Thursday, May 26, 2005

Yet More "Balderdash'

In this week’s Newsweek a retired senior CIA spook Gary Schroen (see footnote) says that Pakistan will never really act against Osama bin Laden.

Major General Shaukat Sultan rejects this accusation. So it's 'balderdash' time yet again.

Excerpt from Newsweek:

“Bin Laden's greatest protection now may be his growing legend, Schroen says Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf fears a horrific Islamist backlash if he publicly arrests the man seen in parts of South and Central Asia and the Middle East as an Islamic Robin Hood. By contrast, the Pakistani leader is willing to hand over lesser figures like al-Libbi, who was allegedly involved in two attempts on Musharraf's life but arouses no strong feelings among the Pakistani public. As evidence, Schroen says that it took the Pakistanis five months to act against al-Libbi after the Americans delivered intel on the whereabouts of a Qaeda suspect who could not, at the time, be specifically identified; Schroen believes the Pakistanis acted only after determining that the suspect was not bin Laden but a smaller fish. "We gave them the information on Libbi back in December," says Schroen, who has written a new book on his work with the CIA in Afghanistan. "They didn't want to do it." Pakistani officials deny this. "I reject that Pakistan stayed back on the intelligence for five months," says Pakistani military spokesman Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan. "The moment Pakistan got confirmed intelligence, Pakistan immediately acted."

I just wonder who is right?

*Gary Schroen CIA career includes:
Case Officer, Islamabad, 1978-1980; Chief of Station-designate, Kabul, 1988-1990; Chief of Station, Islamabad, 1996-1999; Deputy Chief, Near East Division, Directorate of Operations, 1999-2001

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