Tuesday, July 31, 2012
the last book I ever read (Man Hunt, excerpt seven)
from Man Hunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden--From 9/11 to Abbottabad by Peter L. Bergen:
In the past, General Pasha, the Pakistani intelligence chief, had requested of his American counterpart, Panetta, that if the CIA didn't trust the Pakistani government or military with some matter of great import, to tell at least him or Kayani or President Zardari, so that the Pakistanis would be able to save face by truthfully saying they had been informed. A soft-spoken, mild-mannered man of five foot seven, with deep black circles around his eyes, reflecting many sleepless nights, Pasha had played a key role in getting the CIA contractor Raymond Davis released from prison, negotiating directly with the victims' families so that they would accept the "blood money" for Davis's release. After the bin Laden raid, Pasha felt that the relationship with the United States was broken beyond repair.
This sentiment was shared in the U.S. Congress, where there was widespread outrage that bin Laden had been hiding in Pakistan, a country that had received billions of dollars in U.S. aid since 9/11 (never mind that most of this "aid" was in fact compensation to the Pakistan military for mounting military operations the U.S. had demanded it undertake against the Taliban along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border). Representative Mike Rogers, the Michigan Republican who chaired the House Intelligence Committee, said publicly, "I believe that there are elements of both the [Pakistani] military and intelligence service who in some way, both prior and maybe even current, provided some level of assistance to Osama bin Laden." Rogers offered no proof for this assertion, and the U.S. intelligence community's assessment within weeks of the Abbottabad operation was that there was, in fact, no official Pakistani complicity in bin Laden's sojourn in Abbottabad and that nothing in the treasure trove recovered from his compound provided any proof that bin Laden had support from Pakistani officials. Still, Rogers's view that the Pakistanis had helped shelter al-Qaeda's leader was commonplace both in the halls of Congress and in the U.S. media.