The Taliban’s military commander has been captured in a joint Pakistani-U.S. intelligence raid. A high-five to Langley: this is one serious motherfucking success. Now it’s really important we don’t screw it all up by abusing Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
Apparently Baradar has been in custody since last week and is being interrogated by both the Paks and us. (This is why the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group exists.) The ultimate point of fighting the Taliban is to compel them to give up fighting and accept some version of a post-Taliban order in Afghanistan. Torturing Baradar — which the Pakistanis have been known to do — is counterproductive to that effort. If we treat the guy respectfully, in a demonstrated way, it might spur a reconsideration of Taliban goals. I am not counting any chickens, but any hope of a game-changing possibility will be foreclosed upon if we or our allies torture Baradar. Let’s be smart — and true to Obama’s stated principles/executive order. If there was any doubt whatsoever, the Abdulmutallab case proved we don’t need to torture to get good intelligence.
Last thing. Just weeks ago, American pundits were bemoaning how the Pakistanis weren’t taking any steps to go after the Quetta Shura Taliban. Hopefully they’ll have the decency to apologize to the Pakistanis. This longterm partnership has just paid a big dividend.
Boy, that Barack Obama sure doesn’t know how to deal with terrorism, huh?