Let's see if we have this right. We're fighting in Iraq because al-Qaida attacked us on 9/11. And the Pentagon is going to have a big party in Washington on the anniversary of 9/11 -- your invitation is waiting here -- to tell the troops in Iraq just how much we appreciate what they're doing there.
It all makes perfectly good sense to us. But then, how do we explain this? According to Newsweek's Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball, U.S. law enforcement officials say that a man the United States has accused of being an "American contact" for an Osama bin Laden "front organization" is now working for the new Iraqi government the United States is trying so hard to prop up.
Newsweek says an American-born Iraqi citizen named Tariq A. Hamdi -- who the U.S. government says delivered a satellite-telephone battery to bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1998 -- is working at the Iraqi Embassy in Ankara, Turkey. Hamdi was indicted last May in Virginia on charges of immigration and mortgage fraud, Newsweek says, but an affidavit filed in the case makes it clear that the government has bigger concerns about him. In that affidavit, Newseek reports, a U.S. custom agent accuses Hamdi of providing "material support" to bin Laden and al-Qaida. Among other things, the agent says that Hamdi traveled to Afghanistan in 1998 and delivered the satellite-phone battery to bin Laden. Hamdi made the trip, the agent says, while helping arrange for an ABC News reporter to interview bin Laden.