Aafia: Guilty On All Seven Counts

No surprise since:

  • Ridiculous and completely inconsistent ‘witness’ accounts’
  • No evidence of the rifle being fired
  • No fingerprints on the rifle
  • No shell casings found
  • No bullet debris found
  • No bullet holes detected

(For details of the trial as it went down day-by-day, see CagePrisoners.com)


Terrified that yet another secret prison was waiting for her she revealed how she peaked through the curtain into the part of the room where Afghans and Americans were talking, and how when a startled American soldier noticed her, he jumped up and yelled that the prisoner was loose, and shot her in the stomach. She described how she was also shot in the side by a second person. She also described how after falling back onto the bed in the room, she was violently thrown to the floor and lost consciousness.

"Well done, boys!"

P.S. You know what I find really disgusting? ‘Progressive-liberals’ like Teeth Maestro who has had a number of posts in support of Dr Aafia but today came up with this jewel: “we must simply accept the decision, pending a possible appeal, Dr. Aafia is guilty“.

The U.S. Supreme Court: Corrupt to the core

54 Responses to “Aafia: Guilty On All Seven Counts”

  1. 1 Teeth Maestro February 5, 2010 at 2:56 am

    As I keep reiterating – the comment is based on the fact that the judgment was made in a limited capacity – they answered only those questions that were asked of them. They were not asked about her abduction or even association with any terrorist organization – I still support Aafia – and wholeheartedly condemn her abduction from Pakistan.

    I hence am not condemning the “decision” that should be challenged by an appeal, if the lawyers have a strong case – the other charges must also be fought – but im surprised as to why the case was allowed to progress without a full and comprehensive review???

    I don’t mind differing opinions but lets be courteous and leave the profanity out, lets be civil, the call is now yours to make

  2. 2 nota February 5, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Apologies for the profanity — I have a strong tendency to use profanity, thanks in no small part to guys likes Lenny Bruce and Abbie Hoffman but then I guess you are too young to know about the times I grew up in. Of course this was some 20-30 years before the birth of “politically correct” BS.

    Coming to the point, that statement of yours only goes to show one thing and that is your dogmatic belief in the fallacy that “the American judicial system is just!” It is any thing but that but an enslaved baboo mind of course cannot see that despite all the evidence staring you in the face. Even if one is to ignore everything else and stick to your cop-out defense of the judgment (“let’s ignore her abduction, treatment, state of her kids, etc. and focus only on what she was charged with”), the case presented by the prosecution was no case at all (See the list above once more). And where did you get this faith in the jury? Have you no clue what kind of people end up on these juries? You claim to have been following the case through Cageprisoners so please inform me what evidence was presented that any reasonable, unbiased person would reach a guilty’ verdict. The fact is there is none! But no you can not accept that because your mind is plagued with ‘Gharbzadegi’ and it is that that leads to you having more faith in the American Judicial System than the faith you profess. It is the same judicial system that says Patriot Act is legal, it is OK to rain bombs on innocents, it is OK to torture, it is OK to hold people forever at Gitmo without trial, it is OK for the Blackwaters of the world to torture and kill and rape Brownies and Arabs, it is OK to rape Gaza, drone strikes are A-OK, Extraordinary Rendition is OK, etc., etc., etc.

    So I certainly am at a loss to understand what is the purpose of your blog? You have had several post on Aafia and still support that “Free Aafia!” and Aafia “Falsely Accused” poster despite now claiming she has been “rightfully convicted” under that those very false accusations (which of course you no longer hold ‘false’). I certainly fail to see the logic behind that (though I can see the hypocrisy clearly and that is why I asked you to at least have the decency to remove them but you only chose to remove that comment. You are just using her to gain some brownie points and for self promotion). You also had several posts on the Lawyers Movement and took part in it but how come the decision of your president and the decisions of the Supreme Court not acceptable then by your very own logic? Why couldn’t you say then “we must simply accept the decision, pending a possible appeal, of the Dogar Court’s verdict and Iftikhar Chaudhry’s guilt”? Why worry about Blackwater when those very US Courts you so respect endorse their activities? Why talk of collateral damage of the War on Terror in Pakistan when it is all legal by the very same courts? And what is wrong with the NRO then when it was underwritten by your masters, the U.S. and U.K.? Why worry about MQM when the are part of the ‘legitimate’ government of Pakistan? Why do you ask questions like “Who’s actually running Pakistan? The Americans or Pakistanis?” (when you would endorse the former any ways)

    I would add that this is the trouble with you maghribzadas. You are so impressed that even if someone from the West spits in your face, you wear it as a medal. And I am not surprised you did not post a word against ALL Pakistani travelers being put on a watch-list and having to go through full-body nude scans for you would submit to it (and body-cavity searches) just too willingly, for that is “the law” and we “we must simply accept the decision” that renders us “guilty” collectively.

    Do tell me why you protest anything.

    • 3 Teeth Maestro February 6, 2010 at 2:15 am

      Nota – my position still remains the same – respect the judgement, as the courts answered what they were asked to answer – hey were strictly limited to the attempted murder and rightly or wrongly they found her guilty – on that particular charge we must appeal – the reason I say this, is that we might be stuck in a cyclic tendency to say that we will object until the judgment is in OUR FAVOR. someone has to draw the line – and for now the judge at District Court in NY was the place to seek justice.

      The other problem is while the trial was in session, we were hearing positive comments, things were going in our favor, all smiles, everyone was happy, the moment the case went south… we screamed foul – is that right? its like a game of sport, the umpire is good until he makes call that you dont like [not necessarily right or wrong] then forth you curse the UMP –

      I am hearing now in successive emails that the judge was very bias and DID not allow the kidnapping or al-qaeda charge come in – im just shocked why all this bickering NOW, why not in-session.

      Dr. Aafia is at the moment only guilty of attempted murder – she is NOT a terrorist or does not have links to al-qaeda – if the courts in the US could not try her for that – then why the hell was she in Bagram prison for five years – 30th march 2003 to 4th August 2008.

      Please read my post again – I may have not explained my position precisely but I more or less did say that I a true believer in the judicial system, I accept the verdict and will hope that the lawyers challenge it in an appeal – the verdict for now is against the attempted murder

      Where might be fight the abduction and illegal detention – I have no friggin idea

      • 4 nota February 6, 2010 at 3:13 pm

        Well Doc it is not about “we will object until the judgment is in OUR FAVOR.” You are way off the mark there and again it shows your complete faith in the fairness of the American judicial system and the fairness of jury. Both beliefs are totally misplaced. American judicial system is one of the most unfair and corrupt, all the way to the supreme court (and it screams of your unfamiliarity with justices such as Renquist, Thomas, Scalia, etc. — each a Dogar in his own right.) I certainly find your statement “for now the judge at District Court in NY was the place to seek justice” bewildering for the opposite was always going to be the case. That you “were hearing positive comments, things were going in our favor, all smiles, everyone was happy” again shows you have been asleep for far too long. From what I have learned over the years — from Ronald Reagan’s appointments of judges through those made by Obama, the very announcement that Aafia was going to be “tried” was in fact the day it got written in stone that Aafia would be convicted, no matter what the evidence (of lack of the same). And let me inform you of one more thing in case you get your hopes up: I guarantee you NO appeal is going to be successful and she will spend the rest of her life in a US prison and you can take that to the bank. So continue with your naivety of faith in the inherently unfair judicial system and putting up pretty “Free Aafia” posters (and make sure you make up a bunch for you’ll need them till she meets her maker.)

        The other problem is while the trial was in session, we were hearing positive comments, things were going in our favor, all smiles, everyone was happy, the moment the case went south… we screamed foul – is that right? its like a game of sport, the umpire is good until he makes call that you dont like [not necessarily right or wrong] then forth you curse the UMP –

        I am hearing now in successive emails that the judge was very bias and DID not allow the kidnapping or al-qaeda charge come in – im just shocked why all this bickering NOW, why not in-session.

        I think you are being totally ridiculous here so I will not comment on this curious rant that exposes more about your own biases than I want to know — suffice it to say I do know what hole you have your head stuck in. BTW: interesting choice of the word “bickering“.

        Dr. Aafia is at the moment only guilty of attempted murder – she is NOT a terrorist or does not have links to al-qaeda – if the courts in the US could not try her for that – then why the hell was she in Bagram prison for five years – 30th march 2003 to 4th August 2008.

        And why would they do that when they had this nice short show trial package that they put together? It is enough to serve their purpose and to keep her in jail forever.

        Please read my post again – I may have not explained my position precisely but I more or less did say that I a true believer in the judicial system, I accept the verdict and will hope that the lawyers challenge it in an appeal – the verdict for now is against the attempted murder

        Well I don’t need to and you have explained your position way too clearly. You can continue with your faith in that corrupt system and bow before deities but that is where I “draw the line”. I will continue with my faith in God’s law. 😉

        Where might be fight the abduction and illegal detention – I have no friggin idea

        Don’t worry. Zardari’s at your side finally (so what if he’s a bit late). So is the ‘democratically elected’ Senate of Pakistan (in fact the whole ‘Government’ of Pakistan is with you). But I would advise you not to look towards ICJ — for that you’d need permission of both the ‘legal’ occupier US and the ‘legally’ occupied Afghanistan. I myself am awaiting to see what the LHC does in that case though I know it won’t lead to her release. The only thing that will work is actions like kicking Patterson’s @ss out and shutting NATO supplies or a short march in but in huge numbers to the US Embassy and camping there till they let her go. You up for it?

        BTW: Here is a a link you can use to convince others of her ‘guilt’ on that ‘minor’ attempted murder charge that the Jang Group was so kind to provide just in time. I’ll stick with these:
        America Stands Naked: More Lies About Dr. Aafia Siddiqi
        Dr Aafia’s kidnapping FIR lodged
        Fact and fiction in Dr Aafia case
        Witnesses’ accounts differ at Dr. Aafia’s trial
        Proof of Dr Aafia’s arrest submitted to court in LHC
        Prosecutor produces no concrete proofs against Aafia
        US Frame-up of Aafia Siddiqui Begins to Unravel
        FBI expert doubtful whether rifle allegedly used by Aafia was fired
        Laws of science do not apply in Aafia Siddiqui case, lawyer says
        Case against Aafia Siddiqui begins to unravel
        The Abduction, Secret Detention, Torture, And Repeated Raping Of Aafia Siddiqui
        A Pakistani on Trial — With No Pakistani Reporters
        Aafia Siddiqui Denies She Tried to Kill Americans
        Prosecution’s move to undercut Aafia’s testimony fails
        THE POWERFUL TESTIMONY OF Dr. Aafia Siddiqui
        “Shock, Horror, Drama” That You Won’t Read In The New York Times
        Aafia lawyers reject court’s ruling
        Humanity Against Crimes: The Refoulement of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui

        P.S. Let’s assume for arguments sake the charges against her are correct. Now let’s put you in her place. Say we have you picked up along with your kids (and disappear them), torture and rape you, move you to a different country. Imprison, torture and rape you there for 5 years more. Then one day you see a chance to shoot one of the bastards (should I be ‘civil’ here?) and you try but miss (but the manage to shoot you twice). For that you are flown to the the country of those who have put you through all this, abused and humiliated daily with cavity searches and what not, all their crimes forgotten but yours is tried in their court and they convicted of ‘attempted murder’ (remember this is on your presumption there was ‘enough evidence’) . Would you, honestly now, be singing the same mantra that “Hallelujah! Justice has been served!“? Remember, I said I want an honest answer!!!

      • 5 Observer February 7, 2010 at 2:41 am


        I am quite confused over how you can continue to have faith in the American “justice” system. As Nota already has pointed out their main objective has been to protect American interests and unfortunately not to deliver true justice. Maybe one could live with a rare failure from the Americans, but this is more about a pattern.

        Justice is also expected in cases where Muslims combined with American interests are on a collision course. I suppose you haven’t forgotten the cases about Blackwater killing of innocent Iraqis and the handling of torture cases against American soldiers. Only a few foot soldiers where punished lightly and Blackwater went scott-free.

        Bro, how do you manage to continue to have faith in the American “justice” system? Please take the prisoner case and Blackwater case into consideration, when you answer my question. And also remember that we are most probably only seeing the top of the iceberg in most cases. Only if the justice system had not failed, then we might had seen the full extent of the criminal acts and also to see who were behind this cruelty. I am not naive. I don´t believe it will ever happen.

      • 6 nota February 7, 2010 at 1:49 pm

        And what is really baffling is “celebrating” this triumph of “justice” when known criminals like “George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and their henchmen from the prior administration have managed thus far to escape any accounting whatsoever for the massive battery of criminal activity committed during their time in office. More than a year has passed since these men had their hands on the levers of power, and evidence of their myriad crimes and frauds is laying all over the countryside, yet nothing has come of it.” They ARE directly responsible for millions of deaths of innocents and untold destruction but hey, let’s forget about it for the system at least got Aafia whose “crime” was much worse — that of (alleged) attempted murder of an American. So to me Doc takes out his scale of justice and weighs Aafia’s crimes vs those of Bush, Cheney, Yoo, etc. and manages to find her crimes having more weight.

        To ME it is very much like arguing that the “system worked” and the “judiciary is free” because a hungry kid who tries — unsuccessfully — to steal a banana is convicted, while ignoring the fact that thieves like Zardari & Co, the generals, the bureaucracy, the industrialists, the politicians continue to go scot-free.

  3. 7 Project Humanbeingsfirst.org February 6, 2010 at 12:02 am

    Your response is correct and your choice of diction appropriate for the purpose for which this legalsim was ostensibly enacted on a poor soul – inflame the muslim masses! So, you are inflamed allright, albeit in a subdued sort of way. I see no more purpose to it than to the existence of Al-Jazeera television.

    What perhaps interfered with the level of that inflamation was the poor timing of this decision? What’s the latest death toll from Friday’s bomb attack on innocent civilians in Karachi?

    So, if the guy holding the opinion: “I hence am not condemning the “decision” that should be challenged by an appeal,” from the comfort of his dental chair is “maghribzadas”, what is this:

    “Pakistan has seen a recent decline in militant attacks, attributed both to the success of a US drone war and Pakistani offensives in the tribal belt shadowing the Afghan border where Taliban and Al-Qaeda networks are based. —DawnNews/ Agencies” ?

    Dr. Aafia’s tragic story is the most perplexing. They could have easily killed that frail woman – at any time – what’s one more dead among the ‘untermensch’? But they have instead dragged her and her family through this tortuous ordeal and are trying to set a legal precedent. In about the same way that they invaded Haiti in the pretext of relief mission and set a legal precedent by getting their ‘mercy mission’ legalized by the United Nations and thus making it a new law by fiat – see:


    One way to unravel what has happened to poor Dr. Aafia is to ask what is the purpose of setting all these legal precedents?

    I think if one actuely examines what new legal precedents (if any) are involved in Dr. Aafia’s case, it might help shed light on why this poor soul – from my alma mater no less, a most brilliant Muslim scientist – ended up as patsy falling down the rabbit hole.

    Why did she end up in this tortured withered state in what can only be compared to the Queen playing croquet in Alice in Wonderland? In geopolitics, all pawns serve a function, some even as infantile as to keep passions running hot, for “what is inconceivable in normal times is possible in revolutionary times”. The learned educated Pakistanis to not see that is perhaps even more tragic – for we, as a nation, are already peering down the same fcking rabbit hole. The plight of that one woman is the plight of the entire nation! And not the first one either – from Palestine to Iraq, Afghanistan, the arc of crisis across the global zone of percolating violence … only repeating myself.

    Zahir Ebrahim
    Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

  4. 8 nota February 6, 2010 at 12:43 am

    “for we, as a nation, are already peering down the same fcking rabbit hole.”

    I would hardly call this peering…

    (And do feel free to say ‘fucking’ as does not offend my sensitivities. In fact it is my favorite word from the English language) 😉

  5. 9 nota February 6, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    “If You Were in Secret Prisons…”:The Trial of Aafia Siddiqui

    Aafia Siddiqui, the MIT-educated Pakistani woman on trial in federal court in Manhattan for attempted murder, is now awaiting a verdict in her case. After ten days of testimony in the trial, jury deliberations began on Monday afternoon. As of Wednesday morning, the jury had not yet reached a verdict.

    The events for which Siddiqui is on trial are dramatic, but even more dramatic is the backdrop to the case. Siddiqui, who is believed to have married alleged 9/11 plotter Ammar al-Baluchi in early 2003, disappeared in Karachi, Pakistan, in March of that year. Her family claims that she took a taxi to Karachi airport, together with her three children — Ahmed, age 6, Mariam, age 4, and Suleman, age 6 months – and then vanished.

    Al-Baluchi disappeared in April 2003 himself. A wanted terrorism suspect, he was whisked into the custody of the Pakistani intelligence services, who were working closely with the CIA in the “war on terror.” He didn’t reappear until September 2006, when he and thirteen other so-called “high-value detainees” were moved from secret CIA detention to Guantanamo.

    Human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch thought that Siddiqui, too, was likely being held in secret by the CIA. But while many other “ghost detainees” reappeared in 2006 — either at Guantanamo, Bagram, or in the custody of other governments — she did not.

    Her whereabouts remained a mystery until July 2008, when she and her oldest son surfaced in the custody of the Afghan police, having been arrested in Ghazni, Afghanistan. The day after her arrest, while she was detained at a police station, she allegedly picked up an unattended rifle and fired at a group of FBI agents, US soldiers, Afghan police and translators. No one was hurt except Siddiqui herself; she was shot by one of the soldiers.

    The details of those two days in July have been parsed through at trial over the past two weeks. The jury has heard from eyewitnesses to the incident, ballistics experts, and crime scene investigators. But crucial parts of Siddiqui’s story are missing.

    A trial’s narrative is always tightly circumscribed by the rules of evidence and the demands of relevance. In this instance, however, the constraints of the trial narrative have seemed especially limiting. Not only has the question of whether Siddiqui spent months or years in a secret prison not been thoroughly explored, the fate of her two missing children has not been clarified.

    “If You Were in Secret Prisons”

    To the extent that claims about a secret prison surfaced at trial, it was largely because Siddiqui herself – sometimes in courtroom outbursts – raised them. Siddiqui’s defense lawyers did little to draw out information about Siddiqui’s possible CIA detention, and the government clearly wanted the topic to go away.

    If Siddiqui’s lawyers had wanted to explore the question, they faced two major obstacles. First, the government was uncooperative; it refused to provide any information about the Bush administration’s system of secret CIA detention, claiming that such information was classified. Second, Siddiqui did not cooperate with her legal team, leaving them without a possible firsthand source of information.

    The issue nonetheless arose on the very first day of trial. Captain Robert Snyder, a US Army officer who was stationed in Ghazni at the time of Siddiqui’s arrest, was describing the documents that Siddiqui was said to be carrying when she was arrested.

    For much of the morning, Siddiqui had rested her head on the defense table, suggesting that she was not paying close attention to the testimony. But as Snyder began listing the writing on some of the documents –words like “dirty bomb,” “lethal radiation,” “deadly fallout,” “Empire State Building,” “Brooklyn Bridge” – Siddiqui suddenly interrupted him, upset.

    “If you were in secret prisons,” she said, her voice growing louder, “[and] your children were tortured … ” As the judge motioned for her to be removed from the courtroom, she continued: “This is not plans for New York City; I was never planning to bomb it! You’re lying!”

    The subject came up again the next week when Siddiqui herself was on the witness stand, tense and uncomfortable under grilling by the prosecutor.

    During direct examination by one of her defense attorneys, the topic of secret prisons did not arise, but when the prosecutor started to discuss the documents that had allegedly been in Siddiqui’s possession, Siddiqui interrupted her.

    “If they’re in a secret prison, they see their children tortured in front of them … ”

    “That’s not responsive,” the judge ruled, after the prosecutor complained. “Strike the testimony.”

    “You Told Special Agent Sercer That You Had Been in Hiding for Several Years”

    Later in Siddiqui’s cross-examination, the prosecutor came up with a very different version of how Siddiqui spent her missing years. Describing Siddiqui’s conversations with an FBI agent who spent time with her at Bagram Air Base while she was receiving medical care there, the prosecutor challenged Siddiqui’s story of secret detention.

    “At Bagram,” the prosecutor insisted, “you told Special Agent Sercer that you had been in hiding for several years.”

    The prosecutor got a chance to develop the story further when Special Agent Sercer, an FBI intelligence analyst, took the stand. Asked whether Siddiqui had discussed her whereabouts during the years before her 2008 arrest, Sercer said that Siddiqui had said she’d been in hiding.

    “She would move from place to place,” Sercer said Siddiqui had told her. “She married someone so that her name would be changed. She stayed indoors a lot.”

    Sercer’s version of the story coincides with what Siddiqui’s first husband, from whom she divorced in 2002, has told journalists. He claims that Siddiqui was seen at her house in the years between 2003 and 2008, and that he himself saw her in Karachi.

    A Diversion or a Crime

    In his closing argument, the prosecutor dismissed Siddiqui’s references to torture and secret prisons, calling them “a classic diversion.” The case “isn’t about that,” he insisted: It’s about what happened in a police station in Ghazni, Afghanistan. [Doc Maestro: exactly the same argument as yours — so you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the prosecutors of Dr Aafia.]

    But there’s no doubt that as the members of the jury deliberate, they’ll be wondering about what happened to Siddiqui well before she arrived in Ghazni. If the present trial is not the right place for solving that conundrum, a better option should be found.

    Joanne Mariner is a human rights lawyer living in New York and Paris.

  6. 10 Observer February 8, 2010 at 12:42 am


    Couldn’t agreed more. I wonder whether Teethmaestro is thinking about a reply or he has given up making a convincing reply or is he understanding our point of view? Looking forward to his reply.

    • 11 nota February 8, 2010 at 1:51 am

      Maybe it’s because is programmed to see it only that way — he cannot think outside the box defined for him. But in the meantime, let me give you a letter from another “convict” who has spent 34 years in prison already. Of course his conviction “we must simply accept” for “he is guilty” as the Doc would proclaim…

      Greetings to everyone,

      34 years. It doesn’t even sound like a real number to me. Not when one really thinks about being in a jail cell for that long. All these years and I swear, I still think sometimes I’ll wake up from this nightmare in my own bed, in my own home, with my family in the next room. I would never have imagined such a thing. Surely the only place people are unjustly imprisoned for 34 years is in far away lands, books or fairy tales.

      It’s been that long since I woke up when I needed to, worked where I wanted to, loved who I was supposed to love, or did what I was compelled to do. It’s been that long-long enough to see my children have grandchildren. Long enough to have many of my friends and loved ones die in the course of a normal life, while I was here unable to know them in their final days.

      So often in my daily life, the thought creeps in – ”I don’t deserve this.” It lingers like acid in my mouth. But I have to push those types of thoughts away. I made a commitment long ago, many of us did. Some didn’t live up to their commitments, and some of us didn’t have a choice. Joe Stuntz didn’t have a choice. Neither did Buddy Lamont. I never thought my commitment would mean sacrificing like this, but I was willing to do so nonetheless. And really, if necessary, I’d do it all over again, because it was the right thing to do. We didn’t go to ceremony and say “I’ll fight for the people as long as it doesn’t cost too much.” We prayed, and we gave. Like I say, some of us didn’t have a choice. Our only other option was to run away, and we couldn’t even do that. Back then, we had no where left to run to.

      I have cried so many tears over these three plus decades. Like the many families directly affected by this whole series of events, my family’s tears have not been in short supply. Our tears have joined all the tears from over 500 years of oppression. Together our tears come together and form a giant river of suffering and I hope, cleansing. Injustice is never final, I keep telling myself. I pray this is true for all of us.

      To those who know I am innocent, thank you for your faith. And I hope you continue working for my release. That is, to work towards truth and justice. To those who think me guilty, I ask you to believe in and work for the rule of law. Even the law says I should be free by now, regardless of guilt. What has happened to me isn’t justice, it isn’t the law, it isn’t fair, it isn’t right. This has been a long battle in an even longer war. But we have to remain vigilant, as we have a righteous cause. After all this time, I can only ask this: Don’t give up. Not ever. Stay in this fight with me. Suffer with me. Grieve with me. Endure with me. Believe with me. Outlast with me. And one day, celebrate freedom with me. Hoka hey!

      In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,

      Leonard Peltier

      Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
      PO Box 7488
      Fargo, ND 58106
      Phone: 701/235-2206
      Fax: 701/235-5045
      E-mail: contact(AT)whoisleonardpeltier.info

      Video: Incident at Oglala – The Leonard Peltier Story
      ( 1h 31 min 45 sec)

  7. 12 Project Humanbeingsfirst.org February 9, 2010 at 1:21 am

    FYI: Aalim online: Feb 07 2010 Aafia Siddiqi’s sister Dr. Fousia Siddiqi’s interview (looks like it was done before the verdict):

    It is interesting what Dr. Fousia says about the preamble speech of the prosecuting side, and the question used in the Jury selection process by the judge.

    The person who made this statement: “we must simply accept the decision, pending a possible appeal, Dr. Aafia is guilty“ – well, in the best case, is ignorant of the case. In the worst case, is another ‘Negro’ as described by MLK. If the former, then we are all ignorant of something, no human being is all knowing, and therefore we can always learn new things. If the latter, then it is a safe-bet to be a ‘Negro’ when the whiteman is running the world. Here is the description of Negro as MLK put it:

    “The white establishment is skilled in flattering and cultivating emerging leaders. It presses its own image on them and finally, from imitation of manners, dress, and style of living, a deeper strain of corruption develops. This kind of Negro leader acquires the white man’s contempt for the ordinary Negro. He is often more at home with the middle-class white than he is among his own people. His language changes, his location changes, his income changes, and ultimately he changes from the representative of the Negro to the white man into the white man’s representative to the Negro. The tragedy is that too often he does not recognize what has happened to him.”

    I am sorry that the Pakistani who made the statement that “we must simply accept the decision, pending a possible appeal, Dr. Aafia is guilty“ has turned into “the white man’s representative to the Negro.”

    But this statement by Dr. Fausia, the eloquent sister Dr. Aafia, in pt-4, quoting a letter she received – well the narration speaks for itself (minute 6:28)

    “You will be suprised that I received the most letters and emails from America. One email from someone named Andrew Purcell, from Houston Texas, I think he is a Congresman there, he wrote me: ‘You know, I was amazed. I thought Pakistan was a dead nation. But if there are even a few other students like Asma Waheed, then you know Pakistan has a very bright future, it is nothing close to dead!’ You know, that one act of this [girl] hit a nerve back there in America…”

    Zahir Ebrahim
    Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

    • 13 nota February 9, 2010 at 8:19 am

      “The white establishment is skilled in flattering and cultivating emerging leaders. It presses its own image on them and finally, from imitation of manners, dress, and style of living, a deeper strain of corruption develops. This kind of Negro leader acquires the white man’s contempt for the ordinary Negro. He is often more at home with the middle-class white than he is among his own people. His language changes, his location changes, his income changes, and ultimately he changes from the representative of the Negro to the white man into the white man’s representative to the Negro. The tragedy is that too often he does not recognize what has happened to him.”

      MLK nailed it, didn’t he? (Thanks! Dome how it had slipped my mind …but this one had not: the “house negro” speech by Malcolm X)

      …Whenever the master would said we, he’d say we. That’s how you can tell a house negro. If the master’s house caught on fire, the house negro would fight harder to put the blaze out than the master would. If the master got sick, the house negro would say “What’s the matter, boss, we sick?” We sick! He identified himself with his master, more than the master identified with himself. And if you came to the house negro and said “Let’s run away, Let’s escape, Let’s separate” the house negro would look at you and say “Man, you crazy. What you mean separate? Where is there a better house than this? Where can I wear better clothes than this? Where can I eat better food than this?” There was that house negro. In those days, he was called a house nigger. And that’s what we call him today, because we still got some house niggers runnin around here. This modern house negro loves his master. He wants to live near him. He’ll pay three times as much as the house is worth just to live near his master, and then brag about “I’m the only negro out here. I’m the only one on my job. I’m the only one in this school.” “You’re nothing but a house negro. And if someone come to you right now and say “Let’s separate.”, you say the same thing that the house negro said on the plantation. “What you mean separate? From America? This good white land? Where you gonna get a better job than you get here? I mean, this is what you say! “I di-I ain’t left nothing in Africa”…

    • 14 Project Humanbeingsfirst.org February 17, 2010 at 6:17 am

      Here is Asma Waheed – that courageous youngster who puts armchair Pakistani rebels to shame:

      Zahir Ebrahim
      Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

  8. 16 nota February 9, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Two articles. ONe by Chris Hedges and one by Petra Bartosiewicz that Chris mentions in his article:
    The Terror-Industrial Complex

    By Chris Hedges

    The conviction of the Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui in New York last week of trying to kill American military officers and FBI agents illustrates that the greatest danger to our security comes not from al-Qaida but the thousands of shadowy mercenaries, kidnappers, killers and torturers our government employs around the globe.

    The bizarre story surrounding Siddiqui, 37, who received an undergraduate degree from MIT and a doctorate in neuroscience from Brandeis University, often defies belief. Siddiqui, who could spend 50 years in prison on seven charges when she is sentenced in May, was by her own account abducted in 2003 from her hometown of Karachi, Pakistan, with her three children—two of whom remain missing—and spirited to a secret U.S. prison where she was allegedly tortured and mistreated for five years. The American government has no comment, either about the alleged clandestine detention or the missing children.

    Siddiqui was discovered in 2008 disoriented and apparently aggressive and hostile, in Ghazni, Afghanistan, with her oldest son. She allegedly was carrying plans to make explosives, lists of New York landmarks and notes referring to “mass-casualty attacks.” But despite these claims the government prosecutors chose not to charge her with terrorism or links to al-Qaida—the reason for her original appearance on the FBI’s most-wanted list six years ago. Her supporters suggest that the papers she allegedly had in her possession when she was found in Afghanistan, rather than detail coherent plans for terrorist attacks, expose her severe mental deterioration, perhaps the result of years of imprisonment and abuse. This argument was bolstered by some of the pages of the documents shown briefly to the court, including a crude sketch of a gun that was described as a “match gun” that operates by lighting a match.

    “Justice was not served,” Tina Foster, executive director of the International Justice Network and the spokesperson for Aafia Siddiqui’s family, told me. “The U.S. government made a decision to label this woman a terrorist, but instead of putting her on trial for the alleged terrorist activity she was put on trial for something else. They tried to convict her of that something else, not with evidence, but because she was a terrorist. She was selectively prosecuted for something that would allow them to only tell their side of the story.”

    The government built its entire case instead around disputed events in the 300-square-foot room of the Ghazni police station. It insisted that on July 18, 2008, the diminutive Siddiqui, who had been arrested by local Afghan police the day before, seized an M4 assault rifle that was left unattended and fired at American military and FBI agents. None of the Americans were injured. Siddiqui, however, was gravely wounded, shot twice in the stomach.

    No one, other than Siddiqui, has attempted to explain where she was for five years after she vanished in 2003. No one seems to be able to explain why a disoriented Pakistani woman and her son, an American citizen, neither of whom spoke Dari, were discovered by local residents wandering in a public square in Ghazni, where an eyewitness told Harpers Magazine the distraught Siddiqui “was attacking everyone who got close to her.” Had Siddiqui, after years of imprisonment and torture, perhaps been at the U.S. detention center in Bagram and then dumped with one of her three children in Ghazi? And where are the other two children, one of whom also is an American citizen?

    Her arrest in Ghazi saw, according to the official complaint, a U.S. Army captain and a warrant officer, two FBI agents and two military interpreters arrive to question Siddiqui at the police headquarters. The Americans and their interpreters were shown to a meeting room that was partitioned by a yellow curtain. “None of the United States personnel were aware,” the complaint states, “that Siddiqui was being held, unsecured, behind the curtain.” The group sat down to talk and “the Warrant Officer placed his United States Army M-4 rifle on the floor to his right next to the curtain, near his right foot.” Siddiqui allegedly reached from behind the curtain and pulled the three-foot rifle to her side. She unlatched the safety. She pulled the curtain “slightly back” and pointed the gun directly at the head of the captain. One of the interpreters saw her. He lunged for the gun. Siddiqui shouted, “Get the fuck out of here!” and fired twice. She hit no one. As the interpreter wrestled her to the ground, the warrant officer drew his sidearm and fired “approximately two rounds” into Siddiqui’s abdomen. She collapsed, still struggling, and then fell unconscious.

    But in an article written by Petra Bartosiewicz in the November 2009 Harper’s Magazine, authorities in Afghanistan described a series of events at odds with the official version. The governor of Ghazni province, Usman Usmani, told a local reporter who was hired by Bartosiewicz that the U.S. team had “demanded to take over custody” of Siddiqui. The governor refused. He could not release Siddiqui, he explained, until officials from the counterterrorism department in Kabul arrived to investigate. He proposed a compromise: The U.S. team could interview Siddiqui, but she would remain at the station. In a Reuters interview, however, a “senior Ghazni police officer” suggested that the compromise did not hold. The U.S. team arrived at the police station, he said, and demanded custody of Siddiqui. The Afghan officers refused, and the U.S. team proceeded to disarm them. Then, for reasons unexplained, Siddiqui herself somehow entered the scene. The U.S. team, “thinking that she had explosives and would attack them as a suicide bomber, shot her and took her.”

    Siddiqui told a delegation of Pakistani senators who went to Texas to visit her in prison a few months after her arrest that she never touched anyone’s gun, nor did she shout at anyone or make any threats. She simply stood up to see who was on the other side of the curtain and startled the soldiers. One of them shouted, “She is loose,” and then someone shot her. When she regained consciousness she heard someone else say, “We could lose our jobs.”

    Siddiqui’s defense team pointed out that there was an absence of bullets, casings or residue from the M4, all of which suggested it had not been fired. They played a video to show that two holes in a wall supposedly caused by the M4 had been there before July 18. They also highlighted inconsistencies in the testimony from the nine government witnesses, who at times gave conflicting accounts of how many people were in the room, where they were sitting or standing and how many shots were fired.

    Siddiqui, who took the stand during the trial against the advice of her defense team, called the report that she had fired the unattended M4 assault rifle at the Americans “the biggest lie.” She said she had been trying to flee the police station because she feared being tortured. Siddiqui, whose mental stability often appeared to be in question during the trial, was ejected several times from the Manhattan courtroom for erratic behavior and outbursts.

    “It is difficult to get a fair trial in this country if the government wants to accuse you of terrorism,” said Foster. “It is difficult to get a fair trial on any types of charges. The government is allowed to tell the jury you are a terrorist before you have to put on any evidence. The fear factor that has emerged since 9/11 has permeated into the U.S. court system in a profoundly disturbing way. It embraces the idea that we can compromise core principles, for example the presumption of innocence, based on perceived threats that may or may not come to light. We, as a society, have chosen to cave on fear.”

    I spent more than a year covering al-Qaida for The New York Times in Europe and the Middle East. The threat posed by Islamic extremists, while real, is also wildly overblown, used to foster a climate of fear and political passivity, as well as pump billions of dollars into the hands of the military, private contractors, intelligence agencies and repressive client governments including that of Pakistan. The leader of one FBI counterterrorism squad told The New York Times that of the 5,500 terrorism-related leads its 21 agents had pursued over the past five years, just 5 percent were credible and not one had foiled an actual terrorist plot. These statistics strike me as emblematic of the entire war on terror.

    Terrorism, however, is a very good business. The number of extremists who are planning to carry out terrorist attacks is minuscule, but there are vast departments and legions of ambitious intelligence and military officers who desperately need to strike a tangible blow against terrorism, real or imagined, to promote their careers as well as justify obscene expenditures and a flagrant abuse of power. All this will not make us safer. It will not protect us from terrorist strikes. The more we dispatch brutal forms of power to the Islamic world the more enraged Muslims and terrorists we propel into the ranks of those who oppose us. The same perverted logic saw the Argentine military, when I lived in Buenos Aires, “disappear” 30,000 of the nation’s citizens, the vast majority of whom were innocent. Such logic also fed the drive to root out terrorists in El Salvador, where, when I arrived in 1983, the death squads were killing between 800 and 1,000 people a month. Once you build secret archipelagos of prisons, once you commit huge sums of money and invest your political capital in a ruthless war against subversion, once you empower a network of clandestine killers, operatives and torturers, you fuel the very insecurity and violence you seek to contain.

    I do not know whether Siddiqui is innocent or guilty. But I do know that permitting jailers, spies, kidnappers and assassins to operate outside of the rule of law contaminates us with our own bile. Siddiqui is one victim. There are thousands more we do not see. These abuses, justified by the war on terror, have created a system of internal and external state terrorism that is far more dangerous to our security and democracy than the threat posed by Islamic radicals.

    The intelligence factory: How America makes its enemies disappear

    By Petra Bartosiewicz

    When I first read the U.S. government’s complaint against Aafia Siddiqui, who is awaiting trial in a Brooklyn detention center on charges of attempting to murder a group of U.S. Army officers and FBI agents in Afghanistan, the case it described was so impossibly convoluted—and yet so absurdly incriminating—that I simply assumed she was innocent. According to the complaint, on the evening of July 17, 2008, several local policemen discovered Siddiqui and a young boy loitering about a public square in Ghazni. She was carrying instructions for creating “weapons involving biological material,” descriptions of U.S. “military assets,” and numerous unnamed “chemical substances in gel and liquid form that were sealed in bottles and glass jars.” Siddiqui, an MIT-trained neuroscientist who lived in the United States for eleven years, had vanished from her hometown in Pakistan in 2003, along with all three of her children, two of whom were U.S. citizens. The complaint does not address where she was those five years or why she suddenly decided to emerge into a public square outside Pakistan and far from the United States, nor does it address why she would do so in the company of her American son. Various reports had her married to a high-level Al Qaeda operative, running diamonds out of Liberia for Osama bin Laden, and abetting the entry of terrorists into the United States. But those reports were countered by rumors that Siddiqui actually had spent the previous five years in the maw of the U.S. intelligence system—that she was a ghost prisoner, kidnapped by Pakistani spies, held in secret detention at a U.S. military prison, interrogated until she could provide no further intelligence, then spat back into the world in the manner most likely to render her story implausible. These dueling narratives of terrorist intrigue and imperial overreach were only further confounded when Siddiqui finally appeared before a judge in a Manhattan courtroom on August 5. Now, two weeks after her capture, she was bandaged and doubled over in a wheelchair, barely able to speak, because—somehow—she had been shot in the stomach by one of the very soldiers she stands accused of attempting to murder.

    It is clear that the CIA and the FBI believed Aafia Siddiqui to be a potential source of intelligence and, as such, a prized commodity in the global war on terror. Every other aspect of the Siddiqui case, though, is shrouded in rumor and denial, with the result that we do not know, and may never know, whether her detention has made the United States any safer. Even the particulars of the arrest itself, which took place before a crowd of witnesses near Ghazni’s main mosque, are in dispute. According to the complaint, Siddiqui was detained not because she was wanted by the FBI but simply because she was loitering in a “suspicious” manner; she did not speak the local language and she was not escorted by an adult male. What drove her to risk such conspicuous behavior has not been revealed. When I later hired a local reporter in Afghanistan to re-interview several witnesses, the arresting officer, Abdul Ghani, said Siddiqui had been carrying “a box with some sort of chemicals,” but a shopkeeper named Farhad said the police had found only “a lot of papers.” Hekmat Ullah, who happened to be passing by at the time of her arrest, said Siddiqui “was attacking everyone who got close to her”—a detail that is not mentioned in the complaint. A man named Mirwais, who had come to the mosque that day to pray, said he saw police handcuff Siddiqui, but Massoud Nabizada, the owner of a local pharmacy, said the police had no handcuffs, “so they used her scarf to tie her hands.” What everyone appears to agree on is this: an unknown person called the police to warn that a possible suicide bomber was loitering outside a mosque; the police arrested Siddiqui and her son; and, Afghan sovereignty notwithstanding, they then dispatched the suspicious materials, whatever they were, to the nearest U.S. military base.

    The events of the following day are also subject to dispute. According to the complaint, a U.S. Army captain and a warrant officer, two FBI agents, and two military interpreters came to question Siddiqui at Ghazni’s police headquarters. The team was shown to a meeting room that was partitioned by a yellow curtain. “None of the United States personnel were aware,” the complaint states, “that Siddiqui was being held, unsecured, behind the curtain.” No explanation is offered as to why no one thought to look behind it. The group sat down to talk and, in another odd lapse of vigilance, “the Warrant Officer placed his United States Army M-4 rifle on the floor to his right next to the curtain, near his right foot.” Siddiqui, like a villain in a stage play, reached from behind the curtain and pulled the three-foot rifle to her side. She unlatched the safety. She pulled the curtain “slightly back” and pointed the gun directly at the head of the captain. One of the interpreters saw her. He lunged for the gun. Siddiqui shouted, “Get the fuck out of here!” and fired twice. She hit no one. As the interpreter wrestled her to the ground, the warrant officer drew his sidearm and fired “approximately two rounds” into Siddiqui’s abdomen. She collapsed, still struggling, then fell unconscious.

    The authorities in Afghanistan describe a different series of events. The governor of Ghazni Province, Usman Usmani, told my local reporter that the U.S. team had “demanded to take over custody” of Siddiqui. The governor refused. He could not release Siddiqui, he explained, until officials from the counterterrorism department in Kabul arrived to investigate. He proposed a compromise: the U.S. team could interview Siddiqui, but she would remain at the station. In a Reuters interview, however, a “senior Ghazni police officer” suggested that the compromise did not hold. The U.S. team arrived at the police station, he said, and demanded custody of Siddiqui, the Afghan officers refused, and the U.S. team proceeded to disarm them. Then, for reasons unexplained, Siddiqui herself somehow entered the scene. The U.S. team, “thinking that she had explosives and would attack them as a suicide bomber, shot her and took her.”

    Siddiqui’s own version of the shooting is less complicated. As she explained it to a delegation of Pakistani senators who came to Texas to visit her in prison a few months after her arrest, she never touched anyone’s gun, nor did she shout at anyone or make any threats. She simply stood up to see who was on the other side of the curtain and startled the soldiers. One of them shouted, “She is loose,” and then someone shot her. When she regained consciousness she heard someone else say, “We could lose our jobs.”

    Siddiqui’s trial is scheduled for this November. The charges against her stem solely from the shooting incident itself, not from any alleged act of terrorism. The prosecutors provide no explanation for how a scientist, mother, and wife came to be charged as a dangerous felon. Nor do they account for her missing years, or her two other children, who still are missing. What is known is that the United States wanted her in 2003, and it wanted her again in 2008, and now no one can explain why.

    As the “global war on terror” enters its ninth year, under the leadership of its second commander in chief, certain ongoing assumptions have gained the force of common wisdom. One of them, as Barack Obama explained in a major policy speech last May, is that we have entered a “new era” that will “present new challenges to our application of the law” and require “new tools to protect the American people.” Another, as Obama made clear in the same speech, is that the purpose of these new tools and laws is “to prevent attacks instead of simply prosecuting those who try to carry them out.” These positions are appealing, but they fail to address what might be thought of as an underlying economic disequilibrium. The continued political appetite for a global war on terror has led to a commodification of “actionable intelligence,” which is a product, chiefly, of human prisoners like Aafia Siddiqui. Because this war, by definition, has no physical or temporal boundaries, the demand for such intelligence has no limit. But the world contains a relatively small number of terrorists and an even smaller number of terrorist plots. Our demand for intelligence far outstrips the supply of prisoners. Where the United States itself has been unable to meet that demand, therefore, it has embraced a solution that is the essence of globalization. We outsource the work to countries, like Pakistan, whose political circumstances allow them to produce prisoners with far greater efficiency.

    What the CIA and the FBI understand as an acquisition solution, however, others see as a human-rights debacle. Just as thousands of political dissidents, suspected criminals, and enemies of the state were “disappeared” from Latin America over the course of several decades of CIA-funded dirty wars, so too have hundreds of “persons of interest” around the world begun to disappear as a consequence of the global war on terror, which in many ways has become a globalized version of those earlier, regional failures of democracy.

    Many individual cases are well known. Binyam Mohamed, an alleged conspirator in Jose Padilla’s now debunked “dirty bomb plot,” was arrested in Karachi in 2002 and flown by the CIA to Morocco, where he was tortured for eighteen months. He eventually emerged into the non-covert prison system, as a detainee at Guantánamo, and was released earlier this year without charge. Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen, was arrested at New York City’s John F. Kennedy Airport in 2002 while on his way home from a vacation, flown by the CIA to a Syrian prison, held in a coffin-size cell for nearly a year, and then released, also without charges. Saud Memon, a Pakistani businessman rumored to own the plot of land where the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was murdered, was arrested in 2003, held by the United States at an unknown location until 2006, then “released” to Pakistan, where in April 2007 he finally emerged, badly beaten and weighing just eighty pounds, on the doorstep of his Karachi home. He died a few weeks later.

    The total number of men and women who have been kidnapped and imprisoned for U.S. intelligence-gathering purposes is difficult to determine. Apart from Iraq and Afghanistan, the main theaters of combat, Pakistan is our primary source of publicly known detainees—researchers at Seton Hall University estimated in 2006 that two thirds of the prisoners at Guantánamo were arrested in Pakistan or by Pakistani authorities—and so it is reasonable to assume that the country is also a major supplier of ghost detainees. Human Rights Watch has tracked enforced disappearances in Pakistan since before 2001. The group’s counterterrorism director, Joanne Mariner, told me that the number of missing persons in the country grew “to a flood” as U.S. counterterrorism operations peaked between 2002 and 2004. In that same three-year period, U.S. aid to Pakistan totaled $4.7 billion, up from $9.1 million in the three years prior to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Correlation does not prove causation, of course, but Pakistan’s former president, Pervez Musharraf, did claim in his 2006 memoir, In the Line of Fire, that his country had delivered 369 Al Qaeda suspects to the United States for “millions of dollars” in bounties (a boast he neatly elides in the Urdu edition). It is reasonable to suspect this figure is on the low side.

    One reason estimates are so inconclusive, of course, is that the business of disappearance is inherently ambiguous. Missing-person reports filed in Pakistan rarely claim that the detained individual was picked up by the CIA or the FBI. Instead, the detainee is almost always arrested by “city police” or “civilian clothed men” or unidentified “secret agency personnel” who arrive in “unmarked vehicles.” The secretary-general of the Pakistani NGO Human Rights Commission, Ibn Abdur Rehman, described the process. “A man is picked up at his house, brought to the police station,” he said. “The family comes with him and are told, ‘He’ll be released in an hour, go home.’ They come back in an hour and are told, ‘Sorry, he’s been handed off to the intelligence people and taken to Islamabad.’ After that, the individual is never heard from again. When the family tries to file a missing-person report, the police won’t take it, and no one admits to having custody of the person.” Some of the disappeared pass directly to U.S. custody and reappear months or years later at Guantánamo or Bagram air base. Others remain captives of Pakistan’s multiple intelligence agencies or are shipped to places like Uzbekistan, whose torture policies are well known. Others simply vanish, their fate revealed only by clerical errors, or when they turn up dead.

    Most of the arrests and detentions take place under the auspices of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which the CIA helped expand in the 1980s largely in order to wage a proxy war against Soviet forces in Afghanistan (where the ISI continues to wield considerable influence). The agency has evolved into a powerful institution with its own agendas and alliances—it has long pursued ethnic separatists in the Baluchistan region, for instance, where the Human Rights Commission estimates that at least 600 individuals have disappeared—and the result is that the CIA itself often has little knowledge of the provenance or purpose of a given arrest.

    Such may be the case with Siddiqui. To my knowledge, the only current or former U.S. official to comment publicly on the significance of her capture was John Kiriakou, a retired CIA officer who gained notoriety in 2007 when he told ABC News that the CIA waterboarding of Abu Zubaydah, an Al Qaeda lieutenant, produced life-saving intelligence in less than a minute. Although Justice Department memos later revealed that Zubaydah was waterboarded eighty-three times, Kiriakou’s comments did much to foster acceptance of the practice among the American public—and his description of Siddiqui seemed calibrated to achieve a similar effect. In 2008 he told ABC News, which had hired him as a consultant after his waterboarding interview, “I don’t think we’ve captured anybody as important and as well connected as she since 2003. We knew that she had been planning, or at least involved in the planning of, a wide variety of different operations.” When I called Kiriakou to ask him about those operations, though, he said the extent of his knowledge was that Siddiqui’s name “had popped up an awful lot” while he was in Pakistan searching for Zubaydah in 2002, and that “the FBI talked about her so often that I thought she must be a big fish.” After he left Pakistan, he forgot all about Siddiqui until ABC called for an interview. “I actually had to Google as to remember who she was,” he said.

    Last spring, in the hope that I might discover how Siddiqui became such a sought-after commodity, I took the eighteen-hour flight from New York to Karachi. Pakistan’s cities are like many in the Third World: overwhelmed with humanity, underserved by government, and ruled by a wealthy elite who cultivate an atmosphere of lawless entitlement. The current president, Asif Ali Zardari, widower of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, was once charged with (though not tried for) attempting to extort a Pakistani businessman by strapping a remote-controlled bomb to the man’s leg. My host in Karachi, a friend of a friend, was a charming fashion designer and gun aficionado who also happened to be a bona-fide feudal lord. The day after my arrival, as one of his servants massaged his neck, he explained to me that he could have the subjects on his lands killed, though I had the impression that he would consider such an act gauche.

    Siddiqui’s own family is well known in Karachi. They are religiously conservative, but also, in certain respects, “Western.” Siddiqui’s father, who died in 2002, was a doctor educated in England. Her brother is an architect in Houston; her sister, now one of Pakistan’s premier neurologists, received her training at Harvard. Siddiqui herself attended MIT as an undergraduate, and earned her doctorate in neuroscience at Brandeis. Her education, and the privilege it implies, is part of what made her disappearance so newsworthy. Families like hers are understood to have enough connections, or at least enough hired guards, to prevent their members from being kidnapped, even by the government.

    The national press nonetheless seems to take for granted that Siddiqui and her children were abducted by Pakistani intelligence in 2003, most likely at the behest of the United States. Almost no one I spoke to in Karachi believed she could have remained underground and undetected by the ISI for five days, let alone five years. But there was one important exception. A few days before I arrived, Siddiqui’s ex-husband, Amjad Khan, told a reporter from the Pakistani daily News that he thought she was an “extremist” and that of course she had been on the run. This so infuriated Siddiqui’s sister, Fowzia, that she later called a press conference of her own and told reporters Khan was an abusive husband and father, and that if anyone was an extremist it was him.

    Khan now lives in Karachi with his new wife and their two children, in the well-appointed home of his father, a retired businessman. He is thirty-nine years old, tall and slender, and when we met he was wearing the long beard that denotes his strict devotion to Islam. He invited me into the drawing room and signaled a servant to bring cookies and cold glasses of lassi, a yogurt drink. Khan came to know Siddiqui, he said, in 1993. She was an active supporter of Islamic causes at MIT, and during a visit to Karachi, Khan’s mother arranged for her to come to their home and give a talk on the plight of Bosnian Muslims. After the talk, Khan’s mother, presumably impressed, asked him if he liked what he saw. He said yes, and the parents arranged a wedding. The ceremony took place over the phone while Khan was in Karachi and Siddiqui already back in Boston, but Khan, who had studied medicine in Pakistan, soon followed her and took a research position at Massachusetts General Hospital.

    Khan said he loved Siddiqui in the early years of their marriage but that the relationship was always somewhat volatile; he casually described an incident in which he threw a baby bottle at Siddiqui’s face and she had to go to the hospital to get stitches. The marriage began to unravel, he said, after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Siddiqui, shaken by the U.S. reaction to the attacks, flew with the children to Karachi soon after, and when Khan joined them in November, he says, Siddiqui’s “extreme nature” became apparent. She wanted him to go with her to Afghanistan to serve as a medic for the mujahedeen. When he refused, he said, “she became hysterical. She started pounding on my chest with her fists. She openly asked for a divorce in front of my family.” Khan’s parents urged him to return to Boston without Siddiqui, to complete his board exams, which he did. In January 2002, he convinced Siddiqui to return to Boston, where they patched things up sufficiently that Siddiqui became pregnant with their third child.

    Then, in June 2002, the couple received a visit from the FBI. The agents said they were following up on a suspicious-activity report from Fleet Bank in Boston. Why had someone at the Saudi embassy in Washington wired $70,000 to accounts linked to their address? And why had Khan recently purchased night-vision goggles, body armor, and, according to Khan, as many as seventy military manuals, among them Fugitive, Advanced Fugitive, and How to Make C-4? “I asked the FBI,” he said, “whether I should return some of the objectionable books, and the agent replied, ‘No, we are a free country. You are free to read these books.’” Khan told me that the “night-vision goggles” were actually just a single night-vision scope for his hunting rifle; the “body armor” was a bulletproof vest for his uncle, a big-game hunter in Karachi. The $70,000 was not for them. It had been sent to a Saudi man who sublet Khan’s first Boston apartment in 2001 after the couple had moved to another place—the money was to pay for medical treatment for his son. And the military manuals, Khan explained, less convincingly, were an appeasement gift for Siddiqui. “By that time I knew the marriage wasn’t going to last,” he said. “But I had my exams coming up and needed to keep things neutral.”

    The arguments continued, however, and in the end it was Khan who, in August 2002, finally demanded a divorce. The parting was quite bitter, and perhaps not entirely because of Siddiqui’s purported radical proclivities. Even before the divorce was finalized that October, Khan had contracted a marriage with his current wife, an act that Siddiqui, according to divorce papers her sister gave me, said was done “without her consent or prior knowledge.” And although Khan said he offered to pay child support and sought to see the children, the divorce papers note that he gave up permanent custody and would “have no right of any nature with the children.” He has never seen his son, Suleman, who was born that September.

    Khan said he learned that Siddiqui was missing only when the FBI issued an alert in March 2003, five months after the divorce was finalized, seeking both of them for questioning. He told me he cleared his own name several weeks later in a four-hour joint interview with the FBI and the ISI, and that his “contacts in the agencies” informed him that Siddiqui had gone underground. He had no idea where his children were, he said—a claim he would later contradict. He said he and his driver saw Siddiqui in a taxi in Karachi in 2005. But they did not follow her.

    As we talked, Khan’s father came and sat down and soon began answering questions for his son, who deferred to him. Eventually the father decided the interview had gone on long enough, and so Khan walked me outside, where his two young daughters from his second marriage were playing on the lawn. One was named Mariam, the same name as his daughter with Siddiqui. I asked if he had given up on the possibility of the first Mariam coming home. Khan shrugged and said he just liked the name.

    Fowzia lives in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, an affluent enclave of palm trees and high-walled compounds not far from Amjad Khan’s home. When I called, she was about to hold her press conference and told me to come right over. “I got a video of the prison strip search,” she said. “It’s really gruesome.”

    I knew Siddiqui had been searched when she left her holding cell for preliminary hearings. She was still recovering from her gunshot wounds and had found the process, which included a cavity search, to be humiliating and extremely painful. I assumed Fowzia had somehow acquired a tape of the search. Images of a devout Muslim woman being stripped in the presence of Western prison guards would be offensive and inflammatory, and thus newsworthy, and could help Fowzia gain sympathy for her sister’s cause.

    Several TV satellite trucks were idling outside the house when I arrived, and in the living room three dozen reporters were watching the video, which Fowzia played on her laptop computer. I leaned in to get a better look and saw that it was indeed a strip search. But the woman was not Siddiqui. The video, taken from a U.S. television report on an entirely unrelated case, was meant to depict what Fowzia’s sister might have gone through—not an outright deception but a well-timed ploy to shift attention away from the damaging claims of an angry ex-husband.

    After the reporters left, we sat down to discuss the case in greater detail. Fowzia kept steering the conversation away from questions about her sister’s culpability and the whereabouts of her niece and nephew. Instead, she wanted to discuss Khan’s perfidy. “He’s on a lying spree,” she said. “Let him continue!” Fowzia speculated that Khan was inventing tales about Siddiqui in order to save himself from prosecution, that he was a criminal who had been turned into an informant, that he could be trusted by no one. I asked her what proof she had that Khan had been involved in terrorist activities. She said she had none. But he certainly held extremist views, she said, and as evidence she produced a copy of the couple’s divorce agreement and directed me to a proviso that Khan had inserted: “Under no circumstances would the children be admitted in any of the schools which render education in Western style or culture.”

    Fowzia’s resignation about the missing children puzzled me, as had Khan’s. When I asked her about it, she said, “I’ve coped by assuming the kids are dead.” A few years ago, she explained, a Pakistani intelligence agent had come to her house and told her that Suleman, who had been born prematurely and was sick at the time Aafia disappeared, had died in custody. I asked her who the agent was, but she said he refused to give his name. (After I left Pakistan, Khan emailed me to say he had received “confidential good news” from the ISI that Mariam and Suleman were “alive and well” with Fowzia. When I asked if he could tell me more, he wrote back that he possessed “a lot of detailed information” about his children and implied they had been with the Siddiqui family all along, but he refused to provide any of that information “because I was forbidden by the agencies/my lawyer to do so for my own safety.” Fowzia says she still has not seen the children.)

    On my way out of Fowzia’s house, I passed a boy who was watching television. It was Siddiqui’s eldest son, Ahmad, now twelve years old. After his arrest at the market in Afghanistan he had again vanished, and for a month U.S. authorities denied any knowledge of his whereabouts. In fact, he had been turned over to an Afghan intelligence agency, which held him for six weeks and finally sent him to Pakistan to live with his aunt. I waved to Ahmad. He said hello and then went back to the Bollywood film he was watching. “He hasn’t talked in great detail about where he was,” Fowzia said. “He tries to figure out what answer you want him to give and he gives that answer.”

    What most of us understand as human relationships, infinitely varied and poignant with ambiguity, criminal investigators understand simply as a series of associations. The mapping of “known associates” is an old and powerful investigative technique. But within the context of the global war on terror, the technique—known variously as “social-network analysis,” “link analysis,” or “contact chaining”—has been used less for solving crimes and more for preventing them. Using large computer arrays and the kind of automated data analysis that already dominate the world of global finance, investigators cobble together every scrap of available information in order to create what they hope is a picture not of a single true past but of an infinite variety of theoretical futures. In such a system, the universe of possible associations—and therefore the universe of possible detainees—also becomes unlimited. When the FBI detained more than a thousand Muslim immigrants in 2001, for instance, it provided judges at secret detention hearings an affidavit explaining that “the business of counterterrorism intelligence gathering in the United States is akin to the construction of a mosaic” and that evidence “that may seem innocuous at first glance” might ultimately “fit into a picture that will reveal how the unseen whole operates.” The FBI reasoned that even the possessors of this intelligence might not be aware of the significance of what they knew, and so they could be detained simply because the agency was “unable to rule out” their value.

    It was precisely such a mosaic, in which none of the myriad connections were quite intelligible but all were laden with vague significance, that set off alarms at the FBI and CIA in the months leading up to the moment Siddiqui disappeared in 2003. In early 2002, the FBI became aware of a United Nations investigation into Al Qaeda financing that mentioned Siddiqui. A “confidential source” claimed he had “personally met” her in Liberia, where she was on a mission to “evaluate diamond operations” for her Al Qaeda bosses in Pakistan. Dennis Lormel, an FBI agent who was investigating terrorism financing at the time, told me the agency quickly debunked this specific claim. Nonetheless, the notion that Siddiqui was involved in money laundering had entered the picture.

    Then, in late December 2002, two months after her divorce, Siddiqui flew from Pakistan to the United States, where she had a job interview at a hospital in Baltimore. On December 30, she made her way to nearby Gaithersburg, Maryland, and opened a post office box. She listed as a co-owner of the box a man named Majid Khan, whom she falsely identified as her husband. According to court records, the FBI began to monitor the box almost immediately.

    On March 1, 2003, intelligence agents in Pakistan arrested Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged operational planner of the September 11 attacks. U.S. interrogators quickly elicited from him the names of dozens of possible co-conspirators. Among them was Majid Khan. Mohammed said he had assigned Khan to deliver “a large sum of money” to Al Qaeda.

    On March 5, the ISI arrested Khan, along with his pregnant wife. According to a statement by Khan’s father, “U.S. and Pakistani agents, including FBI agents,” interrogated his son for at least three weeks at a secret detention center in Karachi. What Khan told his captors is not publicly known, but by March 18 the FBI was alarmed enough to issue a bulletin seeking Siddiqui and her ex-husband for questioning.

    On March 28, FBI agents in New York City detained a twenty-three-year-old man named Uzair Paracha, who had just arrived there from Pakistan to help his father sell units of a beachfront property in Karachi. His father also owned an import/export business in Manhattan, and Paracha worked from an office there. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had planned to use the company, he told investigators, “to smuggle explosives into the United States.” Among the first questions agents in New York asked Paracha was whether he knew Majid Khan. He said he did. And there was more: he also had the key to his post office box.

    At some point that same month, Siddiqui disappeared. Her family would not, or could not, give me a specific date. The last traces of her I found came from news accounts. On March 28, the day the FBI detained Paracha, the Pakistani daily Dawn reported that local authorities took Siddiqui “to an undisclosed location” for questioning and that “FBI agents were also allowed to question the lady.” Three weeks later, on April 21, a “senior U.S. law enforcement official” told Lisa Myers of NBC Nightly News that Siddiqui was in Pakistani custody. The same source retracted the statement the next day without explanation. “At the time,” Myers told me, “we thought there was a possibility perhaps he’d spoken out of turn.”

    There was one final association to take into account. On April 29, the Pakistani authorities arrested Ammar al Baluchi, a computer technician they suspected was plotting to bomb the U.S. embassy in Pakistan. Baluchi was the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The FBI and the CIA suspected that he had provided the 9/11 hijackers with almost a quarter of their financing. They had also come to believe, as was later reported in an undated Department of Defense “detainee biography,” that Baluchi had “married Siddiqui shortly before his detention.”

    The means by which we assemble such intelligence have become more sophisticated and also more violent. During his initial month of detention, Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times. Khan’s father claims that his son was forced “to sign a statement that he was not even allowed to read,” and Khan later attempted suicide, twice, by chewing through an artery in his arm.

    The interrogations yielded a great deal of data, but it is unclear how useful any of that data actually was. Mohammed later said, “I gave a lot of false information in order to satisfy what I believed the interrogators wished to hear.” Paracha told many contradictory stories, and Baluchi, who had maintained his innocence during his U.S. military tribunal hearing, later filed a statement saying, in effect, that he was proud of his involvement in the September 11 attacks.

    The roles Siddiqui and Paracha played in the post-office-box affair may have been entirely innocent. Majid Khan said at his own military tribunal hearings that his travel documents had expired while he was in Karachi and he wanted to renew them. He asked his friend Baluchi to enlist Siddiqui and Paracha to help maintain the ruse that he was still in the United States by establishing a mailing address. Khan and Baluchi both contended at Paracha’s trial that he was ignorant of their ties to Al Qaeda.

    Such intelligence may actually be worse than useless. In a 2006 Harvard study of the efficacy of preemptive national-security practices, Jessica Stern and Jonathan Wiener note that “taking action based only on worst-case thinking can introduce unforeseen dangers and costs” and propose that “a better approach to managing risk involves an assessment of the full portfolio of risks—those reduced by the proposed intervention, as well as those increased.” Rather than understanding all intelligence as actionable, they write, “decision makers” should create “mechanisms to ensure that sensible risk analysis precedes precautionary actions.” At the moment, no such mechanisms appear to exist. The leader of one FBI conterterrorism squad recently told the New York Times that of the 5,500 terrorism-related leads its twenty-one agents had pursued over the past five years, just 5 percent were credible and not one had foiled an actual terrorist plot. But the gathering of intelligence continues apace.

    As I traveled from Karachi to Lahore to Islamabad, questioning family members, lawyers, and spies, I heard every possible story about Aafia Siddiqui. She was a well-known extremist. She was an innocent victim. She was an informant working for the United States or Pakistan or both sides at once. Most people continued to believe that she had been arrested by someone in 2003, but it was proving impossible to determine who actually apprehended her, or who ordered the arrest, or why. I interviewed an attorney in Lahore who swore he had seen a cell-phone video of the arrest that showed what he believed was a female CIA officer slapping Siddiqui across the face. And as to her whereabouts before the arrest, the most persistent account—that she was held by the U.S. military in Bagram prison in Afghanistan—emerged from the testimony of two former detainees, one of whom, Moazzam Begg, was not even at Bagram during the years Siddiqui was missing.

    One afternoon in Islamabad I met a recently retired senior Pakistani intelligence officer who had promised, if I agreed not to name him, to answer all of my questions. We spoke at his home, a gated mansion in one of the city’s wealthiest precincts. He had silver hair and a silver mustache, and he wore a gold pinky ring fitted with a large green stone. When I called to arrange the interview, he initially said he did not know why Siddiqui had disappeared. But he had since then contacted a friend at one of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies, “a very good chap” who had been “pretty senior in the hierarchy” when Siddiqui disappeared in 2003. Now, over the customary drinks and cookies, the retired intelligence officer recounted their conversation, the upshot of which was that Siddiqui had in fact been picked up by Pakistani intelligence and delivered to “the friends,” which was shorthand, he said, for the CIA.

    “You people didn’t have the decency to tell me she’d been picked up?” he’d asked his colleague, referring to the jurisdictional problems that plague intelligence agencies around the world. “No, no, it was very sudden,” the colleague replied. “The friends, they were insisting.” My host told me that such insistence was irritating and disrespectful. “It was very difficult, very embarrassing for us to turn her over to you,” he said. “The decision was made at the highest levels. Bush and Musharraf likely would have known about it. After two to three days, we passed her along to the CIA.”

    By the time our meeting ended, I was convinced that I had heard the definitive account if not of Siddiqui’s reappearance then at least of her disappearance—until, after a fifteen-minute taxi ride later to a less fashionable neighborhood, I arrived at the home of Siddiqui’s elderly maternal uncle, Shams ul Hassan Faruqi, a geologist. As we sat in his home office, surrounded by maps and drawings of rock strata, Faruqi told an entirely different story. He said Siddiqui showed up at his house unannounced one evening in January 2008, a time when, according to the intelligence officer I had just left, she was supposedly in the hands of the CIA. Her face had been altered, Faruqi said, as if she had undergone plastic surgery, but he knew her by her voice. She said she had been held by the Pakistanis and the Americans and was now running operations for both of them against Al Qaeda. She had slipped away for a few days, though, because she wanted him to smuggle her across the border into Afghanistan so she could seek sanctuary with the Taliban, members of which Faruqi had known from his years of mineral exploration.

    A few days later I heard yet another account, this one from Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani reporter who has been writing about the Taliban and the ISI for thirty years. As I interviewed him, we were joined by his three golden Labradors, who had just been shaved bare to make the heat more tolerable for them. Rashid told me that he, too, had heard from his sources that the Pakistanis had picked up Siddiqui. But instead of handing her directly to the CIA, they hung on to her. “It’s possible there were some conditions being laid for her being released which the Americans didn’t want to meet. So we held her for a long time,” he said. “I think she was used as a bargaining chip for something completely different which we were pissed off about.”

    Perhaps the most believable account came from Ali Hasan, senior South Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch, whom I visited at his home in Lahore. “My professional view,” he said, “is they’re all lying. Siddiqui’s family is lying, the husband is lying, the Pakistanis are lying, the Americans are lying, for all I know the kids are lying. And because they’re all lying the truth is probably twenty times stranger than we all know.”

    One of the chief conveniences of outsourcing is that certain costs are externalized. Pollution, for instance, is expensive. Manufacturers that pollute in the United States are required to bear its cost by paying a fine. If they outsource to a country where the cost of the pollution is borne directly by the people, they make more money. Such a transfer is obviously desirable from the point of view of the manufacturer, but it often generates political unrest in the host country, for reasons that are equally obvious. This phenomenon applies as well when the external cost of manufacturing intelligence is paid in freedom. The governments that did the outsourced work of U.S. intelligence agencies in previous dirty wars—in Argentina and Chile, Guatemala and Uruguay—eventually were toppled by popular protest, in large part because the people became aware that their leaders had profited from their suffering. Pakistanis today appear no less aware that this type of transaction is occurring in their country. Indeed, a recent poll found that the only nation they find more threatening than India, whose nuclear missiles point directly at them, is the United States. And they have begun to hold their leaders accountable for the association.

    The rising number of disappearances became a decisive political issue in 2007, after Pakistan’s Supreme Court, under its chief justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry, opened hearings on behalf of the missing, demanding that they appear before the court. This initiative turned up the locations of 186 disappeared persons, many of whom were found in known Pakistani detention centers, including Imran Munir, a Malaysian of Pakistani origin who had been missing since 2006. During Munir’s hearing, it came to light that Pakistani security agents had continued trying to hide him even after the court demanded his presence. Chaudhry’s efforts to locate the disappeared were met with considerable resistance from the government. In March 2007, the chief justice himself was summoned to appear before Musharraf, where, with ISI and military chiefs present, he was ordered to resign. Chaudhry refused, and so Musharraf charged him with misconduct and suspended him from office.

    In July 2007, a panel of thirteen judges reinstated Chaudhry, who quickly returned to his investigation of the disappeared. This time, he warned, he would order the heads of the security agencies themselves to testify. He also summoned Imran Munir once again, but before Munir could appear, Musharraf declared a state of emergency and put Chaudhry under house arrest. Lawyers around Pakistan, horrified to see the chief justice so flagrantly humiliated, rose up to demand his reinstatement. The Lawyers’ Movement, as it came to be known, was soon embraced by hundreds of thousands of Pakistani citizens, who marched in massive protests, and Musharraf, in the end, was the one who had to resign.

    The current president, Asif Ali Zardari, gained considerable momentum in his election campaign by pledging to reinstate Chaudhry. But once in office, he hesitated to follow through on that pledge, likely because he was concerned that the court would reopen a series of corruption cases against him. The marches grew larger, though, and on March 16, 2009, while I happened to be in Pakistan, Zardari finally reinstated Chaudhry, along with several other similarly deposed justices.

    I joined the hundreds of supporters gathered at the chief justice’s house in Islamabad. Families came with children, people waved placards that bore Chaudhry’s image, and a marching band with bagpipes played. Chaudhry had always maintained that his struggle was legal, not political, but the scene had all the markings of a post-campaign victory celebration. I made my way along the receiving line until I reached Chaudhry, who was surrounded by the leaders of the Lawyers’ Movement. He had been shaking hands for several hours, but I thought I would try to ask a question. When I reached him, I took his hand and asked him when he planned to take up the missing-person cases with which his name had become synonymous. He paused, as if parsing the political consequences of his answer. “I don’t know,” he finally said, and giggled uncomfortably as his handlers, looking equally uncomfortable, hustled me down the line.

    It is the shooting, oddly enough, that has generated the most detailed evidence about Siddiqui’s present circumstances. After the confrontation in Ghazni, she was choppered by air ambulance to the Craig Joint Theater Hospital at Bagram air base—the same base, of course, where she may or may not once have been a prisoner. Her medical intake record notes that she was a three on the fifteen-point Glasgow Coma Scale, meaning she was almost dead. The surgeons opened her up from breastbone to bellybutton, searching for bullets. They cut out twenty centimeters of her small intestine. They also gave her transfusions of red blood cells and fresh frozen platelets and dosed her with clotting medication, which suggests she had experienced heavy blood loss. “FBI agents in room with patient at all times,” the medical record stated. “Patient is in four-point restraints.” In the span of just two weeks she went from near clinical death to being deemed “medically stable and capable of confinement.” The doctor witnessed every detail of her recovery. “Details of pertinent medical findings: Very thin, sallow coloring, dry cracked lips,” and also “flat affect, crying at times.”

    From that point forward, however, the clarity of medical detail is clouded by legal concerns. Siddiqui had no lawyer during her two weeks at Bagram or on her flight to the United States. The day after she landed, she was in a Manhattan courtroom, facing charges of attempted murder. In allowing her to be transported to the United States without even a consular visit, her own government, notwithstanding its public pronouncements of support and calls for repatriation, effectively gave her up without a fight. The Pakistani embassy eventually hired a team of three attorneys to augment her two existing public defenders, but Siddiqui refused to work with them. During a prison phone call in June, she told her brother, “I just protest against this whole process and don’t want to participate.”

    The only people Siddiqui seemed to trust, strangely, were the FBI agents who sat by her bedside at Bagram, and whose presence she repeatedly requested in the apparent belief that if only she could speak to them for a moment she could clear everything up. According to notes taken by the agents, she was voluble during those early days of her detention in Afghanistan. She said she “made some bad decisions in the past, but mostly did so out of naivety.” In contrast to her later statements, she confirmed that she was married to Ammar al Baluchi, whom she met when his sister rented a room at her mother’s house, and that Baluchi had asked her to help his friend Majid Khan with his immigration problem. She admitted having possession of chemicals including sodium cyanide at the time of her capture, though “not for nefarious purposes,” and she said that she had been “in ‘hiding’ for the last five years” and “aware that various law enforcement agencies had been looking for her.” She had little to say about her children. “She finds it easier to presume them dead,” the agents noted. She also volunteered to become a U.S. intelligence “asset” in the hope that she could find the “truth to the inner depths.”

    It is uncertain what the defense’s theory of the case will be when Siddiqui goes on trial this November. Perhaps, as one of her lawyers told me, she never even touched the gun. Perhaps she acted in self-defense. Or perhaps, as another of her lawyers claimed at an early hearing, “she’s crazy.” In this last matter, ambiguity is once again the rule. Four prison psychiatrists examined Siddiqui. Two of them determined she was malingering, the faked illness being insanity. A third said she was delusional and that her behavior was “diametrically opposed to everything we know about the clinical presentation of malingerers,” and the fourth psychiatrist initially diagnosed her as depressive—and possibly psychotic—but later switched to the malingering camp. Siddiqui’s own contribution to the debate came in the form of a rambling letter, written last July to “All Americans loyal to the U.S.A.,” in which she proclaimed her innocence, decried the propaganda being spun against her by the “Zionist-controlled U.S. media,” and alleged that she spent years in a prison “controlled by the ‘Americans,’ of the kind that control the U.S. media.” Later that month the court ruled that she “may have some mental health issues” but that she was fit enough to stand trial.

    Aafia Siddiqui is not presently charged with any act of terrorism, nor is she accused of conspiring with terrorists or giving comfort to terrorists. Her trial is unlikely to yield satisfactory answers about where she was, who picked her up and why, or even who she really is. Maybe she was working for the United States, or Pakistan, or maybe she was just in the United States looking for a job and committed a minor bit of immigration fraud that catalyzed a violent farce. One FBI official told _U.S. News & World Report _in 2003, “There’s a distinct possibility she was just a victim.” Perhaps Aafia Siddiqui is guilty of nothing more than poor choice in men. We simply do not know, and the system in which she has found herself ensures that neither will her captors.

    The person who seemed best able to explain what really happened to Siddiqui, her sister, Fowzia, remained elusive until my last day in Pakistan. At our first meeting she had promised to pull together all sorts of evidence of her sister’s innocence, but by the time she finally agreed to meet again, my bags were packed and my plane just hours from departure.

    She said she avoided me all these weeks because she’d been told by “multiple people” that I worked for the CIA. “All you want are documents,” she said. “I just want someone who can listen.” Then she dragged out a family photo album and started showing me pictures of her sister with various animals: goats, a camel, the family cat. “Aafia loved animals,” she said.

    Then she opened a more formal binder. She flipped to a grainy photocopy of a woman lying on a bed. The woman bore a striking resemblance to Siddiqui, only she looked younger and softer, as if she’d been airbrushed; sitting at her bedside was a young man—Fowzia wouldn’t say who—and mounted on a wall behind her was what appeared to be the seal of the United States government. The seal, Fowzia said, proved the picture was taken in Bagram, but she wouldn’t say why it proved this, and before I could inspect the image any further she flipped the page and wouldn’t let me look at it again. “I’d love it if a real investigator would come and devote himself to the case,” she said. “You know, really work on it.”

  9. 17 Project Humanbeingsfirst.org February 9, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Yes. Thanks for adding further to the definition of ‘Negro’.

    And many more shades of the ‘Negro’ have been cultivated in modernity.

    One new shade that I have been grappling with for some time is the ‘intellectual Negro’. This is a breed neither captured by X nor MLK, but is today ubiquitious in Pakistan.

    This new kind is familiar to us under the nom de guerre ‘fabricated dissent’. This one will appear to hector the white man, while still managing to echo his core axioms. Thus, the hectoring serves the function of appearing to be on the side of the ‘field Negro’, but in reality he is still a ‘house Negro’ without speaking in that ‘we’ vernacular. Here is an example: the first article hectors the white man, the second one echoes its core axioms:



    And here is another one which does the same all in one article:


    I fear one would be very hard pressed to find an exception to the ‘intellectual Negro’ in Pakistan from among our uber-educated litterati, from among our well-funded ‘humanist’ NGOs, especically the Human Rights Organizations, the Left as well as the Right, and the new occidentosis plague we seemed to have picked up: think-tanks staffed with our finest Negroes of all shades, including also ‘field Negroes’ employed as cover, dupes, and patsies.

    Layered atop the foundational layer of defacto mental colonization of the ‘Negro’, is the layer of fabricated deception purveyors based on shared ideology. And on top of that is another pernicious layer based on apparantly our natural trait: our meagre price.

    These three colonizing forces combined in various shades tend to create many more Negro types. The ‘price’ aspect is particularly capricious – this price today is far more insidious than the mere lifafa, the bottle of whiskey, or even trip to Disneyland of yesteryear (as put by Brig. Tirmazi in his “Profiles of Intelligence” Ch 3).

    And I feel that as in the yesteryear, the solution to overcome these dreaded cancers of defacto colonization are also the same: un-colonized, un co-opted, clear-headed, inspiring leadership by the fearless. That can only arise from among the ‘field Negroes’ – I don’t see it happening at all from among the ‘house Negroes’.

    Even just one man or woman like Malcolm X can perhaps alter the destiny of Pakistan.

    And like X, he or she wouldn’t live very long either. But in his place, another arises. And still another. And that chain, linked closely, and spaced closely in time, perhaps concurrently, can lead to a chain reaction that can become unstoppable. Therefore, we all, well most of us anyway, ‘wait for allah’ to send us such a leader who can be that spark!

    Zahir Ebrahim
    Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

    • 18 nota February 9, 2010 at 1:13 pm

      Glad you brought up the ‘intellectual Negro’ and indeed what better example of that than Yahoodboy (I was planning a post on him but haven’t had the time to go beyond a rough draft) and Ayesha Siddiqa (and didn’t we recently talk about our true patriot Shamshad Ahmad?). In fact one can pick any local English newspaper (though Dawn stands out in this regard) and you will see each and every regular columnist qualifies (and when they are not writing for the local paper you can always find them busy with some speaking engagement before some think tank out there (saying you know what or spreading his venom on the tv). And you are right that “one would be very hard pressed to find an exception to the ‘intellectual Negro’ in Pakistan from among our uber-educated litterati….” (I am sure a few exist but will they get air-time/column-space? Not a chance!)

  10. 19 Project Humanbeingsfirst.org February 10, 2010 at 12:43 am

    Thanks for the two articles. Here is another one by my comrade in common cause Stephen Lendman: “Aafia Siddiqui: Victimized by American Injustice”. It is an interesting narrative, not because Lendman is stating facts which others have not rehearsed, but because he, as a white American – a Harvard graduate no less, belonging to the white man’s civilization but harboring a sense of justice and human dignity which only the non-colonized and the non-colonizing mind can contain – is saying what the ‘field Negroes’ are saying.

    The contrast of the white man courageously standing up for the ‘field Negro’, while Pakistani Negroes asserting: “we must simply accept the decision, pending a possible appeal, Dr. Aafia is guilty“, is just too mind-fcking disturbing… how common is this sentiment in Pakistan? To my knowledge, even the usual mainstream ‘intellectual Negroes’ in the Pakistani press have condemned this travesty of justice.

    Here is the full Lendman article, just for completeness.

    Aafia Siddiqui: Victimized by American Injustice
    February 9th, 2010 1:24 AM
    by Stephen Lendman

    On February 3, a Department of Justice press release headlined “Aafia Siddiqui Found Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court of Attempting to Murder US Nationals in Afghanistan and Six Additional Charges.”

    At her scheduled May 6 sentencing, she “faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each of the attempted murder and armed assault charges; life in prison on the firearms charge; and eight years in prison on each of the remaining assault charges. SIDDIQUI faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years in prison on the firearms charge.”

    On February 3, New York Times writer CJ Hughes headlined: “Pakistani Scientist Found Guilty of Shootings,” convicting her on all seven counts, including attempted murder – “capping a trial that drew notice for its terrorist implications as well as its theatrics,” but omitting convincing evidence of Siddiqui’s innocence. Instead, Hughes said she was arrested with “instructions (in her purse) on making explosives and a list of New York landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building.” Her defense team acknowledged their existence, but Siddiqui denied packing them or knowing of their origin. She later suggested she copied them from a magazine, planned no terrorist acts, nor did her indictment claim them.

    Hughes also said she “raised suspicions when she and her three children vanished in Pakistan in 2003.” She didn’t vanish. Her mother said she “left the family home in Gulshan-e-lqbal in a taxi on March 30, 2003 to catch a flight for Rawalpindi, but never reached the airport.” Pakistani intelligence agents abducted her, turned her over to US authorities, after which her long ordeal of secret imprisonment, interrogations, and years of brutalizing torture began, even though she wasn’t charged.

    Her son Mohammed was later released on condition he say nothing. Her other two children, Maryam and Suleman, disappeared and may have been killed.

    In May 2004, Pakistan’s Interior Minister confirmed she was turned over to US authorities in 2003 after no link between her and Al Qaeda was established. In 2006, Amnesty International called her one of many of the “disappeared” in America’s “war on terror.” In 2007, a Ghost Prisoner Human Rights Watch report suggested she was held in secret CIA detention.

    In February 2008, the Asian Human Rights Commission said she was brought to Karachi and severely tortured to secure her compliance as a government witness against Khalid Shiekh Mohammed, the alleged 9/11 mastermind, related to Siddiqui through marriage to his nephew. He reportedly “gave her up” after capture on March 1, 2003, after which she and her children disappeared.

    The charges were bogus and outrageous. Yet, on September 2, 2008, the Justice Department (DOJ) indicted her “on charges related to her attempted murder and assault of United States nationals and officers and employees.” According to Michael Garcia, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York (in his same day press release):

    On July 18, 2008, “a team of United States servicemen and law enforcement officers, and others assisting them, attempted to interview Aafia Siddiqui in Ghazni, Aghanistan, where she had been detained by local police the day before….unbeknownst to the United States interview team, unsecured, behind a curtain — Siddiqui obtained one of the United States Army’s M-4 rifles and attempted to fire it, and did fire it, at another United States Army officer and other members of the United States interview team….Siddiqui then assaualted one of the United States Army interpreters, as he attempted to obtain the M-4 rifle from her. Siddiqui subsequently assaulted one of the FBI agents and one of the United States Army officers, as they attempted to subdue her.”

    Left unexplained was how this frail, weak, 110-pound woman, confronted by three US Army officers, two FBI agents, and two Army interpreters, inexplicably managed to assault three of them, get one of their rifles, open fire at close range, hit no one, and only she was severely wounded.

    According to her attorney, Elaine Whitfield Sharp:

    “how did this happen? And how did she get shot? I think you can answer that, can’t you (and question the outrageous charges against her)?”

    During proceedings, another defense lawyer, Linda Moreno, said no forensic evidence proved the rifle Siddiqui allegedly used had been fired since no bullets, shell casings, or bullet debris were recovered and no bullet holes detected.

    Garcia didn’t explain, nor about her abduction, torture and repeated raping at Bagram prison, Afghanistan where, as Prisoner 650, she was called the “Gray Lady of Bagram” because her screams were heard for years. Nor did he discuss her physical and emotional destruction. She was a pawn in America’s “war on terror,” used, abused, now convicted, and facing life in prison when sentenced, a victim of gross injustice.

    Some Background

    A Pakistani national, Siddiqui is deeply religious, attended MIT and Brandeis University where she earned a doctorate in neurocognitive science, married a Boston physician, raised money for charities, did volunteer work, distributed Korans to inmates in area prisons, and did nothing out of the ordinary. Yet the UK Times Online called her “Al-Qaeda woman.” For ABC News, she was “Mata Hari,” and the Justice Department targeted her as a terrorist, a woman guilty only of being Muslim in America at the wrong time.

    When seized, the FBI said she was a potential “treasure trove” of information on terrorist suspects, sympathizers, or sleepers in America and overseas. CIA officer John Kiriakou called her “the most significant capture in five years,” and an unnamed counterterrorism official said she’s “a very dangerous person, no doubt about it.” FBI Director Robert Mueller said she’s “an Al Qaeda operative and facilitator.” He and the others lied.

    Those who knew her recalled she was very small, quiet, polite, and shy, barely noticeable in a gathering. However, she’d say what was needed when necessary. Her fellow students described her as soft-spoken, studious, religious, but not extremist or fundamentalist. She taught Muslim children on Sundays, and was dedicated to helping oppressed Muslims worldwide. She spoke publicly, sent emails, gave slideshow presentations, and raised donations as part of her faith, activism, and sincerity. Yet she was targeted as “a high security risk” despite no evidence then or now to prove it.

    Siddiqui is innocent of all charges, yet the DOJ claimed she was involved in biochemical warfare. In fact, she devised a computer program, enlisted adult volunteers to watch various objects move randomly across the screen, then reproduce what they recalled. The idea was to learn how well they retained information after viewing it on a computer. It had nothing to do with terrorism, biochemical warfare, or blowing up New York targets, charges never appearing in her indictment.

    Siddiqui’s Trial and Conviction

    Against her lawyers’ advice, she spoke publicly for the first time, despite the risk and her frail condition. She explained her academic work, her post-doctorate teaching, her interests that included studying the capabilities of dyslexic and other impaired children, then recounted her ordeal.

    After being abducted, she agonized over the fate of her children. In US custody, the relevant incident leading to her indictment went as follows:

    — at one point, she was tied down;

    — then untied;

    — left behind a curtain;

    — peaked through it; and

    — an American soldier shot her in the stomach;

    — another in her side;

    — then violently threw her to the floor unconscious.

    She vaguely remembered being on a stretcher, placed in a helicopter, and getting a blood transfusion. She emphatically denied seizing and firing a weapon.

    Under cross-examination, she said she was given the bag with incriminating documents, didn’t know its contents or whether handwriting on them was hers. She explained her repeated torture at Bagram, the effects of the strong medications given her, and at one point said, “If you were in a secret prison, or your children were tortured,” after which she was forcibly removed from court and the proceedings continued without her.

    According to media reports, these revelations were “outbursts.” On January 25, New York Times writer CJ Hughes reported numerous “disruptions….plagu(ing) the trial. Monday (January 25) was hardly an exception. The defendant was ejected from (court) – not once, but twice (for) loudly proclaiming her innocence.” On January 19, she “had several outbursts in previous court appearances, raising questions about her competency to stand trial.”

    On February 4, AP writer Tom Hays said “True to form, Aafia Siddiqui did not go quietly,” called her comments “combative,” then claimed the prosecution presented “compelling testimony.”

    On February 5, the Islamophobic frontpagemag.com headlined “How a ‘Nice American Girl’ Became a Jihadist,” saying “veiled Muslim women can be very aggressive, murderously so.”

    On February 3, the New York Daily News headlined, “Lady Al Qaeda Aafia Siddiqui convicted of attempted murder.” Writer Alison Gendar accepted DOJ’s charges as fact and added some of her own, saying:

    “She grabbed a rifle at an ‘Afghan police station’ (she was at Bagram) and started shooting at the Americans sent to grill her. She was shot by the soldier whose weapon she swiped. (In 2008, she was) caught in ‘Afghanistan’ with ‘2 pounds of poisonous chemicals.’ (During the trial), she disrupted the proceedings several times with ‘strange outbursts.’ ”

    An August 22, 2008 Fox News report said “emails obtained by FOXNews.com show messages sent by Siddiqui (during her time at MIT) soliciting money for Al-Kifah Refugee Center – a known Al Queda charitable front tied to Usama bin Laden and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.”

    After a three week trial and two days of deliberation, a federal jury of eight women and four men convicted her on all charges, including attempted murder, armed assault, discharging a firearm during a violent crime, and assaulting US officers and employees. As a result, she potentially faces life in prison at her May 6 sentencing. It’s not confirmed, but her lawyers may appeal given the bogus charges, long detention, and brutalizing torture, leaving her a shell of her former self, so physically and emotionally shattered she was in no condition to stand trial.

    After the verdict, aljazeera.net headlined “US verdict sparks Pakistan protests,” saying thousands in several cities rallied in her defense. Her relatives spoke publicly condemning the decision, her sister Fauzia saying “we’re proud to be related to her. America’s justice system, the establishment, the war on terror, the fraud of the war on terror, all of those things have shown their own ugly faces.”

    Her mother, Ismat said “I did not expect anything better from an American court. We were ready for the shock and will continue our struggle to get her released.” Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesman, Abdul Basit, said the government would try “to get her back to Pakistan and we would do everything possible and we’ll apply all possible tools in this regard.”

    Al Jazeera’s Islamabad correspondent, Kamal Hyder, explained the public disappointment “for failing to find a diplomatic way out and getting (her) back home, because they feel she was innocent.” She was missing for five years like “many hundreds of (others who’ve) disappeared from Pakistan – still not accounted for – and now that Dr. Aafia’s case has come up, that’s likely to be a rallying point for the anti-American sentiment.”

    The UK-based Cageprisoners spokesman, Asim Qureshi, said “The case of Aafia Siddiqui carries great significance in terms of the ability of the Obama administration to administer justice. Already we have seen a blanket refusal to look at the facts of her detention prior to 2008. This verdict will only confirm what many already believe, that it is impossible for Muslim terrorism suspects to receive a fair trial in the US.”

    Defense lawyer Elaine Whitfield Sharp called the verdict unjust, in her opinion “based on fear….not fact,” and the result is the continued ordeal of an innocent woman facing a potential life sentence.

    Carefully orchestrated, the trial proceeded like numerous others, targeting innocent victims because of their faith, ethnicity, prominence, benevolent charity, activism, or other reasons for political advantage, ending with convictions and punitive incarcerations against innocent defendants, guilty of being Muslims in America at the wrong time when we’re all just as vulnerable.

    In a manipulated climate of fear, the same process repeats, using bogus charges, secret evidence, enlisted witnesses to cooperate, the defense prohibited from introducing exculpatory evidence, and proceedings carefully scripted to intimidate juries to convict.

    Justice is again denied, Siddiqui another victim, a human tragedy, portrayed by the dominant media as a jihadist, and getting public sentiment to agree because disturbing truths are carefully suppressed.

    Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen @ sbcglobal.net.

    • 20 nota February 10, 2010 at 12:18 pm

      “is just too mind-fcking disturbing… ”
      “how common is this sentiment in Pakistan? To my knowledge, even the usual mainstream ‘intellectual Negroes’ in the Pakistani press have condemned this travesty of justice.”
      It is disturbing because it is NOT common at all though I would add it is pretty common among a subset(?) — I call them “Baboos” and I mean those who perceive themselves to be “intellectuals” totally enamored with the West and ashamed of their own culture (and usually you will find them on the net). Among them this thinking that “since someone is facing the court, they must have done something wrong so even if they did not do this particular act for which they are convicted, they must have gotten away with something else” (Very much the same argument I got from old conservative ladies in US talking about some ‘negro’s’ unfair conviction). The Doc certainly is a very shining example. When I meet these kind of people I am always amazed how much they pretend to be ‘Westerners’ and you will find them mimicking white boys and girls, trying to talk and dress like them — they will try to pass themselves off as if they have spent their whole life in L.A. or New York or London (though at best they have visited one of those places as tourists or never been closer to that than having watched every episode of ‘Beverly Hills 90210’)…

  11. 21 Observer February 10, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    The fact is that both slaves did the “trick”. Off course Musharraf was the “better” of the slaves or maybe Nawaz Butt never got the same chance to prove his true colors.

    Musharraf, Nawaz Handed over Pakistan Citizens to US

    Link: http://www.apakistannews.com/musharraf-nawaz-handed-over-pakistan-citizens-to-us-146844

    Musharraf, Nawaz Handed over Pakistan Citizens to US, The petition have been filed against the chief of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and former prime minister, Mian Nawaz Sharif, and former president, Pervez Musharraf, for handing over two Pakistani citizens to US authorities Friday.
    The application has been filed by a local lawyer of Lahore, Barristar Javed Iqbal Jaffery, in Lahore High Court.
    Former president handed over Dr Aafia Siddiqui to US and the government has not done anything for her recovery.
    Aimal Kansi was handed over to US during Nawaz Sharif tenure who’s FIR was lodged in Dera Ghazi Khan. The applicant alleged that Kansi’s FIR was not addressed due to the pressure of the government.
    The LHC has been requested to pass orders for the cases against Musharraf and Nawaz Sharif.

    • 22 nota February 10, 2010 at 6:57 pm

      Handing over of Kansi was one of the topics discussed in a recent interview with Farooq Leghari (In Session of Jan 22, 2010). Though I do fully believe Farooq Leghari through his son Owais Leghari sold Kansi out and had him arrested, I do believe he is telling the truth when he says he wanted to do the extradition in a legal way but Nawaz short-circuited the formalities and let the Americans have Kansi. Let me paraphrase how I remember FL describing the event:

      I had asked Nawaz not to hand over Kansi for a few days, that is until all the formalities for a proper extradition were met [Note: So FL had no problem with handing over of Kansi as well]. I was overseas (Turkey?) and I heard Kansi had been handed over. I contacted Nawaz and asked him why did he do it? Nawaz replied: “The woman (Albright) said ‘Day Do’, so I said ‘Lay Lo’!

      That to me sounds like Nawaz and something that could not be made up. But anyways, there is no question Nawaz acted like Mush and the only reason he did not hand over more Pakistani citizens is because he was never asked.

      BTW:This present government is no different. The rate of people going missing has only increased…

  12. 23 Project Humanbeingsfirst.org February 11, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    [I felt this “Truth about US justice” in the service of empire belongs in this compilation, just for completeness. “Truth” in these times, like everything else, is continually in the diabolical service of empire. It’s not like we don’t know it – we even have the East India Company’s achievements to guide us – but apparently, we, the ‘untermensch’ never learn it. And that’s really the secret of the hidden strength of the golem, the secret of its Samson locks: Our price! The point of this resignation request by Ridley is meaningless given that the higher-order-bit of the malaise remains with us. Thanks.]

    The truth about US justice
    Wednesday, February 10, 2010
    By Yvonne Ridley


    Many of us are still in a state of shock over the guilty verdict returned on Dr Aafia Siddiqui. The response from the people of Pakistan was predictable and overwhelming and I salute their spontaneous actions.

    From Peshawar to Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and beyond they marched in their thousands demanding the return of Aafia. Even some of the US media expressed discomfort over the verdict returned by the jurors there was a general feeling that something was not right.

    Everyone had something to say, everyone that is except the usually verbose US Ambassador Anne Patterson who has spent the last two years briefing against Dr Aafia and her supporters. This is the same woman who claimed I was a fantasist when I gave a press conference with Tehrik-e-Insaf leader Imran Khan back in July 2008 revealing the plight of a female prisoner in Bagram called the Grey Lady. She said I was talking nonsense and stated categorically that the prisoner I referred to as “650” did not exist.

    By the end of the month she changed her story and said there had been a female prisoner but that she was most definitely not Dr Aafia Siddiqui. By that time Aafia had been gunned down at virtually point blank range in an Afghan prison cell jammed full of more than a dozen US soldiers, FBI agents and Afghan police.

    In a letter dripping in untruths on August 16, 2008, she decried the “erroneous and irresponsible media reports regarding the arrest of Aafia Siddiqui”. She went on to say: “Unfortunately, there are some who have an interest in simply distorting the facts in an effort to manipulate and inflame public opinion. The truth is never served by sensationalism.” When Jamaat Islami invited me on a national tour of Pakistan to address people about the continued abuse of Dr Aafia and the truth about her incarceration in Bagram, the US ambassador continued to issue rebuttals.

    She assured us all that Dr Aafia was being treated humanely had been given consular access as set out in international law … hmm. Well I have a challenge for Ms Patterson today. I challenge her to repeat every single word she said back then and swear it is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    As Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s trial got underway, the US ambassador and some of her stooges from the intelligence world laid on a lavish party at the US Embassy in Islamabad for some hand-picked journalists where I’ve no doubt in between the dancing, drinks and music they were carefully briefed about the so-called facts of the case.

    Interesting that some of the potentially incriminating pictures taken at the private party managed to find the ambassador was probably hoping to minimize the impact the trial would have on the streets of Pakistan proving that, for the years she has been holed up and barricaded behind concrete bunkers and barbed wire, she has learned nothing about this great country of Pakistan or its people.

    One astute Pakistani columnist wrote about her: “The respected lady seems to have forgotten the words of her own country’s 16th president Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865): “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

    When injustice is the law it is the duty of everyone to rise up and challenge that injustice in any way possible. The response — so far — has been restrained and measured but it is just the start. A sentence has yet to be delivered by Judge Richard Berman in May.

    Observers asked how the jury could ignore the science and the irrefutable facts … there was absolutely no evidence linking Dr Aafia to the gun, no bullets, no residue from firing it. But I really don’t think we can blame the jurors for the verdict — you see the jury simply could not handle the truth. Had they taken the logical route and gone for the science and the hard, cold, clinical facts it would have meant two things. It would have meant around eight US soldiers took the oath and lied in court to save their own skins and careers or it would have meant that Dr Aafia Siddiqui was telling the truth.

    And, as I said before, the jury couldn’t handle the truth. Because that would have meant that the defendant really had been kidnapped, abused, tortured and held in dark, secret prisons by the US before being shot and put on a rendition flight to New York. It would have meant that her three children — two of them US citizens — would also have been kidnapped, abused and tortured by the US.

    They say ignorance is bliss and this jury so desperately wanted not to believe that the US could have had a hand in the kidnapping of a five-month -old baby boy, a five-year-old girl and her seven-year-old brother. They couldn’t handle the truth … it is as simple as that. Well I, and many others across the world like me, can’t handle any more lies.

    America’s reputation is lying in the lowest gutters in Pakistan at the moment and it can’t sink any lower. The trust has gone, there is only a burning hatred and resentment towards a superpower which sends unmanned drones into villages to slaughter innocents. It is fair to say that America’s goodwill and credibility is all but washed up with most honest, decent citizens of Pakistan.

    And I think even Her Excellency Anne Patterson recognizes that fact which is why she is now keeping her mouth shut. If she has any integrity and any self-respect left she should stand before the Pakistan people and ask for their forgiveness for the drone murders, the extra-judicial killings, the black operations, the kidnapping, torture and rendition of its citizens, the water-boarding, the bribery, the corruption and, not least of all, the injustice handed out to Dr Aafia Siddiqui and her family.

    She should then pick up the phone to the US president and tell him to release Aafia and return Pakistan’s most loved, respected and famous daughter and reunite her with the two children who are still missing. Then she should re-read her letter of August 16, 2008 and write another … one of resignation.

    • 25 nota February 12, 2010 at 6:32 pm

      Well ISI has done well in first planting the myth of itself as “a countering force” to “a Super Power”(USSR) and lately morphing “machinations of a Super Power” to mean “US machinations”. But in that too it had help of it’s one and only true master. Tirmazi’s words certainly scream out the bitter truth but it is it’s sheer absoluteness that blinds people and they refuse to acknowledge it. It is much easier on the stomach to swallow fairy tales. The motto “Thru deception thou shalt make war on your own people” is a motto that would suit ISI well. This also brings to mind the words of a Greek police interrogator on the payroll of the same Super Power:

      You make yourself ridiculous by thinking you can do anything. The world is divided in two. There are the communists on that side and on this side the free world. The Russians and the Americans, no one else. What are we? Americans! Behind me there is the government, behind the government is NATO, behind NATO is the U.S. You can’t fight us, we are Americans.” — Athens [Greece] inspector Basil Lambrou, 1960s, speaking to prisoners before torturing them, during the US-supported Papadopoulos dictatorship

      (I am certain words to the same effect have been spoken in many a safe-houses locally)

      I certainly find Ridley’s demand for ‘resignation’ very naive at best. Does she really believe the replacement would somehow be less of an ‘arsonist’? Surely she cannot be that gullible.

      BTW: Here are links to a couple of pieces piece I wrote addressing the distinguished American Ambassador:
      America Stands Naked: More Lies About Dr. Aafia Siddiqi
      Lies of Anne “Dubya” Patterson
      (You might like to read my comments there as well, especially this one addressed to Patterson)

      Below are some quotes (in no particular order) just for the heck of it as I find them quite revealing:

      Fuck your Parliament and your Constitution. We pay a lot of good American dollars to the Greeks, Mr. Ambassador. If your Prime Minister gives me talk about Democracy, Parliament and Constitutions, he, his Parliament, and his Constitution may not last very long. — President Lyndon Johnson to Greek Ambassador, 1970s

      Now we know Hillary, Kerry, Holbrooke, etc. expressed the same sentiment in public but I am certain there words behind closed doors were closer to those of Johnson.

      “America is a nation desperate to believe they remain a just and moral people even as they carry out unjust and immoral wars upon other nations. Those (far too many) Americans who lack the courage to stand up to a government gone wrong are grasping at any symbol that allows them to pretend they remain decent human beings. They won’t oppose the violence in Iraq, so they scream about violence on TV. They cannot face up to the reality of torture of innocent victims so they complain about ‘decency’ in movies. They bash gays. They demand evolution mythology replace science on the schools. They scream for the Ten Commandments to be displayed in the offices of government while blind to that government’s violation of those same commandments. And, of course, they scream for Terri Schiavo to prove to the world (and themselves) that they really do care about every single human life, despite having sat in silence while hundreds of thousands of people were killed and the survivors showered with radioactive waste in wars started with lies and deceptions. If hypocrisy were an Olympic event, Americas would take home the gold, silver, AND bronze! — Michael Rivero

      He is so wrong. I think we could easily beat Americans for a couple.

      “I never would have agreed to the formulation of the Central Intelligence Agency back in ’47, if I had known it would become the American Gestapo.” — Harry S Truman (1961)

      ISI = Pakistan branch of the same gestapo (but doubt any local prez would have the courage to make a statement like this)

      “Ten military advisers are attached to the Sonsonate armed forces… The episode contains all the unchanging elements of the Salvadoran tragedy – uncontrolled military violence against civilians, the apparent ability of the wealthy to procure official violence…and the presence of United States military advisers, working with the Salvadoran military responsible for these monstrous practices… after 30,000 unpunished murders by security and military forces and over 10,000 ‘disappearances’ of civilians in custody, the root causes of the killings remain in place, and the killing goes on.” — Two Americans who visited El Salvador in 1983 for the New York City Bar Association described for the New York Times a massacre of eighteen peasants by local troops in Sonsonate province

      At least they have admitted to having 200 ‘Advisors’ here…and no surprise that, as Yogi would say, “it’s deja vu all over again!”

      “The enormous gap between what US leaders do in the world and what Americans think their leaders are doing is one of the great propaganda accomplishments of the dominant political mythology.” — Michael Parenti, political scientist and author

      Since we were speaking of myths…

      [The Laos operation] is something of which we can be proud as Americans. It has involved virtually no American casualties. What we are getting for our money there … is, I think, to use the old phrase, very cost effective. — U. Alexis Johnson, US Under Secretary of State in 1971 about American carpet-bombing of Laos which killed hundreds-of-thousands of civilians

      Why carpet bomb when you’ve got something even more ‘cost-effective’ — Like the Pakistan Army. For “it has involved virtually no American casualties, ” and what they ARE getting for their money there “is, I think, to use the old phrase, very cost effective.”

      “Those who own the country ought to govern it.” — John Jay, American statesman and first Chief Justice of US Supreme Court, 1745-1829

      Hmmm…That is the start of American Justice. And who ‘owns’ this country now?

      Corporations have been enthroned …. An era of corruption in high places will follow and the money power will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people… until wealth is aggregated in a few hands … and the Republic is destroyed. — Abraham Lincoln, American president, 1861-1865

      Wonder what Lincoln would think after the recent US SC decision! But it also goes to show what we perceive to exist (‘Republic’ of US) was destroyed LONG TIME AGO. And not just that republic, but ALL of them. That reminds me … ours is called Islamic ‘Republic’ of Pakistan (and what holds true for republic, holds true for the Islamic bit as well 😉 )

      Hitherto acceptable norms of human conduct do not apply. If the United States is to survive, long-standing American concepts of ‘fair play’ must be reconsidered. We must develop effective espionage and counterespionage services and must learn to subvert, sabotage and destroy our enemies by more clever, more sophisticated, and more effective methods than those used against us. It may become necessary that the American people be made acquainted with, understand and support this fundamentally repugnant philosophy.”World War II Gen. James Doolittle explaining in a secret 1954 report to President Eisenhower why CIA covert operations were needed and what they entailed. From Katherine S. Olmstead’s book – Challenging the Secret Government, 1996

      Need more be said?

      “A world in which others controlled the course of their own development …would be a world in which the American system would be seriously endangered.” — Benjamin Cohen

      Indeed! So none must be allowed to control the course of their own development!!!

      The national interest is not to protect individual American firms but to preserve a system of business … The American empire expresses its presence and exercises its influence through the capitalist mode of operation for which it keeps as much of the world ‘open’ a possible.” — Henry Pachter

      If one can understand that, one can understand so much….

      American capitalism, based as it is on exploitation of the poor, with its fundamental motivation in personal greed, simply cannot survive without force – without a secret police force. Now, more than ever, each of us is forced to make a conscious choice whether to support the system of minority comfort and privilege with all its security apparatus and repression, or whether to struggle for real equality of opportunity and fair distribution of benefits for all of society, in the domestic as well as the international order. It’s harder now not to realize that there are two sides, harder not to understand each, and harder not to recognize that like it or not we contribute day in and day out either to the one side or to the other.” — Philip Agee, CIA Diary, p597

      “Exploitation of the poor” is and has always been the basis of American capitalism.

      “There are too many things that embarrass Americans in that report. … they are asked to believe that their country has been evil. And nobody wants to believe that. — Congressman Otis Pike, 1975, on why a congressional report about US covert actions around the world should not be revealed to Americans – from the book Rogue State by William Blum, p9

      Yes, this is a an argument by the representative of ‘the people’, looking out for their comfort 😉

      “The United States supports right-wing dictatorships in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East … because these are the rulers who have tied their personal political destiny to the fortunes of the American corporations in their countries… Revolutionary or nationalist leaders have radically different political constituencies and interests. For them creating ‘a good investment climate’ for the United States and developing their own country are fundamentally conflicting goals. Therefore, the United States has a strong economic interest in keeping such men from coming to power or arranging for their removal if they do.” — Richard Barnet, Intervention and Revolution, p15

      So you know why you get leaders like Zia, BB, Nawaz, Mush, Zardari, etc….

      “As corruption becomes routine in Washington in both parties, it trickles down as a corrupting influence in everyone’s lives. Democracy is the ultimate casualty … As democracy ebbs, Americans retreat into private cocoons, feeling helpless to make a difference… In a democracy, civic participation and the belief in one’s ability to contribute to the common good is the most important guarantor of public morality. When that belief fades, so too does the vision of the common good itself.” — Charles Derber, Corporation Nation, p316

      …and understand why we are like we are…

      “Over breakfast coffee we read of 40,000 American dead in Vietnam. Instead of vomiting, we reach for the toast. Our morning rush through crowded streets is not to cry murder but to hit that trough before somebody else gobbles our share.” — Dalton Trumbo, author of ‘Johnny Got His Gun’, in the introduction to the reissue of his book, 1970.

      …part of that ‘system’.

      AND, last but not least,

      “Oh, and one other dirty little secret from 5,000 years of history: Ethnic cleansing works. — From Ralph Peters’ “Blood Borders: How a better Middle East would look

  13. 26 Project Humanbeingsfirst.org February 13, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Thanks for the pertinent quotes.

    Yesterday I found the following under Aafia Siddiqui category on wordpress:


    Look at some of the comments as well.

    Does it appear to you that among the younger generation the perception on Aafia’s case for many is asplit directly along their own religious vs. secular inclination?

    There is one comment noted for the above article which is particularly disturbing:

    “… She has never done anything which has helped the cause of Pakistan, if anything, her dubious past has caused all of Pakistanis nothing but grief.”

    It was not clarified what is the “cause of Pakistan”, but more interestingly, “her dubious past has caused all of Pakistanis nothing but grief” but not the hectoring hegemons??

    If there is one monumental statement made at Nuremberg, it was possibly this:

    “… the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole”.

    In other words, according to Justice Robert Jackson, the Chief Prosecuting Counsel for the United States, averred that all the destruction of civilian cities from Dresden to Tokyo in Allied fire-bombings were not crimes because their sins were absorbed by the Supreme International Crime of the first aggression from which “all the evil which follows” is attributed to the first aggressor!

    So even if Dr. Aafia was a dupe harvested by the Talibans/Al-Qaeeda – accepting the narrative of the commenter above – by the same yardstick as that used to hang the Nazis and award medals of bravery to those who killed millions of innocent civilians in their apocalyptic fire-bombings in retaliation of Nazis aggression – all the evil which has followed by heinous acts of individual terrorism is subsumed by the monumental acts of state terrorism.

    The personal bias along religious vs. secular lines coloring judgement is obviously bothersome – but not something which can’t be neutralized by any one with a bit of studious due diligence. And what is bothersome to me is not that people have biases, we all do, but that we don’t do due diligence.

    Here is the productive result when I asked even someone I knew to do so:

    ‘ The most despicable part in all this however is that the ‘educated’ Muslim elite are far worse, to the extent of being criminal! They are the “Prized Negroes of Pakistan”. A variant of the ‘Negro’ has been supplied by every Muslim nation to be sure, but Pakistan’s stand head and shoulders above all. This ‘enlightened-moderation’ generation which General Pervez Musharaf bequeathed to his beloved Pakistan for which he himself wrote the Requiem Mass, is even more aiding and abetting in this fabricated genocidal ‘war on terror’. They deliberately fail to recognize that it is a manufactured war of “imperial mobilization” calculatingly being waged through the deception of the manufactured boogieman of ‘Islamism’ that variously shows up as ‘Al Qaeeda’, ‘Osama Bin Laden’, and ‘Taliban’. From the Pakistani military killing its own innocent civilians, to the supposedly Muslim-media, Muslim-NGOs, Muslim-civil society, Muslim-analysts, Muslim-begummaats (‘high-class’ English-enabled ladies as the ones you see protesting the Taliban in the Al Jazeera video), and all and sundry ‘secular humanists’ et. al., all echoing the same mantras of ‘radical Islamists’ and ‘war on terror’ without understanding who is cultivating the ‘weeds’. All ever ready to dance the ‘Negro’ at the white man’s whistle!

    Reading the above missive, a young Pakistani columnist replied when I suggested to her to explore that passage in her own witty column in Pakistan’s largest English language daily: “Zahir Sahab, Having been a victim of the radical Islamist harassment, I am one of the most vocal opponents of all things that combine religion and politics. I personally find your theory a little thin and as I am not convinced, I most definitely will not discuss it. I am one of those English enabled women who were out on the streets protesting against Talibans and I will continue to do so. Regards,”. I had failed to impress upon my young friend that “[combining] of religion and politics” began at the Rand Corporation, the American Enterprise Institute, and the CFR before she was born. Indeed, it is the infernal crossroads where political-science and god have intersected since time immemorial (see April 2009 Terrorism Report).’

    I am not sure how to reach these bright young people, but reach we must because they are the next generation to inherit both our inabilities and our legacies. If all they become after their fancy english-enabled education is varying shades of Negro, that would be the most pathetic outcome for any generation and yet another feather in the enduring legacy of Macaulay who had famously stated to the English Parliament in his Minute on Indian Education:

    “We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect.” (Thomas Babington Macaulay)

    Zahir Ebrahim
    Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

  14. 27 Project Humanbeingsfirst.org February 13, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Just FYI – submitted to DAWN

    Letter to Editor: Justice in the Service of Empire February 12, 2010


  15. 28 Observer February 14, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Want to support Aafia Siddiqui?


    Please donate!

    • 29 nota February 15, 2010 at 12:02 am

      Isn’t it a bit naive to think this will work? Inherent in it is the belief the ‘system’ is ‘working’ and working ‘fairly’ and all that is needed is more money to appeal the verdict. Well $2,000,000 won us the conviction. Another $4000,000 will see her loose the appeal. Doc of course will celebrate saying ‘the system worked’ and ‘Dr Aafia is certainly proven guilty now’. I say to hell with this ‘donation’ business.

  16. 30 Project Humanbeingsfirst.org February 15, 2010 at 2:14 am

    “Isn’t it a bit naive to think this will work? … I say to hell with this ‘donation’ business.”

    Hello. My take on this is as follows.

    Firstly, yes, you are entirely correct, it will not work. The “why” of it is expressed in the first half of the editorial I penned yesterday and submitted to the NYT. It is here:

    Editorial: Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and Justice in the Service of Empire February 13, 2010


    Secondly, whether it works or not is irrelevent. The relevance however to continue pursuing truth is the following wisdom story. Please permit me to share it here. It is a rendition that bespeaks the wisdom we have lost, but one we must regain, both collectively as human beings first, and individually.

    Here is the narrative in my own words:

    When the Prophet Abraham (in the Orientalists’ spelling) was being thrown in the fire by the tyrannical ruler Nimrod, all creation was in tremendous angst. Even the stones spoke out against the tyrant. Every moral creature endeavored to the rescue of Prophet Ibraheem (AS) to put out the fire. To the extent that a tiny bird picked a droplet of water in its minuscule beak and started to fly over the fire. An Angel of God asked the little bird: “Surely you are not going to put out the fire with that droplet(!), and surely the high flames will consume you! – what do you think you are doing?” The tiny bird replied: “yes, you are right, and I know that my tiny droplet will not save the mighty Ulul-Azam Prophet of Allah. But I bring to the endeavor of truth and justice what I am capable of, and this tiny droplet is all I am capable of.”

    Listen to Aafia’s remarkable mother:

    It sounds like the same bird’s song, just to a more pulsating throbbing beat.

    So my conclusion is: Bring what you can, better than bringing nothing at all.

    And once on that journey, efficacy becomes only secondary – a lesson I too am unable to comprehend completely.

    The intellect clearly shows its limits here. The spirit must take over. The same spirit caused Rosa Parks to say “NO”. The same spirit caused Rachel Corrie” to say “NO”. The same spark caused Prophet Abraham to say “NO” first to Nimrod, and “YES” to his Creator when asked to make the greatest sacrifice. That sacrifice, for those not unaware of our inheritance, was ransomed by saying another “NO” with its concommitant “Zibbhin Azeem” offering!

    All answers for Muslims can be found in just a bit of reflection upon Surah Asr. And in reading our own books and drinking from the fount of our own wisdom, before we seek out the West’s prodigous sources of its vast learnings despite virtuous proclamations of the white man to the contrary:

    “[10] I have no knowledge of either Sanscrit or Arabic. But I have done what I could to form a correct estimate of their value. I have read translations of the most celebrated Arabic and Sanscrit works. I have conversed, both here and at home, with men distinguished by their proficiency in the Eastern tongues. I am quite ready to take the oriental learning at the valuation of the orientalists themselves. I have never found one among them who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia. The intrinsic superiority of the Western literature is indeed fully admitted by those members of the committee who support the oriental plan of education.” — Minute on Indian Education by Thomas Babbington Macaulay, dated 2nd February 1835.


    Zahir Ebrahim
    Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

  17. 31 Observer February 15, 2010 at 1:45 pm


    Most probably you are right that the campaign will not free Aafia Siddiqui. I am quite convinced that it will cost an effort on government level to achieve something. That too will be difficult since the Yankees have their habits of doing it their own ugly way. BUT we should at least try to make people come out on the streets. That’s why I support this campaign.

    • 32 nota February 15, 2010 at 5:33 pm

      Actually I read it as “donate to pay for her defense in court“. Campaign on the streets? I am all for it. A LOUD one. The uglier the better. I say overrun every US Consulate, the US Embassy, the Parliament, the Presidency, the GHQ if you have to for it is the only thing that will work.

      (And none of that “non-violence” bull…)

      • 33 Observer February 15, 2010 at 6:01 pm

        Yes, exactly. A campaign on the streets of Pakistan. I think they have planned a campaign for 100 cities.


        LatoN key bhoot batoN sey nahiN mantey.

  18. 34 nota February 18, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Were you invited to this? I sure wasn’t…. 😦 😛

    What about Doc Maestro? Well no surprise there! 🙂 🙂

    Rendezvous with Farah Pandith, US Special Rep for Muslim Communities
    Last week a few “new media” journalists were invited by the US Consulate to an exclusive meeting with Farah Pandith, who has been recently appointed as the U.S Special Representative for Muslim Communities. The usual bloggeratti excitement was held at bay since the invitation card had a blazing “No-Camera” policy, which had most of us worried concerned about this concerning hush-hush meeting but on the contrary, when we reached the destination we were told it was only a deterrent to avoid the TV &/or Press media…[read we don’t want pictures leaking out like from the the recent journo event]

    The guest list had some 10-odd new media journalists, a few from Dawn, of which I had the honor to finally meet Huma Yousuf, the list of bloggers, (or blAAgers [sic]) was the usual fun bunch, ranging from Faisal Kapadia of Deadpanthoughts, Ammar Yasir of Ronin and Tea Break fame, Sana Saleem of Mystified Justice & Dawn Blog, Sabeen Mehmud from T2F, our very own Zaheer Sb from BiTs Online and Windmills of the Mind and last but not the least our celebrity blogger Naveen Naqvi was also in the house, who we now have laid claim to be more of a blogger then a TV personality. The star-studded bloggeratti guest list almost guaranteed an exciting rendezvous with the US Representative for Muslim Communities….(continued)

    I giggled at the Doc’s narcissistic description of himself and his circle of ‘bloggeratti’ as ‘stars’. Ooooh, soooo very ‘exciting’ 😉

    • 35 nota February 18, 2010 at 11:54 pm

      I am going to put the rest of the article here as well as it is too ‘good’ (Emphasis is mine as are the comments between []; the drooling belongs to the star author):

      The meeting was slated to have started at 8:15pm sharp but due to a massive traffic jam in Karachi, most of the participants were late, some walked a few kilometers, while many braved the traffic jam sweating away in their cars at the mere thought of having stood up a dignitary from (ohmygosh!)[Did he really say “Ohmygosh”?] the U.S. To compound our late-arrival stories even our guest of honor was yet the last to arrive definitely an hour late[Guest of honor? Thought she was the HOST!], as she was actually held up in a meeting in an adjacent room where she was busy preaching the ‘unpreachable’, surrounded by a host of mullahs, madrassah leaders and a number of Islamic scholars who had specially come from across the province to meet her.

      When Ms Pundit did finally arrive she went around the table to each one of us with individual introductions to finally land up at the head of the table giving us all a short summary of her responsibilities in the capacity of a being a representative of Muslim communities within the State Department [did it ever occur to any of our stars to ask what is a ‘Pundit’ doing as a representative of Muslim communities?]. In short, her position was created by Hilary Clinton after President Obama’s Cairo speech, the position is to help Americans better understand the Muslim community and go forth with President Obama’s message of building a stronger degree of respect combined with mutual understanding on a wide ranging issues, combined with a very strong influence towards innovation, entrepreneurship and grass root development, allowing closer interaction between American and Muslim students and scholars alike as a tool to improve the community as a whole.

      It seemed that Ms. Pundit’s emphasis throughout her 45-minute interaction weighed heavily on the long term solution regarding capacity development, innovation and entrepreneurship with emphasis on the Muslim youth.[Get ’em young?] Without doubt, I believe this is proactive initiative must be fully supported [‘Ohmygod!’ She is sooo right! :-P], it may do wonders for many ‘other Muslim countries’ but somehow I feel they need to better understand the actual needs of the people of Pakistan in far more intricate detail before adding fuel to an already enraged fire.

      Pakistan, is at the verge of a total chaotic implosion [“total chaotic implosion”? what the heck is that?], a historically corrupt President running the country[installed by the US], a ravaging Taliban situation on the west [created by the US], a snapping Indian tiger on the east [supported by the US], numerous undemocratic forces trying to bring havoc from within [so those trying to oust the just described ‘historically corrupt President’ suddenly become ‘undemocratic forces’?] while it would be unfair to overlook the war mongering attitude of our American compatriots [“compatriots”???] who choose our soil to wage their own War on Terror on our western borders [but I thought you guys have been screaming ‘IT IS OUR WAR!’ (oh, and btw, FYI: the war is NOT going on our borders but on our soil!)]. All this has polarized the entire Pakistani nation to adopt a very antagonistic attitude against America [excluding the ‘star-studded bloggeratti’, of course]. Whoever needs to be plan the perfect solution for Pakistan, has to first strategize on how to undo the overwhelming negativity against the American government, who rightly or wrongly, is blamed for most of Pakistan’s problems since 9/11 [I think in his excitement the Doc has lost his command of the language].

      Here comes, Obama’s & Farah Pandith’s message of innovation and entrepreneurship, quite instantly one revolts at the blatant disconnect with an entire Pakistani nation, an elitist assume-it-all-attitude made worse with a sermon from Washington is like throwing a truck load of raw salt on our wounds, such an attitude is bound to irk any self respecting nation and is seen more as a slap on our face, appearing as a bribe to buying slaves in exchange [Oops — from little I can comprehend — I smell disappointment]

      My honest response out of shear dejection after having listened to the dignitary for a good 40 odd minutes was “I do not know if I will live tomorrow, the day after or let alone live to see the next year, and you are trying to sweet talk me into a 10-year innovation and social entrepreneurship plan – I need food, water, electricity and most of all security in my daily life, the elitist attitude of entrepreneurship and innovation for the youth of Pakistan is a slap on our face and a distant mirage at best” [Is this a surprise?]

      It seemed the US Special Representative came to lecture, rather then listen to us, the sermon mongering philosophy of ‘I am right, you are wrong’ attitude was again reflective of a serious disconnect between them actually understanding the needs of the people of Pakistan.[Duh! Was the slave thinking he had a say?]

      What really took most of us as a surprise was her adamant refusal to discuss anything related to the security issues of Pakistan, despite having been repeatedly asked direct questions by Faisal Kapadia, Ammar Yasir and even by myself, in each specific case regardless of what question which was raised she choose to go on an entirely different tangent, circumventing the question entirely.[I am laughing my ass off.]

      Issues ranging from the new TSA policy where they specifically screen travelers from fourteen Muslim countries, controversial issue of Muslim women being screened, to a blatant denial of Blackwater in Pakistan by both Hilary Clinton and Anne Patterson only later having a confirmed report of the security agencies presence in Pakistan none other then from the founder Erik Prince himself. The talk of mutual respect and understanding between America and the Muslim Countries seem to fizzle to the background when a web of lies and deceit continue to haunt this relationship.[And yet you proudly display photos taken at the event and still proud of your having been chosen to be p!ssed on]

      My rant here is not to ridicule or disrespect the visiting dignitary or cast doubts on her intentions, but to present a from the heart, no-nonsense feedback of my rendezvous with Farah Pandith. Her visionary plans to help improve the situation in Muslim Countries while on one hand must be applauded but I fear a generalized approach will not solve the problems and specifically in Pakistan this undertaking might itself fall flat on its face, unless the US Government makes a serious attempt to “think-outside the box”, adopt a bottoms-up approach, which would probably be the best solution in helping solve Pakistan’s ailments, there is little hope in showering this country with grandiose ideas, only to be gobbled up by the elite and the corrupt politicians lying in wait for the pot of gold. [This is just too rich. You seriously think US Government gives a damn about improving the situation and solve Pakistan’s ailments? I think you do! So go on “applauding”]

      Here’s to hoping that this visit by Farah does not end up being a mere pencil pushing report to Washington and maybe it’s a first step forward [and I though Hillary’s visit was the first step forward (and it seems we have taken two steps back)]. There is need for more dialog with the common man specially those who have the courage to speak the truth and not sugar coat their opinion in lieu of an American ‘pat-on-the-back’ visa to Disney Land [‘pat-on-the-back’? How about a rectal-cavity-search?][‘common man’? I thought she was talking to hand-picked ‘star-studded bloggerratti’ who, knowing they got p!ssed-on, still seems to be saying hope next time will be better].

      OH MY GOSH, indeed!!!!

      P.S. It appears NOT ONE OF YOU raised the issue of Dr. Aafia in front of the “visiting dignitary”/ WHY????….

      Miss. I Dont Not Know of Islam: Farah Pundit Hired Instead Of Obama’s Earlier Pick Dahlia Mogahed:

      • 36 Teeth Maestro February 19, 2010 at 11:11 am

        Nota – quite literally I would agree with EACH of your comment. Had if I had published my first draft it was nasty 😉 I had to tone it down so that it can be read as “constructive crtiicsm” not that it was needed, not that they would listen. But I think it was then more palatable to all. Had if I gone berserk with her being an NRI talking aout Progress in Pakistan [Pundit is born in Sirinagar India} yes now start ROTFL’ing at how the entire article might have shaped out to have been……

        So what you see published is slightly slimmed down version which on hindsight I think was a good move …

        thanks for being a regular reader

      • 37 nota February 19, 2010 at 7:09 pm

        Well I don’t mind nasty and ‘going beserk’ I find as palatable (maybe more so) 🙂
        Doubt “constructive criticism” would work in this instant.
        Been a not-so-regular regular reader for years…

  19. 38 Project Humanbeingsfirst.org February 19, 2010 at 12:36 am


    I seem to know (of) Z. Kidwai and Sabeen Mehmud – can’t exactly remember how. I know that T2F just loves Hoodbhoy. And they also maintain the writings of Pakistan’s foremost atheist-compassionate scholar, and Pervez Hoodbhoy’s relative, the late Eqbal Ahmad. I like Eqbal’s writings, they inspire me, especially his Letter to a Diplomat which earned him a death-sentence (or so I am told), and I wish I had met the scholar when I had all the opportunity to do so! I unfortunately remained unawre of his existence untill after he had left this world (to meet his creator whom he denied all his life). But I detest his shahgird Pervez Hoodbhoy’s craftsmanship. PH just depresses me.

    An enigmatic lot, this T2F. Some years ago, as I now vaguely recall, after I heard of Hoodbhoy giving a talk there, and many others from Pakistan’s english enabled litterati, and all of them in fact sharing in the core-axioms of empire (of militant Islam) while appearing to hector empire’s “imperial mobilization”, I think I wrote to T2F, might have been to Sabeen Mahmud, inviting them to study some counterpoint on my website. Too long ago for me to remember.

    T2F however is an excellent venue for our english-enabled litteratti to congregate, which is perhaps why they are also a target of empire. I think the empire is seeking to recruit a new crop of both ‘native informants’ and ‘intellectual Negroes’. Perhaps the old ones have outlived their usefulness.

    Here is a faq on that topic of negroes which combines some elements already discussed here. It can perhaps help appreciate the range of contagious cancerous “cognitive diversity” to expect from the efforts of Ms. Farah Pandith et. al.


    Zahir Ebrahim
    Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

    • 39 nota February 19, 2010 at 9:52 am

      “And they also maintain the writings of Pakistan’s foremost atheist-compassionate scholar, and Pervez Hoodbhoy’s relative, the late Eqbal Ahmad. I like Eqbal’s writings, they inspire me, especially his Letter to a Diplomat which earned him a death-sentence (or so I am told), and I wish I had met the scholar when I had all the opportunity to do so! I unfortunately remained unawre of his existence untill after he had left this world (to meet his creator whom he denied all his life). But I detest his shahgird Pervez Hoodbhoy’s craftsmanship. PH just depresses me.”

      Same here. In fact I became aware of Eqbal Ahmed when his passing away was announced. That he was related to PH I did not know. And that PH is his shagird I find fantastic. Also interesting is the fact that it is T2F that maintain Eqbal’s writings. But then again maybe not because he is the godfather of “the struggle against the ‘talibanisation’ of society” and that does explain much.

    • 40 nota February 19, 2010 at 9:57 am

      BTW: I think Eqbal Ahmed TOTALLY blew it here:
      Why NATO has failed

    • 41 nota February 19, 2010 at 12:21 pm

      Re: what-is-intellectual-negro
      “It is therefore unsurprising that Professor Fouad Ajami finds much favor with Zionist Islamophobes like Daniel Pipes, and of course with the New York Times.”

      Ah, how I don’t miss him! An excellent example but let’s not forget he was not the only one. This reminds me of another very prominent name from those days — he appeared as often as Fouad — is the slim-shady Mansoor Ijaz (from your alma mater no less 😛 ).

      Mansoor Ijaz was so good he got himself hired as a fulltime FoxNews Middle East expert. He describes himself as a US businessman of Pakistani origin, a lobbyist for Pakistan in the US, a lobbyist for Sudan in the US, a nuclear scientist, a negotiator, a terrorism expert, etc. etc. But what he wont tell you is he is a hedge fund money launderer with ex CIA Chief James Woolsey [of Dyncorp and Booz Allen Hamilton ‘consultants’] who ran the illegal pump and dump money laundering operation called Crescent Hydropolis on the AIM or Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange together with U.S. Lt.General James Alan Abrahamson, and Lt Gen Tom McInerney (USAF Ret), who, like Ijaz Mansoor, is a Rupert Murdoch Fox News military expert as well. Crescent Hydropolis claimed to build underwater hotels in Dubai,Oman,Las Vegas and elsewhere but was really just a money laundering operation with an Isle of Man account and mailing address. Woolsey is also vice chairman of the board of Ijaz’s company.
      Here are a few more links:

      Musawer Mansoor Ijaz – America’s Secret Emissary
      …Once again, the sub-continental cultural heritage kicked in and the time for an arranged marriage was nigh. So, in 1983, his family fixed a spouse for him in the Islamic tradition and Mansoor wed Yasmine (who duly proceeded to issue two offspring). In the meantime, Mansoor pursued further studies at the Massachussets Institute of Technology, where he received a degree in mechanical engineering in 1985. He had trained as a neuro-mechanical engineer under a fellowship granted by the joint MIT-Harvard Medical School Medical Engineering Program. Now the following segment of Mansoor’s life is quite vague. It appears he continued postgraduate work at MIT, because according to one of the sources “three and one half years into his graduate studies” at MIT, Mansoor was called home to Virginia for family reasons. His parents, who had lived in the early 1980s in Saudi Arabia (for reasons unknown), had returned to Virginia. But family finances were squeezed, apparently because Mujaddid did not have a clue about basic economics (i.e. interest rates & inflation), which seems rather odd for someone who can understand nuclear physics. In any event, the situation was a turning point for Mansoor, for Mujaddid ordered him to New York to learn the ropes on Wall Street.

      A new phase of Mansoor’s life commenced. His took a job at Van Eck Associates, a mutual fund company. His first project with them was to analyse nuclear fallout from the Chernobyl accident in the Soviet Union. His models of how world geo-political events affected market conditions proved profitable for Van Eck, and he was soon entrusted to run a large mutual fund that anticipated changes in foreign policy. To build his models, Mansoor drew extensively on his experience at MIT. Having learned the ropes, Mansoor wasted no time in starting his own company: Crescent Investment Management, located on Lexington Avenue, in 1991. The company’s logo, designed by his father Mujaddid, is the Islamic crescent moon recognised worldwide. (It is also the dominant motif on the flag of Pakistan). Mansoor began traveling extensively, visiting Pakistan and several Middle East countries seeking business deals. He built up an impressive network of contacts. At Crescent, he once again put his MIT analytical modelling experience to good use and developed the company’s proprietary currency and interest rate risk management systems known as CARAT, TRACK, RMU and CALOP. Crescent rapidly became a successful company, with a $2.7 billion investment portfolio by the mid-1990s, according to Mansoor….


      October 8, 2001: Ex-CIA Director’s Meeting With Taliban Leader Is Called Off
      Ex-CIA Director James Woolsey, as part of his attempt to gather evidence that could tie Iraq to the 9/11 attacks, contacts the Taliban. He works with Mansoor Ijaz, a US businessman of Pakistani origin, who is a lobbyist for Pakistan in the US, an occasional Fox News commentator, and has extensive political ties in the US. Woolsey is also vice chairman of the board of Ijaz’s company. Woolsey and Ijaz work with Khalid Khawaja, a friend of Osama bin Laden and ex-ISI operative. The three plus an unnamed US journalist arrange to meet with Taliban leader Mullah Omar in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on October 8. The Taliban agree to tell Woolsey about a meeting between Iraqi and al-Qaeda officials that took place in 1997, and possibly other similar information. Apparently in return they hope to avert the US invasion of Afghanistan. However, the US bombing begins on October 7, and the meeting is called off. [Dawn (Karachi), 2/15/2002; Financial Times, 3/6/2003] At least part of this team will later play another behind-the-scenes role. After being given a tip that Mansoor Ijaz is connected to leading militant Muslims in Pakistan, reporter Daniel Pearl will connect with Khalid Khawaja, who in turn connects him with militant Muslims who kidnap and eventually kill him. A leading Pakistani newspaper will claim that at one point Newsweek is about to accuse Khawaja of involvement in the plot to kidnap Pearl, but Ijaz vouches for Khawaja and convinces Newsweek to pull back its accusations. [Dawn (Karachi), 2/15/2002; Vanity Fair, 8/2002]

      SourceWatch on Mansoor Ejaz is a must-read as well

      • 42 Project Humanbeingsfirst.org February 19, 2010 at 2:59 pm

        Interesting. Thanks.

        It appears that this chap, Mansoor Ijaz, is in the same sort of pro-establishement league as the openly neo-con Zalmay Khalilzad, and the upcoming Iranian Trita Parsi who, to all appearances, in my view at least, is being groomed as the next Khalilzad for Iran! These very brilliant people, for some inexplicable reason, end up as some variant of ‘house negroes’. They are outright pro-establishment, often enjoying the bountiful successes and the hegemonic fruits of empire!

        Do you have an explanation why these brilliant ‘untermensch’ become pro-establishment throwing their fortunes the white man againts their own kith? Is it Power? Money? Or just the Faustian pact from which extrication becomes increasingly impossible with each successive tasting of the blood-fruit?

        Whatever takes these uber brilliant people down the path of becoming house negroes (openly pro-establishment), or intellectual negroes (diabolically fabricated dissent), is surely and insidious path. No one must wakes up one fine morning and decide that from today they will be a variant of the Negro!

        I fear that like the ‘banality of evil’, this affliction too can strike just about anyone.

        What protects from it? Just that one didn’t get the opportunity to be a hectoring hegemon, didn’t get invited to the party? Or something else?

        Zahir Ebrahim
        Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

      • 43 nota February 19, 2010 at 7:00 pm

        “What protects from it? Just that one didn’t get the opportunity to be a hectoring hegemon, didn’t get invited to the party? Or something else?”

        You tell me. Indeed it is very easy to fall into the trap — in fact it is very hard to turn down ‘the invitation’. Is it not a question of faith, knowing where your Kaaba is?

      • 44 Project Humanbeingsfirst.org February 20, 2010 at 12:39 am

        Don’t really know. One thing I do understand though – to be with hectoring hegemons is not just an act of commission! But also omission. To remain a silent bystander. Some of the world’s most pious people of many a faith are silent spectators today. Whereas, in almost all the times that I attended protest marches in San Francisco against a war-mongering junta hell bent on “full spectrum dominance”, I was surrounded by tens of thousands of people who perhaps didn’t have a clue about any ‘Kaaba’ – the atheist/agnostic/rebel-against-institutions crowd – only that ‘shock-and-awe’ war mongering upon innocent civilian populations was not only wrong and immoral, but so wrong and so monumentally criminal that they simply had to risk their own safety/comfort and protest against it! I found their “beaks” to be far greater in capacity than many a man of the cloth!

        I would stay that remaining silent is a far greater crime – for it enables those who commit it, and those who spin it, to get away with it! As someone important once said it: “evil flourishes because a lot of good people remain silent” minding their own business!

        So if one can only figure out why do people remain silent, it might also lead to the revealation of why uber-brains join the other side against their own kith.

        Qualitatively, I don’t think there is too much difference between them, and quantitatively, they might even be worse: “the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.” Here is some more from the same mouth:

        “There comes a time when silence, is betrayal. The truth of these words is beyond doubt. But the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty, against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom, and then the surrounding world. … Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night, have found that the calling to speak, is often a vocation of agony. But we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak.”


        Zahir Ebrahim
        Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

      • 45 nota February 20, 2010 at 10:58 am

        And it was MLK who also said “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”.

        And I am going to give you a couple more:

        Silence can be the biggest lie of all. We have a responsibility to speak up; and whenever the occasion calls for it, we have a responsibility to raise bloody hell. — Herbert Block

        Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter — Desmond Tutu

        For me, silence is indeed the greatest of sins….

        BTW: I do appreciate Joe block finally speaking up:

        …I know I’m hardly the first one to decide I have had all I can stand. It has always been a myth that people have stopped dying for their freedom in this country, and it isn’t limited to the blacks, and poor immigrants. I know there have been countless before me and there are sure to be as many after. But I also know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure nothing will change. I choose to not keep looking over my shoulder at “big brother” while he strips my carcass, I choose not to ignore what is going on all around me, I choose not to pretend that business as usual won’t continue; I have just had enough.

        I can only hope that the numbers quickly get too big to be white washed and ignored that the American zombies wake up and revolt; it will take nothing less. I would only hope that by striking a nerve that stimulates the inevitable double standard, knee-jerk government reaction that results in more stupid draconian restrictions people wake up and begin to see the pompous political thugs and their mindless minions for what they are. Sadly, though I spent my entire life trying to believe it wasn’t so, but violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer. The cruel joke is that the really big chunks of shit at the top have known this all along and have been laughing, at and using this awareness against, fools like me all along….

        Exactly the “no non-violence bull…” I was talking about above.

      • 46 nota February 20, 2010 at 10:32 am

        Oh and let’s not forget the name Chalabi!!!

  20. 47 nota February 20, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Speaking of American Justice, no surprise that Yoo has just been cleared by DoJ.

    Also in the news:
    A US federal court has just ruled “No Court Can Hear Abuse and Wrongful Death Claims from Guantanamo”:

    …Following a two-year investigation, the military concluded that the men had committed suicide. Recent first-hand accounts by four soldiers stationed at the base at the time of the deaths, however, raise serious questions about the cause and circumstances of the deaths, including the possibility that the men died as the result of torture.

    In dismissing the case, the district court ruled that the deceased’s constitutional claims that it was a violation of due process and cruel treatment to detain them for four years without charge while subjecting them to inhumane and degrading conditions of confinement and violent acts of torture and abuse, could not be heard in federal court. The men were held on the basis of an “enemy combatant” finding by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal later found by the Supreme Court itself to be inadequate….

    So must we accept it (and accept the deceased persons’ guilt)?

    …”These men were tortured and detained for four years on the basis of an arbitrary designation of ‘enemy combatant’ and died in the custody of the United States military…

    • 48 Project Humanbeingsfirst.org February 21, 2010 at 2:34 am

      Hello. Just FYI – the following was my comment submission to Jason Leopold’s article at truthout, but I don’t know if it was accepted or not. I am putting it up here FYI. Your article on Dr. Aafia is rapidly becoming a repository of great quotes, citations, and pertinent questions/discussions. I wonder if you might organize it all and post it as a coherent article for easy reading/referencing by others. Thanks. Zahir.

      Comment for article:
      DOJ Report on Torture Memo: Yoo Said Bush Could Order Civilians “Exterminated”

      Saturday, February 20, 2010, 1 PM PST.

      Indeed – Justice is in the Service of Empire, as it has always been.

      Why the surprise tone?

      Only in victor’s justice courts, as at Nuremberg Military Tribunal, can there ever be any semblance of justice, and that too only because of all the show of bravado and morality that is necessary to explain away the tens of millions butchered by the good-guys by putting all the sins and crimes of war only upon the bad-guys!

      It is instructive to periodically refer to this PR Closing Speech of Robert H Jackson at Nuremberg, Day 187, July 26, 1946:

      The report on the Yoo case, as well as the report “No Court Can Hear Abuse and Wrongful Death Claims from Guantanamo”, further underscores the following analysis:

      The Only Truth About US Justice is that Justice is in the Service of Empire!


      Unless this issue is appreciated in its full un-varnished dimension, that all organs of state – which includes Justice and the Courts in no less measure than the Legislative, Executive, and not to forget the newsmedia and the diabolical manufacturing of both consent and dissent – are all entirely in the service of “full spectrum dominance” towards world governement regardless of their differing virtuous garbs, “history’s actors” will continue to make new history while narrators, “all of you, will be left to just study what we do”, with absolutely zero impact on any future history.

      That statement above is rooted in empiricism. So what’s the point, might I ask, of this:

      “Leopold will also be writing a thorough analysis of the voluminous report this weekend.”?

      What will it achieve except a show of ineffectual brilliance and pedantic scholarship?

      Please take a careful look at this NY Times magazine article before you waste further effort – it is mocking you, and all of us who endeavor in narrating/unraveling the past faits accomplis while new ones are blithely being constructed:

      ‘The aide said that guys like me were ”in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who ”believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ”That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” ‘

      Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush
      By RON SUSKIND, October 17, 2004. NYT.

      Don’t ask me what’s the answer to putting hectoring hegemons, their aiders and abetters, and their financial masters on the gallows – all I know is that narrations ain’t it. And I also know, and as the historical record of Nuremberg is testament, Hjalmar Schact, Hitler’s financial bankster genius, went scot-free at Nuremberg.

      Zahir Ebrahim
      Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

      • 49 Project Humanbeingsfirst.org February 21, 2010 at 2:45 am

        FYI – Dr. Yousuf Nazar’s revealing article on Justice and Pakistan’s Judiciary/Parliament including his recipe for correction, may find pertinence here, specifically, my deconstruction of its presumptions and axioms which shows it all to be ineffectual, perhaps even a red herring. The issues are qualitatively the same, and driven by the same forces, whether it is the United States, or in Pakistan. Obviously!


        Zahir Ebrahim
        Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

  21. 50 nota March 4, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    An example of a “promotion” of both “House and Intellectual Negro” by the mouth of one (Daily Times Quetta “Bureau Chief”):
    (Oh he so i>’APPY!!!)
    Getting to D.C. for the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)
    The Arrival: International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)
    IVLP 2O10: The American Federal System

    Oh I wish I had the time to write an appropriate response…but here are a few choice sentences:

    “I learnt that the “individual” was the top-most focus of the American society…freedom of speech and cultural expression…While everyone is allowed to independently articulate their views, people are expected to refrain from making hate speeches”

    [So our future “leadership” had to be told this is amazing]

    There is also freedom of information. The government of the United States cannot put any curbs on the media. Interestingly, there is no Ministry of Information in the United States. The media is largely independent and free from official control….An individual in the US is also free to access all official information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

    [He truly believes every word of that!]

    For the first time, I learnt that CNN International was different from what the CNN viewers inside the US watched.

    [I am speechless…]

    There is freedom of association.

    [I think a bunch of people in a place called Guantanomo would disagree somewhat]

    One reason he gave about many people’s indifference towards politics and foreign affairs was the fact that America is the land of a lot of migrants.

    [I am speechless agai. Siraj, Hint: Difference between CNN and CNN International and not because “They want to forget their past and start a new life in the US”, Jeez!!!]

    Since the recession started, many newspapers and TV channels’ coverage of foreign issues has remarkably declined in the US. For example, the Washington Post has only one correspondent to cover Iraq. Similarly, the coverage of ‘international news’ is hardly 30 seconds in the local broadcast. This situation is further keeping the American people less informed about rest of the world.

    Right! Blame it on the recession (Which by the way is very recent and “people’s indifference towards politics and foreign affairs” a bit older]

    Honestly, I was very excited to come to the US. It was like a dream come true.

    [I know, I know 😉 ]

    I have always wanted to explore the American success story as to how a country of three hundred years developed so rapidly to become the world’s sole super power.

    [Damn! And I always thought US gained independence in 1776 and not 1710]

    It was a wonderful opportunity to see closely how the American’s formulate their foreign policy and how the local media cover it.

    [“Next I visited Wall street and what a wonderful opportunity it was to see closely how the American’s formulate their economic policy”]

    Highlighting the primary objectives of our trip, our program documents stated:” The US Department of State helps to shape a freer, more secure and more secure world through formulating, representing and implementing the President’s foreign policy…

    [he quotes the whole damn thing believing every word of it…]

    I was very surprised that the official residence of the world’s most powerful man had less security than the house of a chief minister in Pakistan.

    [Siraj, next time try getting inside without accompanied by officials of the state department and without an invitation. It would be fun. Trust me! ;-)]

    At the airport, after we checked in, we were required to undergo Special Security Surveillance (SSS). This is what has stirred debate in Pakistan and is being used as the biggest source of anti-US propaganda.

    [“But I had no problem with it since I’d gladly let the Masa cavity-search me — in fact it would be a dream come true!”, said Siraj]

    It was a relatively different security check but utterly different from what the right-wing political parties had been propagating inside Pakistan. There was no strip-search as this disinformation had been spread back home that Pakistani visitors would be asked to take off their clothes for a body search.

    [They say a moron is born every second!]

    The security check lasted for around four minutes which I cleared smoothly.

    [This *&$# went through a four-minute radiation therapy and doesn’t even realize it]

    “Take it easy,” said the young black security officer as I went through the scanning process.
    “Its ok,” I responded.

    [Oh I am SOOOOOOOO tempted…..]

    • 51 Project Humanbeingsfirst.org March 12, 2010 at 12:06 am


      I think you write rather well. Why don’t you consider introducing an online weekly or monthly magazine? If you can find the time, make it your soapbox analysis of Pakistani news. Give the online version away for free, and offer the PDF for a small subscription. Your commentary is very good, but here you are preaching to yourself, me, and the rest of the choir. I think you need a broader audience for your work. You have shown the above useful idiot his errors I am sure – but there are many more starry-eyed in the waiting. Your weekling magazine will be a hit – given how much time you spend on reading the local press. Heck, even I learn what’s going on by coming here right after visiting our english-enabled press – which is rather infrequent, can’t stand the depression it creates. Like the article in response to the editoral in DAWN where you collected all the references to why we blame just the police – that depressed me a lot!

      I think your magazine will, minimally, up the Prozac sales among the feeble, but more importantly, will be a good counter-point to Pakistan’s english-enabled gentries’ worship of the ‘white man’.

      Zahir Ebrahim
      Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

  22. 52 nota March 4, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Sorry Siraj but I GOTTO mention this one too:

    For the first three days, we were completely locked up inside the Washington Plaza Hotel and all appointments were cancelled due to very heavy snow. They said it was the worst snow in the last 100 years.

    Followed by:

    We stopped at the White House gate. Falsely presuming that it would be a relatively warmer day, many of us had not worn warm clothes.

    Simply BRILLIANT!
    Note to Siraj: When you see that white stuff called “SNOW”, take it to mean “It is going to be COLD out there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    By the way Siraj, what exactly did happen at the “New Delhi conference”? Why have it “protected”? No FOIA for us? And to think all that time spent by poor Americans teaching you all those nice American things…

  23. 53 Vox Libertas March 8, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    From another thread, but relevant here:
    It is not the case that “we” need her back in Pakistan, It’s just that if we are going to extend due process of law to mass murderers like musharraf, zardari, Kiani, or Satan’s breastfed minions like benazir et allum and even a national hero like AQ Khan (whose actions by all accounts were potentially cent times more deleterious) then the same should be reserved for Afia, this is assuming that she was in fact a terrorist. Now of course, we do not know whether she was or wasn’t. I’m going to assume at the very least she was sympathetic a la the Tipton 3.
    That was never and to his day has not been proven.
    What we DO know allegedly by her account and other prisoners in Bagram is that she was gang raped multiple times, tortured and subjected to sexual humiliation (the latter 2 also backed up by her examining doctors and shrink) and really it is not that hard to believe that (and no inquiry or follow up on that btw). And that’s what should horrify every single decent human being. This was done to her not by some wayward militant group, or rogue elements of the military or government but by the instrument s of the government itself. Where is the justice and inquiry on that?
    There isn’t any, that would be a new can of worms and embarrassment.
    The horror is that this could happen to any one. The horror is that this was done to her by an evil regime (US/Pak whatever the imagination springs up doesn’t matter), breaking its own laws and international standards of decency and laws to which it is a signatory.
    Now of course, given that masses and especially those of 3rd world countries are largely apathetic because their ELITES are apathetic (so nothing shocking about your comments really), it is not only refreshing and heartening but also surprising to see an upstanding elite making a principled stand with sound consistent arguments. And that is of course Imran Khan. I don’t think any other politician or civil leader apart from a few media personalities come close.
    This is not propaganda or gaining political points. This is a willful expending of time, energy and parlance by an individual who is horrified ( and that’s why Imran Khan is a weirdo, but I would rather have this sensitive weirdo on my side when they come for me and so would most of you) that no one is bothered by this? And that’s why he has said more than once, had this woman been an American or a Western woman you’d see all kinds of activism and anger, from the very liberal to the socialist leftist(dumfvcks) to the likes of Geert Wilders (Wilders is the type who uses tragedy to score political points based on bigotry), everyone coming around this national rallying point.

    Think of pfc Jessica Lynch who was captured by Iraqi troops.

    Her honor became the rallying point for all Americans regardless of how they viewed the war. Of course when the truth came out that she wasn’t raped in fact treated with utmost love and care by the Iraqi medical staff and in fact her life was put in danger by the “daring live” rescue is another matter, and the fact that the most hawkish of the warmongers in the republic than dissed her for being upfront (Kudos to Lynch for telling the truth, but more on that latter). The point is, that there are certain things which rouse resilience in nations, even in he apathetic masses….all masses.
    That too… is gone from Pakistan.
    Hence Imran Khan is clearly a deviation from the avg Pakistani elite, I would liken him to Jinnah in that his mentality is more Western than regional (and I use the term Western cautiously as I don’t really believe in such dichotomies, only Universals). This is to an extent disturbing for it would imply that the any spark or shred of anger left in pakistani public is gone.
    In many ways, pakistan itself is much like Afia, repeatedly gang rape, humiliated, spat upon, accused of things whose truth may never see the light of the day.

  1. 1 Past Heroes, Now Zeroes « F*ck Politics Trackback on February 16, 2010 at 11:32 am

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