THE PLANK OCTOBER 30, 2009
Amidst Hillary's vacillating between tough and not-so-tough talk about Pakistan tolerating Al Qaeda's presence, I thought this article in today's NYT--about Pakistani troops in South Waziristan finding documents belonging to a member of the Hamburg cell--was pretty curious. Not because I doubted that prominent Al Qaeda members are in in South Waziristan, but because of this paragraph:
The documents were shown to reporters on a day trip organized by the army on Thursday for the news media to observe operations in the nearly two-week-old battle. South Waziristan is off limits to foreign reporters, and most Pakistani reporters, without special permission.
Maybe it's a sign of progress that the Pakistanis are volunteering this sort of information to Western reporters. I mean, I'd almost expect that this is the sort of thing they'd be trying to keep under wraps--again, not because there's anyone out there who thinks Al Qaeda isn't in Waziristan, but because concrete proof of that presence (especially concrete proof with such a strong tie to the 9/11 plot) would seem to only increase the pressure on the Pakistani government to do something about it.