons parts were quickly trucked off to a secret, possibly temporary, location near Basra. The weapons and parts were made in the 1980s and ‘90s, mostly in eastern European countries, the story said, and are of types the United States claimed were in Saddam Hussein’s possession before the invasion a year ago.

Mehr said its source claimed the U.S. acquired the weapons over 20 years by confiscating them when interrupting illegal arms sales.

I know nothing of the reliability of Mehr. It’s commentary, of course, generally supports Iran’s positions on international issues, yet it appears to be a product of the reformist movement in that country. Without learning much more about Mehr, I wouldn't bet heavily either way on its accuracy.

The sad thing is, it’s impossible to dismiss the idea that the Bushies/Pentagon would plant weapons in Iraq in order to unveil them some time before the fall election. They've already demonstrated beyond question that they are without scruples.