I don't know - and don't have enough information to guess - whether the people who were arrested really were arrested: or whether the whole thing is some kind of plot. My guess is that they really were snatched, but maybe someone in Pakistan's leadership wants someone else to look bad. Or maybe a clerk didn't get treated the way he likes, and made up the story to get even. I doubt that - but it's possible.
Brigadier General Syed Azmat Ali says that a major wasn't arrested.1 Maybe the major isn't a major any more - and so the Brigadier General's statement, "we ... deny that any such or any army officer..." is true. Now.
Or maybe the Brigadier General wants to live to see next year - or has family he's protecting.
From what I understand, the ISI is - really - what never-left-the-'60s liberals think the CIA is like. (December 27, 2008)
For the moment, I'm assuming that at least five people who helped the CIA find bin Laden are being held by the ISI. Or somebody with the muscle to pull a job like that, and have a Brigadier General provide an alibi.
What I don't know - and don't have enough information to guess - is whether the folks who've been snatched were targeted because they finked on bin Laden, or because they told the CIA instead of the 'right people' in Pakistan.
If this makes it seem like I don't have the highest regard for the folks who run various parts of Pakistan - you're perceptive. In my opinion, Pakistan is in better shape than Somalia: but it's just barely a "nation." More like a territory run by a feuding collection of tribal leaders, terrorists, warlords, and the occasional allegedly-elected official.
In the news:
"PAKISTAN'S ISI spy agency has arrested at least five CIA informants who helped lead US commandos to Osama bin Laden's Pakistan compound, highlighting the deepening fractures in the alliance.Related posts:
"The five Pakistani informants, including an army major believed to have noted down the number plates of all vehicles that visited the Abbottabad compound, had been taken into custody, US officials confirmed to The New York Times yesterday.
"Last week, Pakistani army chief Ashfaq Parvaz Kayani announced he was ending all US military counter-insurgency training of his country's soldiers and imposing new restrictions on intelligence sharing between the nations...."
"Pakistan's intelligence service has arrested the owner of a safe house rented to the CIA to observe Usama bin Laden's compound before the U.S. raid that killed the Al Qaeda leader, as well as a 'handful' of other Pakistanis, a U.S. official said late Tuesday.
"In Pakistan, a Western official confirmed a New York Times report that five of the Pakistani informants who fed information to the CIA before the May 2 bin Laden raid were arrested by Pakistan's top military spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, known as ISI.
"The officials spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence matters...."
(Associated Press, via FoxNews.com)
- "Osama bin Laden: Questions, Answers, and Opinions"
(May 4, 2011)
- "Pakistan, YouTube, Censorship and the Sixties"
(May 20, 2010)
- "Pakistan Arrests (Alleged) Times Square Bomber's Financial Backers - By Jove! I Think They've Got It!"
(May 15, 2010)
- "Pakistan's Bosses Diverted Money Earmarked for Military: No Surprise, But Quite a Disappointment"
(October 5, 2009)
- "Pakistan, India, Mumbai, Nuclear Weapons, and Pashtunistan: Simple This Isn't"
(December 27, 2008)
- "Pakistan arrests CIA informants"
Amanda Hodge, The Australian (June 16, 2011) It's 2:21 a.m., June 16, 2011, as I'm posting this)
- "Pakistani Forces Arrest CIA Informants Who Led U.S. to Usama Bin Laden"
Associated Press, via FoxNews.com (June 15, 2011)
- "Pakistan Denies Arresting Army Major for US Ties"
VOA News, Voice of America (June 15, 2011)
1 From VOA News:
"A report in Wednesday's New York Times quotes unnamed U.S. intelligence officials as saying Pakistan has arrested five people, including a Pakistani military official, accused of passing information to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency prior to last month's U.S. raid in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. The Times report exposes the growing friction between the U.S. and Pakistan in the wake of that operation.
"The New York Times article cites unnamed sources in the American intelligence community who claim that the five detainees include a Pakistani army major who copied the license plate numbers of cars visiting Bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad in the weeks leading up to the May 2 U.S. raid.
"Pakistani military spokesman Brigadier General Syed Azmat Ali emphasized that no Pakistani military personnel have been detained in relation to the Abbottabad raid.
" 'We categorically deny that any such or any army officer was arrested in connection with this,' said Azmat Ali...."