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Who Are You Going To Believe? Al Qaeda Or The State Department?

Reported by Donna - October 13, 2005

Today on Studio B with Shepard Smith the case of the disputed Al Qaeda letter came up in a segment with Bret Baier and a clip of State Department spokesperson, Adam Ereli.

Smith started it out by saying, "A new claim that the letter between two Al Qaeda leaders that the Pentagon says it's....well....found, is a fake. That's according to Al Qaeda in Iraq which says the letter was invented by the White House."

Smith went to Bret Baier for the following report (paraphrased but pretty much verbatim):

Bret Baier: Hey, Shep. Al Qaeda in Iraq posted this statement on an Islamic website today saying the letter that was obtained by U.S. forces in Iraq is a fake. The letter said to be written by Al Qaeda's number 2 man, (Comment: How many #2 men do they have?) Iman Al-Zawahari, obtained, according to U.S. officials, after a counter terrorism raid in Iraq.

The letter was addressed to Al Qaeda's top terrorist in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Now, multiple U.S. intelligence officials expressed today their total confidence that the letter is authentic. (Comment: Names, please.) They say it has been authenticated by multiple sources. They also say that 6,000 were.... document matches previous writings of Al-Zawahari. In it Al-Zawahari describes problems for the Al Qaeda Network and urges Zarqawi to change his tactics in Iraq.

Now, U.S. officials will not go into how exactly this letter was obtained. Whether it was on a computer or in written form from a courier. But officials at the State Department fielded questions about authoriites this way.

(Cut to Videotape of State Department spokesperson, Adam Ereli)

Adam Ereli: It's authentic. It's been published in Arabic papers, I would note....uhhhh....and third, it is very consistent, if you look at the content, it's very consistent with what Al Qaeda has said at different times in the past. (Comment: This is his proof? One, because he says so, two because it's been published in Arabic papers and three, because it's consistent with different things Al Qaeda has said in the past?)

(Comment: And now for his grand finale) So.....um...you know...I guess finally, who are you going to believe? Are you going to believe terrorists who blow up kids or are you going to believe us? I think we are more credible than Al Qaeda.

Bret Baier: Now this letter was posted on the website of the office of the new director of intelligence both in Arabic and English. It was the first posting on that website and one official said, quote, 'We wouldn't have posted it there if we didn't believe it was real." Shep?


Comments: "We wouldn't have posted it there if we didn't believe it was real?" From one official who remains nameless? And where was the proof from the State Department? I'm sorry, I'm not saying I believe Al Qaeda over the State Department, but Al Qaeda does not shy away from claiming responsibility for many things. And our intelligence? Well, you know their record.

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