Wednesday, August 18

Did we or did we not

In the labarynthine twists and turns that is the story surrounding the "outing" of a former al-Queda operative, Muhammed Naeem Noor Khan, there are still questions remaining about whether Administration background sources or Pakistani officials are responsible for the leak.
Juan Cole goes into some detail on the subject here and introduces a little primer in Aristotelean causality:
Aristotle thought there were four kinds of causality. The material cause of a baked clay vase is the clay out of which it is made. The formal cause of a baked clay vase is the shape of a vase. The efficient cause of a baked clay vase is the artist who works the clay and then bakes it. The final cause of a baked clay vase is the reason it was made, e.g. to hold water.

Although the efficient cause of the naming of Khan was a Pakistani official speaking to the NYT, I would argue that the final cause of the naming was the Ridge press conference.
Personally speaking, there is no question on my mind that as soon as the bush administration got ahold of the intelligence on Khan's computer that they lept at the chance to blunt the success of the DNC with a politically motivated terror alert, no question in my mind at all. Every single thing that happens in this administration is politically motivated. Whether the leak was ours or Pakistan's matters not, If Rove hadn't pushed Ridge out there to raise the threat level, and at the same time let slip that our president is such a good guy keepin us safe and stuff, then Khan would probably still be a tremendous asset, to bad presnidentin campaign program activities had to get in the way. More from Cole on the British raids follows:
The appearance of Khan's name in the New York Times on August 2 caused the British to have to swoop down on the London al-Qaeda cell to which he was speaking. As it was, 5 of them heard about Khan's arrest and immediately fled. The British got 13, but it was early in their investigation and they had to let 5 go or charge them with minor offences (immigration irregularities e.g.). On Tuesday, the British charged 8 of them.
Whether guilty of Coverin presidential ass related program activities, or of only aristotelean final causality, the idiots in charge are ultimatley responsible for the outing and neutering of a high value intelligence target. Can we get some competance back in the whitehouse--please.