Saturday, 26 May 2012


Ken Berwitz

Do you know who Dr. Shakil Afridi is?

You should.  Because Dr. Afridi - possibly unknowingly - was instrumental in helping the CIA (not Barack Obama personally, the CIA) find osama bin laden.

That would make him a hero, right?  He made the world a better place, didn't he? 

Well, not to Pakistan. He was just sentenced to 33 years in jail for it.  The charge?  Treason.

The good news (not for Shakil Afridi, but for the USA) is that this has spawned a rare show of bipartisanship in the Senate.  By a vote of 30 - 0, the Appropriations Committee has voted to reduce aid to Pakistan by $33,000,000 - one million dollars for each year Dr. Alfridi will be jailed. 

The bad news, however, is that, compared to the billions we give Pakistan each year, that is not even pocket change.  Pakistan's leaders will laugh about it.

Here, courtesy of an excerpt from Rick Moran's article at, is Dr. Afridi's involvement in finding bin laden:

Who is Dr. Shakil Afridi and what was his role in the bin Laden raid? The top medic in the Kyber tribal region, Afridi was recruited by the CIA to run a fake Hepatitis-B vaccination program in Abbottabad in order to acquire a DNA sample from one of bin Ladens children in the compound where he was hiding. An investigation by the Pakistani intelligence agency, the ISI, concluded that Afridi probably didnt know he was helping the CIA find bin Laden specifically. Brig. General Shaukat Qadir, who conducted the investigation, wrote in a report obtained by the BBC that, He was merely paid to follow instructions.

The mystery is why Afridi, who was arrested less than 3 weeks after bin Laden was killed, stuck around after the raid. It may be that Afridi believed his assistance to the CIA in killing bin Laden would please the Pakistani government. It is even possible that Afridi didnt know he was working for the CIA. Regardless, the Obama administration apparently did little to persuade the doctor to leave Pakistan.

Former intelligence analyst Peter Brookes of the Heritage Foundation told Fox News, You probably wouldnt want to have tipped him off ahead of time, but maybe the day right afterward you would have wanted to have helped him leave Pakistan and the same with anybody else who was working with us.

But former military intelligence officer Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer told Fox News, From what Im hearing, we did pretty much nothing, he said. We did nothing diplomatically at all, didnt raise a finger. From what my sources tell me, we did nothing to try and help this guy.

How in the world could we let Shakil Afridi hang out to dry that way?  What is going on?  Who is responsible?

And where is President Obama in this?  Why has he not issued an angry, blunt statement denouncing the sentence, complete with a threat - either implied or specific - about how we would react to it? 

Is Barack Obama too busy completing his victory dance over osama bin laden's assassination - which would never have happened if he had been President when the information which smoked bin laden out was gathered - to bother with a trifle like protecting Shakil Afridi - without whom it would not have happened?  

The State Department (far from my favorite arm of government) says Mr. Obama has "regularly" brought this up to Pakistan.  Obviously, either that is untrue, or his efforts were so weak that they were ignored.

And is the US Senate so indifferent to Pakistan's vendetta against Dr. Afridi that it ascribes what, in aid terms is a penny-ante punishment for it?

I'll follow this story as best I can, and provide more information if/when it becomes available.

Ken Berwitz My opinion is that Shakil Afridi was not recruited to pass along Pakistan’s state secrets to the United States, he was recruited to get a DNA sample that could be used by the United States to find osama bin laden – who Pakistan, presumably (if not factually) was not trying to protect and hide from us. Sometimes the end does justify the means, and this is one such instance. Regarding your reference to Israeli spies, if you mean Jonathan Pollard, my opinion is that he should have been released a long time ago. His espionage was not to damage the United States, but to provide Israel with intelligence that would protect it from the PLO, Libya and other entities which were then – and are now – specifically invested in vaporizing the Jewish state and killing every Israeli (and non-Israeli) Jew. (05/26/12)

Andrew What's your opinion about other countries not liking the fact their citizens are being recruited by foreign intelligence agencies? Have we not imprisoned Israeli spies? they are our allies too. Should Pakistan allow every other country to launch clandestine operations within its territory and sit quietly? Im afraid in certain cases end dosent justify means. No one is going to re-write their constitution for you. The doctor was playing with fire and got burnt. (05/26/12)


Ken Berwitz

Here, excerpted from an Associated Press article posted at, is the latest horrific news from Syria, where "president" bashar al-assad continues a campaign of mass murder against his own citizens while the world fecklessly stands by and watches:

Gruesome video Saturday showed rows of dead Syrian children lying in a mosque in bloody shorts and T-shirts with gaping head wounds, haunting images of what activists called one of the deadliest regime attacks yet in Syrias 14-month-old uprising.


The shelling attack on Houla, a group of villages northwest of the central city of Homs, killed more than 90 people, including at least 32 children under the age of 10, the head of the U.N. observer team in Syria said.


The attacks sparked outrage from U.S. and other international leaders, and large protests in the suburbs of Syrias capital of Damascus and its largest city, Aleppo. It also renewed fears of the relevance of a month-old international peace plan that has not stopped almost daily violence.


The U.N. denounced the attacks in a statement that appeared to hold President Bashar Assads regime responsible, and the White House called the violence acts of unspeakable and inhuman brutality.

Over the years, I, and many others, have often blogged about the uselessness of the United Nations.  It would be hard to find a clearer example of why we feel this way than what is happening in Syria.

For well over a year bashar al-assad has been killing Syrians by the thousands upon thousands.  And the United Nations' latest response is to denounce the attacks in a way that "appeared" to hold assad responsible?   Who the hell does it think is responsible other than assad? 

As is obvious , UN forces are not going to be sent to Syria any time soon.  If this farcical, discredited world body cannot even figure out that assad is doing the killing, how long do you think it will take for it to deploy troops to prevent the carnage?  Try the 12th of never. 

And don't expect Barack Obama to involve US troops either.  After the foreign policy disiasters in Egypt (which is about to become a fundamentalist Islamic state) and Libya (where we bombed qadaffi out of existence so he could be replace with al-qaeda) I doubt that Mr. Obama has the stomach for a third debacle - this one during an election year.

So the world will continue to watch, as the mass murdering assad continues to butcher Syrian civilians without a care in the world.

How sad.  How pathetic.  How inhumane.  How inexcusable.

Ken Berwitz free - I agree. This doesn't come close to Darfur. I didn't mean to suggest Syria is the UN's worst example of standing by as innocent people are killed; only the most recent. And you can bet there will be more. (05/27/12)

free` I don't think Syria has come close to the UN ignored Darfur in Sudan. (05/27/12)

free` Ken I never intended my remarks to be against you. I was pointing out something that the UN and the International community continue to ignore, that has been occurring for many years and is continuing to this day. (05/28/12)

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