Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Gibbs Declines to Talk About Taliban Commander Capture

Updated with video. Gibbs says he does his own twittering.

If you're so inclined, watch Robert Gibbs press briefing here.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs begins his briefing by taking a question about the capture of a Taliban commander in Afghanistan, but he declines to "get into this topic."

"This involves very sensitive intelligence matters," he says. "This involves the collection of intelligence, and it is best to do that and not necessarily talk about it." Politico
The Taliban deny the capture:
Also on Tuesday, a Taliban spokesman denied that the insurgents’ second-most important leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, had been captured in Pakistan.

“He is safe and free, and he leads the command and he is in Afghanistan,” said the spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, who was reached by cellphone on Tuesday.

United States officials confirmed the arrest to The New York Times last Thursday but asked the newspaper to withhold the information until Monday because it would impede intelligence operations. They described him as the most significant Taliban figure yet arrested, head of their military operations and second in importance only to the Taliban “emir of Afghanistan,” Mullah Omar. Mullah Baradar was arrested in a joint raid by Pakistani intelligence agents with C.I.A. agents accompanying them, American officials said. NYT