Both CBS and NBC decided to follow-up on the President's press conference of last week when he called the northwest frontier of Pakistan "wilder than the wild west." NBC's Andrea Mitchell replayed a Bush soundbite from the campaign trail last October: "Absolutely we are winning. al-Qaeda is on the run." Her anonymous sources confessed to her: the President's claim "was not accurate then, in the heat of the fall campaign."
Unnamed "western intelligence sources" told CBS' Jim Axelrod that the province of Waziristan now hosts restored training bases for al-Qaeda militants, probably under the direct control of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the second-in-commend to Osama bin Laden. A deal between Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf and local tribal leaders to police the Pakistan-Afghanistan border "has been ineffective," Axelrod understated.
None of the three networks assigned a correspondent to the bigger Pakistani story of the day, the bombs that killed 66 on the so-called Friendship Express passenger train outside New Delhi en route to Pakistan. The train embodied the progress towards peace being made by India and its neighbor.
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