Monday, May 18, 2009

Did Cheney Have Benazir Bhutto Assassinated?

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I guess it's a combination of having been there a couple times and the feeling it's the most dangerous place on earth-- not for tourists, for the existential survival of the planet-- but I keep writing about Pakistan. No one ever seems in the slightest bit interested. Last week we looked at all the billions and billions of our tax dollars that have been shoved into the most corrupt system in the world-- around $12 billion worth, most of it basically untraceable military support. Yesterday's NY Times reported on a confidential congressional briefing that warned about how that money is being used: expanding the country's nuclear capacity-- even now as the Taliban insurrection is slowly taking control of more and more of the country. (They already have as many as 100 nuclear weapons, scattered around the country.)
Inside the Obama administration, some officials say, Pakistan’s drive to spend heavily on new nuclear arms has been a source of growing concern, because the country is producing more nuclear material at a time when Washington is increasingly focused on trying to assure the security of an arsenal of 80 to 100 weapons so that they will never fall into the hands of Islamic insurgents.

Obama administration officials said that they had communicated to Congress that their intent was to assure that military aid to Pakistan was directed toward counterterrorism and not diverted. But Admiral Mullen’s public confirmation that the arsenal is increasing-- a view widely held in both classified and unclassified analyses-- seems certain to aggravate Congress’s discomfort.

So what we have is a Pakistan descending into chaos with the Taliban making tremendous headway in winning over the hearts and minds of the impoverished masses, while a weak national government gropes for internal support. Yes, the Taliban looks almost attractive compared to a government that makes pre-Revolutionary France seem like the shining city on the hill in retrospect. And the U.S. taxpayer is being asked, surreptitiously, to subsidize billions of dollars more in money that goes for a nuclear program that can only mean serious trouble and international instability-- or worse.
The dimensions of the Pakistani buildup are not fully understood. “We see them scaling up their centrifuge facilities,” said David Albright, the president of the Institute for Science and International Security, which has been monitoring Pakistan’s continued efforts to buy materials on the black market, and analyzing satellite photographs of two new plutonium reactors less than 100 miles from where Pakistani forces are currently fighting the Taliban.

“The Bush administration turned a blind eye to how this is being ramped up,” he said. “And of course, with enough pressure, all this could be preventable.”

As a matter of diplomacy, however, the buildup presents Mr. Obama with a potential conflict between two national security priorities, some aides concede. One is to win passage of a global agreement to stop the production of fissile material-- the uranium or plutonium used to produce weapons. Pakistan has never agreed to any limits and is one of three countries, along with India and Israel, that never signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Yet the other imperative is a huge infusion of financial assistance into Afghanistan and Pakistan, money considered crucial to helping stabilize governments with tenuous holds on power in the face of terrorist and insurgent violence.

Senior members of Congress were already pressing for assurances from Pakistan that the American military assistance would be used to fight the insurgency, and not be siphoned off for more conventional military programs to counter Pakistan’s historic adversary, India. Official confirmation that Pakistan has accelerated expansion of its nuclear program only added to the consternation of those in Congress who were already voicing serious concern about the security of those warheads.

Meanwhile newspapers in Asia today are reporting on a claim from Sy Hersh that Cheney had Benazir Bhutto assassinated. The original source seems to be a major Pakistani paper, The Nation, which was quickly taken off-line-- though not before the report started spreading-- and then came back online. The Indian is also carrying the story. Here's the version from The Nation, datelined New York:
Former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on the orders of the special death squad formed by former US vice-president Dick Cheney, which had already killed the Lebanese Prime Minister Rafique Al Hariri and the army chief of that country.

The squad was headed by General Stanley McChrystal, the newly-appointed commander of US army in Afghanistan. It was disclosed by reputed US journalist Seymour Hersh while talking to an Arab TV in an interview.

Hersh said former US vice-president Cheney was the chief of the Joint Special Operation Command and he clear the way for the US by exterminating opponents through the unit and the CIA. General Stanley was the in-charge of the unit.

Seymour also said that Rafiq Al Hariri and the Lebanese army chief were murdered for not safeguarding the US interests and refusing US setting up military bases in Lebanon. Ariel Sharon, the then prime minister of Israel, was also a key man in the plot.

A number of websites around the world are suspecting the same unit for killing of Benazir Bhutto because in an interview with Al-Jazeera TV on November 2, 2007, she had mentioned the assassination of Usama Bin Laden, Seymour said. According to BB, Umar Saeed Sheikh murdered Usama, but her words were washed out from the David Frosts report, he said.

The US journalist opined that it might have been done on purpose because the US leadership did not like to declare Usama dead for in the case the justification of the presence of US army in Afghanistan could no more be there, hence no reason for operation against Taliban.

On the other hand, the diplomatic analysts believe that BB murder is still a fable and it is for the reason Asif Zardari and other govt authorities are stressing UN probe in the murder case, also paying huge sums for it.

Another website has disclosed that Benazir was put to death in order to roll back Pakistan nuclear programme and the take over its nukes and India, Israel and the US, were making hectic efforts to deprive Pakistan of its atomic capability so as to bring to under their control.

You probably know we don't hold Cheney in high regard here at DWT. And no one will ever persuade me that the CIA hasn't been the most evil force in America nor that they didn't kill JFK. But I am very dubious about this particular report. It doesn't ring true and sounds like a way to smear McChrystal.




UPDATE: Cheney Didn't Have Bhutto Murdered

As I suspected, Hersh denied the whole thing. From Steve in comments:
LAHORE: US journalist Seymour Hersh on Monday contradicted news reports being published in South Asia that quote him as saying a “special death squad” made by former US vice president Dick Cheney had killed Benazir Bhutto. The award-winning journalist described as “complete madness” the reports that the squad headed by General Stanley McChrystal – the new commander of US army in Afghanistan – had also killed former Lebanese prime minister Rafique Al Hariri and a Lebanese army chief. “Vice president Cheney does not have a death squad. I have no idea who killed Mr Hariri or Mrs Bhutto,” Hersh said. “I have never said that I did have such information. I most certainly did not say anything remotely to that effect during an interview with an Arab media outlet.” He said Gen McChrystal had run a special forces unit that engaged in “high value target activity”, but “while I have been critical of some of that unit’s activities in the pages of the New Yorker and in interviews, I have never suggested that he was involved in political assassinations or death squads on behalf of Mr Cheney, as the published stories state.” He regretted that none of the publications had contacted him before carrying the report. “This is another example of blogs going bonkers with misleading and fabricated stories and professional journalists repeating such rumours without doing their job – and that is to verify such rumours.”

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6 Comments:

At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Bil said...

I believe that IS a side-effect of mixing beer and coumadin, another is shooting a layer friend in the face with a shotgun.

 
At 10:00 AM, Blogger Donna said...

This doesn't surprise me at all. I breaks my heart.

 
At 11:00 AM, Blogger Daro said...

One day she says to David Frost that Obama is dead and names his killer (Frost totally passes over the comment without reference). The next day she's dead. No mas.

 
At 4:44 PM, Blogger Cernig said...

Hersh has denied the story:

I did not say Cheney killed Benazir: Hersh

LAHORE: US journalist Seymour Hersh on Monday contradicted news reports being published in South Asia that quote him as saying a “special death squad” made by former US vice president Dick Cheney had killed Benazir Bhutto. The award-winning journalist described as “complete madness” the reports that the squad headed by General Stanley McChrystal – the new commander of US army in Afghanistan – had also killed former Lebanese prime minister Rafique Al Hariri and a Lebanese army chief. “Vice president Cheney does not have a death squad. I have no idea who killed Mr Hariri or Mrs Bhutto,” Hersh said. “I have never said that I did have such information. I most certainly did not say anything remotely to that effect during an interview with an Arab media outlet.” He said Gen McChrystal had run a special forces unit that engaged in “high value target activity”, but “while I have been critical of some of that unit’s activities in the pages of the New Yorker and in interviews, I have never suggested that he was involved in political assassinations or death squads on behalf of Mr Cheney, as the published stories state.” He regretted that none of the publications had contacted him before carrying the report. “This is another example of blogs going bonkers with misleading and fabricated stories and professional journalists repeating such rumours without doing their job – and that is to verify such rumours.” staff report

Regards, Steve

 
At 12:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheney Had Benazir Bhutto Assassinated?"
That clears it up

 
At 12:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheney Had Benazir Bhutto Assassinated

 

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