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Honor And Integrity

Well, I'm just sure that the Bush administration would never be using national security as a political tool, so it's obvious that Spencer Ackerman and John Judis don't know what they're talking about here. More later.

July 7, 2004 | Permalink

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» The Tin-Foil Hat Worked! from Pro-war.com
Conspiracy theorists unite! From the New Republic: The New Republic has learned that Pakistani security officials have been told they must produce HVTs [high-value targets, i.e., Osama bin Laden, Ayman Al Zawahiri, and Mullah Mohammed Omar] by the elec... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 7, 2004 10:02:44 PM

» Up Is Down. Right Is Wrong. from Last Day of My Life
I find this unsurprising. It seems the Bush administration has finally remembered that there's a terrorist organization known as Al Qaeda. The reason is the election. They couldn't use all their resources before because the best way to get to Al Q... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 10, 2004 2:41:46 PM

Comments

This story is consistent with Pakistan having been offered a sweetener if they come up with the goods, and being afraid that a Kerry/Edwards admin will fail to honor the commitment.

Ackerman and Judis chose to put the darkest possible interpretation upon it, amazingly.

Posted by: ronb | Jul 7, 2004 8:55:43 PM

Amazingly, ronb fails to understand that the problem is not that Pakistan is going after bin Laden, it's that Pakistan has waited THREE YEARS to do so. People have died, ronb.

Posted by: alex | Jul 7, 2004 9:26:16 PM

RonB wrote
"This story is consistent with Pakistan having been offered a sweetener if they come up with the goods, and being afraid that a Kerry/Edwards admin will fail to honor the commitment."

Those "sweeteners" could have been offered in 2002, or in 2003. But ,what about this?

TNR wrote:
"Pakistani counterparts they have a date in mind for announcing this achievement: "The last ten days of July deadline has been given repeatedly by visitors to Islamabad and during [ul-Haq's] meetings in Washington." Says McCormack: "I'm aware of no such comment." But according to this ISI official, a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that "it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July"--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston. "

Gee, putting a lot of emphasis on doing it during the Democratic Convention -- that's pretty easy to put a "dark" interprtation on. It's much harder to say "Oh, the end of July is just a nice time for a capture."

Get real.


Keef

Posted by: keef | Jul 7, 2004 9:26:36 PM

Yes, let's be very clear on the point here- it's not that we're pressuring Pakistan to capture HVTs; hooray for that. It's that we didn't do it two years ago because there wasn't a presidential election coming up. Everything is politics for this administration- everything.

Posted by: SP | Jul 7, 2004 9:53:40 PM

Bin Laden will not be caught before November, but Musharraf may die.

Posted by: epistemology | Jul 7, 2004 10:12:52 PM

Something like this was mentioned in The Note a few days ago, and in the past day, I've heard it on the radio. There's supposedly some October Surprise in the works from the Republicans (although it could end up coming in August or November). I figured it had something to do with terrorism - if there are multiple possibilities, it probably does - but then I heard about the plan to dump Dick Cheney late in the campaign and replace him with Sen. McCain. Today, I heard the story of former Sen. D'Amato urging Bush to dump Cheney and replace him with McCain or Sec. Powell.

I'm not really sure what to think. I find it hard to believe that pressure hasn't been put on foreign governments before, and if they haven't caught any major terrorists in the past few years, I don't see why they are going to have such luck now, unless the United States aids them in some way. Of course, if that happened, it wouldn't really be a surprise, because even if the administration tried to do it in secret, it would probably be leaked. Nevertheless, were bin Laden to be captured, I find it hard to imagine a situation where Bush loses. Replacing the runningmate could go either way. The American public isn't as dumb as people make it out to be, so if they smell something fishy, it could backfire. The real trouble would be getting someone to go along with it. Powell seems to be opposed to the idea of being in such a high elected position. While McCain certainly wants the shot, the question is, would he go along with such a plan?

Posted by: Brian | Jul 7, 2004 10:12:58 PM

And bin Laden is not as important as the nukes that AQ Khan was peddling with the knowledge and support of the Pakistani government (Pakistani military planes seen unloading in North Korea, oh, please, don't be naive).

Bin Laden without a nuke is a guy looking to book an unguarded flight, but a nuke without bin Laden is quite frightening.

Posted by: epistemology | Jul 7, 2004 10:16:35 PM

So, would Spencer Ackerman and Matt Yglesias prefer that top AQ brass NOT be captured/killed? Or that they be captured/killed AFTER November 2004?

You don't need to answer.

One can almost feel the sweat beads dripping off the collective face of the Democratic punditariat as it fearfully contemplates the many different ways the international situation and/or the domestic economy could break in favor of the Bushies. I better stock up on tin foil before it becomes impossible to find.

Posted by: P.B. Almeida | Jul 7, 2004 10:20:45 PM

Oh, pb, please, you're usually more sensible than this.

Some of us said, for ages, in advance of the war in iraq, that there was a bigger problem, called al qaeda; some of us said that we weren't making a sufficient effort to capture the al qaeda leadership.

Now, at a time when capturing some of the remaining senior leadership means less than it would have 2 years ago because of the evolution of the organization, now the backbone administration is pressuring for an all-out effort? As a result of which, we merely slapped the pakistanis on the wrist for selling "make your own a-bomb kits?"

What we want is for the backbone administration to have done the right thing when it mattered; now, if we capture or kill any of these targets, it will be emotionally uplifting, but it won't really make us more secure.

That the bush administration might specifically have revved up this effort just in order to capture bin laden prior to the election is sickening, but par for the course, but don't start calling those of us who pushed for this two years ago paranoid or crazy because we cannot stand the essentially corrupt nature of the backbone so-called leadership....

Posted by: howard | Jul 7, 2004 10:42:58 PM

Yeah, P.B., we're sweating the chance that Bush will accomplish something. So far, he's had three years and change, and missed pretty much every chance. I don't feel worried at all at the prospect that he'll manage to make Americans safer or wealthier. He's pretty much sworn to get us all killed and impoverish the middle class and poor. I worry more that he might just do the latter.

Have another couple of beers to top the six you've clearly downed already, and head out to the convenience store for a Lotto ticket. You'll have better odds.

Posted by: Brian C.B. | Jul 7, 2004 10:50:33 PM

Call me foolish - call me irresponsible - but am I the only one paranoid enough to believe that the Notorious OBL is already on ice somewhere, waiting to have his freezer burns edited out before the photo-op in late September?

Posted by: Cameron | Jul 7, 2004 11:12:03 PM

The idea that Pakistan is actually going to do anything is absurd. The army and intelligence service are full of Taliban/al Quida supporters, the only thing we will get from them is lip service. With all the talk of a September/October/November surprise, with all the rumors around it won't be much of a surprise and will look like a political move. Rove is out of his league, he and dubya should have stayed in TX.

Posted by: Ron In Portland | Jul 7, 2004 11:13:32 PM

PB is happy that American lives were put at risk and American soliders died so GWB could have a campaign photo op.

I mean what are American lives compared to the futherance of the Bush dynasty?

Posted by: Rob | Jul 7, 2004 11:21:18 PM

PB Almeida:

Tinfoil? Is that part of the home protection kit that will save us from terrorists along with duct tape? Duck and cover children.

And no, PB, unlike the Republicans who talked Iran into holding hostages until after the 1980 election in exchange for arms, the Democrats (I'm not one) actually ARE patriots. No I don't mean greenbacks, I mean the USA. Bush won't catch bin Laden before 11/04, nor pick a new VP because these guys are not as bright as they think. The economy has been bad, the security has been bad, this country has been a wreck since Bush took office. Bush=Alfred E. Newman.

Posted by: epistemology | Jul 7, 2004 11:24:19 PM

Ron in Portland has it right. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are both playing Bush for a fool. Not hard apparently. The only October suprise will be Bush's panic at his poll numbers.

Posted by: epistemology | Jul 7, 2004 11:26:21 PM

Good grief people, read the newspapers. We've been after Pakistan to move into the Northwest frontier area for the last couple of years, and they've already made several incursions, mostly ineffective. The idea that we've been "saving" this pressure for a politically opportune moment and that Pakistan will be able to nab specific individuals within a ten day period at our command is ridiculous. There's a reason Pakistan armed forces have historically stayed out of the area. The terrain is absolutely brutal and negates most of the advantages of modern armies over irregular forces.

Furthermore, the "source" is an ISI colonel? The organization riddled with former Taliban supporters who would most want to derail any such attempt to clear out the bases used by the resistance against the new Afghanistan government?
Right. Obviously take as gospel.

Posted by: rd | Jul 7, 2004 11:40:01 PM

Why now, and not in 2002 or 2003? Let's see - the Pakistani ISI was in bed with Al Qaeda and the Taliban as part of Pakistan's effort in Kashmir against India. Musharaff survived two Al Qaeda assasination attempts in Dec 2003, and India is now talking with Pakistan about Kashmir, so Musharaff thinks that *maybe* it is safer to oppose Al Qaeda than to secretly support it.

I mean, that's just my guess - maybe it's really all about some Halliburton-Conoco pipeline.

Posted by: Tom Maguire | Jul 8, 2004 12:19:26 AM

"Why now, and not in 2002 or 2003? Let's see - the Pakistani ISI was in bed with Al Qaeda and the Taliban as part of Pakistan's effort in Kashmir against India."

Yes, and that also explains why "'it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July'--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston." The Pakistanis are planning to get out of bed with Al Qaeda at the toll of midnight on July 25. But once July 26 hits, though, it's game on! All because of internal Pakistani reasons of course.

Posted by: JP | Jul 8, 2004 12:51:55 AM

unfortunately it may not matter if we get obl anymore. According to a story on the news (not that i believe half of what I hear) Zarqawi has become a much bigger and much more immediate threat to us. I think it was MSNBCs reporter discussing the videos that Zarqawi 's terrorists produced. they are now filming their activities and making the video available not to al jazeera but to US reporters, according to the story. found a link here - http://www.portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/07/06/wirq06.xml&sSheet=/portal/2004/07/06/ixportal.html
So pakistan will get their planes, bomb india, help starving n koreans bomb s korea, and because bush brings obl out of the freezer he will get re-elected while our boys are getting blown up in baghdad.

Posted by: justa grata honoria | Jul 8, 2004 2:35:37 AM

That'll be Michael Ware of Time, justa, a courageous Aussie who's spent the last year in Fallujah, gaining the confidence of the insurgents. I saw his interview with Brent Sadler on CNNi (not the domestic version) and it chilled me to the bone. As Ware says, there are ethical problems to his work, but he feels that showing the unfiltered 'jihadist's eye view' allows those who oppose the jihadists to formulate the proper response.

Posted by: nick | Jul 8, 2004 4:57:21 AM

Hey, give some credit to Musharaff too. He is smart in his own ways and there are reports that Mush may be rethinking his game. He may figure that Kerry would be better for Pak and all the Muslims than Bush in a second term. After OBL is given up to Bush, what if Bush abandons Pak in second term or even worse comes after Pak's nukes? Logic and geopolitical reasoning would not work with Bush but will work with Kerry, Mush might be thinking. Kerry may left Pak keep the nukes but tighten some other ways, with PAks' co-operation. Also Mush knows in Bush's second term, his close friends Powell/Armitage will not be back at State and some right wing neocons will be in their place. What good is it for Pak? So Mush has a trick or two up his sleeve and he will do what is best for him, not necessarily for Bush/Rove.

Posted by: ecoast | Jul 8, 2004 7:10:46 AM

Mush-man may well be suprised if he does deliver OBL's head on a plate and get GWB re-elected. Robert Blackwill will be the new intelligence/foreign policy head honcho, and he is very pro-India (or, as he calls it Mother India).

The Americans are not known for their loyalty, they'll ditch Pakistan in a heartbeat once they've gotten what they want. The smarter move would be to deliver enough low-level operatives to get GWB re-elected, but not push to hard on OBL.

(In the TNR article, I notice that Ansari did all the reporting, yet Ackerman and Judis get top billing. Someone's got to bear the white man's burden, I suppose).

Posted by: Ikram | Jul 8, 2004 10:16:21 AM

Don't forget to post that this is all a Zionist plot in collusion with Halibuton, Christian Evangelicals, the Saudi Royal Family and the Freemasons.

Posted by: Dave | Jul 8, 2004 11:44:31 AM

Matt, step away from the kool aid and back away slowly....

Posted by: Steve Irons | Jul 8, 2004 11:48:53 AM

Hmmm.

OMG! ROFLMAO!!! Woot!

Some of the idiot theories are just amazing. What the hell are you people smoking and where did you get it? Not only are the fevered rantings of tortured idiotic nonsense utterly bizzare, but they're largely incoherent too.

1. Pakistani forces have been searching for AQ targets for years now.

2. The western part of Pakistan is utterly brutal terrain. If you've read anything of history, and I assume you haven't, then you'd know that this area has eaten whole armies for many millenia. Alexander of Macedonia lost his army here. The British army lost thousands of soldiers here. etc etc etc.

3. The Afghanistan pipeline is an old idea that has long since been abandoned. Perhaps it'll come back, the Afghanis could use the income, but it doesn't have anything to do with Halliburton.

Frankly any time someone mentions Halliburton I just assume that person is a blithering moron incapble of reasonable thought and one step short of a drooling idiot.

4. Is OBL already in custody and Bush is waiting to spring him on an unsuspecting public? Oh give me a break!

What utter rubbish. If this is all the Democrats/Liberals have, then you've got nothing. Bankrupt of ideas and ideals.

Posted by: ed | Jul 8, 2004 12:50:36 PM

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