Sunday, October 31, 2004

Conspiracy Theories!

They are so much fun. I like nothing quite as much as a really juicy conspiracy theory, the unlikelier the better. (This use of "the" is an interesting relic from Old English, by the way, as the "the" here is not the "the" you think it is. If that makes any sense...) The most recent one is that Karl Rove organized the timing of the bin Laden video:

As House speaker Dennis Hastert put it, before his remarks were drowned out by protests from the Democrats, Osama bin Laden's network would be able to be operate in more comfort if the Democratic candidate wins the vote.
Mr Hastert uttered his opinion six weeks before the Al Qaeda leader lobbed his own grenade into the US election on Friday night.
Now, in the light of the bin Laden video, people are asking: why would the media savvy Saudi dissident issue a tape that could lead to the re-election of President Bush?
As conspiracy theories ran rife over the weekend, one of the most bizarre was that the man who had stage-managed the video's release was the chief political strategist of the US President, Karl Rove.
The revered American former news anchor, Walter Cronkite, said on CNN's Larry King programme that he is "inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man ... probably set up bin Laden to this thing."
President Bush knew in advance that the video was in the offing. But presumably not even the talented spin doctors in the White House could engineer the timing of the tape's broadcast by the Arabic television channel Al-Jazeera.

I don't know what to believe! Four years ago I would have said that Walter is pulling our noses, but I have learned that incredible and impossible things do actually happen in American politics all the time. So who knows.