The Case of Aafia Siddiqui

The first I’d heard of Aafia Siddiqui was yesterday on Arif Rafiq’s Pakistan Policy Blog. Today both McClatchy and the LA Times are on the story. Rafiq’s post, as well as the McClatchy article, gives a pretty detailed account of why the American version of Siddiqui’s arrest “. . .doesn’t pass the sniff test,” as her lawyer told the LAT. There’s no way to turn the sudden re-emergence of a woman who’s been “disappeared” in an intelligence black hole into a public relations windfall. But with five years to prepare a story, you’d think the Bush administration could do better than the kind of shoddy cover up on which thousands of farfetched conspiracy theories feed.

I really don’t have much to say about the case against Siddiqui. She very well might be a dangerous terrorist, but if that’s provable in a court of law now, I don’t see why it wouldn’t have been four years ago also. More than that, the entire episode is a reminder of how little of the toxic fallout from the Bush administration has yet come to light. We’re likely to see more “Aafia Siddiquis” brought out from the shadows between now and January, as the Bush administration does its best to clean out the cupboards on its own terms. What a terrible thought for an American to ponder.