McCain Calls Obama 'Naive'
By Glenn Kessler
YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio -- Sen. John McCain intensified his attacks on Sen. Barack Obama, saying he was "naÃ¯ve" for publicly suggesting several months ago he would attack targets in Pakistan.
"The best idea is not broadcast what you are going to do. That's naÃ¯ve," McCain said at a news conference in Columbus.
"You make plans and you work with the other country that is your ally and friend, which Pakistan is," McCain added. "You don't broadcast and say you are going bomb the country without their permission or without consulting them. This is the fundamentals of the conduct of national security policy. I believe in working with the other country."
The Bush administration, however, did not follow that strategy last month, when on Jan. 29 a CIA Predator aircraft flew over the Pakistani town of Mir Ali and fired Hellfire missiles that killed Abu Laith al-Libi, a senior al-Qaeda commander.
According to an article in The Washington Post this week, "Having requested the Pakistani government's official permission for such strikes on previous occasions, only to be put off or turned down, this time the U.S. spy agency did not seek approval. The government of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was notified only as the operation was underway, according to the officials, who insisted on anonymity because of diplomatic sensitivities."
Asked about that account as he drove to this small town to address a snowbound crowd at Young's Jersey Dairy, known for ice cream, McCain demurred, saying he did not know the facts of the situation. But he said Obama was still wrong in speaking publicly about the option.
"The one thing you want to do is not embarrass them," he said. "I've known these people and I have known them for many years. I know I can work with them for the good of the security of the United States. I would not broadcast to the world that I am going to bomb a sovereign nation in order to accomplish my goal."
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