CNN is reporting the capture of a top "Al Qaeda in Iraq" figure:
The U.S. military on Wednesday announced the arrest of a senior leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, an insurgent who, the military said, is casting himself as a "conduit" between the top leaders of al Qaeda and al Qaeda in Iraq.
Khalid al-Mashadani, an Iraqi also known as Abu Shahed, was seized on July 4 in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul and is in coalition custody, the military said.
"He served as the al Qaeda media emir for Baghdad and then was appointed the media emir for all of Iraq," said Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Bergner, Multi-National Force-Iraq spokesman, who briefed reporters.
He is believed to be the most senior Iraqi in al Qaeda in Iraq.
Good news for supporters of Bush's war right? Except for this tidbit that appears later on in the story:
Bergner also said al-Mashadani was a leader in the Ansar al Sunna terrorist group before joining al Qaeda in Iraq two-and-a-half-years ago.
Er, come again? Where does this "Ansar al Sunna" come from? I thought these were the same people who attacked us on 9/11?
But of course, people like al-Mashadani aren't and never were members of Al Qaeda until after our occupation of Iraq. In fact, these people really aren't genuine Al Qaeda at all. Those folks are rampaging through north-west Pakistan where Al Qaeda's main headquarters are located. We don't really know the extent of the ties between those who have now labeled themselves "Al Qaeda in Iraq" and the real Al Qaeda (you know, that bin Laden guy) and the administration's propaganda on this certainly isn't to be believed since they have no credibility on anything concerning Iraq anymore.
What we do know is that a group of Islamic militants previously known as Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad which was led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi now call themselves "Al Qaeda in Iraq", and that members of two other militant groups, Ansar al-Sunna and Ansar al-Islam, have joined them. These militants have effectively manipulated George Bush into continuing our occupation of Iraq simply by labeling themselves "Al Qaeda".
Think about it, a simple name change by this group is the sole justification that Bush now offers for continuing our occupation of Iraq in the midst of a civil war. He repeatedly says Iraq is all about Al Qaeda, but neglects to inform the American people that there was NO Al Qaeda presence in Iraq before we invaded, and that the people who now call themselves "Al Qaeda in Iraq" are NOT the same people who attacked us on 9/11 and are NOT the same people who have re-established a base of operations in Pakistan. They are pretenders who have cleverly co-opted the Al Qaeda label in order to manipulate the simpleton Bush into continuing our involvement in the disaster that has engulfed us in Iraq.
Confronting and dismantling the lies of this administration is really a full time job that I sometimes find exhausting, but I am determined to continue until we have undone the damage that has been done to our country.
So let me make this simple for the right-wingers and neocons embittered by the debacle of Iraq:
If you want to fight the "real" Al Qaeda go here.
If you want to fight a bunch of people who pretend to be Al Qaeda then go here.
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