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Flap’s Links and Comments for May 3rd on 12:40

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These are my links for May 3rd from 12:40 to 13:49:

  • In-Sen: Richard Lugar Calls For Afghanistan Endgame – At a time when many Republicans are praising President Obama following the U.S. operation that killed Osama bin Laden, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) is doubling down on his effort to press the president on an endgame for the war in Afghanistan.

    "Clearly it would not be in our national security interest to have the Taliban take over the government or have Afghanistan reestablished as a terrorist safe haven," Lugar said in a Tuesday statement. "But the President has not offered a vision of what success in Afghanistan would entail or how progress toward success would be measured."

    On Monday, Lugar welcomed the news that bin Laden had been killed but said his death should also serve as a reminder. "The reported death of Osama bin Laden is welcome news, but it in no way eliminates the threat from the terrorism he espoused," he said. "This is another reminder that Americans cannot hide from global affairs."

    Lugar's questioning of the strategy in Afghanistan isn't new, but it shows that his team expects the news of bin Laden's death to bring more attention to the debate over the mission in Afghanistan.

    "If anything, the attack on bin Laden proves that maybe we are more successful and should be putting our money and resources in those kinds of operations wherever al Qaida is, which is in Yemen and in Africa and not necessarily in Afghanistan," said Lugar adviser Mark Helmke.

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    The rationale for continued troop presence in Afghanistan may very well have disappeared with Bin Laden's death.

    Lugar is trying to bolster favor with voters in Indiana, while he best do that with domestic matters and then retire.

  • President 2012 Arizona Poll Watch: Mitt Romney 48% Vs. Barack Obama 44% | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 Arizona Poll Watch: Mitt Romney 48% Vs. Barack Obama 44% #tcot #catcot
  • Another Version of the Osama Bin Laden Courier Story | The Weekly Standard – Another Version of the Osama Bin Laden Courier Story
  • Another Version of the Osama Bin Laden Courier Story – Yet another version of how U.S. intelligence officials identified Osama bin Laden’s courier has been published. Again, we need confirmation from intelligence officials to determine which details are true. It is not at all clear at this point how this went down.

    The Associated Press reports that “detainees in the CIA’s secret prison network told interrogators about an important courier with the nom de guerre Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti who was close to bin Laden.” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed later “confirmed knowing al-Kuwaiti but denied he had anything to do with al-Qaida.” 

    A new tip came in 2004, when “top al-Qaida operative Hassan Ghul was captured in Iraq.” According to the AP’s account:   

    Ghul told the CIA that al-Kuwaiti was a courier, someone crucial to the terrorist organization. In particular, Ghul said, the courier was close to Faraj al-Libi, who replaced Mohammed as al-Qaida's operational commander. It was a key break in the hunt for in bin Laden's personal courier.

    Then, after al-Libi was captured in May 2005:

    Under CIA interrogation, al-Libi admitted that when he was promoted to succeed Mohammed, he received the word through a courier. But he made up a name for the courier and denied knowing al-Kuwaiti, a denial that was so adamant and unbelievable that the CIA took it as confirmation that he and Mohammed were protecting the courier. It only reinforced the idea that al-Kuwaiti was very important to al-Qaida.

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