John Kerry, who served dishonorably in Vietnam, is off, again, to visit his constitutents, the Islamist kleptocracy that governs Pakistan. (h/t Drudge Report)
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Senator John Kerry will travel to Pakistan in coming days to put relations "on the right track" after the killing of Osama bin Laden in a surprise Navy SEALs raid, but he is likely to face fury from the army over what it sees as a breach of trust.
Kerry, a Democrat who is close to the Obama administration, said he expected to see "all the main players" in Pakistan to discuss strains in bilateral ties following the May 2 operation that killed the al Qaeda leader in his Pakistani hideout.
"A number of people suggested it would be good to get a dialogue going about the aftermath and how we get on the right track," Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters in Washington.
Sounds like he will get a bitch slap from his constituents when he arrives:
Co-author of a 2009 bill that tripled non-military aid to Islamabad, Kerry is seen as a friend of the country, but he is likely to face the wrath of the powerful security establishment which has been embarrassed by the unilateral U.S. action on Pakistani soil.
A senior Pakistani security official said the operation had left the army and its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency -- which has a long history of contacts with militants -- "discredited in the eyes of the public."
"We are very angry about this breach of trust," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "The space for cooperating with the Americans on military and intelligence operations has been shrunk because of this incident."
Pakistani cooperation is crucial for Washington's efforts to combat Islamist militants and bring stability to Afghanistan, and the U.S. administration appears keen to contain the fallout.
Nevertheless, U.S. lawmakers have questioned whether Pakistan is serious about fighting militants in the region after bin Laden was found living in a house just a few minutes' walk from the country's main military academy. Some have called for a suspension in U.S. aid to Islamabad.
Pakistan rejects allegations that it was either incompetent in tracking down the man behind the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States or complicit in hiding him in the town of Abbottabad just 50 km (30 miles) from Islamabad.
"We wouldn't be naive enough to be complicit in this affair. We would be risking not only the future of our country, but also the future of our children," the official said, adding that if there was a support network protecting bin Laden it did not come from within Pakistan's security establishment.
Kerry has travelled to Pakistan before to try to tamp down crises. He was there in February to try to win the release of Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor and former U.S. special forces member who shot dead two Pakistanis in the city of Lahore.
Davis, who said he acted in self defense, was freed in March after "blood money" -- compensation to the families of those killed -- was paid, Pakistani and U.S. officials said.
The United States is hoping to question the three wives of bin Laden who were left in the Abbottabad compound after U.S. raid and are now being detained, although Pakistani officials played down the possibility of any speedy access.
U.S. investigators, who have been sifting through a huge stash of material seized during the operation, believe the wives could help them trace bin Laden's movements and his network.ABC News quoted Pakistani officials as saying that they were interested in studying the remains of a U.S. helicopter that crashed during the Navy SEALs' raid, which experts believe was a version of the Blackhawk modified with stealth features.
One official told the network that China, an ally of Pakistan, was interested in examining the remains of the helicopter and another said "We might let them take a look."
Pakistan says bin Laden's death is an important step in the fight against militancy but it is angry that it was not informed about it and that U.S. forces violated its sovereignty when they swooped in on helicopters from Afghanistan.
Current and former U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the United States repeatedly told Pakistan that Washington would send American forces into that country if it had evidence bin Laden was hiding there.
It is a habit, or a perternatural reaction, of Kerry to defend or minimize misconduct by the Pakistanis. He rushes to their aid, no matter what they do, including illegally imprison American diplomats. His first and only reaction is to protect the Islamists in Pakistan.
Sen. John Kerry has left for a trip to Pakistan today, according to his spokesperson on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to calm frayed diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Pakistan. Spokesman Frederick Jones said the trip comes at a time when the relationship is strained by the detention of a U.S. government official, Raymond Davis, suspected of killing two Pakistani men in self-defense during an alleged robbery attempt late last month in Lahore.Another Pakistani man was then accidentally killed by a rescue vehicle rushing to Davis' aid.The U.S. was scheduled to host a trilateral meeting in Washington with Afghanistan and Pakistan at the end of February, but the meeting was canceled after Pakistan resisted U.S. demands to release Davis immediately. Pakistan is charging Davis with murder, but U.S. officials argue that Davis was in Pakistan under a diplomatic visa and has diplomatic immunity from prosecution.“Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry left tonight for Pakistan where he will meet with senior Pakistan government officials to reaffirm support for the strategic relationship between the two countries,” Jones said. The senator is traveling on behalf of the Obama administration.
I guess he does not trust his close friends:
Isn't Kerry's father an immigrant...I guess loyalty is not something he was taught at his father's knee...but Pakistan? WTF! I guess it was the money...or he just hates America, as he was very wealthy before he became Pakistan's boy in DC. Our Founding Fathers feared that an American President would be bribed by a foreign power. It looks like they were not far off.Details of when he will arrive were not given, due to security reasons.
Chairman Kerry has traveled to Pakistan four times since assuming chairmanship of the committee in 2009. He was the first high-ranking U.S. official to travel to Pakistan following the devastating floods in that country last September.
In 2009 Sen. Kerry co-authored the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009, also known as the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act, which triples non-military foreign assistance to Pakistan to $1.5 billion per year over the next five years.
“Kerry-Lugar-Berman was designed to signal our long-term state engagement with the people of Pakistan,” Jones said.