Monthly Archives: November 2011

Pakistan Has Had Enough

The assumption that it has no choice but to obey America may turn out to be a dire strategic error

By Simon Tisdall 

November 27, 2011 “The Guardian” — Readers of Dawn newspaper, commenting online, were in no doubt how the Pakistani government should respond to Saturday’s killing by US forces of 24 soldiers on Pakistan’s side of the Afghan border. “Pakistan should acquire anti-aircraft defence systems … so that in the future Pakistan can give Nato forces a proper reply,” said Ali. “This is outrageous,” wrote another reader, Zia Khan. “We should cut off all ties with the US. As long as we are getting US [anti-terror] aid … Pakistan will be attacked in such a manner. They can never be trusted.” Another, Obaid, turned his wrath on the Pakistani authorities: “Our self-centred establishment with their fickle loyalties can’t even demand that the killers be tried in a neutral court … What is the ability of our armed forces? If they can’t repel or intercept an attack of this intensity, then what’s their purpose? This is not a time to get mad. It’s time to get even.”

The fury of these respondents comes as no surprise, but Washington should treat it with deadly seriousness all the same, for this latest outrage is another fateful signpost on the road to a potential security and geostrategic disaster that may ultimately make Afghanistan look like a sideshow.

The 10-year-old Afghan war, neither wholly won nor lost, is slowly drawing to a close – or so Washington postulates. But what has not stopped is the linked, escalating destabilisation of the infinitely more important, more populous, and nuclear-armed Pakistan. If Washington does not quickly learn to tread more carefully, it may find the first US-Pakistan war is beginning just as the fourth Afghan war supposedly ends.

Anti-American feeling in Pakistan is becoming institutionalised at the higher levels of government, while opposition figures such as Imran Khan see their popularity rise on the back of diatribes aimed at Washington. Pakistan’s western-educated, secular political elite is under brutal attack from Islamist militants who revile them as Washington’s stooges. The knock-kneed government is mocked and despised for failing to stand up to its infidel paymasters even as Pakistan’s own “war on terror” death toll rises into the tens of thousands.

Since 2001, when the Bush administration bluntly told Islamabad it must take sides, be either “for us or agin us” in the newly declared “war on terror”, Pakistan has struggled under a plethora of imperious American demands, démarches and impositions that are at once politically indefensible and contrary to the perceived national interest.

The last year has been another humiliating one at the hands of the country’s principal ally. Pakistanis have looked on impotently as US special forces flouted its sovereignty and killed Osama bin Laden under the army’s nose; as the US stepped up drone terror attacks in Pakistani territory despite repeated protests; and as people-pleasing US senators and Republican presidential candidates have taken to picking on Pakistan and its aid bill in uninformed foreign policy rants.

Hillary Clinton and the Pentagon top brass have responded to Saturday’s killing with the usual expressions of regret and of determination to “investigate”, without formally admitting responsibility. Their pronouncements are worthless, transparently so.

The belief that weak, impoverished, divided Pakistan has no alternative but to slavishly obey its master’s voice could turn out to be one of the seminal strategic miscalculations of the 21st century. Alternative alliances with China or Russia aside, Muslim Pakistan, if bullied and scorned for long enough by its western mentors, could yet morph through external trauma and internal collapse into quite a different animal. The future paradigm here is not another well-trained Indonesia or Malaysia. It is the Islamic Republic of Iran.


Simon Tisdall is anassistant editor of the Guardian and a foreign affairs columnist. He was previously a foreign leader writer for the paper and has also served as its foreign editor and its US editor, based in Washington DC. He was the Observer’s foreign editor from 1996-98



This is a clear-cut case of the Pentagon sabotaging the White House

Peter Chamberlin
This is a cross post from his blog : therearenosunglasses
Nangarhar is the secured province that is being turned over to Afghan forces, where the border incident has erupted.  The attack upon Pakistan was intended as a demonstration for the world to see the dangers of an early Afghan transition and withdrawal.  What else could explain this Afghan unit gaining command over Nangarhar Province on the same day that calls for air support inside Pakistan have become necessary?  This is a clear-cut case of the Pentagon sabotaging the White House.  It is also the first sign of what post-reconciliation ISAFactions will look like, under a Northern Alliance-dominated Afghan regime.  Since the murder of Rabbani, Afghan security officials have been screaming in unison for this day to come–

“The Taliban can only be defeated by attacking them in Pakistan.”

According to former head of Afghanistan’s secret service, Amrullah Saleh, “You poison the soil where that grass is, then you eliminate it forever.”  This is what has happened on Pakistan’s side of the Durand Line, the Pakistani Taliban from Mohmand (who have relocated to Afghanistan) have poisoned the Pakistani soil  by firing upon Afghan forces from points near outpost Salala’s coordinates, in order to bring the two sides together inside Pakistan.  This is not the first time that the Pakistani Taliban have used this tactic to bring the Afghan and Pakistani forces together.  They used it preceding the “Battle of Wanat” and once again in the “Gora Prai” border post assault.  In the Gora Prai video below you can see the individual militants being killed. 

The Gora Prai video is from a single Predator; it pales in comparison to the latest assault which allegedly involved repeated runs of aircraft and helicopters, over a period of several hours. 

The following was sent to me by a friend from Peshawar.  It is self-explanatory.   

“Another pack of Lies By NATO

 Today’s papers carry the news that the NATO Chief has said that the  attack on Pakistani soldiers was un-intentional. Very generous of him!!
 Yesterday, I talked to Lt Col ZZZZZZ from Peshawar. He had just visited CMH Peshawar to meet the wounded in Salah Post by the US/ATO raid on night of 26 November. This is what he told me.
 There were 14 wounded lying in the surgical ward suffering a variety of wounds. He talked to every one of them and asked them what had happened. The crux of the account of the soldiers and officers was that at about 11pm on 26th Nov a light aircraft came from across the border, flew over the post and fired flares and returned. About half an hour later armed helicopters and light aircraft came . They again fired flares and began firing at the men. They remained in the area for about 5 – 6 hours. During this time, the helicopter firing at individual personnel at will. The post had only one 12.7 anti-aircraft gun which opened fire. The gunner was shot. The major on the post took up the gun and began firing at the helicopters. He was fired at again. While changing position he was hit by a rocket or missile. His body was blasted to pieces. Only his name-plate was found.
Every one of the men on the post was killed or wounded. They seemed to be in no hurry and going after each individual separately. Having finished the entire post, they peaceably went back without any casualty on their part.
 And the NATO Chief has the effrontery to say that it was un-intentional.
 Now my question is, if for 5 to 6 hours this enemy action was taking place and our ground troops were under such deliberate enemy fire, where was the Army’s reaction and where was the PAF during all this time?I cannot believe that the Corps HQ or the PAF Northern Command in Peshawar did not know what was going on,on the front. If so, both should be disbanded for deliberate incompetence.”

The biggest question is–Why did the joint military commands allow the attack to happen, or make no effort to end it?

If the dust was allowed to settle on this confrontation, then it would surely reveal that it was the TTP bringing Afghan and Pakistani forces into conflict, which they would be inclined to do, considering the level of penetration of the Pakistani Taliban by British, Afghan, and American secret services (SEE: Dissecting the Anti-Pakistan Psyop).  Through these separate assets, plus those of India and the Mossad, the Pakistani Taliban have always danced to the same tune as the CIA.  This does not necessarily mean that Hakeemullah Mehsud (and Baitullah before him), Faqir Mohammed and Fazlullah are conscious American assets, but that they might as well be.  If they are so foolish as to be led around by the nose by spook money, doing the Empire’s bidding, then they are nothing more than petty mercenaries, pretending to be revolutionary jihadis. 

This attack can be compared to the Mumbai attack, in that Pakistani jihadis have taken actions which were intended to bring Pakistan into conflict with one of its neighbors.   The last time it was India’s turn.  Indian leaders kept a cool head, at that time, avoiding another major war with Pakistan, to suit American interests.  Will Afghan leaders use their heads, to see this blow-up as their own warning to turn back from the pied piper’s road to oblivion, before it is too late for us all?

*Peter Chamberlin is an op-ed writer for the Herald-Dispatch newspaper in Huntington, WV. He has been actively opposing all non-defensive war most of his life. Peter’s first petition (as a teenager) was a success in his local community, raising several hundred signatures protesting Nixon’s scapegoating of Lt. Calley for the My Lai incident. He has been very active since 1982 writing letters to newspapers and magazines, as well as recalcitrant national leaders, speaking-out against war, nuclear war, and the impending violent collapse of the Western empire (that is now at hand). Chamberlin has had several hundred letter-to-editors printed in this time.


Nangarhar ready for security transfer

by Abdul Moeed Hashmi on 28 November, 2011 – 18:36

JALALABAD (PAN): Officials and tribal elders on Monday said the eastern province of Nangarhar was ready for security transition, stressing the need for increasing the strength of Afghan security forces.

Afghan forces will take over the security responsibility in 18 more areas in the second phase of transition. The forces will take full control of Balkh, Daikundi, Takhar, Samangan, Kabul and Nimroz provinces.

The cities included in the second phase of transition include Jalalabad, Chaghcharan, Shiberghan, Faizabad, Ghazni, Maidan Shahr and Qala-i-Naw. Helmand districts Nawa, Nad Ali and Marja are also to change hands.

In Nangarhar, Jalalabad, the provincial capital, Kama, Behsud, Khewa and Surkhrod districts would be handed to Afghan forces. Surkhrod district chief, Syed Ali Akbar Sadat, said they were ready for the handover, but the inadequate police strength posed a problem.

Governor Gul Agha Sherzai had discussed the issue with civil and military officials, his spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai said, adding the provincial capital is ready for the transfer.

“Foreign soldiers disrespect our traditions and we no longer need them,” Wilayat Khan, a tribal elder from Behsud, told Pajhwok Afghan News. The district had only 50 policemen, he said, asking the government to increase their number.


South China Sea Rivalries Recall Pre-World War I Era

Shared Directly By:Eric Margolis 

As Santayana’s over-used by none-the-less still valid maxim goes, those who forget history are condemned to relive its follies.

I’ve a lovely little oil painting in my study of Germany’s first modern emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm I. He is smiling and happy.

The portrait was painted soon after the 1870-71 Franco-Prussian War that led to the creation of a united Germany with Prussia’s King Wilhelm crowned as its monarch at Versailles – thanks to the great German statesman, Prince Otto von Bismarck.

United Germany’s fast-rising economic and military power was seen by the British Empire, which then ruled a quarter of the globe, as a dire threat.

However, Bismarck managed to cleverly divide or distract Germany’s foes or rivals and maintain Europe’s balance of power. But the new, headstrong young kaiser, Wilhelm II, foolishly dismissed the domineering Bismarck and soon plunged his nation into confrontation with Imperial Britain over naval power, colonies, and trade.

Britain’s imperialists determined to crush rival Germany. The fuse of World War I was lit.

We see the first steps of a similar great power clash taking shape today in South Asia.

China is usually very cautious in its foreign affairs. But of late, Beijing has been aggressively asserting maritime claims in the resource-rich South China Sea, a region bordered by Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and China.

Japan, India, South Korea and the United States also assert strategic interests in this hotly disputed sea, which is believed to contain 100 billion barrels of oil and 700 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

China has repeatedly clashed with Vietnam and the Philippines over the Spratly and Paracel islands and even mere rocks in the China Sea. Tensions are high.

In 2010, the US strongly backed the maritime resource claims by the smaller Asian states, warning off China and reasserting the US Navy’s right to patrol anywhere. Beijing took this as a direct challenge to its regional suzerainty.

Last week, Washington raised the stakes in this power game, announcing it will permanently base 2,500 Marines at the remote northern Australian port of Darwin.

A Marine regiment can’t do much in such a vast, remote region, but Washington’s symbolic troop deployment is another strong signal to China to keep its hands off the South China Sea. China and nearby Indonesia reacted with alarm. Memories in Indonesia of 1960’s intervention by CIA mercenaries and British troops remain vivid.

The US is increasingly worried by China’s military modernization and growing naval capabilities. Washington has forged a new, unofficial military alliance with India, and aided Delhi’s nuclear weapons development, a pact clearly aimed at China. China and India are locked in a nuclear and conventional arms race.

US military forces now train in Mongolia. China may deploy a new Fourth Fleet in the South China Sea. Washington expresses concern over China’s new aircraft carrier, anti-ship missiles and submarines, though these alarms coming from the world’s leading naval power seem bit much.

The US is talking about selling advanced arms to Vietnam, an historic foe of China. The US is also modernizing Taiwan’s and Japan’s armed forces.

These moves sharpen China’s growing fears of being encircled by a network of America’s regional allies.

The recent ASEAN summit in Indonesia calling for a US-led “Trans-Pacific Partnership” was seen by Beijing as an effort to create an Asian NATO directed against China.

Rising tensions over the South China Sea disturbingly recall the naval race between Britain and Germany during the dreadnaught era that played a key role in triggering World War I.

We should also recall the pre-1914 great power race to build railroads, such as the famed Berlin to Baghdad line, that were that era’s version of today’s energy pipeline competition.

As a historian, I’m most concerned by what I see. Youth in China and India are seething with mindless nationalism caused by too much testosterone and childish government propaganda. A decade ago, I wrote a book, War at the Top of the World, that dealt with a possible future war between China and India over the Himalayas and Burma.

The United States, the inheritor of Britain’s Empire, is struggling to continue financing its vast sphere of influence. Meanwhile, the Republican Party is in the grip of extreme elements and primitive nationalism.

The Pacific Ocean has been an American lake since 1944. Washington’s ’s biggest foreign policy challenge is to keep peace with China by gradually allowing China to assert its inevitable sphere of influence in the region while gradually lessening American domination of the Asian Pacific coast,

The bankrupt US cannot hope to compete long term with cash-rich China to be top dog in south Asia. But history shows that managing the arrival of a new super-power is dangerous, tricky business.

Clever diplomacy, not more Marines, is the answer. The over-extended American Raj has got to face strategic reality or it risks going the way of the Soviet Empire.

But Washington’s global domination crowd won’t face facts. The US, which accounts for 50% of world military spending, is now sending troops to East Africa, Congo, West Africa, and now, Australia.

US foreign policy has become almost totally militarized; the State Department has been shunted aside. The Pentagon sees Al-Qaida everywhere.

The US needs the brilliant diplomacy of a Bismarck, not more unaffordable bases or military hardware. Reassuring the nervous Aussies that Uncle Sam stands behind them is nice, but hugely annoying China may not be worth the price. Maybe Beijing will send a contingent of its marines to Cuba.

A clash in the Pacific between China and the US is not inevitable. But events last week brought one a step closer.

Eric Margolis [send him mail] is the author of War at the Top of the World and the new book, American Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World


Will US Nuclear Politics Surrender Before Economics and Cyber Media?

This is a Pakpotpourri Exclusive

The South Asian Nuclear Dynamics

Jawad Raza Khan

At 0530, 16 July 1945, in a remote site of the Alamogordo Air Base, New Mexico, the first full-scale nuclear test was made. For the first time in history there was a nuclear explosion. And what an explosion! This is how General Leslie Groves describes the very first weapon of mass destruction in an official document of War Department Washington on 18 July 1945.

General Groves, who had a reputation as a great driving force for projects took over the responsibility of the famous Manhattan Project in September 1942 . He was involved in most aspects of the atomic bomb’s development. He directed the collection of military intelligence on the German nuclear energy project and helped in selecting targets in Japan. Although, Groves wrapped the Manhattan Project but failed to prevent the USSR from conducting a successful espionage program, resulted in stealing nuclear secrets from US nuclear sites.

Just after eighteen days of the mentioned letter on Aug 6, 1945 – First atomic bomb dropped, on Hiroshima, Japan. History openly indicates that US “The Peace Lover” couldn’t wait for the 20th day after harnessing the nuclear capability and killed nearly 0.25 million civilians in the “Name of Peace”. On the other hand, most of the Western historians are found linking the Nuclear bombing of Japan with the Japanese full scale daring action on American naval base in Hawaii “The Pearl Harbour” on December 7th 1941, but after nearly five years “strange isn’t it”. On one pretext or the other, all efforts are still on to persuade mitigating the use of WMD for ending the 2nd World War. Hundreds of analysis and documentaries are made to do or undo the horrific act of brutality carried out by the President Truman and party.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, (January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945), the predecessor of President Truman, also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States (1933–1945). He was the only US president in the history of US who was elected thrice for the presidential term. Preposterously an unprecedented mourning was seen all across USSR after the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (April 12, 1945), as Roosevelt was believed to be a man who could have averted The Cold war, which took the toll of human beings in the next forty years after the end of WW-II. Russian dictator Stalin in his message to Truman conveyed “The American people and United Nations have lost a great politician of world significance and a pioneer in the organization of peace and security after the war”. The point under lined is after the war and this not quoted by none other than but Stalin and again it took just 3 months 24 days for Truman to bomb Japan after the death of Roosevelt that to “after the war”.  

The concept of One Government was in thin air, even before Aug 1945, the famous Yalta conference headed by Roosevelt was in pursuance to the said goal in consultation with the Allies; even the King of newly founded Saudi Arabia Abdul Aziz was also met and taken care off. Nuclearization of the planet added a catalyst to it and from then on it was planned and executed with more zeal and vigour by the world powers. The basics of the world order was designed on General Grove’s recommendation which suggested that “this weapon must be in control of US only, till the time others are not anxious about peace as we are”. Although by mid October 1945 it was believed in US administration that the nuclear secret has already been out of box and Russians are fast and furiously working on it. From here the story of proliferation took off and within 70 years this world has witnessed more than nine nations mastering or nearly mastering to make a dreadful bomb.

Crux of the above mentioned can be put up like this “US killed nearly 0.25 million people in Haroshima and Ngasaki by using nuclear bomb for peace and since then to ensure nobody else can make or use WMDs to disturb the world peace,  they have again killed more than 0.3 million people in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan”.

As a matter of fact, in past 70 years the socio-politico and especially nuclear- politico environment of the globe has drastically effected by the economic factor. On the other hand, the policy envisaged by US with regards to the nuclearization of the world in 1945 is still followed in true letter and spirit by Pentagon and White house. The tools are definitely changed but the plan and its execution for One Government is still on!

Another feature of the human race which is radically transformed is media and especially with the advent of cyber media the possibility of controlling the hearts and minds has turned to minimal. The combination of economic and cyber media has made the job of hiding facts a difficult preposition. Propagation of Occupy Wall Street protest and its live streaming through YouTube will bear the testimony of both the facts. Despite of the fact, that US authorities have been extremely successful in blacking out the event on print and electronic media, even than whole of the world knows that more than 36000 men and women are marching back and forth on “Brooklyn bridge” on 12 hourly shift basis.

The days are over when Super powers use to enforce their version of story without any impediment or challenge to be faced. Even in a country like Pakistan, now protests are launched through active use of Facebook and have the power and capability to silent at least the war of words. Something like this happened in Karachi when a protest against US treats to Pakistan was launched after the Mullen episode. The protestors carried out an aggressive and vocal protest in front of US embassy Karachi, which ultimately forced the diplomats to engage with Pakistani youth. Now we as Pakistani citizens are observing Mr. Cameron Munter very often dancing on Pakistani music and mixed up with the youth of Pakistan with an exclusive invitation to the students only “indeed with an agenda behind it”.

With all important factors like cyber media and economics in background let’s analyze Pakistan’s nuclear capability on the famous General Groves statement “Nuclear capability for peace”. Again thanks to cyber media which can make a voice noticeable without any major effort else than putting it forward in an organized manner. As far as the facts are concerned Pakistan’s nuclear program started in mid 70s but it shaped into strong nuclear tests carried out in May 1998, only in retaliation to the Indian hegemonic designs converting into sarcastic bombardment of statements by responsible Indian politicians, especially after conducting successful nuclear tests in Pokhran.  With immense pressure on Pakistan not to retaliate by US, it responded India in the same coin and the world found Pakistan surprisingly more sophisticated and technically classier in the field of controlled nuclear sciences. Here it would not be justice if something is not written about the factor of strong ideological base of Pakistan which took over the imperatives of economics and a hungry deprived Pakistani celebrated joyfully the nuclear tests of his country. It is indeed more laudable if he knows that a worst will come now in terms of individual and state economy.

Now the slogan of peace through nuclear power from west was proved emphatically on ground by a country like Pakistan. You need not to rephrase or tailor the history to put the point across as events after that have given a very strong but peaceful message to the world.

  • The concept of limited war was executed in the Kargil sector in 1999 only because south Asia was nuclear. Whole of the world was brought in as the two nuclear giants were having a face off for the disputed Kashmir. The escalation was not carried out thoughtfully on any other part of the Indo-Pak border and the conflict ended in peace.
  • Terrorist attack on Indian parliament led to another eyeball to eyeball confrontation and both the countries amass their troops for more than two years. Again the Genie remained in the bottle and the world saw millions of troops marching back to their barracks without a bullet fired.
  • General Kayani’s statement was indeed a strong message to US administration in the backdrop of Mullen statement when he said that US must not consider Pakistan as Iraq and Afghanistan, we are a nuclear power. The said statement again make the world mindful that any tempering with the borders of Pakistan will lead to a full scale war which cannot be restricted to conventional means and the peace prevailed between US and Pakistan.
  • The only option for the world to avert the water war between India and Pakistan is to assist Pakistan in nuclear energy sector for which the basics are very much available with foolproof security measures. The energy crisis in Pakistan with the explosion of water bomb can be easily averted if the world is serious about the peace in this volatile region. The nuclear capability already attained by Pakistan can here also ensure peace.

With an exceptionally operative command and control system of Pakistan’s nuclear possessions with no history of a single nuclear incident, the world led by US and NATO must understand the importance of nuclear balance of power in this part of the globe. Giving dreadful and misleading statements for Pakistan’s nuclear installations will indeed be of no use, it’s time for US to concentrate on graceful exit from Afghanistan than beating about the nuclear bush. The underlines of US nuclear politics now has to be reassessed in the light of own economy and irrepressible properties of cyber media. The world must also understand that the Pakistanis wants to live in peace but with dignity and honour and their voice cannot be ignored as they are not less than 180 million in number. Pakistanis are indeed not ignorant of the importance of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals, which are now a guarantee not only to the regional but world peace, comprehensively in line with General Leslie Grove’s perception of US nuclear arsenals for Peace.

Jawad Khan is a political analyst based in Rawalpindi.

Investing Your Future In A Poison Peace Process

By: Peter Chamberlin

The Indian analyst who authored the following piece (SEE: India, Pakistan, and God’s geostrategic will) is probably giving an accurate assessment of his government’s opinion of the current status of the Pakistani military, even though both his opinion and the projected government position are probably miscalculations or misinterpretations of Pakistani gestures.  He interprets recent moves and counter-moves by the Pak. Army and its “Islamist” paramilitary forces as signs of weakness, thereby justifying taking advantage of the new “peace process” as an opening for India to seize-upon, in order to exploit those perceived weaknesses.

Like all Indian analysts, Praveen Swami makes a lot of assumptions, based on the understanding that Pakistan is “besieged on all sides,” without ever acknowledging either India’s hand in that siege or America’s primary role(or for that matter, the British or Israeli hand).  You will never hear or read an Indian writer discussing outside sponsorship of the violence which plagues parts of Pakistan, even though many Western and Pakistani writers have examined Indian/American support for anti-Pakistan terrorists in depth (SEE:  The Stunning Investigative Story on the Birth of Balochistan Liberation Army–Mar 1, 2005).  The truth is, Pakistan the Nation probably is on the ropes, even though the Army is as robust as ever.  Through a clever combination of economic incentives and state-sponsored terrorism (compounded by successive, near-fatal blows from Mother Nature) Pakistan has been economically crippled and branded as an international pariah state.

The “peace process” has been sold to Pakistani leaders as a doorway out of this hellish existence, into the arms of the “community of nations,” even though entry will only be possible if Pakistan kneels before the Imperial dictates of the United States and its Indian proxies.  Pakistan’s biggest problem is its history with the CIA.  For more than thirty years, Pakistan has served as the CIA’s terrorist/jihadi laboratory, the place where the spymasters have perfected their art of “Islamist” destabilization.  This is the behavioral science of motivating indigenous Muslim populations to overthrow their own governments.  From the many years of practical experience that has been gained in Pakistan, the CIA mind-benders have established a working formula of “Islamist” agitation of highly religious, though under-educated Muslim populations, that takes advantage of the weaknesses in human nature itself, to cause the populations to rise-up against their own governments, demanding that those legitimate governments enforce a system of corrupt “Shariah Law” upon them.  This “peace process,” much like the failed Israeli/Palestinian peace process, is a delusional process, used to sell the participants a false “bill of goods” as the only “road map” to peace, even though it only leads to war.

Pakistan has many times seen the Islamist armies that it has trained turn against its trainers, usually for failure to live up to the Jihadi standards that they were taught.  These disaffected Jihadis then become active enemies of the state, such as the TTP in Waziristan and Swat.   These reversals have happened under the watchful eye and protection of that same State.  It is a moot question, at this point, whether the Army and ISI were willing players in all of this, or whether they too have fallen victim to American psywar games.  It is a process that has played-out in too many countries to be written-off to the workings of fate—the CIA mind games could never succeed without willing participants among the homeland populations.  Pakistani leaders have sold Pakistanis out, just as American leaders have continually sold Americans out.  It is the way of the Evil Empire.  You must invite the vampire into your house before he can drink your blood.

Now that this northern army has become fully activated as true enemies of the State, they work toward the same goals as the Baloch Liberation Army in the south, the destruction of the legitimate, democratically elected government of Pakistan.  Both puppet (proxy) armies dance to the same puppeteer’s tunes, but they believe that they are fighting for either Allah, or for country.  This is the glaring hypocrisy of the American Hegelian dialectic–the American government is continually building things up, to later knock them down.  Pakistan is suffering from a traditional pincer movement, but since they appear to be completely opposite in nature, with completely different goals, we tend to ignore the connection.  The AfPak region, more specifically, the Pashtun belt of that region, is being squeezed into a fluid, homogeneous mass, which can easily be pushed back and forth, to erase the invisible border which impedes American actions.

But you will hear about none of this from an Indian analyst.

American analysts are different, in that we analyze the Imperial plans from an American nationalist perspective.  Taking a patriotic angle, we look for weaknesses that will help us slay the Imperial Beast that has taken over our government and has been set loose upon the world.  We have become a fascist power in our effort to reshape the world, and realistic American analysts understand this.  Any useful analysis of world events must be based upon that premise.

The fascist power operates through a traditional “bait and switch” strategy.  They promote “Democracy” throughout the world as the primary weapon of destabilization, with the intent of crushing the results of any democratic movement in the end. We use it as bait, to tempt the targeted audience with unimagined political freedoms which will never materialize, holding them up as promised rewards for them risking their own lives in mass-movements to reform their own governments.  The switch comes after the regime is forced to change, whenever the democratic-revolution is exposed as an exercise in American Imperialism, giving the Empire veto power over any “democratic” decisions made by that government or the people they claim to represent.  After the dust of “regime change” has settled, the next American puppet government rules for as long as it can continue to repress the people.  Any elected government that doesn’t adhere to this rigid fascist formula becomes itself the next subject for regime change.

A realistic analysis of the India/Pakistani peace process would have to proceed on the assumption that the primary beneficiary will prove to be American.  If a deal between them is brokered by the US State Dept., by the Dept. of Commerce, or by the Pentagon, everyone should understand by now exactly where the big pay-off will go.  Mr. Singh is proving himself to be even more of a dupe than Zardari.  Nobody really expected anything less from Mr. Ten Percent, but the world put high hopes on Manmohan Singh.

Obama wants India and Pakistan to play nice, so that he can pretend to withdraw from Afghanistan, while leaving both of them (and the rest of the regional players) holding the bag after 2014.  Obama wants you to build and protect TAPI, which is to be the first of many pipelines on the strategic corridor to Central Asia, otherwise referred to as the “Silk Roads.”  Obama wants India to fill the great void of the former Soviet space with warm Indian bodies, some tending shiny new American-made jet fighters, others slaving in the elements on Indian road crews.

Obama wants Indian telecommunication companies as well as construction companies to help energize the CIS space, especially to build the currently non-existent road and rail networks needed to assimilate the resource bonanza.  India does stand to reap enormous financial rewards from this, if it will consent to transferring its developing industry into Central Asia, away from the Indian homeland, where it is needed even more urgently.  In Central Asia there are not enough roads because there have never been enough people, as opposed to India, where perhaps half a billion people suffer from economic deprivation that is exacerbated by a lack of development and the great investments which come with it.

Obama wants all of Afghanistan’s neighbors to lend full support to the hidden American plans, without ever revealing what they are, always with the promise of rewards beyond measure for unquestioned collaboration in that unrevealed plan.  He sells them a message of Hope, resting upon an appeal to Blind Faith in Americans and their inescapable commitment to do the Right Thing.  This is the formula for the fascist “snake oil” that Obama is peddling to get his way in the world.

The leaders of both Pakistan and India must be prepared to turn away from the American bait and switch operation at play in Afghanistan, if they want to survive without suffering through violent repercussions for their partnerships with the devil.  All Nations with peoples yearning to be free must be prepared to turn away from the fraudulent con-games which pass for world government these days, before the devil can ever be brought to his knees and humanity can finally learn what it means to be truly Free.

NOTE: This is a cross post from


Some questions on the Husain Haqqani fiasco

Editor’s Note: As responsible social media, we must ask, why, this is being over played by media? Will this result in a rift between the current civil government & Pakistan Military? Who stands to benefit the most from it? Does it further destabilize Pakistan? Who stands to benefit the most from it? This news is old news, WHY play it up now? WHY at this point with opposing parties have been holding rallies against the sitting government? Is the dish being cooked by vested interests? Who stands to benefit by this instability the most?FOOD FOR THOUGHT PLEASE?


By: Muhammad Abd al-Hameed

روشنی طبع، تو بر من بلا شدی اے

This Farsi line applies aptly to Husain Haqqani, now that his brilliance has landed him in the worst debacle of his career.

The fiasco raised many questions, some still unanswered, some not fully answered. Let us try to find out what it was all about and also put available facts in perspective.


Did Husain Haqqani do it?

Of course, beyond a shadow of doubt. He did pass on a memorandum to Mansoor Ijaz, seeking his help in saving his boss’s government. It is not a simple case of one man’s word against the other. Mansoor Ijaz has already provided enough documentary evidence from his Blackberry to prove it.


How were the beans spilled?

Haqqani and Ijaz, as professionals in tricks, were to keep the secret only to themselves. By talking one-to-one with Zardari on one side and Mansoor Ijaz on the other, Haqqani ensured complete secrecy. It might well have remained secret.

But human frailty upset the plan. Days before his retirement as Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen spoke harshly against our army in his testimony before the U.S. Senate. May be he was disappointed on not succeeding in Afghanistan, or may be it was his pent-up frustration over years on not being able to get our army do his bidding every time. (In an interview some time ago with the French news agency, Agence France Presse (AFP), he said Gen. Kayani could stop the terrorists if he wanted to, and then added ruefully, “I don’t know whether he will do it or not.”)

There was an outrage against Mullen in our media, though the U.S. government played down his statement, even disassociated itself from what he had said. Mullen was enraged, believing that ISI was behind it.

Since Mullen had helped Ijaz in establishing his credibility with Haqqani, he approached him for a quid pro quo. Ijaz agreed and wrote the article for the op-ed (opposite editorial) page of The Financial Times, hoping that it would discredit our army for wilting under American pressure and not taking over. The secret that was deep in his heart came out, to Haqqani’s hard luck. Ijaz himself justified the article in his interview with Sana Bucha (“Lekin!” Geo News, Nov. 14) as a counterattack to criticism against Mullen.

Haqqani must have known much about Mansoor Ijaz, such as his conservative (rightist) leanings and his links with the Pentagon (that he needs for his high-flying diplomatic freelancing). However, he did not know that Ijaz also believes in exchanging favors.


How did Haqqani try to save his skin?

The disclosure of his approach to Ijaz was a disaster for Haqqani. He thought denial would be the best way out. So, he himself contradicted Ijaz, asked the spokesman of the President and the Foreign Office to do the same. They obliged him but it was not enough for him. A contradiction from the other side was also necessary. So, he succeeded in persuading the former spokesman of Mullen to issue a carefully crafted denial. Enraged, Ijaz hit back with a long rejoinder. In fact, he went so far as to show the entire content of his Blackberry to a high official (probably of ISI) and even offered, in his interview with Sana Bucha, to appear before a Parliamentary committee or a court. Haqqani was now in a very thick soup.


Why did Haqqani approach Mullen in the first place?

As an ambassador, Haqqani should have approached the U.S. State Department for help. He could even meet Hillary Clinton. But this channel in his view could not be very productive. A warning from the Pentagon to the army would be more effective. However, he could not meet Mullen directly under the diplomatic rules. Media savvy that he is, he also wanted deniability in case something went wrong. (A message sent through an intermediary could be easily denied if ever the need arose.) Moreover, Mullen could convey the warning to Kayani in normal conversation during one of their frequent meetings, without raising any suspicion that Zardari was behind it.

Politicians with no deep roots in the masses and no confidence in their ability to govern seek help from the outside. Haqqani knew that in September 1999, the Sharif brothers became panicky and sought American help against a possible coup that they feared. Shehbaz rushed to Washington and got a strong statement issued by the State Department in favor of his brother’s government but ultimately to no avail.

In fact, Musharraf had no plan to topple Nawaz government and would not have done anything against it if the Prime Minister had not tried to remove him in a clumsy attempt that was also illegal. (Under the Army Act, no action can be taken against an officer, even a lieutenant, while he is abroad. Secondly, the army chief could not be removed unless the Defense Secretary issued a notification about it (which never happened); there was no validity to even written orders of the Prime Minister that would-be army chief, Lt Gen. Ziauddin Butt, has been showing around.


Who asked Haqqani to do it?

It is the father of all questions. Najam Sethi (“Aapis ki bat,” Geo News, Nov. 15) did a clever spin job. He implied that the army had arranged the Ijaz article, conveniently ignoring the fact that it had nothing to gain. Kayani, like Musharraf, never planned to take over. So, a warning from Mullen, even if given, did not matter. Rather, the article would give the impression that the army did want to take over but held back under an American threat.

Najam also gave an impression that Haqqani might not be guilty, only the army considered him so. He also stopped short of saying that Zardari had asked Haqqani to do it, as if Gilani or somebody else might have done it. Zardari would have been much better off if he had Najam as his official spin doctor.


Who told Zardari about a possible coup?

Good question. Our rulers are very credulous when it comes to a threat to their power. Anybody can make them panicky with a rumor of a coup, however wild. It happened with Nawaz Sharif, when some cronies told him about the possibility of a coup after the Kargil (even though the army had no such intention). No wonder, he sent his brother hastily to the U.S. to prevent it.

The same must have happened with Zardari. Somebody, who had his ear, wanted to convince him of his loyalty and also of his being very informed, told him that he would be the fall guy after the U.S. action in Abbottabad. He could be somebody Zardari trusted very much but was fed false information. Somebody in intelligence? Some journalist, who wanted to get close to the President? Time will tell.


How will it end?

Najam Sethi says that the crisis will end with the sacking or resignation of Husain Haqqani and appointment of a National Security Advisor on the recommendation of the army. It may not be that simple. The army is eyeball to eyeball with Zardari, and according to Ijazul Haq, “On the basis of my information and observation, it is a case of who moves first.”

Azizi of the popular program, “Hasb-i-Haal” (Dunya News), disclosed recently that Zardari has asked Adiala Jail authorities to keep his belongings in the room that he had occupied while there. “I may have to live there again.” The statement has not been contradicted.

According to a media report, Zardari once told a visitor, “If I make America angry, I lose this (pointing to his chair.) If the army gets angry, this will happen.” He moved his open palm across his neck.


The writer is based in Lahore,Pakistan & is a Media Consultant.

The Grocer and Alice’s Cat

By; Brig. F.B Ali(Retd.)

It was the dawn of 2010, and the ISI had a problem: Pakistan’s spy agency was losing control over some of its Taliban proteges. The previous year the British and some Europeans, wearying of the unending war, had prevailed upon the UN representative in Afghanistan, Kai Eide, to get peace negotiations started between the Karzai government and the Taliban. With the assistance of the Saudis, Eide arranged some meetings with a few former Taliban leaders and also involved some Afghan officials. These didn’t bother the ISI; what was getting them worried now were reports that the Taliban’s No. 2 man, and operational commander, Mullah Baradar, was involved in these talks.

The ISI’s predicament was that they didn’t know where Baradar was. While they kept track of the Taliban political leadership, Baradar had disappeared into the large Pashtun community in Karachi’s 18 million inhabitants. The ISI had information on his satellite communication links, but didn’t have the hi-tech equipment to pinpoint his location through them. Their friends in the CIA had such equipment but, even though they claimed the US wasn’t in favour of any peace negotiations, the ISI couldn’t be sure. So, they just told the CIA they needed help to pick up some low-level Taliban operatives in Karachi.

The CIA obliged, and the ISI nabbed Baradar. A week later they told the CIA: Guess what? We’ve just discovered we got a big fish in that roundup! The CIA was pleased, Kai Eide was not. The nascent peace talks were squashed, and the Taliban leadership got the message: no talking without Pakistani permission. The message to the Karzai government and the West was: if you desire peace talks with the Taliban and other insurgents, come to us and we’ll bring them to the table.

Months passed and then, all of a sudden, everyone in Kabul started jumping onto the peace talks bandwagon, including, notably, Gen Petraeus. The trouble was they weren’t asking the Pakistanis to help; instead, they were again throwing out feelers directly to the Taliban. The ISI didn’t like this at all; since they couldn’t be sure another leader wouldn’t decide to do some freelancing, they decided to create their own freelancer. The person they settled on was Mullah Mansur, who had replaced Mullah Baradar in the Taliban hierarchy.

The call went out to ISI operatives to find a Mansur look-alike. The person selected for this role was an Afghan who was running a small grocery shop in Quetta. Since all the Taliban, conveniently, wear turbans and sport large beards, discovery of the imposture was not a big worry; they hoped suitable briefings would take care of other issues. Even though the US commander in Afghanistan was now all for peace talks, the ISI wasn’t so sure about the CIA. So, they decided to have the fake Mansur approach the British spy agency, the SIS, instead.

The SIS couldn’t believe their luck. Marginalized in Afghanistan by the huge CIA operation, they were facing budget crunch time back at home. Here was a chance to play the lead role in a critical venture, and prove to everyone the importance of their contribution. Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, they didn’t do any serious checking of his bona fides. Even if they’d wanted to, they didn’t have the means; they couldn’t ask the ISI, and they didn’t want to involve the CIA. Their Taliban contact was playing hard to get, so they overcame his hesitations with a large payment upfront, with promises of more to come.

When they broke the news of their coup to the CIA and the Afghans, both warmly welcomed it but warned of the essential need to keep it hidden from the ISI. A plane landed at the US airbase in Pakistan, picked up ‘Mullah Mansur’, and flew him to Kabul. Adequately briefed, the ‘Mullah’ held his own in talks with the Americans and the Afghans. Everyone was surprised at the very moderate conditions that he put forward for a settlement  except Gen Petraeus, who was convinced that this was the result of the hard knocks he had recently been giving the Taliban.

The Taliban ‘leader’ had to be persuaded with several hundred thousand dollars to repeat his visits to Kabul. On one of them he was taken by the British to visit with President Karzai, who was generous in the promises that he made about the future. Gen Petraeus made it known to the media that his strategy was succeeding, and had brought the Taliban to the negotiating table. Already he could see the laurels of Afghanistan being added to those of his “victory” in Iraq. Taliban denials that any such talks were going on were met with knowing smiles.

The ISI had succeeded beyond its wildest dreams. It had managed to have its Quetta grocer conduct talks for months with the Afghans and the Americans as a senior Taliban emissary. It had learnt a great deal of their negotiating positions. This was sweet revenge for the Afghans and the West trying to cut them out of the peace moves. They had now effectively proved that such talks could not be held without using them as the intermediary. Having achieved what they wanted they pulled the plug on the caper; the doughty ‘Mullah Mansur’ and the humble Quetta grocer both suddenly disappeared. Word was quietly leaked as to what had really happened.

It is not known if the ISI has a mascot. Perhaps they should adopt the Cheshire Cat as one. After all, it was adept at vanishing into thin air, leaving behind only its huge grin hanging in the tree branches. 
[Full Disclosure: The writer does not have, and has never had, any connection with the ISI. (In fact, apart from le Carre’s doomed protagonists, he heartily detests spies  present company excepted, of course). This piece is a connecting of the dots of information available in the public record, while ignoring the chaff scattered by certain (rather red-faced) interested parties. As for Alice, the author finds her saga an indispensable aid in understanding an increasingly crazy world].

NOTE:This is a cross post.


MFN: Should Parliament call the shots?

Brig Farooq Hameed Khan(Retd)

A flurry of contradictory statements and interpretations emanating from various government quarters added to the confusion surrounding the cabinet meeting’s decision on the MFN issue. The Information Minister, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan had clearly announced the cabinet’s unanimous decision to grant India the MFN status to improve trade relations between the two countries.

But rising domestic opposition from certain business and political quarters, forced the Prime Minister to adopt a defensive stance later on, as if he was back tracking on the MFN matter . He clarified that the Cabinet had only ‘empowered’ the Commerce Ministry to negotiate the trade modalities with India and the government would go ahead ‘subject’ to a favorable situation in national interest.

While it is undoubtedly the political leadership’s prerogative to decide critical foreign/economic policy issues, yet given the unique history of Indo- Pak relations, the input/advice of the defence establishment in particular is an accepted norm. Were the security setups ( Army/ISI) taken on board before the Cabinet’s MFN decision? The Information Minister had stated that all stakeholders were taken into confidence, including our military and defence institutions.

If this were true, then why the need for that recently held ‘emergent’ meeting between DGISI and military high ups with Foreign Minister Khar at the Foreign Office ? Was the security establishment concerned about the motives behind the MFN decision? Were vital national security interests being ignored or in danger of being compromised?

The prevailing confusion warranted the Foreign Minister’s intervention. . She refuted the impression that Pakistan had backtracked from its MFN position. While she reportedly admitted that the military was a major stakeholder in the context of Indo- Pak relations, she did state that the Army had been consulted before the cabinet’s decision. The Foreign Minister went to the extent to clarify that it was wrong to depict the Army as something different from the Government.

I would agree with the Foreign Minister’s remark that our Army supports the democratic government’s efforts to further the peace process and normalize trade relations with India. It was a positive gesture from General Kayani, when an Indian Army helicopter that recently strayed into Pakistan side in Siachin, was not shot down but allowed to return within twenty four hours.

But like all Pakistanis, the military, too, would want that major Pak- India disputes that are impediments to South Asia’s peace, including Kashmir, water, Siachin and Sir Creek are not put on the back burner .

It is understandable that normalization of bilateral trade ties with India would create a conducive environment for dispute resolution. The ongoing composite dialogue with India, therefore, needs to be speeded up in parallel to make it meaningful and result oriented. FM Hina Khar views Indian support for Pakistan’s non permanent UNSC membership and withdrawal of Indian opposition to Pakistani goods’ access to European markets as tangible outcomes of the Pak- India dialogue process.

Certain confidence building measures from the Indian side would reflect their commitment to creating an environment of mutual trust. After so many negotiation rounds in last few years, why cannot Pakistan and India come to an agreement on easily resolvable issues like Sir Creek and for that matter even Siachin where both armies remain deployed at high altitudes in extreme weather conditions ?

A breakthrough in Pak- India relations is achievable, if on the MFN, the Indians reciprocate by ceasing support for the Baloch insurgency and give up their backing of the Tehreek-e Taliban from Afghanistan.

The MFN decision should not be perceived to be done in haste or under any external pressure. Granted that it is almost fifteen years since Pakistan was accorded MFN status by India, yet all round effects of recognizing India as a MFN on Pakistan’s economy need to be examined in depth and shared with the people.

The US brokered Afghanistan- Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement(APTTA) signed under the watchful eyes of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on July 19 in Islamabad last year had raised concerns about foreign influences on our decision making. This extraordinary concession paved the way for transportation of Afghan goods and those from central asian republics to India via the Wagha border crossing.

If the US sponsored TAPI( Turkemanistan- Afghanistan –Pakistan – India) gas pipeline project is vital for Pakistan’s energy needs, it is even critical for energy starved India to support its booming economy. Since TAPI would transit through Pakistan, it is another significant gift/concession to India, securing their long awaited energy corridor from resource rich central asia .

Are APTTA, TAPI and MFN part of the US’s geo strategic/ economic grand designs for central/south asia? If Pakistan were to fulfill India’s long cherished dream of a return trade corridor through Wagha and Torkhum to Afghanistan/ central asian states, why not seek a quid pro quo on Kashmir and water issues?

Despite having MFN status , Pakistani goods have not enjoyed Indian market access. Whereas Indian exports to Pakistan amounted to almost 1.6 billion US dollars in 2009-10, Pakistani exports to India were only around 276 million US dollars.

The interests of our Automotive sector in particular that employs 1.4 million workers and constitutes 15% of Pakistan’s large scale industry need to be protected. India produced 2.5 million cars in 2010-11 , compared to Pakistan’s 0.12 million automobiles. Hence the much bigger Indian auto industry should not be allowed to squeeze our relatively smaller auto industrial base.

It is therefore the PPP led Government’s responsibility to extract favorable terms for Pakistani businessmen , traders and manufacturers in negotiations with Indian counterparts in terms of removal of non tariff and other discriminatory trade barriers and fair market access to promote healthy and competitive bilateral trade in which the balance is evenly tipped.

What is required on the MFN, is a ‘whole of government’ approach with all concerned Ministries including Defence, on the same page. More important is to build consensus amongst political parties, Chambers of Commerce, manufacturers and traders . Let our parliament then call the final shots !

Correcting the ‘fairy tale’: A SEAL’s account of how Osama bin Laden really died

The Daily Caller – Mon, Nov 7, 2011

Forget whatever you think you know about the night Osama bin Laden was killed. According to a former Navy SEAL who claims to have the inside track, the mangled tales told of that historic night have only now been corrected.

“It became obvious in the weeks evolving after the mission that the story that was getting put out there was not only untrue, but it was a really ugly farce of what did happen,” said Chuck Pfarrer, author ofSeal Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama Bin Laden.

In an extensive interview with The Daily Caller, Pfarrer gave a detailed account of why he believes the record needed to be corrected, and why he set out to share the personal stories of the warriors who penetrated bin Laden’s long-secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

In August the New Yorker delivered a riveting blow-by-blow of theSEALs’ May 1, 2011 raid on bin Laden’s hideaway. In that account, later reported to lack contributions from the SEALs involved, readers are taken through a mission that began with a top-secret helicopter crashing and led to a bottom-up assault of the Abbottabad compound.

Freelancer Nicholas Schmidle wrote that the SEALs had shot and blasted their way up floor-by-floor, finally cornering the bewildered Al-Qaida leader:

“The Al Qaeda chief, who was wearing a tan shalwar kameez and a prayer cap on his head, froze; he was unarmed. ‘There was never any question of detaining or capturing him—it wasn’t a split-second decision. No one wanted detainees,’ the special-operations officer told me. (The Administration maintains that had bin Laden immediately surrendered he could have been taken alive.) Nine years, seven months, and twenty days after September 11th, an American was a trigger pull from ending bin Laden’s life. The first round, a 5.56-mm. bullet, struck bin Laden in the chest. As he fell backward, the SEAL fired a second round into his head, just above his left eye.”

Chuck Pfarrer rejects almost all of that story.

“The version of the 45-minute firefight, and the ground-up assault, and the cold-blooded murder on the third floor — that wasn’t the mission,” Pfarrer told TheDC.

“I had to try and figure out, well, look: Why is this story not what I’m hearing? Why is it so off and how is it so off?” he recounted. “One of the things I sort of determined was, OK, somebody was told ‘one of the insertion helicopters crashed.’ OK, well that got muddled to ‘a helicopter crashed on insertion.’”

The helicopters, called “Stealth Hawks,” are inconspicuous machines concealing cutting-edge technology. They entered the compound as planned, with “Razor 1″ disembarking its team of SEALs on the roof of the compound — not on the ground level. There was no crash landing. That wouldn’t occur until after bin Laden was dead.

Meanwhile, “Razor 2″ took up a hovering position so that its on-board snipers, some of whom had also participated in the sea rescue of Maersk Alabama captain Richard Phillips, had a clear view of anyone fleeing the compound.

The SEALs then dropped down from the roof, immediately penetrated the third floor, and hastily encountered bin Laden in his room. He was not standing still.

“He dived across the king-size bed to get at the AKSU rifle he kept by the headboard,” wrote Pfarrer in his book. It was at that moment, a mere 90 seconds after the SEALs first set foot on the roof, that two American bullets shattered bin Laden’s chest and head, killing a man who sought violence to the very end.

President Obama stepped up to a podium in the East Room of the White House that night to announce bin Laden’s death. That rapid announcement, explained Pfarrer, posed a major threat to U.S. national security.

“There was a choice that night,” Pfarrer told TheDC. “There was a choice to keep the mission secret.” America, Pfarrer explained, could have left things alone for “weeks or months … even though there was evidence left on the ground there … and use the intelligence and finish off al-Qaida.”

But Obama’s announcement, he said, “rendered moot all of the intelligence that was gathered from the nexus of al-Qaida. The computer drives, the hard drives, the videocasettes, the CDs, the thumb drives, everything. Before that could even be looked through, the political decision was made to take credit for the operation.”

And in the days that followed, as politicians sought to thrust their identities into the details of the bin Laden kill, the tale began to grow out of control, said Pfarrer.

“The president made a statement, and as far as that goes, that was fine, that was the mission statement,” he explained. “But, soon after … politicians began leaking information from every orifice. And it was like a game of Chinese telephone. These guys didn’t know what they were talking about. Very few of them had even seen the video feed.”

Pfarrer suggests that much of the misinformation was likely born out of operational ignorance, even among those sitting in the White House.

“One of the things that happened was that there were only a handful of people who know about this mission,” he said. “On the civilian side, there were only a handful of people in the situation room who were watching the drone feed. They were looking at the roof of a building taken from a rotating aircraft at 35,000 feet.”

“None of those guys, not a single one of them, had a background in special operations, with the exception of General Webb who was sitting there running a laptop,” Pfarrer went on. “No one knew or could even imagine what was going on inside the building. They didn’t know.”

“There was an alternative feed going to CIA headquarters where Leon Panetta sat there with the communications brevity codes [a guide sheet for the mission’s radio lingo] in his lap and a SEAL off-screen by his side to be able to tell him what was going on,” he said. “But these guys, none of them, really knew what they were looking at.”

As the media raised more questions, officials gave more answers.

Whether or not bin Laden resisted ultimately developed into a barrage of murky official and unofficial explanations in the days following. And statements from as high as then-CIA Director Leon Panetta offered confirmation that the endeavor was a “kill mission.”

Pfarrer dismisses that assertion.

“An order to go in and murder someone in their house is not a lawful order,” explained Pfarrer, who maintains that bin Laden would have been captured had he surrendered. “Unlike the Germans in World War II, if you’re a petty officer, a chief petty officer, a naval officer, and you’re giving an order to murder somebody, that’s an unlawful order.”

Pfarrer also suggests some of the emerging claims were simply self-aggrandizing “fairy tales.”

“The story they tried to tell — it’s preposterous. And the CIA tried to jump in. About mid-June the CIA tried to jump into the car and drive the victory lap. There’s this whole stuff about the CIA guy joining the operation, the gallant interpreter — he couldn’t even fast rope!” exclaimed Pfarrer, referring to a technique for descending from an airborne helicopter.

“There’s this fairy tale about him walking out of the compound during the operation to tell crowds of Pakistanis to go home and everything’s OK.”

Pfarrer tried to put this in perspective: “Do you mean that during the middle of this military operation at night, with hovering helicopters over this odd house in this neighborhood, that people came out of their houses to ask what’s going on, instead of [remaining] huddled in their basement?”

“And I think that there were so many of these leaks that were incorrect, the administration couldn’t walk them all back,” Pfarrer explained. “And so, in the middle of May, they froze everything.”

It was that freeze-out that left Chuck Pfarrer with nowhere to turn for the real story but the SEALs themselves.

Seal Target Geronimo delivers an account of the night Osama bin Laden died with a level of detail unlike anything previously reported. Pfarrer bills the story as “absolutely factual.”

“That’s the other thing. I’m prepared for the White House to say, you know, ‘this is full of inaccuracies,’ et cetera,” offered Pfarrer. He told TheDC that in order to protect American interests, his book is “full of names that are made up, and it is full of bases that are not quite where they really should be.”

“But the timeline of my events,” he cautions, “and the manner in which it happened is 100 percent accurate. And they’ll know that.”


Debunking the Iran “Terror Plot”

By: Dr Gareth Porter

At a press conference on October 11, the Obama administration unveiled
a spectacular charge against the government of Iran: The Qods Force of
the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had plotted to assassinate the
Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, right in
Washington, DC, in a place where large numbers of innocent bystanders
could have been killed. High-level officials of the Qods Force were
said to be involved, the only question being how far up in the Iranian
government the complicity went.

The US tale of the Iranian plot was greeted with unusual skepticism on
the part of Iran specialists and independent policy analysts, and even
elements of the mainstream media. The critics observed that the
alleged assassination scheme was not in Iran’s interest, and that it
bore scant resemblance to past operations attributed to the foreign
special operations branch of Iranian intelligence. The Qods Force, it
was widely believed, would not send a person like Iranian-American
used car dealer Manssor Arbabsiar, known to friends in Corpus Christi,
Texas as forgetful and disorganized, to hire the hit squad for such a
sensitive covert action.

But administration officials claimed they had hard evidence to back up
the charge. They cited a 21-page deposition by a supervising FBI agent
in the “amended criminal complaint” filed against Arbabsiar and an
accomplice who remains at large, Gholam Shakuri. [1] It was all there,
the officials insisted: several meetings between Arbabsiar and a man
he thought was a member of a leading Mexican drug cartel, Los Zetas,
with a reputation for cold-blooded killing; incriminating statements,
all secretly recorded, by Arbabsiar and Shakuri, his alleged handler
in Tehran; and finally, Arbabsiar’s confession after his arrest, which
clearly implicates Qods Force agents in a plan to murder a foreign
diplomat on US soil.

A close analysis of the FBI deposition reveals, however, that
independent evidence for the charge that Arbabsiar was sent by the
Qods Force on a mission to arrange for the assassination of Jubeir is
lacking. The FBI account is full of holes and contradictions,
moreover. The document gives good reason to doubt that Arbabsiar and
his confederates in Iran had the intention of assassinating Jubeir,
and to believe instead that the FBI hatched the plot as part of a
sting operation.

The Case of the Missing Quotes

The FBI account suggests that, from the inaugural meetings between
Arbabsiar and his supposed Los Zetas contact, a Drug Enforcement
Agency informant, Arbabsiar was advocating a terrorist strike against
the Saudi embassy. The government narrative states that, in the very
first meeting on May 24, Arbabsiar asked the informant about his
“knowledge, if any, with respect to explosives” and said he was
interested in “among other things, attacking an embassy of Saudi
Arabia.” It also notes that in the meetings prior to July 14, the DEA
informant “had reported that he and Arbabsiar had discussed the
possibility of attacks on a number of other targets,” including
“foreign government facilities associated with Saudi Arabia and with
another country,” located “within and outside the United States.”

But the allegations that the Iranian-American used car salesman wanted
to “attack” the Saudi embassy and other targets rest entirely upon the
testimony of the DEA informant with whom he was meeting. The informant
is a drug dealer who had been indicted for a narcotics violation in a
US state but had the charges dropped “in exchange for cooperation in
various drug investigations,” according to the FBI account. The
informant is not an independent source of information, but someone
paid to help pursue FBI objectives.

The most suspicious aspect of the administration’s case, in fact, is
the complete absence of any direct quote from Arbabsiar suggesting
interest in, much less advocacy of, assassinating the Saudi ambassador
or carrying out other attacks in a series of meetings with the DEA
informant between June 23 and July 14. The deposition does not even
indicate how many times the two actually met during those three weeks,
suggesting that the number was substantial, and that the lack of
primary evidence from those meetings is a sensitive issue. And
although the FBI account specifies that the July 14 and 17 meetings
were recorded “at the direction of law enforcement agents,” it is
carefully ambiguous about whether or not the earlier meetings were

The lack of quotations is a crucial problem for the official case for
a simple reason: If Arbabsiar had said anything even hinting in the
May 24 meeting or in a subsequent meeting at the desire to mount a
terrorist attack, it would have triggered the immediate involvement of
the FBI’s National Security Branch and its counter-terrorism division.
The FBI would then have instructed the DEA informant to record all of
the meetings with Arbabsiar, as is standard practice in such cases,
according to a former FBI official interviewed for this article. And
that would mean that those meetings were indeed recorded.

The fact that the FBI account does not include a single quotation from
Arbabsiar in the June 23-July 14 meetings means either that Arbabsiar
did not say anything that raised such alarms at the FBI or that he was
saying something sufficiently different from what is now claimed that
the administration chooses not to quote from it. In either case, the
lack of such quotes further suggests that it was not Arbabsiar, but
the DEA informant, acting as part of an FBI sting operation, who
pushed the idea of assassinating Jubeir. The most likely explanation
is that Arbabsiar was suggesting surveillance of targets that could be
hit if Iran were to be attacked by Israel with Saudi connivance.

“The Saudi Arabia” and the $100,000

The July 14 meeting between Arbabsiar and the DEA informant is the
first from which the criminal complaint offers actual quotations from
the secretly recorded conversation. The FBI’s retelling supplies
selected bits of conversation — mostly from the informant — aimed at
portraying the meeting as revolving around the assassination plot. But
when carefully studied, the account reveals a different story.

The quotations attributed to the DEA informant suggest that he was
under orders to get a response from Arbabsiar that could be
interpreted as assent to an assassination plot. For example, the
informant tells Arbabsiar, “You just want the, the main guy.” There is
no quoted response from the car dealer. Instead, the FBI narrative
simply asserts that Arbabsiar “confirmed that he just wanted the
‘ambassador.’” At the end of the meeting, the informant declares,
“We’re gonna start doing the guy.” But again, no response from
Arbabsiar is quoted.

Two statements by the informant appear on their face to relate to a
broader set of Saudi targets than Adel al-Jubeir. The informant tells
Arbabsiar that he would need “at least four guys” and would “take the
one point five for the Saudi Arabia.” The FBI agent who signed the
deposition explains, “I understand this to mean that he would need to
use four men to assassinate the Ambassador and that the cost to
Arbabsiar of the assassination would be $1.5 million.” But, apart from
the agent’s surmise, there is no hint that either cited phrase
referred to a proposal to assassinate the ambassador. Given that there
had already been discussion of multiple Saudi targets, as well as
those of an unnamed third country (probably Israel), it seems more
reasonable to interpret the words “the Saudi Arabia” to refer to a set
of missions relating to Saudi Arabia in order to distinguish them from
the other target list.

Then the informant repeats the same wording, telling Arbabsiar he
would “go ahead and work on the Saudi Arabia, get all the information
that we can.” This language does not show that Arbabsiar proposed the
killing of Jubeir, much less approved it. And the FBI narrative states
that the Iranian-American “agreed that the assassination of the
Ambassador should be handled first.”  Again, that curious wording does
not assert that Arbabsiar said an assassination should be carried out
first, but suggests he was agreeing that the subject should be
discussed first.

The absence of any quote from Arbabsiar about an assassination plot,
combined with the multiple ambiguities surrounding the statements
attributed to the DEA informant, suggest that the main subject of the
July 14 meeting was something broader than an assassination plot, and
that it was the government’s own agent who had brought up the subject
of assassinating the ambassador in the meeting, rather than Arbabsiar.

The government reconstruction of the July 14 meeting also introduces
the keystone of the Obama administration’s public case: $100,000 that
was to be transferred to a bank account that the DEA informant said he
would make known to Arbabsiar. The FBI deposition asserts repeatedly
that whenever Arbabsiar or the DEA informant mention the $100,000,
they are talking about a “down payment” on the assassination. But the
document contains no statement from either of them linking that
$100,000 to any assassination plan. In fact, it provides details
suggesting that the $100,000 could not have been linked to such a

The FBI deposition states that the informant and Arbabsiar “discussed
how Arbabsiar would pay [the informant],” but offers no statement from
either individual even mentioning a “payment,” or any reason for
transferring the money to a bank account. Furthermore, it does not
actually claim that Arbabsiar made any commitment to any action
against Jubeir at either the July 14 or 17 meetings. And when the
informant is quoted in the July 17 meeting as saying, “I don’t know
exactly what your cousin wants me to do,” it appears to be an
acknowledgement that he had gotten no indication prior to July 17 that
Arbabsiar’s Tehran interlocutors wanted the Saudi ambassador dead. The
deposition does not even claim that Arbabsiar’s supposed handlers had
approved a plan to kill Jubeir until after the Iranian-American
returned to his native country on July 20.

Nevertheless, Arbabsiar is quoted telling the informant on July 14
that the full $100,000 had already been collected in cash at the home
of “a certain individual.” Preparations for the transfer of the
$100,000 had thus commenced well before the assassination plot
allegedly got the green light.

The amount of $100,000 does not even appear credible as a “down
payment” on a job that the FBI account says was to have cost a total
of $1.5 million. It would represent a mere 6 percent of the full
price. Bearing in mind that the DEA informant was supposed to be
representing the demand of a ruthlessly profit-motivated Los Zetas
drug cartel for a high-stakes political assassination well outside its
purview, 6 percent of the total would represent far too little for a
“down payment.”

The $100,000 wire transfer must have been related to an understanding
that had been reached on something other than the assassination plan.
Yet it has been cited by the administration and reported by news media
as proof of the plot — and key evidence of Iran’s complicity therein.

The Qods Force Connection

The FBI account of the July 17 meeting shows the DEA informant leading
Arbabsiar into a statement of support for an assassination. The
informant, obviously following an FBI script, says, “I don’t know what
exactly your cousin wants me to do.” But the deposition notes “further
conversation” following that invitation for a clear position on a
proposal coming from the informant, indicating that what Arbabsiar was
saying did not support the administration’s allegation that
assassination plot was coming from Tehran.

After the FBI evidently sought again to get the straightforward answer
it was seeking, however, Arbabsiar is quoted as saying: “He wants you
to kill this guy.” The informant then presents a fanciful plan to bomb
an imaginary restaurant in Washington where Arbabsiar was told the
Saudi ambassador liked to dine twice a week and where many “like,
American people” would be present. “You want me to do it outside or in
the restaurant?” asks the informant, to which question the
Iranian-American replies, “Doesn’t matter how you do it.” At another
point in the conversation, Arbabsiar goes further, saying, “They want
that guy done. If the hundred go with him, fuck ‘em.”

These statements appear at first blush to be conclusive evidence that
Arbabsiar and his Iranian overseers were contracting for the
assassination of Jubeir, regardless of lives lost. But there are two
crucial questions that the FBI account leaves unanswered: Was
Arbabsiar speaking on behalf of the Qods Force or some element of it?
And if he was, was he talking about a plan that was to go into effect
as soon as possible or was it understood that they were talking about
a contingency plan that would only be carried out under specific

The deposition includes several instances of Arbabsiar’s bragging
about a cousin who is a general, out of uniform and involved in covert
external operations, including in Iraq — clearly implying that he
belongs to the Qods Force. Arbabsiar is said to have claimed that the
cousin and another Iranian official gave him funds for his contacts
with the drug cartel. “I got the money coming,” he says. Subsequently,
in one of the most extensive quotations from the recorded
conversations, Arbabsiar says, “This is politics, so these people they
pay this government…he’s got the, got the government behind him…he’s
not paying from his pocket.” The FBI narrative identifies the person
referred to here as Arbabsiar’s cousin, a Qods Force officer later
named as Abdul Reza Shahlai, but again, there is not a single direct
quotation backing the claim. And the reference to “these people” who
“pay this government” suggests that “he” is connected to a group with
illicit financial ties to government officials.

This excerpt could be particularly significant in light of press
reports quoting a US law enforcement official saying that Arbabsiar
had offered “tons of opium” to the drug cartel and that he and the
informant had discussed what the New York Times called a “side deal”
on the Iranian-held narcotics. [3] If these reports are accurate, it
seems possible that Arbabsiar approached Los Zetas on behalf of
Iranians who control a portion of the opium being smuggled through
Iran from Afghanistan, while seeking to impress the drug cartel
operative with his claim to have close ties to the Qods Force through
Shahlai. But if the DEA informant then pressed him to authenticate his
Qods Force connection, he may have begun discussing covert operations
against Iran’s enemies in North America.

The only alleged evidence that Arbabsiar was speaking for Shahlai and
the Qods Force is Arbabsiar’s own confession, summarized in the
criminal complaint. But, at minimum, that testimony was provided after
he had been arrested and had a strong interest in telling the FBI what
it wanted to hear.

The deposition makes much of a series of three phone conversations on
October 4, 5 and 7 between Arbabsiar and someone who Arbabsiar tells
his FBI handlers is Gholam Shakuri, presenting them as confirmation of
the involvement of Qods Force officers in the assassination scheme.
But the FBI apparently had no way of ascertaining whether the person
to whom Arababsiar was talking was actually Shakuri. After the October
4 call, for example, the FBI account merely records that Arbabsiar
“indicated that the person he was speaking with was Shakuri.”

On their face, moreover, these conversations prove nothing. In the
first of the three calls, the person at the other end of the line,
whom Arbabsiar identifies to his FBI contact as Shakuri but whose
identity is not otherwise established, asks, “What news…what did you
do about the building?” The FBI agent again suggests, “based on my
training, experience and participation in this investigation,” that
these queries were a “reference to the plot to murder the Ambassador
and a question about its status.”

But Arbabsiar is said to have claimed in his confession that he was
instructed by Shakuri to use the code word “Chevrolet” to refer to the
plot to kill the ambassador. In a second recorded conversation,
Arbabsiar immediately says, “I wanted to tell you the Chevrolet is
ready, it’s ready, uh, to be done. I should continue, right?” After
further exchange, the man purported to be “Shakuri” says, “So buy it,
buy it.” Despite the obvious invocation of a code word, it remains
unclear what Arbabsiar was to “buy.” “Chevrolet” could actually have
been a reference to either a drug-related deal or a generic plan
having to do with Saudi and other targets.

In a third recorded conversation on October 7, both Arbabsiar and
“Shakuri” refer to a demand by a purported cartel figure for another
$50,000 on top of the original $100,000 transferred by wire earlier.
But there is no other evidence of such a demand. It appears to be a
mere device of the FBI to get “Shakuri” on record as talking about the
$100,000. And here it should be recalled that the account in the
deposition shows that the transfer of the $100,000 had been agreed on
before any indication of agreement on a plan to kill the ambassador.

The invocation of a fictional demand for $50,000, along with the
dramatic difference between the first conversation and the second and
third conversations, suggests yet another possibility: The second and
third conversations were set up in advance by Arbabsiar to provide a
transcript to bolster the administration’s case.

Terrorist Plot or Deterrence Strategy?

Even if Qods Forces officials indeed directed Arbabsiar to contact the
Los Zetas cartel, it cannot be assumed that they intended to carry out
one or more terrorist attacks in the United States. The killing of a
foreign ambassador in Washington (not to speak of additional attacks
on Saudi and Israeli buildings), if linked to Iran, would invite swift
and massive US military retaliation. If, on the other hand, the Qods
Force men instructed Arbabsiar to conduct surveillance of those
targets and prepare contingency plans for hitting them if Iran were
attacked, the whole story begins to make more sense.

Iran lacks the conventional means to deter attack by a powerful
adversary. In its decades-long standoffs with the United States and
Israel, amidst recurrent talk of “preemptive” strikes by those powers,
Iran has relied on threats of proxy retaliation against US and allied
state targets in the Middle East. [4] The Iranian military support for
Lebanon’s Hizballah, in particular, is widely recognized as prompted
primarily by Iran’s need to deter US and Israeli attack. [5]

In one case in 1994-1995, Saudi Arabian Shi‘i militants carried out
surveillance of potential US military and diplomatic targets in Saudi
Arabia, in a way that was quickly noticed by US and Saudi
intelligence. [6] Although the consensus among US intelligence
analysts was that Iran was preparing for a terrorist attack, Ronald
Neumann, then the State Department’s intelligence officer for Iran and
Iraq, noted that Iran had done the same thing whenever US-Iranian
tensions had risen. He suggested that Iran could be using the
surveillance for deterrence, to let Washington know that its interests
in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere would be in danger if Iran were
attacked. [7]

Unfortunately for Iran’s deterrent strategy, however, Osama bin
Laden’s al-Qaeda was also carrying out surveillance of US bases in
Saudi Arabia, and in November 1995 and again in June 1996, that group
bombed two facilities housing US servicemen. The bombing of Khobar
Towers in June 1996, which killed 19 US soldiers and one Saudi
Arabian, was blamed by the Clinton administration’s FBI and CIA
leadership on Iranian-sponsored Shi‘a from Saudi Arabia, with prodding
from Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan, despite the fact that
bin Laden claimed responsibility not once but twice, in interviews
with the London-based newspaper, al-Quds al-‘Arabi. [8]

Hani al-Sayigh, one of the Saudi Arabian Shi‘a accused by the Saudi
and US governments of conspiring to attack the Khobar Towers, admitted
to Assistant Attorney General Eric Dubelier, who interviewed him at a
Canadian detention facility in May 1997, that he had participated in
the surveillance of US military targets in Saudi Arabia on behalf of
Iranian intelligence. But, according to the FBI report on the
interview, al-Sayigh insisted that Iran had never intended to attack
any of those sites unless it was first attacked by the United States.
And when Dubelier asked a question later in the interview that was
based on the premise that the surveillance effort was preparation for
a terrorist attack, al-Sayigh corrected him. [9]

With threats of an Israeli or US bombing attack on Iran, with Saudi
complicity, mounting since the mid-2000s, a similar campaign of
surveillance of Saudi and Israeli targets in North America would fit
the framework of what the Pentagon has called Iran’s “asymmetric
warfare doctrine.” If Arbabsiar spoke of such a campaign in his
initial meeting with the DEA informant, he certainly would have piqued
the interest of FBI counter-terrorism personnel. And this scenario
would also explain why the series of meetings in late June and the
first half of July did not produce a single statement by Arbabsiar
that the administration could quote to advance its case that the
Iranian-American was interested in assassinating Adel al-Jubeir or
carrying out other acts of terrorism.

A plan to conduct surveillance and be ready to act on contingency
plans would also explain why someone as lacking in relevant experience
and skills as Arbabsiar might have been acceptable to the Qods Force.
Not only would the mission not have required absolute secrecy; it
would have been based on the assumption that the surveillance would
become known to US intelligence relatively quickly, as did the
monitoring of US targets in Saudi Arabia in 1994-1995.

The Qods Force officials were certainly well aware that the Drug
Enforcement Agency had penetrated various Mexican drug cartels, in
some cases even at the very top level. US court proceedings involving
Mexican drug traffickers who were highly placed in the Sinaloa drug
cartel between 2009 and early 2011 reveal that the US made deals with
leaders of the cartel to report what they knew about rival cartel
operations in return for a hands-off approach to their drug
trafficking. [10] Further underlining the degree to which the cartels
were honeycombed with people on the US payroll, the DEA informant in
this case was not merely posing as a drug trafficker but is reportedly
an actual associate of Los Zetas with access to its upper echelons,
who has been given immunity from prosecution to cooperate with the
DEA. [11]

When Did Arbabsiar Become Part of the Sting?

The Obama administration’s account of the alleged Iranian plot has
Arbabsiar suddenly changing from terrorist conspirator to active
collaborator with the FBI upon his September 29 arrest at John F.
Kennedy Airport in New York. He is said to have provided a confession
immediately upon being apprehended, after waiving his right to a
lawyer, and then to have waived that right repeatedly again while
being interviewed by the FBI. Then Arbabsiar cooperated in making the
series of secretly recorded phone calls to someone he identified as

For someone facing such serious charges to provide the details with
which to make the case against him, while renouncing benefit of
counsel, is odd, to say the least. The official story raises questions
not only about what agreement was reached between Arbabsiar and the
FBI to ensure his cooperation but about when that agreement was

One clue that Arbabsiar was brought into the sting operation well
before his arrest is the DEA informant’s demand in a September 20
phone conversation with Arbabsiar in Tehran that he either come up
with half the $1.5 million total fee or come to Mexico to be the
guarantee that the full amount would be paid.

Yet the FBI account of that conversation shows Arbabsiar telling the
informant, without even consulting with his contacts in Tehran, “I’m
gonna go over there [in] two [or] three days.” Later in the same
evening, he calls back to ask how long he would need to remain in
Mexico. Even if Arbabsiar were as feckless as some reports have
suggested, he would certainly not have agreed so readily to put his
fate in the hands of the murderous Los Zetas cartel — unless he knew
that he was not really in danger, because the US government would
intercept him and bring him to the United States. Making the episode
even stranger, Arbabsiar’s confession claims that when he told Shakuri
about the purported Los Zetas demand, Shakuri refused to provide any
more money to the cartel, advised him against going to Mexico and
warned him that if he did so, he would be on his own.

Further supporting the conclusion that Arbabsiar had become part of
the sting operation before his arrest is the fact there was no reason
for the FBI to pose the demand — through the DEA informant — for
more money or Arbabsiar’s presence in Mexico except to provide an
excuse to get him out of Iran, so he could provide a full confession
implicating the Qods Force and be the centerpiece of the case against

The larger aim of the FBI sting operation, which ABC News has reported
was dubbed Operation Red Coalition, was clearly to link the alleged
assassination plot to Qods Force officers. The logical moment for the
FBI to have recruited the Iranian-American would have been right after
the FBI recorded him talking about wiring money to the bank account
and casually approving the idea of bombing a restaurant and before his
planned departure from Mexico for Iran. The only way to ensure that
Arbabsiar would come back, of course, would be to offer him a
substantial amount of money to serve as an informant for the FBI
during his stay in Iran, which he would receive only upon returning.
If Arbabsiar had already been enlisted, of course, it would also mean
the keystone of the case — the wiring of $100,000 to a secret FBI
bank account — was a part of the FBI sting.

FBI Trickery in Terrorism Cases

FBI deceit in constructing a case for an Iranian terror plot should
come as no surprise, given its record of domestic terrorism
prosecutions based on sting operations involving entrapment and
skullduggery. Central to these stings has been the creation of
fictional terrorist plots by the FBI itself. In 2006 the “Gonzales
Guidelines” for the use of FBI informants removed previous
prohibitions on actions to “initiate a plan or strategy to commit a
federal, state or local offense.” [12]

Perhaps the most notorious of all these domestic terrorism sting
operations is the case in which Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain,
leaders of their Albany, New York mosque, were sentenced to 15 years
in federal prison for allegedly laundering profits from the sale of a
shoulder-launched missile for a Pakistani militant group that was
planning to assassinate a Pakistani diplomat in New York City.

In fact, there was no such terrorist plot, and the alleged crime was
the result of an elaborate FBI scam directed against two innocent men.
[13] It began when an FBI informant pretending to be a Pakistani
businessman insinuated himself into Hossain’s life and extended him a
$50,000 loan for his pizza parlor. Only months after the informant had
begun loaning the money did he show Hossain a shoulder-launched
missile, and suggest that he was also selling arms to his “Muslim
brothers.” It was a devious form of entrapment; the prosecutors later
argued that Hossain should have known the loan could have come from
money made in the sale of weapons to terrorists and was therefore
guilty of money laundering.

The FBI approach to entrapping Hossain’s friend Aref was even more
underhanded. Aref was never even made aware of the missile or the
phony story of the illegal arms sale. But on one occasion, when he was
present to witness the transfer of loan money, what was later said to
have been the missile’s trigger system was left on a table in the
room. Prosecutors then argued the theory that Aref had seen the
trigger, which looks much like a staple gun, and thus had become part
of a conspiracy to “assist in money laundering.”

Many other domestic terrorism cases have involved deceptive tactics
and economic inducements deployed by the FBI to involve American
Muslims in fictional terrorist plots. The Center for Human Rights and
Global Justice at New York University’s Law School found more than 20
terrorism cases that involved some combination of “paid informants,
selection of investigation based on perceived religious identity,
[and] a plot that was created by the government.” [14] This history
makes it clear that the Justice Department and FBI are prepared to go
to extraordinary lengths to fabricate terrorism cases against targeted
individuals, and that misrepresenting these individuals’ intentions
and actual behavior has long been standard practice. The trickery and
deceit in past “counter-terrorism” sting operations provides further
reason to question the veracity of the Obama administration’s
allegations in the bizarre case of Manssor Arbabsiar.

[1] The full text of the “amended criminal complaint” is online at:
[2] See New York Times, October 12, 2011 and Reuters, October 12, 2011.
[3] See New York Times, October 12, 2011 and Bloomberg, October 12, 2011.
[4] For an official US recognition of Iran’s “assymetric warfare
doctrine” as a tool of deterrence of “any would-be invader,” see
Department of Defense, Unclassified Report on Military Power of Iran,
April 2010, p. 1.
[5] See, for example, Michael Young, “Another Israel-Hezbollah War?”
Middle East Security at Harvard, National Security Study Program,
February 28, 2008:
[6] See Los Angeles Times, October 15, 1997 and Steve Coll, Ghost Wars
(New York: Penguin Books, 2004), p. 276.
[7] Gareth Porter, “US Officials Leaked a False Story Blaming Iran,”
Inter Press Service, June 24, 2009.
[8] Gareth Porter, “FBI Ignored Compelling Evidence of Bin Laden
Role,” Inter Press Service, June 25, 2009.
[9] Gareth Porter, “US May Have Concealed Deterrent Aim of Iranian
Plan,” Inter Press Service, October 21, 2011.
[10] New York Times, October 24, 2011.
[11] So said ProPublica reporter Sebastian Rotella in his podcast of
October 18, 2011, online at:
[12] Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, Targeted and
Entrapped: Manufacturing the “Homegrown Threat” in the United States
(New York, 2011), p. 14.
[13] This account of the case is drawn from Petra Bartosiewicz, “To
Catch a Terrorist,” Harper’s (August 2011).
[14] Targeted and Entrapped, pp. 50-52, fn 17.