According to ABC’s The Blotter the Pakistani government of Pervez Musharraf has, in essence, offered Osama bin Laden safe harbor within its borders as part of a peace deal that cedes control of tribal areas in mountainous Waziristan, along the Afghanistan border, to Taliban forces.
According to a Pakistani general, bin Laden “would not be taken into custody … as long as [he] is being like a peaceful citizen.”
How’s the War on Terror going? Five years after 9/11, the mastermind of the attacks is still at large, the Taliban army that gave him a surrogate nation state from which to launch his attacks is now the law of the land in Northwest Pakistan, and as far as our erstwhile ally is concerned, bin Laden is welcome to make himself at home there?
“The Taliban and al Qaeda leadership have effectively carved out a sanctuary inside Pakistan,” former counter-terror czar Richard Clarke told ABC.
Is the Bush Doctrine no longer in effect? What happened to making no distinction between terrorists and the states that shelter them? Where is the president who said: “Anybody who harbors terrorists needs to fear the United States and the rest of the free world. Anybody who houses a terrorist, encourages terrorism will be held accountable.”
Why aren’t we leading an international force to uproot the Taliban and Al Qaeda from their mountain perch, or making Pakistan pay “a heavy price” for standing with the terrorists?