Pakistan has done it again. Several Pakistan television stations have named the CIA station chief in the country in a move certain to infuriate the United States. This is the second leak of this kind to come out of the Pakistani intelligence agency, after it allegedly released the name of the previous CIA station chief to the media last December. The Obama administration was livid over the last breach, so whoever leaked the information this time knew exactly what he was doing and what response it would elicit from the White House.
The current station chief will likely be recalled now that his identity has been compromised, which was probably exactly what Pakistani intelligence was going for. The agency is under scrutiny for potential ties to Osama bin Laden, and forcing the CIA head out of the country would be a setback for potential investigations.
This also seems to confirm U.S. suspicions. Why would the agency – or segments of the agency – want to obstruct an investigation if nothing shady was going on?
President Obama isn’t backing down on the investigation, and he’s also getting harsher in his criticism of Pakistan. He takes the most direct swipe yet at Pakistani government in an interview airing tonight on 60 Minutes.
“We don’t know whether there might have been some people inside of government, outside of government, and that’s something we have to investigate, and more importantly, the Pakistani government has to investigate,” Obama said.
The president needs to make it clear that there will be consequences for the Pakistani government if it doesn’t cooperate. And any Pakistani officials caught trying to obstruct the investigation must be severely punished.