OK, take this with a grain of salt, because it's from the India Times
, not known for their positive depiction of Pakistan. But if even a little of this is true, it's insane:
WASHINGTON: Pakistan's intelligence officials knew in advance about the 9/11 attacks, a well-known American analyst has said, based on a "stunning document" that he claims was given by a Pakistani source to the 9/11 Commission on the eve of the publication of its report.
The document, from a high-level, but anonymous Pakistani source, also claims that Osama bin Laden has been receiving periodic dialysis in a military hospital in Peshawar, says Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor-at-large of the news agency UPI.
"The imprints of every major act of international Islamist terrorism invariably passes through Pakistan, right from 9/11 - where virtually all the participants had trained, resided or met in, coordinated with, or received funding from or through Pakistan," Borchgrave cites the confidential document as saying.
Go read the whole thing, it's unbelievable. By the way, we're funneling hundreds of millions in aid to Pakistan and its military leader Pervez Musharraf, who (according to a recent New Yorker
article that's not online) has used his muscle mainly to disrupt and crush secular enemies, in a bid to position himself as the only alternative to fanatical Islamic rule in the country (which the author called a strategy of "aprez moi, les terroristes.
" So we're allied with a country that is more concerned with fighting secular foes than terrorists and radical Islam.
And if you don't believe The India Times
(who admittedly has a clear axe to grind), read the 9/11 commission report itself, which details Pakistan's involvement with the Taliban and al Qaeda on numerous occasions. Here are a few that The India Times
* "Pak[istan's] intel[ligence service] is in bed with bin Laden and would warn him that the United States was getting ready for a bombing campaign" – quoting Richard Clarke.
* "Islamabad was behaving like a rogue state in two areas – backing Taliban/bin Laden terror and provoking war with India" - quoting NSC staffer Bruce Riedel.
* Pakistani intelligence officers reportedly introduced bin Laden to Taliban leaders in Kandahar -Commission's own observation.
* Pakistan's military intelligence service, known as the ISID (Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate), was the Taliban's primary patron - Commission's observation
* Pakistan helped nurture the Taliban. The Pakistani army and intelligence services, especially below the top ranks, have long been ambivalent about confronting Islamist extremists. Many in the government have sympathized with or provided support to the extremists - Commission's observation.
And a lot of this stuff is pretty well-documented, albeit it all occurred prior to 9/11. That's what makes the allegation about bin Laden receiving treatment at a Peshawar military hospital so damning. That shows a continuing relationship between the Taliban, al Qaeda and Pakistan. In truth, it's probably in Pakistan's interest to keep al Qaeda and Taliban remnants around. It gives them more leverage for aid from the US, and keeps Musharraf's iron rule legitimate (as the protector against the radical Islam factions in the minds of the world community). We never seem to pick the right strongmen.
UPDATE: It has come to my attention that Arnaud de Borchgrave, the main source in the article, is probably not the most reliable of sources, although he may be one of the most colorful ones. However, I don't think this minimizes clearly delineated links to the Taliban that exist to this day, in addition to Gen. Musharraf's use of Islamists to strengthen his hold on Pakistan, no matter if they be terrorists or not.