The Worst Kept Secret


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The Wikileaks document dump containing classified reports giving a worm’s eye view of what is happening in Afghanistan, also contained intelligence reports revealing the not very well kept secret that the Pakistani intelligence agency – the ISI – has been assisting the Taliban with killing Americans in Afghanistan.

The complete extent and nature of that support is unknown. As the New York Times points out, some of the intelligence in the documents pointing to Pakistani support for the enemy may be self-serving or even part of a disinformation campaign, given their provenance. After all, the Afghan government of Hamid Karzai considers Pakistan an enemy. They created the Taliban in the early 90’s and have constantly sought to interfere in the internal affairs of Afghanistan.

They also have upwards of 70 nuclear weapons — perhaps as many as 90 — with missile delivery systems possessing a range capable of delivering a nuke up to 2,500 miles. And there has been a long-standing US concern that those weapons are not guarded as well as they should be. A study by the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University titled “Securing the Bomb 2010,” found that Pakistan’s stockpile “faces a greater threat from Islamic extremists seeking nuclear weapons than any other nuclear stockpile on earth.”

You don’t have to go very far to find extremists in Pakistan. This from Daniel Markey, Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia, at the Council on Foreign Relations:

Only in Pakistan do you have the juxtaposition of a significant nuclear arsenal and the world’s most sophisticated terror network. Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are not uniquely vulnerable, but they are geographically close to al-Qaeda’s core leadership, which has a declared intention to obtain a nuclear device.

Markey points out that not only foreign extremists have set up shop in Pakistan, but the home grown variety is well ensconced in the Pakistani body politic with Islamist parties making inroads against the more secular-oriented governing coalition. Religious schools dominate education in the country, indoctrinating the young with hatred against the west and the glory of jihad. (Note: Not all madrassas are breeding grounds for terrorists, but with many being funded by the Saudi Wahhabis, it gives most of the more than 13,000 madrassas a decidedly anti-Western orientation.)

Then there is the Pakistani version of the Taliban who are currently engaged in a hot war with the military in the Northwest Frontier Provinces. Allied with al-Qaeda, their leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, has claimed a connection with the failed Times Square car bombing. Meshud most recently gave the central government fits in the Swat region, using that stronghold as a base to strike against Pakistani population centers with suicide attacks, while carrying out assaults against government police and army bases. With such boldness, it is no wonder that the US and our allies fear that Meshud would attack a nuclear base with catastrophic results.

But the document dump revealing ISI involvement in the Taliban should not come as a surprise to anyone. The US government has lodged complaint after complaint, going back to the regime of President Musharaff, regarding Pakistani support for the Taliban. At that time, Musharaff appeared to be trying to play both ends against the middle. He signed a “peace treaty” with the Taliban in North and South Waziristan, in effect allowing the terrorists a free hand in the border regions with Afghanistan, while representing to the United States government that the treaties would keep the Taliban pinned down. Meanwhile, it gave breathing room to Musharaff both with the US government, and his political allies in the Islamic parties who were agitating for an end to Pakistan’s dealings with the US.

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  • http://intensedebate.com/people/jemc50 jemc50

    All those involved in this leak of classified information need to be prosecuted. If it is military personnel, let the court martial make an example of them.

    "TITLE 18 USC, Section 798

    § 798. Disclosure of classified information

    (a) Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information—
    (1) concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or
    (2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or
    (3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or
    (4) obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes—
    Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both."

    Throw the book at them.

  • Use your head

    What's that jemc50? They should be prosecuted? What is wrong with you? What about the truth coming out huh?

    These documents show the clear frustration of US soldiers ON THE GROUND who have to put up with Pakistan's double dealing. These soldiers know that Pakistan is supporting the very insurgents who are killing them even while the US government gives Pakistan billions of dollars. Other reporters embedded with US troops on the ground in the past 7 years have heard the same thing from these soldiers. Pakistan still supports terrorists.

    Don't you see the irony? US tax payer dollars are being used to help terrorists to kill US soliders. What do you have to say to these troops putting their lives on the line? Grow some sense. The US needs to cut off ALL aid to Pakistan.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/HOPLOPHILE61 HOPLOPHILE61

    We're just BSing ourselves if we treat this "leak" as treason rather than a wakeup call. Do we really want to do a Richard Nixon response to this rather than examining the documents (and our foreign policy) critically?

    • richard

      Hussien obama knows very well what is going on . SHINE that spotlight on this TRAITOR . Do you think that obama HUSSIEN doesn.t know what is going on with pakistan ??? The islamists , including obama HUSSEIN have one goal in mind , The destruction of free choice ,and the introduction of communism,Soicialism

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/JasonPappas JasonPappas

    This is not news for many of us on the right, especially the anti-jihadi right. However, it is news for the general public.

    Pakistan is the enemy. They created and continue to support the Taliban, which gives training to jihadi that strike around the world. Their perfunctory effort gives us a few crumbs but insures that the problem continues for the very simple reason that we give them massive sums of financial support as long as there is a problem.

    Instead of fearing us they play us for suckers.

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/jbtrevor jbtrevor

      Agree, I was and still am perplexed as to why Gen McChrystal would suggest sending thousands of troops into a ground battle when what scant intel we were obtaining from Pakistan indicated drone warfare killing select targets/taliban leaders was working; esp since we must rely on Pakistan for troop support.
      I now am wondering why Gen. Petraeus would accept a failing mission; furthering my confusion is wondering what in hell the mission/goal now is? Anybody?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Paddyjdonovan Paddyjdonovan

    I hope julian Assange and the army officer who downloaded many of the docs, if not all, are prosecuted to the fullest extent. Traitors like the NYT feel as if it's a free speech issue to reveal what is going on in our wars without regards to troops on the ground and the aid and comfort it gives our enemies knowing that it is divisive when said docs are revealed. Great propaganda for the jihadists who believe that all they need to do is outlast us, anyway.

  • USMCSniper

    The vast majority of the Muslims in Pakistan have been educated only in Wahhabi schools and reject western cultural values so it should be expected that they will side with the Muslim extremist elements against any western foreigners or against their own people who collaborate with western foreigners. Saying that is secret is like saying we just discovered water is wet. They regard Obama as weak and not really committed to victory in Afghanistan and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as some sort of out of place arrogant charwoman in way over her head.

  • jgreene

    Pakistan is an enemy of the United States. The populace of Pakistan overwhelmingly does not like the United States. The people are ignorant Islamists; their civiian and military leaders are treacherous Islamist snakes.

    We have to review our relationship with Pakistan.

    • alex

      "We" do not have relationship with Pakistan. Our degenerate, incompetent and self-serving political and bureaucratic "elites" do. Hence the result.

      The only reason for our military presence in Islamic world is a huge and growing number of muslims in the USA. Instead of preventing this enemy invasion of the Homeland, our "leadership" is pretending to fight Islam in the foreign lands – much less politically dangerous than defend the population and the country.

  • Sonne

    yeaaahhhhhh!!!! let's bomb 'em all !!!!! they gots dem nukelar weapons! and then let's go for N. Korea and Iran too!

    Hell, why not continue on the path to WW3 and bomb any country with a religion or leader we don't like!!!! That way, everyone under 30 will be off to war and us adult-diaper-wearin'- tea-baggers will be the only one's left to vote in any elections and we can make sure Obama don't get relectioned in 2012!

    Americaaa number oneeee yeaaahhh! Praise Jesus!

    • richard

      you are deranged

    • http://irishbillyd.spaces.live.com BravoBilly

      I love this. Whoever you are your portrayal of a tea-bagger is really cool. I mean you present everything that I think but do it in a really ignorant fashion. Good thing I have a degree in Communication and worked for a Government Agency looking for Bogus Traffic like yours…Otherwise I would have really fallen for it. You were good…Almost…

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/JasonPappas JasonPappas

    Yes, it is perplexing.

  • AntiOnan

    Actually the Pakistani Nuke situation would not be that hard to diminish.
    If they are concentrated in one or few places for security.

    Assuming that someone drops a nuke in the west as i have expected since 9/11. then a good old fashioned "dirty" nuke driven into the sites known to contain Pakistan's nukes might make them less willing to deploy them and be suitable reward for allowing one to be used.
    Ethics here? Once nukes are used there aren't any only winners.& losers & while they are at it, one or two in the Taliban area of NW Pakistan would not go amiss.

    TO NOT reply to a nuke with a nuke(s) is to surrender.

    BTW Sonne & before you reply: I said nothing about a first strike which given the current state of aggressive Islam could have some points in its favour but which I prefer to avoid
    unless attacked with/by one first

    I guess that you are one who disagrees with the use of them in Japan?.