It's still unclear whether Adam Gadhan has been captured in Pakistan, but there is confirmation of the capture of Abu Yahya Mujahdeen Al-Adam, whom the NYT describes as
having been born in Pennsylvania and who was thought to be affiliated with the operations division of Al Qaeda, commanding fighters in Afghanistan.
That's both a good in itself and with real and professional interrogation, rather than torture, a potential boon for good intelligence in the Afghan counter-insurgency. It follows the capture of key Taliban leader Mullah Baradar, who is also now under serious rather than comic book interrogation. I don't pretend to know if we are seeing a real shift in Pakistan's attitude, but I do see a real shift in Washington away from the negligence and weakness of the Bush years. Lexington notes:
An anti-Obama bumper-sticker asked: “So you’re for abortion but against killing terrorists?” Most of these barbs are bunk.
Yes, Mr Obama favours trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of September 11th 2001, in a civilian court. But that is not a sign of weakness. Several terrorists were successfully prosecuted in civilian courts under George Bush. And though Mr Obama is willing to admit his country’s failings, he is quite ruthless about blowing its enemies to scraps. American drones fired missiles at suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders in Pakistan’s tribal areas 55 times last year, killing hundreds of jihadists and who knows how many civilians. This year, the killing has accelerated; so far more than a dozen strikes have been reported. Mr Obama orders assassinations at a far brisker pace than George Bush ever did. Mr Obama orders assassinations at a far brisker pace than George Bush ever did. For some reason, his habit of blowing up alleged terrorists and bystanders from the air causes less global outrage than the smothering of a lone Hamas operative, allegedly by Israel, in a hotel room in Dubai. But whether you think it justified or not, it is hardly evidence that the president is “against killing terrorists”.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.