Skip to comments.Pakistanís Military Plotted to Tilt U.S. Policy, F.B.I. Says
Posted on 07/20/2011 11:20:52 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
WASHINGTON Pakistans military, including its powerful spy agency, has spent $4 million over two decades in a covert attempt to tilt American policy against Indias control of much of Kashmir including funneling campaign donations to members of Congress and presidential candidates, the F.B.I. claimed in court papers unsealed Tuesday.
Representative Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania was among the politicians who may have unwittingly received donations that originated from Pakistan's military.
Representative Dan Burton of Indiana is another politician who may have unknowingly received money funneled from Pakistan's military.
The allegations of a long-running plan to influence American elections and foreign policy come at a time of deep tensions between the United States and Pakistan and in particular its spy agency amid the fallout over the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden at a compound deep inside Pakistan on May 2.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation made the allegations in a 43-page affidavit filed in connection with the indictment of two United States citizens on charges that they failed to register with the Justice Department as agents of Pakistan, as required by law. One of the men, Zaheer Ahmad, is in Pakistan, but the other, Syed Fai, lives in Virginia and was arrested on Tuesday.
Mr. Fai is the director of the Kashmiri American Council, a Washington-based group that lobbies for and holds conferences and media events to promote the cause of self-determination for Kashmir. According to the affidavit, the activities by the group, also called the Kashmiri Center, are largely financed by Pakistans spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, along with as much as $100,000 a year in related donations to political campaigns in the United States. Foreign governments are prohibited from making donations to American political candidates.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
THE TIMES OF INDIA
WASHINGTON: A number of US lawmakers and Indian liberals are coming under scrutiny for their ties to alleged ISI stooge Ghulam Nabi Fai following the FBI expose of his connections to Pakistan's notorious intelligence agency in its quest to reverse Kashmir's accession to India.
At the center of the growing controversy is US Republican Congressman Dan Burton of Indiana, who for years has been a recipient of political contributions from Fai and his Kashmir American Council (KAC), who US investigators have now determined were illegally bankrolled by Pakistan.
A search of Federal Election Commission records and websites tracking political contributions showed Fai and the KAC made a $23,500 contribution to U.S lawmakers and the US political system over the past 15 years, although the FBI estimates that Pakistan funneled in more than $ 4 million in that time to manipulate the debate on Kashmir in its favor. More contributions to the US political system are thought to have come from other Pakistani-ISI proxies, including U.S-based physicians and businessmen.
Among the principal recipients of donations was Congressman Burton who frequently raised the Kashmir issue, echoing spurious and exaggerated charges against Indian security forces. Fai also funneled money to lawmakers Joseph Pitts, James Moran, and Gregory Meeks, among others. Modest contributions were also made to the Gore and Obama campaigns.
But Burton is believed to be the biggest recipient of Pakistani largesse, something Indian officials believed turned him into the biased and vituperative critic of the Indian position on Kashmir.
In a statement following Fai's arrest, Burton acknowledged getting political contributions from him, but maintained that the money is ''completely legal'' because Fai was a US citizen.
''I am deeply shocked by Dr. Fai's arrest. I've known Dr Fai for 20 years and in that time I had no inkling of his involvement with any foreign intelligence operation and had presumed our correspondence was legitimate,'' Burton, who invited the joke ''Empty Burton makes much noise'' among Indian activists for his stridency, said. Burton loosely translates as vessel in Hindi.
''My campaign does not accept contributions from anyone not legally authorized to donate to US political campaigns. However, if there is any doubt about the origin of these contributions, I will donate those funds to the Boy Scouts of America,'' the Indiana lawmaker said, in a mild note of contrition.
Another group which has come under the lens is Indian liberals and so-called bleeding hearts who accepted Fai's and KAC's hospitality to attend conferences and seminars in US on the Kashmir issue where US authorities say Fai and his ISI handlers plied the Pakistani agenda. Indian hypernationalists and right-wingers have identified journalist-activists Kuldip Nayar, Rajinder Sachar, and Gautam Navlakha among those who attended KAC events organized by Fai which turns out were funded by ISI.
US authorities have bluntly stated that Fai and KAC pushed the Pakistan agenda on Kashmir with illicit money, and the hardline nationalist crowd say -- mainly on social networking sites -- that the Indian liberals should have been aware of that. "Many desi Left-libbers will be sleepless tonight...thinking of ways to defend their association with Fai and KAC," one right-wing commentator tweeted on Tuesday.
The so-called Left-lib crowd has been put in a further bind by the blunt U.S stand on how the Kashmir conferences were manipulated. ''Mr. Fai is accused of a decades-long scheme with one purpose to hide Pakistan's involvement behind his efforts to influence the US government's position on Kashmir,'' US Attorney Neil MacBride said on Monday. ''His handlers in Pakistan allegedly funneled millions through the Kashmir Center to contribute to US elected officials, fund high-profile conferences, and pay for other efforts that promoted the Kashmiri cause to decision-makers in Washington.''
In fact, the FBI affidavit shows that the ISI and the Pakistani government micromanaged KAC conferences and seminars, including dictating which Indian guests and how many would be invited. The affidavit did not name people, but cited one instance where an ISI handler gave Fai a list of Indian nationals to invite to a Kashmir conference in the US. The FBI also recorded Fai's direct contacts with his ISI handlers at one such conference.
This is one of the reasons nothing is ever resolved in Washington.
Everyone is dirty so everyone has a bargaining chip.
$200,000 a year divided by 535 members of Congress equals $374 a year per member of Congress to buy influence. They might want to up that a little bit if they are going to influence anything. That’s barely a buck a day or 1/2 a cup of Starbucks. There is a lot of whores in Congress but they don’t even sell themselves this cheap.
Representative Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania was among the politicians who may have unwittingly received donations that originated from Pakistan’s military.
A Member of Congress UNWITTINGLY receiving donations. That’s a good one! I fell out of my chair laughing at that one.
And I highly doubt it is “unknowingly” either. Dan Burton has been a overt anti-India Pakistani tool for over decades. Its not a secret he was on Pakistani payroll. And so was Dana Rohrabacher.
“But Burton is believed to be the biggest recipient of Pakistani largesse, something Indian officials believed turned him into the biased and vituperative critic of the Indian position on Kashmir.”
“I am deeply shocked by Dr. Fai’s arrest. I’ve known Dr Fai for 20 years and in that time I had no inkling of his involvement with any foreign intelligence operation and had presumed our correspondence was legitimate”
And in all of 20 years he had absolutely no inkling of where the money come from for all his one track pro-Pak agenda?
Pakis played dirty? Is this supposed to be news?