CIA paid millions of dollars to ISI since 9/11: Report

CIA paid millions of dollars to ISI since 9/11: Report
IANS 16 November 2009, 12:24pm IST

LOS ANGELES: The CIA has paid millions of dollars to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) since 9/11, accounting for as much as one-third of the foreign spy agency's annual budget, says a media report.

The ISI also collected "tens of millions of dollars through a classified CIA programme", which pays for the capture or killing of wanted militants, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday citing current and former US officials.

An intense debate has been triggered within the US government due to "long-standing suspicions that the ISI continues to help Taliban extremists who undermine US efforts in Afghanistan and provide sanctuary to al-Qaida members in Pakistan".

But US officials have continued to make the payments as ISI's assistance is considered critical: "Almost every major terrorist plot this decade has originated in Pakistan's tribal belt, where ISI informant networks are a primary source of intelligence."

The report went on to say that the payments to Pakistan are authorised under a covert programme initially approved by then president Bush and continued under President Obama.

"The ISI has used the covert CIA money for a variety of purposes, including the construction of a new headquarters in Islamabad, the capital. That project pleased CIA officials because it replaced a structure considered vulnerable to attack; it also eased fears that the US money would end up in the private bank accounts of ISI officials."

"What we didn't want to happen was for this group of generals in power at the time to just start putting it in their pockets or building mansions in Dubai," a former CIA operative was quoted as saying.

CIA officials argue that their own disbursements - particularly the bounties for suspected terrorists - should be considered a bargain.

"They gave us 600 to 700 people captured or dead," a former senior CIA official, who worked with the Pakistanis, was quoted as saying.

"Getting these guys off the street was a good thing, and it was a big savings to (US) taxpayers."

Another US intelligence official said Pakistan had made "decisive contributions to counter-terrorism".

"They have people dying almost every day," the official said. "Sure, their interests don't always match up with ours. But things would be one hell of a lot worse if the government there was hostile to us."

The ISI is a highly compartmentalised intelligence service, with divisions that sometimes seem at odds with one another. Units that work closely with the CIA are walled off from a highly secretive branch that has directed insurgencies in Afghanistan and Kashmir, the Los Angeles Times report said.

"There really are two ISIs," the former CIA operative said.

"On the counter-terrorism side, those guys were in lock-step with us," the former operative said. "And then there was the 'long-beard' side. Those are the ones who created the Taliban and are supporting groups like Haqqani."

The network led by Jalaluddin Haqqani has been accused of carrying out a series of suicide attacks in Afghanistan, including the 2008 bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul.


Did you know that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed also had ties to the Pakistani ISI?

"Clearly, the ISI link is no mere conspiracy theory." - Lorie Van Auken

Do these people deserve to know how and why their loved ones were murdered? The facts speak for themselves.

Pakistan - 1 of 3 Big Middle East Winners from 9/11

Certain members of the ISI have long supported the Taliban and even al-Qaeda.

There was general Mahmood Ahmed's $100,000 payment to Mohammad Atta several weeks before 9/11.

Or how about Sy Hersh's finding that an intended air-lift out of Kundez, Afghanistan in November 2001, meant to rescue Pakistani intelligent agents, resulted in a thousand plus Taliban & al-Qaeda members also being flown out.

Three Middle Eastern countries have benefited significantly from 9/11 and the wars that followed, and Pakistan is one of them (Israel and Saudi Arabia the others). In 2001, the total US foreign aid to Pakistan was a whopping $3 million. The following year, over $900 million was allocated to Pakistan mainly to help the US fight terrorism (probably does not include the millions more in CIA covert funding). Pakistan is now the 3rd largest beneficiary of US foreign aid behind only Israel and Egypt. A couple of wars and well over a trillion dollars spent because US intelligence could not stop 19 rascally rabbits armed with boxcutters supported by a couple of their friends living in caves, when is America going to wake up to this neoconservative sham?

To Greg Miller, LA Times


You are in a position to dig deeper into CIA actions on that other side of "the wall" in the Pakistani ISI. This excuse that CIA only funds the good side is not credible. Seymour Hersh uncovered CIA sponsorship of terrorist groups MEK and Jundullah in The New Yorker. The CIA has always been pro-terrorist since its inception, and there is no reason whatsoeverto accept that they have somehow changed.

Since the government declard a "war" on terrorism, then any CIA sponsorship of same should be considered high treason, no?

They know full well that funds are being channeled to Taliban and Al Qaeda, yet they continue this business as usual, with no tangible actions taken to stop it. This is the core of the fraud that is the "war on terrorism." It is a fraud because it is not meant to be won -- ever. The goal is perpetuation of a manufactured enemy. The Saudi allies and the Pakistani allies have been instrumental in keeping the threat alive, protected, and manageable.

CIA sponsorship of Mujahadeen should be a red flag, as this was the period where the Pak ISI was built up, and it was the largest CIA operation in history. As a result, long lasting relationships were formed.

See US State Department veteran Michael Springman and what he has to say about the CIA controlling the US embassies overseas and deliberately arranging US entry visas to "unqualified applicants," who were terrorist trainees.

Video: Michael Springman

Transcript: CBC Interview with Michael Springman

Mr. Miller, exactly how did the 19 grossly "unqualified applicants" who hijacked jets on 9/11/01 receive their US entry visas?