Republican Congresswoman Heather Wilson of New Mexico, a member of the House Intellligence Committee, told a gathering at the National Press Club that she has been advised by military officials that the United States is running what she calls a “catch and release” program for suspected terrorists in Iraq. (It’s kind of the flip-side of what happens when you have a policy of capturing and
torturing interrogating completely innocent people: even forgetting the illegality, immorality of it and adverse public relations generated by it, you still manage to waste an awful lot of time and energy that could otherwise have gone into capturing and interrogating your supposed targets.) Anyway…
In remarks at the National Press Club, the New Mexico lawmaker said a senior official told her that the U.S. military already has photographs of “fully half of the high-value al Qaeda targets in Iraq” presently being hunted.
“They’re wearing orange jumpsuits in the mugshots we took of them when we captured them the first time,” Wilson recalled the official telling her.
“We are operating a catch and release program for al Qaeda in Iraq. This is inexcusable and frustrating … for the young men and women in the military who are in the fight,” she added.
Wilson, surprise, surprise, joins the bipartisan consensus against “the surge” or anything resembling escalation of the Iraq adventure… the “surge” is, of course, the insane policy now favored by the White House, John McCain, Joe Lieberman, and… come to think of it, that’s it.
To the extent that the Iraq campaign has ever really been a component in the “war on terror” (arguably, we have successfully driven Sunni insurgents into their own enclave in Anbar Province, for the most part, where they control little of Iraq’s oil, though most of its water)… it has been
an unmitigated nightmarish disaster less than fully successful…
Ah, but to the extent the mission in Iraq has been to keep conditions on top stirred up enough so that no one in their right mind would invest in the infrastructure necessary to extract Iraq’s humongous oil reserves… let’s just say, “mission accomplished.” A few more thousand U.S. troops should stretch the current state of things out nicely… say… to January, 2009?