No official response yet in the US on Friday’s Predator attacks in Pakistan, supposedly targeting Ayman al-Zawahri, that have instead killed 13-18 civilians (see yesterday’s post). This is the second such strike in two weeks. There is no evidence that al-Zawahri was even in the homes that were destroyed. The ISI or CIA is expected to do DNA testing to check, although one Pakistani intelligence official didn’t think it was a good idea. “What do you think, that the families of the victims would let us or the Americans dig the graves of their loved ones for FBI tests? An absolutely crazy idea.”
Three US senators have defended the acts of terrorism.
John McCain (R-Arizona): “We apologize, but I can’t tell you that we wouldn’t do the same thing again. We have to do what we think is necessary to take out al-Qaeda, particularly the top operatives.”
Trent Lott (R-Mississippi): “My information is that this strike was clearly justified by the intelligence..Maybe they should have launched the strike sooner.”
Evan Bayh (D-Indiana): “It’s a regrettable situation, but what else are we supposed to do? It’s like the wild, wild west out there. The Pakistani border is a real problem.”
Both Lott and Bayh are on the Senate Intelligence committee. When asked if they had a problem with illegal, extrajudicial assassination attempts, Lott said, “I’d have a problem if we didn’t do that.”
“I agree wholeheartedly,” Bayh joined in.
|Tens of thousands have taken to the streets around the country, condemning the attacks. In the largest protest, 8,000 marched in Karachi alone. Liberals are joining with religious conservatives, “in a rare gesture of solidarity.”|
One protester, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, called for US withdrawal from Afghanistan and Pakistan, since Washington is a “security threat to the area.”