If you live outside the United States, you probably heard that leaders of Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf, a political party led by the former cricket star Imran Khan, named CIA Director John Brennan and Craig Osth (alleged to be the CIA Chief in Pakistan) in order to ratchet up pressure on the United States to end drone strikes. But, if you are relying on the US media to get the story, you will likely be swathed in ignorance.
The media refuses to report the story straight up. The media is deciding for you, for the most part, what you can and cannot know. Every single US outlet refused to publish the name of Osth, as far as I can determine. Let me state for the record that I do not know a Craig Osth nor do I have any idea whether he is or is not the CIA’s guy in charge in Pakistan. But for the Associate Press and others to pretend that the name was not specifically identified is crazy. The name is out there now. There is no way to unring the bell. The damage is done. Want proof? Check out the Cryptocomb posting on Peters.
STATION HOUSE OFFICER (SHO)
TAL POLICE STATION DISTRICT
ANGU KHYBER PAKHTUNKWA
Subject: Recording of Statement of the undersigned for nominating the accused persons responsible for Hangu drone strike on November 21, 2013
I, the undersigned would like to record my statement on behalf of my party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf as its Central Information Secretary wherein I would like to nominate the accused persons behind the drone strike that occurred on 21-11-2013 in the vicinity of your police station and within the sovereign territory of Pakistan, and against which you have already filed an FIR No. 555 dated 21.11.2013 against unknown individuals. It is through this statement that I would like to nominate the U.S clandestine agency CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) Station Chief in Islamabad, namely Craig Osth and CIA Director John O. Brennan for committing the gross offences of committing murder and waging war against Pakistan as indicated in the FIR lodged in your police station.
It has further come to my knowledge that Craig Osth is running an illegal clandestine spying operation throughout Pakistan but specifically in KP and annexed Tribal Areas, wherein Craig Osth and his allies (names not known yet) throw a GPS (Global Positioning System) device at a targeted house/car and the Drone (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), which is remotely controlled from undisclosed location, strikes at the target. In the instant case it was Craig Osth and his clandestine network which threw a GPS device on behest of the accused at the Madressah in Tal and further ordered/conspired the missile strike, which killed and injured a large number of those present including children. It is pertinent to mention here that the Honorable Peshawar High Court has already declared such drone strikes illegal and violation of Pakistani and International laws vide its judgment dated 09-11-13 titled Foundation for Fundamental Rights Vs Federation of Pakistan.
It is further stated that the names of the remote pilot of said drone and other involved is not known at the moment but can be ascertained through interrogation of Craig Osth, and/or the undersigned tends to inform the police on knowledge of the same.
Craig Osth is currently residing and operating from the United States Embassy situated in Diplomatic Enclave in Islamabad, which is a clear violation of diplomatic norms and laws as a foreign mission cannot be used for any criminal activity within a sovereign state. CIA Station Chief is not a diplomatic post therefore he does not enjoy any diplomatic immunity and is within the bounds of domestic laws of Pakistan. It is a fact that the nominated accused Craig Osth is not a Pakistani citizen, but under Pakistan Penal Code he is clearly subject to the jurisdiction of Pakistan. Under Section 3 of Pakistan Penal Code it is clearly stated that:
“ Any person liable, by any Pakistan Law, to be tried for an offence committed beyond Pakistan shall be dealt with according to the provision of this Code for any act committed beyond Pakistan in the same manner as if such act had been committed within Pakistan.”
Furthermore, Section 2 of Pakistan Penal Code states:
“Every person shall be liable to punishment under this Code and not otherwise for every act or omission contrary to the provisions thereof, of which he shall be
guilty within Pakistan”
“Every person” has been explained by the superior courts to include all persons without limitation and irrespective of nationality, allegiance, rank, status, caste, colour or creed [PLD 1958 SC (Ind.) 115]. The undersigned believes that Craig Osth is guilty of committing an offence u/s 302, 319, 109, 121 PPC and/or u/s 7 ATA or any other penal clause which might be attracted. The undersigned is further concerned that the accused Craig Osth might try to avoid the course of law and run away from the country, therefore it is requested that Ministry of Interior be contacted to put his name on ECL (Exit Control List).
It is further stated that the undersigned will name others who were involved in the drone strike that occurred on 21.11.2013 in Tal, on any further information. In light of the above, it is requested that you may kindly add names of Craig Osth and John O. Brennan in the list of accused persons in the FIR registered on 21.11.2013.
If there is in fact a Craig Osth at the US Embassy in Pakistan, his career, regardless of who he is working for, is over. Before the internet era, such exposure was manageable. Not now. The information spreads around the world instantly. The Cryptocomb link about illustrates how much the internet destroys any illusion of privacy. Worse, this kind of info empowers counter-intelligence efforts of our adversaries. The claim advanced in the Tehreek-e-Insaf letter can be used to work backwards to identify foreigners who may have had a relationship with Mr. Osth.
But the real issue is not the exposure of someone alleged to be a CIA officer. Rather it is the growing discontent among some in Pakistan opposed to the drone program. The United States’ drone program has been carried out with the tacit approval of Pakistani leaders. It does serve the interests of Pakistan as well because the militants targeted and killed in these strikes are responsible for terrorist attacks on Pakistani citizens as well.
UPDATE–I want to be sure that you understand where I am coming from on this issue. First, the identities of CIA officers who are undercover must be protected. Period. With respect to the individual named in the letter by the Pakistani party, I do not know one way or another if he is or is not affiliated with the CIA. I am simply reporting to you the news that is out there. Second, I do not like or endorse the Cryptocomb effort to fully out people, like Mr. Osth. If it turns out that he was not working for the CIA then he has been smeared in a way and cannot recover his good name. Alternatively, if he is working for the CIA then the publication of things like address and relatives is crossing a line. It potentially puts him and, if he has one, his family at risk.
However, I’m also troubled by the media’s willingness to pretend that the news created from the letter, which was publicly released in Pakistan and spread around the world, is somehow a deep dark secret. Just report the info straight up. Acting as if the name of Osth had not be released is foolish. Just report the news–i.e., the Pakistani group claims that Osth is a CIA officer. It is a shame that the CIA did not deny this charge. What happened to the old concept, “Admit nothing, deny everything, make counter accusations?”