Memogate: James Jones submits statement in Supreme Court

Published: December 17, 2011

Gen (retd) James Logan Jones, former US national security adviser, and the man that handed the memo to the then-chief of US military Admiral Michael Mullen, filed his statement in the Supreme Court on Saturday. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Gen (retd) James Logan Jones, former US national security adviser, and the man who handed the memo to the then-chief of US military Admiral Michael Mullen, filed his statement in the Supreme Court on Saturday.

Advocate on Record (AOR) Chaudhry Akhtar Ali submitted the statement to the court in the form of an affidavit. Former ambassador to the United States (US) Husain Haqqani’s counsel Asma Jehangir had requested Jones to file the affidavit in the case, according to the three page document submitted to the Supreme Court.

Jones says he believed the memo was not credible and that Haqqani had nothing to do with it.

According to Mansoor Ijaz’s reply, submitted to the court earlier in the Memogate case, Jones had first refused to deliver a verbal message from the “highest authority” in Pakistan to Mullen.

Upon his refusal, Ijaz alleged he had drafted the memo under instructions from Haqqani. It is not clear why General (retd) Jones delivered the memo to Mullen when he had doubted the credibility of the document.

Jones in his reply states that he thought the memo was written by Ijaz himself.

Excerpts from the affidavit:

“I was in private life at all times relevant to the matters (memogate). I make this affidavit in response to a request from Pakistani counsel for former Pakistan Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani. It is my understanding that the affidavit may be used on his behalf with respect to an investigation currently under way in Pakistan.”

“A few days before May 9, 2011 I received a phone call from Mr Mansoor Ijaz. I have known Mr Ijaz in a personal capacity since 2006. During the call Mr Ijaz mentioned that he had a message from the “highest authority” in the Pakistan government which he asked me to relay to then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen. At no time during the call do I remember Mr Ijaz mentioning Ambassador Haqqani, and he gave me no reason to believe that he was acting at the direction of Ambassador Haqqani, with his participation, or that Ambassador Haqqani had knowledge of the call or contents of the message.”

“On May 9th I received an email from Mr Ijaz attaching an unsigned memo. The e-mail was sent to my personal e-mail address by Mr Ijaz. The memo was not marked classified or restricted … Mr Ijaz again stated that the memo was authorised by the ‘highest authority’ within the Pakistan government. Mr Ijaz asked that I deliver the memo to Admiral Mullen. It was my assumption that the memo was written by Mr Ijaz, since the memo essentially put into writing the language he had used in our telephone conversation earlier.”

“I do not recall whether Mr Ijaz claimed that Ambassador Haqqani had any role in the creation of the memo. I have no reason to believe that Ambassador Haqqani had any role in the creation of the memo, nor that he had any prior knowledge of the memo. Upon my reading of the memo that I was asked to forward Admiral Mullen, it struck me as highly unusual that the ‘highest authority’ in the Pakistan government would use Mr Ijaz, a private citizen and part-time journalist living in Europe, as a conduit for this communication. My personal opinion was that the memo was probably not credible.”

“… I felt obligated to forward it, as requested, to Admiral Mullen. Admiral Mullen, in his official capacity was better able to make a judgment as to the memo’s credibility … Accordingly on May 10th, I emailed the memo to Admiral Mullen. It is my understanding from Admiral Mullen’s public statement on the matterthat he reviewed the memo, did not find it credible, and did not take any action.”

Reader Comments (45)

  • Bilal
    Dec 17, 2011 - 1:39PM

    I trust James Jone 200% times more than Mansoor Ijaz.

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  • moeed
    Dec 17, 2011 - 1:47PM

    one thing is beyond my unerstanding asma jahangir when she elected as a president of supreme court bar association was hailed as the success of the judiciary why is she then representing a man like hussain haqqani

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  • shuja
    Dec 17, 2011 - 1:50PM

    From horse’s mouth.

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  • Dec 17, 2011 - 2:07PM

    Amazing, How foolish would a man be , who delivers a memorandum despite believing that its wrong. This means that if someone else email him something tomorrow to forward it to Mullen , He would have to forward that too.

    If he is playing innocent now, why didnt he asked Mansoor Ijaz to deliver the memo by himself.

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  • Hammad Ali
    Dec 17, 2011 - 3:17PM

    Truth is out now and it is time to catch the conspirator, Mansoor Ijaz

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  • A. Khan
    Dec 17, 2011 - 4:12PM

    So he believed it was fake ? Why did he deliver it then ?

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  • KiJ
    Dec 17, 2011 - 4:13PM

    We don’t know if he is telling the full truth either…. only electronic forensic evidence from Mansoor Ijaz and Haqqani’s mobile devices can solve the mystery….

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Dec 17, 2011 - 4:20PM

    James Jones has written the true statement. Haqqani has nothing to do with the Memo, neither Mr. Zardari.

    It is Mr. Mansoor Ijaza who want to gain undue publicity and nothing more.

    Let’s wait for the judegement of Supreme Court of Pakistan.

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  • Farooq
    Dec 17, 2011 - 4:37PM

    I think mansoor ijaz is not good person . He also did such like things it before.Recommend

  • Baba Jee
    Dec 17, 2011 - 4:38PM

    Did the Supreme Court ask for An Affidavit from James Jones?

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  • Khudayar Mohla
    Dec 17, 2011 - 4:41PM

    @moeed:
    Being a lawyer she could receive and file any document to substantiate her party before the court so becoming SCBA president didn’t bar her to doing so, secondly anybody would plead the case in the court why not Asma.

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  • Shahzad S. Janjua
    Dec 17, 2011 - 4:43PM

    Former ambassador to the United States (US) Husain Haqqani’s counsel Asma Jehangir had requested Jones to file the affidavit in the case, according to the three page document submitted to the Supreme Court.

    Jones says he believed the memo was not credible and that Haqqani had nothing to do with it.

    According to Mansoor Ijaz’s reply, submitted to the court earlier in the Memogate case, Jones had first refused to deliver a verbal message from the “highest authority” in Pakistan to Mullen.

    Hussain Haqqani’s counsel is Asma Jehangir, who is known to be patriot with the Indian than to us.
    Second, a US General giving innocence for an ambassador for what reason.
    Third, I know Ejaz in my personal capacity, Can anyone tell me what is this personal capacity, that a US General is meeting a Pakistan business for what.

    Excellent, all crooked are trying to save their man, who has helped US in bringing their mercenaries in our country to kill our civilian.

    Do I trust, NO AND NEVER!!!

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  • FactCheck
    Dec 17, 2011 - 5:18PM

    @Shaheen Tabbassum:

    He is not playing innocent, simply stating what happened. AS to reasons for forwarding, it is piece of information in intelligence gathering. Nothing is unimportant.

    Why do Admiral Jones has to play innocent, he is not on trial or under investigation. Pakistan is making big deal out of Ijaz’s words. Believing in conspiracy theories for a long time mutates your brain to the point of not being able to ascertain fact from fiction.

    You don’t really think, someone like Admiral Jones or Admiral Mullen is going to take an unsigned email as a official, do you? To their credit, both of them knew they are dealing with a lier and Pakistan still does not.

    What a shameRecommend

  • anonymous
    Dec 17, 2011 - 5:40PM

    check his e-mail records and everything will be cleared.

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  • Dec 17, 2011 - 7:21PM

    @shahzad, i thought american’s leave the dearest allies and friends in the time of need and u r saying they r trying to protect haqqani ; a man who is useless to them now???? Recommend

  • Imran
    Dec 17, 2011 - 7:24PM

    As to why Gen. Jim Jones delivered the letter while believing the letter nothing but a piece of trash, this is the standard protocol. If I receive a letter addressed to my boss, its my duty it reaches him. And if it is something controversial, I don’t add any comment, as I don’t want to be dragged in a controversy. I’m not sure what kind of organizations you guys work in where this is not followed.

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  • Chengez K
    Dec 17, 2011 - 7:28PM

    What a disgraceful episode of treachery…..

    When General Jones has to stoop so low to save their beloved Haqqani network!!!

    Are we to believe the famous General Jones is so naive & shallow to deliver not credible memos to serving Chairman Joint Staff, Admiral Mullen?

    What a pack of Jokers…American military is even worse then American state deptt in lying.

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  • Imran
    Dec 17, 2011 - 7:29PM

    Now it is between the words of two Americans. One is a respectable General, who has retired and has nothing to gain out of it. The second one is a crooked character with a history of lies and deceits, and always in search of cheap popularity. The latter also had shady contacts with the ISI, which makes his entire story a concoction, given ISI’s love for HH. Recommend

  • Chengez K
    Dec 17, 2011 - 7:43PM

    @Imran:

    In any real professional organization you would get fired for wasting your Boss precious time….

    but of course U.S Military Boss Admiral Mullen was quite a free man with lot of time to study non credible memos & letters !!!

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  • Imran
    Dec 17, 2011 - 8:00PM

    Given ISI’s shady reputation, Mansoor Ijaz’s sleazy character, the contacts between the two, and Ijaz’s recent support to the ISI indicates something sinister happening between the lines.

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  • Ali-wali
    Dec 17, 2011 - 8:02PM

    First of all miss Asma Jahangir can represent anyone, because making a living working as a lawyer means you have to solicit on bahalf of your client, it has nothing to do with patriotism or anything else. Secondly our armed forces are funny, if Americans did not respect our sovereignty by raiding a compound right under our military’s nose and killing a ‘common enemy’, then the rather unsavoury character who was the target of the raid breached our security too, and who is responsible for security, civilian government! Our supreme court should turn it’s guns on military establishment who couldn’t defend our sovereignty, inspite of the fact that they use a big chunk of the budget, which could have been used for vital services like education and health. It is massively unfair case, where powerful are playing victim.

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  • Cautious
    Dec 17, 2011 - 8:36PM

    Fascinating — you tie your country into knots over an allegation by a Pakistani American who has a tarnished reputation. Yet you totally ignore allegations made by other American’s, Indian’s and Afghan’s that seem to have some substance – go figure.

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  • Imran
    Dec 17, 2011 - 10:10PM

    Asma Jehangir is defending Haqqani because she realises that the supreme court is over-reacting. Even if zardari wrote a memo promising to catch culprits of mumbai, to catch those responsible for harbouring OBL, to end support for terrorists, to improve nuclear safety, what is wrong in it? It is the right of governments to form policy and these changes would have made us a decent country rather then the headache of the world. Asma knows there is no real evidence and just hearsay. Its sad that security policy and foreign policy is in the hands of army rather then civil govt.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Dec 17, 2011 - 10:18PM

    @Cautious:
    I agree with you. However, Mansoor has never been a Pakistani or Pakistani American. He is an American by birth and nothing to do with Pakistan. When the working Pakistani Americans were collecting money and goods for the flood victims in Pakistan, MI was nowhere to be found. He is not a part of Paksitani Americans and is not respected by them.
    To the readers who are objecting Jones delivering the un-signed memo, it is a protocol in the US to do it and not make the decisions for the bosses. Most info about OBL’s presence have been false but they were forwarded to the bosses and investigated. In fact it is not professional to sit on the info if they are for the boss, and people can be fired for that. Thanks and regards,
    Mirza

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  • Mirza
    Dec 17, 2011 - 10:23PM

    @KiJ: The electronic data between MI and HH does not tell anything except that they were in touch with each other during those days. HH and others are in touch with many people but they all are not involved in drafting and delivering the memos against Pakistan. MI have been an open opponent of ISI and Pakistan while HH has been defending the army and govt even after OBL was found in military base. In short:
    A foreign man who wrote and delivered the memo himself is innocent, more reliable than Paksitani govt, Gen. Jones.Recommend

  • David Salmon
    Dec 17, 2011 - 10:36PM

    General Jones gave his reason for giving the memo to Admiral Mullen: “I felt obligated to forward it, as requested, to Admiral Mullen. Admiral Mullen, in his official capacity was better able to make a judgment as to the memo’s credibility.” General Jones was retired; only Admiral Mullen had access to current information. Given that the memo purported to be from the “highest authority” in Pakistan, it was simply good judgment to let Admiral Mullen make his own evaluation.

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  • Ali-wali
    Dec 17, 2011 - 11:23PM

    No body wants to own security failure, in a real World our establishment failed to raise enough human resources to make our future secure and stable, and still there are no positive signs on the horizon. Generations of young Pakistanis are lost, no useful education, no contribution in the development of humanity or any productive economic activity. On the contrary our neighbours China India and Iran are developing their human resources with promising results, at least we should try to copy them in this respect.

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  • ayesha
    Dec 17, 2011 - 11:43PM

    @moeed: “why is she then representing a man like hussain haqqani”

    Because she feels that actions such as putting him on exit control list have been done without folowing due process and ihis fundamental rights have been violated.

    As it shows, her efforts have brought an important issue to light. The fact that Jim Jones and Mullen admitted to the existence of the memo was shows to be the biggest proof against HH. Now that Jim Jones says that he was never once led to believe that te memo originated form HH – what proof is there against HH except Mansoor Ijaz’s word?

    Thus her intervention will result in an innocent man not falsely being blamed for beina a traitor. She has thus acted in the highest traditions of the judiciary.

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  • ayesha
    Dec 17, 2011 - 11:48PM

    @Shaheen Tabbassum: “If he is playing innocent now, why didnt he asked Mansoor Ijaz to deliver the memo by himself.”

    Mansoor Ijaz did not know Mike Mulen , he knew Jim Jones. Thus Mansoor Ijaz could not have delivered the memo to Mike Mullen. The fact that the memo was simply forwarded without any comment shows the low level of involvement on behalf of Jim Jones. He was simply doing a favor for someone he knew and nothing more.

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  • ayesha
    Dec 17, 2011 - 11:54PM

    @A. Khan: “So he believed it was fake ? Why did he deliver it then ?”

    Not sure what you mean by fake. The memo was real and It came from Ijaz.

    It was however unsigned and it came from Ijaz without being marked restricted or classified through regular unencrypted email. SO in his judgment he did not consider it to have come from ‘higher authorirites’ and this is why he simply forwarded it without any comments and nor did he follow up. Mullen also states that he di not find it credible and did not act upon it. I think Jim Jones and Mullen are fairly consistent in their statements. Jim Jones has just provided additional information about his opinion wihout changing what actually happened on the ground.

    Why would he take teh risk of sitting on a memo which COULD turn out to be genuine (though slim chance). According to him, it was besty that Mullen make that decision.

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  • ayesha
    Dec 17, 2011 - 11:58PM

    @KiJ: “We don’t know if he is telling the full truth either…. only electronic forensic evidence from Mansoor Ijaz and Haqqani’s mobile devices can solve the mystery….”

    Electronic forensic evidence can simply prove that

    1) Mansoor DID send the memo to Jim Jones. Neither Mansoor nor Jim Jones is denying it.. SO we can take it that even without forensic evidence – this is a fact.

    2) The blackberry exchanges claimed to have happened between Ijaz and HH actually happened. I don’t think even Asma Jahangir or HH is denying the blackberry communications. SO let us stipulate that those messages ae true.

    There is nothing more that the electronic forensic evidence can provide.

    What is missing is:
    1) Evidence that HH asked Mansoor Ijaz to write a memo
    2) Evidence that the contents of the memo came from HH
    3) Evidence that Zardari had anything to do with HH communicating with Ijaz.

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  • ayesha
    Dec 18, 2011 - 12:02AM

    @Shahzad S. Janjua: “Can anyone tell me what is this personal capacity, that a US General is meeting a Pakistan business for wh”

    Mansoor is not a Pakistani but a US businessman. HE was even born in the US. Even Mansoor does not claim himself to be a Pakistani. As for why he me him – we meet so many people at meetings and parties. What is wrong with that?

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  • ayesha
    Dec 18, 2011 - 12:07AM

    @Chengez K: “In any real professional organization you would get fired for wasting your Boss precious time….
    but of course U.S Military Boss Admiral Mullen was quite a free man with lot of time to study non credible memos & letters !!!”

    Jim Jones had retired and Mullen was not his boss. But even if he was the boss – no-one fires you for forwarding an email on as long as you have not given comments that indicate that you support it or unless you are following up and wasting someone’s time.

    When it comes to a sensitive country like Pakistan Jim Jones must have felt that there was no need for him to act as a gate keeper.. Remember he was already retired and Mullen was still in service plus Mullen was at a higher level. SO it would be reasonable for Jim Jones to assume that Mullen would have much more sensitive information that might allow him to interpret the memo differently from him. Why should he withold information that may have a 1% chance of being relevant?

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  • ayesha
    Dec 18, 2011 - 12:28AM

    @Baba Jee: “Did the Supreme Court ask for An Affidavit from James Jones?”

    Asma Jahangir who is defending Haqqani in the Supreme court asked for the affidavit. This is clearly stated in the article.

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  • ayesha
    Dec 18, 2011 - 12:34AM

    @anonymous: “check his e-mail records and everything will be cleared.”

    WHose email records?

    Jim Jones? HE is not denying that he received or forwarded the memo

    Ijaz Mansoor? No-one is questioning his claim of forwarding the memo. At the same time even Ijaz isn’t claiming that he received the memo from Hussain Haqqani via email. HE says it was dictated o him verbally.

    There is no dispute about the things that email records can prove. The dispute is about things where Ijaz claims that Hussain Haqqani told him some things on the phone and Haqqani says he did not say those things.

    The big deal Ijaz is making about getting his blackberry forensically tested is a bogeyman meant to mislead. No-one has disputed or questioned the fact that Ijaz sent the memo to Jim Jones or his bbm communication with Haqqani

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  • Gul Muhammad
    Dec 18, 2011 - 12:37AM

    this is ridiculous supreme court and army are beleiving mansoor ijaz who has got nothing to loose and is defaming our country and on the other hand not believeing the one who has presented himself for trial and resigned aswell hussain haqqani…

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  • Ali Wazir
    Dec 18, 2011 - 12:43AM

    Americans half hearted attempt to rescue their asset, Ambassador Haqqani. Sorry kinda late buddy…

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  • Abdul Rahman Khan
    Dec 18, 2011 - 12:54AM

    James Jones statement is solicited by those who are the main characters in memogate. America (and its functionaries) will not like its ‘friends’ in pakistan’s politics and foreign office suffer in memogate or any other issues. The more Husain Haqqani and his ‘boss’ are found in hot water in memogate, the more such solicited statements from america will be ‘imported’.

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  • Observer
    Dec 18, 2011 - 1:07AM

    @ayesha: “What is missing is:
    1) Evidence that HH asked Mansoor Ijaz to write a memo
    2) Evidence that the contents of the memo came from HH
    3) Evidence that Zardari had anything to do with HH communicating with Ijaz”

    Good points. Also, we need to recognize that even if there was communications with Ijaz shown on HH’s BB, there is the possibility that someone could have gotten HH’s passwords and sent the message to Ijaz to implicate and frame Haqqani.

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  • Raj NJ
    Dec 18, 2011 - 3:45AM

    @ayesha

    Kudos! for the analysis. Keep it up.

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  • MarkH
    Dec 18, 2011 - 3:47AM

    @Shahzad S. Janjua:
    So this means nothing because it ignoring it fits what you want to be true. Typical. This simple statement is more credible than most things because it’s not filled with the self gain/obsession Ijaz permeates. He’s his biggest fan and requires too much of his own attention to function to think of the welfare of anyone else.

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  • Shahzad
    Dec 18, 2011 - 4:01AM

    You are entitled to your view but remember the last refuge of a rascal is patriotism@Shahzad S. Janjua:

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  • Ameer Hamza
    Dec 18, 2011 - 10:30AM

    Pakistan Army and ISI never trusted Haqqani. He was more into Americans and Indians than he was into Pakistanis. That is probably a good reason why he gave so many visas to Blackwater and CIA men, knowing that they would ferment trouble in restive Balochistan and help Taliban turn against Pakistan. Now, after so many years of bloodshed, you know from where all this funding has come from? No wonder they love Haqqani and hate ISI. It is about time – with or without judiciary – that Pakistan Army constitute a thorough enquiry into the behaviour of Haqqani and bring him to justice. He is probably involved in certain anti-state acts by not thoroughly checking out papers of American citizens before granting them visas. The case should be heard in full and judgement to be detailed to public. If Haqqani-Zardari are involved in defaming our Army or our country, the case must be regarded as high treason and nothing else.

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  • Ms.Bukhsh
    Dec 18, 2011 - 10:33AM

    Jones has been reqeqesting by the Pakistani authority to submit his assumptions.
    Proper investigation should continue and bring the truth out.Why HH met American personality Mr G.before he leaving for Pakistan?

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  • K. Salim Jahangir
    Dec 18, 2011 - 3:43PM

    Did we interfere in WATERGATE SCADAL???? On state visit to the US,American journalists asked ZAB’s opinion on Watergate Scandal.ZAB smilingly parried the question by saying,yes “we have a lot of water logging problem in Pakistan” & walked away.General Jones letter indicates clear cut American involvement in Memogate.

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