15 August 2007

With allies like these...

I would direct your attention, gentle reader, to some documents declassified just today regarding our staunch ally in the war on terror, Pakistan.

The highlights include:

* August 1996: Pakistan Intelligence (ISID) "provides at least $30,000 - and possibly as much as $60,000 - per month" to the militant Kashmiri group Harakat ul-Ansar (HUA). Despite this aid, the group is reaching out to sponsors of international terrorism including Osama bin Laden for additional support, and may in the near future become a threat to Islamabad itself as well as U.S. interests. HUA contacts have hinted they "might undertake terrorist actions against civilian airliners." [Doc 10]

Now, what interests me about this is actually the timing of the release of these documents. The Executive Branch is no one-trick pony; it can classify and secure documents with arguments of executive privilege, but it can strategically declassify, just as well. I wonder if this is a case of the NSA (no, not that NSA) being used strategically? If so, will our relations with Pakistan finally change, or just move into the next phase?

Leaked cabinet documents from 10 Downing Street show three months before invading Iraq in 2003, President Bush told British PM Tony Blair that once he finished off Iraq, he planned to `go after’ Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Pakistan was in America’s cross hairs.
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