Zarqawi is being well and truly undermined…

At least that seems to be the gist of things. Aside from revealing himself as the anti-democracy fire-breather he is, in his remarks following President Bush’s Inaugural speech (Bush seems to have a gift for making people reveal themselves whether they want to or not), his underlings are being hauled in quietly and efficiently. Powerline writes this:

You wouldn’t know it from reading your morning newspaper, but there is growing evidence that the Zarqawi terrorist ring, the number one threat to security in Iraq, is steadily being rolled up. Haider Ajina sent us this translation of an article that appeared in today’s Arabic-language newspaper alsharq Alausat:

Iraqi police forces in Alkoot [southern Iraq near Basrah announced they arrested yesterday a member of Al Zarqawi’s group in the city of AlKoot.
The chief of police said that the suspect is 29 years old and has confessed to murdering a number of police and national security men, and confessed to participating in a number of car bombings in Baghdad and other provinces. The police chief added that the suspect, who will remain anonymous due to ongoing interrogations, carried forged Iraqi documents and speaks in an Arabian Gulf Dialect [i.e. a dialect of the Arab countries on the Persian gulf] and had met with a number of armed terrorist cells that used to be in Felujah.

What we are seeing here seems to be the classic pattern of rolling up a criminal network. It may take a long time to get the first break, but as members begin to be caught and questioned, their information allows the apprehension of more members of the gang. The process tends to accelerate as more members are caught. In the Iraqi context, a foreseeable consequence is that the remaining gang members will panic; will need to communicate with electronically and perhaps in person to figure out who has been apprehended and who is still on the loose, and what the gang should do now; and that when they do so, they become more vulnerable to capture. On the eve of Iraq’s election, this is very good news indeed.

I showed the Powerline blurb to a pal connected with CBS, and his response was both enlightening and sad, and it speaks volumes about the mess CBS has found itself in, thanks to Dan Rather and Mary Mapes, and the need to “get” the President.

My pal said: “People who took the trouble to watch CBS and 60 Minutes last night — which, of course, no one does, because they don’t believe us anymore and think we’re a bunch of leftwing loonies — would have heard the colonel in charge compare this to breaking the back of the Gambino crime family. Perhaps more startling to some people,” he added, is that the colonel was speaking in Iraq, talking to Dan Rather, in the “Triangle of Death.”

I feel badly for my friend, and understand his frustration. CBS has done several good stories over the past few months, including one that went out of its way to promote the Wounded Marine Fund. There are many good, ethical and conscientious people at CBS who have been tarnished by this brush of journalistic ineptitude and overt partisanship, and a once great – very great – news organization is broken. Who knows how or when it may be mended.

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