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FOX News Host Suggests The U.S. Should Invade Pakistan

Reported by Ellen - October 20, 2007 -

Sean Hannity falsely accused then criticized Barack Obama as being “(willing) to invade an ally against their will," meaning Pakistan. In fact, Obama never said such a thing. He said, as Media Matters reported, “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets [in Pakistan] and President Musharraf won't act, we will," but he did not elaborate on the nature of this action. But on last night’s (10/19/07) Hannity & Colmes guest host Mark Steyn (subbing for Sean Hannity) suggested an actual invasion, similar to what the United States did in Afghanistan, against the will of the Pakistani government. Will Steyn be taken to task by Hannity and other right wingers? I doubt it. With video.

One did not need to read very far between the lines to realize that the discussion about Al Qaeda in Pakistan was quite an indictment of our War on Terror. But despite the obvious importance and relevance to our national security (you know, the reasons we have to give up almost all our civil liberties), the segment occurred late in the show, behind the “top story” about the rape accusation against magician David Copperfield and the latest from FOX News’ most closely-followed African American, Louis Farrakhan.

The sole guest was Richard Miniter. He's rather conservative but, unlike high school dropout turned disk jockey turned "terrorism expert" Steyn, Miniter has real credentials and he’s an intelligent guest worth listening to.

Early in the discussion, Miniter told Alan Colmes, “From America’s security perspective, Waziristan is out of control. Musharraf (president of Pakistan, our ally) last year, last September, released 2500 Taliban and Al Qaeda. They’ve now set up upwards of 30 terrorist training camps. These are camps the U.S. cannot bomb because they’re in Pakistani territory. We need permission for overfly rights to bring our aircraft in to do anything about it. Also US intelligence has passed on detailed information about senior Al Qaeda leaders in Quetta and other Pakistani cities and the Pakistanis have done nothing.”

Miniter said that Musharraf is in no position to regain control over Waziristan. “What he should do is give overfly rights to the United States and allow for a strategy that worked so well in the fall of 2001 in Afghanistan, where the United States provides air support and forward air controllers on the ground, working alongside Pakistani ground forces. That can be effective in the same territory, against the same tribes as we saw in Afghanistan. There’s no reason to think it won’t work. Musharraf doesn’t want it to work, I suspect.”

Steyn, a Canadian citizen, asked, “But why don’t we just take that anyway? We have a right of hot pursuit in international law. When I say ‘we,’ I mean the US and other NATO forces in Afghanistan. Why don’t we just exercise an old, one of the oldest rights in international law and just go in there when we have to?”

Proving why formal education is helpful if you're a terrorism expert, Miniter responded, “Well, the law in hot pursuit at sea is pretty well defined. In the air, I’m told it’s still a gray area so sending a bomber from Kansas to take out a target in northern Waziristan may or may not be considered hot pursuit. That’s the kind of thing lawyers can debate endlessly. But the big reason is, the Bush administration’s afraid Musharraf will fall.”