War report: Pakistan hostilities to Americans, U.S. spying on U.S. citizens

Pakistan Anti-American feeling in the Pakistani military and government is seriously hampering aid efforts, reports the New York Times:

The campaign includes the refusal to extend or approve visas for more than 100 American officials and the frequent searches of American diplomatic vehicles in major cities, said an American official briefed on the cases. …

American helicopters used by Pakistan to fight militants can no longer be serviced because visas for 14 American mechanics have not been approved, the diplomat said. Reimbursements to Pakistan of nearly $1 billion a year for counterterrorism have been suspended because the last of the American Embassy’s five accountants left the country this week after his visa expired.

Pakistani officials acknowledge their hostility toward Americans, but also claim the problem lies in American arrogance. They also cite reports that XE, formerly known as Blackwater, is operating in the country.

The embassy has denied that Xe operates in Pakistan. But those statements have collided with reports that Xe operatives worked for the C.I.A. to load missiles onto drones used to kill Qaeda militants in the tribal areas.

U.S. investigates everybody In response to a lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Justice Department released new information confirming improper U.S. spying on U.S. citizens. The New York Times reports:

In February, a Department of Homeland Security intelligence official wrote a “threat assessment” for the police in Wisconsin about a demonstration involving local pro- and anti-abortion rights groups. That report soon drew internal criticism because the groups “posed no threat to homeland security” …

In that instance, and in other instances, including spying on Muslim groups and gatherings where there was no showing of any terrorist connection, the Justice Department ordered surveillance reports desroyed and required remedial training for individuals involved in the spying.

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