Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I Is For Infidel

Via Opinion Journal, Masood Farivar reviews Kathy Gannon's new book I Is For Infidel

Ms. Gannon is an AP correspondent.

Here is a powerful excerpt:

It was a scene straight out of a John le Carré novel, the kind of cloak-and-dagger rendezvous that CIA spooks can only fantasize about. The time: November 2004. The place: a compound deep inside the Old City of Peshawar, on Pakistan's rugged northwest frontier. The participants: Karim, a 30-something former Afghan mujahideen fighter; Mohammed Hakim, a slightly younger, bearded representative of a Taliban splinter group holding three United Nations workers hostage in Afghanistan; and Kathy Gannon, a correspondent for Associated Press.

The group, even more militant in its opposition to Mr. Karzai and his pro-Western government than erstwhile Taliban leader Mullah Omar, was divided over whether to kill the hostages. Karim claimed to sympathize with their plight and to understand that the abduction wasn't winning the Taliban any friends. Still, he said that he had little choice. It was a surreal meeting in many ways, but what made it especially remarkable to Ms. Gannon was how relaxed Hakim seemed. A well-known Taliban terrorist, he was supposedly a wanted man in Pakistan. Why did he seem so nonchalant? Soon enough the reason became clear.

Karim abruptly ended the conversation and headed out to his waiting car. Ms. Gannon caught a glimpse of the license plate--it started with the number 83. From her years of experience she had learned that, in Pakistan, such a number belongs only to plates that have been issued by the ISI, Pakistan's military intelligence service. This numeric talisman confirmed what she had long suspected: that three years after Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's president, had made an about-face and ditched the Taliban under U.S. pressure, his military intelligence service was still offering support to Islamist groups, including a resurgent Taliban.

1 comment:

libertarian said...

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time ...

Maybe the State Department will figure what we've known for a while. This guy just has not produced results. He feels he's done a spectacular job though.


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