Forget Chalabi, Allawi, Abu Ghraib. The strangest story in the news right now is this one:
A British teenager posed as an espionage agent in an Internet chatroom to persuade a friend to stab him to death in a complex and bizarre suicide attempt, a court was told on Friday.
"Skilled writers of fiction would struggle to conjure up a plot such as that which arises here," said the judge hearing the case at Manchester Crown Court, northwest England.
The would-be victim, aged 14 -- named only as Boy B -- invented a complex cast of fictional characters with which he communicated with his 16-year-old friend, Boy A, eventually exerting a huge degree of control over him.
The older teenager was eventually persuaded that he had been recruited by the British Secret Service to kill Boy B, after which he would be rewarded with a job as well as a sexual relationship with the 39-year-old female "spy".
It's wonderful to see young people being so creative. Speaking of which: Somewhere between freestyle and Freudian free association, there's this kid.