The big question about Osama bin Laden lingers: was he living in the residential area of Abbottabad close to Pakistan’s West Point due to some links between Pakistan bigwigs to terrorist groups? Or was it simply a matter of not knowing — in other words incompetence.
The answer: Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, Pakistan’s equivilent of the head of the CIA, is without saying it that it was incompetence. In a reportedly heated denunciation of the United States that portends tough times ahead for relations between the two countries and Pakistan keeping the funding it has at existing levels without much stronger and stringent U.S. oversight, he says he doesn’t know a thing about any Pakistani links to terrorist groups:
In an unusual, and apparently heated, closed-door session of Parliament, Pakistan’s spy chief issued a rousing denunciation of the United States on Friday for its raid that killed Osama bin Laden and denied that Pakistan maintained any links with militant groups, according to lawmakers.
Rather, the spy chief, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, blamed an intelligence failure for the presence of Bin Laden in the city of Abbottabad, where a top military academy is located and where the leader of Al Qaeda was killed in an American raid on May 2.
Basically, he’s saying what Saregent Schultz said on the old show Hogan’s Heroes:
General Pasha said he had offered his resignation twice to the leader of the army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. As his presence before Parliament made clear, it was not accepted.
The two generals were called before the extraordinary 11-hour session to answer to the failures of the military and the intelligence agency that allowed a team of American commandos to enter and leave Pakistan in a stealth helicopter operation undetected.
Unusually vibrant criticism by some politicians and the Pakistani press after the raid compelled them to try to repair the reputation of the military and the intelligence agency, which the army controls.
But after recognizing the lapse, General Pasha rallied Parliament behind him, several legislators said, with strong criticisms of the United States that elicited thumps of approval from the chamber, including leading members of the Pakistan Peoples Party, the major partner in the coalition that the Obama administration supports.
At the end of the session, the leader of the opposition party, Pakistan Muslim League-N, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who has been one of the most severe critics of the military since the raid, closed ranks behind the military. The session was organized so that “a positive message should go out to the masses,” Mr. Khan said.
A resolution that was passed at the session said Pakistan would revisit its relationship with the United States “with the view to ensuring Pakistan’s national interests were fully respected.”
In that vein, Pakistan’s chief spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, or ISI, will not allow the Central Intelligence Agency to conduct operations in Pakistan without the full knowledge of the ISI, General Pasha said.
This likely means:
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.