July 16th, 2009
(PressTV) – Slain Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto could have been targeted by the CIA as part of its recently-exposed alleged assassination program, reports say.
On Wednesday, Washington-based investigative journalist Wayne Madsen quoted US intelligence officials as making ‘prominent’ references to Bhutto as a probable target of the program.
“I spoke to several US intelligence officials who were telling me that this assassination team may have targeted politicians in other countries,” Madsen told Russia Today.
“One name mentioned prominently was former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who may have been a victim of this particular program.”
The program was recently exposed by the agency’s director Leon Panetta, who claimed that he had stopped it last month upon hearing about it.
On Monday, The Wall Street Journal quoted intelligence sources as saying that the program also included capturing or killing al-Qaeda operatives.
“There was some initial involvement by the CIA in this program early on and it was described to me by US intelligence officials as a modern-day Phoenix program that was during the Vietnam War. The CIA and US military special forces cooperated to assassinate (the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam) Viet Cong leaders,” Madsen said.
Pete Hoekstra on the House Intelligence Committee claims little money was spent on the project that allegedly never became fully operational.
Following Bhutto’s assassination, CIA director at the time, Michael Hayden blamed al-Qaeda and allies to Pakistani tribal leader Baitullah Mehsud for the atrocity.
“This was done by that network around Baitullah Mehsud. We have no reason to question that,” he said.
Source: Press TV