CIA and Blackwater Responsible for Bombings, Assassinations in Pakistan

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Order Out of Chaos: CIA, Blackwater Responsible for Bombings, Assassinations in Pakistan
Kurt Nimmo
November 15, 2009

Newspapers in Pakistan have accused the United States of using Blackwater and other agencies to conduct bombings and targeted assassinations in the country, according to MEMRI translations. MEMRI is a neocon propaganda outfit with connections to Israeli intelligence.

“Evidence of the private U.S. security firm Blackwater’s involvement in the targeted killings of high-ranking Pakistani military officials has been found,” reports Haftroza Al-Qalam, a Pakistan weekly published in Urdu, one of the two official languages of Pakistan. “According to a report in the Urdu-language magazine Haftroza Al-Qalam, the recent killings of Pakistani military officials represent an old method used by Blackwater in Iraq and South American countries.”

Journalist Jeremy Scahill reported on the CIA-Blackwater assassination program in August, 2009. See the second part of the report.

Pakistan media and other sources have reported on a Blackwater presence in Pakistan since 2008. “The notorious US security firm Blackwater has reportedly established a presence in the restive tribal belt on the Afghan borders to help the FBI and CIA track down Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants allegedly hiding there and protect USAID projects,” Aamir Latif reported for IslamOnline.

USAID is a a documented CIA front. The fact USAID is essentially a CIA dummy corporation was largely confirmed when the CIA released its ‘Family Jewels’ documents in 2007.

On Saturday, The Daily News in Pakistan reported that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (described as the main Taliban militant umbrella group in Pakistan) blamed recent bombings in the country on the ISI (Pakistan’s intelligence agency), the Awami National Party, the Pakistan People’s Party and Blackwater. “All these killings by the infamous Blackwater are aimed at maligning the Taliban,” TTP spokesman Azam Tariq told the Daily Times. “The TTP does not believe in killing of innocent citizens, and we will hold those who are doing this accountable.”

In August of this year, The New York Times reported on a Blackwater assassination program. “The Central Intelligence Agency in 2004 hired outside contractors from the private security contractor Blackwater USA as part of a secret program to locate and assassinate top operatives of Al Qaeda, according to current and former government officials,” Mark Mazzetti reported.

The CIA’s highly compartmentalized covert program was not reported to Congress. “According to current and former government officials, former Vice President Dick Cheney told C.I.A. officers in 2002 that the spy agency did not need to inform Congress because the agency already had legal authority to kill Qaeda leaders.”

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said the CIA broke the law by failing to notify Congress about the secret assassination program. Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair, however, said the CIA did not violate the law when it failed to inform lawmakers about the program.

Beginning in 2002, the CIA conducted numerous strikes against al-Qaeda targets in Pakistan using unmanned aerial vehicles like the MQ-1 Predator and the larger MQ-9 Reaper. The Obama administration not only continued the strikes but dramatically increased the pace.

Journalist and author Douglas Valentine says the CIA program in Iraq constituted a “new Phoenix Program.” The original Phoenix program was used in Vietnam to assassinate communist leaders and terrorize the population into submission. In Iraq, according to Valentine (who references journalist Seymour Hersh), the CIA’s assassination program was used “not just Ba’ath Party members, but anyone who gets their name on the CIA’s blacklist of political and ideological enemies.”

“The recent bomb explosions in Pakistan are of the same nature previously conducted by Blackwater in Iraq,” Haftroza Al-Qalam reports. “The same people are involved in all the terror attacks, including the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the explosions in Peshawar.”    
   Cheney had former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto killed because she decided to back out of a deal not to return to the country after nine years in exile.

Pakistan’s former chief of army staff, General Mirza Aslam Beg, told the Tehran Times in September that he believes Blackwater was directly involved in the assassinations of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto and former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. Beg said former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf had given Blackwater the green light to carry out terrorist operations in the cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, and Quetta.

“Beg stated that the former Pakistani prime minister was killed in an international conspiracy because she had decided to back out of the deal through which she had returned to the country after nine years in exile,” the Times reported.

Self-made billionaire and business tycoon Hariri was assassinated on February 14, 2005, when his motorcade was bombed in Beirut. Seymour Hersh has accused Cheney of being involved in the Hariri assassination. After the assassination of Hariri, the U.S. accused Syria, although conclusive evidence has never been presented proving Syrian involvement in the murder.

During the election, Obama declared his intention of striking Pakistan if elected. “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will,” Obama said. He said he would be willing to attack inside Pakistan with or without approval from the Pakistani government.

Obama’s Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, indicated during her Senate confirmation hearing that the new administration would “not relent in holding Pakistan to account for any shortfalls in the continuing battle against extremists,” The Washington Post reported in January.

The “extremists” in Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan, the Taliban and al-Qaeda, were created by the CIA and the ISI.

“Obama has made it clear that his administration’s response to the growth of insurgent Afghan forces and the worsening security situation facing the US and its puppet regime in Afghanistan, as well as the growing strength of anti-US and anti-government insurgents in Pakistan, is an expansion of American military violence both in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The White House and the military are treating both countries as part of a single military theater,” Barry Grey noted in February.

Obama has escalated the “protracted political chaos” in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Chaos is designed to create a political vacuum and allow the U.S. to dominate the region.

Rockefeller minion Zbigniew Brzezinski admitted as much in his book, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives. “To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together,” Brzezinski wrote.

CIA bombing campaigns and assassinations, conducted by the mercenary group Blackwater (Now Xe Services), are part of an effort to keep the “barbarians from coming together” and create a situation requiring a continuation and expansion of the contrived global war on terrorism.
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Re: CIA and Blackwater Responsible for Bombings, Assassinations in Pakistan
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2009, 04:45:24 PM »
September 30, 2006
Secret CIA Prisons in Pakistan

A German daily reports the existance of at least three secret CIA prisons in Pakistan. A German doctor, says he has treated a child in one of those prisons for tuberculosis.

I have so far found no note on this report in the English speaking press, so here is my translation.

[This is a complete translation of the article titled Geheimgefängnisse der CIA in Pakistan by a reporter of the German daily Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. It was published in German on September 29, 2006. The translation is as close to the German original as possible. b.]

The cooperation between the USA and Pakistan in the anti-terror-fight is far more comprehensive than has been known up to now. The US foreign secret services CIA operated at least three secret prisons with more than 1,000 detainees in Pakistan.

According to investigations done by this paper the installations are located near the towns of Kohat, Miran Shah and Wana in the west Pakistani region North-Waziristan and Banu. Many Taliban and Qaeda fighteres had retracted into the difficult accessible mountanious area at the boarder to Afghanistan after the US invasion in Kabul 2001. As Pakistani security sources reported, more than 1000 soldiers lost their life in the region North-Waziristan in fights during the Pakistani March 2004 offense there.

The prisons are to the outside under Pakistani control. They are heavily shielded from the public, but are co-led by the CIA. According to eye-witnesses there are up to 1,000 terror suspects in the camp near Miran Shah alone. A German doctor reported to our paper that he had treated an imprisoned twelfe year old child there for tuberculosis a few month ago. "The boy was already imprisoned for a year in this CIA's Pakistani Abu Ghraib - without indictment, legal counsel and without medical treatment," the doctor complained.

US president Bush did conceed the existance of secret CIA prisons for the first time early September. Pakistans president Pervez Musharraf reveals in his new biography "In the line of fire", that the CIA payed several million Dollars for the extradition of over 360 terror-suspects.

Amnesty International accuses Pakistan to "systematic" violations of human rights during the fight against terrorism. The Pakistan expert of the human-rights-organistaion, Sigrid Krieg, says the displacement of suspects to secret locations were prevalent in Pakistan. Security forces had abused and tortured prisoners.

During fights in the region of North-Waziristan inhabitants were displaced and may towns "were razed to the ground", said Krieg. The number of civil victims is assumed to be high.

(Note on the paper that published this story: The Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung (NOZ) is a north-western German regional paper covering several counties, national and international news with a circulation of 185,000 during weekdays and 450,000 on weekends. It is well known, often cited and held in high regard by other outlets for its non-regional coverage and interviews. The paper is hold privatly and political neutral. The best comparison to the US market is probably the former Knight Ridder, now McClatchy newspapers. In short - it is a serious paper that would not publish this without checking its sources.)

Posted by b on September 30, 2006 at 11:09 AM
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Re: CIA and Blackwater Responsible for Bombings, Assassinations in Pakistan
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2009, 04:46:31 PM »
CIA says it gets its money's worth from Pakistani spy agency
It has given hundreds of millions to the ISI, for operations as well as rewards for the capture or death of terrorist suspects. Despite fears of corruption, it is money well-spent, ex-officials say.,0,710714,print.story
By Greg Miller  November 15, 2009

The CIA has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Pakistan's intelligence service since the Sept. 11 attacks, accounting for as much as one-third of the foreign spy agency's annual budget, current and former U.S. officials say.

The Inter-Services Intelligence agency also has collected tens of millions of dollars through a classified CIA program that pays for the capture or killing of wanted militants, a clandestine counterpart to the rewards publicly offered by the State Department, officials said.

The payments have triggered intense debate within the U.S. government, officials said, because of long-standing suspicions that the ISI continues to help Taliban extremists who undermine U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and provide sanctuary to Al Qaeda members in Pakistan.

But U.S. officials have continued the funding because the ISI's assistance is considered crucial: Almost every major terrorist plot this decade has originated in Pakistan's tribal belt, where ISI informant networks are a primary source of intelligence.

The White House National Security Council has "this debate every year," said a former high-ranking U.S. intelligence official involved in the discussions. Like others, the official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. Despite deep misgivings about the ISI, the official said, "there was no other game in town."

The payments to Pakistan are authorized under a covert program initially approved by then-President Bush and continued under President Obama. The CIA declined to comment on the agency's financial ties to the ISI.

U.S. officials often tout U.S.-Pakistani intelligence cooperation. But the extent of the financial underpinnings of that relationship have never been publicly disclosed. The CIA payments are a hidden stream in a much broader financial flow; the U.S. has given Pakistan more than $15 billion over the last eight years in military and civilian aid.

Congress recently approved an extra $1 billion a year to help Pakistan stabilize its tribal belt at a time when Obama is considering whether to send tens of thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan.

The ISI has used the covert CIA money for a variety of purposes, including the construction of a new headquarters in Islamabad, the capital. That project pleased CIA officials because it replaced a structure considered vulnerable to attack; it also eased fears that the U.S. money would end up in the private bank accounts of ISI officials.

In fact, CIA officials were so worried that the money would be wasted that the agency's station chief at the time, Robert Grenier, went to the head of the ISI to extract a promise that it would be put to good use.

"What we didn't want to happen was for this group of generals in power at the time to just start putting it in their pockets or building mansions in Dubai," said a former CIA operative who served in Islamabad.

The scale of the payments shows the extent to which money has fueled an espionage alliance that has been credited with damaging Al Qaeda but also plagued by distrust.

The complexity of the relationship is reflected in other ways. Officials said the CIA has routinely brought ISI operatives to a secret training facility in North Carolina, even as U.S. intelligence analysts try to assess whether segments of the ISI have worked against U.S. interests.

A report distributed in late 2007 by the National Intelligence Council was characteristically conflicted on the question of the ISI's ties to the Afghan Taliban, a relationship that traces back to Pakistan's support for Islamic militants fighting to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan.

"Ultimately, the report said what all the other reports said -- that it was inconclusive," said a former senior U.S. national security official. "You definitely can find ISI officers doing things we don't like, but on the other hand you've got no smoking gun from command and control that links them to the activities of the insurgents."

Given the size of overt military and civilian aid to Pakistan, CIA officials argue that their own disbursements -- particularly the bounties for suspected terrorists -- should be considered a bargain.

"They gave us 600 to 700 people captured or dead," said one former senior CIA official who worked with the Pakistanis. "Getting these guys off the street was a good thing, and it was a big savings to [U.S.] taxpayers."

A U.S. intelligence official said Pakistan had made "decisive contributions to counter-terrorism."

"They have people dying almost every day," the official said. "Sure, their interests don't always match up with ours. But things would be one hell of a lot worse if the government there was hostile to us."

The CIA also directs millions of dollars to other foreign spy services. But the magnitude of the payments to the ISI reflect Pakistan's central role. The CIA depends on Pakistan's cooperation to carry out missile strikes by Predator drones that have killed dozens of suspected extremists in Pakistani border areas.

The ISI is a highly compartmentalized intelligence service, with divisions that sometimes seem at odds with one another. Units that work closely with the CIA are walled off from a highly secretive branch that has directed insurgencies in Afghanistan and Kashmir.

"There really are two ISIs," the former CIA operative said. "On the counter-terrorism side, those guys were in lock-step with us," the former operative said. "And then there was the 'long-beard' side. Those are the ones who created the Taliban and are supporting groups like Haqqani."

The network led by Jalaluddin Haqqani has been accused of carrying out a series of suicide attacks in Afghanistan, including the 2008 bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul.

Pakistani leaders, offended by questions about their commitment, point to their capture of high-value targets, including accused Sept. 11 organizer Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. They also underscore the price their spy service has paid.

Militants hit ISI's regional headquarters in Peshawar on Friday in an attack that killed at least 10 people. In May, a similar strike near an ISI facility in Lahore killed more than two dozen people. Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, who served as ISI director before becoming army chief of staff, has told U.S. officials that dozens of ISI operatives have been killed in operations conducted at the behest of the United States.

A onetime aide to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice described a pointed exchange in which Kayani said his spies were no safer than CIA agents when trying to infiltrate notoriously hostile Pashtun tribes.

"Madame Secretary, they call us all white men," Kayani said, according to the former aide.

CIA payments to the ISI can be traced to the 1980s, when the Pakistani agency managed the flow of money and weapons to the Afghan mujahedin. That support slowed during the 1990s, after the Soviets were expelled from Afghanistan, but increased after the Sept. 11 attacks.

In addition to bankrolling the ISI's budget, the CIA created a clandestine reward program that paid bounties for suspected terrorists. The first check, for $10 million, was for the capture of Abu Zubaydah, a top Al Qaeda figure, the former official said. The ISI got $25 million more for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed's capture.

But the CIA's most-wanted list went beyond those widely known names.

"There were a lot of people I had never heard of, and they were good for $1 million or more," said a former CIA official who served in Islamabad.

Former CIA Director George J. Tenet acknowledged the bounties in a little-noticed section in his 2007 memoir. Sometimes, payments were made with a dramatic flair.

"We would show up in someone's office, offer our thanks, and we would leave behind a briefcase full of $100 bills, sometimes totaling more than a million in a single transaction," Tenet wrote.

The CIA's bounty program was conceived as a counterpart to the Rewards for Justice program administered by the State Department. The rules of that program render officials of foreign governments ineligible, making it meaningless to intelligence services such as the ISI.

The reward payments have slowed as the number of suspected Al Qaeda operatives captured or killed by the ISI has declined. Many militants fled from major cities where the ISI has a large presence to tribal regions patrolled by Predator drones.

The CIA has set limits on how the money and rewards are used. In particular, officials said, the agency has refused to pay rewards to the ISI for information used in Predator strikes.

U.S. officials were reluctant to give the ISI a financial incentive to nominate targets, and feared doing so would lead the Pakistanis to refrain from sharing other kinds of intelligence.

"It's a fine line," said a former senior U.S. counter-terrorism official involved in policy decisions on Pakistan. "You don't want to create perverse incentives that corrode the relationship."
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Re: CIA and Blackwater Responsible for Bombings, Assassinations in Pakistan
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2009, 04:47:12 PM »
Pentagon Joins CIA’s Drone War on Pakistan
By Noah Shachtman  May 13, 2009  |  10:26 am

For years, the CIA has flown killer drones over Pakistan — without giving local authorities much say in how or where the aircraft operate. But there’s been a major shift in the unmanned war over Pakistan, the Los Angeles Times reports. Two shifts, really.

First, Pakistani and American military officers have begun jointly operating a set of American Predator and Reaper unmanned planes. Second, those aircraft are from the U.S. Air Force’s remotely-piloted squadrons, not the CIA’s. This shift from spy drones to military drones could have important consequences in the air war over Pakistan, and the larger struggle against Islamic extremists in the region.

Under a new partnership with Pakistani Government, the Times’ Julian Barnes and Greg Miller write, this “separate fleet of U.S. drones operated by the Defense Department will be free for the first time to venture beyond the Afghan border under the direction of Pakistani military officials, who are working alongside American counterparts at a command center in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.” Pakistani officers previously have been able to see footage from the Predators’ high-powered cameras. Now the military men are being given “significant control over routes, targets and decisions to fire weapons.”

The CIA drones will continue to “focus on the United States’ principal target, Al Qaeda. The military drones, however, are intended to undermine the militant networks that have moved closer to Islamabad, the capital, in recent weeks.” The underscores an expansion of the Obama administration’s military aims in the region. No longer is this fight solely about “defeat[ing] Al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” as the President said two months ago. The war’s goals now include keeping Islamabad from being overrun by a distinct, but related, group of homegrown extremists.

The Air Force drones now being employed against those militants are now presumably subject to the oversight of the lawyers, intelligence analysts, and targeting specialists at the U.S. military’s Combined Air and Space Operations Center (CAOC). Such reviews could cut down on the unmanned strikes’ civilian casualties — as well as the popular and political resistance to the attacks. But the greater hesitancy to use the drones’ arrays of Hellfire missiles and laser-guided bombs may allow militant targets to get away, unscathed.

Already, “some U.S. officials have expressed frustration that the Pakistanis have not used the Predator capabilities more aggressively. Officials said Pakistan was given the authority to order strikes on the jointly operated flights as long as there was U.S. agreement on the targets,” the Times says. Pakistan also “declined an offer to use the drones for its recent military offensives in the Swat Valley and Buner areas, and poor weather has caused other sorties to be scrapped.”

Until now, “the heavy U.S. military presence in Afghanistan has been largely powerless to pursue the Islamic extremists who routinely escape into Pakistan,” Barnes and Miller notes.

Largely — but not entirely. There have been cross-border raids by special forces. And occasionally, the Air Force’s Predators and Reapers are allowed to enter Pakistani airspace — with Islamabad’s explicit permission.

Yesterday, Danger Room examined the possibility that the new American commander in Afghanistan might look to expand operations into Pakistan. Looks like that already happened.
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Re: CIA and Blackwater Responsible for Bombings, Assassinations in Pakistan
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2009, 04:47:53 PM »
‘Peshawar CIA bomb attack being probed’
By Manzoor Ali Shah Sunday, October 18, 2009

PESHAWAR: City police on Saturday said that it was probing into the Friday bomb attack on the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) office and investigators were following some leads about the blast.

SSP Operations Peshawar Mohammad Karim Khan told reporters during a press conference that a white colour Suzuki Mehran was used in the attack and police had recovered engine and chassis number of the vehicle.

“The direction of vehicle was towards the nearby railway track and it indicates that the vehicle was coming from the other side, and not entered the area from the Cantonment side,” he said. The official said that according to initial investigations, the blast seemed to be aimed at the SIU office. Regarding the woman suicide bomber, he said that the investigations were on and he could not say anything about this.

About the Khyber Bazaar blast, he said that the chassis and engine number of the vehicle used in the blast had been recovered and that some links of the blasts were in Punjab; however, he said that so far no arrests were made. Regarding schools’ security, he said that police had a meeting with the District Coordination Officer (DCO) Peshawar and a plan was chalked out for schools’ security.

To a question, he said that the police needed explosive detectors to check the huge number of vehicles, other technology, night vision devices and bullet proof jackets. However, he said that police had been provided with modern equipment and number of personnel boosted, but there was need for further such resources. Meanwhile, police have erected heavy sand-filled barriers outside the SIU Centre which was targeted on Friday and 15 persons including three policemen were killed in the attack, while 19 others sustained injuries. Police and army personnel were checking the vehicles on some distance from the blast site at an army check-post. Eyewitnesses told Daily Times that the vehicle was coming from the Cantonment side and exploded with a bang when it reached near the gate of SIU building.
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All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

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Re: CIA and Blackwater Responsible for Bombings, Assassinations in Pakistan
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2009, 04:49:45 PM »
Bomb blast at CIA office, 13 dead 15 wounded: Information Minister

PESHAWAR : A powerful car bomb explosion near CIA Investigation Cell on Bara Road here Friday killed at least 13 persons and wounded 15 others, Information Minister NWFP Mian Iftikhar Hussain said.

Talking to reporters after visiting the site of explosion, he said three policemen were also among the dead. The bomber detonated his explosive laden vehicle when spotted by a security check post close to the CIA building.  The condition of many victims was stated to be critical.

According to Medical Superintendent Lady Reading Hospital, the deceased  included Sajidullah Khan, Aminullah Khan, Manzoor, Ayesha, Nafessa, Syed Haseeb Ali Raza and Ahmed Khan.

Likewise, 10 critical injured were being treated at LRH.   Many vehicles parked in the vicinity were destroyed, and windowpanes of the nearby buildings were smashed; while building of the CIA was badly damaged.

According to AIG Bomb Disposal Squad, Shafqat Malik up to 60 to 70 kilogram explosive with artillery shells was used by the suicide bomber.

“The leg of the bomber and plate number of car used in bomb blast has been found,” he added. He rejected the reports that a burqa-clad woman detonated herself.

DCO Peshawar Sahibzada Anees Ahmed said that most of the victims killed in the blast are civilians, and the body of one Manzoor Hussain has been identified. Two women and a child were among the dead.

The police rushed to the site and cordoned off the area. The injured were shifted to hospitals for treatment. Emergency has been imposed in city hospitals, and doctors on leave have been called for duty.

Governor NWFP Owais Ahmed Ghani and Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti have strongly condemned the suicide attack near CIA investigation cell and described it a highly cowardice act of terrorism.  He has also expressed his deep grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives.
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Re: CIA and Blackwater Responsible for Bombings, Assassinations in Pakistan
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2009, 04:50:36 PM »
January 21 / 22, 2006
How to Lose Friends and Gain Enemies
CIA Bombs Pakistan, Hits America

Well done the CIA! In an act of astonishing incompetence the Agency has in one fluid motion created millions more enemies for America, fostered a recruiting drive for the anti-American Taliban that will keep it in dedicated manpower for the next couple of decades, driven a friendly government to despair and shattered its attempts to counter the excesses of dangerous religious lunatics, and contributed massively to the already grave instability of a volatile region.

This bizarre shambles was caused by US aerial assaults which killed civilians in Pakistani villages in its North West Frontier Province which lies along the Afghan border. The US military, which is fighting the tribes on the Afghan side of the border, declares it knows nothing of the attacks, and the Pakistan army, which is fighting the tribes on the Pakistan side of the border at the command of Washington (although naturally Pakistan denies this is the reason), knows nothing about them, either, other than the fact they took place.

So we have a chaotic international situation in which buildings within a sovereign country have been smashed to smithereens and their inhabitants blown to pieces by persons unknown to the government of the territory where the strike was made. By any national or international criterion the destruction and killing were illegal. It all sounds a bit like 9/11, in fact - - except that many people who condemned the 9/11 slaughter in the US have supported the slaughter on January 13, 2006 in Pakistan.

There is no point in anyone trying to claim there is a moral difference: there were about 3000 killed in New York, and 18 killed in Damadola hamlet. All who died were innocent of any action against their murderers. The difference is that those who planned the atrocity in New York are regarded quite rightly as demented fanatics, and those who planned and executed the killing of villagers in Damadola are considered to be American heroes by such as Bush, Cheney and McCain and many millions of their zealous adherents.

The responsibility for both atrocities in Pakistan (there was another random bombing that killed another 8 Pakistani villagers on January 7) has been laid at the door of our favorite wham 'em, bam 'em, slam 'em amateurs, the troglodytes of the Central Intelligence Agency. Gary Trudeau's Doonesbury characters are alive, active, and guiding missile-firing drones on yippee shoots wherever and whenever they want, and there isn't a damn thing anyone can do about it.

Forget international law - - forget any law - - because these people are above the law and out of control and there isn't a chance that anyone will be held accountable for the death of some raghead tribal kids and their parents. But before we continue describing the CIA's most recent off-the-wall delinquency, let's examine the region where it took place, because the customs and culture of the tribes are relevant to any action taken in their homeland. It is essential that US citizens gain understanding of the wider world, because America is deeply involved in every country on our planet.


Let me add something here: The English language newspapers of the Gulf, Pakistan and India are packed full of news and comment. They carry more hard international news than any US newspaper. (Forget UK papers. Apart from the Guardian and the Independent they're a juvenile joke.) So, while traveling from Dubai to Pakistan last month (I spent much of December-January in the region), when a steward came down the cabin handing out reading material I was happy to take the Gulf News and the Khaleej Times. Behind me, a voice said in a tone of contemptuous disbelief: "You only got LOCAL papers?" I looked round to see if it was Donald Rumsfeld or Porter Goss but it was neither. It was an anonymous American who was traveling to Pakistan and didn't want to know or learn anything about the region. Just like Rumsfeld and Goss, I suppose.


In Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas the central government in Islamabad is considered to be as foreign as was the British Raj which quit the region in 1947 after a century in which the British army failed to overcome the ferocious independence of the tribes. Its 5 million inhabitants are largely illiterate (the literacy rate for men is 18%; for women, negligible), and are as profoundly ignorant of the outside world as it is of them. (And we can certainly include the CIA in that latter category. And maybe the former, come to think of it.) They are devoutly religious, devious, brave, extremely hardy (western Special Forces don't even begin to measure up), and most aggressive. They are also bound by a code of honor incomprehensible to most westerners and implacably opposed to developments that might alter their way of life. They are loosely contained by the Frontier Crimes Regulations (1861) which are based on collective responsibility in that the authorities, if they dare, can detain members of a law-breaking fugitive's tribe or quarantine his village should he fail to surrender or if tribal punishment (a monetary fine for a killing, for example -- we'll come on to that later) is not administered. The place is not civilized in the western sense. I know it quite well, having traveled there a lot over the past 25 years, and although I never felt myself to be in danger from the tribes, and was always made welcome, there is no doubt it is a wild and woolly territory.

Here is a typical local press report of an incident last December: "Muhammad Naseer was on his way to [the town of] Dara Adam Khel, when he was hit by shots being fired indiscriminately by rival Haji Munaf and Haji Jamil groups near Bazid Khel in the tribal territory. Naseer died on the spot while a truck driver, Jamil, and an unknown cyclist, received injuries. Faridullah, the helper of the injured driver, told Daily Times that around 20 armed men who had positioned themselves on both sides of the highway suddenly appeared and started firing at each other."

It's all in a day's feuding. Heaven knows what the original dispute between the Munafs and the Jamils was about. (It's usually land, water or women.) But the point is that blood must have been spilled, so blood must be exacted in retribution.

And the CIA has ensured that no American will ever be safe in the tribal areas. Because the US has spilled innocent blood, and the tribes - - all the tribes in Pakistan and along the border within Afghanistan (for they are blood-kin) - - will hate them until the end of time. Most Pakistanis in other provinces have little time for the tribes, whom they regard with as little sympathy as they do the religious loonies who try to ban mixed-sex marathons (the most recent irrationality) and want to impose hand-chopping and other quasi-religious savagery ; but the CIA's barbarity has, as usual, drawn disparate groups together. The idiot US blitz in the tribal areas has ensured that America is even more despised, distrusted and hated than it was before the attacks. Great work, fellas!

The murder of Pakistani civilians by the Bush Administration took place in a tribal Agency (there are seven of them) called Bajaur. As Reuters reported, "The incident came just days after Pakistan lodged a strong protest with US-led forces in Afghanistan, saying cross-border firing in the nearby Waziristan area last weekend killed eight people."

Pakistan's military spokesman, Major General Shaukat Sultan, whom I know well, said he did not know the cause of the blasts, but that "People heard explosions and as a result, there were a number of casualties. My information is that 11 to 14 people have been killed"." It definitely wasn't the Pakistan military who killed the kids.

Let's turn to the US military's spokespersons, who have all the credibility of Mafia chieftains stating soulfully that they love feeding fishes. Here are some news agency reports on their pathetic responses:

· "A U.S. military spokesman in Afghanistan, Lieutenant-Colonel Jerry O'Hara, said there were no reports of US forces operating in that area."

· "Asked if a pilotless Predator Drone was operating in the area, Major Todd Vicion, a public affairs officer at the Pentagon, said he did not know. "Those are operational details that we don't track," he said."

· "Pentagon, State Department, National Security Council and intelligence officials all said they had no information on the reports . . . A US military spokesman in Afghanistan, Lt. Mike Cody, referred questions on the matter to the Pentagon."

It is absurd to imagine that the United States Army, with 20,000 troops who have been searching for three years for Osama bin Laden (remember him? The 9/11 fellow?) and his supposed second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, does not know prescisely what is happening in its own area of operations. Are we expected to believe that a United States-operated missile-armed drone can carry out a strike inside a military AO without the US Army being notified?

It is ludicrous to claim that the Pentagon "does not track" whether missile-armed Predators are operating in a region in which 20,000 US troops are pursuing the Bush Administration's most wanted men. Are we expected to believe that there is no passage of information to the Pentagon concerning the attacks of a missile-firing drone within the region's most important area of US army operations?

It is ridiculous that the US Army in Afghanistan has to refer questions on local operational matters back to Washington. And it is bizarre that the Pentagon and the State Department deny knowledge of what is taking place in Afghanistan and the immediate region. Are we expected to believe that the two major US Departments are kept in complete ignorance of what a US agency is doing in one of the most sensitive areas of the world?

Of even more importance, are we to believe that aerial destruction of houses and people within the territory of a friendly (or any other) country is official policy of the US administration?


The answer to all questions, as any intelligent person would know, is YES.

Yes: it is a fact that US military operations and diplomatic engagements can be totally wrecked by a bunch of freaks who don't need to tell anyone anything about what they do, because "considerations of national security" prevent their being accountable to anyone or to any law, be that made by God or man. And YES: it is the official policy of the United States of America to murder children if its representatives think it necessary to do so.

Who would have thought that a US senator could possibly endorse the killing of children? Yet here is McCain, sonorous, ponderous, pompous, presidential-ambitious, totally amoral, and evil:

". . . this war on terror has no boundaries . . . We have to go where these people are, and we have to take them out . . . The United States' priorities are to get rid of al-Qaeda, and this attack on was an effort to do so . . . I can't tell you that we wouldn't do the same thing again."

Yeah: All these al Qaeda kids have gotta go! McCain, the supporter of kid-killing, would be happy if the CIA did the same thing again. He would encourage the CIA to kill kids on the off-chance there might be a bad guy next door.

The murder of villagers, as in the tiny hamlet of Damadola, will be repeated again and again and again elsewhere whenever some techno-dweeb intelligence operative imagines there is an enemy to be killed. And he or she and the drone operators who blasted the kids to smithereens will forever be supported by politically-motivated moral chameleons like McCain.

The CIA, acting on orders (or approval) from the White House, has destroyed the credibility of the United States in the tribal areas and far, far beyond them. But the most fatuous aspect of the atrocities is the non-apology factor. The idiot Rice, for example, refused to even consider saying she is sorry that the Bush administration murdered these children and their parents.

As anyone with the most basic knowledge of the region could tell them, the tribes accept blood-money for such barbarity. Once it is paid, along with a proper apology, in person by a dignitary, the matter is closed. It is their custom, and has been for centuries. This sort of attitude, this alien culture, is not understood by the savage buffoons of the Bush administration. They want to go in and kill people. If they kill the wrong people - - kids and their parents, for example - - then they say the Hell with it because it's all for America, so by definition it can't be bad and we certainly ain't going to say Sorry to any damn ragheads.

They are ignorant, arrogant and very stupid. And I'm still not convinced that the American fellow behind me on the plane to Pakistan who refused to read local newspapers wasn't in fact Porter Goss.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately