33 Years for Pakistani Doctor Who Aided CIA on Bin Laden

Pakistan has sentenced Dr. Shakil Afridi, who aided the CIA in finding Osama Bin Laden to 33 years in prison. The New York Times has more here.

The CIA had asked Afridi to run a fake Hepatitis vaccine program. Details here. Leon Pannetta criticized his arrest on "60 Minutes".

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    Acting on behalf of a foreign intelligence agency (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by Peter G on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:19:00 PM EST
    is treated as a serious crime in any independent nation, even when the foreign country so aided is a close ally.  Cf. Jonathan Pollard (US citizen who got a life sentence for assisting Israel while employed as an analyst for U.S. Naval Intelligence).

    Pollard (none / 0) (#6)
    by Doug1111 on Wed May 23, 2012 at 03:58:12 PM EST
    provided the Israelis with tons of highly classified and valuable American military intelligence.  

    Here the doctor helped identify through DNA a wanted confessed enemy combatant mass murderer conspiracy plot leader.  

    Hardly comparable.

    It would be like a US doctor identifying Erichmann if he had been hiding in the US.


    It would only be a comparable situation ... (none / 0) (#10)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 23, 2012 at 04:29:03 PM EST
    ... had the U.S. military been actively engaged in hiding Adolf Eichmann for 10-plus years in a compound just outside Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, when the Israelis finally found him.

    As it was, the CIA (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by jondee on Wed May 23, 2012 at 05:33:01 PM EST
    only gave aid and comfort to people like Reinhard Gehlen and Klaus Barbie. As far as we know.

    And of course Gehlen and Barbie never had any kind of clue where Eichmann was. Of course.


    I hope he saw this as a possibility... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Addison on Wed May 23, 2012 at 02:45:42 PM EST
    He ran a fake medical program, as a doctor, on behalf of a foreign intelligence service -- the end result of which was the incursion of foreign forces onto Pakistan soil to kill someone. It matters to us that this someone was Osama bin Laden. But to Pakistan? I don't expect the CIA/US to do anything but complain about this in order to make sure we get similar cooperation in the future, but Pakistan is doing what's in Pakistan's interest here.

    Given the amount of money that (none / 0) (#16)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu May 24, 2012 at 08:36:53 AM EST
    we have paid them and the amount they expect in the future I don't see why they would think that what they have done is in their interest.

    Which, of course, is to tell everyone that the pro al Qaeda forces are still in control and that no one should help the US if it is actually doing something that actually harms al Qaeda rather than allowing us to continue their "rope a dope" strategy in Afghanistan.

    It is past time we put Pakistan on the enemies list and tell them what they must do to get off it.

    That we won't, of course, is that they have nuclear weapons and we are hopeful that we can keep the good guys from giving them to terrorists.

    And we can, as long as the good guys think we still have a slight edge.

    Iran will be a different matter.


    No More Either/Or Foreign Policy (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Addison on Thu May 24, 2012 at 10:38:56 AM EST
    How about we deal with countries on a one-to-one basis and not by placing them in boxes marked "ally" and "enemy"? Some GOP candidate did that earlier (Cain?) and it was ridiculous -- tried to show he had a foreign policy understanding by labeling some countries on a map. Labels are policy. The US is suspicious of Pakistan, and will act accordingly. But the whole either/or, with us/against us, friend/enemy foreign policy framework is a proven failure.

    I see your point (none / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:47:05 PM EST
    and agree. There probably Germans in 1939 that wasn't pleased with Hitler.

    My point is that you have to look at what the country is doing as opposed to what some in the country want done.


    Well, that was an amenable reply, Jim... (none / 0) (#19)
    by Addison on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:33:29 PM EST
    ...thanks. I absolutely agree with your comment.

    you have to look at what the country is doing as opposed to what some in the country want done.

    Clarification. (none / 0) (#20)
    by Addison on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:34:20 PM EST
    Also, want to clarify (although you got my point) that I meant to say, "labels are NOT policy".

    Did they offer to relocate him to the U.S.? (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 23, 2012 at 03:02:23 PM EST
    I hope so and I hope he refused.  Otherwise CIA asset fail of horrific proportions.

    Maybe a Ross Perot type extraction? (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Wed May 23, 2012 at 03:14:25 PM EST
    Much more likely outcome, (none / 0) (#5)
    by Peter G on Wed May 23, 2012 at 03:31:59 PM EST
    in cases of this kind, is a prisoner exchange.  Someone (or three) from Guantanamo, perhaps?

    Yeah, good point. (none / 0) (#7)
    by Doug1111 on Wed May 23, 2012 at 03:59:32 PM EST
    That and maybe money.

    I don't think the United States Gov't has any (none / 0) (#13)
    by Peter G on Wed May 23, 2012 at 08:12:51 PM EST
    money left, after all the dough we've already given to the Pakistani government, its military, and its "intelligence" apparatus.

    Who is the united Sates exchanging? (none / 0) (#21)
    by lousy1 on Fri May 25, 2012 at 09:44:20 PM EST
    Pakistan's Al Qaeda allies?  GB read the Paks the riot act after 911. It may be time to do it again.

    As brutal as it sounds I would accept the damage inflicted on Pakistan if it was required to totally destroy their nuclear weapons.

    Otherwise, it seems that an nuclear attack on the US inevitable.

    India probably agrees. Time to play hardball


    Maybe we should've sent in ... (none / 0) (#9)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 23, 2012 at 04:24:55 PM EST
    ... Sylvester Stallone and Chuck Norris. After all, they found all those POWs in Vietnam after the war.



    Honestly, what did Dr. Afridi expect? (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 23, 2012 at 04:22:40 PM EST
    Looking at this unfortunate situation dispassionately, it's painfully obvious that Afridi never disclosed to Pakistani officials that he was acting as an agent of a foreign nation, which in most civilized countries constitutes a major crime, in some instances paramount to treason.

    One can only imagine what our own State Dept. would be saying, had a foreign intelligence service surreptitiously engaged the assistance of a U.S. citizen to help them locate and identify an exiled dissident for subsequent liquidation on American soil.

    (Oh wait! Chilean Gen. Agosto Pinochet's military junta did just that in Sept. 1976, when agents from its Directoria de Inteligensia Nacional hunted down and killed dissident former ambassador Orlando Letilier and his American assistant -- in downtown Washington D.C., no less! -- and our government subsequently convicted Michael Townley, U.S. expartriate and former CIA agent, for the murders. My bad.)

    Thus, the good doctor undermined the undeclared policy of his own country, whose military had effectively been hiding Osama Bin Laden for years, less than one mile from the front gate to its own elite academy.

    Dr. Afridi had to have known that there would be severe retribution forthcoming against local collaborators for this major compromise of Pakistani sovereignty. Two questions beg to be asked:

    • Did our country at any time ever offer asylum to Dr. Afridi, in exchange for his valuable assistance in identifying Osama Bin Laden's location?
    • Even if we didn't offer him asylum, why didn't Dr. Afridi simply get out of Pakistan when he had the opportunity, amid all the confusion in the immediate aftermath of the Navy SEALs' raid upon the Bin Laden compound?

    "local collaborators" (none / 0) (#12)
    by diogenes on Wed May 23, 2012 at 07:39:23 PM EST
    I'm missing something here.  Are the commentators here really saying that they side with the Pakistani coverup of Bin Laden's whereabouts against the CIA effort to find him?  No one is particularly outraged at Pakistan for basically lying and covering up this Bin Laden thing; it somehow is the doctor's fault for "not expecting to be sentenced severely" and the CIA's fault.  "Collaborators" carries a negative flavor (as in Vichy France) and it's hard to see what the negative is in exposing Bin Laden.

    You're absolutely right. (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 23, 2012 at 09:10:01 PM EST
    diogenes: "I'm missing something here.  Are the commentators here really saying that they side with the Pakistani coverup of Bin Laden's whereabouts against the CIA effort to find him?"

    You ARE missing something here. As of this writing, nobody here has compared Dr. Afridi to the Vichy French, or disputed that Osama Bin Laden needed to be brought to heel, dead or alive, for the sake of justice.

    The fact that Pakistan's sovereignty was violated in the process of getting Bin Laden is beyond disute or argument. As such, Dr. Afridi should have been keenly aware that most of his fellow countrymen would not look kindly upon his clandestine efforts to help the Americans identify and take Bin Laden out.

    Why are you trying to manufacture controversy in this thread where none previously exists? Whatever your motives are, please stop putting words into other people's mouths. You're only taking issue with what you yourself wrote.



    Do we know (none / 0) (#15)
    by NYShooter on Wed May 23, 2012 at 10:55:41 PM EST
    if Dr. Afridi was was offered an exit plan, and/or, did we receive any kind of assurance from the Pakistanis regarding the safety of Dr. Afridi?

    Since our relationship with Pakistan is cloaked in secrecy, intrigue, and betrayal it's impossible to pass any judgment with the information we have.