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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Un-deBaathification law passed?

Have to wait to get some details on this, but the headline of the story is that some version of the deBaathification revisions passed the Iraqi parliament.

Later: Yup. A fairly complete revision of the deBaathification has been passed by parliament. Now we wait to see if the Shia institutional leadership actually hires Sunnis.

Picture of the Day

Hillary Clinton reaches deep for Hispanic votes in Nevada. (Photo via Ben Smith)

Quickhits - I got nothin'

(AlSamuria) Maybe some little steps or backroom deals towards a little political reconciliation in Iraq between Maliki and the Sunnis.

(This unknown blog reports that Maliki met with British and US figures in London to try and work out a deal to let Sunni al Hashemi replace Talabani as President of Iraq.) Treat all of this as rumor at this point.

(AP) "The Bush administration will notify Congress on Monday of its intent to sell $20 billion in weapons, including precision-guided bombs, to Saudi Arabia, moving up the announcement to coincide with the president's arrival in Riyadh....."

(NavyTimes) The threatening voice on the US/Iran naval clash tapes may have been someone unrelated shouting on the public channel. (Apparently, it's not uncommon for bored merchant sailors to shout insults and random chatter on the public channel.)

(AFP) Turks shell northern Iraq.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The pro-Huckabee "pastor's conferences" + Using the churches in Michigan

In the week before the last Sunday before the Iowa caucuses, there was a "pastor's conference" in Iowa which was addressed by only one presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee. Presumably, those preachers then went back to their church to spread the barely legal gospel of political endorsement.

I only mention this because a similar "pastor's conference" is now scheduled in Florida, just before the last Sunday before the Florida primaries. (Newt Gingrich has also been at both.)

Later: CNN has a piece which includes some of Huckabee's efforts among the evangelical community in Michigan.
They plan to call every evangelical pastor in the state over the next few days. Those ministers can't endorse any candidate from the pulpit -- but they can tell their parishioners that "it's their Christian duty," to turn out on primary day, said Glenn. "And we know who they'll be voting for."

To help drive that message home, thousands of volunteers will be dropping leaflets and waving signs in church parking lots across Michigan this Sunday. Glenn says there will also be several news conferences across the state through the January 15 vote featuring groups of pastors announcing their personal support for Huckabee, an organized wave of callers into Michigan's Christian radio stations, and phone trees targeting the state's largest churches from within.


Picture of the Day - 2

(Mike Huckabee talks in the spin room after a Republican presidential debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008.(AP Photo/Brett Flashnick))

The Giuliani juggernaut

The headline is that Giuliani staffers are going without pay signaling some serious financial troubles in the campaign, but dig a little deeper,
At the end of December, the campaign had $12.7 million cash on hand, $7 million of which could be used for the primary, DuHaime said Friday. He disputed the notion of a cash-strapped operation and said Giuliani continues to bring in money; several fundraisers are scheduled this week in Florida.

$7 million Cash on Hand available for primaries across 23 states including expensive GOTV and media markets like Florida, New York, and California.

With donors supposedly drying up, falling poll numbers, and anecdotal evidence of the "GOP establishment" turning towards McCain, Giuliani's presidential dream may be withering.


A throwaway line from a Cilliza post.
Even some within Clinton's organization acknowledge that Obama has the better and broader campaign operations in the Feb. 5 states.


Picture of the Day

President Bush stands with Franciscans after walking out of St. Catherine's Church, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

Bizarre Bush moment

During Bush's tour of the Holocaust museum in Israel,
At one point, Bush viewed aerial photos of the Auschwitz camp taken during the war by U.S. forces and called Rice over to discuss why the American government had decided against bombing the site, Shalev said....

"We should have bombed it," Bush said, according to Shalev.

In the memorial's visitors' book, the president wrote simply, "God bless Israel, George Bush."

Meanwhile, the people of Sudan wait......

Thursday, January 10, 2008

What to make of this?

There was the earlier report from ABC saying that the threatening statements on the US Navy/Iranian confrontation video may (or may not) have come from the Iranian boats. I didn't blog it because it was kind of vague.

BUT, tell me this version from the NYTimes doesn't sound curious.
The list of those who are less than fully confident in the Pentagon’s video/audio mashup of aggressive maneuvers by Iranian boats near American warships in the Strait of Hormuz now includes the Pentagon itself.

Unnamed Pentagon officials said on Wednesday that the threatening voice heard in the audio clip, which was released on Monday night with a disclaimer that it was recorded separately from the video images and merged with them later, is not directly traceable to the Iranian military.

This could easily be nothing, but there have been other questions raised about the recording (like no background noise on an open speeding boat.) Just putting it on the radar. (Here's the WaPo version.)

Picture of the Day - 2

Maybe it's important to help Obama among deep Democrats where he is losing to Clinton, but do I really care if Kerry endorsed Obama? (AP/Ron Edmonds)

The Keystone (Black Helicopter) Cops

When people start talking about vast government conspiracies, I always point to things like this.
Telephone companies have cut off FBI wiretaps used to eavesdrop on suspected criminals because of the bureau's repeated failures to pay phone bills on time.

The reality is a chaos and lack of management far more frightening than some highly coordinated, "black helicopter" operation.

For instance, look at the Iraq intel reports. They were manipulated through weaknesses in the system by a relatively small group.

Even they didn't see it coming.

(WaPo) "Clinton had two prepared speeches, one for a "big defeat" and one for a "close defeat," an aide said. No victory speech had been written. Several top strategists agreed among themselves to resign if she lost."

Picture of the Day


(President George W. Bush sits under a portrait of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at the Muqata presidential compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah January 10, 2008. (REUTERS/Larry Downing))

Operation Phantom Phoenix in Iraq is a deadly miss

(NYTimes) "U.S. Attack in Iraq Is No Surprise to Many Insurgents"
But many insurgents still managed to flee the first villages the Americans went into, showing just how difficult it is to trap the elusive militants.....

American planners deliberately kept most Iraqi units in the dark before this one, a tactic that suggests they cannot fully trust the allies who are supposed to pick up more of the fighting as American troops scale back their presence this year.

(AP) "The top U.S. commander in northern Iraq said Wednesday a nationwide operation launched against insurgents was meeting less resistance than expected, but that troops would pursue the militants until they were dead or pushed out of the country."

So, on to Plan B, (AP) "U.S. bombers and jet fighters unleashed 40,000 pounds of explosives during a 10-minute airstrike Thursday, flattening what the military called al-Qaida in Iraq safe havens on the southern outskirts of the capital.....

A military statement said two B-1 bombers and four F-16 fighters dropped the bombs on 40 targets in Arab Jabour in 10 strikes."

And, in the operation, (WaPo) Six US troops were killed, four wounded, in a booby trapped house in Diyala. "Most of the 200 fighters they expected to find here appear to have either escaped or successfully blended in with the local population."


(WaPo) The UN came back through and repeated the Johns Hopkins survey arriving at a figure of 151,000 Iraqis killed by violence since the invasion.

(However, the reality of massive civilian "displacements" should be factored in. This is a "household survey" so those no longer in country don't show up. So, in effect, they're surveying the "winners" of the local sectarian conflicts.)

Juan Cole also takes a look at this survey, thinking it's low.

(AFP) The US military leadership recognizes an increase in "spectacular" attacks, especially those targeting the pro-US Sunni militias.

And, do we get a "surprise" Bush visit to Iraq after Israel/Palestine?

Bush talks of a Palestinian state

Skipping past the unbelievable Bush claim that he will resolve a mideast peace within 12 months, this exchange caught my eye.
"The question is whether or not hard issues can be resolved and the vision emerges, so that the choice is clear amongst the Palestinians," Bush said. "The choice being, `Do you want this state? Or do you want the status quo? Do you want a future based upon a democratic state? Or do you want the same old stuff?"'

"We want a state, of course," Abbas said in English.


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Mitt Romney is cutting back on HIS funding

(AP) "Mitt Romney has decided to pull his advertising from South Carolina and Florida...."

Johnathan Martin sees it as a sign that Romney's not pouring more of his own money into the campaign.

(Mitt Romney, pauses while speaking in Bow, N.H. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter))

3,000 more Marines to Afghanistan

I guess the US has given up on getting more troops from NATO.
The Pentagon is preparing to send at least 3,000 Marines to Afghanistan in April to bolster efforts to hold off another expected Taliban offensive in the spring, military officials said Wednesday.

Also, the way this is framed, it sounds more like a defensive deployment.

Just a slip

Check out what Bush said today at his press conference in Israel regarding the US Navy/Iran ship confrontation.
She's referring to, Mr. Prime Minister, the fact that our ships were moving along very peacefully off the Iranian border in territorial water -- international waters, and Iranian boats came out and were very provocative.

Huckabee's the big winner out of New Hampshire.

For a month we've been listening to experts say that a convoluted field works to the advantage of Giuliani, but I would posit that a multi candidate field actually benefits Huckabee more.

Right now, you've got Huckabee going into SC and Fla with his solid evangelical bloc versus McCain, Romney, and Giuliani splitting the rest. (minus Ron Paul's 5+%.) GOP primary voters are significantly more evangelical than the GOP, and they don't like McCain, Romney, or Giuliani.

Picture of the Day

Chelsea Clinton smiles at her mother, at her New Hampshire primary night rally in Manchester January 8, 2008. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

Tautological Thought of the Day - Elections Change Things

If nothing else, it will be a ton of fun to watch the talking heads try to backtrack on themselves.

Ask not what your country can do for you....

The topline story is women for Clinton, but in the NYTimes graphic breaking out the exit polls, there's also this.

According to the exit polling, it becomes clear that Obama did better among the "Getting financially ahead" while Clinton scored bigger among "falling behind." Obama did much better among $50,000+, while Clinton did better among less than $50,000.

Also in the polling, only 16% voted on "Cares about people like me," but, notably, it went 41% to Clinton, 19% to Obama, 37% to Edwards.

Are we looking at a core difference here? Obama scoring bigger among those better positioned to "give for change" and Clinton winning among those who feel that they can't afford to give?

And should Obama be alarmed that people don't think he cares about them? Am I going to see a thousand pictures of Obama "caring?"

Where Clinton won

The NYTimes has a great graphic looking at the exit polling and voting tendencies. (Seriously, take a look.)

The BBC offers a nice compact look at where/how Clinton won.
(Women) backed her by 46%, compared to 34% who supported Barack Obama, according to a CNN exit poll.

Mr Obama ran more strongly among men, winning 40% of their vote, compared to 29% to Mrs Clinton.

But Mrs Clinton got out her vote, with women making up 57% of Democratic voters, the poll suggested.....

Her lead among self-identified Democrats was by 45% to 34%, while Mr Obama was ahead with independents by 41% to 34%.

Mrs Clinton was also ahead among voters who had a union member in the family, by 40% to 31%.

And she ran strongly among voters in households earning under $50,000 (£25,000), by 47% to 32%, and voters without a college degree, by 43% to 35%. ....

And among those whose cited the economy as the key issue, Mrs Clinton led by 44% to 35% to Mr Obama.

That helps explain it a bit. The next question is why the polling was so inaccurate across the board. Were the pollsters influenced by Obama's Iowa to change their modeling?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Reports of Clinton's death were greatly exaggerated

I'm amazed. Anyhow, add this late release to the mix.

(AP) Clinton begins retooling campaign team

(And if you're nerding hard, CNN has county by county.)

Picture of the Day - 5

Unbelievable. Obama's campaign is turning away $2,300 dollar donors for his fundraiser tomorrow in NY (on Clinton's home turf) because it's too full. (If that's too small, the original is here.)

"Huge Turnout."

Good for us. Good for America.
New Hampshire Deputy Secretary of State Dave Scanlan told ABC News that turnout among primary voters today is "absolutely huge" -- and there are concerns about running out of ballots in towns like Portsmouth, Keene, Hudson and Pelham.

"Turnout is absolutely huge and towns are starting to get concerned that they may not have enough ballots," Scanlan said.....

According to Scanlan, the ballot strain seems to be on Democratic ballots, which suggests that the undeclared voters are breaking for the Democratic primary.

Political bits II

Someone recently said, "whether they're winning or losing, the Clinton's always claim the top headline."
A panicked and cash-short Clinton campaign is seriously considering giving up on the Nevada caucuses and on the South Carolina primary in order to regroup and to save resources for the massive 19-state mega-primary on February 5.

At the same time, some top independent expenditure groups supporting Clinton have been exploring the creation of an anti-Obama "527 committee" that would take unlimited contributions from a few of Clinton's super-rich backers and from a handful of unions to finance television ads and direct mail designed to tarnish the Illinois Senator's image.

Really? Clinton is going to take the blame for trashing the eventual nominee, potentially destroying her legacy among Dems forever?

(And from what I understand, the AFSCME leadership is already under fire for their tiny attacks on Obama.)

Later: AFSCME and Emily's list vociferously deny this. I guess they must have gotten some feedback, eh?

Picture of the Day - 4

(Aidan Kittredge, 11, waited to ask her prepared question to Mr. Romney at the Nashua Rotary Club Luncheon. (Beatrice De Gea/The New York Times))

Political bits

All the pressure is on Clinton, at least in the reporting. They've gone from asking if she'll quit to trying to find underpinning reasons for her to quit.

(Time) Clinton Faces a Cash Crunch

(WSJ) More money questions, but, more importantly, "Several Senate colleagues who have sat on the fence are now in talks with Obama advisers about endorsing the freshman Illinois senator over his more experienced colleague."

Also, (NYTimes) "Obama’s Surge Deflates Forum and Talk of a Bloomberg Run"

An interesting Cilizza piece laying out the McCain side of a possible McCain/Huckabee GOP primary fight. ("The establishment" tries to back McCain. Hah!)

(RogerSimon) "McCain’s goal is to be the least unacceptable Republican..."

And, in a darker echo from a past we'd rather forget, (WashTimes) "Secret Service presence has increased for Sen. Barack Obama since his dramatic win in Iowa....."

Picture of the Day - 3

A little love for John Edwards because 1) He is by far (and by necessity) the hardest working candidate on the trail, and 2) He has successfully put to bed any suggestions that he's going to quit.

Fight on, brother.

(John Edwards greets 97-year-old Doris Haddock, of Dublin, N.H., while departing a campaign event in Keene, N.H.(AP Photo/Steven Senne))

Picture of the Day - 2

(John McCain leans over to kiss his wife Cindy at a campaign rally in Exeter, N.H.., Monday, Jan. 7, 2008. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak))

World on fire

(BBC) "Gunmen have kidnapped up to 10 members of a local volunteer security force in north-east Baghdad, Iraqi police say."

(WaPo) An interesting look at how the US military pays and arms the Sunni tribal groups. Cash rewards per successful operation, and turning over seized weapons to the friendly Sunni militia that finds them.

(Also, note in all these articles on the local Sunni militias, that the leaders make it very clear that their goal is "to protect their territories, not only from al-Qaeda in Iraq, but also from Shiite militias and Iraq's Shiite-dominated security forces.")

(CSM) "The analysis suggests that the bulk of foreign fighters originate from countries with whom the United States is allied."

(Australian) "PAKISTAN yesterday signalled it would launch a "massive military operation" into the al-Qa'ida- and Taliban-infested "badlands" of its North West Frontier Province, aimed at killing the jihadi militant leader blamed for the assassination of Benazir Bhutto." (Dead men can't protest their innocence.)

(TimesOnline) "Suspected Islamist militants shot dead eight tribal leaders in coordinated attacks just hours before they were due to discuss a planned ceasefire between Pakistan’s security forces and al-Qaeda and Taleban..."

And, (Guardian) Violence escalates ahead of Bush's Israel visit

Picture of the Day

(Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

Monday, January 07, 2008

Huckabee leads GOP nationally - Gallup

No comment. Just a disbelieving link.

If I could touch the hem of his garment, I would be made whole......

Bigger than Jesus.

(REUTERS/Jason Reed)

(I'd recommend the Sam Cooke version on YouTube as background music.)

Predictions and the Clinton pre-mortem.

Is anyone predicting anything besides Obama/McCain? (I'll add Huckabee in a higher than expected third and Giuliani finishing low enough to be criticized.)

Okay, now to Clinton. All by himself, Matt Drudge is damaging Clinton. This morning, he ran one of those dubious, unattributed "flash" items saying the Clinton camp was "engulfed" in talk of withdrawing from the campaign. Suddenly, her campaign has to fight media questions on this on the day before the primary.

On another front, the groundwork appears to be laid to blame top Clinton campaign adviser Mark Penn for the losses. (Bob Shrum, Huff Po) A bit in a NYTimes article seems to say that Bill Clinton is seeking advice from James Carville. Josh Marshall quotes a supposed "insider" who trashes Penn, but says that Clinton and Penn are extremely close.

Then there's this really weird moment where Clinton teared up today while answering a question. (video) Call me cynical, but tearing up over her passion for "change" seems a little convenient, you know? (It's getting big coverage, though.)

(Rasmussen shows Clinton's national lead falling, too.)

I don't think it's over after tomorrow, or even if Obama wins SC. I think the final firewall will be Florida coupled with the national polls looking into Feb 5. Right now, the Clinton campaign needs time and space (and probably firing Penn to allow a scapegoat.)

In the end, the real problem I see is that the media seems overly giddy to write her obituary. Somehow the Clinton campaign will have to generate some "got her groove back" coverage.

Later: Josh Marshall also reports some secondary "stay in/get out" discussion from people not in the core of her campaign.

Also: Like I said, I wouldn't count her out yet.
The emerging strategy—assuming the results are as bad as Clinton aides now fear—will start with a concerted plea to voters, donors, and the news media to hold off writing campaign obituaries until after the Feb. 5 primaries.

This will be followed, according to current planning within the Clinton circle, by a mix of negative advertising portraying Obama as a conventional, calculating politician, and positive advertising emphasizing her strength and experience.

But trying to rehumanize Obama in 3 weeks will be tough.

Picture of the Day - 3

From a Giuliani appearance in Massachusetts today. There's a whole buch of these weirdo pictures. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

(And he's in Massachusetts to get NH media coverage without entering the state to bolster his excuses for poor results?)

Dana Milbank shreds Clinton on video

Dana Milbank is more than a little catty in this video he made on a Clinton appearance in Nashua, but it is devastating. If you've got 3 minutes, take a look.

(Also, The WaPo is running this "live appearance" page which cuts between raw video of various candidates' appearances today.)

Picture of the Day - 2

Oh, no, Mitt, no.... Don't be that guy.... You can't pull off the "softening of the image."

(Mitt Romney stops to playfully throw a snow ball at neighborhood kids while while walking into a house party in Bedford, N.H., Saturday, Jan. 5, 2008.(AP Photo/LM Otero))

The world on fire

I've been noting the increased Al Qaeda/Sunni insurgent attacks, especially on the Sunnis working with the US.

(CNN) Anti-al Qaeda leader among 15 killed in Baghdad blasts.

(AP) "the suicide bomber walked up to al-Samarrai... and embraced him before detonating his explosives." (Indicates someone known.)

(Xinhua) "Dozens of al-Qaida gunmen in Iraq attacked the house of a tribal chieftain in Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad, kidnapping him and 13 of his family members..."

In Afghanistan, more civilians killed, and the NYTimes has a good article on Bagram prison.

(Newsweek) "Attorney general Michael Mukasey's decision to launch a full-scale FBI probe into the destruction of CIA interrogation tapes has sent several alarmed agency employees scrambling to find lawyers."

And, in Pakistan, (Reuters) A new poll by USIP shows Pakistanis want their country to be more democratic, more Islamic, and more anti-US.

Now that NYTimes frontpager makes sense.

Yesterday, I wrote a post trying to figure out why the head of the CIA, NSC, and Joint Chiefs chair were apparently feeding the NYTimes a story on supposedly covert actions being planned in Pakistan.

Today we find out that "leak" was intended to allow the Musharraf government to posture independence from the US.

Picture of the Day

Visual metaphor?

(John Edwards shoot baskets in Lebanon, N.H., Saturday, Jan. 5, 2008.(AP Photo/Jim Cole))

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Obamamania? (Two new polls at bottom)

Because of the short IA to NH window, I'm pretty dubious of all the polls, but I tend to pay more attention to the local polls in these quadrennial early states.

CNN/WMUR/UNH has now conducted two polls. The first, Jan 4-5, showed a tied race at 33/33. A new CNN/WMUR/UNH conducted Jan 5-6 shows Obama +10, 39/29. (Obama is +6 and Clinton is -4 from just one day before?)

Just one poll, with a relatively small sample. Judge it for what it is.

I'm watching for the next Concord Monitor poll due out Monday. (The last one showed a virtual tie.)

Also, One development on the Republican side. McCain over Romney (32/26,) but notice that Huckabee's crept above Giuliani into 3rd place, and Giuliani is only one point ahead of Ron Paul.

He could well finish 5th.

Later: Another poll USAToday/Gallup shows Obama +13 (Jan 4-6.)

Later Still: Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll, Obama +10.

Picture of the Day - 2

With all the talk of "independents" in New Hampshire, I found this NYTimes graphic fascinating.

Technically, "independents" make up 45% of the New Hampshire electorate, but when asked self identification in polling over 15 years, that number was much closer to 30%.

(And notice the falloff of Republicans to independents since 2005.)

Picture of the Day

Sorry for so many Obama pictures, but this fawning Newsweek cover is news.

Especially when the Clinton coverage is so disparaging, like this Time piece, "Clinton Machine Shaken by Setback." Or the WaPo frontpage, "Obama's Rise Dismays Clinton's Supporters."

This lopsided media tilt is everywhere.

If you're Clinton, how do you fight this media headwind?

(Later: Maybe you can't fight it. Maybe you have to try and survive and wait for (hope for) a media "snapback" before Florida or Feb. 5.)

(Sorry for the picture. Had to take a small version and blow it up.)

In Iraq, the violence is creeping back

Although the narrative is that the surge has worked, violence has been gradually increasing in the last month, especially suicide attacks (Al Qaeda/Sunni insurgent)on the Sunni militias cooperating with the US and the Iraqi army.
A suicide bomber killed nine people during celebrations to mark Army Day in the eastern Baghdad suburb of Karrada on Sunday, the latest in an upsurge of suicide bombings in Iraq.

And, this horrible detail,
In the Karrada blast, Reuters television footage showed a group of soldiers dancing in a tight circle in the street, waving their AK-47 assault rifles in the air and chanting "Where is terrorism today?" shortly before the bomb exploded.

I also have the broad impression that the death squad activity may be creeping back as well. Keep an eye on it.

For Israel, Iran is still top of the list

Bush travels to the mideast ostensibly to talk mideast peace, but the Israelis have some other priorities in the trip.
Israeli security officials are to brief President George W Bush on their latest intelligence about Iran’s nuclear programme - and how it could be destroyed - when he begins a tour of the Middle East in Jerusalem this week.

Ehud Barak, the defence minister, is said to want to convince him that an Israeli military strike against uranium enrichment facilities in Iran would be feasible if diplomatic efforts failed to halt nuclear operations. A range of military options has been prepared.

The (not so) covert push against Pakistan

There's a big NYTimes story outlining a "consideration" within the White House towards more covert ops inside Pakistan. Separate from what's being planned, take a minute to notice the construction of this story. It is sourced "off the record" to "several of the participants in the meeting....."

What is that? With the White House apparently sanctioning the story, pretty much giving it to the NYTimes on a platter, I don't think you can really call this "covert."
Several of the participants in the meeting argued that the threat to the government of President Pervez Musharraf was now so grave that both Mr. Musharraf and Pakistan’s new military leadership were likely to give the United States more latitude, officials said. .....

But at the White House and the Pentagon, officials see an opportunity in the changing power structure for the Americans to advocate for the expanded authority in Pakistan.....

The new options for expanded covert operations include loosening restrictions on the C.I.A. to strike selected targets in Pakistan.....

The meeting on Friday, which was not publicly announced, included Stephen J. Hadley, Mr. Bush’s national security adviser; Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and top intelligence officials.

So, what is this? I just don't believe that the head of the CIA, the head of the NSC, and the Joint Chiefs chair discuss this in detail with the NYTimes without sanction and purpose.

Is it a very public "revelation" to allow the Musharraf government plausible deniability? Some effort to put pressure on them?

(Maybe related: (BBC) The governor of Pakistan's Northwest province suddenly resigns. He was behind the tribal regions peace deal and was one of the few high ranking Pakistani officers of tribal origin.)