Friday, October 25, 2013

Traitors to their own people

So, it turns out that despite routinely denouncing US drone strikes, it turns out that the previous Pakistani government actively colluded with the Americans in the bombing of their own people:

Despite repeatedly denouncing the CIA’s drone campaign, top officials in Pakistan’s government have for years secretly endorsed the programme and routinely received classified briefings on strikes and casualty counts, according to top-secret CIA documents and Pakistani diplomatic memos.

The files describe dozens of drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal region and include maps as well as before-and-after aerial photos of targeted compounds from late 2007 to late 2011, in which the campaign intensified.

Markings on the documents indicate that many of them were prepared by the CIA’s Counterterrorism Centre specifically to be shared with Pakistan’s government. They tout the success of strikes that killed dozens of alleged al-Qa’ida operatives and assert repeatedly that no civilians were harmed.

We know that the latter is a lie; the US simply claimed that anyone killed was a terrorist, regardless of the actual facts. Meanwhile their bombing has been so indiscriminate that Amnesty International and Human Rights watch are calling it a war crime and demanding prosecutions.

The Pakistani political reaction is likely to be unpleasant. There are very ugly words for government officials who collude with foreign powers to murder their own people - "quislings" and "traitors" among them. President Sharif was elected six months ago on a platform of ending drone strikes. He should start by putting the collaborators on trial for conspiracy to murder.

(Meanwhile, there's a lesson here for those collaborating with the US: your secret will come out, either through leaks, journalism, or a sordid Washington power play. And when that happens, you'll be exposed to the wrath of your own people, whether electoral, judicial, or worse. If you want to avoid that wrath, don't collaborate. It's that simple).