Our Lead Story: Accusations of US-Al Qaeda Ties

Wednesday's lead story by Alissa Rubin on the deadly explosion that destroyed part of the Khalani Mosque in Baghdad included this line: "The timing seemed intended to demonstrate that the insurgents could still strike with near impunity, blindsiding the American security crackdown in Baghdad."

Since joining the New York Times after covering Iraq for the Los Angeles Times, Rubin has consistently provided coverage more pessimistic than even early "civil war" declarer Edward Wong. In April, Rubin lamented how "Iraqis feel about the violence and disruption of daily life that have brought so much misery to the country since the American invasion in 2003."

On two occasions in Wednesday's story, Rubin even let Iraqis suggest the U.S. was helping the terrorists.

"Many Iraqis, beleaguered at every turn, said they saw the bomb as an attempt to aggravate sectarian strife and as one more piece of evidence that the Americans could not protect them from extremists. Many of those who live near the site of the destruction said they had concluded that the Americans must be helping the suicide bombers."


"Others in the neighborhood went further, accusing the Americans of helping Al Qaeda, which most people believe is responsible for the majority of the suicide bombings.

"A man who identified himself only as Qassim, some of whose friends were killed in the large open parking lot across from the mosque, shouted: 'The Americans finance Al Qaeda. They secure places and routes for them to do this.'"