Pakistani government: Oh, hey, never mind what we said about Bhutto’s cause of death

posted at 4:05 pm on January 2, 2008 by Allahpundit

Amazing what a little documentary evidence can do to concentrate the mind. “Simply bizarre” is how the hospital’s lawyer describes the government’s handling of the investigation, which is putting it mildly. Forensic evidence being hosed away, doctors being intimidated, the awaited autopsy being quietly skipped notwithstanding the dubiousness of the government’s “she hit her head” theory — no wonder the conspiracy theories have gone batty. And now this:

After increasing public uproar over the government investigation, the Interior Ministry issued a statement Tuesday saying there was “no intention to conceal anything from the people of Pakistan.”

Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz on Monday even asked people and the media to forgive and ignore the comment made Friday night about the sunroof by Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema.

Cheema told CNN he based his statement about the sunroof lever “on the initial investigations and the reports by the medical doctors” who treated Bhutto.

Does he mean … these doctors?

In interviews, doctors who were at Bhutto’s side at Rawalpindi General Hospital said they were under extreme pressure not to share details about the nature of the injuries that the opposition leader suffered in an attack here Dec. 27.

“The government took all the medical records right after Ms. Bhutto’s time of death was read out,” said a visibly shaken doctor who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. Sweating and putting his head in his hands, he said: “Look, we have been told by the government to stop talking. And a lot of us feel this is a disgrace.”…

“The truth is, there really is no investigation at all,” said Babar Awan, a top official in Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party who said he saw Bhutto’s body after the attack and identified two clearly defined bullet wounds — entry and exit points.

He said that the principal professor of surgery at the hospital, Muhammad Mussadiq Khan, was “extremely nervous, but eventually told me that Bhutto had died of a bullet wound.”

“Why was this man so nervous?” Awan said. “He told me firsthand he was under pressure not to talk about how she died.”

Under Pakistani law the government could have ordered an autopsy over her husband’s objections, but the local police chief refused. As bizarre as the rest of it is the alleged reason for the cover-up, per WaPo: The government didn’t want people to think that security in Rawalpindi, a military garrison, could be breached so brazenly as to place a gunman within 10 feet of Bhutto. Except … we’ve known from the very beginning that the suicide bomber that went off got close to her car. And there have been other bombings in Rawalpindi over the past few months. So what’s it all about, Alfie? The more ham-handed and shifty the government looks, the more culpable Musharraf seems, to such a ludicrous extent that I wonder if he’s being set up too. He’s a canny pol; he’d have to be to survive for this long. If he was going to cover up Bhutto’s assassination, he’d surely do better than this. Indian intelligence reportedly thinks jihadi sympathizers within the Pakistani military are to blame. Maybe they’re trying to sabotage the investigation too, to encourage finger-pointing at Musharraf? Or is he really this crooked and inept?

Either way, he’s trying to save himself now by calling in Scotland Yard. The parliamentary elections, meanwhile, are on for February 18. I leave you with this, from the “too bad to check” file. I think it’s probably nonsense cooked up by her supporters to make Musharraf seem that much more bastard-y, but that just returns us to the question I asked at the end of the last paragraph. He’s not that evil, is he? Dude, he was on the Daily Show!

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The old “She bumped into a doorknob” excuse.

ronsfi on January 2, 2008 at 4:08 PM

The hosing away of evidence is unsurprising to me, given that this is the third world we’re talking about. The average Pakistani probably doesn’t know about germs causing disease, let alone the finer, or even broader points of forensic evidence.

The police likely come to their positions through money and connections, not training, so their job performance is about on par given the nature of things.

Lastly, it’s hard for westerners to appreciate just how big a deal honor and shame are in the east. I think a coverup by the local military bigwigs is the most likely scenario, in an attempt to save face.

TexasDan on January 2, 2008 at 4:15 PM

No wonder people in that corner of the world are such conspiracy theorists.

Given they seem to be so predisposed to conspiracies, why aren’t a lot better at it? I mean, this one was laughable from the start.

TheBigOldDog on January 2, 2008 at 4:21 PM

Key here is the chaos that surrounds this investigation, is endmic of the society at large right now.

Pakistan is slipping further and further into low third world status, and we are adding pressure because of our own internal politics.

When I heard that John Edwards had called Musharif, and Shrillary and Obuma had all made patently absurd public comments about it…. it showed me how far we have sunk from having a coherent foreign policy… and a SINGLE foreign policy.

Romeo13 on January 2, 2008 at 4:24 PM

I still suspect the husband and son. They benefit from this the most and seem to be shameless opportunists.

Getting away with a conspiracy is hard when there’s photographic evidence to the contrary, eh? (Please note that, Truthers.)

mjk on January 2, 2008 at 4:25 PM

Mrs. Peacock used the lead pipe in the conservatory.

JiangxiDad on January 2, 2008 at 4:27 PM

Let me be the first to express our sincere concern and apologies for what has happened with the spread of conspiracy theories in Pakistan.

/mike huckabee

Jack M. on January 2, 2008 at 4:28 PM

So, Bill Richardson’s solution was right on the money, eh? Throw him out and develop a coalition of peace loving folks only dedicated to what’s right for the country.
And, after Edwards himself talked to Musharraf right after it happened in an effort to guide him. I can’t wait to get Hillary’s take on all this, if she isn’t afraid to make another comment on Pakistan. I’ll betcha it will be triple vetted before she opens her mouth.

a capella on January 2, 2008 at 4:28 PM

The old addage about “tell a lie long enough…” worked a lot better before the advent of video cameras.

Simply bizarre brazen.

natesnake on January 2, 2008 at 4:32 PM

And these are the same guys helping us hunt down Osama?

Valiant on January 2, 2008 at 4:39 PM

The is the first time in history that guns have melted Bhutto.

thejackal on January 2, 2008 at 4:55 PM

Rosie’s take on Bhutto:

01.01.08
Posted by ro on January 1st at 4:00 pm in family
2008
blake learns 2 read
teaching us all
as we rhyme in unison

bose speakers r buzzing
bhutto buried
bullets in her brain
no they say

as we see

martial law musharif
bushs boy
says it wasnt me
like shaggy

To be a true player you have to know how to play
If she say a night, convince her say a day
Never admit to a word when she say makes a claim
And you tell her baby no way

had the light
not intervened
i now

There’s more. I’ll spare you the link.

JiangxiDad on January 2, 2008 at 5:14 PM

It case you were not as worried as before the assassination, but Pakistan has nuclear weapons.

I think this needs context.

PAKISTAN HAS NUCLEAR WEAPONS and thinks they can fabricate the truth when THEIR IS VIDEO EVIDENCE contradicting their claims.

I’d like to hear some US Mil types talk about conversing with their Pakistani counterparts. Are these Pakistanis serious at all?

gabriel sutherland on January 2, 2008 at 5:19 PM

Who are we going to believe? Our own 2 eyes or the Pakistan government?

Mojave Mark on January 2, 2008 at 5:48 PM

JiangxiDad on January 2, 2008 at 5:14 PM

Normally, I rather like your posts. But this one was kinda like…how shall I put it? Pull my finger.

thejackal on January 2, 2008 at 6:29 PM

SMASH THINGS BURN THINGS KILL KILL KILL

Ochlan on January 2, 2008 at 7:21 PM

SMASH THINGS BURN THINGS KILL KILL KILL

Ochlan

Your ideas intrigue me. How do I subscribe to your newsletter?

/Homer Simpson

Krydor on January 2, 2008 at 8:05 PM