Skip to comments.CIA's Haq cover-up is part of a pattern
Posted on 11/01/2001 5:41:13 AM PST by CommiesOut
CIA's Haq cover-up is part of a pattern
November 1, 2001
BY ROBERT NOVAK SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST
Unnamed CIA officials flat out lied when they told reporters that the first they had heard from Abdul Haq was his futile plea to be saved from the Taliban fighters who surrounded him and then murdered him last Friday. That fits the pattern of deceit, arrogance and ignorance that describes the U.S. role in the murder of the legendary Afghan commander.
Actually, the Central Intelligence Agency had been in contact with Haq's representatives since last February. It was not a congenial liaison. The CIA's reaction to plans for overthrowing the Taliban regime was apathy. Even after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when Afghanistan became elevated to the top U.S policy priority, highest-level Bush administration officials were indifferent about Haq's unequaled potential to ''flip'' Taliban commanders.
The background of losing the one Afghan opposition leader most capable of uniting an anti-Taliban coalition contributes to the mood of foreboding in the fourth week of the aerial war. Haq's dreary relationship with the CIA brings back unwelcome memories of the Vietnam War's early stages when the United States wanted the South Vietnamese to stand aside while the Americans won the war.
I spoke on the telephone twice with Haq in Peshawar, Pakistan, prior to his disastrous incursion across the border into Afghani- stan, once before and once after the U.S. bombing began Oct. 7. While he was optimistic about winning support from military commanders anxious to desert the Taliban, he complained--not for publication--about premature aerial attacks making his mission all the more difficult.
Robert "Bud" McFarlane, national security adviser in the Reagan administration and longtime student of Afghanistan, was advising Haq and his American supporters, Chicago millionaire brothers Joe and Jim Ritchie. In early October, McFarlane pleaded with senior Bush officials not to begin the aerial war before Haq had a chance to build a revolutionary army. They were not receptive.
Meanwhile, the CIA was keeping in close touch with Haq's friends but providing more criticism than help. The Afghan freedom fighter who was honored by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher during the war against the Soviets became ''Hollywood Haq'' to the CIA. He was described by the agency's operatives as ''unruly and immature.''
Although the CIA is now quoted as saying Haq moved too quickly, they were nagging his friends over whether he ever planned to get going. Haq requested substantial help, especially Kalashnikov rifles. All that was offered was the one item Haq had in abundance: satellite telephones (purchased by Haq in Dubai before he came to Pakistan a few weeks ago). Haq's friends suspected the CIA wanted to track his movements.
The 19-man, four-rifle expedition, intending to build support from Taliban defectors, was a fiasco. The Taliban quickly trapped Haq, who perhaps was deceived by a compatriot. Hampered by a broken prosthetic (in place of a leg lost in earlier Afghan wars) and riding a donkey, he called the CIA for help.
That may have been a mistake, say Haq's friends. The same CIA that could not spare weapons dispatched an unmanned Predator plane armed with a missile. Haq had already been captured when the missile was fired at a nearby Taliban convoy. Whether this influenced the Taliban, Haq was convicted in a drumhead court-martial and promptly executed.
Senior U.S. government figures mentioned the passing of the 43-year-old hero only when asked, and then with dispassion. ''Clearly he was, among other Afghans, a person who opposed Taliban,'' said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. ''And it's certainly regrettable that he was killed.''
Haq was not the only important leader from the dominant Pashtun ethnic group who might head an indigenous force against the Taliban. Hamid Karzai is reported to be in southern Afghanistan. But his chances will not be bright if he receives the same loving care from Washington that Haq did.
More than 30 years ago, pacification expert John Paul Vann explained to me how the U.S. military had disdained support from South Vietnam's army. Get out of our way, the Americans said, and let us do it. Afghanistan is surely not Vietnam, but the bad memories of a generation ago return in a war that is a long way from being won.
Doesn't surprise me. Simply, W. can't trust the nation to the dysfunctional cultures of the CIA and the FBI.
Big broom time.
Sure we were going to wait till Oct for the bombing to start. Even now the @ssholes who live to criticize are wild with rage that the bombing is not enough.
When this guy decided to undertake this suicide mission I recall wondering why he would be doing it so soon and not after the murderous mullahs had been softened up a bit more. I guess even that degree of analysis is too much for the sower of distrust and disinformation with his unnamed slimers drooling in his ear.
What do they want US services with? Mayonnaise or Ketchup? Who the f3ck cares about Haq except enuchs in need of protection.
Get rid of Tenet. Give me Oliver North as DCI. He's the closest we have to Bill Casey.
We are not in a war against Afghanistan. We are out to destroy the network of international terrorists, wherever they are harbored. Right now, the prime evildoer is lodged in Afghanistan, and the current Afghani government refused to turn him over despite numerous requests by the United States for them to do so. Remember the clamor - in the press and even by FReepers in this forum - over President Bush taking so long to start the bombing? Now that he finally started, the press is whining that he started to soon? C'mon!
I thought the same. It struck me as insane. As to Novak, I wonder who he is pandering to in this piece. Inquiring minds....
Or, it could be Mr. Novak who is arrogant and ignorant. I should hope the CIA is full of deceit!
Don't we freepers just love our CIA.
Ah, but they are and that is the problem. The CIA is f**king up this campaign just like they did in VN. Its the CIA bureacrats that are trying to piece together a ruling regime, before our military has a chance to take out the old one. Initially it was the military plan to align with the NA in Afghanistan, who were making great strides during the first week of Oct 7th, thousands of Taliban were defecting to the NA. Then the CIA let it be known that there were working on restoring the old Afghan King to restore order and put together a ruling regime that did not include the NA.
Now the NA has lost any incentive to fight with the USA. They are merely dragging their feet, doing just enough so that the US will continue to arm them. This may come back to haunt us when we have engaged a large ground force. Nothing worse than trying to fight two enemies at the same time, in the same area. Just like the Viet Cong, during VNam.
My thoughts exactly! Now we know why McFarlane's been all over the media pissing and moaning about how ineffectual the military operation has been.
Nevertheless, my guess is that there is friction between the CIA and DoD. When Rumsfeld was being interviewed by Cookie Roberts last Sunday, he made it a point to acknowledge that Haq was offered help by the US, and that that help was not help provided by the military..."another government agency," or words to that effect--clearly, he was referring to the CIA.
I'm surprised that Tenet's still in there. With all the leaks that have gotten into the press about how his star has fallen, one would think that the axe would have come down by now. Maybe they're waiting for Rudy to finish his tenure as mayor of NYC...
I don't know who Hasenfus is but would be interested in knowing.
But I think you're right on about McFarlane and Novak. It should have been quite obvious to Haq that the CIA wasn't interested in his little publicity trip. Even *I* would have figgered it out given that they were only willing to provide him with a cell phone and then only to track his movements. Still the guy ventured into a war zone with his little donkeys and what the heck did he expect? People get killed doing stuff like this.
And I don't give two sniffs about Novak's contention that the CIA was all interested in Haq and wanting him to make the trip. So they showed a passing interest which they evidently immediately dismissed. This is hardly to be interpreted as some sort of endorsement.
Novak's image has dropped considerably by my estimation by this load of self-serving claptrap.
And if it isn't the domestic alphabet soup groups screwing around with the world, then it's radical Muslims stealing passenger planes and flying them into office buildings...
I'm not sure I see your point. The _real world_ IS a kind of wholistic mish-mash of conspiracy theories. They are the rule, not the exception. It's the people who don't worry about conspiracy theories who are living in a fantasy land. It might be less tiring to pretend conspiracies don't exist, but, then, if you're going to live in a fantasy world, why not just imagine that all those girls from Victoria's Secret catalogue are actual conservative groupies and secretly tracking down Freeper guys for wild nights of debauchery...
P.S. Why hasn't a nice conservative single guy like you been snatched up yet? There are lots of matchmakers here on FR - and we need to get to work.
Nation building and politics do not co-exist with a well waged military action. We saw that in VN and again in Mogudishu. We prevailed in the Gulf war because we followed a well thought out and defined objective and did not waver. Thank God no CIA were involved in that campaign, otherwise we'd have lost that one too. Politics did come into play at the end of the Gulf War and that is what saved Saddam's ass. But the military was able to do its job and did it decisevily.
Our objective here should be to exact a price against OBL his Al Qaeda and the Taliban who harbor him, NOTHING else until the military objective is accomplished.
And if we decide we don't want the NA to be part of that government? I guess you won't mind fighting the same war all over again in a couple years?
"Nation building and politics do not co-exist with a well waged military action."
Nonsense. Military actions, well waged or otherwise, do not take place in a vacuum nor should they. Military action is an instrument of policy and frequently that policy entails nation building.
And as everyone knows they would never act on their own,
then lie about it.
What I see happening now is something good military planners try hard to avoid--- Mission Creep. It is the expansion beyond the original mission that causes inadequate and poorly selected forces to be used in ways that seriously endanger them and the mission.
What we want is the bad guys dead, and the folks that replace them well behaved. We shouldn't give a rats a$$ who runs the Afghan government so long as they behave.
REMEMBER KOSOVO! CIA SUCKING UP TO BIN LADEN + KLA "FREEDOM FIGHTERS" WITH ARMS AND AMMO AND US AIR STRIKES AGAINST CHRISTIAN SERBS.
Now they're bound and determined to screw up this campaign too.
IF THE CIA WAS A BUSINESS IT WOULD HAVE GONE OUT OF BUSINESS AFTER THE CUBAN FIASCO.
(sorry about the caps)
Class, methinks nobody's paying attention again.
I agree. This war can only be one with cooperation with the locals, in particular since bin Laden is a foreigner in their midst who got them nothing but trouble. It is possible that the CIA had its obscure to us reasons to mistrust Haq, but on the face of it, the failure to back him up looks like a mistake.
Initially it was the attitude of the Afghans that we were justified in pursuing OBL and his Al Qaeda and even the Taliban and were in fact resolved to that, now the attitude is changing, because we are changing our objectives. We appear to now be meddling into THEIR affairs and who is best to rule them.
Anyway, I'm not saying that politics are not needed to formulate a new government, but to accomplish our military objectives first and foremost, then let the UN or who else try to put together the pieces. Our job now is to kill and break things PERIOD.
Apparently you have never been in combat, where your ass is on the line, and every decision must be passed thru the CIA and other intelligence agencies. Where your unit has a company of NVA cornered, out of ammo and supplies, and can be destroyed to the man, only to be told to stand down because the CIA has a double agent in that unit. This is the kind of shit I'm talking about.
The fact that OBL and Omar could have been taken out 3 days after the start of the bombing, and wasn't due to no one being able to make the decision, unless a JAG officer approved of it. Had we accomplished taking out of just Omar, it would have just about ended the conflict, more so if OBL was also taken out. But I believe that it was a CIA/Political dicision to in fact NOT take them out, because it would have ended their plans to put in place their puppet government.
But I seem to feel that the missing point here (and correct me if I missed it) is that just because Haq was in touch with the CIA for months does not mean that they were condoning and working with his recent exploit of going into Afghanistan.
I get the distinct impression that Haq was wanting to do this and was just wanting the US to back him up.
Once can't run a war and be responsible for every Lone Ranger that "has a plan."
Loosing Haq is a terrible thing. But I think, from what I have read so far, that Haq owns a great deal of ownership in getting himself killed by acting on his own and NOT doing this with his back covered.
Novak's agenda is just to pretend to be objective and keep collecting that CNN paycheck. But I long ago stopped paying attention to him.
The other crap you posted about being able to have gotten rid of OBL and Omar is equally false.
Osama sends his thanks for helping undermine the war effort with false statements and wild unsubtantiated rumours.
Afghanistan was chosen by OBL for religious reasons as much as opportunism. It is expressly referenced in the Koran as the unstoppable army with black flags which will sweep west to Jerusalem and free it. So Aafghanistan just 'behaving' will be insufficient. It is a highly symbolic nation. It is also one that we have been given the rap of having 'abandoned' to Pakistan's ISI and the resulting internal civil wars leaving the country decimated.
Rightly or wrongly earned, that rap must be expunged and the defamatory 'stain' wiped clean. We need to install a westernized democratic pro-American 'client' state which will back up our foreign policy in the region, and help us to destabilize Iran's tyrannical theocracy, and essentially rain on the parade of the Radical Islamists from Egypt, Saudi Arabia to Indonesia. This will take the wind out of the sails of the Talibanists in Pakistan as well, and probably greatly lower tensions with India, whom we should be pursuing as a regional ally. This truly is a fabulous opportunity to defuse a really nasty explosive potential for a true 'jihad' against the West. This is a bomb which our 'friends' in Russia and China would actually love to see go off in our faces. But because the Taliban threatens them too, they are going along with us for now.
And we have to win, and then once having won...STAY. Not militarily, however. I.e., not as mission-creep peacekeepers. Send in the peace corps, and all the other sundry state-craft agencies which would allow these peoples to see first hand the truth about Americans.
I believe you are kind of right, and what you say is worth thinking about. But I believe it's worth thinking about in a different way than normal...
The CIA is full of globalist with guns. Many/most are on the "left." But does everything they touch turn to sh*t? Or do they function perfectly and what we interpret as "foul ups" are actually carefully considered moves in a game that is very very difficult to perceive from our vantage point...
What I mean is, in pop culture, we are CONDITIONED to think that when things "go wrong" somebody screwed up big time. After all, pop culture is almost defined by stupid people who have been "empowered" by one or another insane social program or activist group. We expect things to go wrong because we recognize that so many stupid people are in pivotal positions...
But I suggest that beyond pop culture, there is a more carefully constructed layer. A layer not composed of stupid people empowered for no rational reason. Rather, a layer of competent, skillful people selected for their competence. A layer where, when things happen, they happen on purpose.
I think it's interesting to speculate about the various "debacles" of the CIA over the generations and imagine what might really be going on IF EVERYTHING THEY DID THEY ACTUALLY DID ON PURPOSE.
What if -- if only for the sake of speculation -- we imagine that the CIA wanted the Bay of Pigs to work out exactly as it did? What if we imagine that the CIA wanted Vietnam to work out exactly as it did? What if the CIA wanted Lebanon to work out exactly as it did?
And what if the CIA wanted 911 to work out exactly as it did?
If we look at this as if we were trying to figure out some weird game that we acknowledge is going to look bizarre from our perspective, then what might the CIA want next?
(My guess would be this: The CIA has consistently engineered large scale death and destruction overseas for generations. Normal, rational people have always assumed these large scale outbreaks of death and destruction were the results of screw ups or idiotic thinking. But -- for the sake of this game -- let's assume that the overseas outbreaks of death and destruction were just SOP. Now we have the 911 attack on the WTC right here on CONUS. My guess is that the CIA (and the Establishment that permeates it) is bringing their SOP home. My guess is that in the coming months/years, we will see two things: 1) large scale deaths within our population -- either from biochem attacks or radiation weapons; 2) large scale property destruction in our cities comparable -- on a larger scale -- to what was inflicted on the Serbs.)
That's my guess. Time will tell.