This one hurts my brain. I’ve read through it a bunch of times over on AmericaBlog and thought summing it up would help me understand it better.
- Naeem Noor Khan
- An arrested Al Qaeda leader
- Had a laptop with plans for Heath Row & Tube attacks + financial buildings in NYC and DC
- At same time Dept of Homeland Security raised threat level to Orange for financial sector in NYC, DC and N. NJ
- Undergone explosives training in Pakistan and Afghanistan
- Khan was persuaded to be a mole for the United States – remained a mole even after his arrest
- UK thought they’d stopped the plan with arrests of over dozen Pakistani men in Lufton 2 years ago
- Bush admin announced Khan’s capture and that he was a double-agent
- Security experts appalled at Bush admin’s outing Khan as a double-agent, likely one of few sources on the inside
- Outing supposedly forced UK to make arrests before investigation complete
- Possibly causing UK to miss the men who would eventually be the London bombers
- Juan Cole: "If Bush doesn’t announce it, and Al Qaeda did strike the institutions, then the fact that he knew of the plot beforehand would sink him if it came out (and it would) before the election. But if he announces it, people are going to suspect that he is wagging the dog and trying to shore up his popularity by playing the terrorism card. So he has to be able to give a credible account of how he got the information. So when the press is skeptical and critical, he decides to give up Khan so as to strengthen his case. In this scenario, he or someone in his immediate circle decides that a mere double agent inside Al Qaeda can be sacrificed if it helps Bush get re-elected in the short term."
Summary: Did Bush announce capture of Khan to prop up his re-election while at the same time destroying an ongoing investigation that – if not interrupted – would have caught all of the London bombers?