Of course, we can’t believe anything we hear about al-Zawahiri or “al-Qaeda,” since the Pentagon, the CIA, and their Pakistani intelligence friends make things up as they go along. Recall al-Zawahiri was supposedly killed by Pakistani mercenaries as he was riding in an ambulance after being wounded by an American bomb after airstrikes on a complex of caves near Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on December 3, 2001 (the attack allegedly killed al-Zawahiri’s wife, Azza, and their three children). And then, in May of 2004, al-Zawahiri was supposedly surrounded by the Pakistani military in a tribal area of Pakistan bordering the Afghan mountains. Although we are told a large number of “hardcore” “al-Qaeda” fighters were killed in the attack, al-Zawahiri escaped the dragnet just as the fighting commenced (another ruthless and mercurial al-Qaedaite, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, also has the uncanny ability to elude capture). Thus, not unlike Orwell’s Emmanuel Goldstein, both al-Zarqawi and al-Zawahiri live another day to serve as bogeymen (and, like Goldstein, we are never sure they actually exist).