While most Americans were sitting out on their decks barbecuing over the Memorial Day weekend, our leaders were planning to barbecue a few Pakistanis, as the Washington Post reported:
"The U.S. military is reviewing options for a unilateral strike in Pakistan in the event that a successful attack on American soil is traced to the country’s tribal areas, according to senior military officials."
Hey, wait a minute: I thought Attorney General Eric Holder has supposedly already established that the Pakistani Taliban were directly involved in the Times Square bombing attempt — which, although not successful, did succeed in generating shockwaves from Washington to Islamabad.
Well, not quite: the evidence for the existence of a "network" supposedly assisting Shahzad — consisting, so far, of three Pakistani-Americans and immigrants living in the US — is far less solid than Holder and the Obama administration would have us believe. In the case of Aftab Khan, a gas station attendant and Pakistani immigrant arrested at his home in Watertown, Mass., the only piece of evidence they can come up with is Shahzad’s phone number, which was stored on a phone said to be Khan’s and written on a piece of paper found in the apartment.
Shahzad’s phone number was doubtless in the possession of a number of individuals, and this factoid is a pretty thin reed on which to hang a case — let alone one which has become a pivot point for war. The extreme tenuousness of this alleged "link" was underscored during the immigration hearing on the case, when the government failed to produce the agent who conducted the search, and so it could not be established that the phone and the paper actually belonged to Khan. According to Khan’s lawyer, only the name "Faisal" was written on an envelope, sans any telephone number: Khan has a relative named Faisal, who lives in Watertown, Massachusetts. To add to all this, the Boston Globe reports that, according to Aftab Khan’s lawyer, his client "had high-security clearance in his civilian job as a convoy commander on the US Army base in Kuwait.” "If he was a threat," says Saher J. Macarius, who represents Aftab and his cousin, Pir Khan, "he would have caused more damage on the soil of the US Army when he was in Kuwait,” the lawyer said. The prisoner, for his part, denies knowing, meeting or ever speaking with Shahzad.
Aftab Khan’s cousin and room-mate, Pir Khan, a Pakistani taxi driver married to an American and a 20-year resident of the US, is also being held, and the authorities are "treating him like Osama bin Laden," according to Barry Hoffman, the Pakistani consul in Boston. When Hoffman went to see him in the visitation area, Khan was wearing leg irons, chains, and handcuffs. He has yet to be criminally charged — and that’s justice in Barack Obama’s America.
A third detainee, Mohammad Shafiq Rahman, a 33-year-old computer programmer living in Maine and married to an American, also apparently has no real connection to Shahzad, other than to have known him very casually seven or eight years ago.
Meanwhile, in Pakistan, Adnan Ahmad, a former major in the Pakistani army arrested in connection with the "investigation" has been released: it was all a "misunderstanding," according to Mr. Ahmad. Of the thirteen Pakistanis arrested for having alleged connections to Shahzad, seven have so far been released.
Justin Raimondo [send him mail] is editorial director of Antiwar.com and is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard and Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement.