For Immediate Release
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858;
or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
US Raids in Pakistan: Putting Out the Fire With Gasoline?
Porter earlier this week wrote the piece "Intel Council Warned Against Raids in Pakistan."
The piece states: "The National Intelligence Council, the U.S. intelligence community's focal point for estimating future developments, warned the George W. Bush administration last month that a decision to launch commando raids by U.S. troops against al Qaeda-related targets in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier region would carry a high risk of further destabilizing the Pakistani military and government, according to sources familiar with the intelligence community's response to the issue.
"That blunt warning was conveyed to the White House in an oral briefing by a top official of the NIC two or three weeks ago, according to Philip Giraldi, former operations officer and counter-terrorist specialist in the CIA Directorate of Operations, who maintains contacts with the intelligence community."
Porter said today: "The U.S. raids in Pakistan are finally getting some notice, as in today's lead piece in the New York Times, but few are noting the reckless risks of destabilizing Pakistan, especially given the tenuous character of the central government."
A new interview with Porter is available from therealnews.com.
He is an investigative historian and journalist specializing in U.S. national security policy. His latest book is Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam.
Weiss is co-editor of the book Power and Civil Society in Pakistan and is professor of international studies at the University of Oregon. She said today: "There's a lot of public outcry in Pakistan over this. Every time the U.S. acts this way, it alienates more people. [Pakistan army head Ashfaq] Kayani made a strong statement against the U.S. actions, but the U.S. was instrumental in getting the current government in, so it is more circumscribed in its statements."
Ahsan is a U.S.-based Pakistani lawyer. (His father is Aitzaz Ahsan, a leader of the lawyers' movement and president of the Supreme Court Bar Association in Pakistan, and was one of the first persons jailed when Musharraf declared a state of emergency last year.) He said today: "These types of raids are in civilian areas. Civilian casualties will inevitably result. For every one al-Qaeda you get, you create ten enemies you didn't have."
Note to producers: You might want to use David Bowie's "Putting out Fire with Gasoline (Cat People)" as a lead-in.