CBS News correspondent Lara Logan is making big news by accusing the Obama Administration of lying about progress in the war on terrorism. She also urged the administration to avenge the murders of four Americans in Libya, and declared that Islamist terrorists want to destroy the West and the American way of life.
An FBI investigation is not the best way to handle the murders in Libya, she said. “I hope to God that you’re sending in your best clandestine warriors to exact revenge and let the world know that the United States will not be attacked on its own soil, that its ambassadors will not be murdered and the United States will not stand by and do nothing about it.”
It appeared to some commentators that she was arguing for a stronger U.S. military response, which was certainly true in the case of the murdered Americans in Libya, but it is also clear that she sees Pakistan, an Islamic state with nuclear weapons, as one of the main problems facing the U.S. and the region that few political leaders want to address. Pakistan is considered by many politicians, Democrats and Republicans, to be a U.S. ally, and it receives billions of dollars in foreign aid.
In a sensational charge, Logan said that “Pakistani lobbying money” was behind the “narrative” that the U.S. can withdraw from the region and even negotiate a peaceful solution with the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. She implied that U.S. policymakers were being bribed to have the U.S. leave the region under circumstances that would only benefit Islamist forces who seek a world-wide Islamic state, or “caliphate.”
She said it was not “propaganda” to point out that the enemy wants to destroy the United States and the West. “Our way of life is under attack,” she said. “And if you think that is government propaganda, if you think that’s nonsense, if you think thats warmongering, you’re not listening to what the people who are fighting you say about this fight.”
Logan is the female war correspondent who was in the middle of this fight and raped while covering the “Arab Spring” that was encouraged by the Obama Administration. The policy has resulted in the Islamist takeover of Egypt and a major al-Qaeda presence in Libya, where Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were recently killed.
One cannot watch her remarks without concluding, based on the eyewitness testimony of someone who has been in the middle of these wars and conflicts for years, that Obama’s weak foreign policy is encouraging more anti-American terrorism, and that another major strike on U.S. soil may be forthcoming.
A native South African, she urged Americans to understand the sacrifices that U.S. military personnel have made by visiting military hospitals as well as the “fresh graves” at Arlington National Cemetery.
This is not the first time she has focused on Pakistan, which she accused of supporting anti-American terrorists. CBS News ran this story, “Logan: Pakistan has U.S. ‘blood on its hands,’” back on May 3, 2011. “If you walk in Arlington Cemetery, past the fresh graves of American soldiers coming back from the field over there, Pakistan has some of the blood on its hands. They need to answer for that,” she said.
In her recent report from Afghanistan, “The Longest War,” she questioned President Hamid Karzai about this.
Here is part of the transcript:
Lara Logan: Why has the U.S. failed to address the issue with Pakistan, do you think?
Karzai: Perhaps politics.
Lara Logan: What has been the cost of that?
Karzai: Heavy for us. Disastrous for us.
Lara Logan: Would Afghanistan look completely different today if the issue of sanctuary and safe haven in Pakistan had been dealt with years ago?
Karzai: Absolutely. Completely different. Much more peaceful. Much more progressed. Much more stable. And a society that would have been thriving on its own.
Lara Logan: Does that make you angry?
Karzai: Absolutely. Very much. And we have shown it.
Lara Logan: Was there much yelling and screaming behind closed doors?
Karzai: Plenty of that.
Lara Logan: Listening to you I get the feeling that there’s a lot of anger towards the United States. There’s been bad blood. What went wrong? Why do you feel this way?
Karzai: I don’t feel angry. I’m—Afghanistan feels let down.
She also questioned ISAF/US commander Gen. John Allen about the problem:
Lara Logan: Ultimately, it’s not going to matter what you do if you do not address the critical element of the safe havens that the enemy has inside Pakistan, across the border, in many ways, out of your reach.
Allen: Well, we’re doing a great deal right now. The relationship that we have between ISAF forces and the Pakistani military has improved dramatically—
Lara Logan: But it doesn’t stop Pakistanis helping our enemies kill U.S. soldiers.
Allen: Well, that’s not going to stop immediately. We’ve got to work at that. It’s not a solution that can be had ultimately by a military solution. These are policy issues, these are government to government issues. I’m not going to be able to wage war in Pakistan. But this is hard. There’s a very complex relationship with Pakistan. And we’ll work very hard and very closely with the Pakistani military to achieve common objectives. But to some extent the Pakistani military has been successful in cooperating with us in the last several months with regard to complementary operations on both sides of the border, but much more needs to be done.
Lara Logan: Your deadliest enemies on the Afghan battlefield have complete freedom of movement inside Pakistan with the blessing of the Pakistanis. And every commander that’s sat in your shoes has had to try and build a relationship and go through the same motions time and time again and the effect on the battlefield remains exactly the same. American soldiers continue to die because of the support Pakistan gives to America’s enemies.
Allen: You’ve just stated the truth.
Lara Logan: [The situation] has got to make you mad.
Allen: Yes, it does. Yes, it does. And within the context of my authorities, we’re going to do everything we can to hunt down and kill every one of those Haqqani operatives that we can inside this country. And those other elements that come out of those safe havens that ultimately threaten my troops, threaten the Afghan troops and the Afghan society, the Afghan civilians, and ultimately the Afghan government.
Logan has certainly put the spotlight on Obama’s disastrous foreign policy decisions. But the issue of what to do about Pakistan affects both presidential campaigns. A Rasmussen poll from last year found that 65 percent want to end all military and financial aid to Pakistan. Only 11 percent wanted it to continue. Mitt Romney says he wants to somehow pressure Pakistan to cooperate with the U.S.
While Logan was outspoken about U.S. foreign policy, she also had some interesting comments on how the Islamists use the media, noting that the beheading of journalist Daniel Pearl was filmed by the terrorists, obviously for propaganda value in order to demonstrate their ruthlessness.
She observed that Osama bin Laden, who was killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan, had access to Jihadist forums, his own magazine and also used “Arabic news channels to send his tapes to.” The latter was a reference to Al-Jazeera, the Arab propaganda channel that became known as the voice of al-Qaeda and which covered up the assault on Logan in Egypt, so as not to depict the “pro-democracy” protesters in a negative light.
Al-Jazeera English is still waging a major campaign for carriage on U.S. cable and satellite systems in the U.S.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.