Pakistan’s Response to Bin Laden Link: “Mafia figures manage to do this sort of thing in Brooklyn”
For ten years while American troops searched for Bin Laden in the mountains and valleys of Afghanistan, it turns out he was hunkered down at a relative’s mansion in Pakistan. President Obama, who informed Pakistan’s President Zardari of the raid only after it was completed, has demanded answers. How Bin Laden was hiding all these years in plain sight?
Ignorance could fly coming from one of America’s largest recipients of foreign aid, but sheltering Bin Laden who was living yards away from an army base was intolerable. The Atlantic reported the initial response from Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani. The Ambassador stated “Mafia figures manage to do this sort of thing in Brooklyn.” Oopps!!
Enter lobbyist Mark Siegel, a partner at Locke Lord Strategies, that gets paid $75,000 a month to keep those billions in U.S. aid flowing. Siegel knows that comparing Pakistan’s corruption to the Brooklyn Judiciary wouldn’t be a smart public relations move. But the question still remains, was the Ambassador correct?
Brooklyn has a long history of harboring the country’s most notorious crime figures with the District Attorney playing the Claude Raines role of Captain Renault in Casablanca. “I’m shocked, shocked to find out there’s gambling going on in here,” the actor would proclaim after spending the evening in a casino.
The recent capture of Bin Laden shows that corruption in the Brooklyn Courthouse is no longer a local issue. The cronyism and influence peddling has become an international punch line with the Brooklyn District Attorney, Charles J. Hynes, playing the role of Captain Renault.
The New York Post reported that the DA took a bag of $12,000 in cash in one campaign, and plead down murder cases to assault in exchange for campaign contributions. The Daily News editorial board exposed a kickback scheme where the 1200 people on the DA’s payroll were required to contribute a portion of their salary to the boss’s campaign committee.
But these details in the end were overlooked by the New York Times editorial board that endorsed Hynes for re-election in his tightly contested 2005 race. The Times was impressed with the DA’s probe which in the end netted one Judge who took a box of cigars and a thousand dollars in cash.
But the capture of Bin Laden brought the whole cesspool of corruption in Brooklyn into world view. Just goes to show, you can pull the wool over the eyes of the New York Times, but not Pakistani intelligence.
John O’Hara is an attorney. He lives in Brooklyn.
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