WASHINGTON - The situation in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan where al-Qaida has established a safe haven presents a "clear and present danger" to the West, CIA Director Michael Hayden said Sunday NBC's "Meet the Press."
Hayden cited the belief by intelligence agencies that Osama bin Laden is hiding there in arguing that the U.S. has an interest in targeting the border region. If there were another terrorist attack against Americans, Hayden said, it would most certainly originate from that region.
"It's very clear to us that al-Qaida has been able for the past 18 months or so to establish a safe haven along the Afghan-Pakistan border area that they have not enjoyed before, and that they're bringing in operatives into the region for training," he said.
Hayden added that those operatives "wouldn't attract your attention if they were going through the customs line at Dulles (airport, outside Washington) with you when you're coming back to the United States — who look Western."
What do we learn from the public pronouncements of General Hayden?
1. The war in Iraq is NOT the central front in the war on terror.
2. The US is NOT threatened by al Qaeda in Iraq in any way, shape or form.
3. Pakistan is where we need to pursue terrorists who want to attack the West.
4. The Bush Administration has broken our military and we don't have the troops available to choke off al Qaeda in the region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
5. Every day we leave troops in Iraq is a day spent fighting the wrong enemy in the wrong place with troops we desperately need to refit, retrain and rest.
They should really be careful not to let people like General Hayden speak publicly. Instead of rallying the American people, this administration's failure to coordinate its message and get everyone rowing in the same direction only further humiliates our country in the eyes of the world.