• Now comes McCain's senior adviser Charles R. Black saying that a terrorist attack in the United States would be a political benefit to McCain. Black has broken the Washington commandment: "Thou shalt not tell the truth by mistake."

• Black was immediately reprimanded: "Now you've done it, Charlie. You blew the October surprise."

• Black is not only a top adviser to McCain, but he is also one of those lobbyists McCain doesn't know.

• In stark political terms, does McCain need a terrorist attack? Put it this way, a scarecrow needs a few crows now and then to show his effectiveness.