After the allegations that top-level Pakistani officials have secretly aided Al Qaeda and the Taliban, sheltering Osama Bin Laden himself, now comes a startling new charge in the New York Times: "Pakistan's Military Plotted to Tilt U.S. Policy, FBI says."
But wait, America, before the predictable surge of outrage, give us a break. The Pakistanis have done nothing more than take a page from the CIA playbook.
According to the New York Times, the FBI investigation, involving at least eight FBI field offices, concluded that Pakistan's military and the ISI, its powerful spy agency, have used front groups to funnel campaign donations over the past two decades to members of the U.S. Congress and presidential candidates. This in blatant disregard of the law prohibiting foreign governments from making donations to American political candidates.
The dastardly aim of that operation? To counter the Indian lobby in Washington and persuade the United States government to push India to allow a vote in Kashmir that would let Kashmiris decide on their own future. I mean -- can you imagine!!
The total amount involved: $4 million over two decades -- which works out to $200,000 per year. That included $250.00 donations to the 2000 and 2008 presidential campaigns of Al Gore and Barack Obama. The congressmen involved claimed they had no knowledge that the money actually originated with the Pakistani government.
Of course, the Pakistani effort is pocket money compared to what the United States has been up to clandestinely for more than half a century, spending billions not just to "tilt" policy of other countries, but to literally buy elections, legislators, intelligence chiefs, generals, cabinet ministers, and entire governments around the globe -- starting with Italy and Greece and Iran post World War II and continuing across every continent since.
Take for instance, last year's revelations that several of Afghan President Karzai's top officials--including some of the most corrupt -- are on the U.S. intelligence payroll.
As for Pakistan itself, its military has been on the receiving end of billions of dollars in "military aid," both parties realizing that horde is little more than a bribe to keep the military at least officially on side.
Such pay-offs are just for starters. Why bother "tilting" a government -- when you can work to overthrow it or knock off its leader? i.e. Mossadegh in Iran, (1953) Arbenz in Guatemala (1954), the Congo (1960, Iraq (1963), Cuba (1959 to this day) Chile (1964-73), Brazil (1962-64), Indonesia 1965, Angola (1975), Nicaragua (1981 to 90) Grenada (1983), Saddam Hussein 2003.
And so on -- more than fifty instances over the past fifty years.
Who are the headline writers kidding? You don't need to be an investigative reporter or a congressman privy to secret intelligence briefings. It's all out there on Google.
The Pakistanis have been tightly linked to (if not allied with) the CIA for decades. It would have been amazing if they had not been up to such games.
God help us if they, the Russians, Chinese or anyone else ever decide to really follow the American lead -- like liquidating anyone they consider a mortal enemy with their own global-roaming Predators.