January 11, 2008

Cheney Plans Military Intervention into Pakistan

Jan. 6, 2008 (EIRNS)—Dick Cheney is pushing on the Bush Administration, the British line in favor of running covert intelligence and military operations in the tribal areas of Pakistan, now that the Pakistan Army has been softened up and Musharraf is threatened with his own assassination, according to a leak to the New York Times today, written by David Sanger, Steven Lee Myers, and Eric Schmitt. Cheney emerged from his undisclosed location on Friday to lord it over Condi Rice and George Bush, following the Bhutto assassination, calling for the intervention. National Security Adviser Steven Hadley, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, and others were there, but Gates was "on vacation and did not attend the meeting," writes the Times.

The Times reports: "Several of the participants in the meeting argued that the threat to the government of President Pervez Musharraf was now so grave that both Mr. Musharraf and Pakistan's new military leadership were likely to give the U.S. more latitude, officials said." The Times says the White House expects that the new head of the Pakistani Army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, "will be more sympathetic to the American position than Mr. Musharraf." Kayani is described as a former aide to Bhutto. A source is quoted: "After years of focusing on Afghanistan, we think the extremists now see a chance for the big prize—creating chaos in Pakistan itself."

State Department officials and U.S. diplomats in the region are said to oppose any further intervention than the current limited approval for attacks on Bin Laden or Zawahri, when sighted.

Interviewed by Iran's Press TV this morning, Musharraf's spokesman, Gen. Rashid Kareshi, rejected absolutely the announced U.S. intervention. "We reject any joint operations. The U.S. and NATO are responsible for operations in Afghanistan, and the Pakistan Army is responsible for operations in Pakistan—other than extensive intelligence sharing both ways." He also rejected "joint" control of the nuclear arsenal.

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