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RUSH: A senior operative for Al-Qaeda in Iraq, who was caught this month — now, this is not, by the way, Khaled Abdul-Fattah Dawoud Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, who was captured yesterday. This is a different guy. He was caught this month and he has told his US military interrogators that a prominent Al-Qaeda-led group in Iraq is just a front and that it’s leader is fictitious and they hired an actor to be this guy on the Internet and so forth, and make videos and streaming, and so forth. Brigadier General Kevin Bergner told a news conference that Abu Omar al-Baghdadi — and that means ‘of Baghdad,’ like Saddam Hussein’s full name was Saddam something or other, you know, Abdul al-Tikriti, because he was born in Tikrit. Anyway, ‘Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq, which was purportedly set up last year, did not exist. The Islamic State of Iraq was established to try to put an Iraqi face on what is a foreign-driven network, Bergner said. The name Baghdadi means the person hails from the Iraqi capital. Bergner said the information came from an operative called Khalid al-Mashadani who was caught on July 4 and who he said was an intermediary to Osama bin Laden. He said Mashadani was believed to be the most senior Iraqi in the Sunni Islamist al Qaeda in Iraq network. ‘In his words, the Islamic State of Iraq is a front organization that masks the foreign influence and leadership within al Qaeda in Iraq in an attempt to put an Iraqi face on the leadership of al Qaeda in Iraq,’ Bergner said.’

What this means is that this is not a sectarian war. What it means is that this is not a civil war. What it means is that the Al-Qaeda in Iraq group is a phony group, its leader fictitious, designed to make it look like there is a civil war in Iraq but actually this is Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, or wherever they are. By the way, this Mashhadani is talking, and he’s saying a lot. His cooperation, according to US officials, stems from his ‘strong sense of nationalism’ and ‘anger’ that foreign Al-Qaeda operatives were creating the false front and using Iraq as a staging ground for their own gain. This quote comes from Rear Adm. Gregory Smith in a telephone call from Iraq yesterday with the Washington Times. So the guy is out there blabbing his head off, folks, and he’s apparently an Iraqi. He’s very much upset that this outside group’s coming in, trying to make it look like there’s a group inside Iraq doing things, when it’s not. His anger is that foreign Al-Qaeda operatives created this false front using Iraq as a staging ground for their own gain.

Here’s something else. ‘Over the past two months, U.S. forces have killed or captured 26 al Qaeda senior operatives, but every month, nearly 60 to 80 foreign insurgents enter the country, he added. Most foreign operatives in Iraq came from Saudi Arabia, with jihadists from Syria, Egypt and Pakistan also common. The move by coalition forces to continue to put pressure on the al Qaeda network in Iraq is inhibiting the Islamist terrorist organization from developing a national movement from within the country, Adm. Smith said.’ So this is more evidence that the surge is working. And, you know, people are talking about this whole situation over there being a killing ground. It sounds like it’s a burying ground for Al-Qaeda. It sounds like Petraeus, you know, we don’t talk in body counts anymore, he told Hugh Hewitt this the other day on the radio, we don’t talk about body counts anymore, but they’re pretty significant here. He really praised his Special Ops. We had the call from the wife yesterday of the naval Special Ops unit, and apparently Petraeus is just singing the praises of these guys. They’re out every night. They’re doing some great stuff.

So Mashhadani, al-Mashhadani, Mahmoud al- whatever, is speaking, and this is a pretty big admission here that the whole Al-Qaeda in Iraq is a front. Well, I hope we did obtain it through forceful means. The point that the general is making, we didn’t have to do anything. This guy is mad, and he’s speaking on his own. I know that there will be some who will question the veracity. Well, this could be a giant lie. This guy could be setting us all up, or Bush and Cheney decided to do it.

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