Pakistan Provides Safe Harbor For Bin Laden
Pakistan just blew up the whole Bush election strategy. After Bush passed on getting Bin Laden at Tora Bora in December 2001, and after he let both the FBI and CIA units that were tracking Bin Laden expire, now word comes from ABC News' Brian Ross that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, Bush's best friend in the war on terror, has called a truce with Al Qaeda that allows Bin Laden free movement inside the remote mountains between his country and Afghanistan as long as Bin Laden doesn't come after him.
"What this means is that the Taliban and al Qaeda leadership have effectively carved out a sanctuary inside Pakistan," said ABC News consultant Richard Clarke, the former White House counter-terrorism director.
The agreement was signed on the same day President Bush said the United States was working with its allies "to deny terrorists the enclaves they seek to establish in ungoverned areas across the world."
"They're throwing the towel," said Alexis Debat, who is a Senior Fellow at the Nixon Center and an ABC News consultant. "They're giving al Qaeda and the Taliban a blank check and saying essentially make yourselves at home in the tribal areas," Debat said.
In essence, Musharraf just signed Hamid Karzai's death warrant.
It was bad enough to see Bush claim that both Afghanistan and Iraq were his success stories today, as well as to see him smear those who disagreed with his strategies and policies as appeasers. But to now see his key ally capitulate to Mr. "Dead or Alive" and keep A. Q. Khan from us means that Musharraf is now harboring terrorists. And back in 2001, Bush claimed that we needed to go after not only the terrorists, but those that harbor them as well.
How comfortable are you knowing that A. Q. Khan and Osama Bin Laden are being sheltered by the same regime?
We have seen five years of the Bush anti-terror campaign, and have seen who Bush has trusted and who he demonizes. And after Afghanistan, Iraq, the blown opportunities with Iran and Syria, our ongoing coddling of Saudi Arabia, and now this repulsive deal by Pakistan, what exactly do we have to show for five years of Bush misjudgments?