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This is just huge.

Listen to this OTHER big ABC-related story.  Apparently, Pakistan has never been very serious about stopping Al Qaeda as we all suspected, only producing "#2" terrorists whenever Bush required. But that's not in this story, this bombshell from the Pakistani press secretary about giving sanctuary to Bin Laden (and Al Qaeda?) if he lives a "peaceful life"...

bin Laden, America's most wanted man, will not face capture in Pakistan if he agrees to lead a "peaceful life," Pakistani officials tell ABC News.

The surprising announcement comes as Pakistani army officials announced they were pulling their troops out of the North Waziristan region as part of a "peace deal" with the Taliban.

If he is in Pakistan, bin Laden "would not be taken into custody," Major General Shaukat Sultan Khan told ABC News in a telephone interview, "as long as one is being like a peaceful citizen."

That's not all though... listen to this:

In addition to the pullout of Pakistani troops, the "peace agreement" between Pakistan and the Taliban also provides for the Pakistani army to return captured Taliban weapons and prisoners.

"What this means is that the Taliban and al Qaeda leadership have effectively carved out a sanctuary inside Pakistan," said ABC News consultant Richard Clarke, the former White House counter-terrorism director.

Republicans just lost the election, maybe their whole political party. (Scooped from Raw Story)

[Update from ABC. See word parsing taken to a new level of BS; let's see the ORIGINAL of that "hair splitting" "peace agreement" Pakistan]:

Q. ABC News: If bin Laden or Zawahiri were there, they could stay?

A. Gen. Sultan: No one of that kind can stay. If someone is there he will have to surrender, he will have to live like a good citizen, his whereabouts, exit travel would be known to the authorities.

Q. ABC News: So, he wouldn't be taken into custody? He would stay there?

A. Gen. Sultan: No, as long as one is staying like a peaceful citizen, one would not be taken into custody. One has to stay like a peaceful citizen and not allowed to participate in any kind of terrorist activity.

General Sultan said today it was "hair splitting" to speculate whether troops would be sent in if bin Laden was found in North Waziristan.

"If someone is found there, we will see what is to be done," General Sultan said today. "Pakistan is committed to the war on terror, and of course we will go after any terrorist found to be operating here," he said.

Originally posted to a gnostic on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 04:43 PM PDT.

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