Well, Stratfor is now reporting that the B-52s are still in RAF Fairford as of 2133 GMT (4:33 p.m.) Highly ironic considering they crowed about staying out of the “Tariq Aziz is Dead” rumor fray. As the company reported:
As Stratfor tried to verify or discredit the rumors through its own sources, some of our readers took the opportunity to criticize us for falling behind various Internet rumor mills. We’ve received similar criticisms for missing the multiple reports of the arrest, death or immaculate transfiguration of Osama bin Laden. Though we contemplated responding with varying degrees of crassness or seriousness, depending on the tone of the comments, events have demonstrated the validity of our approach to analyzing this and other conflicts.
Stratfor takes nothing at face value. We are now swimming in a sea of rumors, propaganda and the fog of war. Stratfor has always set as its goal sifting the elements of truth from this mess. We hope to continue serving as your steady and unbiased source of analysis on the conflict in Iraq.
None of this absolves me, of course. Fogs of war and rumor mills are confusing. At thet moment, it’s very hard to know what’s going on. But as an old Associated Press reporter, I can say this: Sometimes this is how news works. Stratfor and the Evening Mail were reporting the B-52s were en route. Now it seems they’re not… Perhaps we’ll get a better glimpse of what’s happening around 8 p.m. or so.