Pakistan: America’s High-Stakes Frenemy


Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

On The Rachel Maddow Show last night, I shared some of my thoughts about America’s very complex relationship with Pakistan — in which that government is part friend of American interests and part enemy. Or, in other words, Pakistan is a high stakes frenemy.
Mike Allen in Playbook caught a good comment by my colleague Steve Coll, president of the New America Foundation. From Politico:

REALITY CHECK — Steve Coll, to David Gregory on “Meet the Press Midweek PRESS Pass”: Pakistan’s government and military have “leverage over the United States because of the Afghan war. They control supply lines to American soldiers in the war and they also could help the Taliban become even more of a cross-border force than they already are. So whatever the United States thinks it’s going to do to kind of recalibrate the mistrust in the relationship over the next few years, it’s going to have to move deliberately because it can’t afford an open confrontation with the Pakistani army right now.”

Coll’s statement is important to read again and understand. The US is dependent on Pakistan, in large part, but not exclusively, because of the Afghanistan War.
In my view, as long as the US defines Afghanistan as a key challenge, Pakistan will not only demand a high price from the US in terms of aid and support but will do what it can to shelter those — and keep control of some of the personalities — that we are fighting in order to control the chess pieces in the region and to keep us supplying the Pakistan military with aid and support.
— Steve Clemons


28 comments on “Pakistan: America’s High-Stakes Frenemy

  1. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Great comments and links…much food for thought…thanks, all…talk about sleepless nights, mulling all this over, and over….false flag stuff is really disturbing…treacherous.


  2. Cee says:

    I’m sure they’re still steamed about
    Raymond Davis.


  3. questions says:

    The war of words and recriminations between the US and Pakistan is heating up and outing spies….
    Hurt feelings, at least publicly…. We have been the best partners eveh for the US…..
    How much is theater, how much genuine, how much entrepreneurial….. Who even knows.


  4. questions says:

    Since this came up somewhere around here….
    The CUNY/Kushner thang…..
    You know, the trustees were, what, sitting around a table, hoping to get through the agenda and go out to play golf as soon as possible. One trustee explodes for no particularly good reason about Tony Kushner, for gawd’s sake. And no one thinks it’s worth the effort to tell him to shush. So he goes on and on. And they say, sure, dude. Whateveh.
    That would be the extent of it, most likely.
    Happily, it came out, and the CUNY board is sufficiently chastened. Good for them.
    I hope Kushner accepts the honorary degree and I hope he speechifies like none has ever before about speech, the importance of ideas, the importance of disagreement, the importance of never merely seeking yes-men.
    Trustees, corporate boards, the privileged among us declaring what the rest of us should hear, how the rest of us should pay — it’s an ugly paternalistic holdover from feudalism. No, we don’t need a bunch of millionaires telling us what the legitimate views of the day are, what salaries anyone should get paid, or just about anything else.
    The whole board of directors thing is a little bit sick-making. And not the least bit related to, ummm, free markets.


  5. questions says:

    OT, but worth noting….
    We are “freedoming” ourselves to debt….
    “Companies looking to do business in secret once had to travel to places like the Cayman Islands or Bermuda.
    Today, all it takes is a trip to Vermont.
    Vermont, and a handful of other states including Utah, South Carolina, Delaware and Hawaii, are aggressively remaking themselves as destinations of choice for the kind of complex private insurance transactions once done almost exclusively offshore. ”
    This development is not good. Shaxson is catching on.
    We’ve all read enough game theory to “get” it. And yet, here we are all over again.
    What might seem good for an individual actor in an uncoordinated situation will turn out to be devastating once time and other actors and “black swans” are taken into account.
    Look at the NYT piece on the NRC from yesterday. Same kind of thing. It’s great for the regulator/regulated social relation to avoid coercion. It’s great for profits to avoid retrofitting, basic safety, and remediation of potential problems. It’s great for those seeking jobs in industry. It’s great for those profiteering from industry.
    And for as long as the duct tape and velcro hold our nuclear power plants, and our economic relations, together, all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.
    And then the tape wears out.
    And then we bemoan and berate and beat our chests publicly and privately. NO ONE could have seen or known…. And then we start it all over again.
    Coordination, coercion, regulation, safety checks, self control, self control, oh, and self control.
    Thoma has up one or two links about inflation and what it really is. If your wages go up with prices, it isn’t inflation?? Although I guess savers and debtors have some ties to specific dollar amounts that might make inflation more than a money illusion.
    Commodity prices are going back up, proving that it is indeed a supply and demand problem, cuz demand spiked over the weekend (hmmmm).
    Mankiw has up a piece in which he indicates that there is no inflation FOR NOW, but I guess it’s just around the corner, or in his closet, or as Krugman suggests, under his bed. The lib econ people are all wondering if target inflation is now 1%.
    And school finance 101 has a fabulous piece up about a 4 quadrant graph — low spending, low achievement, low spending high achievement, high spending, low achievement and high spending high achievement districts across the country. Were one rational, one would expect that spending generally correlates well with achievement, and when “spending” is counted properly, apparently that’s the case! What this all means, of course, is that ya gets what ya pays fer. And much of our “reformy” education policy has denied precisely this fact of the world. There is some sense that we get more when we spend less!!!!
    So, definitely, spend less on cars, food, transit, infrastructure, human help, service… Spend less on everything! It’s worth it!! Ok, so, maybe it’s only in education where there’s a free lunch (or reduced price.)
    I get the feeling that pleasing the Republican party portion of the country really and truly requires a race to the bottom. And I get the feeling that every Republican thinks he’s immune to the consequences of that race to the bottom. Or that some Republicans are so full of racial spite that they’d just as soon sink to the bottom themselves as help someone else not drown. I couldn’t tell you which is the dominant emotion for real, but you know, Republican policies look really really foolish, and Republican positioning all over the map looks really really foolish. And I would guess we’ll live to regret some large number of Republican policies.
    And on topic, the UBL info keeps coming out. What an interesting thing it is to watch the pols all positioning for 2012. Watch the desperate attempts to make this smaller than it is, and note the likelihood that no top line Republican is going to try for 2012.
    Of course, all it takes is a double dip (see housing price graphs for that one), and Obama is not going to be above 50% for long.
    Watch for stern words to pass between the US and Pakistan, and watch for everything to settle back down because there is a beautiful equilibrium in our relationship! Mutual need, mutual public berating, mutual DON’T YOU DARE! And lots of private lovey-dovey! Oh, how many expletives were uttered when they realized that somehow UBL had taken up residence in Pakistan near military installations…….


  6. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “So, while doting on the initial denial may feed your need to express righteous rage, it suggests a selective reading of the evidence”
    I considered the “evidence” presented by the infamous “Bin Laden video” that was sent to Al Jazeera FOUR YEARS AFTER 9/11. By then, there was alot of history, committed by the United States, that made it pretty important to maintain Osama as the head Boogie Man, wasn’t there?
    I also considered the “evidence” Al Jazeera presented, FIVE DAYS after 9/11.
    Of course, our government never lies to us, does it, Martin? Presents us with false evidence??? Nooooo, never, eh?
    Fact is, some of you think that believing known liars is a display of wisdom and patriotism. Seems pretty weird to me, but hey, what do I know?
    Me??? I kinda believe Bhutto’s last statements about Bin Laden. Seems to me she was in more of a position to know than you or I are.


  7. JohnH says:

    Pratap Chatterjee makes the “gunfight at Abbotabad” look as if it came from a script made for Hollywood.
    Even more revealing is the military’s terminology — Geronimo, Apache, Blackhawk, etc — which suggests that GWOT is simply the continuation of 19th century wars of “manifest destiny” applied to the world stage. There seems to be no underlying logic to the military’s adventurism, only a lust for battle and conquest.
    Since Steve is something of an expert on “public diplomacy,” maybe he could comment further on the significance of the military’s choice of words relating to the virtual extermination of Native Americans and how it relates to America’s broader agenda, if in fact there is any underlying logic to all this outrageously expensive adventurism…


  8. Cee says:

    I just saw the new photos that we’re told are Osama. Please.
    False Flags – An American Tradition
    By Stephen Lendman
    Wikipedia defines false or black flags as “covert operations designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by other entities.”
    They’re “big lies,” defined by Merriam-Webster as “deliberate gross distortion(s) of the truth used especially as a propaganda tactic.”
    America’s decade from September 11, 2001 to May 1, 2011 was punctuated by the (big) lie of our time and (big) lie of the moment.
    Put another way, the official stories are falsified, myths, widely believed fantasies contrary to reality.
    In his exhaustive research and writings, David Ray Griffin provided convincing evidence that 9/11 was an inside job and that bin Laden died of natural causes in mid-December 2001.
    The former spawned a decade of overt and covert “war on terror” lawlessness at home and abroad. Policies and events following the second have yet to unfold, but expect little at best to be positive.
    Past US false flags provided pretexts for militarism, wars, occupations, domestic repression, and national security state extremism, antithetical to democratically free and open societies. Allegedly removing America’s “Enemy Number One,” in fact, may intensify, not diminish, Washington’s scheme for unchallengeable global dominance. More on him below.
    With or without bin Laden, bogymen threats are plentiful. Since WW II alone, America’s had numerous ones, including communists, Al Qaeda, WMDs, the Taliban, Gaddafi, and a host others yet unnamed, as well as numerous “foiled” domestic ones.
    Among others, they include:
    — a fake shoe bomber;
    — fake underwear bomber;
    — fake Times Square bomber;
    — an earlier one there;
    — fake shampoo bombers;
    — fake Al Qaeda woman planning fake mass casualty attacks on New York landmarks;
    — fake Oregon bomber;
    — fake armed forces recruiting station bomber;
    — fake synagogue bombers;
    — fake Chicago Sears Tower bombers;
    — fake FBI and other building bombers;
    — fake National Guard, Fort Dix and Quantico marine base attackers;
    — fake 9/11 bombers; and
    — others to enlist public support for the fake war on terror and very real ones it spawned.
    America, Pakistan, Bin Laden, Official Lies, and Misreporting
    On May 5, New York Times writer Elisabeth Bumiller headlined, “Pentagon Breaks Silence on Pakistani Role,” saying:
    A “top Pentagon official said….Pakistan would have to work hard to rebuild relations with the United States Congress,” including a commitment “to fighting terrorism….”
    It suggests what some analysts suspect: namely, planned destabilization, confrontation, and balkanization for greater Eurasian control, as well as future terrorist false flags.
    On May 5, Times writers Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane headlined, “Data Show Bin Laden Plots; CIA Hid Near Raided House,” saying:
    Alleged “computer files and documents seized at the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed,” reveal “considered attacks on American railroads, (but) there was no evidence of a specific plot.”
    Perhaps no files and documents either. For sure, no bin Laden.
    Nonetheless, “(s)ince Sunday night, counterterrorism officials have been alert to (possible) new attacks from Al Qaeda to avenge its leader’s death,” especially at airports, rail facilities, and other strategic locations. “American officials and terrorism experts have warned that this is not the end of Al Qaeda,” not, of course, if they’re blamed for planned false flags to intensify US imperial wars.
    Another May 5 Bumiller Times report ran cover for shifting official accounts about what really happened on May 1 headlined, “Raid Account, Hastily Told, Proves Fluid,” saying:
    “(I)t was a classic collision of a White House desire to promote a stunning national security triumph – and feed a ravenous media – while collecting facts from a chaotic military operation on the other side of the world. At the same time, White House officials worked hard to use the facts of the raid to diminish Bin Laden’s legacy.”
    She continued, quoting an unnamed Pentagon official claiming no “intent to deceive or dramatize,” adding that “Everything we put out we really believed to be true at the time.” She also quoted Victoria Clarke, Bush Pentagon spokeswoman, saying, “First reports are always wrong. It’s a fundamental truth in military affairs.”
    In other words, it was OK first to claim a fierce firefight in which no US forces were killed or hurt, then 24 hours later call the battle one-sided, Navy Seals quickly dispatching bin Laden’s guards and “Enemy Number One,” shooting him unarmed in the head.
    Notably, however, there’s no body, no photos, no video, no evidence, and no truth, just the media regurgitated big lie.
    In fact, more lies compounded it, including about:
    — Pakistan’s alleged knowledge of his presence;
    — claimed evidence confirming it and assault specifics; and
    — fabricated bad theater, explained in a slapdash, keystone cops manner.
    High Level Skepticism
    Appearing on CNN May 5, former Pakistani intelligence chief, Hamid Gul, told “In the Arena’s” host Eliot Spitzer that bin Laden died years earlier, saying:
    “Yes, I think he died – he perished some years ago, and I think this was a story which was created (because) nobody would want to believe this version….I (don’t believe) the story which was given out by the American media and by the American administration.”
    Whoever was killed May 1 “was probably somebody else….(American authorities) must have known that he died some years ago….were keeping this story on the ice and they were looking for an appropriate moment” to announce it.
    “(P)eople simply not in Pakistan alone but around the world….don’t believe the stories that have been put out.”
    In other words, the entire account was fabricated, the event staged, Western media, including The New York Times, running cover for the big lie. Gul politely called it “a huge intelligence failure.”
    Notable American and Other False Flags
    Discussed in earlier writing, numerous ones stand out, including:
    — In 1898, Spain was falsely accused of blowing up the USS Maine in Havana, Cuba harbor. The Spanish-American war followed.
    — On May 7, 1915, a German U-boat was accused of torpedoing the RMS Lusitania, killing 128 US citizens. It helped precipitate America’s April 4, 1917 WW I entry, a war Woodrow Wilson wanted and got through a propaganda campaign, turning pacifist Americans into German haters. It was later learned that on board munitions, not a torpedo, exploded, sinking the ship.
    — In 1933 Germany, a week before general elections, the strategically timed Reichstag fire (home of the German parliament) was blamed on communists. President Paul von Hindenburg’s emergency decree followed. Civil liberties were suspended. Weimar Republic democracy ended, and Hitler assumed fascist powers after enough Nazis were elected to assure it.
    — On August 31, 1939, Nazis impersonating Polish terrorists attacked the Gleiwitz radio station on the border between the two countries, starting WW II.
    — On December 7, 1941, Roosevelt manipulated Japan to attack Pearl Harbor, giving him the war he wanted from the early 1930s, but had to convince a pacifist public of the threat. The fleet was also tracked across the Pacific, but Admiral HE Kimmel wasn’t warned or given known intelligence to assure enough mass casualties for congressional and public support.
    — Complicit with Washington, numerous 1949/1950 South Korean incursions north precipitated Pyongyang’s retaliation in June 1950, giving Truman the war he wanted.
    — In 1962, a US Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed false flag never happened because Kennedy rejected it. Called Operation Northwoods (a part of Operation Mongoose), it included sinking US ships, shooting down US commercial airliners, blowing up buildings in US cities, attacking America’s Guantanamo base, other incidents, and blaming it on Cuba as a reason for war.
    — The fake August 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident initiated full-scale retaliation against North Vietnam after Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, authorizing war without declaring it.
    — In October 1983, after ousting Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, US forces invaded Grenada, allegedly to rescue American medical students threatened by nonbelligerent Cubans building infrastructure.
    — In December 1989, manufactured incidents precipitated America’s Panama invasion, deposing Manuel Noriega, one-time ally turned enemy because he forgot who’s boss.
    — in August 1990, Washington colluded with the al- Sabah monarchy, entrapping Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait. In January 1991, it launched the Gulf War, followed by over two decades of sanctions, more war occupation, and destruction of the “cradle of civilization.”
    — The September 11, 2001 false flag operation launched a decade of imperial wars against Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Palestine allied with Israel, perhaps others to come, as well as proxy wars in Somalia, Yemen, Bahrain, Central Africa, Haiti, Honduras, Colombia, and at home against Muslims, Latino immigrants, and working Americas.
    On February 16, 2010, a Washington’s blog web site ( article titled, “Governments ADMIT That They Carry Out False Flag Terror” listed examples, including:
    — The CIA admitted its 1950s role in toppling Iran’s democratically government in 1953.
    — Israel acknowledged a 1954 attack in Egypt, including planting bombs in US diplomatic facilities, leaving “evidence” of Arab involvement.
    — Indonesia’s former president, Abdurrahman Wahid, said the nation’s police or military most likely were involved in the 2002 Bali bombing, killing over 200 people.
    — A former Italian prime minister, judge, and military counterintelligence head, General Gianadelio Maletti, said America’s CIA instigated and abetted right wing terrorist groups in the 1970s and earlier, including bombing a Milan bank in 1969 to rally popular anti-communist support in Italy and other European countries.
    — Many others, including former Carter administration National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, telling a Senate committee that a false flag terror attack on US soil might occur to blame Iran and justify war.
    In his 1997 book, “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives,” he said:
    “Moreover, as America becomes an increasingly multicultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat,” the kind 9/11 created – predicted, planned, orchestrated, and carried out to further new world order global dominance.
    Other False Flag Examples
    — The March 2004 Madrid train bombings occurred three days before Spain’s general elections. With no supportive evidence, they were blamed on Al Qaeda, yet they stoked public fear of threats against other Western cities, including American ones.
    — The July 7, 2005 London underground bombings (called 7/7) were a series of attacks on the city’s public transport system during the morning rush hour for maximum disruption and casualties. At precisely the same time, an anti-terror drill occurred, simulating real attacks. It was no coincidence, others in America and Britain came on the same day.
    — On 9/11 morning, the CIA ran a “pre-planned simulation to explore the emergency response issues that would be created if a plane were to strike a building.” Held at the Agency’s Chantilly, Virginia Reconnaissance Office, AP reported (on August 22, 2002) that it simulated “a small corporate jet (hitting) one of the four towers….after experiencing a mechanical failure.”
    Unmentioned at the time was a later revealed (but unreported) Homeland Security conference announcement a year later to commemorate the 9/11 event. Held under the auspices of the National Law Enforcement and Security Institute, one of its speakers was John Fulton, CIA Chief of the Strategic War Gaming Division of the National Reconnaissance office in charge of the operation. Another coincidence, or was something more sinister afoot?
    In October 2000, the Pentagon simulated a commercial plane striking the Pentagon, coordinated by its Command Emergency Response Team and the Defense Protective Services Police. This and the 9/11 exercises are more than coincidental, given what’s now known and the fallout.
    — On June 30, 2007, a Jeep Cherokee with propane canisters crashed into Glasgow International Airport’s glass doors, the BBC reporting that it “was in the middle of the doorway burning….The car didn’t actually explode. There were a few pops and bangs which presumably was the petrol.”
    The usual suspects were falsely blamed, Al Qaeda and Islamic terrorists.
    In Miami, on January 11, 2010 (one day before Haiti’s earthquake), the Pentagon’s US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) simulated a hurricane striking the island in preparation for subsequent measures to be implemented. A carefully prepared military operation, they included occupying, controlling, and plundering the island.
    Also, Deputy SOUTHCOM head, General PK Keen, was in Haiti when the quake struck, ready to assume command when it did and use a communication tool called the Transnational Information Sharing Cooperation project (TISC), linking other nations and NGOs with the Pentagon and US government to facilitate measures to be implemented. None were to help Haitians.
    A Final Comment
    Exposed as bad theater, New York Times writer Elizabeth Harris further discredited the broadsheet, headlining:
    “Al Qaeda Confirms Bin Laden’s Death,” citing an unconfirmed statement, warning of new attacks to come. It also said an audio recording days before his death will soon be released. In fact, past video and audio ones were exposed as fakes.
    Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


  9. davidt says:

    Can’t resist … The latest New Yorker has an interesting
    piece by Lawrence Wright on this topic. Isn’t in a sense it as
    much a question of the reverse of caring about Pakistan
    because of Afghanistan as of caring about Afghanistan
    because of the danger in Pakistan)? And doesn’t the killing
    of OBL take much of the energy out of our feeling a stake in
    either of those two countries?
    Also, no shots at Obama? C’mon, some might think you
    actually might like him if you keep this up (have no fear — not
    me — just the others not as far-seeing as me :)).


  10. MartinJB says:

    POA, you’ve gone the road before of saying the ObL didn’t admit to orchestrating the 9/11 attacks. But I think you’re being selective in you memory of the evidence. While he may have issued a denial in the immediate aftermath, he certainly admitted to it later:
    I believe there was yet another later video in which he also claimed responsibility.
    So, while doting on the initial denial may feed your need to express righteous rage, it suggests a selective reading of the evidence.
    Now, I’m sure Mr. Holder has lied about things at times in his life (who hasn’t?), but to say he’s lying about ObL admitting to planning the attacks just isn’t credible.


  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    It looks like Ron Paul hasn’t lost his ability to raise big cash among small donors.
    In an online cash push his campaign calls a “money bomb,” the libertarian Texas congressman has raised more than $1 million for his 2012 presidential run in less than 24 hours


  12. Chumanist says:

    Despite the hovering clouds of mistrust and suspicion of relationship between Washington and Islamabad, one fact seems to be pertinent: the two sides-the United States of America and Pakistan cannot afford to move toward the fatality of the divorcement of relationship since a situation of catch-22 continuously emerges for both the governments.Therefore, the wisdom demands that both the governments should pragmatically try to resolve the present state of turmoil that has been created by the US’s engineered operation in Attobabad- Pakistan.The US side should not repeat the breach of national sovereignty that has been created owing to the US operation in Pakistan; as for Pakistan, Islamabad should adopt a clear-cut policy-line regarding the US war on terror.


  13. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Stealth helicopter????
    Who cares???
    I wanna know more about the stealth dialysis machine.


  14. rc says:

    Saudi’s Arabia, Bush’s America, Smith’s Rhodesia, Windsor’s UK, … same same in the name.
    In many places in the world women can’t drive cars because they don’t have cars. In the Non-Democratic Land of Arabia, run by the Saudi gangsters and their bin Laden support infrastructure, there is only the ‘excuse’ that their high-priests (who are not meant to exist in Islam) don’t like it.
    But wait 100 years, their old men may get to vote in local council elections some day when …
    While the masses are distracted with a hand puppet like Osama bin Laden the degenerate Wahhabi sect is financing fanatical puritan mosques and Imams through the world, thus distorting the whole Islamic paradigm to their primitive values.
    Their claim to fame is they are the ‘protectors of the two sacred mosques’ — fine, but what from? The pork eating alcoholics that run America?
    And if they are so 100% fanatical about religious purity and non-iconology/graphy in their sacred temples then why is the alleged (and obviously bogus) footprints of Abraham/Ibrahim held up and elevated on a pedestal just outside the door of the Al Haram? It is obviously haram! There is no such thing in Medina’s mosque where Muhammad stood and prayed!
    It would not mean a pile of beans except for the fact that Muslims hold the symbolic purity of the sacred domains to be one of the highest achievements. Anyone praying towards the Kaaba from behind the plaster fake footprints on their raised pillar is praying to them imo.
    What say these mighty Wahhabi guardians of Islamic theocratic purity to this splinter in the corporate eye? In this respect their idolatry is hypocritical and exposed for all to see. Goat herders they were, and golden (calf) goat herders they still be!
    This brittle male-dominated dictatorial facade of Islamic culture is a major impediment to progress towards peace and co-existence with the modern world. It must be the extreme opposite of all modern American democratic values? Why then dis we see GWBush holding hands with the Saudi Boss some years back? Are they both gay? No, they are both in on the family business of manipulating entire nations.
    And if you believe in photos then here is a Wahhabi exception to the rule of only absolute 100% fact to ponder — or
    The link to ObL? Well, my thesis is the idiotic foot-fetish belief in this icon’s value and authenticity (placed in the context it is within at the Al Haram) is a direct and dangerous prop for the ObL character type.
    The unsubstantiated sense of self importance and superiority based on theocratic purity (see other posts references to grave sites and pilgrimages) is exactly what drove (and drives) Islamic fundamentalist madness. Muhammad may have conquered the place and cleaned out the idols from the Kaaba but he obviously did not succeed in entirely clearing out the minds of the people living there. Even if these ‘footprints’ were the originals, placing them on a pedestal is highly symbolic of something that I suspect Muhammad would not have approved. Perhaps the Saudi Family embassy in DC could explain this apparent lapse in religious purity? I say prove it or drop it!
    The ‘woman should drive in Saudi Arabia’ is a direct challenge to the idolatrous mindset that Wahhabi-peddlers perpetuate — all the way from a set of bogus footprints in clay to a madman billionaire in Abbotabad on a mission to re-birth the 12 century! ObL’s issue was the pollution of the Arabian domain by US military forces. That is what set him off. And it was very convenient for Saudi domestic domination (I won’t say politics because there are none) to have a decoy distraction over there in the far, far east.
    That’s my rant on frenemies for the day!


  15. Cee says:

    There are some bad guys out there, but their importance has been greatly exaggerated to justify America’s imperial ambitions. No wonder former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski told the Senate that the war on terror is “a mythical historical narrative”.
    Bin Laden might have been a bad guy … but the way his life and death have been used has been dishonest.


  16. Kathleen says:

    Pissed off Patricia “t. Did you mention that, we KNEW of a key player in the 9/11 crimes, yet inexplicably we never pursued or indicted him”
    In Ron Susskinds book “the Price of Loyalty” former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O neil strongly infers that he was let go…axed…shown the door when he started investigating Saudi Arabian funds going into accounts etc of the 9/11 bombers
    Glenn Greenwald is ripping up the topics of Pakistan ….was the killing of OBL legal schmegal etc over at Salon


  17. DakotabornKansan says:

    Pakistani Perceptions and Points of View
    Pakistan’s government and military not only have leverage over the United States because of the Afghan war, there are also multiple other elephants in the room.
    Pakistan will become the 4th largest nation on earth in terms of population by 2050. Given Pakistan’s extreme poverty and underdevelopment and the questionable safety of its nuclear weapons stockpile, can the US afford an open confrontation with the Pakistan now?
    Randall Koehlmoos,


  18. Rani says:

    As for the Chinese helping Pak. there will be a price to pay. Every body knows that it is better to do business with the USA. Also the great fear of Pak. is India and bringing the Chinese in will shift the USA to the indian side. Pak. need the USA at least as much as the USA need Pak.


  19. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Kathleen…thank you for the Scheuer input…I too follow his assessments…I believe he said in “Imperial Hubris” that OBL was being treated in an American military facility in July, 2001 in either Bahrai or Dubai(my copy of his book is in my CT.summer home, so I can’t look it up). If this is so, it is more than likely that Pakistan and Uncle Sam knew exactly where OBL was…he wouldn’t be the first expendable CIA Asset.


  20. questions says:

    Great interview!
    My advice — don’t EVEN begin to focus on the money!
    We’ll spend billions, we’ll get undermined some percentage of the time, and we won’t get undermined some other percentage of the time. And I think that’s pretty much how the world works.
    Domestic politicians will always play their own games regarding positioning, ideology, public denunciations of precisely those who give them aid money (that’s us!). And we have to let it wash over us.
    Some portion of the Pakistani regime gives the US permission for the drone flights. The drone flights are a profoundly inexact and completely non-surgical way to cut down both on the number of warring nasties and the number of, say, wedding parties, small children, and cute puppies. The drone strikes are wicked, perhaps necessary in one formulation of the international scene, are both welcome and denounced by the same people.
    I get the feeling our billions to Pakistan purchase drone targets, probably/possibly gave us a little bit of support in finding bin Laden (but who knows), help us play bizarre and impossible balance of powers and forces games in the world.
    We probably don’t want a lack of social order there, we probably don’t want to inflame the India/Pakistan situation, we probably would like Pakistan to help with Afghanistan, and we are probably far more stuck than we realize. We might actually have gotten ourselves into a situation where we need to give them the money more than they need to take the money — though this claim would need some serious looking into.
    At any rate, “frenemy” is the term of the day!


  21. Kathleen says:

    Former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden unit Micheal Scheuer was on the Diane Rehm show the other day discussing, Bin Laden, al Queada, Pakistan, Israel, Saudi Arabia. I have followed what he writes and says about that part of the world for years now. Seems like he knows far more than most.
    Sure would be great if Maddow would have him on her show. But he states too many facts about the regioh and why people in that part of the world are so pissed with the US for Rachel. She is really kind of “USA, USA”
    Great discussion, information. Transcript available
    “And we’ll open the phones now. First to Umar (sp?) in St. Louis, Mo. Good morning to you.
    Good morning, Diane. I have a question. You know, the government always seems to be able to leave itself open to conspiracy theories, to leave itself open to questions. If bin Laden was shot and killed, it doesn’t make any sense as to why they would dump the body in the ocean. Now, this is not in keeping with Islamic burial tradition because it’s only permissible to bury a Muslim at sea if he died on a ship and they’re worried about infectious disease allowed to be going in the ship. Why not allow the body for viewing, hand it over to the Pakistani authorities? And if they wanted to ensure that the grave wouldn’t become a shrine, they could put them in Saudi Arabia. There’s a grave for the Prophet Muhammad. They can contain it. I’m not even sure it’s at Saudi Arabia.
    All right. Michael Scheuer.
    Yeah, I think the aftermath has been a little bit biased. There was no really — there was no reason at all to fear the idea of a pilgrimage to a shrine to bin Laden. Bin Laden is a Salafi Muslim, a Salafi Sunni. They regard all shrines, except for Mecca, as heretical and would tear them down, and so there was really no reason not to bury him in the ground. But, you know, I think this is an issue that’s really not all that important, but it does reflect that certain lack of knowledge of the target, that they were afraid of a shrine being built.
    Scheuer had many insights about the “execution, murder, assassination” Pakistan, Al Queda
    Well, let me say, Diane, that I think that somehow we’ve missed a little bit of growth since 2001. Bin Laden had always planned not to live to see the end of the war. He had written several times and spoken about it that this would be a generational struggle. And in the last four or five years, his organization has been dispersed, whereas on 9/11, we had been facing a threat only or primarily from Pakistan in terms of planning, training and launching operations. They now have a slice of Pakistan — a slice of Afghanistan. They have a good position in Pakistan. They’re in Yemen and Somalia. They’re growing — regrowing strength in Iraq. They’re in the Levant. The Israelis say they’re in Gaza. And they’re in North Africa and Somalia. ”
    He actually brought up how Al Queda has grown and how Pakistan and Israel have
    You know, I don’t know, Diane. I really don’t. There’s a lot of truth there, that the Pakistanis are duplicitous and look after their own interests, which I think is perfectly legitimate for them to do. I’m not sure the United States government is clever enough, especially the Congress, to be conducting a disinformation campaign. So I, you know — I don’t know. We’re dependent on the Pakistanis. This thing is going to blow over. They’re going to continue to get aid. And that’s kind of the whole story, I think. They certainly are better allies than, for example, the Israelis. They’ve done far more for us in the last decade than anything the Israelis have ever done.
    Different feelings about Bin Laden (Rachel Maddow has been rabid telling everyone Bin Laden was the most wanted terrorist in the world and telling everyone how they should feel and think about the execution)
    Well, I, you know — I think there are different feelings about bin Laden in the Muslim world. Some people hate him. Some people love him. The fact of the matter was, in terms of historical personages, he was a great man. He affected, certainly, negatively, American life more than anyone in the last 50 years. And for the presidents to keep repeating it, as did Mr. Bush, that we are not at war with Islam is — it sounds very, very good. But increasing numbers of Muslims are at war with us and our allies.
    He brings up our support for Saudi Arabia
    I think to probably some of the government it is embarrassing, but I think they’re relieved that they can say that they didn’t have anything to do with killing Osama bin Laden. They’re likely to have violence on the streets anyway because he was killed on Pakistani territory. But embarrassment doesn’t buy you much, really, Diane. And the Pakistanis are very hard-headed people. They know we need them more than they need us. They also know that the Saudis and the Chinese would step in with money and aid if we backed out. And, really, it’s always amusing to me that we’re so worried about Pakistan, and no one ever mentions the Saudis. We pay for their protection. We buy their oil. ”


  22. David Billington says:

    “In my view, as long as the US defines Afghanistan as a key challenge, Pakistan will not only
    demand a high price from the US in terms of aid and support but will do what it can to shelter
    those — and keep control of some of the personalities — that we are fighting in order to control
    the chess pieces in the region and to keep us supplying the Pakistan military with aid and
    support.” (Steve Clemons)
    Agreed. This is why recent events both make it more possible, and more necessary, for us to draw
    down our commitment to the present Afghan government over the next three years.


  23. questions says:

    WaPo 5 part series on the years of the chase.
    More and more details come out, and it looks like, though Bush publicly dismissed BinLaden, there were still plenty of people and resources devoted to finding him.
    Makes you realize just how big the world is, and how small, since I found somewhere a reference to some college geography class that rated the town bin Laden was found in as having an 80% likelihood of his being there. It was calculated as an assignment in understanding human spaces, or something similar. Pretty interesting.
    There was nothing surprising to the bin Laden watchers about all of this. It’s only surprising to the rest of us.


  24. DonS says:

    In light of the multiple versions of the hit on Bin Laden, initially rushed out as a ‘firefight’, etc., perhaps this makes sense; no way was OBL going to be taken alive. The initial story is beginning to look exactly like the kind of concocted coverup — the first version always sticks in the public mind — needed to hide the pathetic truth: OBL could have been subdued, transported, extraordinarily rendered, and dumped in Gitmo; put on trial:
    “Who in the world would dare not to be glued for months to the most stirring trial of all time?
    “There are reasons to believe the entities – the system – that arranged the hit would not be very pleased. So the verdict is guilty as (not) charged – and termination by a bullet in the head (Pepe Escobar)
    And while we’re on transparently cockamammie kabukis, why(and how) is the ‘treasure trove” of intelligence material gleaned from OBL’s hideout so quickly translated and details released (e.g., the outlines of an idea to bomb US railroads?). You know, real hush hush stuff; only it’s being put out like a wikileaks document dump. Maybe such a comparison is not off the mark; a selected, manipulated release of material to get the attention, and not coincidentally perhaps to divert attention from the disastrous — or planned — WH shell game about what really happened in the compound, and the probable reasons why OBL was not to be taken alive.
    “Data Show Bin Laden Plots . . .”
    Funny how some obviously classifiable material gets plopped right in the public domain, with flags waving, and some published classifiable material lands [Bradley Manning] in the brig, isolated and stripped naked.
    Someone really wanted to rush this material to the front page, kind of a ‘look over here’ moment.
    Don’t know about you, but resent being so transparently manipulated.


  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “On The Rachel Maddow Show last night, I shared some of my thoughts about America’s very complex relationship with Pakistan — in which that government is part friend of American interests and part enemy. Or, in other words, Pakistan is a high stakes frenemy”
    Steve, did you mention Mahmud Ahmed’s role in financing Mohammed Atta??? Of course not. Did you mention that, we KNEW of a key player in the 9/11 crimes, yet inexplicably we never pursued or indicted him??? Of course not. It is surely disheartening that operating within a narrative composed of falsehoods, myths, dishonest claims, and devious deception, that stating truths will result in your being branded as a “conspiracy theorist”.
    If I recall correctly, Mushariff was supported, post 9/11, with the stipend of ten million dollars monthly by the Bush Administration, who declared that Pakistan was “a most favored ally in the Global War On Terrorism”.
    This, despite the fact that it was well known that an ISI general, Mahmud Ahmed, was one of the financiers of Mohammed Atta, or at least was a middle man, directing funds to Atta.
    Ahmed was never pursued or indicted by the United States, despite our knowledge of his role.
    And how easily we forgot the airlift that took Taliban OUT of Afghanistan, OUT of harms way, into Pakistan. It was reported at the time that Omar himself was quite probably included in this airlift. How many of you have already erased that history from your mind, replacing it instead with the constant stream of fetid swill our “leaders” have spit down to us since the events of 9/11????
    Deception runs through the entire scenario, what is supposed to be the official narrative surrounding the perpetrators and circumstances of the 9/11 crimes.
    Here is a CNN piece from Sept 16, 2001….
    Bin Laden says he wasn’t behind attacks
    September 16, 2001
    Islamic militant leader Osama bin Laden, the man the United States considers the prime suspect in last week’s terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, denied any role Sunday in the actions believed to have killed thousands.
    In a statement issued to the Arabic satellite channel Al Jazeera, based in Qatar, bin Laden said, “The U.S. government has consistently blamed me for being behind every occasion its enemies attack it”
    “I would like to assure the world that I did not plan the recent attacks, which seems to have been planned by people for personal reasons,” bin Laden’s statement said.
    So the deception continues, with our highest official tasked to dispense the law, Eric Holder, standing before us, perpetuating a carefully nurtured myth, that Osama Bin Laden “admitted” his role in the crimes of 9/11.
    No matter how you feel about the so-called “truther” movement, or the official narrative about the events of 9/11, surely it must be offensive to you when our Attorney General stands before us and LIES openly and unabashedly in an attempt to instill a false history in the collective memories of an entire population.
    Where is the dissent from these insiders such as yourself, who have assumed a role in the public dioscourse, when such unabashed dishonesty is displayed so cavalierly by our highest officials? Where are the responsible members of the Fourth Estate, who are willing to counter the falsehoods our “leaders” lay before us so casually, without fear of being held to the truth by a diligent and probing army of patriotic journalists?
    There is nothing to be believed about this global adventure our “leaders” have embarked upon; waging war, torturing, bombing, occupying.
    It was launched with lies, and it is sustained with lies.
    ALL OF YOU can admit to knowledge of our government’s deception to some degree, whether it be the casual concoction of stories such as Jessica Lynch’s or Tillman’s, the despicably evil lies that ruined the lives and health of thousands of first responders post 9/11, or the fantastic fictions that led up to our invasion of Iraq.
    So if there is even one deception admitted to and recognized, then where do you draw the line at determining “truth”? What makes one governmental claim more credible than the next? Are those claims that you accept as “truths” only designated as such because the alternatives are so terrifying, so uncomfortable, that you refuse to entertain them?
    This much is obvious; Eric Holder is a liar. And if we can’t believe our Attorney General when he discusses the “legality” of an action or policy, who can we believe?
    Why do we “look forward”, not back, as the criminal in the White House has decreed? Because yesterday’s lies are in danger of exposing the lies they will tell us today.


  26. Paul Norheim says:

    “US forces were stationed just a few hundred yards from Osama Bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound in
    October 2008, according to reports within the WikiLeaks embassy cables.
    The revelation that US forces were so close to the world’s most wanted man in 2008 comes after material
    from the Guant


  27. Paul Norheim says:

    Perhaps it won’t be necessary to release those photos after all:
    “Al-Qaeda ‘confirms Osama Bin Laden dead’
    Al-Qaeda has confirmed the death of its leader Osama Bin Laden, according to a statement attributed
    to the group and posted on jihadist internet forums.
    The statement said his blood would not be “wasted” and that al-Qaeda would continue attacking the
    US and allies.
    Bin Laden’s death would be a “curse” for the US and urged an uprising in Pakistan, the statement
    More here:


  28. rc says:

    “frenemy” — not bad, … US has a cobra by the throat but can’t afford to let it go.
    Now I see that not only did the ISI et al not know ObL was holidaying in Abbotsabad but they also had no idea the CIA were camping down the road watching him.
    Any more insults to throw at the frenemy B4 the next ‘love in’ starts?


Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *