So within one week the following happened: ProPublica published an exposé examining Fai’s efforts on Capitol Hill on behalf of Pakistani intelligence; another report tied Fai’s charged conspirator in the case with meeting with Osama bin Laden just weeks prior to the 9/11 attacks; and the conspirator dropped dead.
Yet that was not sufficient to stoke the curiosity of the American media.
Why did this story get buried?
The official response to that question will be that Fai’s arrest was part of the diplomatic game between the U.S., India, and Pakistan, which is entirely true. In fact, as the New York Times reported, the FBI’s efforts to arrest Fai in 2011 were repeatedly opposed by the State Department and the CIA.
And considering the tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan after the raid that killed bin Laden in May 2011 and the subsequent closing of U.S. supply routes through Pakistan into Afghanistan, that certainly explains the reason why the U.S. government was so willing to cut a plea deal with Fai (which it did).
But it doesn’t explain the hands-off policy of the story by the U.S. media.
One possible reason: Fai’s operation had seen considerable success under the Clinton and Bush administrations, and documents obtained by the FBI in the raid of KAC showed that Fai anticipated his efforts would flourish in the new Obama administration. Was the media merely protecting Obama?
According to the FBI, a “plan of action” for 2009 submitted to his ISI handlers showed Fai’s plan to expand his operations by building new alliances with the State Department, the National Security Council, and the Pentagon under the incoming Obama administration. In 2010, his list of proposed activities included 61 key events planned for the year, including 10 briefings for members of Congress and their staff. In 2011, Fai was directed by the Pakistan Embassy in D.C. to expand his outreach even further by contacting and building relationships with 11 members of the media and six think-tank personnel.
It’s doubtful anyone in the establishment media was eager to investigate whom at the State Department, White House/National Security Council, and the Pentagon Fai had been meeting with.
Another possible reason for the media’s lack of attention to the Fai scandal can be seen in Fai’s own biography:
His articles appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Plain Dealer, Baltimore Sun, and many other foreign policy journals in the United States and around the world.