CIA: al Qaeda on the Ropes

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CIA Director Leon Panetta gave an interview to the Washington Post claiming that the "secret war" of drone assaults in Pakistan is having a major impact on al Qaeda:

So profound is al-Qaeda's disarray that one of its lieutenants, in a recently intercepted message, pleaded with bin Laden to come to the group's rescue and provide some leadership, Panetta said. He credited improved coordination with Pakistan's government and what he called "the most aggressive operation that CIA has been involved in in our history," offering a near-acknowledgment of what is officially a secret war.

"Those operations are seriously disrupting al-Qaeda," Panetta said. "It's pretty clear from all the intelligence we are getting that they are having a very difficult time putting together any kind of command and control, that they are scrambling. And that we really do have them on the run."

Obviously the CIA has a vested interest in claiming success, but the headlines of late certainly seem to corroborate the program's effectiveness. Which again begs the question of why we're investing a considerable amount of blood and treasure trying to build a state from scratch in Afghanistan if our counter-terrorism objectives are being met more effectively over the border.

(AP Photo)

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