About that uranium in the Niger ...
Well this may not come as a surprise to some, who might have suspected something like it from the first.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Susanne Osthoff, the German archeologist kidnapped by Iraqi gunmen on Nov. 25 and released before Christmas was connected with her country's intelligence service, the BND, and had helped arrange a meeting with a top member of the terrorist organization al-Qaida, possibly Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi himself, according to well informed German sources Sunday. The sources confirmed German press reports that the 43-year-old woman had worked for the BND in Iraq on a freelance basis, and had for some time even stayed in a German intelligence safe house in Baghdad.
That might explain why the Germans were willing to trade her off for Mohammed Ali Hamadi. UPI continues:
But both German sources said the real deal involving Osthoff's release had been the payment of a ransom to her terrorist captors by the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel. The ransom and Hamadi's release could well constitute a double embarrassment for Merkel on her scheduled "maiden" visit to Washington next week. Washington has always opposed pay ransom money on the grounds that it encourages more kidnapping.
This is going to be one of those mysteries that will take 20 years to unravel, if anyone is still interested. Osthoff being a BND agent would help explain German willingness to trade heavily to free her. But it wouldn't explain why her captors would settle for old news like Mohammed Ali Hamadi if they knew she was a German agent. They would have held out for more. But if she were an agent it was no secret to the opposition because she "had helped arrange a meeting with a top member of the terrorist organization al-Qaida, possibly Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi himself, according to well informed German sources". Kidnapped by a rival group? What was going on? If you expect closure, keep on waiting. After forty years one other mystery that the press finally solved was Who killed JFK? A German television station has it, on the authority of Alexander Haig, that Fidel Castro ordered the hit that day in Dallas.
Alexander Haig, a military adviser to Kennedy and Johnson who became secretary of state in 1981, said in the film that Johnson was terrified his people would learn the truth. "He [Johnson] said 'we simply must not allow the American people to believe that Fidel Castro could have killed our president'. "And the reason was that there would be a Right-wing uprising in America, which would keep the Democratic party out of power for two generations."
One solution in search of a mystery is the curious fact that George Galloway is now a contestant on Big Brother, together with a guy in a high-class gorilla suit. From the BBC (no! really).
Celebrity Big Brother star Pete Burns could be jailed for wearing gorilla fur, a government minister has warned. The former Dead Or Alive singer has claimed on air his fur coat is made from the endangered animals, angering some of his fellow housemates. ...Burns, glamour model Jodie Marsh and Respect MP George Galloway face the first eviction on Friday. ... Owning a gorilla skin without a permit is also illegal. ... Marsh told the rock singer: "Well, I think it's low that you wear a monkey coat. It offends me every time I see it on your back." ... Burns said he was "thrilled" that the coat offended her. ...Marsh said: "I expected it in a way but I'm still so shocked." Burns did not comment and Galloway announced he was going back to bed.
The key assumption of all conspiracy theories is that somebody knows the truth: that the truth, however improbable, is out there. I've often wondered whether there were events whose causes no one understood, whether it was possible, for example, that nobody knew the whole truth behind the assassination of JFK. Wikipedia defines emergence as "the process of complex pattern formation from simpler rules."
The property itself is often unpredictable and unprecedented, and may represent a new level of the system's evolution. The complex behaviour or properties are not a property of any single such entity, nor can they easily be predicted or deduced from behaviour in the lower-level entities: they are irreducible. The shape and behaviour of a flock of birds or school of fish are good examples.
Sometimes stuff happens without anyone in particular intending it to. But the human reluctance to believe the arbitrariness of events is nothing short of amazing. We need an explanation for cookies left on your browser when you visit a government website or Al Qaeda attacks on Iraqi cops or Osama Bin Laden's possible demise in Iran, even when there may be none, or at least, none that we understand.