UPDATE: This Reuters story now featured on the Drudge Report.
Reuters has reported today that an al Qaeda video calling for the humiliation of President George W. Bush and Republicans isn't really an endorsement of Barack Obama and the Democrats in the upcoming election. Huh? Does Reuters have comprehension skill problems or are they desperate to protect the Obama campaign from the charge that the best known terrorist organization in the world favors them? Read the Reuters story titled, "Qaeda wants Republicans, Bush "humiliated": Web Video," and you be the judge (emphasis mine):
DUBAI (Reuters) - An al Qaeda leader has called for President George W. Bush and the Republicans to be "humiliated," without endorsing any party in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, according to a video posted on the Internet.
"O God, humiliate Bush and his party, O Lord of the Worlds, degrade and defy him," Abu Yahya al-Libi said at the end of sermon marking the Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr, in a video posted on the Internet.
Libi, one of the top al Qaeda commanders believed to be living in Afghanistan or Pakistan, called for God's wrath to be brought against Bush equating him with past tyrants in history.
The remarks were the first comments from a leading al Qaeda figure referring, albeit indirectly, to the U.S. elections. Muslim clerics often end sermons by calling on God to guide and support Muslims and help defeat their enemies.
In 2004 al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden issued his first video in more than a year just days before the elections to deride President Bush and warn of possible new September 11-style attacks.
Bin Laden made little mention of Bush's Democratic challenger John Kerry, telling Americans: "Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or al Qaeda. Your security is in your own hands and each state which does not harm our security will remain safe."
That sure sounded like an endorsement of Barack Obama and the Democrats to me. When you slam one party that pretty much means you are supporting the other party unless you attack both parties equally. One strange thing is that the Reuters report above was posted at 1:52 pm EDT. However, another Reuters report posted almost 3 hours later at 3:41 pm EDT discusses October surprises including the al Qaeda video released just a few days before the 2004 election but makes no mention of the latest "October Surprise" al Qaeda video that Reuters itself posted just a few hours earlier:
With the days counting down before the presidential fight between Obama and McCain is decided on Tuesday, the chance for a game-changing moment that could reverse Obama's lead over McCain in national polls is dwindling but still alive.
"The last weekend can be a very weird and strange time in a presidential campaign," said Steven Schier, a political analyst at Carleton College in Minnesota.
"It's when the last of the voters who haven't been paying attention tune in, and the last of the undecideds make up their minds. Strange things can happen," he said.
In 2004, al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden injected himself into the campaign on the last Friday of the race with a new videotape. The tape reminded voters of the lingering risk from terrorism and President George W. Bush's efforts to keep the United States safe.
Democrat John Kerry, embroiled in a tight battle with Bush in most polls, saw the race slip away in the final days. He later blamed the tape for erasing his hopes of victory.
So why the disconnect here? Did the first Reuters al Qaeda "non-endorsement" endorsement report get tossed down the memory hole? And why didn't Reuters post the video it referenced in that first report? But remember, according to Reuters, al Qaeda didn't really endorse Obama and the Democrats even though that is effectively what they did.