Earlier today, I mentioned Tom Joscelyn’s new blog. One of Joscelyn’s adversaries when it comes to the issue of links between Iraq and al Qaeda has been Daniel Benjamin, former Clinton administration official, author of the book The Age of Sacred Terror, and persistent crtic of the Bush administration.
Benjamin’s not the most reliable guy in the world. In his book, Benjamin and co-author Steven Simon presented the false claim that the Washington Times broke the story that Osama bin Laden used a satellite phone. In fact, as The Times notes and the Washington Post agrees, bin Laden’s satellite phones had previously been reported by CNN, CBS, and Time Magazine (The Post says a Taliban leader was the source of the story). Apparently relying on Benjamin and Simon, the 9/11 commission (that fount of wisdom) chastised the Times for leaking the story. To make matters worse, after President Bush complained about the disclosure this week, Scott McClellan told the Washington Post that Bush was referring to the Washington Times. McClellan has since said that the president was relying on the 9/11 commission and that the accusation against The Times was false.
How about Benjamin? Asked by The Post why he blamed The Times when the information had been reported earlier by numerous other media outlets, he reportedly shrugged, “You got me.”