Doctor who helped CIA catch Bin Laden convicted in Pakistan of … treason

posted at 9:21 pm on May 23, 2012 by Allahpundit

Thirty-three years in prison. He could have gotten death if he’d been tried under Pakistan’s penal code, but he was tried in a tribal court that follows a British-era colonial law so he got off “easy” with just a few decades behind bars. For helping catch the leader of Al Qaeda, who greenlit 9/11.

The only way the treason charge makes sense conceptually is if you treat spying on Osama Bin Laden as a betrayal of Pakistan’s national interests, the endless blather from Islamabad about “standing with the U.S.” against AQ notwithstanding. Consider that the silver lining in this otherwise very dark cloud: The regime is being honest, for once, about who and what they really are.

In Washington, Obama administration officials expressed anger and frustration at the tribal court’s decision, but indicated that American officials were working quietly behind the scenes to shorten the sentence or have it dismissed.

“The doctor was never asked to spy on Pakistan,” said a senior American official with knowledge of counterterrorism operations against Al Qaeda in Pakistan, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to talk candidly about the sentencing. “He was asked only to help locate Al Qaeda terrorists, who threaten Pakistan and the U.S. He helped save Pakistani and American lives.”

On Capitol Hill, two of the Senate’s leading voices on national security, Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, who is the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and John McCain of Arizona, the panel’s ranking Republican, angrily denounced the court’s sentence. “What Dr. Afridi did is the furthest thing from treason,” the senators said in a statement. “It was a courageous, heroic and patriotic act, which helped to locate the most wanted terrorist in the world — a mass murderer who had the blood of many innocent Pakistanis on his hands.”

It’s charming that McCain and Levin think the jihadi sympathizers and anti-India fanatics in Pakistan’s military/intel leadership give a squirt about innocent Pakistanis vis-a-vis protecting their strategic interests. In fact, I’d bet there’s support for scapegoating Afridi even among factions there that aren’t quite as robustly pro-AQ. One of the big takeaways from the famous Goldberg/Ambinder article last year on our “ally from hell” was the depth of Pakistani paranoia about U.S. intelligence — to the point where they’re willing to risk a nuclear catastrophe just to keep American spies guessing:

In a country that is home to the harshest variants of Muslim fundamentalism, and to the headquarters of the organizations that espouse these extremist ideologies, including al-Qaeda, the Haqqani network, and Lashkar-e-Taiba (which conducted the devastating terror attacks on Mumbai three years ago that killed nearly 200 civilians), nuclear bombs capable of destroying entire cities are transported in delivery vans on congested and dangerous roads. And Pakistani and American sources say that since the raid on Abbottabad, the Pakistanis have provoked anxiety inside the Pentagon by increasing the pace of these movements. In other words, the Pakistani government is willing to make its nuclear weapons more vulnerable to theft by jihadists simply to hide them from the United States, the country that funds much of its military budget.

When your attitude to your national interests is as perverse as that, it stands to reason that you’d make an example of a local doctor who helped enable a spectacular American incursion deep inside Pakistani territory. And it’s not like the Pakistani public is terribly conflicted about Bin Laden: According to a Pew poll taken shortly after the raid, 63 percent disapproved of the operation and 55 percent saw his death as a bad thing (versus just 14 percent who saw it as good). Plus, since relations with Pakistan have all but broken down lately, jailing Afridi serves as both a reprisal and a potential bargaining chip for when the U.S. and Pakistan start haggling over the next fake bout of “cooperation.” Nothing surprising about any of this, really.


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I know it’s a sensitive issue, but Pakistan is pushing themselves “to the brink”, with us.

listens2glenn on May 23, 2012 at 9:24 PM

“By all means…

… Let us increase the foreign aide.” - Obowma

Seven Percent Solution on May 23, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Thats it, I’m removing them from my friends list.

newportmike on May 23, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Pakistan is Afghanistan with nuclear weapons. How did it come to this?

Bishop on May 23, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Not another dam dime.

txag92 on May 23, 2012 at 9:30 PM

And we give them 6 billion for their security services. They will probably want more money to release him.

plutorocks on May 23, 2012 at 9:30 PM

Just a little like the Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. But, come on. We’re talking about Bin Laden here. It’s like if you helped track down Hitler, and were given a life sentence for your trouble. /Godwin

Paul-Cincy on May 23, 2012 at 9:31 PM

…quick!…give them more financial aid! (While House financial web site for children).

KOOLAID2 on May 23, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Too bad. If my understanding of all this is correct.

Bmore on May 23, 2012 at 9:32 PM

Pakistan supports Bin Laden posthumously.

Good to know.

profitsbeard on May 23, 2012 at 9:32 PM

The problem started when Ogabe started to call it “poh-kee-ston” in his native Kenyan accent.

fourbten on May 23, 2012 at 9:33 PM

Pakistan has never been an ally to the United States. Time to stop the pretense. They have always been professional beggars seeking weapons and aid. It’s funny how quickly they have turned against us throughout their short history when they didn’t get what they wanted. India has been much better friend to us ever since we normalized relations with them. FACT.

legalimmigrant on May 23, 2012 at 9:35 PM

In October 2001 we should have ignored Afghanistan and went to war with Pakistan.

ThePrez on May 23, 2012 at 9:35 PM

The moral of this story is NEVER trust the CIA.

Axion on May 23, 2012 at 9:36 PM

WTF?

Oh wait…Obama. How the heck can we expect this fool to ever do something ?

Heck, he just finally spent some time down where the tornadoes devastated parts of our country LAST year.

ProfShadow on May 23, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Even Bangladeshis say “Yeah we’re poor as crap but at least we’re not Pakistan.”

Bishop on May 23, 2012 at 9:37 PM

Hustler does a Photoshop and it rates over 500 comments. This gets 13. We are doomed.

ConservativeLA on May 23, 2012 at 9:37 PM

Huge arms deal and military training exercises with India.

I’m sick of Pakistan. Sick of them.

Philly on May 23, 2012 at 9:38 PM

We need a drone to accidentally drop a missile on Pakistan’s next State of our Craphole of a Country Address.

NoDonkey on May 23, 2012 at 9:38 PM

Guys, be reasonable. If we quit giving them $6bn in aid each year, they’ll turn on us. They will block our delivery routes to Afghanistan, they will condone and covertly support people who blow up American soldiers in Afghanistan, they will support terrorist attacks against India, the most populous democracy in the world, they will ally themselves with red China, they will develop nuclear weapons and they will harbor the terrorist linchpin who planned 9/11.

We must support our Pakistani friends.

Time Lord on May 23, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Hustler does a Photoshop and it rates over 500 comments. This gets 13. We are doomed.

ConservativeLA on May 23, 2012 at 9:37 PM

You can always go get tesla and bring him over to keep you company.

RickB on May 23, 2012 at 9:42 PM

ot: dear leader tells donors that mitt he hasn’t “spent time working in the real world.”<blockquote
via politico

what a crock

maybe an OOTD????

cmsinaz on May 23, 2012 at 9:42 PM

Didn’t Leon Panette out this guy?

Just like Biden blabbed about Seal Team Six?

Wethal on May 23, 2012 at 9:43 PM

ot: dear leader tells donors that mitt he hasn’t “spent time working in the real world.”<blockquote
via politico

what a crock

maybe an OOTD????

cmsinaz on May 23, 2012 at 9:42 PM

Mitt isn’t a community organizer….which we all know is A Real Job.
Of course Obama failed at that…..but..
That’s not important..

Electrongod on May 23, 2012 at 9:49 PM

The moment that bin laden went over the border after Tora Bora, and Georgie didn’t follow him, instead claiming that Pakistan was our “ally in the war on terror”, I knew then that Bush was not serious about retribution for 9/11. In fact, he forbade the military from sending forces in to close off the pass, fearing it would anger Pakistan.

So what happened to his axiom that you are either with us, or against us?

That didn’t last too long.

keep the change on May 23, 2012 at 9:50 PM

…what? No porn…no sodomy…no one getting tied to a bed?
…oh that’s right…this is no thread for Dr. T…never mind!

KOOLAID2 on May 23, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Electrongod on May 23, 2012 at 9:49 PM

of course….

just boggles the mind what he gets away with

cmsinaz on May 23, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Glass factory. Better yet, conquer and give it to Israel.

Cindy Munford on May 23, 2012 at 9:56 PM

From Centcom news -

“Gen. Petraeus praised Pakistan’s efforts to confront violent extremists and honored the sacrifices being made every day by the Pakistan military, government and people in their fight to restore peace and stability. He was impressed by the progress Pakistan’s security forces have made throughout the country in places like South Waziristan and Swat to defeat anti-government militants who threaten Pakistan’s way of life. He reinforced the United States’ long-term commitment to Pakistan and expressed his appreciation for the leadership role Pakistan continues to provide in achieving the mutual goals of a peaceful and secure South Asia region.”

Ptraeus has not yet officially converted to Islam, but it’s certainly reached the point of being a common law marriage.

VorDaj on May 23, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Don’t worry. The State Dept will send a strongly worded diplomatic note to the Pak embassy. Hillary may cancel an upcoming visit, or change her hijab headscarf from green (Islamic color) to blue (Israeli color). That’ll show ‘em.

Afridi’s life expectancy in prison? You make the call. But there is a way out: we can exchange him for the transsexual Wikileaker in Leavenworth.

spiritof61 on May 23, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Take their nukes, give India the green light to settle their hash.

Done.

Rebar on May 23, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Pakistan is a cesspool of feudal tribalism and Anti-American hatred. This shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Corporal Tunnel on May 23, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Glass factory. Better yet, conquer and give it to Israel.

Cindy Munford on May 23, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Better watch you mouth, young lady, of Petraeus will put a fatwa out on you. He blames Israel for all the problems in the middle east.

VorDaj on May 23, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Commuting the death sentence and Obama’s ‘indignation’ were all mapped out from the get-go. I am certain this has been orchestrated from behind the scenes. Bank on it.

Corporal Tunnel on May 23, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Target…Pakistan.

Target…Yemen.

Target…Iran.

Target…Yemen.

Target…Turkey.

Target…Saudi Arabia.

Target…Iraq

Target…Afghanistan.

Problems solved. Who would miss any of them? And who would fill the vacuum?

It’s time for an American President to cast off the PC shackles and bring it on.

It’s time for an American President to make one ..ONE…phone call to the savages and say….you have 20 minutes to decide what side your on.

Twana on May 23, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Petraeus’s idea of a foreign policy is “to win the hearts and minds” of primitive tribes who hate us by sending them advanced technology with tens of billions of dollars in foreign aid, and when they still hate us to blame it on Israel. No thanks.

RasThavas on May 23, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Why wasn’t this guy extracted the day after OBL was ventilated? No one in the WH could see this coming? All out of ‘gutsy calls’?

slickwillie2001 on May 23, 2012 at 10:06 PM

So this guy did more to capture OBL than Dear Leader..?

d1carter on May 23, 2012 at 10:08 PM

It’s time for an American President to cast off the PC shackles and bring it on.

It’s time for an American President to make one ..ONE…phone call to the savages and say….you have 20 minutes to decide what side your on.

Twana on May 23, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Another sassy woman. Petraeus will put a fatwa on you too for disrespecting Islam and Muslims.

“I condemn the action of the individual in the United States who burned a copy of the Holy Qur’an. That action was hateful. It was intolerant, and it was extremely disrespectful. I condemn the actions of a small number of individuals who have been extremely disrespectful to the Holy Qur’an. Together with our Afghan partners [when they are not too busy shooting our troops in the back and raping little girls and little boys], we must secure and serve [by paying lots of bribes] the people of Afghanistan [the hell with the American people and their crappy outdated Constitution].”
- from David “In: Holy Qur’an, Out: First Amendment and his oath to the United States Constitution” Petraeus

VorDaj on May 23, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Why wasn’t this guy extracted the day after OBL was ventilated? No one in the WH could see this coming? All out of ‘gutsy calls’?

slickwillie2001 on May 23, 2012 at 10:06 PM

I heard one of the CIA’s reps on the BBC this morning saying that they gave the Dr. the option to seek asylum in America but he thought that Pakistan would consider him a hero for helping stop the world’s greatest terrorist mastermind.

Bad call for the Doc.

profitsbeard on May 23, 2012 at 10:10 PM

VorDaj on May 23, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Really? What an azz!

Cindy Munford on May 23, 2012 at 10:11 PM

profitsbeard on May 23, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Holy cow, I can’t imagine anyone in the Middle East thinking that! I think I’d monitor the reaction from a safe distance and plan accordingly.

Cindy Munford on May 23, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Really? What an azz!

Cindy Munford on May 23, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Andrew McCarthy NRO -

Gen. David Petraeus cast Israel as the source of all America’s woes in the Middle East. To his great discredit, the general — in a Clintonesque fashion which, as we shall see, is probably not a coincidence — simultaneously denied making the statement, grudgingly admitted making it while minimizing its significance, and accused West and others of misrepresenting his views. In fact, the general’s critics quoted his words at length, placed them in unmistakable context, and drew from them the same commonsense conclusion drawn by Israel’s gleeful critics — for whom Petraeus is the hero of the moment.

The upshot of this could not be clearer: Petraeus is echoing the narrative peddled incessantly by leftists in the government he serves and by Islamists in the countries where he works. According to that narrative, Israel’s plight is not a struggle for survival against immovable foes spurred by an Islamist ideology that must be discredited and defeated. To the contrary, this view holds, it is the result of a mere political conflict. It could be resolved, so the theory goes, if only Israel weren’t so intransigent — i.e., if it would just stop taking so seriously its need to secure its citizens against enemies pledged to its destruction. Israel’s stubbornness (which is to say, its insistence on existing as a Jewish state in what Muslims regard as Islamic land) creates tensions that “flare into violence” (Palestinian terrorist attacks undertaken with the approval and encouragement of the region’s most influential Islamic authorities).

As night follows day, Islamist sympathizers leapt on a statement from CENTCOM’s commander that Israel causes America’s problems. Stephen Walt, the Kennedy School’s reliable Israel-basher (and, many years ago, Petraeus’s faculty adviser at Princeton), quoted the general’s testimony to bolster Walt’s argument that Israel’s policies threaten American security and interests. Rami Khouri, a renowned Palestinian-American progressive who blames Ariel Sharon for the existence of Hamas and Hezbollah, could barely contain his delight that Petraeus had “openly criticized Israel.” “The top military leadership speaking out in public with such clarity,” he proclaimed in Middle East Online, “is about as serious as it gets in terms of credible criticisms in Washington.” His views were amplified elsewhere: “By now General David Petraeus’s warning that U.S. policy with Israel is negatively affecting the Middle East has spread far and wide,” wrote James Gundun in the Palestinian Chronicle. “Petraeus believed that Israel hadn’t gotten the message yet and so lit a fire under the White House, hoping it too would learn a lesson.” In the Jordan Times, Hassa A. Barari celebrated Petraeus for “stating the obvious,” and expressed his hope that Petraeus’s prestige would give President Obama the cover he “needs to step up his diplomatic pressure on Tel Aviv in a way that can raise the cost of [Israeli prime minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s obstructionist policies.” For Uri Avnery, an Israeli leftist and founder of Gush Shalom, a self-described “peace movement,” such testimony by a man of Petraeus’s stature signals that “the U.S. must give up its one-sided support for the Israeli government and impose the two-state solution.

VorDaj on May 23, 2012 at 10:15 PM

VorDaj on May 23, 2012 at 10:15 PM

No wonder he says he doesn’t want to run for public office.

Cindy Munford on May 23, 2012 at 10:17 PM

0bama’s too busy to lift a finger on this. Laying odds Mitt will get him out in his first year. Any takers? (BTW I’m no Mitt fan…just say’n)

Tomolena1 on May 23, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Cindy, he could be Hillary’s running mate in 2016.

VorDaj on May 23, 2012 at 10:36 PM

We can always play the India Card.

spiritof61 on May 23, 2012 at 10:37 PM

VorDaj on May 23, 2012 at 10:36 PM

I don’t think going anti-Israel is a great election strategy. Even for Democrats.

Cindy Munford on May 23, 2012 at 10:51 PM

Not one more cent should go to Pack-HEEE-Stan.

Or as Barry pronounces it: Pock-E-Stan.

The Seals should be sent in to RESCUE this guy. I’d imagine THEY WOULD DO SO WILLINGLY!

wildcat72 on May 23, 2012 at 10:54 PM

So this guy did more to capture OBL than Dear Leader..?

d1carter on May 23, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Yes, though that isn’t saying much. The cook on the ship that took the SEALS over to the theater did more to kill OBL than Hussein…

wildcat72 on May 23, 2012 at 10:56 PM

He helped the free world. He is punished by a so-called ally?

Romney should demand his release to the US.

AshleyTKing on May 23, 2012 at 11:10 PM

This was exceedingly clever.

1) Obama gets to run around claiming a victory.

2) Obama gets to materially damage the U.S. (again)

It’s done in the same action, a twofer.

If you stop looking at things as a mark of incompetence and start looking at them as extreme competence, you see a really ugly pattern.

CrazyGene on May 23, 2012 at 11:17 PM

I’m sure that President Obama will step up in a serious way to defend this good man.

I say, I’m sure that President Obama will step up in a serious way to defend this good man.

I am sure that the man who killed Osama bin Laden, with a nod of the head, on the 18th green, will step up, as Defender of the Free World, to defend this good man.

I am sure that he will forbid the punishment of the man who risked his life, and the lives of his loved ones, to rid the world of Osama bin Laden.

Or is it Under-the-Bus time, yet again?

minnesoter on May 23, 2012 at 11:51 PM

He helped the free world. He is punished by a so-called ally?

Romney should demand his release to the US.

AshleyTKing on May 23, 2012 at 11:10 PM

Yep, his release to the US should be contingent upon:

1. Pack-HEE-Stan ever receiving one more US Dollar
2. islama-BAD (their appropriately named capital) not being NUKED!

wildcat72 on May 24, 2012 at 12:28 AM

Can we at least cancel Pakistan’s status as a “major non-NATO ally” now, please?

Oh, and Argentina’s, too.

Major non-NATO ally status should be reserved for those countries which are, oh, I don’t know… actually allies?

I know, call me crazy.

Hayabusa on May 24, 2012 at 12:54 AM

The problem started when Ogabe started to call it “poh-kee-ston” in his native Kenyan accent.

fourbten on May 23, 2012 at 9:33 PM

This trend is head-burstingly annoying. Unless he’s going to say “Meh-hee-co”, “Eh-kwa-dor”, and “Brah-seal” he can just eff right off.

The funny thing is he acts so cultured with the Pokkyston, Tollybon, and Afghannyston, guy can’t pronounce corpseman for the life of him. What a tool.

WeekendAtBernankes on May 24, 2012 at 3:22 AM

I suspect the Indo-Pakistani (excuse me, pokky-stonny) border will be the site of the world’s first nuclear exchange.

I wonder if we’re not secretly buying nukes from their corrupt government to get them the Hell out of there. We should turn around and sell them to India.

WeekendAtBernankes on May 24, 2012 at 3:25 AM

Can anyone remember who leaked the info about this doctor’s role in the CIA operation?

So much for secrecy.

If Obama doesn’t make a huge deal about this man’s imprisonment- for his involvement in the crowning glory of Obama’s Presidency- then he needs to be held accountable for abandoning him. Every time he brings up the OBL mission, someone needs to ask him what he’s done, and is continuing to do, to help a man who was instrumental in confirming OBL’s location.

Jay Mac on May 24, 2012 at 4:35 AM

So its true! 911 was a Paki operation.

Lonetown on May 24, 2012 at 5:04 AM

A simple note penned by the President, if we had a presidential leader:

Pakistan: Release the prisoner to us, or we pull the plug on all aid immediately. You have 48 hours to respond. All aid will be diverted to India.

right2bright on May 24, 2012 at 7:06 AM

Give it up, this Regime will do what it does best…screw the pooch.

Nothing will change until this loser is pink-slipped.

insidiator on May 24, 2012 at 7:52 AM

Pakistan has declared itself. They regard bringing down the mastermind of 9/11 an act of treason against Pakistan.

Pakistan has just clearly declared its responsibility for the mass murder against America on 9/11.

It is long past time we invaded Pakistan and seized its nukes. Unlike with Afghanistan, where they are already in the Stone Age, we can bomb Pakistan back into the Stone Age, right where those savages belong.

fadetogray on May 24, 2012 at 8:09 AM

Time to seal a seal team back out for another mission. It’d be a giant middle finger to Pakistan to grab the guy and help him disappear. Which is precisely why it won;t happen.

Free Indeed on May 24, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Doctor who helped CIA catch Bin Laden

Is there anything Doctor Who can’t do?

55 percent saw his death as a bad thing (versus just 14 percent who saw it as good)

The average Pakistani: “I think the death of Osama was a bad thing, even though it didn’t really happen.” Cognitive dissonance is an art in that country….

calbear on May 24, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Guys, be reasonable. If we quit giving them $6bn in aid each year, they’ll turn on us. They will block our delivery routes to Afghanistan, they will condone and covertly support people who blow up American soldiers in Afghanistan, they will support terrorist attacks against India, the most populous democracy in the world, they will ally themselves with red China, they will develop nuclear weapons and they will harbor the terrorist linchpin who planned 9/11.

We must support our Pakistani friends.

Time Lord on May 23, 2012 at 9:41 PM

/sarc

Fixed that for you. Yeah, Pakistan has been one of our best allies in the war on terror. You know, they didn’t even sell nuclear secrets to the North Koreans or the Iranians. /sarc

Mini-14 on May 24, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Mini-14 on May 24, 2012 at 11:09 AM

When the sarcasm is as wide and deep and dripping as it was in Time Lord’s comment, the /sarc label is superfluous.

Your addition was helpful. We could add more to the list, like Pakistan’s continued protection of Zawahiri.

They are our ENEMIES. The PEOPLE of Pakistan are our mortal enemies every bit as much as the people of Nazi Germany were our mortal enemies in 1941.

Our “leadership” is committed to hiding from that fact, no matter what the cost.

We could have brought an abrupt halt to this insanity after 9/11. Our response should have been wildly “disproportionate.” That is the only kind of response that actually changes the course cultures are following, such as the course Islam has been taking toward the West.

People around here seem to think Bush was some kind of wonderful President because he tried to democratize savages. Bush was one of the worst Presidents in our history. He fumbled the ball.

fadetogray on May 24, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Bump, bump, bump, another one under the bus.

For the fool spreading hopium, the good doctor was (ah hem) … expendable.

Missilengr on May 24, 2012 at 8:30 PM