Thursday, March 8, 2012 06:09 PM
By: Rep. Ted Poe
Editor's Note: Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, who serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, wrote this column exclusively for Newsmax.
Where I come from, we don’t reward bad behavior; we punish it. Earlier this month, in its FY2013 budget request, the Obama administration asked for $2.2 billion, an additional $500 million to what the U.S. gave Pakistan in 2011. The administration justifies this as fulfilling our commitment to Pakistan. But, what about Pakistan’s commitment to us? Let’s review the events of this past year and you be the judge.
The day Osama bin Laden met his maker will go down as one of the greatest moments in American history. His long reign of terror ended when our tenacious and determined Navy SEALs brought swift justice to this evil coward, bringing a decade-long manhunt to a close. Unfortunately, Pakistan did not share this same determination. Our manhunt did not end in a remote cave in the mountains, but in a palace in a bustling military town just 35 miles from Islamabad. To think that the most senior levels of the Pakistani government did not know he was there requires, as Secretary Clinton has said, the willing suspension of disbelief. That dog just won’t hunt.
Islamabad’s reaction to our taking out the world’s #1 terrorist only confirmed our suspicions. Shortly after the raid and capture of bin Laden, Pakistan outed our CIA station chief in Islamabad and arrested Pakistani informants that led the United States to find bin Laden. Pakistan charged Dr. Shikal Afridi, a Pakistani doctor who Secretary Panetta said was critical in our effort to get bin Laden, with treason. If Pakistan considered bin Laden a mutual enemy, then Dr. Afridi would have been honored as a hero. Instead, he is being held as a criminal.
The more we learn about Pakistan, the worse it gets. For years, the United States paid Pakistan civilian foreign aid as well as military reimbursements for their so-called efforts to go after Islamic militants. But last May, we found out that Pakistan has tried to cheat the United States by filing bogus reimbursement claims for some time now; a whopping 40 percent of these claims have been deemed faulty and rejected by our government. Pakistan is eager to collect American money but their willingness to go after the Taliban is dubious.
It gets worse. A month after bin Laden’s capture, the United States identified bomb making factories where IEDs were made to kill American soldiers. Instead of going after the militants at the factories, apparently Pakistani intelligence officials tipped off the bad guys. To top it off, according to Admiral Mike Mullen, the government of Pakistan supported the killing of Americans. “With ISI [Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency] support, Haqqani operatives plan and conducted” a truck bomb attack that wounded more than 70 U.S. and NATO troops on—get this—September 11. Why do we send American money to a country that appears to be complicit in the murder of our troops?
Hatred for America is at an all-time high in Pakistan. Americans turn on their TV sets at night and see images of our flag burning in the streets. Just this week, Pakistanis in Karachi held an anti-American rally that placed an individual wearing a mask of President Obama in a noose. Pakistan leaders are adding to the animosity by continuing to vilify the United States on the one hand and, on the other hand, taking our money. They are playing both sides.
America must realize that Pakistan is the “Benedict Arnold” to America in the war on terror. The Administration’s request to send more money to Pakistan must be denied. The American people are wondering, why is our government paying these people to hate us? They will do it for free. Maybe we shouldn’t pay them at all.
And that’s just the way it is.