Dr. Shakil Afridi helped U.S. find bin Laden, he should be freed from jail
I think that most Americans remember where they were on Sept. 11, 2011. I believe they also remember where they were on May 2, 2011, when SEAL Team 6 infiltrated the compound and killed Osama bin Laden.
In the weeks leading up to that attack on the compound by SEAL Team 6, there was a doctor in Pakistan who helped us determine bin Laden’s exact location. Doctors are not soldiers, but doctors are taught to heal and to help. Dr. Shakil Afridi helped in the only way he knew how—through the use of his medical practice.
Dr. Afridi is a Pakistani doctor who risked his own life to provide us with information that confirmed the particular location of the compound that housed bin Laden and his family.
Dr. Afridi set up what was presumably a vaccination clinic near the bin Laden home and urged the children of the house to come by for vaccinations. While there, he took a DNA swab from their mouths and was able to confirm that these children were direct relatives of Osama bin Laden.
This was the information our military and civilian leaders needed to order the raid. The information provided by Dr. Afridi directly to bin Laden’s death. He should be rewarded, or at the very least congratulated.
But instead, Dr. Afridi is in prison in Pakistan for the alleged crime of “treason” for his cooperation with the American intelligence agencies.
This is shameful and it is not what we should expect from a supposed ally of the United States. Dr. Afridi is in prison for 33 years and I believe that Congress should take decisive action to protect this American ally.
What I and many Americans find particularly troubling is that the United States continues to give money to Pakistan. Over $1 billion of taxpayer money is sent to Pakistan each year.
When will Americans learn that we cannot buy good behavior?
I think it is a travesty that Pakistan is holding Dr. Afridi for the crime of helping America, and I do not understand why this is being tolerated by Congress and the Obama administration.
Recently, instead of withholding aid, President Obama gave Pakistan an additional billion dollars. That is exactly the wrong thing to do. I am outraged and I think the American people are too.
I am also outraged by the recent vote in the Senate to continue aiding countries that burn our flag, imprison our allies and murder our ambassadors.
Tragedy struck in the Middle East with the attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, at the U.S. consulate and the attack on the U.S. embassy in Egypt. I believe that the perpetrators of these senseless acts of violence must be brought to justice, but I also believe that Libya and Egypt must be held accountable in the same way.
Suspend U.S. foreign aid
Therefore, I proposed a bill that suspends U.S. foreign aid until the Libyan police hand over suspects to U.S. officials, and until the Egyptian government vows to protect our embassy.
American taxpayer dollars should not go to Libya until the murderers are delivered to justice. Nor should they go to Egypt until they prove that they are willing and able to protect our embassy. Finally, not one more penny of American taxpayer dollars should go to Pakistan until the doctor who helped us get Bin Laden is freed.
We should not reward bad behavior, yet that is what we’ve done with foreign aid for so many years. The total U.S. foreign aid given to Pakistan, Libya and Egypt equals roughly $4 billion per year. Enough is enough.
The outcome of the vote on my bill to cut funding to Egypt, Libya and Pakistan is a clear indication of just how out-of-touch our elected officials are.
This bill gave Congress the opportunity to do the right thing. But unfortunately, 81 members ignored the voices and concerns of the people.
It is time for the Senate to prioritize their responsibilities to the American people and that is what I am here to do, I am here to serve my constituents and fight for what I believe is right.
Imprisoning the man that helped us capture and kill one of the world’s worst mass murders is not a way to encourage cooperation between our countries.
If they will not cooperate as an ally, then I will do everything possible, everything I have within my limits to end all American aid to Pakistan, Libya and Egypt.