Lessons in keeping your eye on the ball

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I have to wonder if the killers of Nick Berg are wishing they had added a similar tagline to their video, just so they would not constantly be referred to as "an Al Qaeda-affiliated organization." Just what is an Al Qaeda affiliate? Is this somewhat comparable to a franchise, is there some licensing program that one has to go through to obtain this title? I have no idea, but my main question is why do we continue to accept allegations from this - or any administration - as if they were fact?

After all of the blunders of the last year - no WMD, no attempt to obtain "yellow-cake" from Niger, no welcoming with flowers, no easy road to democracy, no funding the rebuilding with oil - why is any assertion not immediately challenged? A few of the questions I might ask, were I a journalist whose sole job it was to ask questions:

- How do you know who those masked men were?
- How do you know with whom they are affiliated?
- What does affiliated mean - money, moral support, post cards?
- Who from Al Qaeda is providing this support and why can we not stop them?

If this is a government of the people, by the people and for the people - does it not behoove us to actively question those whom we have placed in positions of authority?

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