The Corner

Cronkite Is Right

Walter Cronkite is onto something. This whole bin Ladan thing helps Bush far too much for Rove not to have been behind it. But unlike Cronkite, I don’t think Rove directly set bin Laden up to make the tape. That’s just paranoid. Still, there is a way that Rove could have arranged all this. Think about it. Why haven’t we caught bin Laden? Time and again, we’ve claimed to be close. Isn’t is obvious that Rove has forced the president to lay off bin Laden? And who do you think had the Pentagon outsource Tora Bora to a bunch of Afghan warlords? Obviously, Rove. So Teresa had it backwards. The October surprise wasn’t that we’d caught bin Laden and were holding him to the last minute. The surprise was that Rove purposely let bin Laden go, knowing that his televised threats would assure Bush’s reelection. There’s only one thing that makes me doubt this scenario. The whole thing depends on the idea that the bin Laden tape helps the president. But The Washington Post (a news source every bit as eminent and unbiased as the great Walter Cronkite) says the bin Laden tape won’t help either candidate.

Stanley Kurtz — Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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