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`CIA Sent Bhutto to the Gallows´
Ramsey ClarkNEW JERSEY, DEC 5: Saddam's defense team is being "coached" to seek delays by no other person than a former U.S. attorney general and Human rights activist, Ramsey Clark, says The Times of London. His crime: He allegedly discussed stalling the proceedings for Saddam's war crimes and genocide charges by inviting a new international lawyer to take part, and suggested challenging the legitimacy of prosecution witnesses.

Clark, 77, is an outspoken critic of American foreign policy specially with respect to its covert actions all over the world and has found himself many a times on the other side of the fence. He has been  called "Attorney Outlaw" sometime accused of being "not merely their attorney but their advocate".

He served as President Lyndon Johnson's attorney general  from 1967-1969. He was also involved in the defense of Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslav president now on trial for war crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

"Clark has been using and aiding mass murders and other American enemies for the last 30 years," conservative pundit David Horowitz said in 2003 of a Clark trip in Iraq.

But rushing to Saddam Hussein's defense after he was pulled out of a hole in the ground was not unusual for Clark. According to him, Saddam was a victim of selective prosecution.

Zulfikar Ali BhuttoClark's stint also includes attempting to rescue Pakistan's most charismatic leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto from the gallows - a Pakistani law prohibited him from practicing or representing Bhutto in the criminal proceedings - it ultimately put the noose around Bhutto's neck.

Clark ominously predicted Bhutto's fate and predicament, having attended some of the "sham proceedings in a "kangaroo court" as he called them, and flew back hurriedly to the West dejected. He went around holding press conferences and talk shows to reach out to the American public and to stoke sentiments of a civilization that nurtured a higher standard of moral grounds.

Clark addressed Stanford University in California and announced that the CIA may have been behind the Bhutto's ouster  in a military coup even though he was a democratically elected President of Pakistan. It set off detonations of rumors, gossips, innuendos, drawing room politics, coffee house cigarette smoke-filled animated discussions.

But the croupier was already paid off and the dice was fixed!

"I don't believe in conspiracy theories in general, but the similarities in the staging of riots in Chile (where the CIA allegedly helped overthrow President Salvadore Allande) and in Pakistan are just too close." he said.

Clark also highlighted  the inadequacies of Pakistan's legal system and the bias he found among those who ran and controlled it, and who according to him was sure to send Bhutto to the gallows if the world did not act fast enough.

Bhutto may be executed soon in order to head off a probable political comeback when elections are held this October (1977), Clark had announced.

As if he had access to some secret, classified national security papers those days, he announced matter of factly "Bhutto's execution could set off the single most dramatic change in world power alignment since World War II."

Clark's utterances in front of the Stanford audience that  day created sensational headlines but did not help much Bhutto's case for survival.

The Soviet Union, he explained, has eyed the warm water ports of the Persian Gulf for centuries. "If anyone in the Kremlin has dreams of power, he said, "the road to the Persian Sea has to be a golden road."

Unless the United States makes a stand...., Clark warned, the eighth most populous nation in the world could be carved Soviet Union...."

"As Americans, we must ask ourselves this: Is it possible that a rational military leader under the circumstances in Pakistan could have overthrown a constitutional government, without at least the tacit approval of the United States?"

Clark pointed to the CIA's activities in Iran as evidence of its willingness to support dictators over democrats.

U.S. officials can justify supporting a dictatorship in Pakistan, said Clark, because it "daggers the underbelly of the Soviet Union."

Almost three decades later, Bhutto fans, analysts and keen Pakistani observers suspect Clark's utterances to be true and insist they  should not be trashed so easily.

Says one Bhutto follower, ".....see in 1977 Bhutto was removed and hurriedly executed. and in just about 24 months, Russia was in Afghanistan (December 1979) and Pakistan, USA, Saudi Arabia et al were all there together running an "Islamic Jihad" against the  Communists. It takes more than a year to plan an invasion so big or a counter-attack so effective no?......both the CIA and the KGB knew what each one of them were doing, planning....But Bhutto was the "wild card" in the overall Western game plan. Read his book If I am tells you all."

In later years, Ramsey Clark wrote " Bhutto was removed from power in Pakistan by force on the 5th of July, after the usual party on the 4th at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, with U.S. approval, if not more, by General Zia al-Haq. Bhutto was falsely accused and brutalized for months during proceedings that corrupted the judiciary of Pakistan before being murdered, then hanged. That Bhutto had run for president of the student body at University of California in Berkeley and helped arrange the opportunity for Nixon to visit China did not help him when he defied the U.S. (CovertAction Quarterly magazine, Fall 1998)

Subsequent reports indicate that CIA continued providing funds to support President General Mohammed Zia ul Haq, insuring that he stayed in power, as he was a staunch U.S. supporter, and had allowed the CIA to pour paramilitary support through Pakistan into Afghanistan. (Security Assistance Operation)

President George W Bush being informed of attack on WTC towersRamsey Clark wrote in 1998: "The new evil empires, terrorism, Islam, barely surviving socialist and would-be socialist states, economic competitors, uncooperative leaders of defenseless nations, and most of all the masses of impoverished people, overwhelmingly people of color, are the inspiration for new campaigns by the U.S. government ... to shoot first and ask questions later, to exploit, to demonize and destroy."

"The CIA is rapidly expanding its manpower for covert operations against these newfound enemies. The National Security apparatus, with major new overseas involvement by the FBI, is creating an enormous new anti-terrorism industry exceeding in growth rate all other government activities."

Clark called on Americans to send telegrams to President Carter, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance "or whoever you believe you can have the most effect on" urging them to make a plea for Bhutto's life.

On Thursday April 5, 1979 at 2 AM Pakistan Standard time, Bhutto was hanged.

"By 10:30, according to the official news release, Mr Bhutto's body had been flown to his ancestral village of Ghari Khuda Baksh, near his hometown  of Larkana in Sindh Province, and buried in the family cemetery with only a few relatives and friends present. They included his first wife, Shirin Amir.

"The way they did it," said a foreigner who follows Pakistani politics, "is going to grow into a legend that will some day backfire." (New York Times, Apr 5, 1979)

Next: Did Bhutto know his assassins?
Have your say. Click here >
Rashid Saeed Siddiqui, Pakistan
What is new? Almost everybody knows Kissinger’s threat to Bhutto regarding Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions. Off course, they made Bhutto an example for not following West’s directions. The only regret I have is that we Pakistanis in general did not understand and were misled by most Pakistani politicians who probably understood it all.
Syed Shahid Husain, Pakistan
Well CIA had better things to do than send Bhutto to gallows. This was the work of dictator Zia ul Haq. There are limits to power of the USA. It could perhaps have engineered the overthrow of Bhutto but his execution is the handiwork of Pakistani judges who mostly lack character. Justice Nasim Hasan Shah has admitted in TV interviews that they had to hang Bhutto to survive on the Bench. Shame on him and on other judges who did that.


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