The Baradar Capture Timeline and the GOP Attack on Obama’s Security Policies
According to the AP, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s deputy commander and military leader, was captured in Pakistan ten days ago, which would be on or about February 6. Since then, as Adam Serwer reminds us, a former Bush speechwriter, Marc Thiessen, chided President Obama for not capturing enough terrorists. (Soon afterward, he got a column in The Washington Post.) Dick Cheney, quite naturally, told ABC News that the Obama administration was “slow” to reach “that recognition that we are at war, not dealing with criminal acts.” Add to that additional politicized criticism from Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), Newt Gingrich and even former Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) beat the buzzer by a few days, but the entirety of the GOP attack has been to establish in the media bloodstream the narrative that Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing on counterterrorism. All of this happened while the Obama administration and its Pakistani partners had unquestionably the most important Taliban prisoner in the eight-year Afghanistan war in their custody. Simultaneously, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be bomber of Northwest Airlines Flight 253, cooperated with interrogators after his Mirandization and humane treatment. And add to the mix this weekend’s new Afghanistan offensive in Marja. Is there any aspect of the conservative critique of Obama on national security that bears any resemblance to reality at all?