Category Archive 'Pakistan'
11 May 2015
Investigative journalist Seymour Hersch has a major exposÃ© in the London Review of Books revealing the astonishing and extraordinarily scale of Barack Obama’s lies regarding the killing of Osama bin Laden. Hersch is a hard-core radical anti-American leftist but, in this case, I expect he’s telling the truth.
And the truth seems to be:
1. Osama bin Laden was being held in Abottabad as a prisoner of ISI, the Pakistani Intelligence Service, which was using him as a hostage to keep al Qaeda from attacking Pakistan. The Saudis were funding his detention.
2. There was no courier trail. A former Pakistani intelligence spilled the beans to the CIA in order to get the offered reward.
3. The Pakistanis knew we were coming, and reluctantly agreed to let the US conduct the hit under threat of loss of US aid.
4. There was no heroism and no firefight. Osama had no guards. He was a helpless invalid and a prisoner and the Seals were under orders simply to kill him out of hand.
5. Osama was not in touch with, or directing, al Qaeda operations, and there was no treasure trove of intelligence.
6. Barack Obama then completely broke his word to the Pakistanis. There was supposed to be a delayed announcement that Osama had been killed by a drone strike on the Afghan side of the Hindu Kush, no mention of the house in Abottabad, and no clues whatsoever of Pakistani involvement or cooperation. By exploiting the killing of Osama for personal prestige immediately and abandoning the agreed-upon “drone strike” story, Obama double-crossed Pakinstan’s Intelligence Service, leading to a four-year-long rupture in relations.
7. There was never any burial at sea or Islamic service. Osama was literally shot to pieces, and the Seals happily tossed body parts out of the helicopter while flying home over the Hindu Kush.
08 Apr 2015
The Kalash live in Chitral, the northernmost district of Pakistan. They look European. Many have blond hair and blue eyes. They speak an Indo-European language of their own, and are not Muslim, but polytheists. They claim to descend from the soldiers of Alexander the Great, and served as the basis of Rudyard Kipling’s story “The Man Who Would Be King.”
Kuriositas has a photoessay.
19 Dec 2014
A few sources this morning are linking the recent massacre of school children in Peshawar with the December 7th handover by the Obama Administration to Pakistan of Latif Mehsud, second in command of the Pakistani Taliban.
Did the Pakis just turn Latif Mehsud loose?
GOP Daily Dose:
According to Reuters, only eight days before the Taliban faction known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) brutally massacred over 130 school children in Peshawar Pakistan on Tuesday, Obama released the terror groupâ€™s second in command, Latif Mehsud.
U.S. forces captured Latif Mehsud, the former number two commander in Pakistanâ€™s faction of the Taliban, in October 2013, in an operation that angered then Afghan president Hamid Karzai.
Mehsud, a Pakistani, and his two guards were secretly flown to Pakistan, two senior Pakistani security officials told Reuters. The U.S. military confirmed it transferred three prisoners to Pakistanâ€™s custody on Saturday, but would not reveal their identities.Taliban terrorist-led attack on Pakistan school leaves at least 141 dead, including 132 children
Taliban: â€œWe Slaughtered 100+ Kids Because Their Parents Helped America.â€ Muslim Terrorists who attacked an army-run school in Peshawar claim itâ€™s retaliation for U.S.-backed efforts to crush a group thatâ€™s helped protect al Qaeda.FOX News The horrific attack in Peshawar, carried out by a relatively small number of militants from the Tehreek-e-Taliban group, a Pakistani militant group trying to overthrow the government, also sent dozens of wounded flooding into local hospitals as terrified parents searched for their children.
After thousands of American lives had already been sacrificed to capture known terrorists in the Middle East, Mehsud had finally been apprehended by U.S. forces during an operation in October 2013. Up until Sunday, the convicted terrorist had been held in the Afghanistan prison. But according to officials, he was handed over along with two others to security officials in Islamabad.
â€œTTP senior commander Latif Mehsud who was arrested was handed over to Pakistani authorities along with his guards,â€ one Pakistani security official said. â€œThey reached Islamabad.â€
Although the Obama administration could try to claim that the release was due to the fact that the United States will no longer be allowed to keep foreign prisoners in Afghanistan when the mission led by the U.S. ends later this month, there were still other viable options available rather than handing these terrorists over to Pakistan.
In an interesting statement, a U.S. embassy spokesperson commented on the release, referring to the convicted terrorists released by Obama as merely â€œthird-country nationals.â€
You know, just normal everyday guys.
â€œWeâ€™re actually just going through and returning all the third-country nationals detained in Afghanistan to resolve that issue,â€ the spokeswoman said.
Or was the attack revenge for Meshud not being released?
On Sunday 07 December President Barack Hussein Obama ordered the release of the second in command of the Pakistani Taliban. Latif Mehsud was transferred from a U.S. military prison in Afghanistan to the Pakistani government.
It is unclear if Mehsud was subsequently released from custody by the Pakistanis or is still incarcerated. The Taliban motive for its attack on the school, which was run by the Pakistani military, is yet unclear. It may have been revenge against the Pakistani government, perhaps because Mehsud remains in jail?
18 Sep 2012
The Daily Mail publishes evidence that the order of the universe is not necessarily on the side of fundamentalist Muslim demonstrators.
A Pakistani protestor has died after inhaling smoke from burning U.S. flags during a rally against the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims.
Abdullah Ismail died in Mayo hospital in Lahore having complained of feeling unwell during the angry demonstrations in the eastern Pakistan city yesterday.
Around 10,000 people are estimated to have taken part in the protest organised by the group Tehreek Hurmat-i-Rasool.
Hat tip to Iowahawk (via FB).
11 Jun 2012
Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
Narco Polo reports that, in Afghanistan, motivated seekers of intoxication will resort to smoking the stingers of local scorpions.
[I]n Afghanistan even the ubiquitous scorpions can be used for intoxication. Tartars in Bamiyan province prepare scorpions by smashing them between stones and letting them dry. The main part of the tail, with the sting, is then crushed into a powder and smoked with tobacco and/or hashish (marijuana).
[A witness] in the Afghan town of Peshawar described the reaction:
The effect was instantaneous with the manâ€™s face and eyes becoming very red, â€œmuch more than a hashish smokerâ€ â€¦. He also seemed very intoxicated but awake and alert, although he stumbled and fell over when he tried to rise from a sitting position â€¦. the smoke tasted â€œsweeterâ€ than that of hashish, although â€¦ it smelled foul, and the intoxicating effect lasted much longer. (1, p. 247)
As with most drugs, anecdotal reports of scorpionâ€™s effects vary widely. It is likely that the numerous Afghan scorpion species have divergent psychoactive properties. Scorpion has been reported to keep one awake, cause severe headaches, and rival the effects of a â€œstrong mescaline trip.â€ (1, p. 248) One Kabul man who had smoked between 20 and 30 times reported the effects to last three days. During these periods he had difficulty opening his eyes, his head spun, and he had constant visual hallucinations.
Globally, scorpion smoking is still rare. The failure of the war on other drugs has not driven people to seek it out â€¦ yet. If drug war success sparking scorpion use sounds unbelievable, in Indiaâ€™s Western states police crackdowns on mainstream illicit drugs have already led to â€œsting sellers.â€ A police officer in the city of Bharuch said:
Because of our successful drives against the sellers and addicts of alcohol, opium, cough syrup, and heroin in urban areas, young people are flocking on the highways to try the new craze of scorpion sting.
The same practice was described as occurring in Pakistan in 2001. Reuters via Wired:
When they’re in season, Ghulam Raza smokes scorpions.
He says he dries their stingers in the sun and grinds them, then lights the powdery venom and sucks the smoke deep into his lungs.
“Oh yes,” he said when asked if the scorpions make him high. “When I smoke scorpion, then the heroin is like nothing to me.”
The place where Raza and other Pakistani junkies smoke dope or shoot up in the southwestern city of Quetta is a good place to find scorpions. It is the main cemetery, a dust-filled field of tombstones and corpse-sized mounds of rocks. …
In the cemetery, sometimes one of them will get very stoned and drop into an open grave.
07 Aug 2011
Michael Yon, as a tribute, published a photo of the interior of a CH-47 helicopter loaded with troops.
DEBKAfile says that the Taliban shot down that Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter in Wardak province carrying 25 members of US Navy SEAL Team Six, 5 crew members, and and 7 Afghan allies, the helicopter down brought using only a rocket-propelled grenade.
Downing a helicopter apparently by a rocket-propelled grenade, which is not a standard anti-aircraft weapon, indicates that the Taliban has perfected methods for shooting down low-flying American helicopters with the basic weapons in their possession.
As the investigation begins on the incident, there are conflicting reports about the mission performed by the men aboard.
According to a US military source, they were returning from an operation in which eight insurgents were believed to have been killed. A Taliban insurgent present at the crash scene told Western correspondents the helicopter was not leaving but arriving: “What we saw was that when we were having our pre-dawn (Ramadan) meal, Americans landed some soldiers for an early raid. The other helicopter also came for the raid,” Mohammad Walil Wardag said. “We were outside our rooms on a veranda and saw this helicopter flying very low, it was hit by a rocket and it was on fire. It started coming down and crashed just away form our home close to the river.”
Some are interpreting the helicopter loss as a deliberate attack on the US force responsible for the killing of Osama bin Laden and blame the Obama Administration for basking publicly in the success of that operation and releasing too many details.
Pakistan newspapers are rejoicing over the deaths of the Americans.
24 Jun 2011
Middle Eastern cartoon accusing ISI of assisting Osama
The New York Times reports a story leaked by US intelligence officials which connects the dots between the late Osama bin Laden and Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency.
The cellphone of Osama bin Ladenâ€™s trusted courier, which was recovered in the raid that killed both men in Pakistan last month, contained contacts to a militant group that is a longtime asset of Pakistanâ€™s intelligence agency, senior American officials who have been briefed on the findings say.
The discovery indicates that Bin Laden used the group, Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen, as part of his support network inside the country, the officials and others said. But it also raised tantalizing questions about whether the group and others like it helped shelter and support Bin Laden on behalf of Pakistanâ€™s spy agency, given that it had mentored Harakat and allowed it to operate in Pakistan for at least 20 years, the officials and analysts said.
09 May 2011
Mark Steyn compares then and now, observing that Kitchener would not only have released the photographs of the dead Osama.
In the fall of 2001, discussing the collapse of the Taliban, Thomas Friedman, the in-house thinker at The New York Times, offered this bit of cartoon analysis:
“For all the talk about the vaunted Afghan fighters, this was a war between the Jetsons and the Flintstones â€“ and the Jetsons won and the Flintstones know it.”
But they didn’t, did they? The Flintstones retreated to their caves, bided their time, and a decade later the Jetsons are desperate to negotiate their way out.
When it comes to instructive analogies, I prefer Khartoum to cartoons. If it took America a decade to avenge the dead of 9/11, it took Britain 13 years to avenge their defeat in Sudan in 1884. But, after Kitchener slaughtered the jihadists of the day at the Battle of Omdurman in 1897, he made a point of digging up their leader the Mahdi, chopping off his head and keeping it as a souvenir. The Sudanese got the message. The British had nary a peep out of the joint until they gave it independence six decades later â€“ and, indeed, the locals fought for King and (distant imperial) country as brave British troops during World War Two. Even more amazingly, generations of English schoolchildren were taught about the Mahdi’s skull winding up as Lord Kitchener’s novelty paperweight as an inspiring tale of national greatness.
Not a lot of that today. It’s hard to imagine Osama’s noggin as an attractive centerpiece at next year’s White House Community Organizer of the Year banquet, and entirely impossible to imagine America’s “educators” teaching the tale approvingly. So instead, even as we explain that our difficulties with this bin Laden fellow are nothing to do with Islam, no sir, perish the thought, we simultaneously rush to assure the Muslim world that, not to worry, we accorded him a 45-minute Islamic funeral as befits an observant Muslim.
That’s why Pakistani big shots harbored America’s mortal enemy and knew they could do so with impunity.
John Henrik Clarke, in Mohammed Ahmed, (The Mahdi) Messiah of the Sudan, says otherwise:
In avenging what he thought was England’s honor, Lord Kitchener showed no mercy and considered nothing to be sacred while he was accomplishing his mission. He more than earned the name, “The Butcher of Omdurman”. He bombarded the tomb of the Mahdi and took his bones and threw them into the Nile. It was said that the Mahdi’s head was packed in a kerosene tin and later used by Kitchener as a tobacco container.
08 May 2011
Mossad’s Internet mouthpiece has posted two intriguing articles offering inside-the-Intelligence-industry perspective on US activities related to Pakistan. Article one contends that the US has notified Pakistan’s government and ISI, Pakistan’s Intelligence Service, that the US knows Pakistani officials have been working with Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda and is now demanding that Pakistan clean house.
DEBKA is not above lying, but its credibility tends to be better in areas in which no actual interest of its own is at stake, and where it is just showing off its information access.
The Obama administration is presenting the successful Osama bin Laden hit as an epic American solo operation, unparalleled in military and intelligence annals, while leaning hard on Islamabad to sack certain officers of the powerful military intelligence army ISI including its head Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha, accusing them of keeping the dead al Qaeda leader hidden for eight years.
The ISI chief is a close confidant of Pakistan’s chief of staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani with whom Washington works closely and so the demand for Pasha’s head is seen as casting aspersions on him too.
American sources reported Saturday, May 7 that five days earlier, just hours after bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a high-ranking US official landed in Islamabad with a demand to bring the ISI officers involved in sheltering the al Qaeda leader to book.
It now appears that the iconic jihadi leader first arrived in Pakistani in 2003 and stayed in the small village of Chak Shah Mohammad near Haripur 40 kilometers north of the Pakistani capital. According Pakistani sources, this information came from questioning the Bin Laden wife found and detained in the Abbottabad villa where he was killed. She said the family stayed in the village two and-a-half years before moving to Abbottabad in 2005.
debkafile’s intelligence sources report that details are slipping out over bin Laden’s secret Pakistani addresses over the years. The ISI used some of those compounds as safe houses for terrorists from other organizations. The Abbottabad villa compound is now revealed as having served as a byway station for terrorists from Pakistan-backed organizations heading for Kashmir, long a violent bone of contention with India.
In summer, however, it had a very different use: High-ranking diplomats and officials of the Pakistani foreign office used it as a holiday villa, attracted by the pleasant climate in this North West Frontier town.
Far from being off the beaten track, the property was therefore in regular use by the authorities in Islamabad. …
Washington is not only cutting Pakistan out of any [credit for Osama’s takedown] but [is] bent on weakening Pakistani military intelligence and, in particular, the officials tied to Osama bin Laden, on the assumption that they are also in touch with other high-profile al Qaeda leaders and may even be harboring them too. The US also presumes them to be in connection with the very Taliban leaders American soldiers are fighting in Afghanistan.
The Obama administration is vitally interested in weakening the Pakistani factions maintaining those ties and showing Taliban they can no longer be relied on as protection against America’s long arm. The US will ultimately corner Taliban’s leaders, whether by diplomatic engagement or the methods which ended Osama bin Laden’s life.
Pakistan’s take is not just different but increasingly resentful: Its military intelligence insists the bin Laden operation would not have succeeded without close cooperation between the CIA and ISI and the two armies â€“ or some factions thereof â€“ which was maintained at least up until President Obama’s decision to authorize the Abbottabad raid. This view is supported by some Western counterterrorism agencies engaged in the war on al Qaeda.
Pakistani officials suspect the US administration heads is deliberately denying them a measure of credit for the successful mission because, with bin Laden gone, Obama feels confident enough to go straight to the Taliban to negotiate an end to the Afghanistan war and dispense with Pakistan’s good services as intermediaries. With the al Qaeda leader out of the way, he wants to see the back of a Pakistan role in Afghanistan.
debkafile’s counter-terror sources warn that the rising acrimony between Washington and Islamabad may well deter Pakistani intelligence from fingering more wanted al Qaeda figures and their hideouts – or even encourage the ISI to stand aside when Taliban goes for American targets in revenge for bin Laden’s termination.
Article 2 has the even more interesting account of a new US manhunt underway.
In the wake of the Osama bin Laden operation, the US is sustaining the momentum of the war on terror by sending more Special Forces and drones into Pakistan after his top lieutenant, the Egyptian Ayman al Zawahiri, Taliban leader Mullah Omer and al Qaeda’s chief operations officer, Seif al Adal.
debkafile’s counter-terror sources report that on May 2, the day bin Laden was killed, the Taliban leader and his top staff were thought to be in Karachi, southern Pakistan and the two al Qaeda leaders in the tribal region of North Waziristan. All three are presumed to have since moved on.
US intelligence suspects their whereabouts are known to Pakistan’s Inter-Services-Intelligence agency (ISI).
Our Washington sources report that Saturday night, May 7, President Barack Obama gave the Pakistani government, army and intelligence an ultimatum: Cooperate in the capture of the three wanted men or else we shall pump more American soldiers into Pakistan to take up the pursuit with or without your permission.
US intelligence is convinced that Omer, Zawahiri and al-Adal have joined forces and are plotting a revenge attack on America dramatic enough to outdo the psychological impact of the bin Laden killing.
Al-Adal, whom Iran released in Sept. 2010 and allowed to cross into Pakistan, is rated the most competent and innovative planner of large-scale terrorist attacks.
03 May 2011
Pakistan’s current President Asif Ali Zardari (Wikipedia bio) assures us today, in the Washington Post, that Pakistan has been even more the victim of Islamic extremist terrorism than the United States, and is on our side in the war against al Qaeda.
He is the widower of Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in December of 2007 by indigenous Pakistani Muslim extremists belonging to Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, an al Qaeda-affiliate group, so his personal antipathy to Islamicist terrorism is believable. Mr. Zardari is, on the other hand, a notoriously corrupt politician, with a record of two convictions and imprisonments for kickbacks, who has demonstrably misrepresented his own educational credentials, and who is referred to derisively in his own country as “Mr. Ten Per Cent” in reference to his corruption scandals. So his word is not exactly to be relied upon.
We know now that when Osama bin Laden’s trail grew cold in 2005, he had begun hiding in a high-walled safe house in Abbottabad recently constructed at a site previously used for the same purpose by Pakistan’s intelligence service and located only 800 meters from the Pakistan Military Academy in a summer resort community popular with Pakistani senior military officers and government officials, located only about 45 road miles (roughly 72 kilometers) from the capital.
Osama bin Laden’s targeting of the United States for terrorist attacks constituted an act of remarkable perfidy and ingratitude because bin Laden had previously been himself a recipient of US aid and support in the Islamic holy war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
It seems that the US has been dealing for decades now, over five presidential administrations, with an extremist Islamist axis combining Afghans, Pakistanis, and wahabi jihadists from the Gulf States who have all accepted friendship and financial and material aid from the United States in liberating Afghanistan in the aftermath of the Soviet invasion, and then turned on America and West as a target of terrorism.
Pakistan has, in the aftermath of 9/11, accepted billions and billions of dollars of US aid and pretended to be a US ally, while continually using claims of sovereignty to restrict Allied operations against Taliban and al Qaeda targets and constantly exploiting claims of civilians casualties to hamper and demonize Allied air attacks.
It seems impossible to believe that Osama bin Laden has been sitting for almost six years in his walled compound in Abbottabad without the knowledge and assistance of significant parts of the government of Pakistan.
The recent Raymond Davis affair in which Pakistani authorities unlawfully detained an American holding diplomatic credentials after he shot a couple of thugs on motorcycles who were menacing him, and which ended with the payment of “blood money” for his release, actually delayed the US operation to eliminate bin Laden.
Last month, Pakistan was urging Afghanistan to reject an ongoing strategic partnership with the United States.
The denoument of the long search for bin Laden exposes in sharp contrast the hypocrisy, perfidy, and double-dealings of Pakistan and poses the direct question: What is the US Government going to do about this, now that it knows?