Category Archives: Pakistan

SCOTUS Score: One and One

The Roberts Court yesterday handed the Bush Administration one victory and one defeat, and the victory may turn out to be Pyrrhic.

1. Detainee Suit Rejected

The SCOTUS won’t be hearing a suit filed by almost 400 Gitmo prisoners trying to restore the legal rights taken away from them by Bush and the Republican Congress.

The court decision was a significant victory for President Bush, who has asserted for nearly six years that the fate of hundreds of detainees, held without charges as alleged terrorists at the U.S. naval base in Cuba, should be determined by secret military tribunals. The decision leaves intact, at least for now, a measure passed at the administration’s urging last year when Congress still was in Republican hands that denies Guantanamo Bay detainees the right to such habeas corpus petitions.

This despite the fact that the Court has ruled not once but twice in the last three years that the detainees have the right to petition the courts to “contest their detention”. Continue reading

The Pakistan Connection

Pakistan’s role in the 9-11 attacks has been woefully underreported in the US. That’s no surprise, of course, since it’s an inconvenient fact for an administration peddling fairy tales about Saddam’s alliance with Osama. But for those of you who prefer non-fiction to fantasy, I suggest reading Michael Meacher’s recent article in the Guardian. To extract four points and one quote:

(1) A Pakistani intelligence (ISI) operative who wired $100,000 to Mohammed Atta before the 9-11 attacks is about to be hanged for a crime he didn’t commit, namely the execution of WSJ reporter Daniel Pearl. (Pearl is thought to have been particularly interested in our government’s role in training or backing the ISI.)

(2) The head of ISI who ordered the money wired has not been charged with anything, questioned or brought to trial. He has quietly retired, and neither the US nor Pakistan is raising a peep about it.

(3) The man thought responsible for Pearl’s murder, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, is “…unlikely to be accused of the crime in an American criminal court because of the risk of divulging classified information” (NYT).

(4) FBI translator Sybel Edmonds, who has tried to expose individuals and governments that helped orchestrate the 9-11 attacks, has been put under two gag orders by the Justice Department, and her formerly public testimony to Congress has been retroactively classified. (I believe Sybel Edmond’s story is, as Mick would say, so not over.)

… and the quote:

Daniel Ellsberg, the former US defence department whistleblower who has accompanied Edmonds in court, has stated: “It seems to me quite plausible that Pakistan was quite involved in this … To say Pakistan is, to me, to say CIA because … it’s hard to say that the ISI knew something that the CIA had no knowledge of.” [Former ISI head] Ahmed’s close relations with the CIA would seem to confirm this. For years the CIA used the ISI as a conduit to pump billions of dollars into militant Islamist groups in Afghanistan, both before and after the Soviet invasion of 1979.

W ith CIA backing, the ISI has developed, since the early 1980s, into a parallel structure, a state within a state, with staff and informers estimated by some at 150,000. It wields enormous power over all aspects of government. The case of Ahmed confirms that parts of the ISI directly supported and financed al-Qaida, and it has long been established that the ISI has acted as go-between in intelligence operations on behalf of the CIA.

And after you’re done reading this article, go back and reread an old but very important report by Seymour Hersh that our media has steadfastly ignored while breathlessly promoting stories like the meeting between Mohammed Atta and Iraqi intelligence officials. (Yeah, sure, Mohammed Atta happened to be in Florida while this meeting was supposedly taking place in Prague – but why get hung up on facts that don’t fit with the story you’re selling?)