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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Thursday, October 31, 2002

Safire Delivers

Safire answers our questions about the mysterious Mohammed Atta and the Prague connection. My man:

"...Because the C.I.A. had refused to interrogate Al Qaeda assassins captured by Kurdish forces in northern Iraq, I had a hunch that our spooks' overly eager "discreditation" of the Czech report was misleading..."

And now, following the "Havel called Bush", "Havel didn't call Bush" byplay:

"...it's time for a follow-up hunch. I suspect that the coterie around President Havel — the great former dissident we all admire — despises the prime minister, the interior minister and the Czech intelligence agencies. In Havel's name, that weakening coterie misled a fine reporter and lashed out at the rest of the government's officials by making them out to be publicity hounds of war. Why? The dispute about Atta's visits to Prague and contact with Iraq is not about Middle Eastern intelligence; it's only about middle European politics."

Well, that is clear. Or, I am sure it would be if I had opened the same Chinese fortune cookie Safire did.

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