In the John Sayles movie Brother from Another Planet there is a scene where two alien Men in Black enter a bar in Harlem. Trying to casually blend in they order beer on the rocks and end up making complete spectacles of themselves with their bizarre behavior. When they leave, one of the patrons turns to another and delivers one of my all-time favorite movie lines, "Man, those white folk just keep getting weirder."
I thought about that movie line when I read the headline to the article US forces kill 14 Qaeda suspects in Iraq. As with the Men in Black, the article got stranger. Below is a sample:
Four suspected Al-Qaeda operatives were killed when they lobbed grenades and opened fire on coalition forces...
Suspected? The brief little article is littered with that qualifier "suspected". I'm surprised the "suspected operatives" weren't chucking "suspected" grenades.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq identifies itself as Al-Qaeda, so why even bother? Try as hard as I can, I can't imagine an old article blathering on about "suspected" Nazis manning a pillbox on Normandy or "suspected" Chinese Communists pouring across the Yalu River in 1950.
I don't know, either a police beat writer from Des Moines got a new job, or that little article is one of the odder pieces of press obfuscation I've seen yet.