In yet another in a disgraceful series of indecent journalistic collaborations, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Hillary Clinton's Think Progress actually quoted al Qaeda's second in command Ayman al-Zawahiri to discredit Republican presidential candidate John McCain (video embedded right, use scrollbars to properly center).
I kid you not.
Our story begins on Thursday when Think Progress managing editor Amanda Terkel posted an article actually entitled "Al Qaeda’s Zawahiri Rebuts McCain: It’s ‘In The Interest’ Of Al Qaeda To See Iran Fail" (emphasis added):
Recently, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has repeatedly claimed that Iran and al Qaeda are working together to defeat the United States in Iraq. During a March 18 press conference, for example, McCain claimed that Iranian operatives were "taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back."
Al Qaeda begs to differ. Danger Room's Noah Shachtman finds that in a new online Q&A session, Ayman al-Zawahiri - the terrorist organization's number two leader - clearly states al Qaeda wants Iran to fail in Iraq:
The dispute between America and Iran is a real dispute based on the struggle over areas of influence, and the possibility of America striking Iran is a real possibility. As for what might happen in the region, I can only say that major changes will occur in the region, and the situation will be in the interest of the Mujahideen if the war saps both of them. If, however, one of them emerges victorious, its influence will intensify and fierce battles will begin between it and the Mujahideen, except that the Jihadi awakening currently under way and the degeneration state of affairs of the invaders in Afghanistan and Iraq will make it impossible for Iran or America to become the sole decision-maker in the region.
Pretty amazing when the words of the enemy are used to discredit those of a sitting member of the Senate, wouldn't you agree? This is especially the case given McCain's acknowledgement during this very interview that he had misspoken and meant to say Iran is training "extremists" that are then being sent back to Iraq:
Yet, always looking to bash on Republicans regardless of the source, Olbermann copied TP's narrative hours later during Thursday's "Countdown," only freshening it up a bit to also point his dirty little finger at George W. Bush (video embedded top right, relevant section begins at minute 1:10):
The administration happily wrings its hands when some announcement out of al Qaeda confirms its worse fears, and by that I mean, what it wants you to fear the worse. When the terrorists say something that contradicts the Bush-McCain world view, it is silence and crickets.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, still the number jackass in al Qaeda, with a statement on the prospect of a conflict between the U.S. and Iran, quote, "The situation will be in the interest of the mujahedeen if the war saps both of them. If however, one of them emerges victorious, its influence will intensify and fierce battles will begin between it and the mujahedeen."
Translation: Al Qaeda hates Iran. Zawahiri has also said that Iran has stabbed the Muslim nation in the back. Al Qaeda thinks we would be doing them a favor if we attacked Iran. And if Iran somehow did well in that fight with us, then, al Qaeda would target Iran.
In other words the drum beat against Iran which General Petraeus will again start next week, the one McCain started again last month is 100 percent crap.
If you`d like this country to go into business with al Qaeda, George Bush and John McCain, they`re your guys.
Much like TP, Olbermann said nothing about McCain acknowledging that he had misspoken concerning this matter.
Honestly, the good folks at General Electric and NBC must be so proud when their employees cite Public Enemy #2 to discredit Americans.