If, that is, you’re a Republican. Atrios points us to an Associated Press article reporting that “U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded al-Qaida has rebuilt its operating capability to a level not seen since just before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.” Brendan Nyhan points out that later in the same piece, this damning indictment of George W. Bush’s policies is described as something that “could bolster the president’s hand at a moment when support on Capitol Hill for the war is eroding and the administration is struggling to defend its decision for a military buildup in Iraq.”
I mean, look, anything’s possible especially if the press is going to pre-emptively report the news in an up-is-down manner without need for aggressive administration spinning, but the intuitive thing to say here is that it’s likely to weaken Bush’s hand and strengthen the hand of those arguing that the country needs new policies. The point of the report, after all, is that just as war-skeptics have been saying, while the Bush administration’s been chasing its own turds in circles in Iraq, al-Qaeda’s been rebuilding its capacities in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area and parts of Europe.
Photo by Sargent Brandon Aird, US Army.