CIA says it gets its money’s worth from Pakistani spy agency ISI
By Greg Miller||November 15, 2009||Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Washington – The CIA has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Pakistan’s intelligence service since the Sept. 11 attacks, accounting for as much as one-third of the foreign spy agency’s annual budget, current and former U.S. officials say.
The Inter-Services Intelligence agency also has collected tens of millions of dollars through a classified CIA program that pays for the capture or killing of wanted militants, a clandestine counterpart to the rewards publicly offered by the State Department, officials said.
The payments have triggered intense debate within the U.S. government, officials said, because of long-standing suspicions that the ISI continues to help Taliban extremists who undermine U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and provide sanctuary to Al Qaeda members in Pakistan.
But U.S. officials have continued the funding because the ISI’s assistance is considered crucial: Almost every major terrorist plot this decade has originated in Pakistan’s tribal belt, where ISI informant networks are a primary source of intelligence.
The White House National Security Council has “this debate every year,” said a former high-ranking U.S. intelligence official involved in the discussions. Like others, the official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. Despite deep misgivings about the ISI, the official said, “there was no other game in town.”
The payments to Pakistan are authorized under a covert program initially approved by then-President Bush and continued under President Obama. The CIA declined to comment on the agency’s financial ties to the ISI.
EXCERPT: “The CIA has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Pakistan’s intelligence service since the Sept. 11 attacks, accounting for as much as one-third of the foreign spy agency’s annual budget, current and former U.S. officials say. The Inter-Services Intelligence agency also has collected tens of millions of dollars through a classified CIA program that pays for the capture or killing of wanted militants, a clandestine counterpart to the rewards publicly offered by the State Department, officials said. The payments have triggered intense debate within the U.S. government, officials said, because of long-standing suspicions that the ISI continues to help Taliban extremists who undermine US efforts in Afghanistan and provide sanctuary to Al Qaeda members in Pakistan.”
It has given hundreds of millions to the ISI, for operations as well as rewards for the capture or death of terrorist suspects. Despite fears of corruption, it is money well-spent, ex-officials say. Read Details Here….
Editorial of Daily Times : The CIA-ISI (Unholy) connection
A report in The Los Angeles Times says the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has funnelled hundreds of millions of dollars to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan since 9/11, accounting for as much as one-third of the latter’s annual budget. In addition, the ISI collected tens of millions of dollars through a classified CIA programme that pays for the capture or killing of wanted militants. This stream of payments is a clandestine counterpart to the rewards publicly offered by the US State Department.
These payments have triggered an intense debate within the US government because of long-standing suspicions that the ISI continues to help the Taliban who undermine US efforts in Afghanistan and provide sanctuary to al Qaeda in Pakistan. It seems the White House National Security Council goes through this debate every year. Despite deep misgivings about the ISI, the funding continues because the ISI’s assistance is considered crucial. The ISI informant networks in Pakistan’s tribal belt remain a primary source of intelligence. As a US intelligence official put it colourfully to the Times, “there was no other game in town”.
The covert payments programme was initially approved by former US President George Bush and continues under President Barack Obama. The CIA payments are a hidden stream in the much broader financial flow of some $ 15 billion over the last eight years in military and civilian aid to Pakistan. While controversy dogs the broader financial assistance because of concerns in the US Congress and Administration about where the money may have been spent, concerns that are reflected in the wording of the Kerry-Lugar bill for example, the covert CIA money has been more tightly monitored. While these covert payments have been used by the ISI for a variety of purposes, including the construction of the new ISI headquarters in Islamabad, US officials seem relaxed about where the money has gone.
Despite being plagued by distrust (arguably on both sides), the covert funds have fuelled an espionage alliance that has to its credit damage inflicted on al Qaeda. CIA officials contrast the returns from their relatively small payments when compared with the enormous overt military and civilian aid to Pakistan as “a bargain”. Some 600-700 militants, mostly belonging to al Qaeda, were killed or captured and handed over to the US. Some, if not all those handed over ended up in the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison. While the CIA considers the cost-benefit of the covert funding programme positive in big savings for the American taxpayer, we are by now familiar with at least the payments-for-captured-militants deal, courtesy ex-President Pervez Musharraf’s book, In the Line of Fire. Knowledgeable US intelligence officials concede that Pakistan had made “decisive contributions to counter-terrorism” and made enormous sacrifices reflected in the fact that Pakistanis are dying almost every day in this life-and-death struggle for the soul of Pakistan. The mutual suspicions and distrust notwithstanding, the American intelligence community recognizes that although Pakistani and American interests do not always coincide, “things would be one hell of a lot worse if the government there (Pakistan) was hostile to us.” Perhaps the even more controversial assertion in the paper’s report says the CIA depends on Pakistan’s cooperation to carry out drone attacks that have killed dozens of suspected extremists in the border areas, but also caused collateral civilian casualties that have become an extremely emotive issue in Pakistan.
The report seems to have enough truth in it to make the entire edifice of the story credible. The ISI is routinely blamed for supporting the Taliban, even after 9/11, but things appear somewhat different now. The security agencies are under attack by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, a comparatively recently emerged group that takes its inspiration from the Afghan Taliban. However, while the latter have of late begun to distance themselves from the indiscriminate suicide and other bombings that are targeting ordinary citizens and the security agencies all over Pakistan, the ISI too has not escaped unscathed. The new conjuncture therefore suggests that at least as far as the Pakistani militants are concerned, the ISI is in the forefront of the struggle against terrorism. Whether, for strategic reasons stretching back to the abandonment of Afghanistan in 1989 by the US and the West, the ISI nevertheless continues to support the Afghan Taliban remains a moot point. *
The unholy CIA – ISI connection is crystal clear now to jeopardize Humanity. The ISI is directly connected with Islamists everywhere. In India, Bangladesh, Europe, Africa and even in America ISI is more active than anybody to revamp the Islamic fundamentalism to gain the Islamic hold in favaour of Pakistan. CIA is simply patron of them.
written by M K Dhar
Book Review : ISBN No.: 8170492785 By: MK Dhar Hardback Fulcrum of Evil is the first detailed research based book on the Inter Services Intelligence of Pakistan. The ISI and the CIA are known as rogue intelligence agencies which were born around the same time in global history after the Second World War for churning out intelligence about external enemies. For USA, the main enemy was the communist Russian Block countries. For Pakistan India has been the perennial enemy survival elixir. However, both the agencies earned notoriety for extra legal and constitutional operations at home and abroad in utter disregard of international laws and diplomatic protocols. The CIA and the ISI collaborated even before they were conjuncted in the killing field of Afghanistan. Pakistan’s evolutions as a jihad exporting country all over the world, especially to India have been chronicled by the contemporary historians. Fulcrum of Evil is a solid data based account of the jihad breeding intelligence agency of Pakistan. A state within the state the ISI continues to the nemesis of Pakistan which is lurching under military rule and jihadi violence.
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