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Armitage says he wasn't authorized to make threat against Pakistan

Guest Armitage says he wasn't auth

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Guest Armitage says he wasn't auth

As a Republican, even I found it foul.


If I where the President, I would have fired him on the spot. Even if it was Implied indirectly.


You don't retain allies by threatening them.







WASHINGTON Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage says he never threatened that the U-S would use military force against Pakistan if it wouldn't help fight terrorists.


For one thing, he says, he was never authorized to make such a threat -- and that he'd never make a threat he couldn't back up.


Armitage tells C-N-N that he recalls a "very straightforward conversation" with Pakistan's intelligence director, but that he made no threat to bomb the country.


In an interview that will air Sunday on "60 Minutes," Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf (pur-VEHZ' moo-SHAH'-ruhv) says that Armitage told Pakistan's intelligence director to "be prepared to go back to the Stone Age" if Pakistan didn't help.


At a news conference today with President Bush, Musharraf declined to comment, citing a contract agreement with a publisher on an upcoming book.


As for Bush, he said he hadn't heard about the remark until reading about it in the newspaper, but said he was "taken aback by the harshness of the words."

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Guest Mu Xuequan

Former U.S. deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage said Friday that an official document detailing his conversation with the Pakistani intelligence chief confirms he did not threaten that Pakistan would be bombed if the Pakistani leader refuses to join the U.S. fight against al-Qaida.


"It did not happen. I was not authorized to say something like that. I did not say it," local mass media quoted Armitage as saying.


Armitage, who was former Secretary of State Colin Powell's right-hand man at the time, said he called the State Department Friday morning to double-check his memory and had an employee read him the cable he had sent after his meeting with the Pakistani intelligence chief, whom Armitage identified as Gen. M.


"I reviewed the cable, or had it read to me this morning from the State Department, and there was in no way that threat," Armitage said.


Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said on Thursday that the United States threatened to bomb his country "back to the Stone Age" after the Sept. 11 attacks if he did not help America's war on terror.


Musharraf told CBS-TV's "60 Minutes" program that the threat came from Richard Armitage and was made to Musharraf's intelligence director.


"The intelligence director told me that (Armitage) said, 'Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age,'" Musharraf said in the interview to be shown Sunday on CBS.


"I think it was a very rude remark," Musharraf said in the interview.


Bush said Friday that he was "taken aback" by a purported U.S. threat to bomb Pakistan "back to the Stone Age" if it did not cooperate in the fight against terrorism after the Sept. 11 attacks.


Speaking to reporters after meeting with Musharraf at the White House, Bush said "I guess I was taken aback by the harshness of the words."


Bush stopped short of flatly denying the report. Instead, he spoke highly of Musharraf's role in war against terrorism.


Bush praised the Pakistani leader for being one of the first foreign leaders to come out after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to stand with the United States to "help root out an enemy."


Also on Friday, the White House said that it was not U.S. policy to threaten Pakistan after the Sept. 11 attacks, but acknowledged it might have been "a classic failure to communicate."


"U.S. policy was not to issue bombing threats, U.S. policy was to say to president Musharraf 'we need you to make a choice," White House spokesman Tony Snow said, adding "This could have been a classic failure to communicate. I just don't know."

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Guest Kricknit

Actually it was my understanding that the actual threat was to the Taliban in Afganistan in relation to the Unocal pipeline. The Taliban was resisting efforts or asking to much money to run the pipeline through Afganistan. The threat to the Taliban was rivers of gold, or blankets of bombs. Approximatly one month later the Twin Towers were attacked. Speculation was it was in response to the threat of bombing. This story must have been about to break, thus the need for the Pakastan revelation. Of couse this will end up refuted by the Pakastan Gov, and in the end the story will drop. It will however save the US administration from having to explain on its own. The crimes of the Taliban were hanus, I only wish that our own governments hands were as clean as they claim they are, but the reality of our nations past provides indications that are not. Course those issues were fixed, and have no relation to the current administration.

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I really found your post quite interesting. Pakistan is geopolitically important in obtaining oil from the Caspian region where Kazakhstan is located. Armitage (whose business clients have included Halliburton's Brown & Root division, Boeing, Goldman Sachs and Chase Manhattan) and Dick Cheney in the 1990s had business or consulting interests in the Caspian region (Cheney has been CEO of Halliburton and on the Kazakhstan Oil Advisory Board), and in 1997 Armitage was contacted by the oil and gas giant UNOCAL to work for its Central Asia pipeline interests. Armitage also co-authored the July 2000 report of The Commission on America's National Interests, which described the need for obtaining oil from the Caspian region. The recalcitrant Taliban rulers of Afghanistan, however, were standing in the way of moving the oil and gas from that region to Pakistan, the U.S., and elsewhere.


May 2001 Armitage and CIA director George Tenet had an unusually long meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan with the head of the ISI, Gen. Mahmoud Ahmad, and with Pakistan's chief executive Gen. Pervez Musharraf. A few weeks later, in mid-July 2001 in Berlin at a U.N.-sponsored international contact group meeting on Afghanistan, U.S. representatives told Pakistani Foreign Secretary Niaz Naik that the Taliban must submit to U.S. demands regarding Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda or face military action. The Taliban was actually a creation of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).


Critics of the ISI say that it has become a state within a state, answerable neither to the leadership of the army, nor to the President or the Prime Minister. The ISI has been deeply involved in domestic politics of Pakistan since the late 1950s. The 1990 elections for example were widely believed to have been rigged by the ISI in favor of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) party, a conglomerate of nine mainly rightist parties by the ISI under Lt. General Hameed Gul, to ensure the defeat of Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) in the polls. Gul has denied that the vote was rigged. In September-October 1989, two ISI officers launched Operation Midnight Jackals in a bid to sway PPP members of the National Assembly to back a vote of no confidence against the Bhutto government.


Agence France Presse (AFP) and the Times of India, quoting an official Indian intelligence report (which had been dispatched to Washington) reported that the money used to finance the 9-11 attacks had allegedly been "wired to WTC hijacker Mohammed Atta from Pakistan, by Ahmad Umar Sheikh, at the instance of [iSI Chief] General Mahmoud [Ahmad]." According to the AFP (quoting the intelligence source):


"The evidence we have supplied to the U.S. is of a much wider range and depth than just one piece of paper linking a rogue general to some misplaced act of terrorism." [The Times of India, Delhi, 9 October 2001].

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Guest Laura Knight-Jadczyk

Where was General Mahmoud on the morning of September 11, while Dubya was in Florida reading upside down books?


Why, the good general just happened to be having breakfast with Florida's senator, Bob Graham - our esteemed chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Also present at breakfast was Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S. Maleeha Lodhi. There were other members of the Senate and House Intelligence committees present.


Read more at my website



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He was definitely in Capitol Hill


"When the news [of the attacks on the World Trade Center] came, the two Florida lawmakers who lead the House and Senate intelligence committees were having breakfast with the head of the Pakistani intelligence service. Rep. Porter Goss, R-Sanibel, Sen. Bob Graham and other members of the House Intelligence Committee were talking about terrorism issues with the Pakistani official when a member of Goss' staff handed a note to Goss, who handed it to Graham. "We were talking about terrorism, specifically terrorism generated from Afghanistan," Graham said.


Mahmoud Ahmad, director general of Pakistan's intelligence service, was "very empathetic, sympathetic to the people of the United States," Graham said.

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