Say, you know who else wouldn’t get Osama bin Laden now?

posted at 10:01 am on May 4, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama and his campaign have accused Mitt Romney of lacking the fortitude to take out Osama bin Laden in the kind of raid Obama ordered a year ago.  Thanks to a new agreement Obama signed with Hamid Karzai, the Daily Caller reports, Romney wouldn’t even get the chance.  The new agreement signed on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s demise would forbid exactly the kind of raid that Obama ordered, one originating from Afghanistan into Pakistan:

President Barack Obama has promised not to attack Pakistan-based al-Qaida leaders or fighters from bases inside Afghanistan.

The surprising commitment effectively bars Obama and his successors from launching another nighttime helicopter raid like the one that that killed Osama bin Laden. That raid has proven to be Obama’s primary foreign-policy success because it killed bin Laden, scooped up much intelligence data and shocked Pakistan.

That’s not the only option Obama has taken off the table in the new agreement, either:

Obama’s commitment will also end the use of secretive drone-attacks from Afghanistan. Those attacks have killed hundreds of al-Qaida leaders since the mid-2000s. They’ve also been very popular with U.S voters, and usually have had tacit Pakistan approval.

The unadvertised provision is buried in the deal that Afghan president Hamid Karzai and Obama signed with much campaign-style fanfare May 1 in Kabul. It could provide a legal shield for Pakistani-based al-Qaida’s leaders, front-line fighters, terrorism-planners, allied terror-leaders, funders, terror bases and terror training-grounds.

“The United States further pledges not to use Afghan territory or facilities as a launching point for attacks against other countries,” says the provision, found in paragraph 6b of the eight-page deal.

Some of those drone attacks have taken place from inside Pakistan, so the clause doesn’t completely end the effective drone missions that have destroyed al-Qaeda’s command structure and capabilities.  However, that kind of cooperation on drone attacks is extremely fragile, as the collateral damage creates an enormous amount of political pressure on Pakistan’s government.  Islamabad is already growing more hostile with the US over our refusal to formally apologize for the deaths of two dozen Pakistani soldiers in an errant attack a few months ago, and they have repeatedly told the Obama administration that they want the CIA and the drones out of Pakistan, although they seem to be allowing the attacks to continue, for now anyway.

Still, how cynical can one be to accuse a political opponent of lacking the testicular fortitude to launch the kind of mission Obama green-lighted a year ago while negotiating a pact that forbids them in the future anyway?  The only answer to this is that an American President might not feel bound to honor that part of the agreement, but that’s a poor answer.  That would call our commitment to the entire pact into question, as well as our credibility on other treaties and pacts around the world.  Besides, it doesn’t answer the question.  Obama accused Romney of not having the guts to make the call, while agreeing with Karzai to never make a similar call himself.  It’s hypocritical in the extreme, and the inclusion of such an agreement should have us questioning Obama’s intestinal fortitude in fighting terrorists in the region.

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We have two declared wars right now. I never saw any Senate ratification of a treaty with Iraq.

Why are we killing foreign nationals in their home countries, in at least FOUR other undeclared wars?

I don’t buy the justification that this all falls under a declared “War on Terror.”

0bama declared that war over, last month.

cane_loader on May 4, 2012 at 2:07 PM

@farsighted on May 4, 2012 at 1:43 PM

My god I just linked to quotes from Government Officials and MSM reports as well as Government documents released by the freedom of information act which confirm that this war is not against the Taliban but to secure the TAPI pipe line.

So when the last and current administration officials say the war is not about defeating the Taliban you are just going to ignore them?

Fox news reported,
Biden Does It Again: ‘The Taliban Is Not Our Enemy’

The Daily Mail reported,
‘The Taliban are not an enemy of the U.S. and should not be talked about in such terms, Joe Biden has claimed.
In an interview with Newsweek, Mr Biden warned against labelling the Taliban as an enemy.

He said: ‘That’s critical. There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy because it threatens U.S. interests.’

Mr Biden’s comments came just before senior U.S. officials prepared to negotiate a peace deal with Taliban militants.

So if the Taliban are not the enemy and according to US government officials there are nearly no al Qaeda left and according to red state those that are left are allies with US, then wat are we fighting for?

US Allies With Al Qaeda In Libya | RedState

JustTheFacts on May 4, 2012 at 2:09 PM

OK, I didn’t see your last post, where you linked to historycommons.

cane_loader on May 4, 2012 at 2:01 PM

The History Commons | 911 Truth News

farsighted on May 4, 2012 at 2:10 PM

What I mean is that I think that the Senate needs to get back in the oversight game and force 0bama to make declarations of war in the other four countries. This country was not founded to create a dictatorship in which the president can just take us off to war in any country he likes, without congressional ratification.

The power to declare war belongs to Congress.

Article 1 – The Legislative Branch
Section 8 – Powers of Congress


The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

cane_loader on May 4, 2012 at 2:11 PM

JustTheFacts on May 4, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Thank you for your links. I appreciate your diligence. I will take some time later (too busy now, in the middle of a job) to look them over.

cane_loader on May 4, 2012 at 2:13 PM

cane_loader on May 4, 2012 at 2:11 PM

The Constitution says lots of things, none of which Barky the Dog-Eater feels that he has to follow. He can declare when the Senate is in session, even against the opinion of the Senate, and do whatever the hell he wants.

There is no rule of law left in America. That was made official when it was confirmed by the Senate (thanks, in part, to the cowards in the Senate GOP) that empathy is a legitimate main qualification for a judge or justice. Over three millenia of Western jurisprudence (Exodus 23:3, “neither shall thou favor a poor man in his cause” – i.e. justice is blind, not empathetic) flushed down the drain not long after the ineligible dog-eating retard slimed into office.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 4, 2012 at 2:24 PM

So I guess we know that the next leader of AQ will not be hiding in Afghanistan. Obama is so smart!

tommer74 on May 4, 2012 at 2:31 PM

What happened to the CRITICAL THINKERS on this forum?

Critical thinkers are open to having their cherished beliefs challenged, and must learn how to “defend” their views based on evidence and logic, rather than simply “pounding their chest” and merely proclaiming that their views are “valid”.

One characteristic of the critical, independent thinker is being able to recognize fantasy versus reality; to recognize the difference between personal beliefs which are nothing more than personal beliefs, versus views that are grounded in EVIDENCE.

The posts on this forum are so we can engage in dialogue, debate, and exchange ideas supported by the evidence and facts in order to try to come to some meaningful conclusion about an issue at hand. Not to shut ourselves off from ideas we find threatening like some simple minded anti-intellectual controlled by cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance happens when a closed minded individual learns the observable facts discovered through research and they immediately begin to bring up rationalizations and excuses in order to dismiss the significance of the information rather than reflect on or have a stimulating discussion regarding the implications of what the new information they have learned could mean.

The reason why some people have a hard time excepting new information and its implications is because some people have so much at stake in their beliefs they can’t comfortably learn any new information that might challenge those beliefs, so rather than seeking to educate themselves through stimulating conversations or research regarding such new information or differing opinions, they will do everything possible to remain ignorant and avoid hearing any course of reasoning aimed at demonstrating truth or falsehood of those differing opinions with JustTheFacts.

If there is a lot of built up psychological stake in a certain position or attitude and a piece of solid evidence comes in which conflicts with that position, it may be easier, psychologically, to dismiss the new information than alter the existing structure, belief/reality. This is called Cognitive dissonance.

You can imagine how ingrained psychological structures can be when a person is raised within a certain country, system, or reality. Growing up in the US, or any culture, for that matter, you will absorb an overwhelming number of messages about what is true, what is possible, and what is important.

Many of these messages are absorbed subconsciously and become part of the basic structure of our reality. Therefore People are biased to think of the system and or reality they have been raised in and taught by is correct, despite any contrary evidence.
You can often witness cognitive dissonance in action as people, despite the overwhelming evidence you have shown or presented to them, will try to avoid the psychological turmoil of facing the very disturbing implications of the truth.

Because the truth can sometimes shatter what a person believes and the reality they thought they knew some people subconsciously protect their beliefs/reality with willful ignorance rather than except the truth and its implications.

A person’s subconscious will protect their fragile beliefs from being exposed to any new facts that might jeopardize their reality, causing their heart rate to increase and their mood to become agitated, any time the slightest mention of a specific subject or fact that exposes the person to possibly new information that might challenge their fragile belief/reality.

This is why there are topics that some people are too uncomfortable discussing because their subconscious is protecting their fragile beliefs.

JustTheFacts on May 4, 2012 at 3:39 PM

ExpressoBold on May 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM
“This “triangulation” strategy of isolating Iran with a TAPI pipeline won’t work for the most basic of reasons: al-Zaawahiri and his AQ henchmen will blow it up and kill the workers, time after time after time. They will suck up more dollars through liberal Democrat ineptitude than all the effective military action accomplished under Dubya. Ignoring that simple, basic fact is folly. F O L L Y ….. a fools errand.
Freeing Iraq and establishing a sound democratically-elected government there was supposed to be the counter to IslamoFacsist Iran, not a stupid pipeline subject to “blood for oil” liberal Democrat policies.”
Well @ ExpressoBold on May 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM

According to US intelligence reports Saddam was the sworn enemy of IslamoFacsist and hated Iran.
but NOW Iran has become the most influential participant of Iraqi politics.

2002 DIA reports
“Saddam’s regime is intensely secular and is wary of Islamic revolutionary movements. Moreover, Baghdad is unlikely to provide assistance to a group it cannot control.”
In April 2002, the DIA assessed that “there was no credible reporting on al-Qa’ida training at Salman Pak or anywhere else in Iraq.

2002 British intelligence report
“We have no intelligence of current cooperation between Iraq and al Qaeda and do not believe that al Qaeda plans to conduct terrorist attacks under Iraqi direction.”

2003 CIA report
“The Intelligence Community has no credible information that Baghdad had foreknowledge of the 11 September attacks or any other al-Qaida strike.”

2003 British intelligence report
In January 2003, British intelligence completed a classified report on Iraq that concluded that “there are no current links between the Iraqi regime and the al-Qaeda network.” The report says “al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden views Iraq’s ruling Ba’ath party as running contrary to his religion, calling it an ‘apostate regime’. ‘His aims are in ideological conflict with present day Iraq.”

2003 Israeli intelligence
In February 2003, Israeli intelligence sources told the Associated Press that no link has been established between Saddam and Al Qaeda. According to the AP story, “A senior Israeli security source told the AP that Israel has not yet found evidence of an Iraqi-Palestinian-Al Qaeda triangle, and that several investigations into possible Al Qaeda ties to Palestinian militias have so far not yielded results.”

2004 Carnegie study
In January 2004, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace scholars Joseph Cirincione, Jessica Tuchman Mathews, and George Perkovich publish their The study WMD in Iraq: Evidence and Implications, which looked into Saddam’s relationship with al-Qaeda concluded that “The most intensive searching over the last two years has produced no solid evidence of a cooperative relationship between Saddam’s government and Al Qaeda.”

2004 9/11 Commission Report
“We have seen no evidence of a collaborative operational relationship. Nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States.”

2004 Senate Report of Pre-war Intelligence on Iraq
Looking at pre-war intelligence on Iraq, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence examined “the quality and quantity of U.S. intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, ties to terrorist groups, Saddam Hussein’s threat to stability and security in the region, and his repression of his own people;” and “the objectivity, reasonableness, independence, and accuracy of the judgments reached by the Intelligence Community”. After examining all the intelligence, the Senate committee concluded that the CIA had accurately assessed that contacts between Saddam Hussein’s regime and members of al-Qaeda “did not add up to an established formal relationship.”

2004 CIA report
In August, the CIA finished another assessment of the question of Saddam’s links to al-Qaeda. This assessment had been requested by the office of the Vice President, who asked specifically that the CIA take another look at the possibility that Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi constituted a link between Saddam and al-Qaeda, as Colin Powell had claimed in his speech to the United Nations Security Council. The assessment concluded that there was no evidence that Saddam Hussein’s regime harbored Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Reporters called the CIA study “the latest assessment that calls into question one of President Bush’s key justifications for last year’s U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.”

2005 update of CIA report
In October 2005, the CIA updated the 2004 report to conclude that Saddam’s regime “did not have a relationship, harbor, or even turn a blind eye toward Mr. Zarqawi and his associates.”

2006 Pentagon study
In February 2006, the Pentagon published a study of the so-called Harmony database documents captured in Afghanistan.[88] While the study did not look specifically at allegations of Iraq’s ties to al-Qaeda, it did analyze papers that offer insight into the history of the movement and tensions among the leadership. In particular, it found evidence that al-Qaeda jihadists had viewed Saddam as an “infidel” and cautioned against working with him.

2006 Senate Report of Pre-War Intelligence
In September 2006, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released two reports constituting Phase II of its study of pre-war intelligence claims regarding Iraq’s pursuit of WMD and alleged links to al-Qaeda. These bipartisan reports included “Findings about Iraq’s WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How they Compare with Prewar Assessments” and “The Use by the Intelligence Community of Information Provided by the Iraqi National Congress”. The reports concluded, according to David Stout of the New York Times, that “there is no evidence that Saddam Hussein had prewar ties to Al Qaeda and one of the terror organization’s most notorious members, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.”

DIA conclusions
According to the SSCI report:
The initial DocEx review focused on searching for WMD related documents, but the DIA also examined the documents for material related to Iraq’s link to terrorism. the DIA “continues to maintain that there was no partnership between the two organizations.”

2007 Pentagon Inspector General Report
In February 2007, the Pentagon’s inspector general issued a report that concluded that Feith’s Office of Special Plans, an office in the Pentagon run by Douglas Feith that was the source of most of the misleading intelligence on al-Qaeda and Iraq, had “developed, produced, and then disseminated alternative intelligence assessments on the Iraq and al Qaida relationship, which included some conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the Intelligence Community, to senior decision-makers.”

The report found that these actions were “inappropriate” though not “illegal.” Senator Carl Levin, Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, stated that “The bottom line is that intelligence relating to the Iraq-al-Qaeda relationship was manipulated by high-ranking officials in the Department of Defense to support the administration’s decision to invade Iraq. The inspector general’s report is a devastating condemnation of inappropriate activities in the DOD policy office that helped take this nation to war.”

Nevertheless, Feith stated that he “felt vindicated” by the report’s conclusion that what he did was only inappropriate and not “unlawful.”

2008 Pentagon report
In March 2008, a Pentagon-sponsored study was released, entitled Saddam and Terrorism: Emerging Insights from Captured Iraqi Documents, based on the review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents captured after the 2003 US invasion. FOX and Friends only allotted 19 seconds to the announcement that the Pentagon has confirmed that there was no link between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. The report, by fox, said in full, “There’s no link between Saddam Hussein’s regime and Al Qaeda, this according to an exhaustive study by the Pentagon. More than 600,000 Iraqi documents captured after the 2002 inva, 2003 invasion, were reviewed. The study is scheduled for release later this week.”

2008 Senate report
In June 2008, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released the final part of its Phase II investigation into the intelligence assessments that led to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq; this part of the investigation looked into statements of members of the Bush Administration and compared those statements to what the intelligence community was telling the Administration at the time. The report concluded that “Statements and implications by the President and Secretary of State suggesting that Iraq and al-Qa’ida had a partnership, or that Iraq had provided al-Qa’ida with weapons training, were not substantiated by the intelligence.”

JustTheFacts on May 4, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Obama’s move may have more to do with protecting Iran than protecting terrorists in Pakistan. Should Israel attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, Obama can say, “Sorry, Netanyahu, I can’t help you out. Our troops across the order in Afghanistan are not allowed to attack Iran.”

Colony14 on May 4, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Obama’s action places U.S. troops in danger. Impeach the b*s&a^d!

Colony14 on May 4, 2012 at 6:49 PM

The rival Pipeline to the TAPI is now targeted as part of the sanctions on Iran. After all, 10 years in Afghanistan has to be of some use and “worth it”.

‘The Iran pipeline, on the other hand, faces the equally deadly American veto. The US, through Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has already floated the threat of sanctions should Pakistan go through with the proposal. The US has also been making use of back channels to put funding for the project into peril. A Chinese bank withdrew its promise of money for the pipeline after quiet US intervention’.

Also reported is US interest in securing for US firms a stake

in constructing the TAPI Pipeline,

‘“A couple of major US oil companies are interested,” said Daniel Stein, senior advisor to the special envoy for Eurasian Energy in the United States. “We would like to see a US company involved at some point in TAPI.” He declined to name the companies. TAPI is considered to be consistent with US’s declared policy of linking Central and South Asia and diversifying export routes for Turkmen gas’…

Turkmen Gas is the Strategic Prize at Stake in Afghanistan

Turkmenistan, which holds more than 4 percent of the world’s natural gas reserves, expects within the next few months to host a new round of talks with participants in the U.S.-backed TAPI project to link Turkmen gas fields with India…

….BP data show Turkmenistan’s natural gas reserves equal to those of Saudi Arabia and behind only Russia

, Iran and Qatar. The Central Asian state supports the pipeline as part of its plans to diversify sales from Soviet-era master Russia.

It aims to supply natural gas from its Galkynysh field, better known by its previous name, South Iolotan, to Pakistan and India. British auditor Gaffney, Cline & Associates has said the gas field is the world’s second-largest.

Robert Blake, TAPI and Afghanistan’s Geopolitical Value.

Further evidence of what is really at stake in Afghanistan was elucidated in a piece by Joshua Kucera for EurasiaNet ( US-We’re for the New Silk Road if it Bypasses Iran,

March 29 2012 ),

This week, Dushanbe hosted the fifth meeting of the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan, and the U.S., as expected, used the occasion to promote its “New Silk Road” vision of a future in which Afghanistan is a hub of commerce between Central and South Asia.

“The region’s wealth of natural resources, nascent trade agreements, and a burgeoning network of transport and energy connections underscore the great economic promise of a more integrated South and Central Asia,” said Robert Blake, assistant secretary of State for Central and South Asia, the U.S.’s senior representative at the meeting. “but achieving greater economic cooperation – the essence of the New Silk Road vision – will not be easy or happen overnight. It will require strong buy-in and coordination by governments in the region, its international partners, and investment from the private sector.

Hence Blake outlines precisely what the US’s interests are in Afghanistan.

Final price talks in May for TAPI pipeline

“A final round of negotiations will be held in the last week of May in Ashgabat to lock down the agreement.”

Trend Magazine

gave some indication as to the real stakes making a complete withdrawal improbable ( TAPI pipeline project to greatly contribute to stability in region 13 April 2012 )

The implementation of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline construction project will make a significant contribution to the stability in the region, expert on energy policy and security, Baku State University (BSU) teacher Bakhtiar Aslanbayli said at the conference “Chicago Summit – new opportunities for Euro-Atlantic Partnership” in Baku today.

Speaking about the contribution of NATO member states and partners in the security and stability in Afghanistan, he emphasized the importance of regional projects.

He added that the intergovernmental agreement in connection with the TAPI pipeline was signed by official representatives of four countries on December 1, 2010.He stressed that in the case of the TAPI implementation, the prospects of the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline will be zero.

He underscored that the close strengthening of economic and political ties between Central Asia and South Asia will lead to further weakening of Russia’s position in the region.

JustTheFacts on May 4, 2012 at 9:41 PM