While Attorney General Eric Holder and many others may believe enhanced interrogation techniques immoral, illegal, or simply wrong, there are plenty of other situations needing to be investigated—instead of our methods for eliciting information from our enemy.
In fact, if Mr. Holder is truly adamant about doing our country any good, maybe he needs to investigate our foreign aid to Pakistan. Here are some things to think about for a legitimate U.S.-led investigation into foreign aid worthy of U.S. tax payer dollars.
It is known that opposition groups throughout Afghanistan and Pakistan are not carrying out terrorist activities for free. Each attack these groups perform costs money. And while some people might believe these activities are inexpensive, they offer big bucks to those involved when compared to other legitimate occupations in the region.
According to former Taliban members who claim to have gone legit, the opposition is paid handsomely. Supposedly, a Taliban member is paid approximately $400 a month (that’s U.S. dollars). That doesn't sound like much but when that number is compared to an Afghan National Police (ANP) Officer, it's a lot. An ANP member receives approximately $100 per month and their Sergeants and Captains obtain approximately $200 per month—half of what the Taliban makes.
Even more interesting is the fact that opposition groups like the Taliban obtain these funds whether they actually engage in battle or not. When they do engage in battle, they are rewarded with approximately $1,000-$1,200 per engagement. But to obtain the big bucks, such as $10,000, they simply need to commit a beheading. Now, before anyone goes crazy over these numbers, while I was operating in Afghanistan interviewing local indeginous persons as a social scientist, it was not revealed whether these engagements or beheadings needed to occur against any U.S. or coalition member/entity for the Taliban members to get paid.
Finally, children supporting the opposition will obtain anywhere from 25 to 50 cents for every piece of U.S. brass coming from bullet casings picked up in Afghanistan—it is not uncommon to see children swarm our troops during firefights. When thousands of rounds are fired in one firefight, that money adds up quickly.
So where is the Taliban or any other opposition group obtaining such luxurious pay capabilities? The same sources have revealed that the money comes directly from Pakistan. This is the same country that assisted the Mujahedeen to defeat the Russians during the Afghan/Russian war—supported by Saudi Arabia and the United States.
The United States has been pumping billions of dollars into Pakistan—a poor country that will do anything to keep foreign aid flowing into its corrupt regime’s hands. One of our biggest concerns should be that once our foreign aid is disseminated abroad, it is extremely difficult to track. In fact, it’s so hard to follow the money that an individual could argue that the United States cannot be 100 percent certain that our own U.S. foreign aid has not wound up assisting in the funding of America’s enemy.
Attorney General Holder has openly stated what appear to me to be his desires to cripple our intelligence community. His statements belittle our men and women who are gallantly protecting us. His desire to investigate individuals previously approved to perform national security essential activities, such as enhanced interrogation techniques, is appalling.
Mr. Holder, if you want to do something good for our nation, investigate our foreign aid to Pakistan. You might just find that our own tax payer money has fueled the enemy whom we fight abroad.
Kerry Patton has served in the U.S. Defense and Justice Departments, and as a contractor within the Homeland Security and State Departments. He has worked in South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, focusing on intelligence and security interviewing current and former terrorists, including members of the Taliban. He is the author of “Sociocultural Intelligence: The New Discipline of Intelligence Studies” and the children's book "American Patriotism."