Associated Press blasts Ari Fleischer

This is old news, but last Wednesday an Associated Press writer filed an article about the Bush administration's response to the new bin Laden tape.

Even without further evidence or confirmation that the voice was bin Laden's, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer (news - web sites) seized on the tape as evidence that Saddam and al-Qaida are linked.

"This is the nightmare that people have warned about, the linking up of Iraq with al-Qaida," Fleischer said, denouncing what he called "an unholy partnership."

The tape was released Tuesday, just as Bush was trying to build public opinion against Saddam.

Fleischer expressed far less alarm about North Korea (news - web sites)'s aggressive actions, reflecting Bush's desire to keep attention on Iraq. As Fleischer briefed reporters, Tenet was telling lawmakers that Pyongyang has an untested ballistic missile capable of reaching the western United States.

Fleischer dismissed the testimony as "old news," and said it explains Bush's desire to build an anti-missile shield.

That's a powerful juxtaposition that might seem like a political message rather than a dispassionate report. I, however, think that such a stark duplicity in our foreign policy should be reported, and the simultaneous Tenet announcement merited inclusion in the release.

← Previously: Duct tape | All posts | Next: Why nerds are unpopular →