UPDATE: Adm Mullen (r) Denies Claims By Mansoor Ijaz

Nov 9th, 2011 | By | Category: Conspiracy Theories, The News

Mansoor Ijaz

 

UPDATE II: In an exclusive report a week later, Foreign Policy, revealed that Admiral Mullen changed his story and has CONFIRMED the existence of a memo. His spokesman gave the following statement:

“Adm. Mullen had no recollection of the memo and no relationship with Mr. Ijaz. After the original article appeared on Foreign Policy‘s website, he felt it incumbent upon himself to check his memory. He reached out to others who he believed might have had knowledge of such a memo, and one of them was able to produce a copy of it,” Kirby said. “That said, neither the contents of the memo nor the proof of its existence altered or affected in any way the manner in which Adm. Mullen conducted himself in his relationship with Gen. Kayani and the Pakistani government. He did not find it at all credible and took no note of it then or later. Therefore, he addressed it with no one.”

We regret that our original reporting, while accurate at the time, was incorrect. 

The wild claims of Mansoor Ijaz against the Pakistani government and national agencies continue to be thoroughly discredited. Yesterday, Adm Mike Mullen, the recently retired American military chief gave an exclusive statement to Foreign Policy in which he categorically denied any correspondence with Mansoor Ijaz.

Mullen, now retired, denied this week having ever dealt with Ijaz in comments given to The Cable through his spokesman at the time, Capt. John Kirby.

“Adm. Mullen does not know Mr. Ijaz and has no recollection of receiving any correspondence from him,” Kirby told The Cable. “I cannot say definitively that correspondence did not come from him — the admiral received many missives as chairman from many people every day, some official, some not. But he does not recall one from this individual. And in any case, he did not take any action with respect to our relationship with Pakistan based on any such correspondence … preferring to work at the relationship directly through [Pakistani Army Chief of Staff] Gen. [Ashfaq Parvez] Kayani and inside the interagency process.”

The reporter for Foreign Policy notes that some commentators in the Pakistani media gave credence to Ijaz’s claims simply because it was published in the Financial Times, but unlike our own so-called ‘journalists’, the Foreign Policy reporter did his own independent research and discovered a long trail of questionable acts including previous accusations of trying to trap Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi to the tune of $15 Million.

Elaborating on Mr Ijaz’s proposal, the spokesman said “Mr Ijaz wanted us to release fifteen million dollars for a satellite communications company R.D.D.A. which had done some work for Pakistan in 1979 for which they were not paid and they would sue the government to recover the monies”.

“Ijaz told us that in this way you will kill two birds with one stone, one we will ensure votes in the US House for the Brown Amendment and the other the company R.D.D.A. will not sue you”, the spokesman added.

The spokesman said that when Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi was given this proposal she saw it as a trap wherein Pakistan Government could land in bigger trouble; so she turned down Mr Mansoor Ijaz’s proposal saying that “it was illegal”.

The Foreign Policy piece concludes by asking how prominent Pakistani journalists fell for such nonsense, and quotes assistant editor for The News Mehreen Zahra-Malik who saw right through the illogic of Mansoor Ijaz’s claims and laid blame on a culture of conspiracies that has taken root in Pakistan.

When secrecy and conspiracy are part of the very system of government, a vicious cycle develops. Because truth is abhorrent, it must be concealed, and because it is concealed, it becomes ever more abhorrent. Having power then becomes about the very concealment of truth, and covering up the truth becomes the very imperative of power – and the powerful.

The end result: a population raised on a diet of conspiracy. A critical mass of clueless people left clutching at whatever shreds of ‘truth’ they get from his majesty the analyst with his privileged access to facts and a unique understanding of this troubled country. He could tell people he’s the emperor of Pluto and most wouldn’t even blink. And those that do? Some may live to make a difference, others may not. Saleem Shahzad R.I.P.

In her analysis, Mehreen not only identifies the disease (conspiracy culture) but the cure also (good journalism). By conducting thorough background investigations of sources, double or triple-checking claims, mercilessly fact-checking, and applying a little bit of common sense, the media can help avoid future instances that make journalism in Pakistan look foolish on the international stage.

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