Memogate begins to disintegrate

Mansoor Ijaz

If the leaked responses of COAS and DG ISI to the Supreme Court made a splash on Thursday, it was the revelations of Friday night that shook the memogate saga to its core. It was Friday evening that Gen Jim Jones, the retired American General who delivered the memo to Admiral Mullen, spoke out and stated that Husain Haqqani was not involved in the memogate affair. According to the General, the only person he ever spoke with was Mansoor Ijaz, and never once did Mansoor Ijaz mention the name of any Pakistani.

According to Gen Jones, “he had known Mansoor Ijaz since 2006 and was contacted by him a few days prior to May 9, Geo News reported”.

But wait.

According to Mansoor Ijaz, Husain Haqqani contacted him about the memo on 9th May. Suddenly, Mansoor Ijaz’s timeline doesn’t add up.

That’s not the only revelation about Ijaz’s story. Also on Friday evening, Mansoor Ijaz started to backtrack on his claims that DG ISI Shuja Pasha plotted a coup against the civilian government.

The message published on the blog states: I was just informed by senior US intel that GD-SII Mr P asked for, and received permission from senior Arab leaders a few days ago to sack Z. For what its worth.

It is clearly written in the message that permission was asked for and given.

However Ijaz speaking on Geo News program Lekin said the following: “no one ever said to me (Ijaz) that General Pasha received permission from somebody to conduct a coup, that’s not what they said.”

All of this has caused many to question what other parts of Mansoor Ijaz’s fantastic story are not true.

As Mansoor Ijaz’s credibility becomes more and more suspect, some are now turning back to the ‘concrete evidence’ that Mansoor Ijaz has provided in the form of emails and BBM transcripts. But even here there are inconsistencies in Ijaz’s story. In November, Mansoor Ijaz said that DG ISI had all of the evidence and had forensically tested it to prove its authenticity. But in Gen Pasha’s response to the court, he wrote the following:

9. The Respondent, in his humble personal capacity, maintains that access to unadulterated truth and justice is a right of the people of Pakistan, the real sovereign masters of this Country. To this end, Honourable Court may, if deemed appropriate, graciously consider the following:-

a. May kindly summon Mr Mansoor Ijaz to appear before the Honourable Court as he alone holds the real evidence, as claimed by him. He has already, at a number of occasions, indicated his willingness to do so, through the print and electronic media.

b. May kindly demand forensic examination of the computers and all the cell phones and Black Berry Telephones used since May 2011 till date by the both, Mr Mansoor Ijaz and our Ex Ambassador to the US.

Why would Gen Pasha request Mansoor Ijaz to be summoned to present the evidence “as claimed by him” if the DG ISI already had all of it? And why would he request the court to order forensic examinations of the evidence if he had already done it as Mansoor Ijaz claimed?

And then there’s something else that has come to light in recent days. New information exposed by Wikileaks suggests that this supposed ‘evidence’ might be less ‘concrete’ than ‘smoke’.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange unveiled today the latest batch of released files from the whistleblowing organisation.

Speaking to a number of students and members of the press, bright and optimistic as ever, said: “Who here has an iPhone? Who here has a BlackBerry? Who here uses Gmail? Well, you’re all screwed.”

According to Assange, over 150 private sector organisations in 25 countries have the ability to not only track mobile devices, but also intercept messages and listen to calls also.

The technologies developed by this industry can be used to access Internet browsing histories and email accounts, through computing tapping or accessing mobile phones remotely. This information is then sold as wholesale information to governments or other private industry partners.

Along with representatives from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and Privacy International, documents were shown to suggest that software could not only read emails and text messages on mobile phones, but invasively alter them and send out fake messages to others.

In other words, emails and BBMs are easily faked.

Oh, and how does the ‘ultra wealthy’ Mansoor Ijaz make his money? One of his companies is “Crescent Technology Ventures PLC (CTV)” which funds and develops the next generation of technologies in Internet and cyber-security and stratospheric telecommunications platforms. Former CIA Director James Woolsey serves as chairman of CTV’s Board of Advisers. Lt Gen Thomas McInerney (USAF Ret) serves as chairman of CTV’s Board of Directors. Mr Ijaz is CTV’s chief executive.

Mansoor Ijaz is chief executive of a company advised by a former CIA director that develops cyber-security and telecommunications platforms. And his evidence for memogate are BBM transcripts and emails? How bloody convenient.

Since day one, there was Mansoor Ijaz’s fantastic tale just didn’t smell right. It’s been over a month now, and the smell is only getting worse.