Friday, July 30, 2004

Two weeks ago The New Republic reported that the Bush administration was putting pressure on Pakistan to provide high-profile terrorist captures in time before the election. One specific source said the administration asked Pakistan to announce a capture this week to steal media coverage from the Democratic National Convention:

Lieutenant General Ehsan ul-Haq, informed tnr that the Pakistanis "have been told at every level that apprehension or killing of [High Value Targets] before [the] election is [an] absolute must." What's more, this source claims that Bush administration officials have told their Pakistani counterparts they have a date in mind for announcing this achievement: "The last ten days of July deadline has been given repeatedly by visitors to Islamabad and during [ul-Haq's] meetings in Washington." Says McCormack: "I'm aware of no such comment." But according to this ISI official, a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that "it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] [terrorist High Value Targets] were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July"--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

Last night, hours before John Kerry's acceptance speech to the convention, Pakistan announced the capture of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, "the first high-level arrest resulting from military operations that Pakistan began ... five months ago."

I'm no fan of conspiracy theories, but sometimes its hard not to connect the dots.


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