The title itself should bring back memories of the infamous August 2001 PDB titled “bin Laden determined to strike inside the US”, as this one is titled The United States Lacks Comprehensive Plan to Destroy the Terrorist Threat and Close the Safe Haven in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas”.
The first paragraph lays it all out with the following reiteration of what we have known for quite some time already:
GAO found broad agreement, as documented in the National Intelligence Estimate, State and embassy documents, as well as Defense officials in Pakistan, that al Qaeda had regenerated its ability to attack the United States and had succeeded in establishing a safe haven in Pakistan’s FATA.
This, on top of the admission by Ambassador Ryan Crocker that al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan is the threat that we really should be paying attention to, and you wonder whether we will get another “nobody could have imagined” moment if and when al Qaeda attacks again.
And, as laid out in the GAO report (and covered nicely by Democracy Arsenal),
al Qaeda is now using the Pakistani safe haven to put the last element necessary to launch another attack against America into place, including the identification, training, and positioning of Western operatives for an attack. It stated that al Qaeda is most likely using the FATA to plot terrorist attacks against political, economic, and infrastructure targets in America “designed to produce mass casualties, visually dramatic destruction, significant economic aftershocks, and/or fear among the population."
Of course, Pakistan is our bestest friend (being that we have given them around $10 billion over the past few years) and is most certainly in the “with us” category. Hell, I’ll take $10 billion to not capture bin Laden and do absolutely nothing to stop terrorism - but of course, I would have to incorporate as a subsidiary of Halliburton in order to do so.
But when you talk about fighting terrorism while saying that capturing the man who is responsible for attacking the United States isn’t all that important or a good use of resources, what do you expect? And when you spend more time figuring out just how much to torture detainees, you will certainly miss the threat that is explicitly laid out for you when you are only the National fucking Security Advisor.
We know that we are dealing with a bunch of cowards. Not just those who attacked us, but those who allowed all of the warning signs to be ignored with little more than a “you’ve covered your ass now” and then allowed bin Laden to escape when he was cornered, and then diverted resources from Afghanistan to unnecessarily invade another country that had no nuclear weapons (as that is the only battle that is consistently picked by the neocons) and nothing to do with al Qaeda or the attacks.
Countless lives, countless billions of dollars, countless “chest thumping moments” - all to get us exactly to the point where we are at greater risk for being attacked then almost any time since 9/11.
What does John W. McSame have to say about this? Well, judging by how he reacted to Obama’s comments about actually going after al Qaeda in Pakistan, it would seem that McCain is also a coward who loves the terrorists, because after all, if you harbor terrorists, you will be held to account:
McCain - Will the next President have the experience, the judgment experience informs, and the strength of purpose to respond to each of these developments in ways that strengthen our security and advance the global progress of our ideals? Or will we risk the confused leadership of an inexperienced candidate who once suggested invading our ally, Pakistan...
Forgetting the fact that Obama didn’t suggest invading Pakistan, it is clear that McCain views a country that harbors terrorists - specifically the ones who attacked us as opposed to “terrorists” who have little to no interest in attacking the United States - as our ally.
Can we afford a President that coddles countries who coddle terrorists? What will happen if/when what the GAO report says comes to fruition?
What happens if they let al Qaeda attack us again?