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Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar: Captured

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By Michelle Malkin  •  February 16, 2010 07:48 AM

So, apparently a top Taliban commander has been captured in a joint secret operation by Pakistan and the U.S. He is apparently a big, big fish and reportedly is being interrogated by officials from both countries:

The commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, is an Afghan described by American officials as the most significant Taliban figure to be detained since the American-led war in Afghanistan started more than eight years ago. He ranks second in influence only to Mullah Muhammad Omar, the Taliban’s founder and a close associate of Osama bin Laden before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Mullah Baradar has been in Pakistani custody for several days, with American and Pakistani intelligence officials both taking part in interrogations, according to the officials.

It was unclear whether he was talking, but the officials said his capture had provided a window into the Taliban and could lead to other senior officials. Most immediately, they hope he will provide the whereabouts of Mullah Omar, the one-eyed cleric who is the group’s spiritual leader.

Disclosure of Mullah Baradar’s capture came as American and Afghan forces were in the midst of a major offensive in southern Afghanistan.

His capture could cripple the Taliban’s military operations, at least in the short term, said Bruce O. Riedel, a former C.I.A. officer who last spring led the Obama administration’s Afghanistan and Pakistan policy review.

Details of the raid remain murky, but officials said that it had been carried out by Pakistan’s military spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, and that C.I.A. operatives had accompanied the Pakistanis.

…The officials said that Pakistan was leading the interrogation of Mullah Baradar, but that Americans were also involved. The conditions of the questioning are unclear. In its first week in office, the Obama administration banned harsh interrogations like waterboarding by Americans, but the Pakistanis have long been known to subject prisoners to brutal questioning.

Two quick questions:

What would Eric Holder say?

And if capturing this jihadi in a violent raid is worth trumpeting and celebrating, why doesn’t the Obama administration free the Navy SEALS who are accused of far less in their battle against terrorism in Iraq?

Wait, one more question. Check this out:

The New York Times learned of the operation on Thursday, but delayed reporting it at the request of White House officials, who contended that making it public would end a hugely successful intelligence-gathering effort. The officials said that the group’s leaders had been unaware of Mullah Baradar’s capture and that if it became public they might cover their tracks and become more careful about communicating with each other.

The Times is publishing the news now because White House officials acknowledged that the capture of Mullah Baradar was becoming widely known in the region.

Fancy that. The terror-tipping NYT blabbermouths who repeatedly undermined national security during the Bush years by disclosing sensitive/classified information about many key counterrorism programs are now sensitive to ongoing counterterrorism operations. The paper that went to court to force the government to release classified information about jihadis and has shown reckless disregard for the consequences of disclosure is now delaying reports at the request of White House officials.

How generous and patriotic of the Fishwrap of Record to see the light, isn’t it?

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