( – promoted by buhdydharma )
Like clockwork in being timed with the latest wikileaks release:
After increasing the number of drone attacks in September, now the US is pressuring Pakistan to let in more covert paramilitary and CIA forces to increase the unknown, classified number that are already there – to support the death by drones program that is killing an unknown number of militants and civilians. The story in the WSJ also says that Pakistan’s Inter – Services Intelligence agency, ISI, is currently doing most of the intelligence gathering and that CIA chief Leon Panetta has called them “very cooperative.”
Wall Street Journal:
The Obama administration has been ramping up pressure on Islamabad in recent weeks to attack militants after months of publicly praising Pakistani efforts. The CIA has intensified drone strikes in Pakistan, and the military in Afghanistan has carried out cross-border helicopter raids, underlining U.S. doubts Islamabad can be relied upon to be more aggressive. Officials have even said they were going to stop asking for Pakistani help with the U.S.’s most difficult adversary in the region, the North Waziristan-based Haqqani network, because it was unproductive.
Pakistani officials believe the CIA is better able to keep details of its operations largely out of the public eye, although the agency’s drone program has received widespread attention and is enormously unpopular with the Pakistani public.
U.S. military forces on the ground remain a red line for Islamabad. A senior Pakistani official said if the Pakistan public became aware of U.S. military forces conducting combat operations on Pakistani territory, it would wipe out popular support for fighting the militants in the tribal areas. Whether covert CIA forces would cross that line however, remains an open question.
Back in July, the public relationship wasn’t so cozy.
…. but the US – Pakistan relationship is at the heart of Washington’s counterterrorism efforts.
But the CIA became so concerned by a rash of cases involving suspected double agents in 2009, it re-examined the spies it had on the payroll in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. The internal investigation revealed about a dozen double agents, stretching back several years. Most of them were being run by Pakistan. Other cases were deemed suspicious. The CIA determined the efforts were part of an official offensive counterintelligence program being run by Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the ISI’s spy chief.
Recruiting agents to track down and kill terrorists and militants is a top priority for the CIA, and one of the clandestine service’s greatest challenges. The drones can’t hit their targets without help finding them. Such efforts would be impossible without Pakistan’s blessing, and the U.S. pays about $3 billion a year in military and economic aid to keep the country stable and cooperative.
Pakistan has its own worries about the Americans. During the first term of the Bush administration, Pakistan became enraged after it shared intelligence with the U.S., only to learn the CIA station chief passed that information to the British. The incident caused a serious row, one that threatened the CIA’s relationship with the ISI and deepened the levels of distrust between the two sides. Pakistan almost threw the CIA station chief out of the country.
July 2010 – HuffPo says 8 years after the war in Afghanistan, a very poor and not very large country, was not going so well, the Obama administration finally became “concerned” about their intelligence partners in the region. Three months after the first batch of wikileaks were released, April 5, 2010.
The other story about the mideast wars in the same leader box today at HuffPo, which is rapidly falling down the page, is from the Washington Post:
Expanded US Military Aid Sought For Pakistan
The Obama administration has met 3 times this year with Pakistan. On the latest one, Oct 20, the President met directly with General Ashfaq Kayani. On Friday, Sec of State Hillary Clinton asked for $2 billion more that would be used for increased weapons purchasing by Pakistan. The Pakistani “government” would like a 5 year guarantee that the amount would match what is given in non military aid. Which is $7.5 Billion.
This year they’re getting about $2 Billion in military aid, if you can believe the WAPO. (see above, “covert”, plus this does not take into account the cost of the drone airplanes and support ) The story also reminds us that Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont is head of the Appropriations subcommittee that does State Department funding.
Congress still has to authorize both civilian and military spending on Pakistan each year.
In a White House meeting Wednesday with the Pakistani delegation, including Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, the military chief of staff, President Obama praised Pakistan’s efforts but said the United States expects a more robust offensive against al-Qaeda and Taliban sanctuaries in the tribal areas along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.
Obama, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials, repeated a message that has been transmitted several times by the administration: If a terrorist attack on the United States is ever shown to have emanated from Pakistan, the U.S. government will be forced to respond.
Now here’s the same story in the Sri Lanka Guardian in August, which cites again The Wikileaks Documents.
The WikiLeaks documents are damaging. Americans fighting the war in Afghanistan have long harboured strong suspicions that the ISI has guided the Afghan insurgency with a hidden hand, even as Pakistan receives more than $1 billion a year from Washington for its help combating the militants, according to a trove of secret military field reports made public on Sunday.
The reports suggest, however, that the Pakistani military has acted as both ally and enemy, as its spy agency runs what American officials have long suspected is a double game – appeasing certain American demands for cooperation while angling to exert influence in Afghanistan through many of the same insurgent networks that the Americans are fighting to eliminate.
The WikiLeaks papers had not fallen on the Americans like the Pentagon paper leaks of 1971 that unbarred the ugly war of America in Vietnam and the lies the White House was telling to the Americans. But it has again proved to the American people that their country is involved in an infructuous war and their money is going down the drain to the pockets of the generals in Pakistan and the Talibans. As Frank Rich says in his article in New York Times (Kiss the War Goodbye Aug 2, 2010), “Obama was right to say that the leaked documents “don’t reveal any issues that haven’t already informed our public debate in Afghanistan,” but that doesn’t mean the debate was resolved in favor of his policy. Americans know that our counterinsurgency partner, Hamid Karzai, is untrustworthy. They know that the terrorists out to attack us are more likely to be found in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia than Afghanistan. And they are starting to focus on the morbid reality, highlighted in the logs, of the de facto money-laundering scheme that siphons American taxpayers’ money through the Pakistan government to the Taliban, who then disperse it to kill Americans.
So, if these documents are supposedly a SECRET that was LEAKED from the Pentagon, I have to ask anyone reading this-
Are we really being expected to believe that the Pentagon had no earthly idea whatsoever what was in their secret documents that showed the ISI was supposedly two – timing them ? So what are they doing with all this ? Filing it away under “mebbee getaroundtuit sometime ?”
And that supposedly newly found rationale that “Pakistan is Screwing Us on ISI Intel” is supposed to be the reason we now give the State Department and the CIA more money to keep running this, and hope it works out for the best ?
Didn’t we already do this with the very early Bush administration and the team of journalists including Judith Miller, who were writing in the New York times about the “Millennium Plot,” as a build up to Who and What is al – Qaida and the Taliban, and Why We Should Go to War Against Them ? Before September of 2001 ?
List of unchanged stories in the NYT:
Version before the historical reckoning changed about Guantanamo detainees:
BOMB PLOT INSIDER DETAILS TRAINING
By LAURA MANSNERUS and JUDITH MILLER
Ahmed Ressam, Algerian convicted of trying to carry out terrorist bombing of Los Angeles airport on eve of millennium celebration, testifies that he received money and training in Afghanistan at camps believed to be run by Osama bin Laden; plot went awry on Dec 14, 1999, when Ressam was stopped at Washington State border and more than 100 pounds of explosives were found in his car; testimony comes at trial of Mokhtar Haouari, Algerian accused of providing money and support for plot; Ressam phot…
July 4, 2001
BOMB PLOT INSIDER DETAILS TRAINING
By LAURA MANSNERUS and JUDITH MILLER
Published: July 04, 2001
In his testimony, Mr. Ressam said the camps were run by Abu Zubaida, the nom de guerre of a Palestinian whom American officials have identified as an important lieutenant to Mr. bin Laden.
American officials say Abu Zubaida reports directly to Mr. bin Laden and is in charge of recruiting for the camps. Mr. Ressam said Abu Zubaida arranged for his trip from Montreal to Afghanistan, providing him with Afghan clothes and an Afghan guide to take him from Pakistan to a camp called Khalden.
On October 20, 2008, two years ago, the United States Dept of Defense (Pentagon) dropped all charges against one Guantanamo detainee and British subject, Binyam Mohamed, whose original charge sheets had linked them to Abu Zubaydah, the same “mastermind” mentioned above. Binyam Mohamed had been arrested in Pakistan.
Allegations against Abu Zubaydah were made and then recanted by Ahmed Ressam, aka Benni Noris the Algerian who attempted the Millenium bombing. Ahmed Ressam is mentioned above.
From the timeline I wrote in April, after Abu Zubaydah’s attorney, Brent Mickum, wrote his client’s story for the Guardian UK, The Truth about Abu Zubaydah :
4/3/10 The Day After Good Friday: Zubaydah
The Government of the United States, in court documents recently declassified in late March 2010, has recanted all charges that Abu Zubaydah was a member of al Qaeda or had anything to do with the Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Mr. Zubaydah still languishes in Guantanamo. He was waterboarded at least 83 times in the summer of 2002 on orders given from the V.P. Dick Cheney.
Mr. Zubaydah was arrested in Faisalabad Pakistan, on March 28, 2002. Previously to his arrest, by 1999 the US Government was running surveillance on him based on his alleged activities as an aide to Osama bin Laden.
The co – conspirator of Mr. Zubaydah in the alleged Millennium bombing plot was named “Khalil Deek” and he was arrested in Peshawar, Pakistan. He was released in 2001 and has been called a Jordanian mole agent.
•Abu Zubaydah. Arrested in Pakistan. Tortured in USA. Charges Recanted. Not the #2 Al Quaida. Unreleased.
•Binyam Mohamed. Arrested in Pakistan. Tortured in USA. Released thanks to persistance of British Court.
•Khalil Deek. Arrested in Pakistan. Released by Jordan, probably a double or triple agent.
•Ahmed Ressam, Arrested on US/Canadian border, Dec for smuggling explosives. Falsely rats out Mr Zubaydah during pre trial investigation – or was it Hainault ? See below quote. Ressam- Spent time in Pakistan.
NY Times, 1/21/2000
Canada adds details on Algerians’ suspected Bomb Plot
Mr. Haineault said Mr. Ressam, known by the nom de guerre Abu Reda, had received military training at camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan run by militants.
American officials speculate that Mr. bin Laden is linked to the bomb plot, but have not offered specifics to support their assertion.
Dick Cheney and other officials during his Bush administration tenure, have never been charged with any crimes, presumably because he has never been caught visiting Pakistan. The false confessions obtained by his waterboarding Guantanamo detainees, however, were used by the Bush – Cheney administration as the rationale for starting the Iraq War.
But we do like to keep buying “intelligence” off of Pakistan. Damn the consequences. Maybe they’ll get it right sometime.