Game-changer?: Man who delivered memo casts doubts

Published: December 17, 2011
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" My personal
opinion was that the
memo was probably
not credible,"
Former US national security
adviser Gen (retd) James Jones. PHOTO: AP

" My personal opinion was that the memo was probably not credible," Former US national security adviser Gen (retd) James Jones. PHOTO: AP

LAHORE: 

In a key development in the Memogate scandal, a principal player has jumped into the fray – potentially turning the case on the matter, currently under scrutiny in the Supreme Court, on its head.

Gen (retd) James Logan Jones, former US national security adviser, and the man that handed the memo to the then-chief of US military, has said, in an affidavit to be filed in the court, that Mansoor Ijaz not once mentioned the name of principal accused Husain Haqqani in their conversations leading up to the sending of the unofficial communiqué.

He also cast serious doubts on the veracity of Ijaz’s claims that the memo had the backing of the “highest authorities” in Pakistan. In fact, he has stressed that he had no reason to believe that Haqqani had anything to do with it, and that the document was probably not “credible”.

Jones’ three-page statement has been given to Asma Jahangir for filing in the Supreme Court. Talking to The Express Tribune, Jahangir, who is representing former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani, said she would be filing the document in the court registrar’s office on Monday.

The affidavit, which was drafted and attested by notary public on December 12, reads:

“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”.

Citing details of the contact by Mansoor Ijaz, Jones said in the affidavit, “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,” Jones said.

He added: “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.”

Jones went on to say, “… 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 matter that he reviewed the memo, did not find it credible, and did not take any action.”

(Read: Memogate unfolding)

Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (31)

  • Nadir
    Dec 17, 2011 - 5:28AM

    None of this matters. No one dares questions the military and getting rid of Zardari is more important than the supremacy of the law, or truth for that matter.

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  • Imran
    Dec 17, 2011 - 5:51AM

    The sum total of the story concocted by Mansoor Ijaz at the behest of Pasha. The fact of the matter is that after May 2, only two persons in Pakistan were vulnerable (K & P). They had been caught harboring the most wanted terrorist. They had every reason to have acted preemptively and the way Mansoor Ijaz has now been defending SP as a foot soldier explains it all.

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  • Zarmeena Ikam Babar
    Dec 17, 2011 - 5:59AM

    I doubted the veracity of truth in Mr.Ijaz sayings right from the beginning -I personally think a thorough investigation into the memo-case is utmost need of time and we can not blame anyone unless and until proven guilty.

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  • Adana m
    Dec 17, 2011 - 6:15AM

    It is unfortunate that most Pakistanis origin living in west have is wrong mantelity and understanding that desplaying dislike or haterd about there orign roots would prove others their loyality and love to the west and that makes me laugh on their living situatio. These people are internally not loyal to any one. They can have businesses or political standing but they are not living real life as all the time they think they have to do some shameful acts to their origin to prove they are loyal. Actually these people have no credibility and they never have respect anywhere. Mr Ijaz or paki journalist who expose match fi”er of his own country or some lords or politicians its just mindset linked to thiee background back home. These peopple are dangerous as they are never loyal to anyone. In west all hatered and racism is because of them. I do not know any other country nationals working against the interests of their own country of origin or natio indian and jews are best example in todays date.

    I think these people should learn from them to improve their condition of basic life here. Most Pakistani are scarerd to take to other pakistani is street or at work in public it makes me even laugh
    .

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  • CK
    Dec 17, 2011 - 6:32AM

    Mr. Jones, why would you feel obliged to deliver such a memo coming from a man you have known for only 5 years to the Chief of the US armed forces in the first place?

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  • Hassena Sheikh
    Dec 17, 2011 - 6:53AM

    This proves without a doubt that Mr.Ijaz Mansoor is a scheming, sleazy player who with questionable credentials has presented himself as the humble, courageous participant in Memogate who with pre-planned media interviews is trying to raise his nonexistant reputation.
    In a moment of utter desperatness he threw Ambassador Haqqani under the bus.
    Mr. Ijaz should be extradited to Pakistan & tried in court for causing unnecessary hangama in the already tension driven relations between America & Pakistan, so other snake skin salesman will be discouraged to gain personal benefit from false allegations into the integral affairs of Pakistan..

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  • narayana murthy
    Dec 17, 2011 - 8:17AM

    @Zarmeena Ikam, who says “I personally think a thorough investigation into the memo-case is utmost need of time and we can not blame anyone unless and until proven guilty.”

    I almost fell off of the chair laughing.

    “Thorough investigation” and ‘Pakistan’ can come in a sentence only with a NOT.

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  • alicia
    Dec 17, 2011 - 8:30AM

    @adnan m
    I completely disagree with you most Pakistanis living abroad are completely loyal to their roots. Mansoor ejaz has been raised in America he always said that he is loyal to American interests and American army. The whole reason behind writing that op-ed was to defend American army. Its not inferiority complex or anything else just because he looks pakistani doesn’t make him one.

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  • rehmat
    Dec 17, 2011 - 8:33AM

    I wonder what all the Haqqani haters will say now. After all they were relying on Jim Jones statement as ‘proof’ . Now he says that he received the memo but did not have reason to believe it came from Haqqani.

    There is nothing in the bbm messages that has any reference to the contents of the memo or for that matter even a mention of the word memo. Now what evidence is there against Haqqani?

    When the ISI chief spoke to Ijaz for 4 hours why did he or Kayani who also relies on him call Mullen and ask if Mullen was led to believe that the memo came from Haqqani or the President? Does not show much due dilligence does it?

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  • M omar
    Dec 17, 2011 - 8:48AM

    I m also having doubt on this cia agent

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  • Prakash
    Dec 17, 2011 - 8:51AM

    General James Jones affidavit puts his own credibility at stake as to why he entertained this kind of request, if he believed, it does not have backing from Pak Civilian Govt on whose behalf this memo was being sent.He is trying to make Mansur Ijaj a scapegoat,whom he relied earlier.If James Jones is right then why Mansur Ijaj at the first place initiated this whole episode.Although the way Establishment of Pakistan is pursuing the case, it is unlikely that James Jones’s affidavit will make any difference.

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  • Not me
    Dec 17, 2011 - 8:59AM

    Please also mention the rebuttal of Mr Manur Ijaz to this statement.
    A lot of issues would be clarified if Mr Zardari comes back to Pakistan and gives sworn statement to Supreme Court.

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  • Attif Abbas
    Dec 17, 2011 - 10:18AM

    Dear President, Everything is in your favour after this statement.Please come back now.You will not be asked for anything.

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  • asim.malik
    Dec 17, 2011 - 10:36AM

    Their is a certain class in our society which is getting increasingly liberal…. and normally they are always on the wrong side of the track

    HH should be hanged as the problem is not of K or P the problem is of the state and nothing ever gets bigger than the stateRecommend

  • KiJ
    Dec 17, 2011 - 10:50AM

    The American have changed their stance on this issue many times now… they are doing whatever they can to save their stooges… electronic forensic evidence will be the game changer not what Gen Jones is saying, he is just a mouth-piece!

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  • Mohammad Naeem
    Dec 17, 2011 - 10:58AM

    Now after general jones revealation what ground Mr. Pasha will stand on?!!
    Mr. pasha shook whole the Pakistan with no good reason… he should be asked to resign by PM.period

    @Atif abbas agreed 100%

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  • Dec 17, 2011 - 11:01AM

    American x-officials must support hussain haqani…

    Its not a strange thing!

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  • Sajida
    Dec 17, 2011 - 11:01AM

    Plausible deniability.
    Commentators should take things at face value;but judge based on what Mr. Ijaz has done before.

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  • Dec 17, 2011 - 11:51AM

    Americans have successfully exported CHAOS in Pakistan, and this was their target.

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  • S!D
    Dec 17, 2011 - 12:13PM

    I wonder if people can change their opinion so quickly by one statement from James jones who says he had no ground to believe whether the memo was credible or not. If he does not find it credible then it does not mean it had not been written by or on the direction of Haqqani. Had haqqani not been quilty he would have not tried to run to dubai with president. http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=82474&Cat=9&dt=12/14/2011
    Daal me kuch to kala hai bhaio

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  • Bilal
    Dec 17, 2011 - 1:01PM

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

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  • tush tush
    Dec 17, 2011 - 1:20PM

    Mansoor Ejaz would have hanged his head in shame if he had any shame left. Makes me respect Haqqani, whatever his faults, he was innocent. May this biased SC realize that too.

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  • Parvez
    Dec 17, 2011 - 1:39PM

    This is turning into a farce.

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  • ikram
    Dec 17, 2011 - 1:56PM

    the evidence or lack of it will be in the blackberry messages!
    every thing else is simply one persons word against another.

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  • Khalid Rao
    Dec 17, 2011 - 2:54PM

    I feel that it is a crafty game,will see who is playing,
    American they are stuck with NATO supplies and other facilities are also getting out of their hand so US Military V PAK military are heading on for conflict.
    Mansoor ,I think creating mess with the pressure of SC and N league,but let the truth come on surface then we should blame anybody. HH if we go through his book he is totally against the army,this institution must be stable and strong no question about this but with laid out parameters. We must stand for our right in front of any nation, American they have interest in our region,so they have to listen the music too.They want to be the police man of the world they must suffer too,we didn’t call them.
    Democracy should prevail all the time but if it is controlled ((Not by the military)for a country like us to stabilize our institutions and we start paying our taxes and acknowledge our responsibilities as a citizen of Pakistan we can come out from this mess. Recommend

  • Masood Khan
    Dec 17, 2011 - 2:54PM

    I see no point in questioning James why he had forwarded an apparently incredible document to his superior. He was requested by Mansoor to forward the document to Mike, not to comment on its credibility. It was up to Mike to comment/ action, if needed be. In our day-to-day life we also do the same: comment/ action when something is addressed to us but if it for our boss it is forwarded to him without hesitation (responsibility transfer). And Mike reaction is also understandable — a memo, though coming through James, is incredible :
    1, It’s not a signed document.
    2, It’s a proposal from some unknowns.
    3, Why would Pak government engage a private citizen to send a message to Mike (that is also not directly to him but via James).
    For Mike, the only resting place for this memo was his dust bin. However, for some in Pakistan it will create a resting place for democracy.

    Recommend

  • Qureshi
    Dec 17, 2011 - 4:35PM

    Ironic. This unsigned memo has shaken the Government in Pakistan. In Washington, no one cared about it and did not consider it worthy of any attention- very rightly so. What is wrong with us that we have got all the pillars of the state questioning and answering about this memo. There are more important matters to be taken care of by the government, establishment and judiciary and they should not waste their time on this memo sent by a private citizen to high ranking US officials who did not probably even care to read it completely and reply back to the person who sent it.

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  • Dr. Who!
    Dec 17, 2011 - 8:07PM

    Mansoor Ijaz is telling the absolute truth.
    The memo was authorized by the “Highest Authority” in Pakistan.
    Any guess who is the real “Highest Authority” in Pakistan?

    Recommend

  • MarkH
    Dec 18, 2011 - 5:05AM

    @Adana m:
    I assure you any racism or hatred is not the cause of overseas Pakistanis. It’s the ones with the suicide vests.

    Recommend

  • Dec 18, 2011 - 6:10AM

    @S!D: James is saying that Mansoor iJaz didn,t mentioned HH name on any occasion and mansor Ijaz requested him to forward it as it is from the ‘highest authority’ in the Pakistan government. No name, no sign, no address nothing how he could believe it credible. and suppose if it was real and it would hv gone to Mike Mullen, how he would know that it has come from the ‘highest authority’ in the Pakistan government. this is a well drafted game against Haqani and they preparator are succesful so far by ousting haqani from his office.

    Recommend

  • Hasan Mehmood
    Dec 18, 2011 - 9:35AM

    As I said earlier its a sting operation whose spectacular success / plausible credibility is based on the known mindset of Haqqani and Zardari. They may have harboured such thoughts but are not so stupid to practically initiate such ideas unless goaded / coaxed and encouraged from a third party. The reasons of such a sting operation and the masterminds behind it can be better elaborated upon by more knowledgeable readers.
    Please note I am anti Haqqani / Zardari even if I dont believe they are the primary movers of this memo. WE SHOULD STRIVE TO BE FAIR INSPITE OF OUR POLITICAL INCLINATIONS.

    Note to Editor: Its my third attempt. Why are you reluctant to post it. Is it because you only publish “for or against” one sided opinions?Recommend

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