Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The power of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency

Two articles published shortly after Benazir Bhutto's death (the cause still a mystery) caught my attention.

1. Ken Silverstein, who blogs for Harper’s Magazine at Washinton Babylon, posted "Support for Taliban Missing from Bhutto Obits" on December 29th. Silverstein quotes from Steve Coll's best-seller, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden: “Benazir Bhutto, who was secretly authorizing the Taliban’s covert aid, did not let the Americans know. She visited Washington in the spring of 1995, met with President Clinton, and promoted the Taliban as a pro-Pakistan force that could help stabilize Afghanistan… During her visit and for many months afterward Bhutto and her aides repeatedly lied to American government officials and members of Congress about the extent of Pakistani military and financial aid to the Taliban… Bhutto had decided it was more important to appease the Pakistani army and intelligence service than to level with her American friends.”

The intelligence service Coll referred to is the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI. I have Ghost Wars, so I checked the index for references to the ISI. There are 26 separate references, including:

A. Bhutto opposed by, 191-92, 212, 217, 289, 349
B. bin Laden’s collaboration with, 16, 212, 327, 341, 375, 407, 439, 452, 456, 477
C. CIA collaboration with, 11, 63-65, 99, 127, 129, 131-132, 148, 150, 152, 164, 180, 183-84, 191. 207, 208, 211, 213, 217-20, 225, 233-37, 277, 315, 329, 336, 373, 374, 375, 415, 436. 442-43, 505, 508, 513, 516, 551-52,
D. Taliban aided by, 291, 292-94,296, 331, 332, 348, 414. 456, 510, 517, 565.

2. The next item appeared in an e-mail from my election integrity allies at Election Defense Alliance, linking to a McClatchy Newspapers article posted on December 31st, "Bhutto report: Musharraf planned to fix elections": “The day she was assassinated last Thursday, Benazir Bhutto had planned to reveal new evidence alleging the involvement of Pakistan's intelligence agencies in rigging the country's upcoming elections, an aide said Monday.

“Bhutto had been due to meet U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., to hand over a report charging that the military Inter-Services Intelligence agency was planning to fix the polls in the favor of President Pervez Musharraf.”

(symbolic intelligence agent and Pakistan flag: BBC News)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Poor Bhutto -- bitten (presumably) by the hand she was feeding.

We will probably never know how she came to die.

Janie

a reader in the US said...

The operative word here is "thinking". Thank the fates someone is. Yes, Coll is good. Here is something to ponder: take a good re-look at the full video of the "capture" of Ramzi binAlshebh by the self-same ISI. He is surrounded by ISI, and in all of the major dailies in the US we get to see him blindfolded with his hands bound behind his back...but...in the video footage (Al J.)he is pumping a free fist in the air for a good 10 to 20 seconds. Believe me, when you are in the custody of an "ISI" (or perhaps, like, the Colombian "DAS", say)you will get a machine gun butt to your head if you even ATTEMPT to free a hand - even reflexively. But not this guy. In Pakistan, nothing is ever what it seems...thanks mostly to the shadowy, CIA trained, American funded ISI. I feel badly for Ms. Bhutto, but my notes all throughout "Ghost Wars" say she was a pathological liar. Her 19 year old son is out of his mind...and depth. The boy can't even speak the native language. You can bet there was a shooter (Phase 1) and a "suicide bomber" (Phase 2)and who knows what else. Remind you of anything?

Gail Jonas said...

Thanks, reader from the us.

Check Steve Clemons's (also of the New America Foundation)comments this morning about Brezezinski's post-Bhutto assassination statements.