The following tweet came a few days ago from Ari Fleischer, former Press secretary for Dubya.
This comes from Ari Fleischer
, folks. Fleischer's the guy who used to rationalize this kind of crap professionally, on a daily basis.
The immediate cause of this tweet was the kidnapping in Tripoli of Abu Anas al-Libi. He's the latest in a long series of incredibly important
Al Qaeda operatives, although it is certainly questionable whether he has done anything terror-related lately. Some say he was never terribly significant within the organization. Others say that he functioned as a Bin Laden double.
idea suggests all sorts of possibilities, if you are of a sufficiently paranoid mind-set.
(Incidentally, you shouldn't confuse this fellow with Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi
, who confessed under torture to a link between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. The Bushies used to treat that confession as if it were something real. Nobody does that any more.)
Oddly enough, Abu Anas al-Libi, was granted asylum in the UK
Al-Libi, who was captured by US special forces in Tripoli this weekend, reportedly arrived in Britain in the mid-1990s and lived in Manchester after being granted political asylum.
The 49-year-old, also known as Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, was arrested by the Metropolitan Police 1999 - the year after the embassy bombings left more than 220 people dead. He was later released and fled the UK.
Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said the case would be raised with the Home Secretary when she appears before MPs.
He added: “This case raises serious questions about the motives behind asylum and national security decisions in the UK... It is not the first time that someone, who has been brought to the attention of the authorities and released, has gone on to be linked to further terrorist activity.
So why was he granted asylum? This story in the Daily Mail speaks of an MI6 connection
Anas al-Liby was given political asylum in Britain in 1995 after a failed Al Qaeda plot to assassinate Hosni Mubarak, then president of Egypt.
An Egyptian extradition request was turned down on the grounds that he could not receive a fair trial.
A year later MI6 is said to have paid a Libyan Al Qaeda cell to kill Colonel Gaddafi. It is thought that Liby, 49, pictured, was allowed to stay in return for aiding the alleged plot, which was unsuccessful.
Striking, isn't it, how so few other news stories speak of the MI6 link? You'd think that more journalists would pounce on that one.
It seems clear that if the British spooks thought they could make use of him on that one occasion, they probably had other plans for him as well. After all, al-Libi seemed to lead a protected life in the UK for years.
An Osama Bin Laden double working for British intelligence...
Wow. That really does seem to be the premise of a rather wild spy novel, eh wot?
And if you want to mull over something even wilder, try to make sense of the varying reports as to where al-Libi was and what he was up to in the years between 2002 and 2012. The following comes from Wikipedia...
In January 2002, news reports stated that al-Liby had been captured by American forces in Afghanistan. Following this, in March 2002 news reports stated that al-Liby had been arrested by the Sudanese government and was being held in a prison in Khartoum. However U.S. officials soon denied those reports and al-Liby was still sought.
Al-Liby had been on the USA's list of Most Wanted Terrorists since its inception on 10 October 2001. The United States Department of State, through the Rewards for Justice Program, offered up to US$5,000,000 (formerly $25,000,000) for information about the location of Abu Anas al-Liby.
A February 2007 Human Rights Watch document claims that al-Liby and others "may have once been held" in secret detention by the CIA.
On June 6, 2007, al-Liby was listed as a possible CIA "Secret Prisoner" by Amnesty International, without giving any reason or evidence, and despite the fact he remained on the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list as of the published date (6 June 2007).
In September 2012, CNN reported that al-Liby returned to Libya after being imprisoned in Iran for almost a decade.
Other reports have him attaining his graduate degree at Hogwarts in 2009, operating a Pizza Hut in Darjeeling between 2005 and 2010, handing out "Fair Play for Cuba" leaflets in New Orleans in 2008, and working in Santa's workshop disguised as an elf.