03 May 2011

Wow, Pakistan is Embarrassed? They Should Be...

So the Paks are complaining about being excluded from the bin Laden raid.

Pakistan's president acknowledged for the first time on Tuesday that his security forces were left out of a U.S. operation to kill Osama bin Laden, but he did little to dispel questions over how the al Qaeda leader was able to live in comfort near Islamabad.
The revelation that bin Laden had holed up in a compound in the military garrison town of Abbottabad, possibly for years, prompted many U.S. lawmakers to demand a review of the billions of dollars in aid Washington gives to nuclear-armed Pakistan.
"He was not anywhere we had anticipated he would be, but now he is gone," Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari wrote in an opinion piece in the Washington Post, without offering further defense against accusations his security services should have known where bin Laden was hiding.
"Although the events of Sunday were not a joint operation, a decade of cooperation and partnership between the United States and Pakistan led up to the elimination of Osama bin Laden as a continuing threat to the civilized world."

Well, there's a reason that US lawmakers are asking if bin Laden was hiding in plain sight.

Incredulous lawmakers are pressing Pakistan for answers to two simple questions: What did its army and intelligence agents know of Osama bin Laden's whereabouts and when did they know it?
The al-Qaida terrorist leader behind the Sept. 11 attacks lived and died in a massive, fortified compound built in 2005 and located on the outskirts of Abbottabad, some 60 miles from the capital of Islamabad. It stood just a half-mile from the Kakul Military Academy, Pakistan's equivalent of West Point, and close to various army regiments.
Amid the high praise Monday for the successful U.S. military operation, congressional Republicans and Democrats questioned whether bin Laden was hiding in plain sight, with Pakistani military and intelligence operatives either totally unaware of his location or willfully ignoring his presence to protect him.
It was more than a rhetorical question as lawmakers raised the possibility of imposing conditions on the billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars that flow to Pakistan, largely economic aid to back an unsteady government.
"I think this tells us once again that, unfortunately, Pakistan at times is playing a double game," said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a Senate Armed Services Committee member who indicated that Congress could put limits on funds for Pakistan.

Maybe if the ISI was working for the Pak government, instead of being OBL's crony network, the country would be a little less embarrassed.

When U.S. President Obama called Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to tell him the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed by U.S. citizens in a lightening raid not far from the Pakistani capital last night, he also instructed his team to similarly inform their Pakistani counterparts. The question is, who was surprised when they picked up the phone?
That bin Laden had been living in a specially constructed compound less than an hours' drive from Pakistani military HQ, and in the same town as the country's premier military academy, makes the near constant denials by Pakistan's intelligence agencies that the terror group leader was in the country difficult to swallow. Sure, there are at times a Keystone-cops element to the operational methods of the agencies - those assigned to trail foreign journalists in the country are less than subtle in their surveillance methods: One once asked me my address, as he was sitting in my house, another decided that quizzing my driver about my activities was far less work than actually following me to interviews - but bumbling or not, they are ubiquitous. The crackle and click of telephone lines is the constant reminder that no conversation over the phone is private, the crew-cut men in beige that materialize whenever I start asking questions proof that one is never quite alone in Pakistan. So the idea that absolutely no one but American intelligence knew who was living in that multi-million dollar compound beggars belief.
Obama was careful to thank Pakistani assistance in the raid, but how, exactly, the Pakistanis assisted will be a key part of understanding the relationship between Pakistan and the U.S. going forward. Just a few weeks ago, U.S. Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen told Pakistani English-language newspaper Dawn that the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had a "relationship" with the al Qaeda affiliated Haqqani network:
"It's fairly well known that the ISI has a longstanding relationship with the Haqqani network….Haqqani is supporting, funding, training fighters that are killing Americans and killing coalition partners. And I have a sacred obligation to do all I can to make sure that doesn't happen…..So that's at the core - it's not the only thing - but that's at the core that I think is the most difficult part of the relationship."

Maybe if the ISI wasn't too busy protecting the Taliban they could try to find the most wanted man in the world in the town with their military academy...

By: Brant

No comments: