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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 06:32 PM
Original message
Bhutto Assassination: Cui bono?
I'm going to limit the scope of this question right now to Pakistan. To whose benefit in Pakistan does Bhutto's assassination serve? The immediate kneejerk MSM reaction is, of course, al-Qaeda. After all, who else could benefit from the destabilization of having one of the most powerful voices for democracy in Pakistan martyred? Two others immediately come to mind. One is Musharraf himself. Certainly he would benefit if the result of this assassination was the cancellation of an election that, if free and fair, would have probably ended his rule over Pakistan. With the boycott of the election recently announced by Nawaz Sharif and his party, that may come to pass, especially if there is continued unrest. But it is the unrest that this assassination is causing that makes the likelihood that Musharraf ordered the hit small. It most certainly does NOT benefit Musharraf that he has now become the prime target of hatred for any pro-democracy citizen in Pakistan. Certainly he would have foreseen this eventuality in light of recent protests prior to the assassination when he was stepping down from his post as army chief, again making the possibility of complicity less likely.

Which leads me to the other person who comes to mind that may stand to benefit from these tumultuous events: the man who took over Musharraf's army chief post. The man the BBC refers to as Pakistan's 'quiet man': Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.


The rise of Pakistan's 'quiet man'
By Syed Shoaib Hasan
BBC News, Islamabad

The rise of Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani through the ranks of the Pakistani military has been rapid if not extraordinary.

snip

Soon after, he was made the head of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. In March 2007, he was part of the infamous "tribunal" of intelligence chiefs who met Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry the day before his suspension by President Musharraf.

As one of the army's most senior officers, Gen Kayani could confidently expect to take the top job. But because he was head of the controversial and shadowy ISI, some felt that he had disqualified himself from further promotion.

No ISI chief has ever been appointed commander of Pakistan's army. The agency's dealings have often been at odds with the policy of the government of the day.

Some observers had also contended that Gen Kayani was too much "his own man" for Gen Musharraf to place faith in him.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7024719.stm

If the security of Pakistan deteriorates to the point that martial law is declared, Kayani would be in charge, unless there is some provision I'm unaware of whereby Kayani would obediently step aside from his post in the event of martial law for Musharraf to reclaim his old post. Somehow, I don't think a former head of ISI would give up that kind of power. Cui bono?

Just to be clear, I'm not saying al-Qaeda had nothing to do with this. I'm just presenting an alternative perspective (alternative to MSM, that is) that I think considering the ties that ISI has had in the past with the Taliban and al-Qaeda is valid and deserves a full investigation. Asking "Cui bono?" goes straight to the heart of any criminal investigation: MOTIVE.

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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 06:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. K&R...

doesn't al Qaeda have operatives who are members of the shadowy ISI?
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. 'quiet man'
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Dhalgren Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
3. Good call! Reckick!
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 06:45 PM
Response to Original message
4. It may be
accurate to say that part of ISI is part of al Qaeda.
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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. Very good point.
It is for that reason that the investigation of this assassination will be shoddy at best, fox investigating the henhouse at worst. MSM will dutifully comply by highlighting al-Qaeda and not a peep about ISI. But the truth, as you suggest, lies somewhere in between.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. I don't want to go too far afield, but wasn't the original formation of the ISI a CIA project?
I don't mean in a conspiracy theory sense, more like a "School of the Americas" kind of thing; an open mentorship, as it were.

I don't know if it's relevant or not at this point in time, other than it's another skein that went into the making of the whole shadowy drugs/guns/covert ops tangle in that part of the world.

sw
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. It's a good question.
Earlier today, I spent a good bit of time on the phone, discussing today's events with a friend who lived in Pakistan for decades. One of my questions was who he thought was most likely responsible: Musharraf, ISI, or al Qaeda? He said that yes, he thought they were the most likely suspects.

He said that there are forces that the US supported in Afghanistan in the 1980s, that we used to influence, but have never really controlled. What happened today is evidence of the dwindling influence that the Bush administration has in Pakistan. He suggested that it would be worth keeping an eye on what shifts take place in the directions of India and China. I have always found his opinion worth paying attention to.
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. It is important to point out that KO and MSNBC are not following....

the MSM pack. Just this evening, KO and his guest pointed out the overlap of ISI and al Qaeda, and that it is not clear the involvement of the current government in terrorism.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
5. Considering that her assassination makes her a martyr,
whom does that benefit? Not Musharraf nor Al Queda really. So whom would her martyrdom benefit?
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many a good man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 07:05 PM
Response to Original message
6. Not Musharref, IMO
Musharref knows he is the only thing standing between the extremists and the nukes. ISI and Pakistani military are full of Al Qaeda sympathizers. He has to walk a tightrope to avoid losing control.

911 was a disaster for Musharref. Before 911 he could keep the extremists distracted by letting them play out their little fantasies in Kashmir and Afghanistan. It was a safety outlet. After 911 he was forced to make a show of cracking down on these elements, which drove them underground, relatively speaking. They still ran big parts of ISI and the military but they had to do so quietly.

He probably thought Bhutto was incapable of holding the line and that her election would spark civil war. Nonetheless, he didn't want her killed. He needed her to keep indignation at the extremists raised to a fever pitch and deflect some of the tension away from himself.

The al Qaeda sympathizers broke their agreement. He promised a hands off policy in Waziristan in exchange for a truce in Pak proper. Something happened in the past six months and the extremists are agitating in the cities and all over the country. I think they are going to make a grab for it. The next few months are going to be tense. We have no choice but to support Musharref until this blows over.

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focusfan Donating Member (884 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 07:14 PM
Response to Original message
7. i hope i don't sound harsh but
she was just asking to be murdered why didn't she stay hidden
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #7
18. The same reason that Martin Luther King didn't hide..even though
he knew his life was in danger...

The same reason that JFK...went out in public knowing the danger

The same reason that Bobby Kennedy went into public....knowing the danger

What about the French Resistance? Without them WWII may have taken longer.

Because there are people in the world that know that they can make change and influence peoples lives....and give them hope.


If everyone stayed and hid who would fight the Corporate Thieves, the dictators and other horrible humans out there?

We need more people like Bhutto who even in the face of danger go out and try to make a difference.
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #18
30. Keep in mind...

JFK had been taunted by Joan Crawford and Nixon who in days prior to the assassination had driven around Dallas without SS protection, claiming they didn't need it. Crawford was spokesperson and board member of Pepsico, which benefitted from low labor costs of Cuban sugar production.

http://www.crimemagazine.com/03/richardnixon,1014.htm

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Bobbieo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #7
20. She wanted to die for her country and she did!!!
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
8. cskendrick has a post at dkos on ISI worth reading
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/12/27/14191/993
A Brief Overview of Pakistan's Intelligence Service
by cskendrick
Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 11:27:50 AM PST
Here is the short form: Corrupt genocidal traitors to their own country who are, happily, hamstrung by their own incomptence.

According to the One True Wiki, the ISI:

ften alleged to be an invisible force in Pakistani politics and countless incidents around the world<;> it is one of the most significant and secretive intelligence agencies that exist today.

They are hardly invisible to people in Pakistan, or to the politics of that country or any of its neighbors. They have been around almost since the beginning.

And the ISI is, time and time again, proven to have been about the worst thing that could have happened to Pakistan.

What follows is a sad account of just a few times where, rather than deliver on their mission of keeping Pakistan save, the ISI has achieved just the opposite.

The wonder is: Is it on purpose?

cskendrick's diary :: ::
What is Inter Services Intelligence?
from fas.org:

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 result is there has been no real supervision of the ISI, and corruption, narcotics, and big money have all come into play, further complicating the political scenario. Drug money was used by ISI to finance not only the Afghanistan war, but also the ongoing proxy war against India in Kashmir and Northeast India.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee deals with all problems bearing on the military aspects of state security and is charged with integrating and coordinating the three services. Affiliated with the committee are the offices of the engineer in chief, the director general of medical service, the Director of Inter-Services Public Relations, and the Director of Inter-Services Intelligence.

Staffed by hundreds of civilian and military officers, and thousands of other workers, the agency's headquarters is located in Islamabad. The ISI reportedly has a total of about 10,000 officers and staff members, a number which does not include informants and assets. It is reportedly organized into between six and eight divisions... also includes a separate explosives section and a chemical warfare section. Published reports provide contradictory indications as to the relative size of these organizational elements, suggesting that either JIX is the largest, or that the Joint Intelligence Bureau is the largest with some sixty percent of the total staff.

The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence is of particular importance at the joint services level. The directorate's importance derives from the fact that the agency is charged with managing covert operations outside of Pakistan.

snip


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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. Excellent comprehensive link. Thanks leveymg!
I'll make sure I take the time to read it all. I know Paul Thompson also had some great entries at cooperativeresearch.org on the whole ISI/Taliban/al-Qaeda connection that might be good to brush over in light of recent events.
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #14
21. ISI Director Said to Become Fundamentalist Muslim

http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timelin...

Spring 2000: ISI Director Said to Become Fundamentalist Muslim
Pashtun ethnic areas, shown in red, cover much of the heavily populated areas in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed, director of the Pakistani ISI since October 1999 (see October 12, 1999), is not considered especially religious. However, around this time he begins telling his colleagues that he has become a born-again Muslim. While he doesnt make open gestures such as growing a beard, when US intelligence learns about this talk they find it foreboding and wonder what its impact on the ISIs relations with the Taliban will be. Perhaps not coincidentally, around this time he begins meeting less frequently with CIA liaisons and becomes less cooperative with the US. But if Mahmood becomes a fundamentalist Muslim, that would not be very unique in the ISI. As Slate will write shortly after 9/11, many in the ISI loathe the United States. They view America as an unreliable and duplicitous ally, being especially resentful of the 1990 sanctions, which came one year after the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan. Furthermore, the ISI is dominated by Pashtuns, the same tribe that is the Talibans base of support across the border in Afghanistan. Partly because of its family, clan, and business ties to the Taliban, the ISI, even more than Pakistani society in general, has become increasingly enamored of radical Islam in recent years.
Entity Tags: Mahmood Ahmed, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence
Category Tags: Pakistan and the ISI, Mahmood Ahmed

April 4, 2000: ISI Director Visits Washington and Is Told to Give Warning to Taliban ISI Director and leading Taliban supporter Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed visits Washington. He meets officials at the CIA and the White House. In a message meant for both Pakistan and the Taliban, US officials tell him that al-Qaeda has killed Americans and people who support those people will be treated as our enemies. The US threatens to support the Northern Alliance, who are still engaged in a civil war with the Taliban. A short time later, Mahmood goes to Afghanistan and delivers this message to Taliban leader Mullah Omar. However, no actual US action, military or otherwise, is taken against either the Taliban or Pakistan. Author Steve Coll later notes that these US threats were just bluffs since the Clinton administration was not seriously considering a change of policy.
Entity Tags: Mullah Omar, Al-Qaeda, Pakistan, Mahmood Ahmed, Taliban
Category Tags: Pakistan and the ISI, Mahmood Ahmed
Summer 2000: Saeed Sheikh Frequently Calls ISI Director
Lieutenant General Mahmood Ahmed in 2000. In 2002, French author Bernard-Henri Levy is presented evidence by government officials in New Delhi, India, that Saeed Sheikh makes repeated calls to ISI Director Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed during the summer of 2000. Later, Levy gets unofficial confirmation from sources in Washington regarding these calls that the information he was given in India is correct. He notes that someone in the United Arab Emirates using a variety of aliases sends Mohamed Atta slightly over $100,000 between June and September of this year (see June 29, 2000-September 18, 2000 and (July-August 2000)), and the timing of these phone calls and the money transfers may have been the source of news reports that Mahmood Ahmed ordered Saeed Sheikh to send $100,000 to Mohamed Atta (see October 7, 2001). However, he also notes that there is evidence of Sheikh sending Atta $100,000 in August 2001 (see Early August 2001), so the reports could refer to that, or both $100,000 transfers could involve Mahmood Ahmed, Saeed Sheikh, and Mohamed Atta.
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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 01:32 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. I don't remember seeing the headline: ISI FINANCED 9/11 HIJACKER in MSM at all.
Oh yeah, that's right, it never happened. And the Zelikow Report is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. :sarcasm:

And remember the extensive punishment that Musharraf gave Mahmood Ahmed for financing the murder of almost 3,000 people? That's right: early retirement. There must be something in the Geneva Convention against that. :hi:
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #8
22. Thanks leveymg
I heard KOS was down all day
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 07:17 PM
Response to Original message
9. exactly what i was thinking. my uninformed kick.
when the subject of pakistan was brought up in the debates hrc said, "we don't want to destabilize pakistan" and i thought, until we are ready to destabilize pakistan. we put musharif in power, we will destabilize the country and make him an offer he cannot refuse when it suits our purpose.
i get more and more cynical the older i get, but it's never enough to keep up. this is a great question, and i await the great du brain discussion.
my take really, i can't stop thinking about naomi klien and the shock doctrine.
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dorkulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
10. Both Musharraf and AQ benefit, but...
I doubt Musharraf has anyone who's willing to explode themselves for him.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
11. Thanks for the post.
Glad you chimed in.
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sicksicksick_N_tired Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 07:34 PM
Response to Original message
13. Ahhh. However, Mr. Paulsen,...nowadays, political debate AVOIDS truth and SEEKS to,....
,...control perception. The neocons call it the, "WAR OF IDEAS" as they INTENTIONALLY fucking MANIPULATE reality, and have quite a fun time at it, bastards.

:rofl:

Here is a question for ya': Why is the US media still advancing Musher as the 'hope' against terrorism considering his negotiations with the anti-American camps fully funded by SAUDI ARABIA, AND integration of extremist elements into HIS MILITARY, AND literal DISCHARGE OF SUPREME JUSTICES, jailing of lawyers protesting (*LOL* the ABA would NEVER DO THAT,...but our NLA have taken a step in that direction), shutting down all communication networks other than his own, and smiling the whole damn time?

The USNEWS' job isn't reporting the truth. It's owned by the corporate-government. Their job is to do what's asked of our corporate-government. Otherwise, they can't make a living large life and that would suck.
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Me. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
19. Points Made On Countdown
Only religious extremists tend to do the suicide bomb thing and with her gone they , Al Queda, have a real chance of gaining a real foothold in Pakistan
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Prefer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 01:44 AM
Response to Original message
24. Maybe Drudge is telling us:
WORLD ROCKED...

Bush Condemns Bhutto Murder...

Is Benizar Bhutto America's Best hope against AlQueda? 'I am what the terrorists most fear'
Was set for publication on January 6, 2008...

Oil price spikes close to $97...
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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 03:43 AM
Response to Reply #24
27. If there were reports of a cat in a tree in Decatur Illinois, gas prices would rise.
They've been using every bit of news, good and bad, to justify market manipulation as long as I can remember, and it's gotten considerably worse since Enron set the benchmark for manipulation in the CA energy debacle. I have also noticed, as with adjustable rate mortgages, the upward pressure is always far greater than downward: Prices rise drastically on any negative news, but it takes weeks or months for prices to retreat.

There is no shortage of oil. If anything, there is a surplus for those countries that can afford it, because so many others have had to cut back. Another item the MSM will never report.

As genuine as anything that comes out of the WH, the "volatility" of oil prices is a huge lie. The U.S. still produces 55% of our consumption and, even with limited imports, we could, and would, get by, though it would take serious and hard change (how many shopping malls would close?). However, the hundreds of billions of dollars we spend annually protecting corrupt governments from their own people would be better spent at home developing energy alternatives anyway, don't you think?
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #27
32. There is a shortage of oil production in places like Saudi Arabia...

and it will only get worse, which is why they specifically benefit from rising oil prices.
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ConsAreLiars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 02:42 AM
Response to Original message
25. Brian Ross on Nightline asserted that he was the CIA favorite, now that the candidate
Edited on Fri Dec-28-07 02:43 AM by ConsAreLiars
they first encouraged, Bhutto, was killed. From the BBC article: "He is a graduate of army colleges in Quetta and Islamabad, and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth in the US." The Command and General Staff College is similar in purpose to the School of the Americas, to train "friendly" generals who will be cooperative with US imperialism, primarily in Asia.

(edit typo)
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 03:21 AM
Response to Original message
26. You mean the same Kayani who just happened to be
meeting with Arlen Specter yesterday.
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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #26
29. Really?
Very interesting, I had not heard that. Do you have a link?
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. Kayani, who was partly trained at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenwort
http://www.metimes.com/Politics/2007/11/29/pakistan_fro... /

Kayani, who was partly trained at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, is looked upon favorably by the U.S. administration of George W. Bush. It should not pass without notice that during his visit to Pakistan last week, Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte had two long meetings with Kayani and only a single cursory formal one with Musharraf. "This would have been unthinkable just a few weeks ago," explained Gohel, adding it could be a sign that Washington has accepted that Musharraf is "in meltdown mode" and could be grooming a successor.
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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. Two meetings with Death Squad Negroponte compared to Musharraf's one?
A very telling detail. Kayani is certainly being groomed for something important by TPTB.

I've got a new thread you might find interesting:

Bhutto Assassination: The ISI connections with her security detail.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 07:12 AM
Response to Original message
28. morning kick
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