Another day, another allegation of bumbling incompetence against the Bush administration: Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds says senior officials knew a terrorist attack against the United States—using airplanes, no less—was imminent in the months leading up to 9/11. She tells UK’s Independent:

“I gave [the commission] details of specific investigation files, the specific dates, specific target information, specific managers in charge of the investigation. I gave them everything so that they could go back and follow up. This is not hearsay. These are things that are documented. These things can be established very easily: There was general information about the time-frame, about methods to be used — but not specifically about how they would be used ­ and about people being in place and who was ordering these sorts of terror attacks. There were other cities that were mentioned. Major cities — with skyscrapers.”

The White House, predictably, is attempting to have Edmonds gagged, citing “state secrets privilege,” and a round of ad hominem attacks questioning her credibility will no doubt follow quickly. We’ll hear about how Edmonds is a Kerry mole, how she lauded Bush before, how she eats Boy Scouts and sleeps on a bed of dead kittens:but will we hear anything about the accusations themselves? Shouldn’t we? The people coming out with this information aren’t wearing tin-foil hats and broadcasting from a trailer in the Nevada desert—they’re breaking ranks from within.

The Bush administration still has one thing going for it, and that is: Very few people really want to believe their government is this inept. It’s comforting to write these allegations off as bad spy-novel stuff. But for how long?

I keep thinking about Occam’s Razor, aka methodological reductionism, aka “The simplest answer is usually the correct answer.” In other words, when the administration’s denials are more complicated and far-fetched than the allegations themselves, they’re probably covering up for something:

Clarke: The Bush administration did not make terrorism a priority in the months leading up to September 11, 2001.

White House: Clarke voted for Gore! And he said we were doing a good job in 2002! And he worked for Clinton, too!

Who do you believe? Why?