Sunday, July 08, 2007

U.S. Aborted Raid on Al Qaeda Chiefs in Pakistan in ’05

New York Times:

A secret military operation in early 2005 to capture senior members of Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal areas was aborted at the last minute after top Bush administration officials decided it was too risky and could jeopardize relations with Pakistan, according to intelligence and military officials.

The target was a meeting of Qaeda leaders that intelligence officials thought included Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden’s top deputy and the man believed to run the terrorist group’s operations.

But the mission was called off after Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary, rejected an 11th-hour appeal by Porter J. Goss, then the director of the Central
Intelligence Agency
, officials said. Members of a Navy Seals unit in parachute gear had already boarded C-130 cargo planes in Afghanistan when the mission was canceled, said a former senior intelligence official involved in the planning.

LSB: Am I understanding this correctly - Rumsfeld aborted the mission to capture senior members of Al Qaeda because he didn't want to piss off Pakistan, the very country harboring these terrorists? I guess we have Team Bush to thank for the continuation of this terrorist network! This is the second time (that we know of) that the Bush Administration took their eyes off the main target (Al Qaeda) and gave the terrorists a "get out of jail card" (like Scooter Libby). Apparently they can't pursue the war they started in Iraq (remind me again why we are there) and search for Al Qaeda. I guess if they actually ever do catch the leadership of Al Qaeda they won't have the fear card to play in the elections and they might actually have to take action some of the other issues confronting this nation.

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