The Taliban ISN'T on State's terror list? WTF??
Several lawmakers are urging the Obama administration to put the Pakistani Taliban on a State Department terrorism blacklist that would impose sanctions on the group, which officials say is linked to the failed Times Square car bombing.
In a letter Tuesday to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, at least five Democratic senators — including those from New York and New Jersey — asked Tuesday that the group, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, be designated a "foreign terrorist organization." The move would freeze the group's U.S. assets and make it a crime for Americans to offer it material support.
U.S. officials have said the Pakistani Taliban provided financing and training to would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, who is believed to have spent five months in Pakistan preparing for the attack.
The decision by the Bush administration to have neither the Pakistan or Afghanistan Taliban on the State Department's terror list is befuddling, to say the least. We did, after all, go after them and al Qaeda in the wake of the attacks on 11 September. So, if we're engaged in hostilities against the Taliban and al Qaeda, and both utilize terrorism as a tactic in this war, why in the Hell is the Taliban not on the list? All of al Qaeda's affiliates are on the list, and the Taliban sheltered and enabled them. It makes no sense as to why the Taliban isn't there.
Of course one possible explanation could be that coalition forces, aided by the UN, have been trying to open up a dialogue with the Taliban. That might explain why they're not on the list right now, but it doesn't explain why they weren't on it when President Bush was in office. The Taliban is as dangerous as al Qaeda is. They have been fighting coalition and NATO forces in cross-border raids for months. Additionally, it is the Taliban who has been working to undermine the Pakistani government. Back in August of 2009 the Times of India reported on three separate attacks launched by Taliban extremists on Pakistani nuclear facilities. It's insane to think that we can negotiate with these people.
It also makes it difficult with regard to the most recent capture of Faisal Shahzad. As Captain Ed notes, the man is facing numerous charges already including hundreds of charges of attempted murder and terrorism. There's also the possibility that he could be charged with treason, though given this administration that's not likely.
The point of placing such groups on the terror list is so that we can initiate sanctions on the group, put a chokehold on assets and money in the US, and make it illegal for any US citizen to give aid and comfort to them. Granted, that last part wouldn't be hard to do seeing as how it is an enemy belligerent against the US. It would be no different than someone knowingly and willfully giving aid or conducting business with the Iranian regime. The difference is that Iran is a nation whereas the Taliban is an organization.
This needs to change, and pronto. Will Barry do it? Probably not as he is content to reach out and offer a hand to the Taliban in an effort to make peace; that comes no matter how many times they try to chop off that hand. It's clear that this administration dropped the ball on this issue as the previous administration did. Barry can change that, and show the nation he does take this war seriously. But again, I doubt he'll do it.