In a shocking report, it was revealed that Pakistan’s top spy agency may have surreptitiously poisoned CIA station chief Mark Kelton shortly after the U.S. raid that ultimately killed Osama Bin Laden in 2011.
Mr. Kelton, who has since retired from the CIA, had become quite ill with a mysterious illness that left him in extreme pain. U.S. officials close to Mr. Kelton had suspected he was poisoned when numerous attempts to treat him outside of Pakistan failed and that it was known that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) held grudges against anyone Pakistan considered opponents. U.S. officials noted that Ahmed Shuja Pasha, head of ISI, referred to Mr. Kelton as “the cadaver” and never used his actual name.
Navy SEALs were credited with the raid on Bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound that left the world’s most wanted terror leader dead in May 2011. The United States’ already-fragile relationship with Pakistan took a big hit in the following days when Pakistani police arrested a doctor who reportedly helped the CIA track down Bin Laden.
Investigators said Dr. Shakeel Afridi set up a fake vaccination campaign to collect DNA samples from relatives of the terror boss. Kelton reportedly left Pakistan after just seven months and regained his strength after doctors performed abdominal surgery. The retired CIA chief said he was not the first person to suspect he’d been poisoned, but added,
“I’d rather let that whole sad episode lie.”
Nadeem Hotiana, a spokesman for the Pakistan Embassy, called the claims “fictional.” A CIA spokesman said the agency had uncovered no direct evidence of poisoning. But the U.S. previously accused the ISI of staging raids to cover up the deaths of some militants, and linked Pakistani intel to the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai. The newspaper reports it named Kelton because he’d posted parts of his CIA resume online.
How will this revelation, despite Pakistan’s plausible deniability in the alleged poisoning, affect the already fragile relations between Pakistan and the U.S. and what should the U.S. do to safeguard U.S. personnel from this? Sound off in the comments below