Health Workers Being Killed Thanks to CIA?
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REPORTER: If he was helping the U.S. on various matters and theCIA, how come you left him to die or to be imprisoned, to sentenced by the Pakistanis on treason, on other charges? How come you didn’t give him some kind of protection, or just like the Chinese—Chen, Mr. Chen, just like him, to bring him some or give him some safe haven, rather than leaving him behind?
VICTORIA NULAND: I think we’ve said that we don’t see any basis for what’s happened here, and so, you know, we will continue to make those representations to the government of Pakistan.
AMY GOODMAN: That was State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland. Matthieu?
MATTHIEU AIKINS: Well, of course, you know, I think, in any country in the world, when a citizen of that country cooperates with a foreign intelligence agency to carry out an assassination on that country’s soil, there is going to be legal consequences. Now, the U.S. would probably like to buy Afridi’s freedom, you know, as a way of showing other potential future sources that they’ll—they’ll back them up. I don’t think they care—are particularly sentimental about Afridi’s fate. So, we’ll see—we’ll see what happens with that, because it’s pretty politically sensitive football on both sides. But I mean, you know, this just—
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: But what was he actually convicted of? It wasn’t of cooperating with the CIA, was it?
MATTHIEU AIKINS: No, I mean, like everything to do with his case, it’s actually a really complicated story. But they basically found a law under the frontier regulations—frontier crimes regulations, which is a British-era colonial law that basically—I mean, the tribal areas of Pakistan are still ruled by British-era colonial laws that provide no right of representation, or, you know, you can’t even be present at your own trial. There’s no real appeal. So, they found a way to try Afridi under these circumstances just because it was a way to quietly deal with the case, because it was obviously—you know, trying him for treason for helping an enemy of the state, the U.S., would bring up all sorts of uncomfortable questions as to what the real relationship between the United States and Pakistan is.
AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to turn to Noam Chomsky for his comments. We spoke to him in May—of course, the professor of linguistics and philosophy atMIT, where he taught for over half a century. These are his comments on the CIAoperation against Osama bin Laden.
NOAM CHOMSKY: [So, take, say,] the assassination of Osama bin Laden. I mean, I’m a small minority of people who think that was a crime. I don’t think you should have a right to invade another country, apprehend a suspect—remember, he’s a suspect, even if you think he’s guilty—apprehend him, after he’s apprehended and defenseless, assassinate him and throw his body into the ocean. Yeah, civilized countries don’t do that sort of thing. But—and notice that it was undertaken at great risk. The Navy SEALs were under orders to fight their way out, if there was a problem. If they had had to fight their way out, they would have gotten air cover and probably intervention. We could have been at war with Pakistan. Pakistan has a professional army. They’re dedicated to protecting the sovereignty of the state, very dedicated to it, and they wouldn’t take this lightly. A war with Pakistan would be an utter disaster. It’s one of the huge nuclear facilities, laced with radical Islamic elements. They’re not a big part of the population, but they’re all over. But they did it anyway. Then, right after it, when Pakistan was, you know, totally outraged, we carried out more drone attacks in Pakistan, almost—you know, it’s kind of astonishing when you look at the planning, quite apart from the criminality.