WHERE IS MUQTADA AL-SADR?….Before I went to bed last night I checked the news about Muqtada al-Sadr and failed to find anything conclusive. Basically, some unnamed American sources said he had fled to Iran while al-Sadr’s people said he hadn’t. I was left wondering why American sources seem to demand anonymity for everything these days, but I was otherwise no closer to knowing the truth.

However, Juan Cole has a long post this morning examining what we know about al-Sadr’s movements over the past few weeks, and his tentative conclusion is that it’s unlikely he’s in Iran:

The press record shows that Muqtada is in hiding inside Iraq, not in Iran. It also suggests that he has ordered his Mahdi Army to keep a low profile during the present security operation.

But we’ll see. Stay tuned.

Who’s right: Juan Cole or anonymous administration sources? It’s time to place your bets. Will Jonah Goldberg go double or nothing?

UPDATE: We now have a name: Maj. Gen. William Caldwell. Though he’s just the usual military briefer, so it only half counts. In any case, the Washington Post reports that “Caldwell said U.S. officials monitor Sadr’s moves very closely and have evidence he is in Iran.”