So, I’m with Dick Cheney that President Obama’s Afghanistan strategy seems to be good policy (even if the results have yet to bare fruit in terms of the country’s long term success). It appears that a joint raid with Pakistan yielded the number two guy in the Taliban. This is a big deal and kind of weird that its not bigger news.
Legal Insurrection asks the obvious question: “Did the U.S. deliberately not take possession of Baladar so as to avoid the now-thorny issue of Baradar’s right to counsel and to remain silent?” I think we know the answer. Its also why this administration, much like the last two presidents, didn’t want to give up the tool of rendition. Like it or not, we do hand over certain terrorists to other countries (Saudi Arabia for example) with the express knowledge of what they will do to extract information. There can be no doubt that this is the case here.
I admit that I’m a little uncomfortable with this policy (regardless of whose in office) but if this guy somehow yields Mullah Omar, or even Osama bin Laden, then the Obama administration will have scored a HUGE victory against the bad guys. And all the lefties who will be beating their chest that their guy did what Bush couldn’t do will happily ignore that it was Bush-like policies that may have delivered the goods.
Bottom line, this is good (if ethically uncomfortable) news but lets talk like adults and acknowledge that he’s in Pakistan and not an Afghanistan NATO base or in transit to Guantanamo because the Pakistanis are not concerned with Geneva. They are well aware that the western press only cares about torture, or any facsimile thereof, when its committed by Americans. This is the uncomfortable fact that Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is learning first hand.
(as is often the case, original story came from the professor)
UPDATE: As usual, Andrew Sullivan has the blinders on. As I said, the lefties (and whatever Sullivan gets classified as) will ignore that torture was almost certainly involved if this guy gives up Osama or Mullah Omar.