January 23rd, 2009
02:31 PM ET

One-two combo on terror?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/23/art.pakistan.protest.jpg caption="Tribesmen and activists of Pakistani Islamist party, Jamaat-i-Islami, shout during a demonstration in Islamabad on January 23, demanding an end to Pakistan military operations and US missile attacks against Taliban militants in lawless areas bordering Afghanistan."]
Suzanne Simons
CNN Executive Producer

Politically, it looked like the perfect one-two combination. Just hours after President Obama signs an executive order mandating the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility (the jab), the U.S. launches a double missile strike against targets in Pakistan (the right hook). Just as the skeptics were grumbling that the order to close Guantanamo and other secret CIA prisons meant the new Administration was "soft on terror," Wham! Hellfire from above.

The strikes that killed at least 17 people made me think of a question posed yesterday by a trusted source, who also happens to be a former top official at the CIA. We were talking about the President's desire to close the detention facilities and what implications that could have. He asked me a very pointed question: Why is it that people do so much hand-wringing over what to do with detention facilities for terror suspects, but nobody bats an eyelash over a missile strike?

Interesting question.

The CIA won't comment on the missile strikes in Pakistan's tribal region along the Afghan border, the area where officials believe that Osama bin Laden himself is in hiding, but there are no doubt many sides to the fighting terror story. Intelligence operatives often risk their lives to capture suspects or gather intelligence about where they may be hiding; rendition operations cause political problems; the government has to walk the tightrope of protecting both its citizens against terror attacks and a suspect's human rights. But there were no such issues for the seventeen people killed in a remote corner of Pakistan. No detention facility, no questions for the media to ponder over what to do with detainees, and indeed no guarantee that those killed were all terrorist suspects. The knock-out punch has been delivered.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Guantanomo Bay • Pakistan • Suzanne Simons
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Nabweekly.ca

    I think I know why no one bats an eye over a missle strike, it's just not big news anymore (unless you're on the receiving end), too many people have become desensitized when they hear the word missle strike, especially if it's anywhere in the Middle East/Asia areas

    Gitmo is a U.S. interest with suspected terrorists so everyone's arms are up with many different opinions and many of those suspected terrorists are from different countries, including one from Canada.

    Not only this but there are words associated with Gitmo like torture, this word seems to grab more attention then missle strike, something like if you're being attacked you never yell rape or help but fire...more people will turn to help.

    Psychology of a person, place or thing is a very strange subject to understand, most times we just can't.

    January 23, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  2. earle,florida

    If you own shoreline property,nows the time to sell,in-particuliar the west-coast of the US!

    January 23, 2009 at 2:52 pm |