On October 21, 2008 -- two-and-a-half years before U.S. forces killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan -- Sarah Palin blasted Barack Obama for saying that he would order strikes against terrorist targets in Pakistan if that country's leadership refused to act.
Palin, of course, is no fan of President Obama's national security policies. Obama's "fundamental approach to terrorism is fatally flawed," Palin wrote last January. "We are at war with radical Islamic extremists and treating this threat as a law enforcement issue is dangerous for our nation's security."
The next month, Palin said at the nationally televised National Tea Party Convention that "many of us have grown even more uneasy about our administration's approach to national security, the most important role ascribed to our federal government." According to Palin, "To win [the war on terrorism], we need a commander in chief, not a professor of law standing at the lectern."
So it may come as a surprise that for a brief time back in September 2008 -- when many conservatives (including John McCain) were blasting Obama's commitment to strike terrorist targets in Pakistan if Pakistan refused to act -- Palin was a lonely voice of reason. Like Obama, Palin said that the U.S. should "absolutely" attack terrorists in Pakistan if necessary. CBS explained in late September 2008:
Palin's apparent disagreement with McCain's position on Pakistan came as the Alaska governor was picking up a couple of cheesesteaks at Tony Luke's in South Philadelphia. She was approached by a man wearing a Temple University t-shirt, who later identified himself as Michael Rovito.
"How about the Pakistan situation?" Rovito asked. "What's your thoughts about that."
"In Pakistan?" Palin responded.
"What's going on over there, like Waziristian?"
"It's working with Zardari to make sure that we're all working together to stop the guys from coming in over the border," Palin said. "And we'll go from there."
"Waziristan is blowing up," Rovito replied.
"Yeah, it is," Palin said. "And the economy there is blowing up, too."
"So we do cross-border, like from Afghanistan to Pakistan, you think?" Rovito asked.
"If that's what we have to do stop the terrorists from coming any further in, absolutely, we should," Palin said.
But much like her positions on bailouts, breastfeeding, and the Bridge to Nowhere, Palin's support for killing terrorists in Pakistan was apparently short-lived. During her October 21, 2008, campaign speech in Reno, Palin blasted Obama for "having advocated sending our U.S. military into Pakistan without the approval of the Pakistani government, invading the sovereign territory of a troubled partner in the war against terrorism":
PALIN: First, did you hear that Senator Biden said at a fundraiser on Sunday, he guaranteed that if Barack Obama is elected that we will face an international crisis within the first six months of their administration? He told -- he told his Democrat donors to mark his words, it will happen, that there were at least four or five scenarios that would place our country at risk in an Obama administration. I guess we've got to say, "Well, thanks for the warning, Joe."
Though he didn't specify what those four or five scenarios will be, but for clues, just have to go to the Obama foreign policy agenda to find out what maybe this would be. First, our opponent wants to sit down with the world's worst dictators with no preconditions. He's proposing to meet with a regime in Tehran that vows to wipe Israel off the Earth. Now, let's call that crisis scenario number one.
OK, now, Senator Obama, too, having advocated sending our U.S. military into Pakistan without the approval of the Pakistani government, invading the sovereign territory of a troubled partner in the war against terrorism, we've got to call that scenario number two. OK.