Sunday, November 15, 2009

CIA Gives Millions To Pakistani Spy Agency

There's an article in this morning's Los Angeles Times about the hundreds of millions of dollars paid by the CIA in recent years to the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI. You can read it by clicking HERE. Among other things, the CIA has apparently funded a clandestine multi-million dollar "bounty" program to encourage the ISI to capture or kill top militants, under which the ISI was paid $25 million for the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in 2003.

Despite the magnitude of these payments, perpetual misgivings linger about the reliability of the ISI. According to this article, "The ISI is a highly compartmentalized 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. '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.' "

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