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War Blog By: FrontPage Magazine
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, June 13, 2008


DEMOCRATS HIRE RADICAL ISLAMIC GROUP TO REGISTER VOTERS - FRAUD ENSUES

By Charles Johnson

A group hired by the Democratic Party to register voters is in trouble for vote fraud in Louisiana: State probes voter registration drive — Baton Rouge, LA.

Secretary of State Jay Dardenne said Tuesday he will meet today with a Democrat-affiliated group responsible for a voter registration effort that is inundating East Baton Rouge and other parish registrars with bogus and incomplete applications.

Dardenne said his investigators are trying to determine if any state election laws have been violated as thousands of voter registration cards have been dumped on registrars offices through the efforts of VIP. “We have some very real concerns about the data we are getting from them,” Dardenne said.

VIP is a Washington, D.C., group hired by national Democrats to register some 70,000 new voters in advance of the presidential and other federal elections this fall.

“With an effort this big there’s always going to be glitches and problems along these lines,” said Brian Welsh, communications director for the Democrats’ Louisiana Victory 2008.

So who is “VIP?”

VIP is an operation run by the Muslim American Society, a front group for the jihad movement known as the Muslim Brotherhood. But don’t take my word for it; here’s a detailed report on the Muslim American Society from the Investigative Project.

Are the Democrats so desperate to get Barack Obama elected that they’ll climb into bed with one of the most notorious radical Islamic groups in the world—a group that is openly dedicated to destroying Western civilization and establishing a global caliphate?

It would seem so.

Here’s an LGF search with much more information about the Muslim American Society, their support for suicide bombings and jihad, and their connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. Thursday, June 12, 2008

http://littlegreenfootballs.com

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U.S. LOSES THE BOUMEDIENE CASE

By Paul Mirengoff

As expected, the Supreme Court has ruled by a vote of 5-4 against the government in the Boumediene case. In essence, as I understand it, the Court decided that the Military Commissions Act of 2006 is unconstitutional. Apparently, Justice Kennedy and his four liberal colleagues concluded that denying federal court jurisdiction over detainee habeas claims amounts to an unconstitutional suspension of the detainees' habeas rights.

Kennedy's opinion and the dissents by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia can be found here.

UPDATE: Justice Scalia characterizes the decision this way:

Today, for the first time in our Nation’s history, the Court confers a constitutional right to habeas corpus on alien enemies detained abroad by our military forces in the course of an ongoing war.

It strikes me as odd to confer such a right, but then I haven't read Justice Kennedy's opinion yet.

As a general matter, the fact that al Qaeda and other groups have decided to wage an extended war against the U.S. places us in the position of having, in a variety of contexts, to balance our concerns about national security against our desire to protect individual rights. The political branches may well tend to err on the side of vindicating security concerns. This may be particularly true of the executive branch, which contains the military services. These services exist above all to protect the nation's security, and are trained accordingly.

The Supreme Court has assumed the role of ultimate arbiter of competing claims of security interests and individual rights interests. For the reasons noted above, there's a case to be made for having such an arbiter. The problem is that judges (i.e., ex-lawyers) are no better positioned fairly to balance the competing interests than the political branches are. These days, lawyers are trained to obsess over individual rights and access to legal process. They have no expertise in national security issues and are not answerable to the electorate for failure to pay sufficient attention to security concerns.

Even before the recent spate of court rulings in this area, then, there was every reason to suppose that judges would err on the side of granting rights and process to our enemies. This likelihood increases with every year in which (thanks to the aggressive measures taken by the executive branch to protect our security) we have not been attacked at home.

It is the natural tendency of judges to rule in favor of extending legal process, coupled with the success of the administration in protecting the nation from attack, that probably explains why Justice Kennedy and his four liberal colleagues took the unprecedented step of conferring a constitutional right to habeas corpus on alien enemies detained abroad by our military forces in the course of an ongoing war.

MORE: Here is an excerpt from Chief Justice Roberts' dissent:

Today the Court strikes down as inadequate the most generous set of procedural protections ever afforded aliens detained by this country as enemy combatants. The political branches crafted these procedures amidst an ongoing military conflict, after much careful investigation and thorough debate. The Court rejects them today out of hand, without bothering to say what due process rights the detainees possess, without explaining how the statute fails to vindicate those rights, and before a single petitioner has even attempted to avail himself of the law's operation. And to what effect? The majority merely replaces a review system designed by the people's representatives with a set of shapeless procedures to be defined by federal courts at some future date. One cannot help but think, after surveying the modest practical results of the majority's ambitious opinion, that this decision is not really about the detainees at all, but about control of federal policy regarding enemy combatants.

Indeed.  Thursday, June 12, 2008 

www.powerlineblog.com

*

ANWR

By Glenn McCoy


www.townhall.com/funnies

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AT THE OFFICIAL OBAMA SITE: THE CRAZY IS STILL EVERYWHERE

By Charles Johnson

Still posted all over the my.barackobama.com web site: dozens of 9/11 conspiracy blogs, Communists, and antisemites.

Here are some of the 9/11 Troof blogs that we’ve pointed out several times; the administrators have deleted many of the ones we’ve noted, but for some reason these blogs, promoting an ugly conspiracy theory that denies the reality of 9/11 and suggests that either the US government or Israel are responsible for the attacks, are being allowed to remain.

Barack Obama : : Change We Can Believe In | Michael Morrissey’s Blog: 9/11 Truth

Barack Obama : : Change We Can Believe In | Why is this not being discussed?: Please watch these films on 9/11

Barack Obama : : Change We Can Believe In | Dylan Hudson’s Blog: 9/11 coincidences

Also still posted: a blog that lavishes praise on unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers, calling him a “great American” and a “true patriot,” in the company of Thomas Jefferson.

Barack Obama : : Change We Can Believe In | Martin Perlmutter’s Blog: Bill Ayers, Great American

Outright communists are also still welcome there.

Barack Obama : : Change We Can Believe In | Adam Roberts’s Blog: The Nature of the Proletariat

Barack Obama : : Change We Can Believe In | Marxists/Socialists/Communists for Obama

And posts ranting about the “Jewish Lobby” are also still all over the place.

Barack Obama : : Change We Can Believe In | The People of Palestine Need a Bill of Rights too ...: The Israel Lobby: Bad for The World

Barack Obama : : Change We Can Believe In | zhunjunga’s Blog: Zionism V. Judaism: Important Info from Clearing House (this one links to one of the most hateful radical left conspiracy sites on the web, Information Clearing House)

Barack Obama : : Change We Can Believe In | Government of, by, and for The Israel Lobby: ‘The Israel Lobby: AIPAC’ 1-5

You don’t even need to look very hard to find this stuff. It’s everywhere.

CAIR SEETHING AT BARACK OBAMA, DEMANDING ACTION ON 'ISLAMOPHOBIA'

By Charles Johnson

The Saudi-funded, Hamas-linked radical Islamic front group calling itself the Council on American Islamic Relations is unhappy with Barack Obama—because he’s not doing enough about a nonexistent invented “phobia:” Obama aides grilled in Dearborn.

And because he says he supports Israel. They’re really hoping that Obama will be the one who brings about change, i.e. the criminalization of criticism of Islam, and the destruction of Israel.

Notice: yet another mainstream news article about CAIR that does not even mention their extensive ties to terrorist groups, history of extremism, or status as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas funding trial.

It was immediately apparent at the 90-minute meeting at the University of Michigan-Dearborn that Obama has some work to do, as he and the presumptive Republican nominee, U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, battle for votes in ethnic and religious communities that are “in play” in the 2008 election — including the three large communities in Metro Detroit.

First, some who attended the get-together Tuesday said, there was Obama’s speech last week to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a pro-Israel advocacy group, in which he called for an undivided Jerusalem under Israeli control.

The three Obama aides who attended the meeting also were challenged about the perception that he fails to denounce Islamophobia, even when he points out publicly that he has been targeted by prejudiced Internet bloggers, in particular, who continue to assert that he is Muslim.

“We are waiting for him to decry this Islamophobia as anti-American, just as anti-Semitism is anti-American,” said Dawud Walid, of the Council on American Islamic Relations. “To simply say that he is a Christian and not to criticize Islamophobia is akin to passively supporting Islamophobia. He has to address publicly the roots of these concerns.”

GADDAFI WORRIED ABOUT OBAMA, ANGRY ABOUT SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL

By Charles Johnson

The craziest Middle Eastern dictator never disappoints: Gaddafi attacks Obama on Israel.

Libya’s leader has strongly criticised US presidential candidate Barack Obama for saying Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel.

Col Muammar Gaddafi said he was either ignorant of the Middle East conflict or lying to boost his campaign.

Referring to him as “our Kenyan brother”, Col Gaddafi also said Mr Obama might suffer from an inferiority complex because of his African origins.

The issue of race could make Mr Obama’s behaviour “more white than white people”, Col Gaddafi suggested, rather than acting in solidarity with African and Arab nations.

Mr Gaddafi suggested Mr Obama’s comments may have been informed by a fear of assassination by Israeli agents, “the same fate as [former US President John F] Kennedy when he promised to look into Israel’s nuclear programme”.  Thursday, June 12, 2008

http://littlegreenfootballs.com

*

FIGHTING "SMEARS," SELECTIVELY

By John Hinderaker

The Obama campaign has set up a web site called Fight the Smear, dedicated to debunking alleged "smears" about the candidate. Coverage of the site has been overwhelmingly positive. The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza, a Democrat, writes:

[T]he sheer level of misinformation/whispers/innuendo is FAR higher as it relates to Obama than any candidate in recent memory. ***

Given the seeming determination of some people to traffic in negative and false information about Obama, there is a far larger burden on Obama than on previous presidential candidates to fight back hard and quickly.

The Associated Press is similarly sympathetic to Obama:

The site is a response to the realities of a brave new world, where information travels 24 hours a day on blogs and voters are increasingly turning to the Internet for information. It's a particular problem for Obama, a relative newcomer to national politics who is still unknown to many voters and has been the target of persistent misinformation campaigns online.

Actually, the politician who has been most targeted by "misinformation/whispers/innuendo" on the web has undoubtedly been President Bush. Maybe he should have put up a "Fight the Smear" web site a long time ago. Somehow, though, I doubt that it would have been greeted with the same enthusiasm.

No one, least of all us, is in favor of smears, so a lot of what appears on Obama's site is easy to applaud. The site effectively disputes the claim that Michelle Obama railed against "whitey" at the Trinity Church. That rumor, apparently started by the Clinton campaign, should now be regarded as false. Likewise, Obama has now made his birth certificate public; there is nothing odd about it.

The problem with Obama's site is the issues it doesn't address. Thus, Obama's debunking of the "whitey" tape appears under the heading, "The truth about Michelle." But what about the other questions that have been raised about Michelle Obama, such as her claim to have been proud of her country for the first time when her husband ran for President? The "truth about Michelle" is very much in doubt.

Similarly, another "smear" is the claim that "Obama's Books Contain Racially Incendiary Remarks." This "smear" is disproved by quoting several emails that are either false or out of context, none of which I had ever seen. The fact is, though, that Obama's books do include racially incendiary comments--for example, Obama's account of how he was inspired to join Trinity Church by hearing Rev. Wright preach that "white folks' greed runs a world in need." So Obama's debunking, while not false as to the instances it addresses, is misleading.

The site proclaims that "Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian." I've seen what appears to be credible evidence that Obama was raised as a Muslim as a boy, during the time he lived in Indonesia. But that is of little importance. What concerns me, and millions of others, is not the idea that Obama could be a Muslim--he clearly is not--but rather the fact that the religion to which he was drawn as a young man, and in which he participated for twenty years, is not Christian at all. Rather, Rev. Wright preached hatred, paranoia and racism, the opposite of Christianity, and for twenty years, Obama treated Wright as a spiritual mentor. This is, obviously, a legitimate concern which Obama's "smear" site does not address.

It will be interesting to see what "smears" Obama chooses to rebut as the campaign continues, and whether he ever uses this site to respond to the many legitimate concerns that have been raised about him and his candidacy.  Thursday, June 12, 2008

A FULLY PARTISAN, LESS THAN FULLY HONEST REPORT, PART FOUR

By Paul Mirengoff

I’ve written several times about the flawed report by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence as to “whether public statements regarding Iraq by U.S. government officials were substantiated by intelligence.” Regrettably, the same Committee has also issued a flawed (and bizarre) report on intelligence “relating to Iraq” conducted by a unit “within the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.” That Undersecretary of Defense happens to have been Douglas Feith.

Readers may recall that the Defense Department’s Inspector General (IG) issued a report on the Department of Defense's effort, led by Feith, to provide its own analysis of intelligence reports, an analysis that caused DoD to challenge the CIA's dogmatic conviction that Saddam's "secular" Iraq could never cooperate with Islamic militants. The IG concluded that the DoD's efforts were neither illegal nor unauthorized, but somehow were "improper." John showed here, here, and here how ridiculous, and flatly inaccurate, the Inspector General’s work was.

Not surprisingly, though, the IG’s report was much celebrated by Democrats on Capitol Hill. Following its issuance, the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Rockefeller, stated that it appeared the activities of Feith’s office were “not in compliance with the law.” Previously, he had accused Feith of “running a private intelligence [operation].” The press reported that Rockefeller had vowed to pursue in his Committee the issues raised by the IG. Rockefeller himself announced that the IG’s work was no substitute for an investigation by that Committee. In a sense, this was an understatement – the IG admitted to Sen. Warner that he had failed to interview key individuals.

Astonishingly, however, the Committee’s report on the intelligence conducted by Feith’s office steers clear of the issue raised by the IG – namely, the Defense Department’s independent analysis of the data gathered by the intelligence agencies and its disagreement with some of the CIA’s conclusions. In fact, according to the minority views of Senators Bond, Chambliss, Hatch, and Burr, Rockefeller elected not to pursue the IG’s allegations.

Considering the absurdity of the IG’s premise that recommendations by a policy office like Feith’s can be described as “intelligence activities,” Rockefeller’s decision not to investigate this matter seems commendable. But unfortunately, in their pursuit of Feith, Rockefeller and his fellow Democrats on the Committee chose an even less roadworthy vehicle -- an investigation into “the Rome meetings.”

The term “Rome meetings” conjures up images of Popes and Holy Roman Emperors deciding the fate of Europe or, at a minimum, images from The Godfather Part Three. The meetings in question here were somewhat less portentous. In this case, our friend Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute and two DoD employees met with a few Iranian exiles and an Iranian intelligence officer who expressed an interest in defecting. The purpose of the meetings from the U.S. standpoint was to obtain accurate information about what was going on in Iran. The CIA was not involved because the defector said he did not want to deal with it.

You have probably noticed that, even though the Committee says its report is “on intelligence activities relating to Iraq,” the Rome meetings related instead to Iran. In addition, although the Committee purports to be reporting on intelligence activities “by the Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group (PCTEG) and the Office of Special Plans (OSP) within the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy (OOUDP),” the Rome meetings had basically nothing to do with these organizations. OSP did not even exist when the Rome meetings took place. The PCTEG existed, but was a two person operation involved in other work, and neither of its employees participated in Rome. Of the two DoD employees who did participate, one never worked in the OOUDP. The other did join OSP (and therefore the OOUDP), but only after his involvement in the Rome meetings had ended.

You would think that, having strayed so far off-topic, the Intelligence Committee must have been pursuing real wrongdoing. You would be wrong. The Committee’s report concluded that there was nothing unlawful about DoD’s role in, or conduct during, the Rome meetings. For example, the Committee found that “Deputy National Security Advisor Hadley and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz acted within their authorities in directing DoD personnel to attend the Rome meeting.

The Committee majority does conclude that certain actions associated with the Rome meetings were “inappropriate.” As Senators Bond, Chambliss, Hatch, and Burr state: “After four years of making unsubstantiated allegations of unlawful activities, the calculus appears to be that proclamations of ‘inappropriate’ behavior will generate the desired headlines” and obscure “the lack of substance or lack of evidence behind them.”

If anything, the four dissenting Senators are being kind. The flaws in the majority’s report include the following:

The Committee finds that Steve Hadley “failed” to provide Deputy Secretary of State Armitage with “significant details” regarding the Rome meetings. But the Committee never bothered to interview Armitage or Hadley (it also failed to interview one of the two DoD employees who actually participated in the Rome meetings). Hadley’s position, apparently, is that he told Armitage and CIA Director Tenet what he knew, but didn’t know much because the meetings were merely exploratory.

The Committee accuses Ledeen of fabricating the claim that the Iranians didn't want the CIA involved. The Committee’s only evidence in support of this charge is that the issue of CIA involvement didn’t come up during the Rome meetings. But of course (and as the DoD explained to the Committee) the fact that it didn’t come up during the meetings themselves hardly proves that the Iranians hadn’t previously voiced this concern. The intellectual dishonesty of the Committtee majority here is apparent.

The Committee finds that the information obtained at the Rome meetings was never processed or placed into proper intelligence channels. But the body of its report shows this conclusion to be untrue. The information was referred to the DIA which, in turn, referred it to the CIA. The CIA determined that no further contact was warranted or advisable.

Whatever the wisdom of that determination, it’s clear that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s decision to spend taxpayer dollars to produce its shoddy report about, at best, a footnote to a footnote was neither warranted nor advisable.

JOHN adds: This is the kind of nonsense the Democrats have been obsessed with, while the price of gasoline has risen to $4 a gallon on their watch.  Wednesday, June 11, 2008 

www.powerlineblog.com

*

COME HOME TO CHICAGO...

By Ed Morrissey

Where should the DNC go now that they have a nominee? Apparently they have decided that Chicago feels more like home, as the Democrats hope to consolidate efforts between the DNC and the Barack Obama campaign. Does it bother them that the Beltway looks clean in comparison?

In a major shakeup at the Democratic National Committee — and a departure from tradition — large parts of the committee’s operations are relocating to Chicago to be fully integrated with the Obama campaign.

The DNC’s political department, housed in Washington, D.C., will be dramatically rebuilt, with staffers offered a choice of moving to Chicago, joining state operations, or staying in Washington, DNC spokeswoman Karen Finney said.

But the power will clearly be shifting to a centralized Chicago hub.

Of course, Democrats may feel that Chicago’s style of politics suits them much better than DC. With the Rezko trial showing massive corruption in state politics, the Republicans might think so as well.

Will Governor Rod Blagojevich get indicted while the Democrats run their 2008 campaign? That should make for a great environment for hope and change.

THE FREE TRADE EXPRESS

By Ed Morrissey

Jim Geraghty notices that John McCain has decided to engage in what could be called the Free Trade Express, or perhaps the America Will Keep Its Word Express. With Barack Obama criticizing NAFTA and demanding a renegotiation with Canada, and rejecting the Colombian free-trade agreement out of hand, McCain will attempt to reassure those American partners that he will strengthen ties rather than unravel them. McCain travels to both nations this summer to directly engage their citizens on America’s behalf:

Republican presidential nominee John McCain has sought and received an invitation to Ottawa to give a speech next week on free trade.

The Vietnam war hero’s presence in Canada’s national capital and his choice of subject matter is bound to revive controversy over the so-called NAFTA-gate affair, which embarrassed his Democratic rival, Barack Obama, earlier this year. …

Republican candidate John McCain will visit Colombia in July, according to a report in the country’s largest daily newspaper, El Tiempo, that was confirmed by Fox News.

The report says the Arizona senator’s one-day trip will include stops in Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena; he has plans to meet with President Alvaro Uribe to talk about trade and other issues of importance to Latin America. Colombia’s trade minister, Luis Guillermo Plata, was in Washington this week pushing for the stalled trade deal with the U.S., but Democratic lawmakers have made it clear they want to see a drop in violence in the country before approving the agreement.

This is a smart move. It makes McCain look presidential, gets him out of the country, and supporting free-trade initiatives in a high-profile manner. Especially in Colombia, this could help advance the interests of both nations. The agreement with the Uribe government may not be dead yet, and McCain could raise the profile of the treaty and put pressure on Congress to open the market to American businesses, especially with the economy struggling at the moment.

Canada gives the McCain campaign an opportunity to re-open the NAFTA Dance. He doesn’t even have to explicitly mention it; the press will provide the context of the Obama campaign’s attempt to play both ends of the protectionist street. McCain can present himself as a stalwart on free trade and gain considerable air time as the first presidential nominee to give a speech in Canada during an election campaign.  Thursday, June 12, 2008

http://hotair.com

*

AGENT FOR CHANGE


By Chip Bok


www.townhall.com/funnies

*

Map of Iraq. Click to view.

The Iraqi government is expanding its operations in the South into the Sadrist and Mahdi Army stronghold in Maysan province, according to reports.

"Maysan witnessed on Thursday the arrival of large numbers of national police forces from Baghdad and Iraqi army troops from Basrah," a source in the province told Voices of Iraq. "The operation includes pursuing person wanted for judiciary authorities, removing all excesses, searching for medium and heavy weapons and evacuating government buildings" illegally occupied by political parties and movements.

Iraqi forces are said to be massing at the military airport outside of Amarah, the provincial capital. Police are said to establishing checkpoints along the roads entering the province.

An operation in Maysan was predicted by Nibras Kazimi on May 24. "Arrest warrants for Maysan officials are being prepared, and intelligence is being gathered about other Sadrist leaders who have gone into hiding there," Kazimi said, noting the province has long been a safe haven for the Mahdi Army and the Sadrist movement, and heavily influenced by Iran's Qods Force.

Maysan is a strategic link for the Ramazan Corps, the Iranian military command set up by Qods Force to direct operations inside Iraq. Amarah serves as the Qods Force / Ramazan Corps forward command and control center inside Iraq as well as one of the major distribution points for weapons in southern Iraq.

The Iraqi security forces have stepped up operations against the Ramazan Corps and the Mahdi Army in the southern provinces over the past several months. Operation Knights' Assault was launched against the Mahdi Army in Basrah on March 25. After six days of heavy fighting, the Mahdi Army pushed for a ceasefire. The Iraqi security forces also dealt the Mahdi Army a heavy blow in the southern provinces of Najaf, Karbala, Qassadiyah, and Wasit.

The Iraqi security forces and the US military also confronted the Mahdi Army in Sadr City in Baghdad. After six weeks of heavy fighting, the Mahdi Army and the Iraqi government signed a ceasefire that allowed the military to enter Sadr City uncontested.

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2008/06/iraqi_police_conduct.php
During the month of May, the Iraqi security forces expanded operations throughout Basrah province in Az Zubayr, Al Qurnah, and Abu Al Khasib along the Iranian border. This week, an operation kicked off in Dhi Qhar province, which borders Maysan to the south.

Activity in Wasit province

With Iraqi forces massing in Maysan, activity has picked up in Wasit province, which borders Maysan to the north. Police reportedly arrested Sheikh Hussein Yassin Ubaid al Attabi, a senior member of the Sadrist movement in Al Kut.

Meanwhile, Coalition forces captured an "Iranian-trained weapons smuggler" in Al Kut. US and Iraqi forces have captured six senior Special Groups leaders in Wasit province since June 3.

The Mahdi Army has stepped up attacks in Wasit province. Two policemen were killed and three were wounded in a roadside bombing attack in Al Kut. Three civilians were wounded in a separate roadside bomb attack.

In Basrah, Iraqi Special Operations Forces captured a "Special Groups criminal ... involved in the kidnapping and killing of Iraqi Army soldiers and murder of Iraqi civilians."

US MILITARY: CLASH ON AFGHAN-PAKISTANI BORDER WAS WITH TALIBAN


Strike footage of the clash along the Afghan-Pakistan border

The US military has released footage from a unmanned aerial vehicle detailing the controversial June 10 battle against Taliban forces right on the Afghan-Pakistani border. The US military maintains it fired at Taliban forces, while the Pakistani government continues to maintain US airstrikes targeted an outpost manned by the Frontier Corps and killed Pakistani paramilitary troops.

The US military said the clash began in Kunar province, less than 200 yards from the Pakistani border near the Garparai checkpoint. The fighting, which lasted for three hours, moved across the border as US warplanes pursued the Taliban as they retreated into Pakistan's Mohmand tribal agency.

The video details a squad of Taliban fighters occupying a fighting position on a ridgeline right across the border from Pakistan's Mohmand tribal agency. Coalition forces, likely a Special Forces team operating to interdict Taliban fighters crossing the border, were on a “reconnaissance mission” on the border when they took fire from the Taliban position.

The Taliban can be seen engaging US forces with small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. Coalition forces attempted to break contact with the Taliban and reach an extraction point where they could be picked up from a helicopter.

After 45 minutes of fighting, a Warrior Alpha unmanned aerial vehicle arrived to survey the fighting and provide imagery to direct air and artillery support. Twelve guided bombs were dropped on the Taliban forces as they fled the ridgeline and attempted to move to safety across the border into Pakistan. Seven Taliban fighters were confirmed killed in the fighting. "At no time did Coalition ground forces cross into Pakistan," the US military stated.

The US military repeatedly stated that no "military structures or outposts" were in the vicinity of the bombings, refuting the Pakistani military's statements that a paramilitary Frontier Corps outpost inside Pakistan was hit. The Pakistani military said 11 of its paramilitaries, including an officer, were killed in an airstrike.

The Pakistani government maintains the US military struck a paramilitary outpost in Mohmand. A Pakistani military spokesman "condemned this completely unprovoked and cowardly act on the post and regretted the loss of precious lives of our soldiers."

"A strong protest has been launched by the Pakistan Army and we reserve the right to protect our citizens and soldiers against aggression," the spokesman continued.

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and members of parliament condemned the attack. "No one will be allowed to carry out such attacks in Pakistan," Gilani said. The US ambassador was summoned to speak to the Pakistani foreign minister on June 11. The United Nations has begun to investigate the incident.

Cross-border incidents likely to continue as Pakistan abdicates control of its borders to the Taliban

The June 10 incident highlights the deteriorating situation along the Afghan-Pakistan border, particularly in Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas and the settled districts of the Northwest Frontier Province. The Pakistani government continues to negotiate “peace agreements” with the Taliban.

This year, the government signed peace deals in Swat, Bajaur, Malakand, and Mohmand. Negotiations are under way in Kohat and Mardan. The Taliban are not required to halt cross-border attacks, and Taliban leaders have stated they would continue to conduct strikes in Afghanistan. Also, in the case of the North Waziristan agreement, al Qaeda fighters are allowed to remain in the region "as long as they pledge to remain peaceful."

The loyalty of the Pakistani security forces has also come into question. A recent study by the RAND Corporation said Pakistan security forces, particularly the paramilitary Frontier Corps, and its intelligence services are aiding the Taliban in conducting attacks inside Afghanistan.

As the security situation along the border further destabilizes, US and Afghan forces will be forced to strike along the border to prevent infiltration of Pakistani Taliban forces.  Thursday, June 12, 2008

www.longwarjournal.org




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