To the gates of Hell, but not to Pakistan

John McCain’s position on Osama bin Laden: pursue him “to the Gates of Hell,” but give him safe haven in Pakistan.

Matt Duss has the goods on the aging bloviator he calls StraightTalk McSurge: McCain continues to insist that he’ll pursue Osama bin Laden “to the gates of Hell” while also criticizing Barack Obama as “inexperienced” because Barack Obama recommended that US forces pursue Osama bin Laden into Pakistan, which is where Osama bin Laden actually is. (Last time I checked the map, the River Styx was elsewhere, unless “Kunhar” is actually Pustu for “Styx.”)

And McCain kept right on charging that Obama wanted to “attack” or “bomb” Pakistan even after the CIA actually went in to Pakistan, without saying “mother, may I?” first, and took out a top al-Qaeda operative: with bombs.

Maybe we could find a few CIA Operations Directorate veterans to demand that McCain apologize for slandering the heroic work of their colleagues still operating undercover. It would be too much to hope that a mainstream journalist might ask McCain why he’s prepared to follow bin Laden to Hell but not to Pakistan, or whether he thinks the CIA was “naive” and “irresponsible” for doing what Barack Obama suggested we do.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: