Government math: 19+1+1=20

On Monday, an immigration inspector named José Melendez-Perez testified before the 9/11 Commission about blocking Saudi national Mohamed al Kahtani from entering the United States in August 2001 because Khatani didn't have a good explanation for his visit. Khatani has since been revealed to be (at the very least) an Al Qaeda sympathizer (getting caught in Afghanistan kind of gives it away), so the Commission has decided that Khatani may be the semi-legendary "twentieth hijacker" the United States has been looking for since September 2001.

Wait a minute -- Isn't Zacarias Moussaoui supposed to be the missing hijacker? He was indicted two years ago, and he's been in and out of court ever since. Is the commission accusing the Justice Department of having the wrong guy? Has everyone in the federal government lost the ability to count properly? Or is "twentieth hijacker" just the new catchphrase for "suspicious arab?" What about all those immigrants being tried and/or deported in secret? Were they twentieth hijackers too? Are there any Arabs in custody who aren't the twentieth hijacker?

Am I the only one who thinks this is odd? (And not in an amusing way?)

Posted at 01:28:01 AM EST on 28 January 2004 from Trenton, MI