US intelligence services keeping close eye on Pakistan

posted at 9:21 am on September 3, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

In another chapter of Intelligence Surprises We Thought Everyone Already Knew, the Washington Post presents the latest analysis from the stolen summary of American intelligence purloined by Edward Snowden, which shows … we really don’t trust Pakistan.  In fact, American intelligence spends a lot of money keeping up with Pakistan, which seems to surprise the Post enough to make it their big feature this morning:

The $52.6 billion U.S. intelligence arsenal is aimed mainly at unambiguous adversaries, including al-Qaeda, North Korea and Iran. But top-secret budget documents reveal an equally intense focus on one purported ally: Pakistan.

No other nation draws as much scrutiny across so many categories of national security concern.

A 178-page summary of the U.S. intelligence community’s “black budget” shows that the United States has ramped up its surveillance of Pakistan’s nuclear arms, cites previously undisclosed concerns about biological and chemical sites there, and details efforts to assess the loyalties of counter­terrorism sources recruited by the CIA.

Pakistan appears at the top of charts listing critical U.S. intelligence gaps. It is named as a target of newly formed analytic cells. And fears about the security of its nuclear program are so pervasive that a budget section on containing the spread of illicit weapons divides the world into two categories: Pakistan and everybody else.

The disclosures — based on documents provided to The Washington Post by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden — expose broad new levels of U.S. distrust in an already unsteady security partnership with Pakistan, a politically unstable country that faces rising Islamist militancy. They also reveal a more expansive effort to gather intelligence on Pakistan than U.S. officials have disclosed.

So now we’re supposed to be surprised that the CIA hasn’t disclosed how much they don’t trust Pakistan?  Perhaps they figure it just went without saying.  Even in the more cooperative post-9/11 period, everyone knew that Pakistan’s ISI had partnered with the Taliban and likely are still partnering with them.  In the disputed Kashmir region, ISI is also working with Lashkar-e-Taiba, which conducted the Mumbai massacre and works with other Islamist terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda, and has training camps in Afghanistan.  They have nuclear weapons and the US has a pretty strong interest in making sure that those ties to radical Islamists don’t include nuclear proliferation.

Oh, and don’t forget that two years ago we found out that Osama bin Laden lived within a mile of their premiere military academy, too.  We think that AQ’s new leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, may still be there.  And we are supposed to be surprised by the intelligence focus and spending on Pakistan?

NBC dedicated 88 seconds over the weekend to the previous Snowden release.  Today, they cut a full minute off of that expenditure:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

As I wrote yesterday, this release isn’t whistleblowing. It’s just intended to damage American intelligence operations in legitimate areas, a definition for which Pakistan most certainly qualifies.


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As I wrote yesterday, this release isn’t whistleblowing. It’s just intended to damage American intelligence operations in legitimate areas, a definition for which Pakistan most certainly qualifies.

Exactly right.

bluegill on September 3, 2013 at 9:23 AM

CIA Determines Water is Wet: World Shocked

NotCoach on September 3, 2013 at 9:24 AM

They are trying their hardest to make this whole spying on Americans without cause thing seem like it was not so bad.

You know, I do not mind if there was just cause to be spying on an American… but there needs to be a damn good reason to do so… not just because and “we dont look at the majority of stuff anyways”. With that mentality we should just let cops or whoever enter our homes and look around just because.

watertown on September 3, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Asif Ali Zardari and John Kerry, your table for two is now ready….

hillsoftx on September 3, 2013 at 9:27 AM

They are trying their hardest to make this whole spying on Americans without cause thing seem like it was not so bad.
You know, I do not mind if there was just cause to be spying on an American… but there needs to be a damn good reason to do so… not just because and “we dont look at the majority of stuff anyways”. With that mentality we should just let cops or whoever enter our homes and look around just because.
watertown on September 3, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Whenever there is information about how Snowden has done great damage to our country and is aiding our enemies, commenters here go back to the issue of spying on Americans. Yes, we know, the lack of oversight is terrible and the broad surveillance appears to out of control. But that’s now what this article is about.

Imagine if Snowden had been very judicious about what info he shared. Imagine if he limited the info to how the NSA collects info about innocent Americans. That would have been wonderful.

But that’s not what he has done. He gave huge amounts of unredacted intelligence to our enemies.

Wake up and stop sanctifying this vile, anti-American piece of garbage.

bluegill on September 3, 2013 at 9:34 AM

US intelligence services keeping close eye on Pakistan

Can we please admit this is a misnomer?

fogw on September 3, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Snowden needs to be captured and brought to justice. Don’t we have people who can track him down?

bluegill on September 3, 2013 at 9:35 AM

bluegill on September 3, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Perhaps. But they’re too busy reading your emails right now.

Hill60 on September 3, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Some people don’t want to comment on this as much anymore now that there is zero doubt as to just what the piece of trash Edward Snowden really is.

Some commenters here had been holding up Snowden as a hero. Those people ought to be ashamed.

bluegill on September 3, 2013 at 9:42 AM

C’mon now, the Pakis provide all your targets and targeting info for local drone work against teh bad guys with black head rags. They don’t lie about that too do they?

BL@KBIRD on September 3, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Don’t we have people who can track him down?

bluegill on September 3, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Probably the same people who were responsible for keeping any eye on his activities at NSA.

So, no.

Furthermore, if people were available to track him down, the details of their pursuit no doubt would appear on the front page of the Washington Post, giving him a heads-up to relocate to parts unknown.

fogw on September 3, 2013 at 9:48 AM

We should be keeping an eye of Pockeestahn instead, they’re much more dangerous and unpredictable.

Bishop on September 3, 2013 at 9:50 AM

How is this information damaging if everyone already knew it?

The Rogue Tomato on September 3, 2013 at 10:00 AM

As I wrote yesterday, this release isn’t whistleblowing. It’s just intended to damage American intelligence operations in legitimate areas, a definition for which Pakistan most certainly qualifies.

Say, maybe the focus should be on the domestic spying program that Obama says doesn’t exist, Clapper and Alexander committed perjury over, and is illegal. The only way spying on Pakistan would be a surprise is if it was disclosed we WERE NOT spying on them.

Happy Nomad on September 3, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Snowden needs to be captured and brought to justice. Don’t we have people who can track him down?

bluegill on September 3, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Well, Captain Kickass is headed to Russia. Perhaps the meetings with LBGT groups is just a ruse to get SEAL Team Six into the country. So that, Obama and his SEAL buddies can HALO in and take out Snowden at whatever compound he’s hiding out in.

Happy Nomad on September 3, 2013 at 10:06 AM

The intel agencies had better be looking closely…and our “leadership” as well…

Former General Musharaf…was an ally once…is on trial in Pakistan…somehow personally blamed for the death of Benezir Bhutto.

Benizir Bhutto, a lifetime BFF of Hilary, and best buddies with Kim Chong-il and Robert Mugabe and Mengistu Haille Miriam…none of them, to include Hillary, friends of the United States.

And Musharaf is being charged and held under an indictment that basically says that since he was in Pakistan at the time…Bhutto’s death is all his fault.

Should the Pakistan court find Musharaf guilty…he will be executed.

He will.

Then what happens?

The winners…every hot-head group in Pakistan…and that includes at least two-thirds of the country today.

The losers…all Pakistanis who are not running around daily shouting “allahwannacracker!” Pakistanis who could actually run the country…and have from time to time over the years…until the US meddles. Seems to be a recurring pattern.

So…here we are…Obama may have personally killed that bad nasty Osama…the only thing Obama has done right…ever.

But, across the world…from Pakistan to Syria, Libya to Nigeria, Manila to Timbuctu, and all over Europe…the world is in a far far far worse state today than it was before just before Obama came organizin’.

One by one, stable countries are toppling and radical countries are becoming more radicalized…but Barry our King is far far more concerned that nobody call his bluff and is suddenly concerned about prestige in the international arena.

Pay attention to Pakistan. What happens in Islamabad and Karachi may be a lot more vital to us, and the West, than any events out in Waziristan.

coldwarrior on September 3, 2013 at 11:07 AM

As I wrote yesterday, this release isn’t whistleblowing. It’s just intended to damage American intelligence operations in legitimate areas, a definition for which Pakistan most certainly qualifies.

Exactly right.

bluegill on September 3, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Snowden and Wikileaks have been doing this right from the beginning. All those with delusions of self-importance thinking the NSA was monitoring them have been played all along. Each time some columnist or blogger makes a silly comment about their grandmother, et al are being monitored the same people get played again. It has been a classic misdirection operation from the beginning. I spit on Snowden, Assange, and any Wikileaks member. This was a Wikileaks operation since he worked at Dell.

rlwo2008 on September 3, 2013 at 11:21 AM

If it weren’t for the likes of Snowden and Manning, we wouldn’t know half of the crooked stuff our government’s been doing.

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 3, 2013 at 3:38 PM

coldwarrior on September 3, 2013 at 11:07 AM

In other words, Pakistan is just getting around to completing the last part of its latest regime change – liquidation of its previous regime with extreme prejudice.

The last part bears repeating:

But, across the world…from Pakistan to Syria, Libya to Nigeria, Manila to Timbuctu, and all over Europe…the world is in a far far far worse state today than it was before just before Obama came organizin’.

One by one, stable countries are toppling and radical countries are becoming more radicalized…but Barry our King is far far more concerned that nobody call his bluff and is suddenly concerned about prestige in the international arena.

When one’s foreign policy is based on <expletive deleted> over every country that wasn’t hostile to Dubya, what else could be expected?

Steve Eggleston on September 3, 2013 at 5:34 PM

As for the main topic of Chelsea Snowden (or whatever the Russification of Bradley Manning’s desperate plea for leniency is), it has become a Rorschach test of whether one hates the ObamiNation subset of America (or if one is defending Snowden from the left, America itself) more than America’s foreign enemies.

Steve Eggleston on September 3, 2013 at 5:38 PM