Husain Haqqani

Haqqani’s Revenge?

As Jim laid out this morning, yesterday Nawaz Sharif visited the White House, where he scolded the President for the use of drones.

Pakistan and the United States have a strong ongoing counterterrorism cooperation. We have agreed to further strengthen this cooperation. I also brought up the issue of drones in our meeting, emphasizing the need for an end to such strikes.

The statement comes in the wake of an Amnesty International report finding some of the US drone strikes in Pakistan it examined were illegal.

Even before Sharif made his comments, Michael Hirsh pointed to a protocol between the US and Pakistan authorizing some of the strikes.

But what is obscured by the public dispute is that there has been, since the administrations of George W. Bush and Pervez Musharraf, a secret agreement in place by which Pakistani military and intelligence authorities have approved many of the strikes, U.S. and Pakistani officials say.

“The exact terms were never shared with civilians but there was a protocol between the Musharraf government and the Americans,” says a former senior Pakistani official who would discuss the classified matter only on condition of anonymity. “When the civilian government came in [in 2008], it was informed about it but there was no renegotiation.”

Elsewhere, Hirsh quotes from Husain Haqqani’s upcoming book, Magnificent Delusions, which is available but technically does not get published until November 5.

Then, later in the day, Woodward et al published a story reporting on the drone agreements between the US and Pakistan (note, Jonathan Landay reported this story back in April, though relying on different documents covering a slightly different span of time and US sources). The WaPo story covers strikes from late 2007 to late 2011, though the 2007 strikes were reported in a 2008 document.

Despite repeatedly denouncing the CIA’s drone campaign, top officials in Pakistan’s government have for years secretly endorsed the program and routinely received classified briefings on strikes and casualty counts, according to top-secret CIA documents and Pakistani diplomatic memos obtained by The Washington Post.

The files describe dozens of drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal region and include maps as well as before-and-after aerial photos of targeted compounds over a four-year stretch from late 2007 to late 2011 in which the campaign intensified dramatically.

Husain Haqqani was Foreign Minister Ambassador to the US from April 2008 until November 2011.

The story relies on a document from Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs that almost certainly wouldn’t have been shared willingly.

In a measure of the antagonism between the two sides, a 2010 memo sent by Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to its embassy in Washington outlined a plan to undermine the CIA.

“Kindly find enclosed a list of 36 U.S. citizens who are [believed] to be CIA special agents and would be visiting Pakistan for some special task,” said the memo, signed by an official listed as the country’s director general for the Americas. “Kindly do not repeat not issue visas to the same.”

And WaPo describes some of the documents may have been used in briefings Mike Morell gave to Husain Haqqani.

Several of the files are labeled as “talking points” prepared for the DDCIA, which stands for deputy director of the CIA. Michael J. Morell, who held that position before retiring this year, delivered regular briefings on the drone program to Husain Haqqani, who was the Pakistani ambassador to the United States at the time.

But Haqqani refused to comment for the WaPo.

When contacted Wednesday, Haqqani declined to comment and said he would not discuss classified materials.

Perhaps the most interesting file portrayed by the WaPo describes Hillary Clinton complaining to her Pakistani “counterparts” (again, suggesting these documents were Haqqani’s) about Pakistan’s support for terrorism.

Some files describe tense meetings in which senior U.S. officials, including then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, confront their Pakistani counterparts with U.S. intelligence purporting to show Pakistan’s ties to militant groups involved in attacks on American forces, a charge that Islamabad has consistently denied.

In one case, Clinton cited “cell phones and written material from dead bodies that point all fingers” at a militant group based in Pakistan, according to a Pakistani diplomatic cable dated Sept. 20, 2011. “The U.S. had intelligence proving ISI was involved with these groups,” she is cited as saying, referring to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

A Jeffrey Goldberg review of Haqqani’s book reveals it criticizes Pakistan for supporting terrorism.

Whether Haqqani talked to Woodward, the documents sure seem to come from his collection and may have been used to write his book. Maybe they got liberated in the process of publication?

Now, Landay’s story described how we originally got permission for drone strikes from the Pakistani government (though often had to fight to get it). But we stopped when it became clear Pakistan was protecting the Haqqani network to sustain its influence in Afghanistan (a topic Sharif and Obama also discussed yesterday).

The main reason for ending the ISI’s ability to veto targets, said two former U.S. defense officials and a senior U.S. official, was that after several years of arguing, U.S. military and intelligence officials finally persuaded the White House that ISI officers were protecting the Haqqani network to ensure that it could participate in peace talks and bring a pro-Pakistan government to power in Kabul. The three requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

“Basically, they (the CIA and ISI) started out together but then they diverged because the two sides had different objectives. It was as simple as that,” explained the individual with knowledge of the North Waziristan strike.

As you’ll recall, Haqqani was ousted in 2011 for having passed on a memo in May 2011 to Admiral Mike Mullen expressing Asif Zardari’s concern that Pakistani military and intelligence would launch a coup in response to the Osama bin Laden raid. The entire point of the Mansoor Ijaz column that first revealed the memo was to call on the US to treat ISI’s Section S as a terrorist organization. But in ousting Haqqani, his column led to a stronger hand for ISI and the military.

Sharif has always been perceived as much more approving of terrorists than Zardari (and has very close ties to Saudi Arabia). And it may be that his call to end drone strikes is intended to protect Pakistan’s own sponsored terrorist organizations.

The leak doesn’t target Sharif directly — the materials all precede him. But it does make it clear that those aiming to halt strikes that target Pakistan’s terrorists have also used drones for their own uses.

Update: Thanks to Glenn Kessler who pointed out my error on Haqqani’s title.

Why Would Woodward Leak Confirmation of US-Pak Collaboration on Drone Strikes While Sharif Was in DC?

Obama and Sharif enter the Oval Office yesterday.

Obama and Sharif enter the Oval Office yesterday.

On the same day that Pakistan’s newly elected Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, spoke to the press alongside US President Barack Obama in Washington, Bob Woodward teamed with Greg Miller to release confirmation that Pakistan’s government has agreed to and collaborated in choosing targets for the US “secret” drone program inside Pakistan. Participation by Pakistan, and especially its military, has long been known by close observers and the regular insistence by Pakistan’s government that drone strikes are a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty is viewed cynically as the government’s need to provide domestic political cover.

On first thought, the timing of this revelation seems to break the basic tenets of what Marcy describes as the Bob Woodward Law that applies to classified information being leaked to Woodward:

As explained by John Rizzo in the context of the Obama Administration’s leaks to Bob Woodward, they can and do insta-declassify stuff for their own political purposes all the time. They can do it to make the President look important; they can do it to lie us into an illegal war; they can do it to ruin the career of someone who might expose the earlier lies.

The timing of this leak seems to be aimed more at embarrassing Obama than making him look important. The description of the joint appearance by the New York Times is quite interesting if one assumes that Sharif and Obama were aware that the leak was about to be published:

But Mr. Sharif said after the meeting that he had asked Mr. Obama to halt American drone strikes in Pakistan, broaching an issue that has aggravated tensions. The president did not respond publicly, saying only that the two sides needed to find ways to fight terrorism “that respect Pakistan’s sovereignty, that respect the concerns of both countries.”

So Obama would not address the drone issue directly in his public remarks. But it seems that Sharif was not particularly enthusiastic in his obligatory public denouncement of drone strikes: Continue reading

US Negotiators Leave Pakistan, Supreme Court Commission Blames Husain Haqqani for Memo

There are two separate major developments coming out of Pakistan in the last 24 hours. First, US negotiators have left Pakistan without reaching an agreement on reopening NATO supply routes. Both sides appear to be trying to gloss over the obvious conclusion that this represents a major breakdown in the process, but since it appears that Pakistan is insistent on a real apology over the killing of 24 Pakistani troops last November and a stop to US drone strikes in Pakistan, there is no reason to continue the lower level talks on details of route reopening until the larger political issues are settled.

On a separate front, the commission appointed by Pakistan’s supreme court has finally delivered its report and it places blame squarely on former ambassador Husain Haqqani for authoring the memo that sought US help in avoiding a military coup days after the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Haqqani has been ordered to return to the country, but he is rightly pointing out that the commission’s findings are not the result of a judicial process and that he has not yet presented his defense.

Dawn provides a summary of the breakdown in negotiations:

The Pentagon said on Monday the United States was pulling its negotiators from Pakistan but the State Department said the team could go back at an appropriate time.

Pakistan’s Ambassador in Washington, Sherry Rehman, also indicated that the talks would continue.

But diplomatic observers in the US capital noted that “no spin can hide the fact that relations between the two countries are at their worst now”, as one of them said on an American news channel.

“I believe that some of the team left over the weekend and the remainder of the team will leave shortly,” Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told a briefing in Washington. “This was a US decision.”

The Express Tribune offers more details:

Officials familiar with the development said the two sides have almost worked out technical details on the resumption of Nato supply lines but the deal could not be finalised due to political issues, including the US refusal to offer an explicit apology for the Salala raid and halt drone strikes.

“Unless the US offers something that resembles an apology, it is very difficult for Pakistan to reopen Nato supplies,” said an official familiar with the development.

“We want to have a package deal and the issue of apology is still included … there will be no compromise on it,” the official added.

The US appears to be taking a very hard line at this point. Reuters quotes a “senior US government official”: Continue reading

In Memogate Cross-Examination, Ijaz Claims to Have Transcript of Zardari, Kayani Phone Conversation

Following up on his original video deposition from late last month, Mansoor Ijaz, once again by video link from London, was subjected to cross-examination yesterday and today by the judicial commission investigating the Memogate scandal. Ijaz reiterated his primary claim he has made from the start, that his actions were prompted by a strong belief that a military coup was imminent on the heels of the US action that killed Osama bin Laden in May, 2011.

Although he did not list the countries, Ijaz claimed to have been briefed by intelligence agents from four different countries. He submitted multiple documents as his proof. The Express Tribune described the documents as including a transcript of a phone call between Pakistan’s President and Army Chief:

After Haqqani approached him first, Ijaz said, he used his contacts with intelligence agencies of various countries to obtain documents, including travel records of Director-General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, minute-by-minute Pakistan Air traffic Control flight monitoring of US helicopters which infiltrated Pakistani airspace for the May 2 raid, and a transcript of a call between President Asif Ali Zardari and Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

Interestingly, Dawn’s coverage of the cross-examination doesn’t specifically mention Zardari and Kayani by name as being in the transcripts, although it comes close:

During the cross-examination before the judicial commission investigating the case, the Pakistani-American businessman said he had been briefed by at least four intelligence networks of different countries after the killing of Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad on May 2, last year.

He said he had obtained the information about actions and reactions of Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, President Asif Ali Zardari and the military secretary to the president after the incident, details of foreign visits of the Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and transcripts of conversation between air traffic control staff and the pilots of the US helicopters which raided Osama’s compound.

/snip/

He also claimed to have the transcripts of conversations between the President’s House and the Army House on the operation.

How is it that an American citizen of Pakistani descent would have access to intelligence agencies of so many countries?  And, especially, how could Ijaz come into possession of a transcript of a call between Zardari and Kayani? Continue reading

Mansoor Ijaz Rejects Security Arrangements, Does Not Go To Pakistan for Testimony

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPebe5kcnMo[/youtube]

Today is the day on which Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz was scheduled to provide testimony before a judicial commission in the Memogate controversy that has heightened tensions between Pakistan’s civilian government and its military. In many ways, Ijaz stands as the central character in the case, as he was the first to mention the existence of the memo at the heart of the controversy and was responsible for delivering it to US authorities. Remarkably, although the memo seeks US help in supporting the government’s removal of top leaders in Pakistan’s military and intelligence forces, and despite Ijaz’s claims that he and former Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani are close friends who worked together to produce and deliver the memo, Ijaz now claims that he wants military protection if he is to return to Pakistan and that he fears the government will seize and destroy important electronic evidence in his possession. Such a change of apparent allegiance is not surprising, given Ijaz’s controversial past.

The Express Tribune provides a short description of Ijaz’s refusal to come to Pakistan:

Despite assurances on full security from the judicial commission probing the Memogate scandal, Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz has once again refused to come to Pakistan to record his statement, Express News reported on Tuesday.

Ijaz’s counsel, Akram Sheikh had earlier today – on the directives of the commission – written an email to his client to inform him that the commission had given assurances that he would be given full security on arrival.

Sheikh later distributed copies of Ijaz’s email response to the three judges.

A much longer article on the latest developments is carried in Pakistan Today, in an article that opens with the statement that the “government finally succeeded in scaring away Mansoor Ijaz”:

The counsel for Ijaz, the Pakistani-American businessman at the centre of the memo controversy, expressed his reservations on the security arrangements meant for his client’s appearance before the judicial commission, saying his client would be ready to record testimony before the commission either in London or Zurich. Continue reading

Zardari Returns to Pakistan; Liaison Officers Return to Border Centers; Stage Set for Haqqani as Double Scapegoat

Two major steps toward stability in Pakistan and restoration of relations with the United States have taken place, as President Asif Ali Zardari returned to Pakistan yesterday while liaison officers have now returned to the border coordination posts from which they were withdrawn as part of the response to the November 26 NATO attack that killed 24 Pakistani troops. NATO supply routes remain blocked, however.  In a very interesting move, former Pakistani Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani has been forced to submit a statement and to appear before the Abbotabad Commission. The Commission is seeking information on visas issued by the Washington embassy during his tenure as Ambassador.

Despite the earlier statements that Zardari would take two weeks of rest before resuming his duties, Zardari yesterday returned to Pakistan from Dubai:

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari returned home from medical treatment in Dubai to face rising tension between his civilian government and the military over a memo accusing the country’s generals of plotting a coup.

It’s not clear when the deeply unpopular leader who has uneasy ties with the army will return to work. He flew into the southern city of Karachi after treatment for a heart condition.

It would appear that Zardari immediately took up at least ceremonial duties:

State television showed him at his residence, looking relaxed as he met senior provincial officials.

Multiple media reports had addressed the fact that Zardari and Army Chief Ashfaq Kayani had talked on the phone prior to Zardari’s return. An article today by Dawn provides more details on that conversation: Continue reading

Fallout From NATO Attack on Pakistani Border Posts Continues: Afghanistan At Center of Conflict

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXKtehgB-Cw[/youtube]

While a great deal of the attention on the effects of Saturday’s NATO attack on two (or three) Pakistani border posts that killed at least 24 Pakistani soldiers centers on US-Pakistan relations, the importance of these developments on relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan should not be overlooked. Most reports on the incident suggest that Afghan soldiers in the border region were responsible for calling in the air attack.  While NATO and Afghan accounts claim that the Afghan forces were under fire from the Pakistani border outposts, the Pakistani military insists that the attacks were unprovoked. It should be noted that an Afghan group of investigators had arrived in Islamabad on Thursday before the incident on Saturday. This group was in Pakistan to investigate Pakistani ties to the militant group that killed former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani on September 20 when he was starting peace talks with the Taliban.

The Attack

The Washington Post account of the attack has this key passage on the background situation:

The poorly patrolled and ill-marked border is the central sore point in Pakistan’s relations with both the United States and Afghanistan. American military officials say al-Qaeda and Afghan Taliban fighters live on the Pakistani side and cross the border to attack U.S. troops — with the knowledge of and help from Pakistani intelligence. Pakistan says the homegrown militants its army is fighting in the restive tribal areas can easily find refuge ineastern Afghanistan, which borders Mohmand, and that CIA drone strikes in the region inspire militants.

The Saturday airstrike came one day after [Commander of US forces General John] Allen met with [Pakistan's Army head General Ashfaq] Kayani to discuss border security.

That Friday meeting between Allen and Kayani certainly makes the subsequent events on Saturday hard to understand. Only one day after discussing border security at the highest levels, we see a massive communications breakdown at a critical moment:

Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, a Pakistani military spokesman, stopped short of that characterization [describing the attack as a US offensive action], but he said the strike was “inexplicable.” In an interview, he said the two border posts are clearly marked and their locations are known to Afghan and coalition forces. No militant or military firing preceded the NATO assault, nor did coalition troops inform Pakistan that they were receiving fire from the Pakistani side, as is procedure, Abbas said.

Once the strike began, Abbas said, soldiers notified their commanders in the nearby city of Peshawar, who told officials at military headquarters in Rawalpindi, who then informed two trilateral border coordination centers located at the Torkham pass and the border of Pakistan’s North Waziristan region.

“But somehow it continued,” Abbas said of the firing. “Our side believes there is no possibility of confusion. The post location is not where a Taliban would take position.”

The Express Tribune carries more of Abbas’ remarks: Continue reading

The Checkered Neocon History of Mansoor Ijaz, Instigator of Pakistan’s “Memogate”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFoUCUE6-U0[/youtube]

As I noted yesterday, Josh Rogin has been doing outstanding work on the issue now rocking Pakistan, a memo purportedly sent from the highest levels of the Pakistani civilian government seeking US support for shutting down the branch of Pakistan’s ISI that deals with the Taliban and the Haqqani Network and weakening Pakistan’s military.  Now that Rogin has confirmed existence of the memo (and today has even provided a copy of it), I’d like to return to the figure who got this whole scandal started, Mansoor Ijaz.  Here is information Rogin dug up regarding Mansoor Ijaz back on November 8, when Michael Mullen was still denying existence of the memo:

This is only the latest time that Ijaz has raised controversy concerning his alleged role as a secret international diplomat. In 1996, he was accused of trying to extort money from the Pakistani government in exchange for delivering votes in the U.S. House of Representatives on a Pakistan-related trade provision.

Ijaz, who runs the firm Crescent Investment Management LLC in New York, has been an interlocutor between U.S. officials and foreign government for years, amid constant accusations of financial conflicts of interest. He reportedly arranged meetings between U.S. officials and former Pakistani Prime Ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif.

He also reportedly gave over $1 million to Democratic politicians in the 1990s and attended Christmas events at former President Bill Clinton‘s White House. Ijaz has ties to former CIA Director James Woolsey and his investment firm partner is Reagan administration official James Alan Abrahamson.

In the mid-1990s, Ijaz traveled to Sudan several times and claimed to be relaying messages from the Sudanese regime to the Clinton administration regarding intelligence on bin Laden, who was living there at the time. Ijaz has claimed that his work gave the United States a chance to kill the al Qaeda leader but that the Clinton administration dropped the ball. National Security AdvisorSandy Berger, who served under Clinton, has called Ijaz’s allegations “ludicrous and irresponsible.”

Those are some pretty damning allegations.  Before moving to the detail from the source Rogin linked on Ijaz’s attempt to get $15 million from Pakistan in return for securing a positive vote in the House of Representatives for the Brown Amendment back in 1995, it’s worth getting the context for this bill.  From the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation: Continue reading

Rogin Obtains Proof Mullen Received Ijaz Memo, Pakistan Ambassador Recalled, Offers Resignation

Husain Haqqani, Pakistan's Ambassador to the US. (Wikimedia Commons)

Back on October 10, Mansoor Ijaz, an American from a Pakistani family, published a remarkable column in Financial Times in which he claimed to have been involved in the passing last May of a memo purportedly from Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari to Michael Mullen, who was at that time Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Ijaz described the memo as being prepared out of fears that Pakistan faced an imminent military coup as fallout from the government’s embarrassment over the ease with which the US carried out its mission to kill Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan. After Josh Rogin published denials from Mullen on November 8 that Mullen had any knowledge of the memo, Ijaz responded by publishing a number of communications with a Pakistani official from the time period in which the memo was being crafted. These communications are widely believed to have been with Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States.  In a flurry of action yesterday, Josh Rogin provided confirmation from Mullen that he had indeed received the memo, Pakistan recalled Haqqani for discussions and Haqqani offered to resign.

Unfortunately, the draconian “Terms and Conditions” at Financial Times prevent treatment of their material in the same way sane publications can be excerpted for quotes, so it will be necessary for readers to go through their ridiculous “free registration” process to read the Ijaz column in full at the link above. Suffice it to say that Ijaz described an offer represented as coming from Zardari to eliminate the branch of Pakistan’s secret Interservices Intelligence Agency (ISI) that deals with the Taliban and the Haqqani Network. Zardari sought US protection for taking such action.

Here is the denial Rogin obtained on November 8 from Mullen’s spokesman, Captian John Kirby:

“Adm. Mullen does not know Mr. Ijaz and has no recollection of receiving any correspondence from him,” Kirby told The Cable. “I cannot say definitively that correspondence did not come from him — the admiral received many missives as chairman from many people every day, some official, some not. But he does not recall one from this individual. And in any case, he did not take any action with respect to our relationship with Pakistan based on any such correspondence … preferring to work at the relationship directly through [Pakistani Army Chief of Staff] Gen. [Ashfaq Parvez] Kayani and inside the interagency process.”

Rogin goes on to describe Pakistani denials from that same time period:

Mullen’s denial represents the first official U.S. comment on the Ijaz memo, which since Oct. 10 has mushroomed into a huge controversy in Pakistan. Several parts of Pakistan’s civilian government denied that Ijaz’s memorandum ever existed. On Oct. 30, Zardari spokesman Farhatullah Babar called Ijaz’s op-ed a “fantasy article” and criticized the FT for running it in the first place.

“Mansoor Ijaz’s allegation is nothing more than a desperate bid by an individual, whom recognition and credibility has eluded, to seek media attention through concocted stories,” Babar said. “Why would the president of Pakistan choose a private person of questionable credentials to carry a letter to U.S. officials? Since when Mansoor has become a courier of messages of the president of Pakistan?”

Here is the admission from Kirby that Rogin obtained yesterday on the existence of the memo:

“Adm. Mullen had no recollection of the memo and no relationship with Mr. Ijaz. After the original article appeared on Foreign Policy‘s website, he felt it incumbent upon himself to check his memory. He reached out to others who he believed might have had knowledge of such a memo, and one of them was able to produce a copy of it,” Kirby said. “That said, neither the contents of the memo nor the proof of its existence altered or affected in any way the manner in which Adm. Mullen conducted himself in his relationship with Gen. Kayani and the Pakistani government. He did not find it at all credible and took no note of it then or later. Therefore, he addressed it with no one.”

Rogin also spoke with Husain Haqqani:

In an interview late on Wednesday afternoon, Washington time, Haqqani confirmed to The Cable that he will travel to Islamabad and has sent a letter to Zardari offering his resignation.

“At no point was I asked by you or anyone in the Pakistani government to draft a memo and at no point did I draft or deliver such a memo,” Haqqani said that he had written in his letter to Zardari.

“I’ve been consistently vilified as being against the Pakistani military even though I have only opposed military intervention in political affairs,” Haqqani said that he wrote. “It’s not easy to operate under the shadow of innuendo and I have not been named by anyone so far, but I am offering to resign in the national interest and leave that to the will of the president.”

Rogin goes on to speculate on the possibility that Zardari may sacrifice Haqqani in order to quell the controversy surrounding the memo, but from Haqqani’s statements Rogin provided, it does not appear that Haqqani will go quietly.

Dawn, which is usually considered to be closely aligned with Pakistan’s military, described yesterday’s events in this way:

A senior diplomatic source, when asked to comment on reports Ambassador Haqqani had sent his resignation to the president, said: “We cannot call it a resignation. He has sent a letter to prove that he is not guilty.”

In his message, the ambassador is believed to have written that he was not responsible for the letter that allegedly sought US support for sacking the ISI and army chiefs. The ambassador offered to resign if proven guilty.

Haqqani left his office at lunch and did not return. Before leaving, he sent an email to dozens of Pakistani journalists, giving details of a news conference he addressed in the morning on ties with US.

Earlier in the day, Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said the government had summoned Ambassador Haqqani to Islamabad to learn more about a letter ‘falsely’ attributed to the president.

The Express Tribune chose merely to run a Reuters article that rehashes Rogin’s revelations (without citing him).

It will be very interesting to see what unfolds when Haqqani arrives in Islamabad.

 

Pakistan Asks for Update On Raymond Davis Investigation; OBL Immunization Doctor Accused of Treason

On Tuesday, noting the felony charge Raymond Davis faces in Colorado over a parking lot fight, I asked what happened to the investigation the US promised regarding Davis killing two Pakistanis in Lahore earlier this year.  It turns out I’m not alone in asking that question. Karen DeYoung at the Washington Post reports that Pakistan has made a formal request for an update on the investigation.  In other Pakistan news breaking this afternoon, we learn that a commission in Pakistan has urged filing of conspiracy and high treason charges against the doctor who assisted the CIA by setting up a fake immunization program in order to gain access to the suspected compound where Osama bin Laden was hiding.

It turns out that Pakistan asked about the Davis investigation a day before I did.  From DeYoung’s post:

In an Oct. 3 diplomatic note to Justice and the State Department, Ambassador Husain Haqqani referenced “the ongoing investigation” and asked that “the latest status in the matter may kindly be conveyed to the Embassy.” Haqqani said no reply had yet been received.

Asked the same question, Justice spokesperson Laura Sweeney declined to comment on the department’s behalf.

DeYoung also provides further background on the initial steps taken in the US to start the Davis investigation:

In a May 26 letter to Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Mary Ellen Warlow, director of the Criminal Division of Justice’s international affairs office, said that the department was “currently investigating” the Lahore shooting and requested that Pakistan “take steps to preserve all evidence relating to these events” and set up a liaison officer at the embassy to handle the matter.

That, Pakistan says, is the last it heard.

Note that this letter to Pakistan came over two months after Davis was released in mid-March.  If that letter was the last Pakistan heard about the investigation, it seems safe to assume that no US investigators have been to Pakistan to examine the evidence Pakistan was instructed to preserve or to interview witnesses.  Also, it remains unclear whether the investigation into Davis’ actions also is to include investigation into the vehicle which struck and killed a pedestrian after it was dispatched from the consulate in Lahore to rescue Davis.

Voice of America brings us the news on the recommendation of treason charges against the Pakistani doctor:

A Pakistani commission said Thursday that the government should file conspiracy and high treason charges against Shakeel Afridi.

Afridi is accused of running a fake vaccination campaign to help U.S. intelligence obtain DNA samples of bin Laden and his family.

/snip/

The Pakistani government set up the commission to investigate how U.S. forces managed to track down bin Laden and carry out the operation without Pakistan’s prior knowledge.

The article goes on to inform us that this same commission also interviewed Ahmad Shuja Pasha, who heads Pakistan’s  main intelligence organization, the ISI.  In addition, the commission interviewed bin Laden’s wives and children.  The commission is headed by a Supreme Court judge, but it is not clear how binding its recommendations will be.

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz RT @JoshMankiewicz: My father Frank Mankiewicz has passed away after a wonderful life. He was the best dad I could ever have wished for. ht…
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bmaz @BernardKingIII Only thing it ever got me was in contempt. Which was thankfully dropped by judge when guilty verdict returned.
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bmaz @KanysLupin @MonaHol @normative @trevortimm @onekade @FareedZakaria Yeah, starry eyed people like to talk nullification, but doesn't happen
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bmaz @BernardKingIII I mean, seriously, only law professors would come up with that theoretical drivel. And Zakaria still screwed it up.
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bmaz @MonaHol @KanysLupin @normative @trevortimm @onekade @FareedZakaria If so, you should be prosecuted for perjury.
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bmaz @McBlondeLand @nycsouthpaw Was also a real thing in southern Arizona back in late 80's - 90's Biosphere: http://t.co/YrTSfTqpVI
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bmaz @MonaHol @normative @trevortimm @onekade @FareedZakaria Rule 24 leaves discretion on void dire method to court. Some do it some let attys
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bmaz @GrantWoods Seconded. Body broke down before his heart did.
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bmaz @normative @MonaHol @trevortimm @onekade @FareedZakaria But they don't. Juries are told MUST follow the law, and they try very hard to do so
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bmaz @trevortimm @mattapuzzo @FareedZakaria Rules of evidence have evolved quite a bit since then, but not in ways likely to get much motive in.
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bmaz @trevortimm @onekade @FareedZakaria In fairness, his experts don't seem to fully grasp the realities of such a trial really either.
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