That’s the conclusion of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI).
The heads of the Senate and House intelligence committees said Sunday the Taliban was gaining ground, just days after President Barack Obama made a surprise trip to Afghanistan and touted the progress made in the war on terror. “I think we’d both say that what we found is that the Taliban is stronger,” said Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein on CNN’s “State of the Union,” while sitting with Republican Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 11% of Likely U.S. Voters think the war on terror is over. Seventy-nine percent (79%) say that war, declared after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America, is not over. Another 11% are undecided.
It is no longer the case, in other words, that every Islamist is seen as a potential accessory to terrorists. “The war on terror is over,” one senior State Department official who works on Mideast issues told me. “Now that we have killed most of al Qaida, now that people have come to see legitimate means of expression, people who once might have gone into al Qaida see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism.”
From the “just about too stupid to be believed file” comes this story.
Mohammad Ashan, a mid-level Taliban commander in Paktika province, strolled toward a police checkpoint in the district of Sar Howza with a wanted poster bearing his own face. He demanded the finder’s fee referenced on the poster: $100.
President Obama has “learned from experience” that some of the Bush administration’s decisions on terrorism issues were necessary, according to former Vice President Dick Cheney.
“I think he’s learned that what we did was far more appropriate than he ever gave us credit for while he was a candidate. So I think he’s learned from experience. And part of that experience was the Democrats having a terrible showing last election.”
Cheney also asserted that Obama has learned that the prison at Guantanamo Bay simply cannot be closed, despite the promises he made while campaigning for the White House.
“I think he’s learned that he’s not going to be able to close Guantanamo,” Cheney said. “That it’s — if you didn’t have it, you’d have to create one like that. You’ve got to have some place to put terrorists who are combatants who are bound and determined to try to kill Americans.”
The former vice president cited the Obama administration’s expanded use of drones in Pakistan as more evidence of continuity from the policies of the Bush White House.
“As I say, I think he’s found it necessary to be more sympathetic to the kinds of things we did,” Cheney said. “They’ve gotten active, for example, with the drone program, using Predator and the Reaper to launch strikes against identified terrorist targets in the various places in the world.”
As in so many things in the past, Mr. Cheney is absolutely right. President Obama has indeed followed many of the Bush policies that Senator Obama and Candidate Obama denounced.
Things look a lot different once you start getting the presidential briefings, don’t they, Mr. Obama?
Giving credit where credit is due, Obama is perfectly correct to continue these Bush-era policies, because while they may not be perfect, they’re the best we’re going to get in the imperfect world we live in. Two cheers to Obama for realizing this and not messing things up.
Of course, the conservative in me also relishes the fact that following these Bush-era policies might just drive a wedge between Obama and the lefties, especially if Obama continues to move to the right in an attempt to follow the Clinton-Morris “triangulation” strategy. That wedge, if it happens–and there have been some hints, tho nothing really solid yet–would make it much easier for the GOP to unseat Obama in 2012.
Navy SEALs have secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq — the alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. And three of the SEALs who captured him are now facing criminal charges, sources told FoxNews.com.
The three, all members of the Navy’s elite commando unit, have refused non-judicial punishment — called an admiral’s mast — and have requested a trial by court-martial.
Ahmed Hashim Abed, whom the military code-named “Objective Amber,” told investigators he was punched by his captors — and he had the bloody lip to prove it.
Now, instead of being lauded for bringing to justice a high-value target, three of the SEAL commandos, all enlisted, face assault charges and have retained lawyers.
Gee, I wonder if everything would have been okay if they’d read the guy the Miranda warnings first.
Al-Qa’ida has been forced into retreat as the flow of funds to the terrorist network is steadily choked off, a senior American official said yesterday.
In the first half of this year, al-Qa’ida’s core leadership was compelled to make four public appeals for cash, complaining in one case of a “weakness in operations because of lack of money”.
Part of the reason for this is that some funding is believed to have gone to the Taliban instead.
This financial squeeze has compounded the problems faced by “core al-Qa’ida”. Highly effective attacks launched by American Predator drones have eliminated a raft of its most able leaders. Experts believe that Osama bin Laden’s network is under immense pressure inside its last redoubts in the tribal areas lining Pakistan’s north-west frontier.
David Cohen, the assistant secretary at the US Treasury responsible for countering terrorist finance, said that al-Qa’ida’s recent appeal for funds showed its “financial predicament”.
He added: “We assess that al-Qa’ida is in its weakest financial condition in several years, and that, as a result, its influence is waning. This success is important. It is a sign we are moving in the right direction.”
While it’s all to the good that we’re choking off al-Qa’ida’s money supply, I am not so sure that having some of it go to the Taliban is really that much of an improvement, especially since what we’re currently fighting in Afghanistan is more Taliban than al-Qa’ida.