CIA Director Leon Panetta estimates that there are currently fewer than 100 al-Qaida fighters — that’s one for every thousand or so U.S. soldiers — left in Afghanistan. Outgoing intelligence director James Jones has used the same figure.

But in a logical shell game reminiscent of the Bush administration’s selling of the war in Iraq — you know, to get rid of al-Qaida, I mean weapons of mass destruction, I mean Saddam Hussein, I mean to have democratic elections, I mean to stabilize the country so the Iraqi army and police can take over, but we’ll keep bases and troops there more or less indefinitely — Panetta says the Taliban are giving our troops a hell of a time.

So, just to recap, we went into Afghanistan to get rid of those al-Qaida bastards who took down our World Trade Center. Now there are fewer than a hundred left, but we’re still there because their hosts continue to dislike us. And doing something about that is worth the life of every teenage kid we can suit up and drop off over there.

Any more good news? Panetta says it’s been years since we had any idea where Bin Laden is. Oh, and we continue to make deals with the mercenary dingbats formerly known as Blackwater because, despite a track record of killings and flying into mountains, they underbid everyone else, Panetta says.

A great president once said, “You fool me, ye can’t get fooled again.” Words to live by. — PZS


On a separate issue, Panetta said that the CIA had no choice but to hire the company once known as Blackwater for $100 million to provide security in Afghanistan.

Panetta said the company, now known as Xe Services, underbid others by $26 million and that a CIA review concluded that the contractor had cleaned up its act.

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