In his October 8 column, syndicated Washington Post columnist and FOX News Channel contributor Charles Krauthammer repeated the unsubstantiated assertion, advanced by the Bush administration, that terrorists would like President George W. Bush to lose the November election. Krauthammer wrote: "Of course the terrorists want Bush defeated. How can anyone pretend otherwise?"
The column, which appeared in the Post under the headline "Terrorists' Candidates?" was published in The Wall Street Journal's European edition under a different headline: "Terrorists for Kerry? No, Against Bush." Krauthammer's column also appeared on the Heritage Foundation's "conservative news and information" website Townhall.com, under the headline "Targeting our democracy."
While many media figures have repeated this unsubstantiated Bush administration claim, Media Matters for America has noted that on March 17, Reuters reported evidence that suggests precisely the opposite: In a statement claiming responsibility for the Madrid bombings that killed nearly 200 people in March, the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades -- a terrorist organization claiming ties to Al Qaeda -- said it wants to see Bush reelected in November. And on September 21, The Guardian reported that the British ambassador to Italy, Sir Ivor Roberts, called Bush "the greatest recruiting sergeant for Al Qaeda."
Krauthammer also echoed the false claim that Al Qaeda's March terrorist attack on Madrid "brought down a government that had allied itself with the United States. The attack worked perfectly. Within weeks Spain had withdrawn its troops from Iraq."
As MMFA has also explained (on July 15 and August 5), the assumption that terrorists sought successfully to bring about the defeat of Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, a supporter of Bush and the Iraq war, is highly questionable.