FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Bin Laden’s Murder Payment to Pakistan?

This chart is generated at https://www.foreignassistance.gov/ with counterterrorism assistance as the indicator and Pakistan as the country.

This commentary explores whether the U.S. paid any money to Pakistan for the assassination of Osama Bin Laden. As the graph demonstrates, the U.S. paid over $500 million to Pakistan as counter-terrorism funds in 2011, the year Bin Laden was murdered in Abbottabad, a small city located 75 miles north of Islamabad.  This amount stands out on the chart as compared to the counter-terrorism funds paid to Pakistan before and after 2011.  The chart furnishes an intriguing indicator that something special was cooking in the enhanced partnership between the U.S. and Pakistan.

Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009

On assuming the presidency in 2009, Barack Obama refocused on the 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and agreed to draw in Pakistan more strongly to defeat the Al Qaeda operatives mounting fierce opposition to the U.S. occupying forces, a venture known as the AfPak policy. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee under the joint leadership of Senators Kerry and Lugar had proposed a significant increase in aid to Pakistan as a quid pro quo for measurable results to root out terrorism in the AfPak region.

In October 2009, Congress passed the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act (The Act).  The Act defines counterterrorism “as efforts to defeat al Qaeda and other foreign terrorist organizations … or other individuals engaged in terrorist activity.” The Act recognizes that Pakistan “has been a valuable partner in the battle against al Qaeda … but much more needs to be accomplished.” The Act further notes: “Despite killing and capturing hundreds of al Qaeda operatives, such as Khalid Sheikh Muhammad,” Pakistan remains a sanctuary for al Qaeda and other terrorists.

The Act promises assistance in various fields and for various purposes. Assistance for each purpose is categorized and separated.  For example, the monies allocated for health, girls’ education, civil liberties, and other democratic, economic, and development purposes are separated from monies allocated for counterterrorism. Furthermore, counterterrorism is distinguished from counterinsurgency, a militant phenomenon attempting to overthrow the government and institutions of Pakistan. Accordingly, the security-related assistance provided for counterinsurgency must not be confused with the monies allocated for counterterrorism.

Murder Money

Therefore, under the Act’s classification logic, $500 million for 2011 were allocated exclusively for counterterrorism purposes, such as capturing and killing of al Qaeda operatives, including Osama bin Laden. We do not know how much money the U.S. spent in launching the operation carried out by the CIA and the Navy SEALs. The $500 million were disbursed to the government of Pakistan and this money should not be confused with the money that the U.S. spent in planning and executing the assassination operation, code-named Operation Neptune Spear.

Likewise, the $500 million for 2011 must not be confused with the other assistance provided for the suppression of counterinsurgency and for the displaced residents of Swat and other tribal areas. The successful Swat operation was conducted in May 2009, exactly two years before the May 2011 murder of Bin Laden. Furthermore, the Swat operation falls under the Act’s definition of counterinsurgency, and not counterterrorism, because the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was striving to overthrow the control of Islamabad and establish its own writ in the area.

Questionable Spike in the Chart

As a legal professional, I understand that this commentary does not provide proof beyond reasonable doubt (a criminal law standard) or even with the preponderance of the evidence (a civil law standard) that $500 million were disbursed to Pakistan for facilitating the assassination of Bin Laden. The proof turns even more questionable because the Operation Neptune Spear was supposedly a secret operation conducted to the complete surprise of Pakistan armed forces and the civilian government of Asif Ali Zardari. There was no reason to bless Pakistan with $500 million if Pakistan delivered no help in the operation.

There are many possible (though not probable) reasons to explain the 2011 spike in the chart. Might be, the spike is simply a typographical error or a data provider’s mistake. Might be, there is a reason other than assassination for the extraordinary amount of counterterrorism money given to Pakistan in 2011. Might be, the 2011 counterterrorism money was planned but not actually spent.  There are several other mightbes.

Unless explained otherwise, the chart is eerie. It’s telling. It raises suspicion. It reveals a secret, as money trails do. As a legal professional, I ponder over the spike in the chart. I sit back and see it over and over again. My legal instincts are vexed and I wonder why such a hefty bag of counterterrorism money has not been donated to Pakistan either before or after the assassination of Osama bin Laden.

More articles by:

Liaquat Ali Khan is the founder of Legal Scholar Academy, a firm dedicated to the protection of civil rights and human liberties. Send your comments and question to legal. scholar. academy[at] gmail.com

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
November 14, 2019
Laura Carlsen
Mexico’s LeBaron Massacre and the War That Will Not Cease
Joe Emersberger
Oppose the Military Coup in Bolivia. Spare Us Your “Critiques”
Ron Jacobs
Trump’s Drug Deal Goes to Congress: Impeachment, Day One
Paul Edwards
Peak Hubris
Tamara Pearson
US and Corporations Key Factors Behind Most Violent Year Yet in Mexico
Jonah Raskin
Love and Death in the Age of Revolution
Robert Hunziker
Climate Confusion, Angst, and Sleeplessness
W. T. Whitney
To Confront Climate Change Humanity Needs Socialism
John Feffer
Examining Trump World’s Fantastic Claims About Ukraine
Nicky Reid
“What About the Children?” Youth Rights Before Parental Police States
Binoy Kampmark
Incinerating Logic: Bush Fires and Climate Change
John Horning
The Joshua Tree is Us
Andrew Stewart
Noel Ignatiev and the Great Divide
Cesar Chelala
Soap Operas as Teaching Tools
Chelli Stanley
In O’odham Land
November 13, 2019
Vijay Prashad
After Evo, the Lithium Question Looms Large in Bolivia
Charles Pierson
How Not to End a Forever War
Kenneth Surin
“We’ll See You on the Barricades”: Bojo Johnson’s Poundshop Churchill Imitation
Nick Alexandrov
Murder Like It’s 1495: U.S.-Backed Counterinsurgency in the Philippines
George Ochenski
Montana’s Radioactive Waste Legacy
Brian Terrell
A Doubtful Proposition: a Reflection on the Trial of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7
Nick Pemberton
Assange, Zuckerberg and Free Speech
James Bovard
The “Officer Friendly” Police Fantasy
Dean Baker
The Logic of Medical Co-Payments
Jeff Mackler
Chicago Teachers Divided Over Strike Settlement
Binoy Kampmark
The ISC Report: Russian Connections in Albion?
Norman Solomon
Biden and Bloomberg Want Uncle Sam to Defer to Uncle Scrooge
Jesse Jackson
Risking Lives in Endless Wars is Morally Wrong and a Strategic Failure
Manuel García, Jr.
Criminalated Warmongers
November 12, 2019
Nino Pagliccia
Bolivia and Venezuela: Two Countries, But Same Hybrid War
Patrick Cockburn
How Iran-Backed Forces Are Taking Over Iraq
Jonathan Cook
Israel is Silencing the Last Voices Trying to Stop Abuses Against Palestinians
Jim Kavanagh
Trump’s Syrian See-Saw: From Pullout to Pillage
Susan Babbitt
Fidel, Three Years Later
Dean Baker
A Bold Plan to Strengthen and Improve Social Security is What America Needs
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
Trump’s Crime Against Humanity
Victor Grossman
The Wall and General Pyrrhus
Yoko Liriano
De Facto Martial Law in the Philippines
Ana Paula Vargas – Vijay Prashad
Lula is Free: Can Socialism Be Restored?
Thomas Knapp
Explainer: No, House Democrats Aren’t Violating Trump’s Rights
Wim Laven
Serve With Honor, Honor Those Who Serve; or Support Trump?
Colin Todhunter
Agrarian Crisis and Malnutrition: GM Agriculture Is Not the Answer
Binoy Kampmark
Walls in the Head: “Ostalgia” and the Berlin Wall Three Decades Later
Akio Tanaka
Response to Pete Dolack Articles on WBAI and Pacifica
Nyla Ali Khan
Bigotry and Ideology in India and Kashmir: the Legacy of the Babri Masjid Mosque
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail