Panetta: We have well and truly kicked the asses of Al Qaeda

posted at 9:13 pm on March 17, 2010 by Allahpundit

Whenever a Bush lieutenant would herald progress against AQ, the left would point to some jihadi still on the loose or some plot that had only recently been interrupted and sneer that it was “some progress.” It was a bad rap then and it’d be a bad rap to do the same to Panetta. He’s not declaring mission accomplished, or that jihad as we know it has ceased to exist. He’s saying they’re in bad shape.

Which, from what I can tell, they are.

So profound is al-Qaeda’s disarray that one of its lieutenants, in a recently intercepted message, pleaded to bin Laden to come to the group’s rescue and provide some leadership, Panetta told The Washington Post in an interview.

Panetta credited an increasingly aggressive campaign against al-Qaeda and its Taliban allies, including more frequent strikes and better coordination with Pakistan. He called it “the most aggressive operation that CIA has been involved in in our history.”

“Those operations are seriously disrupting al-Qaeda,” Panetta said. “It’s pretty clear from all the intelligence we are getting that they are having a very difficult time putting together any kind of command and control, that they are scrambling. And that we really do have them on the run.”

I’ve written before — more than a year ago, in fact — about the unusual surge in effectiveness of American drone strikes on AQ and Taliban targets. More shots fired, more targets hit, and more important jihadis liquidated. Back in September, WaPo quoted U.S. intelligence sources as saying that we’d finally penetrated Al Qaeda with spies, and I believe them. If you’re inclined to doubt, click here and scroll through Bill Roggio’s list of terrorists killed by drones since 2004. Notice anything unusual starting in, say, 2008? Be sure also to compare the number killed in all 12 months of 2009 with the number killed so far through two and half months of 2010. The latest is Sadam Hussein Al Hussami, whose death was announced just today; he too was a big fish, with a presence in both Pakistan and in AQ’s new haven in Yemen, and he was allegedly directly involved in that CIA base bombing in Afghanistan just before New Year’s. More from Roggio:

Since Dec. 8, 2009, the air campaign in Pakistan has killed four senior al Qaeda leaders, a senior Taliban commander, three senior al Qaeda operatives, and a wanted Palestinian terrorist who was allied with al Qaeda. The status of several others – a two top Pakistani Taliban leaders, a member of al Qaeda’s top council, and a wanted Philippine terrorist – is still unknown…

Already this year, the US has killed Mansur al Shami, an al Qaeda ideologue and aide to al Qaeda’s leader in Afghanistan Mustafa Abu Yazid; Haji Omar Khan, a senior Taliban leader in North Waziristan; Mohammed Haqqani, a military commander in the Haqqani Network; Sheikh Mansoor, an al Qaeda Shadow Army commander; Qari Mohammad Zafar, a leader of the al Qaeda and Taliban-linked Fedayeen-i-Islam; and Sadam Hussein Al Hussami, a senior operative in al Qaeda’s external operations branch. Jamal Saeed Abdul Rahim, the Abu Nidal Organization operative who participated in killing 22 hostages during the 1986 hijacking of Pan Am flight 73, is thought to have been killed in the Jan. 9 airstrike.

Among those rumored to be killed but not yet confirmed: Hakimullah Mehsud, the Taliban’s leader in the field. It’s gotten so bad that stories have started trickling out about AQ possibly turning to a “lone gunman” strategy of terror relying more heavily on homegrown jihadis who are already here in lieu of ambitious operations assembled overseas.

Naturally, with drone strikes proving more effective than ever, Obama’s now under legal pressure from the ACLU to discontinue them, but I give him full credit for resisting the left thus far. Summarily executing these turds with missiles cuts entirely against the Eric Holder’s “innocent until proven guilty” criminal-law ethos of counterterrorism, but in this case, three cheers for hypocrisy. Exit question: Who wants to be the one to tell McChrystal that our AG says it’s categorically impossible to capture Bin Laden alive? Because the general, fool that he is, still seems to be planning on it.


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Blame Bush.

cntrlfrk on March 17, 2010 at 9:17 PM

good

rob verdi on March 17, 2010 at 9:17 PM

Bushdidit. Don’t ruin it for us, Barry.

KillerKane on March 17, 2010 at 9:18 PM

You’re setting yourself up for a big letdown Allah…Obama is doing this because it requires no effort on his part…he never had to do anything to make this program work. All he had to do was keep his hands off of it…it was set up during Bush’s time…on autopilot if you will. Just like anything that still works in the US, he had nothing to do with it.

He’ll find a way to screw it up yet. Trust me.

That he’s courageous in taking on the nutroots who want it gone…not really…he’s just not that into them…because they aren’t him, so he really doesn’t give a damn. They are just the last ones to get the memo.

AUINSC on March 17, 2010 at 9:20 PM

Just glad it is happening and they are being successful in getting the terrorists.

truetexan on March 17, 2010 at 9:21 PM

Much better to kill them there than to put them on trial here– eh Barry?

————————————–

Congrats to our Troops and the Cia. Thanks too Pakistan.

CWforFreedom on March 17, 2010 at 9:25 PM

And then the media goes quack …

And if it were Bush saying this the media would go @#$%#@*&^% phhhttttuttt

tarpon on March 17, 2010 at 9:25 PM

PBHO = Warmonger

How about CodePink and MorOn.org start holding protest marches in front of the White House again? Helloooooo?

Bishop on March 17, 2010 at 9:25 PM

Obama deserves full credit for the drone campaign against Al Qaeda. But hasn’t Bert suffered enough?

Hey. Bert.

Terrie on March 17, 2010 at 9:26 PM

Hint to Panetta and any other Washington nimwits: It’s our troops and people like Hawkdriver who are kicking @ss.

BIG SALUTE TO OUR MILITARY!

Rovin on March 17, 2010 at 9:28 PM

AUINSC on March 17, 2010 at 9:20 PM

Couldn’t agree more. These programs are running on the inertia of the Bush years. All this will end when Obama directs his attention to them. In some ways, the current healthcare fiasco has been good because it has kept Obama from messing with our current military operations.

docdave on March 17, 2010 at 9:28 PM

Obama is Irish!

Key West Reader on March 17, 2010 at 9:29 PM

When you think that we can declare the ACLU as enemy combatants?

El Coqui on March 17, 2010 at 9:31 PM

my impression is thsat since they lost all those agents i that suicide attack that the CIA is finally taking WW4 seriously.

reliapundit on March 17, 2010 at 9:32 PM

Just glad it is happening and they are being successful in getting the terrorists.

truetexan on March 17, 2010 at 9:21 PM

Yep. Don’t really care who gets the credit.

29Victor on March 17, 2010 at 9:32 PM

AUINSC on March 17, 2010 at 9:20 PM

While I don’t disagree with your assessment, AUINSC… if the best thing Obama can do for a program is to keep his hands off of it…

Why does he keep meddling in elections? ;)

Scott H on March 17, 2010 at 9:33 PM

We have well and truly kicked the asses of Al Qaeda

Ohhhh…., so that’s why were about to fold and negotiate with the T-ban, we wouldn’t want to be unmerciful in victory!

abobo on March 17, 2010 at 9:35 PM

I give him full credit for resisting the left thus far. Summarily executing these turds with missiles cuts entirely against the Eric Holder’s “innocent until proven guilty” criminal-law ethos of counterterrorism, but in this case, three cheers for hypocrisy.

It doesn’t make sense that the same people who want to prosecute KSM in NYC, close Gitmo, against enhanced iterrogation techniques, provided the Christmas bomber with a lawyer are the same people willing to pull the trigger to easily and frequently. There’s more to all of this, I know it. It makes no sense.

TheBigOldDog on March 17, 2010 at 9:36 PM

I’ll give Obama his due for not getting in the way on this one but I agree with AUINSC that’s it’s Obama’s lack of involvement that lies behind the success. It’s the one thing he can take some credit for by doing nothing.

Hey! he really is like a Seinfeld episode.

Guardian on March 17, 2010 at 9:36 PM

Any doubts about what we are facing? Here is a mind-opening interview:

In Case You Have Any Doubt About The Nature Of The Conflict In Which We Are Engaged.

http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2388.htm

This fellow expresses a lot of ideas that ObaMao is comfortable with, no?

onlineanalyst on March 17, 2010 at 9:38 PM

“let me be clear, i, um, inherited this experienced cadre of CIA paramilitary personnel and their tech goodies from the previous administration.”

elduende on March 17, 2010 at 9:38 PM

Thank you President George W. Bush.

David2.0 on March 17, 2010 at 9:39 PM

Yet another mess Obama inherited from his predecessor.

John the Libertarian on March 17, 2010 at 9:40 PM

my impression is thsat since they lost all those agents i that suicide attack that the CIA is finally taking WW4 seriously.

Bingo. The CIA is out for blood. Pure revenge.

rickyricardo on March 17, 2010 at 9:41 PM

Let’s get serious here … The man wouldn’t know an M-16 from a green M & M. What he knows about the military you could lose in a thimble. If he, like all politicians, would get the Hell out of the way and let the military (and CIA) do their job, their job would be over much sooner.

GoldenEagle4444 on March 17, 2010 at 9:42 PM

Drudge is calling Bret’s interview an historic first.

John the Libertarian on March 17, 2010 at 9:42 PM

Credit where it’s due. The boys are laying the smack down on AQ. POTUS et al get credit for that by proxy.

keep doing that.

ted c on March 17, 2010 at 9:45 PM

docdave on March 17, 2010 at 9:28 PM

Scott H on March 17, 2010 at 9:33 PM

Yeah, it’s pretty obvious that leaving it in place is the path of least resistance. He even get’s kudos for being brave in facing down the left…but he knows as well as we do that the left doesn’t give a damn about war or violence or collateral damage or anything else except getting and maintaining power. He knows them because he’s one of them.

That’s the answer to the naive question everybody keeps asking…where is the left now? They never cared about this issue. As far as the ACLU goes…they are his open to disengage when he’s milked all of the goodwill from the right and center that he can. Hence, the disappointment to come.

AUINSC on March 17, 2010 at 9:46 PM

War crimes charges against Obamaites happen when ?

CWforFreedom on March 17, 2010 at 9:50 PM

Panetta: We have well and truly kicked the asses of Al Qaeda

Meanwhile Islam, the head of the snake, marches on.

MB4 on March 17, 2010 at 9:55 PM

It’s been said already, but I too blame Bush.

Thank you, sir.

cs89 on March 17, 2010 at 9:57 PM

He’s not declaring mission accomplished, or that jihad as we know it has ceased to exist.

As long as Islam exists jihad and sharia and stonings and honor killings will exist.

MB4 on March 17, 2010 at 9:57 PM

bama’s now under legal pressure from the ACLU to discontinue them, but I give him full credit for resisting the left thus far.

Why give him full credit, or any credit? Like LBJ, he wants to look “tough” on foreign policy as a certain degree of cover to pursue his national socialist big government policies on the domestic front.

MB4 on March 17, 2010 at 10:01 PM

“Those operations are seriously disrupting al-Qaeda,” Panetta said. “It’s pretty clear from all the intelligence we are getting that they are having a very difficult time putting together any kind of command and control, that they are scrambling. And that we really do have them on the run.”

Wow!!!!!

Look what Obama “inherited” from Bush:

…2008

Petraeus’ Anaconda Strategy
By Austin Bay
April 9,2008

Since Petraeus’ and Ambassador Ryan Crocker’s September 2007 testimony, “the Anaconda” (the incremental synergy of this complex war-fighting and nation-building process) has dramatically squeezed al-Qaida. No, it hasn’t crushed it — but the organization is physically damaged. Moreover, with the “Sunni Awakening” and similar programs, al-Qaida has suffered extraordinary political and information defeats as Sunnis publicly turned on the jihadis.
Is this victory in Iraq? No. But it suggests we’ve won a major battle with potentially global significance, the kind that in the long term squeezes al-Qaida’s ideological appeal in all corners of the planet.

major defeat of al-qaeda that will have global significance……
……like we are seeing now.



….2008


U.S. Cites Big Gains Against Al-Qaeda
Group Is Facing Setbacks Globally, CIA Chief Says

By Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 30, 2008; A01

Less than a year after his agency warned of new threats from a resurgent al-Qaeda, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden now portrays the terrorist movement as essentially defeated in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and on the defensive throughout much of the rest of the world, including in its presumed haven along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

In a strikingly upbeat assessment, the CIA chief cited major gains against al-Qaeda’s allies in the Middle East and an increasingly successful campaign to destabilize the group’s core leadership.


CIA declares al-qaeda essentially defeated in Iraq/Saudi Arabia and on the defensive throughout the rest of the world…… sounds like al-qaeda is taking an a$$ whopping

….2008


Al Qaeda Recruiter Blues

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htatrit/articles/20080323.aspx

But over the last year, the number of such volunteers has declined from 120 a month, to about 40. The main reason for this is bad news, and some survivors, coming back from Iraq. Not many of these losers make it back, but the word gets on to the Internet, and this has caused quite a commotion on pro-terrorist web sites and message boards. There’s also been a sharp drop in pro-terrorist combat videos coming out of Iraq. This is largely due to the death or capture of the people responsible for getting those videos onto the Internet.


…..Wow!!!!
….recruitment down because of the beating our military and the Bush administration were giving them the whole time the democrats were telling us to surrender.


…..2008

Al-Qaeda is dwindling in Afghanistan and Iraq
By David Ignatius

05 May 2008 (The Daily Star)
http://www.iraqupdates.com/p_articles.php/article/30676

The most interesting discovery during a visit to Jalalabad, where Osama bin Laden planted his flag in 1996, is that Al-Qaeda seems to have all but disappeared. The group is on the run, too, in Iraq, and that raises some interesting questions about how to pursue this terrorist enemy in the future.

“Al-Qaeda is not a topic of conversation here,” says Colonel Mark Johnstone, the deputy commander of Task Force Bayonet, which oversees four provinces surrounding Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan. Lieutenant Colonel Pete Benchoff agrees: “We’re not seeing a lot of Al-Qaeda fighters. They’ve shifted here to facilitation and support.”


..remember when Obama became President…many liberals were howling that we should just leave Afghanistan because al-qaeda was not there anymore….now they want to say that
the Obama administration got rid of them…..you know….they defeated the jihadist that they told us were not there.



…..and it was not like defeating al-qaeda in Iraq (who was launching terrorist attacks from Iraq BEFORE we invaded)
was not significant and a deadly blow to them….Osama and Al-Zarawahiri both called Iraq the “central front in the war against the west”…” the Caliphate capital”.


Osama bin Laden (December 27, 2004):

A second Bin Laden tape, released on December 27, 2004, underscored Al Qaeda’s interest in Iraq and support for the ongoing insurgency. In this recording, Bin Laden personally welcomed and endorsed Jordanian-born terrorist leader Abu Musab Al Zarqawi as an Al Qaeda affiliate and leader of Al Qaeda operations in Iraq.19 Bin Laden identified the insurgency in Iraq as “a golden and unique opportunity” for jihadists to engage and defeat the United States, and he characterized the insurgency in Iraq as the central battle in a “Third World War, which the Crusader-Zionist coalition began against the Islamic nation.”20 Describing Baghdad as “the capital of the caliphate,” Bin Laden asserted that “jihad in Palestine and Iraq today is a duty for the people of the two countries” and other Muslims.

On a tactical level, Bin Laden has encouraged Islamist insurgents in Iraq to work with “Socialist” groups (Baathists) and compared cooperation between Islamists and Baathists to Arab and Persian collaboration against the Byzantine empire in the 7th and 8th centuries.

Ayman al-Zawahiri Declares Iraq “most important arena” in war on terror

Written by Ayman al-Zawahiri , translation by OSC   
Friday, 18 April 2008 00:00


“Iraq today is now the most important arena in which our Muslim nation is waging the battle against the forces of the Crusader-Zionist campaign. Therefore, backing the mujahidin in Iraq, led by the Islamic State of Iraq, is the most important task of the Islamic nation today.”

– Ayman al-Zawahiri, audio message, April 18, 2008


President Bush was right to take the fight to the jihadist instead of treating terrorism as a “criminal offense”.

Baxter Greene on March 17, 2010 at 10:03 PM

Ohhhh…., so that’s why were about to fold and negotiate with the T-ban, we wouldn’t want to be unmerciful in victory!

abobo on March 17, 2010 at 9:35 PM

They are not “Taliban-Taliban”…they are now called “moderate Taliban”….so that we can declare victory and leave Afghanistan with it looking very similar to what it looked like before we invaded.

Just like the 30,000 plus American troops that will be in Iraq will not be called “combat troops”…so Obama will be able to say he “brought all the troops home”….

Hope and Change!!!!!

Baxter Greene on March 17, 2010 at 10:08 PM

“Those operations are seriously disrupting al-Qaeda,” Panetta said. “It’s pretty clear from all the intelligence we are getting that they are having a very difficult time putting together any kind of command and control, that they are scrambling. And that we really do have them on the run.”

Hubris, Leon, hubris. AQ nearly killed several hundred people in Detroit on Christmas – I’d eschew the triumphalism for a bit longer…

Realist on March 17, 2010 at 10:14 PM

Al Qeada are the ones blowing sh1t up in Kabul. They are upset that the local militias are being set up. Those militias are anti Al Qeada. The Taliban in most cases are fellow Afghans.

I don’t know why Pannetta would make statements like Al Qeada is whipped?

Petraeus: Afghan Front Difficult in 2010

If it wasn’t for Al Qeada’s presence in the Afghan Theater, we could leave the Afghan theater, and those people would work it out between themselves. Of course if we left Hamid Karzai’s cash register aka The U.S. Tax Payer, would close up shop. I don’t think Karzai really wants to see a resolution to the war on terror – He has turned fighting the war on terror into a nice cottage industry ;) No wonder he is so upset about the number 2 Taliban being arrested in Pakistan.

Just ask the Soviets how their foray into Afghanistan bled their treasury dry.

Dr Evil on March 17, 2010 at 10:26 PM

I wish the State Department could issue the same kind of progress report for Afghanistan.

It looks like The Military’s anti insurgency strategy, and the C.I.A. are on track, and cooking with gas…The State Department, appears to be operating when allowed to at the whim of the Mayor of Kabul.

Dr Evil on March 17, 2010 at 10:31 PM

Ya’ know, I am really really really really against a heavy handed, all powerful, oppressive government.

But this news story makes me feel a little bit better.

Am I a hypocrite? Am I just fat and happy? I admit to mixed feelings.

riverrat10k on March 17, 2010 at 10:35 PM

Maybe we should strap ACLU attorney’s on the missiles BEFORE launching them. That way the attorney’s would arrive in time to protect the terrorists.

GarandFan on March 17, 2010 at 10:51 PM

Maybe we found the one thing we can all agree on … KILL HAJJI!

Credit to both Bush AND Obama … thank God because I was very worried Obama was gonna screw it all up.

Tony737 on March 17, 2010 at 10:54 PM

Folks, from one who is in the process of RIPing out with the 101st, you can take this straight from the horses mouth. The situation in Afghanistan is getting ridiculous on several fronts.

1. The ROE has changed to the point where it is nearly impossible to engage the enemy. Where my detachment was once instructed to get after the fighters on motorcycles, we are now instructed to observe, no nothing and then move on. If we are engaged, we’re supposed to suppress and move on.

2. It looks like we will cease night operations all together because the Aghanis don’t like us finding them making their HME at midnight while their kids are snoozing.

(HME (Home Made Explosives), are being produced and planted as IEDs in such great amounts now, that the Taliban is literally blowing our heaviest vehicles off the roads) The deaths from IEDs will be the news from here for the next year, mark my word.)

3. A flight of mine, not ten days ago, was instructed to break contact and return to base because my trail aircraft received one round through a cockpit windscreen. We had an Apache escort and the damage was minor. We were ordered to leave a besieged outpost and leave then with no CAS for more than an hour until our Apaches relief could get there. (More than an hour while the compound received effective small arms and rocket fire)

4. RC East was given to ISAF now and except with very few exceptions, NATO owns the fight.

5. Worst of all, a single CIVCAS and the commands reaction to it is looking to me like a complete admission to the Afghani People that we don’t think we’re in control and that we’re throwing in the towel.

6. I don’t feel the command is pushing a message of victory here anymore. I frankly don’t understand the message at all.

The common theme. “If you won’t let me shoot, send me home.”

MB4 was more right than he knows.

PS AL Quaeda really doesn’t matter anymore Leon and you know it. You’re waging a propaganda war and we’re losing that too.

hawkdriver on March 17, 2010 at 11:03 PM

Al Qaeda took it’s eye off Afghanistan and tried to establish a new Caliphte in Iraq. It couldn’t fight a two front war. They took a $hit kicking in Iraq. Obama agitated for Iraq to be conceded to Iraq and al Qaeda.

Obama is a weakling and loser. Bush is a man of courage and vision. Those of us who supported him throughout were right.

Basilsbest on March 17, 2010 at 11:06 PM

pleaded to bin Laden to come to the group’s rescue and provide some leadership

Can’t do that from beneath thousands of tons of Tora Bora mountain rubble…

MarkT on March 17, 2010 at 11:08 PM

hawkdriver on March 17, 2010 at 11:03 PM

…Dam# if that was not a shot straight to the balls.

Thank you for your service Hawk…even though the Commander and Chief does not appear to have a clue what you and the other brave men and women in uniform are over there for.

Baxter Greene on March 17, 2010 at 11:29 PM

PS, The parachuting bears story made the front page of the Stars and Stripes. (Maybe the Command is seriously considering it)

hawkdriver on March 17, 2010 at 11:29 PM

I dislike Obama just about as much as anyone here, but I got to give him credit for stepping up to the plate on Afghanistan (although reluctantly after ignoring the generals for so long). Following through with the troop surge and the increase in drone strikes does indicate that he may want to defeat AQ….and dare I say “win” (I said it for him, so he doesn’t have to) this war.

I need to go wash my mouth out now…..

tommer74 on March 17, 2010 at 11:36 PM

tommer74 on March 17, 2010 at 11:36 PM

Tommer, we didn’t get all the troops McChrystal asked for. He only gave half of what was asked for and 7,000 alone that were heaped in to the mix were forces already included in the bridging plan for RC South and Kandahar from an agreement with NATO and ISAF from nearing three years ago.

The bottom line is the troops that did make it here are so hamstrung by the ROE that they might as well be filling sandbags in Haiti.

hawkdriver on March 17, 2010 at 11:46 PM

hawkdriver on March 17, 2010 at 11:46 PM

You do make a good point, maybe he stepped up to the plate and bunted. The gloves do need to come off and fight this war like it should be fought.

tommer74 on March 17, 2010 at 11:53 PM

Baxter Greene on March 17, 2010 at 11:29 PM

Thanks and once again, after getting a chance to read your comment above, I say you put together some of the most well laid out points on HA. You should be writing full threads for The Green Room.

hawkdriver on March 18, 2010 at 12:02 AM

This is new… we aren’t just killing them in caves or in spats of combat. We re getting them in urban locations in Pakistan. Keep running you fucks.

lexhamfox on March 18, 2010 at 12:21 AM

hawkdriver on March 18, 2010 at 12:02 AM

Thank you ….

…where I should be and where every American stateside should be, is lined up at the doors of the families of Soldiers like yourself and thanking them for our Freedoms and the brave sacrifices you make on a daily basis.

Your post hurt…

…..it hurts real bad to know that the leadership of this country has sent you to war and want let you fight…
…..won’t let you do what you are trained for….
………want let you do what every country in the world knows that the American Soldier is the best at…..
…and that is defeating the enemy.

…myself,my family,the Hot Air family,and millions of Americans fully appreciate and know where our Freedoms come from…..and many of us will hold this government accountable if your lives are being jeopardized for political expediency.

God Bless you Hawk…
…God Bless the American Soldier….

…..and God’s speed on your mission.

Baxter Greene on March 18, 2010 at 1:08 AM

I have always thought that the Democrats could wage war much, much more effectively than the Republicans ever could.

Why?

Because the media would be on their side to either make for a rationale of “their war” or simply not report on it pessimistically like they are prone to do if Republicans are in power.

Have you heard of the ACLU’s recent court action against the current administration’s rejection of their FOIA requests? Their contention that the predator drone strikes are illegal? If you have, it hasn’t been much.

If Bush was still in office it would be front page and top story material for weeks.

Yes, the CIA’s interrogation program has been halted and that is now in “law enforcement” hands, but they have been given carte-blanche in being able to just bomb the s*%$ of of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

You see? the dems don’t need to bother with the whole interrogation thing. That would require capturing the bad guys. This new administration is just killing them en masse. Something they know they can do and something Bush could never do without an serious attack and subsequent hearings by the dems, and onslaught by the MSM.

Do you know how many civilians the drones are killing in Pakistan and Afghanistan? LOTS. The ACLU knows it and they are being kneecapped and the MSM won’t say a thing about it. Will Olby, anytime soon, be raging on the air with his “Special Komment” railing against the “Murdering Obama” Of course not. BOMB away!

Not to mention that the whole closing of Gitmo is political theater. The bad guys they can’t kill outright, they send to Baghram which is Gitmo 2, but on foreign soil and away from the peeping eyes of the media.

This administration will have more success killing the bad guys than Bush ever would have..

I’m all for this administration’s policies as it pertains to the war on terror. I know they don’t like to use that word and have sold the public this idea that they might even be soft on terror to please their base. But their base are idiots and even the dolts in the ACLU know it. His whole “public” policy is far, far different than what is happening on the ground. We are slaughtering the enemy wholesale and taking a TON of “collateral damage” along with it and the lefties and the MSM are completely in the dark.

I despise this President’s domestic policies and am convinced he is seriously damaging this Republic, but his war in terror has been brutal towards the enemy and I hope the MSM never gets wind of what they are really doing so they can continue to kill these scumbags.

Opposite Day on March 18, 2010 at 1:28 AM

At least he got something right. Let’s call it 1-100.

WisCon on March 18, 2010 at 1:28 AM

During the end of Bush’s Presidency it was being discussed there was a new tool in the anti-terror tool bag that would strike fear in the hearts of Jihadi’s if they knew what it was.

Some speculated it was some sort of ‘remote tagging’ of terror suspects which would allow their movements to be easily followed.

Basically it was being alleged that this ‘tag’ could be applied from a distance unknown to the suspect.

Mr Purple on March 18, 2010 at 1:58 AM

PS, The parachuting bears story made the front page of the Stars and Stripes. (Maybe the Command is seriously considering it)

hawkdriver on March 17, 2010 at 11:29 PM

Bears, heck — if they really want to cause disruption and chaos, they should parachute in community organizers.

cthulhu on March 18, 2010 at 2:10 AM

So they really did drop in the bears?

Hawthorne on March 18, 2010 at 3:40 AM

Bears, heck — if they really want to cause disruption and chaos, they should parachute in community organizers.

cthulhu on March 18, 2010 at 2:10 AM

I am thinking we should drop in Obama and his cabinet. I am not sure that any organization could survive that crew of screw-ups.

Hawthorne on March 18, 2010 at 3:42 AM

My complaint here is that the left accused Bush of “taking his eye off the ball” by invading Iraq and “attacking a country that never attacked us.” Now, 14 months into the Øbama administration, we are suddenly making all this progress apparently by attacking a couple of countries that never attacked us.

I would like to hear the left admit that because we’re dealing with non-state actors, it takes a lot longer to get information on them and that sometimes you have to mount attacks in strange places. However, I’m not holding my breath.

Kafir on March 18, 2010 at 7:18 AM

Panetta’s words are going to ring hollow if the U.S. is attacked again in the near future.

zoyclem on March 18, 2010 at 7:42 AM

It is damned good that the Predator strikes are happening in coordination with the Pakistani take-downs. These are not unrelated as someone realizes that you cannot win a ground war from the air: you need ground forces for clean-up and to take advantage of a disorganized foe.

That is a strategy, the Predator strikes are tactics for the Af-Pak theater.

Of greater worry in Af-Pak is the non-al Qaeda, non-Taliban, cross-functional ‘Shadow Army’ that is becoming a cross-terrorist organization able to garner support from local groups and regional operators, like Gulbudden Hekmatyar. In targeting aQ/Talibe we are letting this new cross-group go unmolested as it has diverse means of support beyond the external. It is good that some of the most capable of the aQ/Talibe/Mehsud organizations are being taken down and out. I have heard nothing on Hekmatyar’s organization that stretches from China to London.

In Yemen we also have some on-the-ground support from the government, but it has proven to be an incompetent government willing to let known terrorists go either officially or unofficially through not following up prison escapes. Like the leader of the USS Cole attack. Again that is trying to use the air assets to enable the ground assets, but the coordination is not so hot there.

Then there is the slow return of al Qaeda to Somalia via the Islamic Courts Union. They seem to have gotten help from terrorists coming from… the US, Minnesota in particular. When we worked with the Ethiopians on getting the ICU chased out by utilizing air and naval assets, we unfortunately left open the quick jaunt to KSA where many ICU members fled to. Too bad we couldn’t get KSA’s cooperation on doing anything about that. Additionally the Somali minority in places like Northern Kenya have proven to have good hiding places and recruiting agents for the ICU/al Qaeda.

The ‘lone gunman’ strategy is not new to al Qaeda, either. Part of my looking at low-level activities when many low-level operatives were caught before doing anything is seeing why these who are not ‘professional’ can be quite dangerous with a minimal amount of help. And not via high value items or training, either. President Bush did a good job going after some of the most noxious enablers and helping others to do so, like Victor Bout and Monzer al Kassar, both extremely able supporters for the right cash or cause. They are just examples of the big ticket traffickers, and for each of those there are ten or so at the next rung who might not be able to get you SAMs but can get you Chinese attack helicopters.

After that things get dicey in the Caribbean as al Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood (often working together), KSA radical clerics, Iranian clerics and some splinter groups have targeted that area for recruitment and new ‘lone gunman’ style operations in the past. While they may seem more comical than effective, stopping a small splinter group planning on hijacking a LNG carrier and detonating it in Hartford or possibly Boston is not only chilling but a typical ‘small unit’ operation of under 5 people with only a few weapons and modicum of explosives necessary to rupture the containment of the LNG. Be a nasty thing to wake up to, a few square blocks of waterfront Hartford or Boston gone flat.

‘Lone gunman’ does not mean low casualty and does mean much more inventive, if less well skilled. They don’t have to be ‘Professionals’, just able and effective… once. It is not al Qaeda’s preferred mode of operations, but they have done with it in the past to ‘lie low’. They really do mean to wage war upon us, and all of civilization so as to get their way. They declare themselves enemy of mankind and want to be its rulers. Never forget these things.

ajacksonian on March 18, 2010 at 8:06 AM

Has he caught Bin Laden?

If not, then his Presidency is a failure. The end.

That’s the left’s Bush standard. Don’t blame me for holding Barry to it.

Good Lt on March 18, 2010 at 8:16 AM

“Those operations are seriously disrupting al-Qaeda, It’s pretty clear from all the intelligence we are getting that they are having a very difficult time putting together any kind of command and control, that they are scrambling. And that we really do have them on the run.”
Leon Panetta, Thursday, March 18, 2010

OK, everyone.. Commit these self-congratulatory words to memory.

And, God Forbid……………

franksalterego on March 18, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Great news, but for what purpose? To buck us up, or demoralize AQ? Personally, I think it would be more demoralizing to AQ if we wipe them from the face of the earth than to blab about how we have them on the run. Spare us the talk……EXECUTE!

olesparkie on March 18, 2010 at 9:27 AM

Tommer, we didn’t get all the troops McChrystal asked for. He only gave half of what was asked for and 7,000 alone that were heaped in to the mix were forces already included in the bridging plan for RC South and Kandahar from an agreement with NATO and ISAF from nearing three years ago.

The bottom line is the troops that did make it here are so hamstrung by the ROE that they might as well be filling sandbags in Haiti.

hawkdriver on March 17, 2010 at 11:46 PM

What a crock. Obanma did not put in as many troops as the plan wanted but because of the way the troops were deployed there are actually more there longer than the plan originally requested. The maximum number of troops was reduced but the current deployment sustains more numbers over a longer peiod fo time than the original plan. As for the ROE there are very good reasons for trying to reduce the number of Afghan civilians killed. That is part of a serious COIN operation.

lexhamfox on March 18, 2010 at 10:25 AM

lexhamfox on March 18, 2010 at 10:25 AM

Your point is a crock. You’re wrong about the deployment of troops. And we’re losing men right now because of the ROE.

hawkdriver on March 18, 2010 at 12:06 PM

lexhamfox on March 18, 2010 at 10:25 AM

Well, I think your point is a crock. I’m not sure what you were actually trying to say.

hawkdriver on March 18, 2010 at 12:09 PM