Surprise visit? I don’t think so:
A suicide bomber killed 19 people and wounded 11 outside the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan on Tuesday during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney, officials said. The Taliban claimed responsibility and said Cheney was the target.
The blast happened near the first security gate outside the base at Bagram, killing 19 people, said Khoja Mohammad Qasim Sayedi, chief of the province’s public health department. Gov. Abdul Jabar Taqwa said “18 to 20 dead bodies” lay on the ground after the blast.
Someone actually asked me last night if I knew what Dick Cheney was up to. I didn’t (of course) but the Taliban apparently did.
a purported Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, said Cheney was the target of the attack.
“We knew that Dick Cheney would be staying inside the base,” Ahmadi told The Associated Press by telephone. “The attacker was trying to reach Cheney.”
Officials say that Cheney was not in the immediate area of the attack.
The Taleban have claimed responsibility for the attack and said that Mr Cheney was their intended target. However, American forces said the explosion was not a threat to the Vice-President, who was about a mile away at the time.
So I guess the question now is how did they know? Was it a tip from our side? Are Afghan nationals in the government or employed around the base responsible? Or did the Taliban observe an increase in activity and pull something together at the last minute? It looks like officials in Pakistan knew about the trip so you have to wonder about that. Just how many people knew about this “surprise” visit?
Liberal blogs and forums are already filling up with comments like Suicide Bomber Misses Cheney…Damnit, Too Bad They Missed Cheney, Cheney Unhurt; World Disappointed., and Maybe Next Time. There’s open regret that Cheney wasn’t killed.
Too bad. Had the lunatic succeeded, he would have been doing us a service. It didn’t seem to bother Cheney much, though. He was actually smiling for photos a bit later on, despite the deaths of and injuries to those who fell in his stead.
These comments have Michelle Malkin (and many reasonable Americans) asking “Which side are they on?” but we know the answer.
The Jawa Report: I’d like to know how the Taliban knew Cheney’s itinerary.
Ankle Biting Pundits: It’s entirely possible if not probable that the MSM will make a bigger deal out of the fact that VP Cheney’s flying around in an airplane named in honor of Strom Thurmond. In any instance, the democrat reaction to this should be interesting. I’m sure they don’t want anything to happen to Cheney……at least not until they impeach him first.
The Truth via Pontifications: The President could get a hang-nail and the Taliban will claim credit for it.
Rhymes With Right: Let this serve as a stark reminder of the nature of those we fight in Afghanistan, Iraq, and around the world. And be aware that many of those opposed to the war are going to reveal their true colors in their response to this attempt on the life of the Vice President.
Captain’s Quarters: The Bush administration sent Cheney along with high-level intelligence officers in order to conduct a presentation of the evidence we have collected of terrorist activity in Waziristan. Reportedly, we identified locations and support networks for al-Qaeda and the Taliban forces that will conduct their spring offensive in the coming weeks. Identification of these sites makes it very difficult for Musharraf to shrug off our warning, as does the high level of the visit. It’s the final warning to get something done, or suffer us getting it done for him.
Clarity & Resolve: Maybe they’ll salvage some points with Allah anyway for spilling so much blood.
Bullwinkle Blog: Had they been successful a bunch of Lefties would have been very happy. Nancy Pelosi probably came closer to orgasm than she has in 30 years when she heard the news.
Reason Magazine: While the fact that the killer didn’t get near his target, this isn’t exactly the sort of report that inspires confidence either
NewsHog: So the big question is – in the middle of a “secrecy-shrouded” trip to the region, who told the Taliban where Cheney would be? The most likely informants would be inside the Musharaff regime or Karzai’s office, surely. Could this be a warning from the ISI after Cheney tried to get tough and threaten Musharaff?
The Moderate Voice: What matters is that five and a half years after the U.S. declared war on the international global jihad and invaded Afghanistan, the Taliban is re-emergent and regaining control of parts of the country, while Al Qaeda has rebuilt its power structure and network of training camps just across the border in Pakistan.