Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 9, 2010

POINTING TO PAKISTANI TALIBAN.... A week ago, after the failed car bomb in Times Square, a commander in the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the unsuccessful terrorism. At first, it didn't seem especially credible, and law-enforcement officials said there was nothing to substantiate the claim. The NYT reported on Monday that the group "has a reputation for making far-fetched attempts to take credit for attacks."

Soon after, even Gen. David Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command, characterized the attempted bomber as a "lone wolf" who may not have had any direct contact with Pakistani militants.

A week later, those initial perceptions have changed considerably. Indeed, what was dismissed as unlikely has now become accepted as probable.

In his first Sunday morning interview, Attorney General Eric Holder revealed that the Pakistani Taliban was behind Faisal Shahzad's attempted bombing of Times Square last week.

"We've now developed evidence that shows that the Pakistani Taliban was behind the attack," Holder said on "This Week."

"We know that they helped facilitate it. We know that they probably helped finance it. And that he was working at their direction."

Also this morning, John Brennan, President Barack Obama's counterterrorism chief, told Fox News that it "looks as though" Shahaz was "operating on behalf of" the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

And with that in mind, U.S. officials' pressure on Pakistan will escalate and take on an added sense of urgency.

The Obama administration has delivered new and stiff warnings to Pakistan after the failed Times Square car bombing that it must urgently move against the nexus of Islamic militancy in the country's lawless tribal regions, American and Pakistani officials said.

The American military commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, met with the Pakistani military chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, at his headquarters here on Friday and urged Pakistan to move more quickly in beginning a military offensive against the Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in North Waziristan, Americans and Pakistanis familiar with the visit said. [...]

The Pakistani-American man who admitted to the Times Square attack, Faisal Shahzad, 30, told American investigators that he had received training in North Waziristan, the main base for the Pakistani Taliban, Al Qaeda and other militant groups.

Steve Benen 10:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (18)

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THESE KINDS OF OBAMABOTS just don't get it - we are seeing dur chimpfurher's third term along with endless warmongering.http://thumbsnap.com/2b7NPPKs

Which leads to endless wars - the cost of which is being used to bankrupt the federal treasury, transfer immense wealth to well connected corporations, and, utlimately, will be used to eliminate the most effective federal program of all time - Social Security.

And it will be done by a dem... Thanks obamabots.

Posted by: joe on May 9, 2010 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Oh yeah, we'd be doing so many things differently and better if McCain were President.
If you were for Hillary, well, I always liked her. I just didn't want the righties to play ping-pong-punditry with her and Bill the whole summer and fall of '08, and we lose the election. I knew Obama would not be a flaming lefty and I worked for his campaign despite that - and I'm a flaming lefty.
Woud Hillary have been better? Different? Maybe. But we don't know. Maybe we'll find out in 2012 of '16.
And, joe, if you're arguing for someone else in the Dem or Rep side, let us know who. The R's were all clowns, and D's who I wanted to run, like Feingold, didn't.
Who, joe, would you say would have done a better job? I'm curious...

Posted by: c u n d gulag on May 9, 2010 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Time to give up more of our civil liberties because brown people are so scary!

White guy flies plane into building, kills someone -- no big deal. Brown person fails to kill anyone (shoe bomber, underwear bomber, this guy) -- END OF THE FREAKIN' WORLD!

Posted by: Dems lose huge in 2010 on May 9, 2010 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Those who do not want to learn from others' unpleasant experiences have to learn it the hard way by themselves experiencing the unplesantnesses.

India has been asking the West to put pressure
on Pakistanis to contain the terrorists within its borders for a long time, only to be rebuffed away by USA.

Posted by: gregor on May 9, 2010 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Had you been walking down that avenue and "this guy" had been able to figure out when the big hand was on a certain number and the small hand was on another, then, it might have been the "End of Your Freakin' World".

But, do abolish the military, and feel all warm and cozy and ever soooo safe. But, remember that flag was raised on a certain mountain on Iwo, just so you could have the right to type gibberish.

Posted by: berttheclock on May 9, 2010 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

do abolish the military,

[insert coo-coo noise here}

Posted by: sfx on May 9, 2010 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

cund - so how's that "hopey changy" thing working out for you?!?!?!?!

Morons like you are more caught up WITH THIS KIND OF DEBATE than the issues of the day.

Continue your blind worship or a corporatist whore (and lying liar) if you want - but your exactly the kind of folks the graphic in the links in the first post represents.

Posted by: joe on May 9, 2010 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

India has been asking the West to put pressure
on Pakistanis to contain the terrorists within its borders for a long time, only to be rebuffed away by USA.

Gotta agree. It was the conservatives in the Bush Admin who really pushed against India.

Posted by: Bob M on May 9, 2010 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

President Obama is doing an amazing job since he took over from the bushcheney coup and anyone who calls his supporters "Obamabots" and refers to "hopey changey" sounds too bitter and palinesque to be taken seriously.

Posted by: Cha on May 9, 2010 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

"amazing job" for the corpocracy, cha - right now BP is a glowing example!

Posted by: joe on May 9, 2010 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

A week later, those initial perceptions have changed considerably-- Steve Benen

Probably, not because the perception of the "lone wacko" has *actually* changed among the military, the spook-society, etc. The whole thing was so inept, it's most unlikely Shahzad has had any serious backing behind him.

The official tack has changed, probably, because someone -- belatedly -- got the clever idea to use Shahzad as a pry-bar to push the Pakistani officialdom into action. It'll look a whole lot better if they're seen attacking Taliban, than if we're seen doing it (and killing civilians by the dozen in the process).

Posted by: exlibra on May 9, 2010 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Like I said..you have no credibility..you don't even know what you're talking about..just rattle on..ignoring reality.

Posted by: Cha on May 9, 2010 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

'A week later, those initial perceptions have changed considerably"-- Steve Benen

Yeah, just because it didn't go off doesn't mean he didn't have help. The military doesn't need any excuse to attack the taliban..they brought it on themselves.

Posted by: Cha on May 9, 2010 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you for your response. I feel so much better informed.
I asked you a civil question, and all I got back was that I'm a "moron." You've shown your true colors and proven yourself to be a nasty mental midget who's incapable of supporting his point of view without throwing out insults.
And, let this "moron" correct "joe," the super genious. It's "you're" (a contraction of you and are), not "your."
Here, let me give you an example: "You're" the kind of man who thinks the two M&M's and Jolly Rancher swinging in his chino's are bowling balls and a pin. The rest of the word knows what's really in "your" BVD's, and we're not even talking about the larger peanut M&M's.
That's the end of today's lecture...
Of course, joe, if you want to continue to throw out insult's, you may want to find someone else to fling your poo at. You may be able to dish it out, but I'm not sure you can take it. Feel free to try.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on May 9, 2010 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

If Shahzad is the best thing terrorist groups like the Taliban can throw at the U.S. these days, then I think it's safe to say the war on terror is being won.

Posted by: Tully on May 9, 2010 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

Tully, there is some truth to that but on the other hand, they don't have to succeed very often to kill a lot of people and scare the hell out of a lot more.

Posted by: tanstaafl on May 9, 2010 at 10:44 PM | PERMALINK

Most of the commentors here are really young. What happened to the WashingtonMonthly comments of about 2-3 years ago?

Posted by: weird on May 10, 2010 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

i know this isn't exactly on topic, but i run a blog using the blogengine platform as well and i'm having troubles with my comments displaying. is there a setting i am forgetting? maybe you could help me out? thanx.

Posted by: webcamsex on November 16, 2010 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK



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