Archive for the ISI Category

Testy Pakistan-U.S. ties plunge into new low – Supply cutoff to NATO permanent, says Pakistan [Xinhua]

Posted in 9/11, Afghanistan, China, CIA, ISI, NATO, Pakistan, US drone strikes, USA on November 30, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Li Hongmei

BEIJING,Nov. 29 (Xinhuanet) — Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Sunday said that the supply of NATO has not been suspended; rather, it has been stopped permanently. Addressing the National Crisis Management Cell of Ministry of Interior, he strongly condemned the “accidental killing” of 24 Pakistani troops by NATO aircraft, which has prompted an angry response from Pakistan, further chilled the already volatile Pakistan-U.S. relations and dimmed any prospect of mutual trust.

“NATO force should respect feelings of Pakistani nation.” He said the nation and the government were aggrieved on the death of 24 officials of Pakistani security forces in the wake of NATO’s pre-dawn attack on Saturday when NATO helicopters and fighter jets attacked two military outposts in northwest Pakistan.

Islamabad also said it had ordered the United States to vacate a drone base in the country demanding the Pentagon leave the Shamsi Air Base in Balochistan Province, which services U.S. drones that launch missiles at al-Qaeda and Taliban militants along Pakistan-Afghanistan border, within 15 days.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani government said it would review all diplomatic, military and intelligence cooperation with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi expressed deep concerns Monday over the incident and said China will as always firmly stand by Pakistan in defending its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In actuality, the incident is by no means all accidental. Pakistan has been entangled in the bumpy relations with the U.S. since it uneasily allied itself with Washington after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Saturday’s tragic “friendly fire incident” along the Afghan-Pakistan border is eerily familiar to any observer of Pakistan-United States ties over the past decade.

A similar incident happened in September 2010, when U.S. helicopters under ISAF attacked a Pakistan border post and killed two members of the Frontier Corps who had been firing warning shots at them to keep away from the border.

Most recently, ISAF has adopted a more aggressive policy along the frontier. Hence, the tragic incident was bound to happen someday.

This year has seen terrible grudges in the Pakistan-U.S. relationship, beginning with the Raymond Davis affair. Davis was a CIA contractor working under the cover of the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad who shot two Pakistani men in January, claiming they meant to rob him. The affair highlighted the complex relationship between the two intelligence agencies, whose members distrust one another even as they work together in joint operations. Many Pakistanis have since complained about thorny problems inherent in the large U.S. intelligence presence in their country.

Tensions between Islamabad and Washington were whipped up by a unilateral raid by U.S. special forces that [allegedly] killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May, humiliating Pakistan’s military and intelligence. Pakistan deemed the May 2 raid as a flagrant violation of its sovereignty, in that the U.S. helicopters were able to slip in and out of its territory from Afghanistan apparently without the knowledge of Pakistani forces.

The deadly incident Saturday again plunged the Pak-U.S. relations into crisis.

As expected, NATO and U.S. officials expressed regret about the deaths of the Pakistani soldiers, indicating the attack may have been an error. All this happened when its gunships mistook warning shots by Pakistani forces for a militant attack, they explained.

Mutual trust between countries may require years and possibly generations to achieve, but “errors” recurring unstoppably will just erode the basis on which the sense of trust is built, now that the Pak-U.S. relations have been on a downward spiral, hard to reverse…

Edited by Zuo Shou

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No access to wrecked stealth copter: China [People’s Daily]

Posted in Anti-China propaganda exposure, China, CIA, ISI, Pakistan, US "War on Terror", US imperialism, USA on September 18, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

(China Daily)

August 17, 2011

BEIJING – The Chinese military on Tuesday refuted a report that Chinese intelligence officials were allowed by Pakistan to photograph the crashed US Blackhawk helicopter from the [purported] Osama bin Laden raid and take wreckage samples to research.

According to a press release sent to China Daily from the Information Affairs Bureau at the Ministry of National Defense, such reports are “groundless and ridiculous”.

The Financial Times reported on Sunday that Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence gave China access to the previously unknown “stealth helicopter that crashed during the commando raid that killed Bin Laden in May, despite explicit requests from the Central Intelligence Agency not to do so.”

During the raid, one of two modified Blackhawk helicopters, believed to employ secret stealth capability, malfunctioned and crashed, forcing the commandos to abandon it.

The newspaper quoted a person “in intelligence circles” as saying that Pakistan, which enjoys a close relationship with China, allowed Chinese intelligence officials to take pictures of the crashed chopper as well as take samples of its special “skin” that allowed the US raid to evade Pakistani radar.

US Navy SEALs reportedly tried to destroy the helicopter after it crashed at [the]compound on May 2, but the tail section of the aircraft remained largely intact.

“We had explicitly asked the Pakistanis in the immediate aftermath of the raid not to let anyone have access to the damaged remains of the helicopter,” the Financial Times quoted the source as saying.

In an incident such as the helicopter crash, it is standard US procedure to destroy sophisticated technology such as encrypted communications and navigation computers.

A senior Pakistani security official denied the report and pointed out that the wreckage had been handed back to US officials shortly after the raid.

“It’s just speculation. It’s all false. The wreckage was handed back. There is no helicopter left (in Pakistan),” the official told AFP.

The US officials cautioned that they did not have definitive proof that the Chinese visited the town of Abbottabad where Bin Laden was killed.

They also said Pakistani officials denied showing the advanced helicopter technology to any other foreign government.

Pakistani military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas also rejected the report in a statement late on Monday.

Abbas criticized foreign media for “launching a malicious campaign against Pakistan’s security organizations” and urged them to verify and cross-check information rather than relying on “unnamed officials”.

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Secret interrogation policy confirms UK government’s complicity in war crimes [World Socialist Web Site]

Posted in Afghanistan, CIA, Egypt, Guantanamo Bay concentration camp, Iraq, ISI, MI6, Morocco, Pakistan, Syria, Tony Blair, Torture, U.K., U.K. War Crimes, US imperialism on September 6, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Stephen Alexander
12 August 2011

A secret interrogation policy document obtained by the Guardian is the latest in a growing body of evidence attesting to the war crimes of the previous Labour government.

Published on the newspaper’s web site last week, the document is entitled, “Agency policy on liaison with overseas security and intelligence services in relation to detainees who may be subject to mistreatment”.

It reveals that the Labour government permitted the UK’s security and intelligence agencies, MI5 and MI6, to interrogate detainees that they knew had been tortured at the hands of allied overseas intelligence services.

The document chillingly instructs UK agents to “balance the risk of mistreatment and the risk that the officer’s actions could be judged to be unlawful against the need” to extract information from prisoners.

Most damningly, it confirms that such actions were directly authorised by government ministers: “In particularly difficult cases … it may be necessary to consult Ministers … to ensure that appropriate visibility and consideration of the risk of unlawful actions takes place.”

The UK government is known to cooperate with regimes notorious for torture—including the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence. But the guidelines allow UK officers to proceed with interrogation on basis of verbal “caveats” or “assurances” that their intelligence agencies will “eliminate or minimise the risk of mistreatment”.

The policy contravenes the United Nations Convention against Torture, which requires signatory states to make torture a criminal offence, including instances of attempted torture and “an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture.”

The interrogation policy revealed last week is the original drawn up by the Blair Labour government in 2002 to allow British intelligence to question prisoners in Afghanistan that they knew had been submitted to torture and abuse by the CIA. Following the invasion of Iraq, the policy was rewritten in 2004 and again in 2006, establishing it as a “formal” and “comprehensive” policy for the interrogation of overseas detainees, “including comprehensive legal advice to all officers”.

The criminality of the Labour government is further compounded by repeated lies and evasions with regard to the details and implications of the policy.

When the Guardian first became aware of the policy over two years ago, a spokesman for then Prime Minister Tony Blair denied precisely those criminal activities permitted by the secret policy, stating: “Tony Blair does not condone torture, has never authorised it nor colluded in it at any time.” Blair, along with the former home secretary, David Blunkett, and former foreign secretary Jack Straw have repeatedly refused to reveal whether they had knowledge of detainees being tortured as a result of the policy.

On June 16, 2009, speaking before the House of Commons foreign affairs select committee, David Miliband fraudulently proclaimed, “We would never procure intelligence … through torture. We would never say to another intelligence agency ‘Please get us information about X’ and … abandon our legal and ethical commitments in respect of how you find that.”

It is exactly such heinous criminality that Miliband worked systematically to conceal from the public as foreign secretary between 2007 and 2010. Miliband refused to release either the pre-2004 documents or later versions, arguing that to do so would “give succour to our enemies”.

In the case of Binyam Mohamed, a victim of extraordinary rendition who sued the UK government for complicity in his torture at the hands of the CIA and other overseas agencies, Miliband unsuccessfully mounted legal proceedings in an effort to suppress incriminating sections of the judge’s findings. When he was released from Guantánamo Bay in February 2009, without charge, Mohamed alleged that MI5 had provided questions and information to his American torturers.

Similarly, in the case of Shaker Aamer, the last remaining British resident held in Guantánamo Bay, the foreign secretary disregarded the ruling of the British High Court and refused to request the release of documents pertaining to his mistreatment, held by the US authorities. Aamer alleges that he was tortured in the presence of an MI5 officer.

On September 21, 2010, the Guardian revealed that MI5 and MI6 officers had consulted Miliband in line with the secret policy. According to British intelligence sources, “Officers from MI5 are understood to have sought similar permission from a series of home secretaries in recent years.”

A number of other former Guantánamo detainees had begun civil proceedings against the UK government over alleged complicity in torture at the hands of a variety of allied intelligence agencies, including those of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Syria, Morocco and Dubai. In order to limit exposure of its war crimes, Labour pursued an out-of-court settlement, paying out a total of around £12 million in compensation over the past five years. It is thought that when all 16 former detainees are compensated the total will reach £14 million.

The publication of the secret interrogation policy comes on the back of a series of exposures revealing that the British Armed Forces have routinely carried out officially sanctioned torture.

In July 2010, on the basis of evidence presented on behalf of over 100 Iraqis, a preliminary high court ruling found, “There is an arguable case that the alleged ill-treatment was systemic, and not just at the whim of individual soldiers”. Last October, the Guardian leaked interrogation technique training manuals for use by British military personnel in Iraq. They detail “threats, sensory deprivation and enforced nakedness” and sleep deprivation. They recommend that prisoners be “conditioned prior” to interrogation to instil “anxiety/fear”, “insecurity”, “disorientation” and “humiliation.”

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat claims to have amended the formerly secret interrogation policy to give “greater clarity about what is and what is not acceptable in the future”. The changes, however, are only cosmetic.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has said that the new guidelines are still in breach of international law, in that they do not prohibit intelligence officers from “aiding and assisting” allied agencies engaged in inhuman or degrading treatment. The policy still “allows intelligence officers to rely on assurances from foreign states” that a prisoner will not be mistreated, while giving them the “erroneous expectation that they will be protected from personal criminal liability”.

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition is now seeking to conceal the war crimes of the Labour government, as it is fully determined to advance the predatory militarist and colonialist strategy begun by its predecessor in Afghanistan and Iraq, and for which it has now opened up another front in Libya. Antidemocratic methods such as torture, abduction, extraordinary rendition, extra-judicial assassination, and the denial of due process flow from these illegal wars.

Along the same lines as the Chilcot inquiry—set up by the Labour government to whitewash its role in launching, in alliance with Washington, a premeditated and illegal war of aggression against Iraq in 2003—the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government has launched another toothless inquiry headed by none other than Sir Peter Gibson, the Intelligence Services Commissioner since 2006.

The inquiry will investigate the allegations of 12 former Guantánamo Bay detainees that the UK government colluded in their torture. It will have no legal powers to initiate the prosecution of the accused. The victims and their lawyers will not be able to identify the accused intelligence officers or cross-examine their accounts, meaning they will essentially be taken at their word. The great majority of evidence will be heard behind closed doors while the government will maintain authority over what is published in the final report.

Ten leading human rights organisations, including Amnesty International, Reprieve, and Human Rights Watch, along with the lawyers representing the 12 former detainees, have boycotted the inquiry. A letter, jointly addressed to the inquiry by a coalition of human rights groups, makes clear that the investigation does not comply with international law. It states that “European Court of Human Rights case law” requires that an investigation “into allegations of torture be independent, impartial, subject to public scrutiny, and include effective access for victims to the process.”

The Gibson inquiry fulfils none of these stipulations.

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Despite bin Laden assassination – Events show the limits of U.S. power []

Posted in Afghanistan, Assassination, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, Economic crisis & decline, Egypt, Gaza, Iraq, ISI, Israel, Libya, NATO invasion, Obama, Pakistan, Palestine, Pentagon, Police State, Torture, Tunisia, US "War on Terror", US drone strikes, US foreign occupation, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, Yemen on May 15, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Sara Flounders

Published May 12, 2011

President Barack Obama has praised the targeted assassination of Osama bin Laden as a turning point and “one of the greatest military and intelligence operations in U.S. history.”

However, events in the week running up to the execution exposed the limits of U.S. imperialist power and showed why the imperialists are so desperate to project an all-powerful image.

Obama’s message was that the Pentagon can do anything, go anywhere, kill anyone, bomb any country.  Sovereignty is now irrelevant.  The compliant media are glorifying Navy SEALS, Army Special Forces and Airborne Night Stalkers as “America’s quiet professionals.”  We are told they have recently carried out 50 operations in a dozen countries.  International lawlessness — the use of torture, kidnapping, secret rendition, extrajudicial killings and targeted assassinations — is justified and defended.

It is clear that this summary execution will be used to justify further expansion of the military budget, new weapons systems and a stepped-up level of domestic repression.

But all this has been unable to reverse U.S. imperialism’s steadily eroding position in the region.  Consider a few events that took place in the two weeks before and after the bin Laden assassination.  Clearly events are spinning out of their control.

Prison break in Kandahar

All their night-vision goggles, electronic listening gear and special ops units couldn’t prevent the escape on April 24 in Kandahar of 541 prisoners labeled as Taliban, including 104 commanders described as the very backbone of the insurgency.

The tunnel they had dug for months stretched half a mile and had electricity and air holes.  Keys they had obtained to the cells allowed organizers to open cellblocks and escort prisoners to the escape route.

The facility had undergone security upgrades and tightened procedures since a Taliban attack in 2008 had freed 900 prisoners.  In that assault, an explosives-laden tanker truck at the prison gate diverted attention while an explosion at a back wall opened an escape route.  Dozens of militants on motorbikes aided the escapes.

Afghan government officials and their NATO backers had repeatedly asserted that the prison now had vastly improved security since that attack with new guard towers, night illumination, a ring of concrete barriers topped with razor wire and an entrance reached by passing through multiple checkpoints and gates.

Turn the guns around

On April 27 nine U.S. officers — two lieutenant colonels, one of whom had retired and become a contractor, two majors, four captains and one master sergeant, all of them armed — were killed in a meeting room at Kabul airport.  The shooter was not with al-Qaida or the Taliban but was a trusted Afghan Air Force pilot with 20 years’ seniority.

This is the seventh time this year that a trusted Afghan officer has turned his gun around and killed U.S. military officials. Continue reading

“The strange death of Osama bin Laden” by Heiko Khoo []

Posted in Afghanistan, Anti-communism, India, ISI, Obama, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, U.K., US "War on Terror", US Government Cover-up, USA, USSR on May 10, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

May 3, 2011

U.S. President Barack Obama proudly proclaimed that the number one global terrorist Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan, May 2nd.  Thousands of jubilant Americans took to the streets in a celebration of this decisive victory in the war on terror [sic].  What followed this grand and historic announcement was somewhat less assuring.

More than 24 hours after the event not a single shred of evidence has been released.  The U.S. media reported that bin Laden’s body was taken to Afghanistan, where DNA samples were taken, then the body was flown to an aircraft carrier in the Gulf.  There it was washed down according to Islamic custom and cast into the sea.  Officials reportedly claimed it would be difficult to find a nation that would take the remains.

According official U.S. sources the DNA tests confirmed 99.9 percent that the body was that of bin Laden…it is not at all convincing…

Then there is the matter of credulity.  Why would US crack forces attack bin Laden’s compound, kill him and ‘secure his body’, then within a few hours, on the President’s orders, throw the corpse into the sea?

US news outlets explained that US forces wanted to abide by ‘Islamic custom’ and bury the body within 24 hours.  Islamic custom does allow for burial at sea, for example when someone dies at sea and the body is decomposing rapidly and cannot make the shore.  But in this case the body was taken on two flights from Pakistan to Afghanistan, and from Afghanistan to the Gulf, before it reached a US aircraft carrier.  Why not bury him an unmarked grave as U.S. forces did with Che Guevara?  Indeed it is the Wahabi Islamic tradition that all burial sites, even those of princes be devoid of all ornamentation.  So there is no basis to claim it might have become a shrine.  U.S. officials are claiming that no country offered to have him, but one can be sure that the Afghan government would have had no say in the matter had the U.S. chosen to bury him at a secret location in the country.

Why the haste to bury anyway?  Saddam Hussein’s sons were kept for 11 days before they were released for burial, so why was so much lavish attention paid to bin Laden’s funeral rites?  Why was the body disposed of half a day after securing it?  Surely the autopsy required more time?  Continue reading

Pakistan spies to break ties with CIA [People’s Daily]

Posted in CIA, ISI, Pakistan, USA on February 26, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

February 25, 2011

PAKISTAN’S ISI spy agency is ready to split with the CIA because of frustration over what it calls heavy-handed pressure and anger over what it believes is a covert US operation involving contract spies, according to a document.

According to a statement drafted by the ISI, supported by interviews with officials, an already-fragile relationship between the two agencies collapsed following the shooting death of two Pakistanis by Raymond Davis, a US contracted spy who is in jail in Pakistan facing possible multiple murder charges.

"Post-incident conduct of the CIA has virtually put the partnership into question," said a media statement prepared by the ISI but never released.

The statement accused the CIA of using pressure tactics to free Davis.

"It is hard to predict if the relationship will ever reach the level at which it was prior to the Davis episode," the statement said.  "The onus of not stalling this relationship between the two agencies now squarely lies on the CIA."

The ISI fears there are hundreds of CIA contracted spies operating in Pakistan without the knowledge of either the Pakistan government or the intelligence agency, a senior Pakistani intelligence official said in an interview.  The official spoke only on condition he not be identified on grounds that exposure would compromise his security.

Pakistan intelligence had no idea who Davis was or what he was doing when he was arrested, the official said, adding that there are concerns about "how many more Raymond Davises are out there."

Davis was arrested on January 27 in Lahore after shooting two Pakistanis.  A third Pakistani was killed by a US Consulate vehicle coming to assist the American.  Pakistan demanded the driver be handed over, but the two US employees in the car are now in the United States.

Davis has pleaded self-defense, but the Lahore police upon completing their investigation said they would seek murder charges.  The ISI official said that Davis had contacts in the tribal regions and knew both the men he shot.  He said the ISI is investigating the possibility that the encounter on the streets of Lahore stemmed from a meeting or from threats to Davis. Continue reading

Pakistan arrests US security contractor as rift with CIA deepens [Guardian]

Posted in CIA, ISI, Pakistan, Somalia, US "War on Terror", US drone strikes, US imperialism, USA, USSR on February 26, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

~ ISI tells American agency to unmask all its covert operatives after arrest of Aaron DeHaven in Peshawar, over visa expiry ~

February 25, 2011

by Declan Walsh


Pakistani authorities have arrested a US government security contractor amid a worsening spy agency row between the countries, with Pakistani intelligence calling on the Americans to "come clean" about its network of covert operatives in the country.

The arrest came at the start of the murder trial of another American held in Pakistan, the CIA agent Raymond Davis.

Peshawar police arrested Aaron DeHaven, a contractor who recently worked for the US embassy in Islamabad, saying that his visa had expired…

…DeHaven runs a company named Catalyst Services which, according to its website, is staffed by retired military and defence department personnel who have "played some role in major world events" including the collapse of the Soviet Union, the military mission to Somalia and the "global war on terror".  Services offered include "full-service secure residences", protective surveillance and armed security…

…US embassy spokeswoman Courtney Beale said DeHaven was "not a direct employee of the US government" but added that details could not be confirmed until a consular officer had met him. The arrest is another sign of brittle relations between the two countries…

Full article here