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Pros and Khans – How Bush Used Musharraf and Terrorists

August 21, 2008

Todays Asia Times article: Bush buried Musharraf’s al-Qaeda links
By Gareth Porter, reveals several interesting points that would be orgasmic for Conspiracy Theorists.

Pervez Musharraf’s resignation as Pakistan’s president on Monday brings to an end an extraordinarily close relationship between Musharraf and the George W Bush administration, in which Musharraf was lavished with political and economic benefits from the United States despite policies that were in sharp conflict with US security interests.

It is well known that Bush repeatedly praised Musharraf as the most loyal ally of the United States against terrorism, even though the Pakistani military was deeply compromised by its relationship with the Taliban and Pakistani Islamic militants.

Hints of this relationship have been sneered at by NeoCons from the beginning. But, A.Q. Khan‘s actual nuclear role is still under scrutiny, after his daughter wrote a book saying that he was just a pawn for Musharraf’s nuclear dealings with North Korea and Iran.  Musharraf convinced Khan to be the “fall guy” to appease Bush’s need for political currency.

What has not been reported is that the Bush administration covered up  the Musharraf regime’s involvement in the activities of the Abdul Qadeer Khan nuclear technology export program and its deals with al-Qaeda’s Pakistani tribal allies.  The problem faced by the Bush administration when it came into office was that the Pakistani military, over which Musharraf presided, was the real terrorist nexus with the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

Quote Bruce Riedel, National Security Council (NSC) senior director for South Asia under Clinton and Bush:

“… al-Qaeda “was a creation of the jihadist culture of the Pakistani army”. If there was a state sponsor of al-Qaeda, Riedel said, it was the Pakistani military, acting through its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Vice President Dick Cheney and the neo-conservative-dominated Bush Pentagon were aware of the intimate relationship between Musharraf’s regime and both the Taliban and al-Qaeda. But al-Qaeda was not a high priority for the Bush administration.

After 9/11, the White House created the political myth that Musharraf, faced with a clear choice, had “joined the free world in fighting the terrorists”. But as Asia expert Selig S Harrison has pointed out, on September 19, 2001, just six days after he had supposedly agreed to US demands for cooperation against the Taliban regime and al-Qaeda, Musharraf gave a televised speech in Urdu in which he declared, “We are trying our best to come out of this critical situation without any damage to Afghanistan and the Taliban.”

Musharraf played a complicated game. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was allowed to operate in Pakistan’s border provinces to pursue al-Qaeda operatives, but only as long as they had ISI units accompanying them. That restricted their ability to gather intelligence on the northwest frontier. At the same time, the ISI was allowing Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders to operate freely in the tribal areas and even in the southern port city of Karachi.

The Bush administration also gave Musharraf and the military regime a free ride on the Khan network’s selling of nuclear technology to Libya and Iran, even though there was plenty of evidence that the generals had been fully aware of and supported Khan’s activities.

The article also confirms that the Bush Administration manipulated terrorist news and events to control the 2004 election outcome.

The New Republic magazine reported July 15, 2004, that a White House aide had told the visiting head of ISI, Ehsan ul-Haq, “It would be best if the arrest or killing of any HVT [high-value target] were announced on 26, 27 or 28 July.” Those were the last three days of the Democratic National Convention.

The military source added, “If we don’t find these guys by the election, they are going to stick the whole nuclear mess up our a**hole.”

Just hours before Democratic candidate John Kerry’s acceptance speech, Pakistan announced the capture of an alleged al-Qaeda leader.

It is well established that ISI is the managing head for Taliban and al Qaeda … Bush hosted ISI leaders in the White House.

Musharraf was making a political pact with a five-party Islamic alliance in 2004 to ensure victory in state elections in the two border provinces where Islamic extremist influence was strongest. This explicit political accommodation, followed by a military withdrawal from South   Waziristan, gave the pro-Taliban forces allied with al-Qaeda in the region a free hand to recruit and train militants for war in Afghanistan.

Yet another deal with the Islamic extremists in 2006 strengthened the pro-Taliban forces even further.

But Bush chose to reward Musharraf by designating Pakistan a “Major Non-NATO Ally” in 2004 and by agreeing to sell the Pakistani Air Force 36 advanced F-16 fighter planes. Prior to that, Pakistan had been denied US military technology for a decade.  … al-Qaeda’s new “safe haven” was in Pakistan’s tribal areas and that the terrorist organization had reconstituted its “homeland attack capability” there. That estimate ended the fiction that the Musharraf regime was firmly committed to combating al-Qaeda in Pakistan.

Had the Bush administration accurately portrayed Musharraf’s policies rather than hiding them, it would not have avoided the al-Qaeda safe haven there. But it would have facilitated a more realistic debate about the real options available for US policy.

The details supporting treason for the entire Bush Administration are still surfacing.  Accumulation of legal evidence is mounting.  Once a “Constitutional” administration takes office, justice may finally be served.  Impeachment is moot, but High Treason is just one of the options for the American Court System.  Then, again, the World Court may now have opportunity to indict Bush for “Crimes Against Humanity”.  In spite of the cover up and coercion activities by the Bush Administration, truth will wiggle its way to the surface.

The satisfaction of seeing political criminals brought to justice is second only to the damage that has been wrought.  There are global crises of Bush making that must be addressed.  Dallas, Texas may want to re-think its role to house a library of lies …

Cross Posted on BlueBloggin

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