Honorable Men

I think this is the sound of Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell lying to congress. Meanwhile, here's General David Petraeus responding to the news that Abdul Sattar Abu Risha has been killed:

"This is a tragic loss," Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq, said of Abu Risha's death. "It's a terrible loss for Anbar province and all of Iraq. It shows how significant his importance was and it shows al-Qaeda in Iraq remains a very dangerous and barbaric enemy."

The only problem is that Petraeus doesn't have any evidence that Abu Risha was killed by al-Qaeda in Iraq. After all, lots of people had reason to want to kill him. Here's Time from June 1:

Sheikh Sattar, whose tribe is notorious for highway banditry, is also building a personal militia, loyal not to the Iraqi government but only to him. Other tribes — even those who want no truck with terrorists — complain they are being forced to kowtow to him. Those who refuse risk being branded as friends of al-Qaeda and tossed in jail, or worse. In Baghdad, government delight at the Anbar Front's impact on al-Qaeda is tempered by concern that the Marines have unwittingly turned Sheikh Sattar into a warlord who will turn the province into his personal fiefdom.

He could have been killed by one of Anbar's other Sunni groups. He could have been killed by people working for Maliki's government. People die all the time in Iraq, and there are only a tiny number of AQI personnel. This is a classic example of the Myth of al-Qaeda in Iraq in action -- it's convenient to blame this on AQI so that's what's happening even though there's no evidence.