Time reveals more scoops from book alleging NYC cyanide plot

The book’s already been partially deflated and now ABC’s gone and let more air out of the balloon. But I’m going to link the new crap anyway, for reasons that will immediately become apparent. Abu Zubaydah as a high-functioning retard? C’mon:

Suskind reports that the CIA learned that [Abu] Zubaydah had suffered a head wound during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. In fact, in a diary captured by the CIA, he wrote as if he were three different people. In reality, Suskind reports, he actually was merely a low-level al-Qaeda drone, “like the guy you call who handles the company health plan.” A CIA official told Suskind that Zubaydah was like “Joe Louis in the lobby of Caesar’s Palace, shaking hands,” after the fighter was punch drunk and well past his prime.


Suskind reports new details on Delta Force’s shipment of a hatbox-sized container to Dulles Airport in Washington’s Virginia suburbs in mid-2002. The round metal box, Army green with “US GOVERNMENT” emblazoned in yellow, purportedly contained the severed head of Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s top deputy… “If it turns out to be Zawahiri’s head, I hope you’ll bring it here,” Bush told his briefers — “half in jest,” Suskind writes. But DNA testing ultimately revealed the skull wasn’t Zawahiri’s. It was shipped off to an FBI warehouse on Staten Island.

Picture Bush doing Hamlet and Yorick with Ayman Zawahiri’s empty skull. There’s some good stuff in there too about Khaled Sheikh Mohammed allegedly telling interrogators to go ahead and torture his kids because, hey, it’ll bring them closer to Allah.

As if the two links I posted up top aren’t enough to question Suskind’s accuracy, it seems pretty clear from the original piece that George Tenet is one of his sources. Tenet figures prominently in the excerpt and Suskind told a reporter from Time that he only used quotations when he could corroborate them with more than one source — and he quotes Bush inside the oval office multiple times. Tenet had the necessary access and the motive of settling scores with the administration for allegedly making him the fall guy over the Iraq “slam dunk” comment (a point acknowledged at the end of the new Time article).

Finally, Suskind insists he didn’t divulge any secrets, so bloggers can rest easy about that poison gas device that’s got so many of them agitated.