Democrats agree on right to pursue Osama bin Laden in Pakistan

Democratic presidential hopefuls agreed the United States has the right to go after terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan without first obtaining permission from the government in power. "As much as possible," the United States should seek agreement from Pakistanis, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama said in the opening moments of a campaign debate Saturday night that comes three days before the critical New Hampshire primary. He said he stands by his declaration last summer that he would order action if he had "actionable intelligence" on bin Laden's whereabouts _ whether or not the Pakistani government approved. Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards agreed. "If I as president of the United States know where Osama bin Laden is I would go get him," the 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee said. Likewise, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said that if diplomacy failed and the Pakistani government was incapable of moving against the terrorist leader, "then you do take that action." Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York agreed, saying, "At some point, probably when the missiles have been launched, the Pakistani government has to know they are on the way." She said that was important to make sure Pakistan did not jump to the conclusion that it was under attack from India, its longtime rival in south Asia.