the months after the tragic attacks of 9/11, President
Bush told the American people that he had "no
ambition whatsoever to use [the War on Terror]
as a political issue." But according to a new
report, the Bush Administration is now demanding
that international allies coordinate the arrest
of al Qaeda terrorists to coincide with key U.S.
political events, so as to maximize political
benefits for the President.
to the New Republic, top Pakistani intelligence
officials have confirmed that the Bush Administration
is demanding the Pakistani government find as
many "high value" terrorist targets specifically
before Americans go to the polls in November.
By contrast, no similar urgent push or "timetable"
was discussed in 2002 or 2003. Even more troubling,
Pakistani sources admit White House aides told
the Pakistani Director of Intelligence that "it
would be best if the arrest or killing of [any
high value terrorist target] were announced on
twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July"
- the first three days of the Democratic National
Convention in Boston.
report calls into question whether key military
decisions were affected by similar political motivations
during the last three years. For instance, during
2002 and 2003 when al Qaeda was regrouping along
the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, the Bush administration
refused calls to seriously increase operations
there. Only in March of 2004 - once the Presidential
election campaign had begun -- did the President
finally announce "stepped up efforts" in Afghanistan
to find bin Laden.
1. "Republicans, Democrats seek political returns
on 9/11, terror war," TwinCities.com, 4/01/04,
2. "Pakistan for Bush. July Surprise?," New Republic,
3. "U.S. military announces new operation in Afghanistan,"
USA Today, 3/13/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=44447.
Posted: July 17, 2004