A Bin Laden vs. Zawahiri doctrinal dispute? I didn't know about it. Here's Amir Taheri from Friday:
Bin Laden has consistently argued in favour of further ghazavat[*] inside the West. He firmly believes that the West is too cowardly to fight back and, if terrorised in a big way, will do "what it must do". That view was strengthened last year when al-Qaeda changed the Spanish Government with its deadly attack in Madrid. At the time bin Laden used his "Madrid victory" to call on other European countries to distance themselves from the United States or face similar "punishment".
Bin Laden's view has been challenged by his supposed No 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who insists that the Islamists should first win the war inside several vulnerable Muslim countries, notably Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Until yesterday it seemed that al-Zawahiri was winning the argument, especially by heating things up in Afghanistan and Iraq. Yesterday, the bin Laden doctrine struck back in London.
*--military raids12:02 P.M.
Rove Trove: Watch the Newsweek/Isikoff space Sunday A.M. ... Here it is. [It's not much of a teaser if you only give them 60 seconds' advance notice.--ed Sorry. I forgot that "A.M." comes, like, right after midnight.] Nut graf:
Nothing in the Cooper e-mail suggests that Rove used Plame's name or knew she was a covert operative. Nonetheless, it is significant that Rove was speaking to Cooper before Novak's column appeared; in other words, before Plame's identity had been published.
In other words, the truth we thought we were asymptotically approaching yesterday now appears a bit closer: Without identifying her by name, Rove mentioned Wilson's wife's employment but did so in order to get reporters to pay less attention to Wilson's report, not (at least on the surface) in order to blow Plame's cover or retailiate against Wilson (and "stifle dissent"). ... Does that get Rove off the legal hook? I think it should--if Rove didn't intend the info to become public and trusted the reporters he talked with to be responsible. Rove's problem is that the statute doesn't seem to require an intent for the info to become public for there to be a crime; it only requires an act of disclosure. Specifically, it punishes anyone who "intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information." Matt Cooper would be such an individual. ... Other provisions in the statute require either a "pattern" of behavior and an intent to damage the U.S., but that's not true of the provision that would seem to most easily apply to Rove. ... But Rove still has the defense that he didn't know Plame was a "covert" agent being protected by "affirmative measures." ...
P.S.: WaPo Wipeout! The Washington Post gets embarrassed by Newsweek on two counts. 1) It's now pretty clear that WaPo's Carol Leonnig was conned by Rove's lawyer Luskin into swallowing his weaselly line that "Rove was not the source who called Cooper yesterday morning" to permit Cooper to testify. Rove may not have "called," but he apparently was the Cooper source; 2)WaPo's designated damage-repairer Dan Balz was then bamboozled too! He reported
Rove and Cooper spoke once before the Novak column was available, but the interview did not involve the Iraq controversy, according to a person close to the investigation who declined to be identified to be able to share more details about the case. [Emph. added]
It now looks like that was a "person close to the investigation who declined to be identified to be able to mislead Dan Balz"! ... Gee, who could it have been? ...
Backfill: At 11:25, Huffy David Corn got anticipatorily overexcited about the Newsweek story, arguing it offers "proof that the Bush White House was using any information it could gather on Joseph Wilson -- even classified information related to national security -- to pursue a vendetta against Wilson, a White House critic." [Emphasis added] I would say it shows the Bush White House was using what it thought was relevant information--but what it may not have known was possibly illegal information to disclose!--in order to discredit (or spin) Wilson's report. That's a big difference. In ignoring it, Corn exaggerates Rove's "political, if not legal, jeopardy." (Rove would be in even less political jeopardy, though, if his lawyer hadn't pretended he wasn't Cooper's source! Now it comes as a shock.) 12:01 A.M. link