Imperial burlesques continue ...
The mysterious death of a Pakistani journalist who wrote of ties to al Quaeda and the navy begs the question: Is Pakistan an ally? Our relations are chilly, though we give the military roughly $1.5 billion a year (an amount, it sometimes seems, aimed at blackmailing the Pakistan military into securing its nukes and deterring any proliferation to rogue actors). There is not a small amount of madness in throwing such a large amount at a thug element in hopes that they won't arm our enemies and essentially ignoring the legislative branch and legal profession in Pakistan. Further, the psychological state of the Pakistani military -- or, at the very least the ISI, is pathologically paranoid (see Fareed Zakaria's interview with former ISI chief Hameed Gul)
Last week SecState Clinton, in her first visit after the death of bin laden, received a chilly reception. This bloggers asks the question on the tail end of the assassination of Osama bin Laden -- which President Obama ordered executed above the heads of the Pakistani military establishment.
Then again, why would President Obama inform the Pakistan military of a black op against bin laden when, in fact, was living in a compound a short distance away from a military facility. Incompetence? Collusion?
Regarding Secretary Clinton's trip from the New York Times:
Mrs. Clinton was joined by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, who traveled to Pakistan separately. The carefully orchestrated diplomatic encounter was intended both to cajole the Pakistanis and to reassure them of political support at a time when Congress has threatened to cut economic and security aid. Pakistan has received $20 billion in aid from the United States since 2001.
The Pakistanis promised “some very specific actions” in the near future to show their commitment to fighting terrorism, Mrs. Clinton said in her public remarks, without elaborating.
A senior official traveling with her later, speaking only on condition of anonymity, following diplomatic protocol, said the actions included “specific operations” against individuals. The official said that for security reasons, their names could not be disclosed in advance, and might never be made public.
It remains to be seen whether the meetings eased the tensions and suspicions that have haunted relations with Pakistan so badly that American officials dared not notify its leaders in advance of the raid against Bin Laden.
What actions? Murdering investigative reporters?