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Whoever It Is, Let’s Get This Interrogation Over and Gadahn With
Huh. This was exciting news, Sunday afternoon. “Pakistani intelligence officers say they have arrested Adam Gadahn, the American-born spokesman for al-Qaida. Two officers say Gadahn was arrested in the city of Karachi in recent days. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information. Gadahn has been wanted by the FBI since 2004 and two years later was charged with treason. There is a $1 million reward for information leading to his arrest or conviction.”
Turns out, it may not be Gadahn; it might be some other American-born al-Qaeda member. (Just how many are there?) It sounds like some Pakistani sources are still insisting it is Gadahn, while other sources in the U.S. think it’s some other guy with the same profile.
Catching any of these guys is a cheering development for the good guys on the war on terror, but it spotlights a few troubling areas for the administration. If he’s in Pakistani custody, then they’re probably taking the lead on interrogating him. And my guess is, Pakistani intelligence and military probably use techniques that make waterboarding look like a warm bath. So we’ll never waterboard, but we’ll work with allies who use the same techniques or worse. Jobs Americans won’t do! We’re outsourcing!
Of course, if that’s the case, we can only imagine what the ACLU will think about a Democratic administration shrugging its shoulders at a foreign intelligence service torturing an American citizen. They’re already buying full-page ads in the New York Times contending that he’s morphing into George W. Bush.
If this were the Bush administration or the Cheney administration, we know Gadahn, or whovever this is, would be on his way to New York – not Manhattan, but Niagara Falls, so that that we could use the American side of the giant cascade for the greatest waterboarding of all time.
And this, in short, is why it’s tough to trust parties of the left when fighting against an adaptive and ruthless foe. Here’s hoping there are enough intelligence and military professionals who can take whatever has been found when Gadahn/NotGadahn was caught and utilize it; the governing class in Washington will probably be too caught up in a public Hamlet routine of “to interrogate harshly or not to interrogate harshly.” You know the bad guys have spent the last couple days dumping cell phones, changing aliases, erasing e-mail accounts, moving to new locations and attempting to render moot any information he might spill.
Drew M., writing at Ace of Spades: “I wonder if any of the al-Qaida Seven will resign their DoJ positions to defend him. Nah, they can do more to help him where they are.”
Ed Morrissey reaches across the aisle: “Just a thought; it seems as though Pakistan has suddenly become a lot more effective at finding high-value targets in the Af-Pak theater. Has the ISI decided to stamp out the Taliban and/or al-Qaeda? If so, what’s changed? I’d be happy to give Obama credit for it if it’s something the US did.”
Max Boot: “There is a debate raging among Pakistan watchers, inside and outside of government, about the significance of such arrests. Do they indicate that Pakistan has decided to break decisively with the Taliban, a group that the Inter-Services Intelligence has supported for years? Or are they the result of accidents? Or do they perhaps represent some kind of attempt to negotiate a deal between the Taliban and the West? No one knows, but I would say the ‘accidental’ theory is looking less credible. Clearly, the Pakistanis are doing this deliberately, and whatever their motives are, it’s very good news for the NATO war effort in Afghanistan.”