Thursday, March 23, 2006

Pakistan bribed the 9-11 Commission members

I was reading the Hindustan Times this morning, and quoting the Friday Times, the article said

The Friday Times report cited a Pakistani Foreign Ministry official who said that “dramatic changes” were made in the final draft of the 9/11 Commission Report “after Pakistani lobbyists convinced the commission’s members to remove anti-Pakistan findings.” Obviously, any direct connection between high-ranking Pakistani officials and the perpetrators of history’s worst act of urban terrorism would have had devastating consequences for Pakistan. Instead the Bush administration seems to have used the knowledge to pressure Musharraf to act against al-Qaeda. That his strategy has not worked is obvious, because rogue elements in the ISI have ensured that the so-called war against terrorism has gotten nowhere near capturing Osama bin Laden or Mullah Omar. According to the Friday Times report, some 75 US Congressmen have been won over by lobbyists through the obvious process of bribing and inducements to support the Pakistani cause.

K Subramanyham in his latest piece says:

It speaks of the enormous self-confidence of Pakistani diplomats that they were willing to disclose to their Public Accounts Committee that they bribed members of the 911 Commission, to get drastic changes made in its final report. Not only that. The story was leaked to the Friday Times to be published on the day President Bush was in Islamabad. They were throwing a challenge to the US. Bush proclaimed in the wake of 9/11 that he would punish any country that harboured terrorists. Five years later, Osama bin Laden and Ayman Zawahari are still safe in Pakistan.

In my opinion this is a calculated attempt on the part of Musharraf's army to widen the gap between the US Congress and the US President. There is little doubt that the 9-11 panelists will soon line up to deny allegations of graft but what will suffer will be image of the US Congress as a credible body responsible for oversight on the executive branch of the US government.

This will doubtlessly push the US Congress towards some ill concieved censure of the US President.

5 Comments:

At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Maverick,

Indian people everywhere are wondering if the entire American parliament is in Pakistan's pocket.

After 911 when Bush declared that Pakistan was an ally, everyone thought that Bush was in Pakistan's pocket, now it seems like the American Parliament is also being bribed.

 
At 1:39 AM, Blogger Nitin said...

Btw,

Gen Karamat is being replaced as Pak ambassador to the United States. Not much is being made of it yet, but it looks like he's taking the flak for the way the Bush visit turned out.

 
At 6:09 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hello Anonymous,

I doubt this is going to be a big issue with the American people. I think it will be spun away by the government controlled US media.

Also Americans are used to corrupt politicians. It will come as no surprise to them that some members of the 9-11 panel were on Pakistan's payroll. I am sure quite a few were bribed by Saudi Arabia. What will however be needed is some public gesture to show the American people that the Congress is still above board and any small gesture of exploiting anti-incumbency against Bush will be enough. That is where the rift between President Bush and the Congress will grow.

But the effect in India will be very different as you correctly point out. In India the impression is that America is too pro-Pakistan and these allegations that American legislators took bribes to fudge the 9-11 report will make it seem like the entire American Congress is filled with Pakistani hirelings.

Until today, any American legislator could act as an effective intermediatary for American interests in India. Any senator or congressman could walk up to the Govt. of India and claim to represent the interests of an American company. I suspect this will change, the Americans will now be looked upon as Pakistani spies.

What a terrible state for the torch bearers of the world's greatest democracy... to be seen as the paid agents of the world's most dangerous military dictatorship after Hitler's Germany.

Hello Nitin,

As an Indian, I would find it hard to trust any American legislator now. I know all about the lobby system, I know that its all about I scratch your back and you scratch mine. I know that one hand washes the other etc...

But in the 911 commission report? If the American legislative body is ready to sell itself to Pakistan on such an important matter, how can it be trusted to give India's interests a fair hearing? Is there any chance of the Indo-US nuclear deal ever passing in Congress? or have the Pakistanis already bribed American legislators?

It is very very difficult to imagine any American legislator being an effective communicator in India until this is cleared up.

I would not look for a visible impact in the American press, this will have a silent but credible impact on the minds of many Indians.

 
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