Monday, June 20, 2005


You probably already know that CIA director Porter Goss has told Time magazine that he knows where Osama bin Laden is -- and that bin Laden might just die peacefully in his sleep because it's more important not to upset Pervez Musharraf than to bring the guy who killed 3,000 Americans to justice. Can you imagine the reaction if this were said by a Democratic president's appointee?

WHEN WILL WE GET OSAMA BIN LADEN? That is a question that goes far deeper than you know. In the chain that you need to successfully wrap up the war on terror, we have some weak links. And I find that until we strengthen all the links, we're probably not going to be able to bring Mr. bin Laden to justice. We are making very good progress on it. But when you go to the very difficult question of dealing with sanctuaries in sovereign states, you're dealing with a problem of our sense of international obligation, fair play. We have to find a way to work in a conventional world in unconventional ways that are acceptable to the international community.

IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAVE A PRETTY GOOD IDEA OF WHERE HE IS. WHERE? I have an excellent idea of where he is. What's the next question?

Meanwhile, here's what's going on in the Bush war that actually did have something to do with 9/11, the one we thought we won:

Fierce fighting between Taliban rebels and Afghan security forces left 18 insurgents and three others dead, a day after the U.S. military pounded suspected rebels in airstrikes that killed as many as 20, officials said Monday.

Three U.S. troops were slightly wounded when a bomb exploded near their armored Humvee in Paktia province on Sunday, said U.S. military spokesman Col. James Yonts.

A Taliban spokesman, meanwhile, claimed his fighters had assassinated a kidnapped Afghan police chief and five of his men for collaborating with the U.S.-led coalition....

Three months of bloodshed across the south and east has left hundreds dead and sparked fears that the Afghan war is widening, rather than winding down....

About 280 suspected rebels and 29 U.S. troops have been killed since March, according to Afghan and U.S. officials. More than three dozen Afghan police and soldiers also have died, as have more than 100 civilians.

Yonts warned that foreign militants backed up by networks channeling them money and arms had come into Afghanistan to try to subvert legislative elections in September. He said that for "operational security reasons" he could not identify the networks or who was backing them.

Afghan Defense Minister Rahim Wardak told The Associated Press last week that intelligence indicated al-Qaida had slipped at least have a dozen foreign agents into the country,
two of whom had already detonated themselves in suicide attacks...

Yup, it looks as if we're fighting Al-Qaeda, in Afghanistan, in 2005. Not "Al-Qaeda in Iraq," a franchisee that arranged to license the name, but the real deal.

Not even the first Bush mission was accomplished.


UPDATE: Oh, and:

Afghan security forces have arrested three Pakistanis for allegedly planning to assassinate the U.S. ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, an Afghan government official said on Monday.

The Pakistanis, who were suspected of being linked to a Pakistani Islamic militant group, were arrested in the eastern province of Laghman on Saturday, the day before Khalilzad made a visit there, said the official, who did not want to be identified....

The official said it was unclear to which militant group the men belonged. "But we are pretty sure they are linked to a Pakistani militant group, the Taliban or al Qaeda," he said....

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