Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Pakistanis clean up an American mess 

Recognizing that we have spent much of the last six years dealing with Pakistan's inability or unwillingness to police its own country and borders, Pakistan cleans up the occasional American mess. Yesterday, the Pakis cornered a big Taliban in Baluchistan Province (in the southwest) who blew himself up rather than face the conseuqences. Abdullah Mehsud had spent the last three years years killing and kidnapping in Pakistan and, presumably, Afghanistan. He would not have been able to do that if we had not let him out of Gitmo in March 2004.

A senior Taliban commander and former inmate of the United States detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, blew himself up Tuesday rather than surrender to Pakistani government forces, a spokesman for Pakistan’s Interior Ministry said Tuesday. The commander, Abdullah Mehsud, died as Pakistani forces raided his hide-out in the town of Zhob in southwestern Baluchistan Province, said the spokesman, Javed Iqbal Cheema. He died as Washington has increased pressure on the Pakistani president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, to crack down on armed extremist groups operating in the region.

In December 2001, Mr. Mehsud was captured in northern Afghanistan by Afghan forces allied to the United States. He was subsequently held at Guantánamo Bay until March 2004, when he was released.

Upon his return to the region, he took up arms again and soon became the Taliban commander of South Waziristan, a tribal area near the border with Afghanistan.


There are many reasons why the procedural devices of the criminal justice system ought not be applied to suspected terrorists. One of them is that a false negative determination -- in this context the erroneous release of an actually culpable suspect -- is far more likely to be lethal in the case of terrorist suspect than a criminal suspect.

MORE: Stratfor wrote on the auto-destruction($) of Mehsud last night.
Mehsud's status, the circumstances of his death and the timing of the incident point to a number of problems associated with counterjihadist operations in Pakistan. For starters, it is hard to swallow the idea that authorities just happened to stumble upon the intelligence pertaining to Mehsud's whereabouts and then caught up with him within hours of U.S. threats of unilateral action against jihadists in northwestern Pakistan. The likely reason the government was able to track down Mehsud quickly is that Pakistani intelligence has at its disposal certain resources that it brings to bear in a very selective and limited manner in response to domestic and foreign policy needs....

Clearly, Pakistani intelligence has been in touch with elements who had information concerning Mehsud's whereabouts. These elements with ties to both sides were called upon to offer their assistance at a difficult time, and they obliged. This is not the first time this has happened. As recently as May 14, Pakistani authorities made a similar demonstration of abilities when they relayed intelligence to Afghan and NATO forces about the whereabouts of the Afghan Taliban's senior-most commander, Mullah Dadullah, who was then killed in an operation...

Pakistan's elimination of Mehsud -- just days, if not hours, after the highest political offices in Washington threatened Islamabad with unilateral military action against jihadists in northwestern Pakistan -- will not elicit as much praise from the United States as it will trigger increased pressure to "do more." This is because, from the U.S. viewpoint, it is clear that the Pakistanis can do a whole lot more in the war against jihadists.

As George W. Bush well knows, it is almost impossible for a president to implement a policy if his country's intelligence service opposes it.


By Blogger D.E. Cloutier, at Wed Jul 25, 09:39:00 AM:

"There are many reasons why the procedural devices of the criminal justice system ought not be applied to suspected terrorists."

Here is another example of the rights of the individual taking priority over the needs of society:

An estimated 38.6 million people live with AIDS. According to the World Health Organization, AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognized in 1981.

If we had permanently quarantined the first people with AIDS, we would have saved many, many lives.  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Wed Jul 25, 09:56:00 AM:

An obvious case of mistaken identity. We only release people who fly kites and have a fondness for fluffy bunnies.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jul 25, 10:31:00 AM:

Liberals get such crazy ideas that we should exchanged our guns to ice capades tickets or or gift certificates to pinky pinko wussie store or exchange your war toys for little pink monkeys or junk your SUV and get a sissy pink bicycle. STUPID SCREWY LIBERALS ARE THE CUASE OR CRIME BECUASE THEY WANT CRINIMALS JUST GETTINGA SLAP ON THE WRIST  

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