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February 20th, 2008
01:09 PM ET

Knocking on the gates of hell

John McCain is firing up the Tough Talk Express, ridiculing Barack Obama on foreign policy, and vowing to follow Osama bin Laden to "the gates of hell."

But tough talk and straight talk don't always match up.

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This summer Obama said the US should go after terrorists in Pakistan with or without President Musharraf's permission: "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will."

McCain referenced it last night, asking "will we risk the confused leadership of an inexperienced candidate who once suggested bombing our ally, Pakistan?"

Problem is, Obama never suggested bombing Pakistan our ally, just Al Qaeda strongholds IN Pakistan - something the Bush CIA just did.

The Washington Post reported yesterday that in late January the CIA took out a senior al Qaeda operative in Pakistan without informing the government there: "Having requested the Pakistani government's official permission for such strikes on previous occasions, only to be put off or turned down, this time the U.S. spy agency did not seek approval."

After a failed air strike in Pakistan directed at Al Qaeda number two Ayman al Zawahiri in 2006, McCain himself said, "We have to do what we think is necessary to take out al Qaeda, particularly the top operatives."

Except, apparently, when doing what it takes gets in the way of a good political attack line.

-Steve Turnham, 360° Producer


Filed under: AC360° Staff • Raw Politics
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