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Cagle Post: Pakistan’s Short Leash

With Osama bin Laden dead and buried thanks to the Navy SEALs, the Obama Administration needs to reevaluate America’s relationship with Pakistan. As Jay Leno joked last week, Osama bin Laden was not “hiding out” in Pakistan – he was living there! The United States has had a long and complicated relationship with the Pakistani government and its military and intelligence services. In some instances they have helped in the War on Terror but in others they have been a hindrance.

A case in point is this week’s outing of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Pakistan station chief for the second time in five months. The leak occurred in the Pakistani news media, and was probably orchestrated by the Inter Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), the Pakistani intelligence service. The harm done by these leaks led to the recall of the first CIA station chief because he received death threats. Obviously, this was a disruption for the operation the CIA was running in a safe house near bin Laden’s now-infamous compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. By playing these games, the ISI is knowingly harming America’s War on Terror efforts.

Earlier this week, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Gilani addressed the Pakistani Parliament. He did not take any responsibility for Osama bin Laden being in his country. In fact, Prime Minister Gilani issued a threat to America by saying another such incursion would be met by the “full force” of the Pakistani military. Gilani went on to say how the ISI – which purportedly failed to find bin Laden right under its nose – was the best intelligence service in the world. This is just another example of the Pakistani government speaking out of both sides of its mouth.

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Citizens United