Thursday, January 26, 2006

But They All Look The Same To Me

Chalk up another homerun to the Bush Administration: In its zeal to have the global public assist in the hunt for terrorists, the US Government has had a picture of the wrong man on a wanted poster for over a year and a half. A poster advertising a five million dollar bounty on his head. The true target was Midhat Mursi al-Sayid 'Umar, also known as Abu Khabab al-Masri. He is apparently a dangerous high level Al Qaeda operative. The picture however was of Abu Hamza Al-Masri, a London Imam. Whoops.

NBC noticed the error and brought it to the attention of the CIA. The CIA has admitted the error and has replaced the picture with a silhouette but has also insisted that all the other information is completely accurate. Well that’s reassuring and I’m sure Abu Hamza Al-Masri just sees the humor in the whole thing. Really just send him a fruit basket or something and it’ll all blow over.

“It's embarrassing,” acknowledged terrorism expert Roger Cressy. “It's a bit of a black eye, but it's not going to have any long-term impact on the CIA or its ability to fight the war on terror.”
Really?? While I agree with the embarrassing/black eye characterization (though it is a total understatement), for some strange reason I just don’t feel that confident in the CIA’s abilities. While there is some reason to believe that Abu Khabab al-Masri may have been killed recently in Pakistan and luckily for Abu Hamza Al-Masri no one successfully came to collect on the bounty, so it could have been a lot worse and maybe this incident won’t seriously hurt the organization, the fact that this could even happen is, or at least should be, one hell of a red flag. Jesus Christ!

-A. Monkey