Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The Pakistan ATM Machine

I attended the Lara Logan lecture at USF tonight. I was in agreement with Logan that Pakistan is not ally to the United States. Logan is convinced that the ISI knew Osama bin Laden's whereabouts. Bin Laden wasn't hiding in a cave. He was in a comfy compound near a military academy. This is like Timothy McVeigh going into hiding near West Point.

I asked Logan why the United States, under the past two administration's, have giving money to the Pakistani government. The United States has become the ATM machine for a corrupt regime. Logan told me that was a good question. She has asked several government officials and they all told her that Pakistan has to be paid off because it is a nuclear power. Never mind that the Pakistan and Taliban run joint military operations against the U.S. military. Or that the Pakistan aid money is used to buy the Taliban IEDs and assaust rifles.

Logan said she doesn't buy any of the arguments for providing aid to the Pakistani government. Logan used the analogy that if this a dating relationship there would have been a break-up a long time ago. Logan pointed out the blame for staying in this dysfunctional relationship with Pakistan resides with policymakers with no understanding or real accountability with the lives of soldiers they sacrifice.

I also asked Logan why the Republican presidential candidates can only discuss Israel and Iran. Do they only have a map with two countries or are they too dense to know of other countries in crisis. I cited Syria and Sudan as two example.

Logan's description of the GOP candidates was hysterical. Logan described Mitt Romney as a member of "a cult." Logan mentioned that Rick Santorum used to bring a model fetus on the floor of the Senate. She said even Republicans don't want Gingrich.

Logan made a slight dig at bloggers earlier in the lecture. I mentioned that I was a blogger.

Logan: Your not living in your mother's basement.

Hussey: And I'm not wearing pajamas.

One young man made the mistake of getting on Logan's bad side with a WikiLeaks question and left the microphone with his tail between his legs. Logan feels strongly that WikiLeaks got an Afghan man killed.

I hope there is video of Logan's lecture. It was fantastic.

Update: Logan's hysterical account of meeting Michael

“It had about 13 hours of interviews over two days with a gazillion al-Qaida and Arabic names thrown in there, and lots of nuance and it was very, very intense,” she said. “So when I jumped on the plane and rushed down to see a Michael Bublé concert in San Jose, it was sort of surreal. I remember when Michael walked up to me and said … ‘I hope you’re going to do a good interview.’ I said, ‘Listen, the last person I interviewed was a FBI agent and I made that f----- cry.’”

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At April 04, 2012 10:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonder if you can say what you mean by one man left with the microphone between his legs (I get the shamed dog reference, but I don't know what the man *said*).

I cannot help but remember a time when, in college, a young man stood up to *very nervously* ask a question of a very famous person and she SLAMMED him. I thought it made *her* look much worse than the man (whose question was kinda dumb).

I think it's important for speakers to remember the status and experience difference between students and speakers - it can be VERY intimidating to ask a question, and is, in most cases, inexcusable for the speaker to shame the questioner. (There are, of course, some questions that deserve shaming, such as those that are too personal and should not be asked.)

Can you clarify what happened?

At April 04, 2012 10:15 AM , Blogger Michael Hussey said...

To clarify, were you there? You said Logan response made her look worse than the man.

At April 04, 2012 11:05 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You did not read my response very carefully; I was not there. I was remembering a time in college when (perhaps) a similar thing happened.

At April 04, 2012 1:01 PM , Blogger Michael Hussey said...

I was curious to this part of your comment.

I thought it made *her* look much worse than the man (whose question was kinda dumb).

I watched the young man walk away from the microphone. A few people laughed at the guy's dejected reaction. He accused Logan and other journalists of not giving Wikileaks proper credit. He had nothing to say after ripped into him. As I explained in the post, Logan strongly believes Wikileaks got someone killed.

If you are asking for play by play coverage, I don't have a transcript. USF will release a recording of the lecture. I don't even have a transcript or video of my exchange.

At April 04, 2012 10:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My sentence "I thought it made her look much worse..." was in reference to the speaker I saw when I was in college (back in the 1980s). In any case, you've now clarified that the man's question was about Wikileaks. Did you think her response was appropriate? (Not asking whether or not you agree with her opinion of Wikileaks, but rather whether you think she reacted appropriately to a member of the audience asking what appears to have been a "fair" question.)

At April 05, 2012 7:01 PM , Blogger Michael Hussey said...

That is a fair question. The young man accused journalist like Logan of not Giving Wikileaks proper credit. His question was in a condescending tone. Logan already doesn't like Wikileaks. The young man didn't do himself any favors. I thought she could have been harsher.

I have mixed feelings about Wikileaks. It has provided some important information. Many people whom have worked for Wikileaks have publicly stated that Julian Assange has been irresponsible with certain information. Plus, Assa nge maybe a world-class scumbag.

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