On Wednesday, counterterrorism expert and retired Marine Lt. Col. Bill Cowan told Breitbart News that the Obama administration’s failure to work for the release of Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi, who helped the US find Osama Bin Laden, was “disgraceful.” He also labeled it a massive intelligence risk for future operations.
“From a pure intelligence perspective,” said Cowan, “anybody who is providing clandestine intelligence support to us, any assets who are agents, have to be nervous when they see how we threw Dr. Afridi under the bus for political purposes. We would look as though we were mean and tough in our pursuit of Osama Bin Laden, but in fact, we used the doctor – which is normal for intelligence operations – but then we exposed him, and we’re not working hard to get him out of jail. It’s like he didn’t exist. It’s totally disgraceful.”
He added, “People who work for us around the world take note of things like this.”
Former Navy SEAL and chairman of Special Operations for America Ryan Zinke agreed with Cowan. “Despite advances in remote sensing technology, the bottom line is that the most important and reliable intelligence is still derived from our hard earned human sources,” Zinke told Breitbart News. “We must protect these sources and give them the absolute confidence that America will stand behind them in times of crisis. We owe much to our friends on foreign shores that have risked death to defend our shared principles of freedom and liberty.”
Zinke called Afridi’s continued detention the best known example of “America’s failed foreign policy,” and said that it the Obama administration places “our future critical intelligence capability at risk by not acting in the case of Dr. Shakil Afridi. Who in their right mind would risk so much with no insurance that we will be there when needed?”
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).