Michael Ledeen, over at National Review Online speculates that the most-quoted document from the Zarqawi raid is a fake. He doesn't cast doubt on any of the other documents, but they seem to be of a different sort anyway. Ledeen wonders out loud if the Iranians might have something to do with it. Rush Limbaugh has reportedly suggested that same document was "too good to be true," though I don't know whether he meant that seriously or humorously.
I am no documant analyst, nor am I wise in the ways of counterespionage or black propaganda, except in my daydreams. But the doubt cast on the one document opened up other speculations for me. This sudden flurry of raids based on the newly acquired information - how many of them were planned weeks ago, waiting for an event such as this one to be put into action? Some raids might compromise intelligence sources, if, say only half-dozen people could possibly have known about a particular location. A "treasure trove" of documents would provide immediate cover. When Ceausescu was overthrown in Romania, it looked at the time as if the demonstrations were spontaneous. Only in retrospect did many conclude that Iliescu and the Securitate had planned the takeover months or years before, waiting until the proper opportunity presented itself.
Was this key document prepared long before - by the Americans, by the Iraqis, by the Jordanians or Iranians - held in abeyance for the next plausible moment to be put into circulation? With thousands of new documents now come to light and looking for translators, what percentage are plants by one group or another to create a particular false impression?
Iraq is a country that lives by rumor, and believes outrageous rumors. This is standard in countries that have lived under tyranny, of course. Accurate information is seldom available, but explanations for events must be found.