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|Topic: Welcome to Pashtunistan|
Joined: 04 September 2007
Location: Sri Lanka
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| Topic: Welcome to Pashtunistan
Posted: 23 December 2009 at 3:19am
Few people by now can be unaware of Blackwater, later known as Blackwater Worldwide and now as Xe. The private security agency formed in 1997 and based in North Carolina is owned by Erik Prince, a former member of the US Navy Seal special forces, and has long-standing links with both the CIA and the FBI.
In other words, it is an American agency with a licence to kill or kidnap, thus exonerating official American agencies that might one day be held accountable. (Although personally I doubt if the CIA will ever be held accountable. I continue to aver that it is the only real rogue intelligence agency in the world. Mossad might enjoy liberty of action for any operation, but it cannot undertake one without the approval of the Israeli prime minister: no such restriction applies to the CIA.)
Mr Scahill does not engage in speculation, and is not to be taken lightly. So when he states that Xe is sitting in Karachi, he is not likely to be wrong. He has added that the operation is so secret that many senior people in the Obama administration were unaware of it.
That the former president Pervez Musharraf permitted Blackwater entry to Pakistan does not surprise me in the least; he would have been ready to bark if George Bush wanted him to, not that Asif Ali Zardari is much different; both have been acceding to every US demand at every opportunity.
But what else is it doing there? If its purpose is to kidnap suspected terrorists and convey them to the US, then clearly no one can know how many they have managed to extract since the operations would be covert; but, equally clearly, none has been high profile, or their disappearance would have been noted. All major non-Pashtun names on the US list of terrorists still roam at large in Karachi and Punjab.
If Xe is meant to target al Qa’eda, again they don’t seem to have had much success. The US secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to assert that Osama bin Laden is in Pakistan, without offering concrete evidence; and if he is, why has the professional and highly paid Xe failed to kill or capture him? For such an expensive operation, Xe seems to have little to show to justify its continued presence in Pakistan.
The latest twist is that the organisation’s founder and owner, Mr Prince, has given an interview to the American magazine Vanity Fair, apparently in a fit of pique, in which he claims to have been a CIA asset since 2004 with a mission to hunt down and kill al Qa’eda militants for the US government. Describing the backlash after his employees shot dead 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in 2007, Mr Prince said: “When it became politically expedient to do so, someone threw me under a bus.”
He now says he is severing all ties with Xe, and after the interview the CIA said it was cancelling all contracts with the organisation. Nevertheless, there appears to be no evidence of its impending departure from Pakistan. This is a security agency that is available to anyone who can afford it. If its contract has indeed been terminated by the CIA, what is it still doing in Pakistan? Either the “termination” was a farce for public consumption, or Xe has found other paymasters.
I am not a subscriber to conspiracy theories. However, sometimes there seems to be no alternative logical explanation, and/or the conspiracy theory appears logical in itself. When this happens, one is forced to become a believer. This seems to be one such instance.
The Brazilian journalist Pepe Escobar has suggested that the US wants to leave behind a united Pashtunistan, consisting of Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province and Afghanistan, an independent Balochistan and a weak, truncated Pakistan. The argument is a clever mix of fact and fiction; Jeremy Scahill he is not.
Brig Gen Shaukat Qadir is a retired Pakistani infantry officer
'Trust everyone but not the devil in them'
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