The Edge of Terrorism
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|Jim Kouri||May 24th 2012|
The Pakistani medical doctor who aided U.S. intelligence officers in locating terrorist leader Osama bin Laden was sentenced to 30 years in prison and fined $3,500 yesterday in retaliation for contributing to an operation that was unsanctioned by the Pakistani government, according to reports obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police.
Congressman Peter King (R-NY), chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives' Homeland Security Committee, told members of the news media on Wednesday about his suspicion that a Obama administration official or officials leaked the identity of the Pakistani physician who helped CIA officers locate bin Laden. Shakil Afridi, a physician, was charged with treason and tried under the tribal justice system for running a fake vaccination program for America's bin Laden hunters. Osama bin Laden drew his last breath when he was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs in Abbottabad on May 1, 2011.
The killing of the al-Qaeda leader without the Pakistan officials' prior knowledge of the operation caused the Pakistanis to not only condemn the U.S. but also expel American forces out of Pakistan. When the Pakistani government discovered Dr. Afridi ran a vaccination program specifically for the CIA to collect DNA and verify bin Laden's presence at the compound in the town of Abbottabad, according to King.
Under the Muslim nation's tribal justice system, the administrative head of a district serves as a de facto judge. Typically, this means a court may deliver swift justice and does not necessarily follow a regular judicial process. Dr Afridi wasn't even allowed to be present in court for sentencing and so he was unable to give his side of the story before being sentenced, according to Rep. King.
But to many within the intelligence community, the most serious aspect of Dr. Afridi's case is the casual way classified information is handled by CIA and FBI political appointees as well as by many elected officials especially in the Executive Branch of government.
Jim Kouri writes for the Examiner, from which this article is adapted.