The aftermath

The ISI has leaked to the media the name of a CIA agent stationed in Pakistan as some sort of childish retaliation to American forces violating the sovereignty of their country. Apparently, the fact that the world’s most wanted terrorist was hiding in their country in a large villa opposite a military base isn’t bothersome enough for them. They are way more worried about how US helicopters entered their country undetected, and executed a surgical mission to kill a man who was responsible for the death of many Americans directly and indirectly responsible for bankrupting the country by leading them into two wars.

What I don’t get in this whole scenario is why America keeps funding Pakistan so much when it is seems that the Pakistani army and intelligence are definitely incompetent, and/or quite likely that there are some bad apples in the ISI.

Who cares? Let them cry foul and throw a tantrum. When they want to buy weapons to arm themselves against India, they’ll know whom to kiss up to. Cui bono is an important question to be asked in political debates. It basically means to whose benefit? It is in Pakistan’s financial interest and political expediency to foster terrorism within their borders. Keeping militants happy in their country ensures the death of a few Indians every year and guarantees the flow of cash from Uncle Sam to stem terrorism as it were.

The sovereignty of Pakistan is a tricky question. In a civilized world, it shouldn’t be legal for agents from one country to enter another and commit murder. Surely there’s something wrong with that. It would have been a different thing if CIA agents in disguise had entered the compound and killed bin Laden in some guerrilla way and quietly exited the country without a trace. Kinda like how Mossad runs things. The Obama administration needed a nice victory. No one would say that they killed bin Laden to increase polling numbers but publicizing this as an American effort and painting red, white and blue all over the news does reek of opportunism.

On the other hand, had this been a special OPs kind of operation, the Pakistani intelligence or army would’ve taken credit for this, further obfuscating their role in the war against terrorism. It must have been a dicey situation.

Now we have another question to answer. Did the enhanced interrogation techniques authorized by the Bush administration directly or indirectly lead to this operation? If it did, is it still fair for a democratic civilized nation to torture people for information, whether it is reliable or not?

There is some evidence to say that important information obtained about bin Laden’s courier was a product of torture, but the people who were waterboarded the most like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, produced very little usable information at best. They also misled the investigation more. This leads credence to what was said by Nice Guy Eddie in Reservoir Dogs, “If you f**king beat this prick long enough, he’ll tell you he started the goddamn Chicago fire, now that don’t necessarily make it f**king so!”

It is expedient, and not just politically, to do whatever measures seem necessary to protect innocent people. I just end up thinking that in that zeal, we might turn into the very people we are fighting against. We must draw a line. There are some things that civilized people just won’t do. Something as barbaric as torture should be one of them.

I think it is best summed up by Tommy Vietor, the spokesman for the National Security Council, “The bottom line is this: If we had some kind of smoking-gun intelligence from waterboarding in 2003, we would have taken out Osama bin Laden in 2003.”