Baghdad rocks Cinco de Mayo

Wathiq Khuzaie/Getty Images

OK, not really:

Iraqi students of the University of Technology, Baghdad, pretend to drink alcohol as they drink soft drinks during a celebration of their university day on May 4, 2008 in Baghdad, Iraq.


USS Cole investigation falling apart

U.S. Navy/Getty Images

Kudos to the Washington Post for looking into the mysterious behavior of the Yemeni government toward the guys implicated in the USS Cole bombing. As Newsweek reported last fall, Yemen even briefly let Jamal al-Badawi, the al Qaeda planner in charge of the operation, out of prison. All told, "all the defendants convicted in the attack have escaped from prison or been freed by Yemeni officials," according to the Post.

The Yemenis defend their actions, saying they have their own special approach to fighting terrorism. A few years, ago, some in the West were even seeing it as a model. But the Post article calls Yemen's terrorist rehabilitation program into question with this devastating quote:

Hamoud al-Hitar, a former Supreme Court justice... suggested that the government had turned lenient because the Cole defendants had participated in a "dialogue and reconciliation program" designed to de-radicalize al-Qaeda members.

Hitar, who oversees the program, claimed that 98 percent of graduates have remained nonviolent. Asked about two Cole suspects who escaped and went to Iraq to become suicide bombers, Hitar shrugged. "Iraq was not part of the dialogue program," he said.