And I Blame You

I asked Fran Townsend if the Bush administration she worked for has to take responsibility for allowing the Pakistani tribal areas to become a new safe haven. She didn’t directly answer, but she sort of hinted that the answer is yes.

Her response was to say that the Pakistani cooperation received by Pervez Musharraf "wasn’t consistent," but it’s important to remember that given the prospect of "political instability" in a nuclear-armed country," there was a serious question about  "how far and how hard do you push them, and potentially wind up with something worse."

Townsend hastened to add that "I don’t say that as a defense. I say it to put it in context." She praises Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, the new Pakistani Army chief of staff, for attempting as head of the Pakistani intelligence service to push his agency harder against Al Qaeda. "But I think that if there’s another attack in the U.S. there will be a great deal of fingerpointing," she adds, "…and think it is fair to say that that will have to be, if attack emanates from tribal areas, as I think [it will], it will be fair game to say, did this administration do enough to push the Pakistanis hard enough?"

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Spencer Ackerman

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