Taliban finally confirms Mehsud’s death

posted at 12:55 pm on August 25, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Consider this a good news/bad news update on Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban movement that united warring factions and gave Islamabad more than it could handle with its Islamist insurgency.  The BBC got confirmation from two unlikely sources, both of whom hoped to wrest Mehsud’s authority from the other.  However, the bad news is that feud has apparently been settled:

The commanders, Zulfiqar Mehsud (Hakimullah) and Waliur Rehman, confirmed that he had been killed in a US missile strike earlier this month.

Hakimullah Mehsud, who is believed to be in his late 20s, has been appointed as the new Taliban chief. Waliur Rehman said that he had his support.

Yesterday, McClatchy reported on the infighting caused between Hakimullah Mehsud, the slain leader’s son, and and Waliur Rehman, who had the support of the Waziristan factions.  That set up a promising civil war within the Taliban as the two factions slugged it out for control.  Unfortunately, the two appear to have settled their differences, at least for the moment, although any continuing adversity could fracture the group along the same lines.  Part of the animosity between the factions came from accusations arising from the US being able to target Mehsud so effectively, and if the attacks continue with the same accuracy, those accusations will only escalate.

The two terrorists claim that confirmation came this late because Mehsud initially survived the attack.  Both men say that Baitullah died only on Sunday, after succumbing to the injuries suffered in the attack.  If true, that could account for the confusing stories told by the Taliban, but it seems more likely a cover story.  Maybe the Sunday death is part of a complicated deal for the two former rivals to ally, in order to establish a Taliban-approved chronology of events that will make it easier for all factions to get along.

In any event, the death of Mehsud has been confirmed, giving the US a big win in a battle and confirming the effectiveness of its tactics and intel in the area.  They knew exactly who they hit, and where — and the Taliban will spend a lot of time trying to figure out how and why.

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Good riddance.

stackedeck on August 25, 2009 at 12:58 PM

kille’m all, let allah sort them out.

SHARPTOOTH on August 25, 2009 at 12:58 PM

I hope we didn’t have any mean pictures drawn on the tip of that bomb. If so, Obama is a war criminal.

faraway on August 25, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Haqqanis next.

Christien on August 25, 2009 at 1:00 PM

How many civilians were killed in the attack. President Obama is a warmonger.
-liberal4eva

BadgerHawk on August 25, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Thank you president Obama for one more dead terrorist.

Scrappy on August 25, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Can’t we send Obama over there to the cave these fellows currently occupy and have him smooth over our differences?

And if he isn’t able to make them bury the hatchet, we can send Biden next, then Pelosi, then Reid, then the rest of the Congressional Democrats.

We’ll keep sending Democrats until they agree to play nice with the rest of the world. That will show them.

NoDonkey on August 25, 2009 at 1:01 PM

Calling all liberal trolls:

Please explain why killing a terrorist via a Predator is OK but “threatening” to kill one by shooting a gun off in another room is not. I’m sure, given the choice, Mehsud would have opted for some smoke being blown in his face rather than a missile being blown up on it.

AmericanUnderground on August 25, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Pssst, Rehman, Mehsud said your wife looks like a pig.

Hey, Mehsud, Rehman prayed that all 72 of your virgins would be goats.

goes to make more popcorn

rbj on August 25, 2009 at 1:04 PM

If he wasn’t nailed to the perch he’d be pushing up daisies.

FontanaConservative on August 25, 2009 at 1:04 PM

Baithullah Mehsud Jalaluddin Haqqani, Siraj Haqqani, Mullah Omar, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama Bin Laden.

Did I miss anyone? I hope these guys all catch the business end of a hellfire missile.

Shock the Monkey on August 25, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Shock the Monkey on August 25, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Thats a nice list you got there.

FontanaConservative on August 25, 2009 at 1:07 PM

Rest in pieces b****.

WisCon on August 25, 2009 at 1:07 PM

Holder is looking into who killed this man…

right2bright on August 25, 2009 at 1:08 PM

Thank you president Obama Bush, for setting the tone, for one more dead terrorist.

Scrappy on August 25, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Wasn’t it Obama who was claiming that our military is killing innocent civilians….

right2bright on August 25, 2009 at 1:10 PM

Holder is looking into who killed this man…

right2bright on August 25, 2009 at 1:08 PM

Can we spare any drones for the DC area?

Because many Taliban allies, sympathizers, aiders and abetters reside there.

NoDonkey on August 25, 2009 at 1:11 PM

They knew exactly who they hit, and where

If I’m not mistaken that was a third time’s a charm hit correct? Or maybe more attempts than that? Wasn’t his family hit as well? We’ve got a ways to go. Unfortunately we’ll just find out we can’t “win” anyway.

The Calibur on August 25, 2009 at 1:12 PM

I will not be able to attend the funeral but I will be sure to send a nice card saying that I approve.
- Mark Twain

MB4 on August 25, 2009 at 1:12 PM

Gee, I can but hope our intel is good enough we can continue to target the supporters of one of these new guys, at least for a bit.

Hellfires are expensive.

Internal purges are much cheaper.

KCSteve on August 25, 2009 at 1:12 PM

Slightly OT: new interrogation techniques

elduende on August 25, 2009 at 1:13 PM

While all is celebrated that this man is dead, let’s forget about that and focus on the main issue. Was he read his rights?

FontanaConservative on August 25, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Obama must stop “air raiding” innocent villages.

faraway on August 25, 2009 at 1:13 PM

In any event, the death of Mehsud has been confirmed

I prefer these advanced interrogation techniques over waterboarding….

right2bright on August 25, 2009 at 1:13 PM

But he wasn’t waterboarded before we bombed him into next month, right? Because I’d have a problem with that.

Chuck Schick on August 25, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Isn’t the current meme that our military intelligence stinks? How did we know how to kill this terrorist?

Christian Conservative on August 25, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Have we compensated his family yet?

NickelAndDime on August 25, 2009 at 1:16 PM

Baithullah Mehsud Jalaluddin Haqqani, Siraj Haqqani, Mullah Omar, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama Bin Laden.

Did I miss anyone? I hope these guys all catch the business end of a hellfire missile.

AMEN!

Give them time- Zulfiqar Mehsud and Waliur Rehman will be feuding again.

Martha on August 25, 2009 at 1:17 PM

Pedator Drones ….. keeping the terrorists out of the hands of Eric Holder.

Their justice is laser-guided, swift and final.

Thanks you troops. Take no prisoners.

fogw on August 25, 2009 at 1:19 PM

OK Ed, that is by far the subtitle of the year.

Great Python ref man.

warms my heart.

JP1986UM on August 25, 2009 at 1:19 PM

Exactly how many times do we need to celibrate?

Cindy Munford on August 25, 2009 at 1:21 PM

Another designated taliwhacker dons the bulls eye t-shirt. Batter up!

Fletch54 on August 25, 2009 at 1:25 PM

Meet the new Mehsud, same as the old Mehsud: Profile: Hakimullah Mehsud

aengus on August 25, 2009 at 1:30 PM

Burn in hell.

HornetSting on August 25, 2009 at 1:42 PM

Can we spare any drones for the DC area?

Because many Taliban allies, sympathizers, aiders and abetters reside there.

NoDonkey on August 25, 2009 at 1:11 PM

As long as I get an IR patch so the drone doesn’t target me by mistake. (ducking under my desk)

Mangy Scot on August 25, 2009 at 1:46 PM

OK Ed, that is by far the subtitle of the year.

Great Python ref man.

warms my heart.

JP1986UM on August 25, 2009 at 1:19 PM

JP, your comment made me look up what “pining for the fjords” was all about. (I confess I am not culturally hip to know ANY Python sketches.) It is uncanny how the Taliban’s insistence that he was not dead marries this comedy sketch to the letter.

Christian Conservative on August 25, 2009 at 1:53 PM

Thank you president Obama Bush, for setting the tone, for one more dead terrorist.

Scrappy on August 25, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Wasn’t it Obama who was claiming that our military is killing innocent civilians….

right2bright on August 25, 2009 at 1:10 PM

As long as he’s still killing terrorists he has my support. (at least on that one thing)

Scrappy on August 25, 2009 at 1:56 PM

Must…..have…..Palin…..thread…..

1921 C DRUM on August 25, 2009 at 2:05 PM

As long as he’s still killing terrorists he has my support. (at least on that one thing)

Scrappy on August 25, 2009 at 1:56 PM

Let’s give credit where credit is due. The filthy liar in the White House is not killing terrorists. He just hasn’t changed the policy from when GWB was in power.

You all make it sound as if he is operating the drone himself from a Wii set up in the Oval Office.

highhopes on August 25, 2009 at 2:07 PM

Let’s give credit where credit is due. The filthy liar in the White House is not killing terrorists. He just hasn’t changed the policy from when GWB was in power.

You all make it sound as if he is operating the drone himself from a Wii set up in the Oval Office.

highhopes on August 25, 2009 at 2:07 PM

Bush wasn’t operating those drones either, but I was happy to give him credit too. :)

I just don’t see why When there are more dead terrorists we needto yell at Obama. For once he’s doing the right thing, even if it is just continuing a Bush policy.

Scrappy on August 25, 2009 at 2:10 PM

An ex-parrot, not pining for the fjords.

“…nah, nah, it’s just stunned… got beautiful plumage, ain’t it?”

NightmareOnKStreet on August 25, 2009 at 2:34 PM

Shouldn’t this man have stood trial first?

Chuck Schick on August 25, 2009 at 2:51 PM

I just don’t see why When there are more dead terrorists we needto yell at Obama. For once he’s doing the right thing, even if it is just continuing a Bush policy.

Scrappy on August 25, 2009 at 2:10 PM

I’m not sure I’d call it yelling at the filthy liar in the White House but, I am critical of the way he is waging military operations in Afghanistan. Specifically, there doesn’t seem to be a plan. He didn’t like the general running the operations so he fired him and put somebody in that supposedly had the same sort of approach that worked for Patraeus in Iraq.

Afghanistan is not Iraq and you can’t equate them as such.
The same tactics, will not work in Afghanistan and the amorphous tribal regions surrounding arbitrarily drawn borders. We have no clear end state as to what constitutes victory in Afghanistan. We have no clear sense of how many troops it will take and how long they will be there. We’ve dabbled in the non-military ways of nationbuilding but have not really been serious about a coordinated approach. The country and especially the troops deserve more than they are getting out of the rat bastard traitor that is the Commander-in-Chief.

highhopes on August 25, 2009 at 2:55 PM

Let’s give credit where credit is due. The filthy liar in the White House is not killing terrorists. He just hasn’t changed the policy from when GWB was in power.

He gets a lot of heat from the left for this. Bill Maher and co. are furious.

TopLawyer on August 25, 2009 at 3:09 PM

I just don’t see why When there are more dead terrorists we needto yell at Obama. For once he’s doing the right thing, even if it is just continuing a Bush policy.

Scrappy on August 25, 2009 at 2:10 PM

Hi Scrappy, I’m in Afghanistan now. The killing hasn’t stopped under obama, but the ROE has. We are losing more servicemen and women now (because of the change in Rules Of Engagement under obama) than we ever have before in this theater. Look at our Afghan losses since he became the so-called CinC.

If I gave a sh1t, I’d have to call my command almost every time I wanted my Door Gunners to shoot. I have to put my team in harms way to get the bad guys to show “hostile intent.”

obama and his administration are an epic fail at the CinC and war business. He should go back to community organizing.

hawkdriver on August 25, 2009 at 4:12 PM

hawkdriver on August 25, 2009 at 4:12 PM

Well, I can’t speak to the Rules of Engagement changes. Could you fill me in with a little more detail about what has changed under the Obama administration? Also is there a chain of command involved in how the RoE get changed and implemented (how involved would the president be in that process)?

I’m not dismissing your points at all, I really don’t know and would like to learn more about it. Thanks. And of course I salute your service and bravery serving under both Bush and Obama.

Scrappy on August 25, 2009 at 4:24 PM

Ah, a great victory over the forces of East Asia!!!

I weep with joy and love of Dear Leader.

Just think…if the Leftards really had their druthers back when Bush was president, this guy and many, many like him would be alive and well today.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 25, 2009 at 8:42 PM

I’m not dismissing your points at all, I really don’t know and would like to learn more about it. Thanks. And of course I salute your service and bravery serving under both Bush and Obama.

Scrappy on August 25, 2009 at 4:24 PM

I wouldn’t be as excited about my service under obama. I volunteered to serve under President Bush. I was Stop-Lossed to serve under obama. (Remember he said he wouldn’t do that? He lied.)

hawkdriver on August 26, 2009 at 1:45 AM