I noted early last month reports that suggested Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI, was involved in the kidnapping, torture, and murder of a journalist.
A stunning piece in the Times today alleges that Obama administration officials also think the ISI did it.
New classified intelligence obtained before the May 29 disappearance of the journalist, Saleem Shahzad, 40, from the capital, Islamabad, and after the discovery of his mortally wounded body, showed that senior officials of the spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, directed the attack on him in an effort to silence criticism, two senior administration officials said.
Shahzad was a writer for the Hong Kong-based Asia Times Online and the Italian news service Adnkronos International. He disappeared in Islamabad while on his way to do a television interview. Two days before he vanished, Shahzad wrote a scathing article about a May 22 attack by militants at Pakistan’s main naval base at Karachi. The attack embarrassed the Pakistani military. Soon after he disappeared, a Human Rights Watch official there, Dayan Hasan, claimed that Shahzad was being held by the ISI. Shahzad’s tortured remains were later found 100 miles from his car.
Nearly a month after Shahzad’s death, President Obama mentioned our Pakistani friends in a prime-time speech about withdrawing some troops to Afghanistan. “Together with the Pakistanis, we have taken out more than half of al Qaeda’s leadership,” he said.”No country is more endangered by the presence of violent extremists, which is why we will continue to press Pakistan to expand its participation in securing a more peaceful future for this war-torn region.”