To the embarrassment, more accurately the humiliation, of Deborah Wasserman Schultz and Nancy Pelosi, not to mention dozens of Democratic congressmen and women — all of whom used Imran Awan for help with their government computers — the Pakistani-born IT specialist was arrested Tuesday by the FBI at Dulles Airport for alleged bank fraud. He was trying to flee the country for Qatar. (Yes, that Qatar!)
But that’s just what the shrinks call “the presenting complaint.” There may be a lot more to it — a whole lot more.
At best, Awan is a fraudster who, working with his family, bilked the U.S. taxpayers out of over four million in IT fees and overpriced computer equipment. At worst he’s an agent of Pakistan’s ISI in league with Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, or even ISIS. There are other possibilities in between that are also of a frightening nature, including (although more remote) the mysterious death of Seth Rich.
To take the worst first, for those who do not know the ISI, if you Google “Which intelligence service is the best in the world?” Pakistan’s ISI is number one, followed by India’s RAW, Israel’s Mossad, the CIA, and MI6. Russia’s FSB doesn’t make the cut. More on the ISI:
After fall of the Soviet Union, the ISI provided strategic support and intelligence to the Afghan Taliban against the Northern Alliance during the civil war in Afghanistan of the 1990s. During more recent times, however, it has come under increasing criticism from both civilian and military circles for not having kept terrorist forces in society in check, especially against harbouring terrorists and acts against military forces, particularly those in neighbouring India. Recent political commentators and journalists, including Seymour Hersh, have noticed how dreaded terrorists like Osama Bin Laden had taken refuge close to military headquarters in Abottabad, Pakistan, and how it would be “impossible for the ISI not to know”.
For years, Imran Awan had access to the secret data and correspondence of many House committees, including foreign affairs. What did he do with it? As I said, that’s the worst-case scenario (I guess). But I don’t want to bury my own lede in a welter of ledes, so here it is:
Jeff Sessions should immediately appoint a special counsel in this case whose tentacles are so vast they reach the highest levels of our government. The FBI, working unsupervised, has already been tainted by its heavily criticized investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails, an investigation that actually may turn out to be related to this one. It cannot be trusted to do this by themselves. We need a special counsel.
Further, unlike Russiagate, this is an investigation that already has a crime (Awan will be arraigned August 21). It isn’t in search of one. It’s just trying to find out its extent wherever it leads. That’s what special counsels do. And in this case, Sessions should make sure that, unlike Mueller, the new special counsel picks associates on both sides of the aisle. Unlike the biased Russia investigation, this should be even-handed. We want to believe its conclusions in the end.
There are a lot of shoelaces to be tied up here. Among them:
- Why did Debbie Wasserman Schultz keep this man in her employ right up until he was arrested Tuesday night when he has been under suspicion for months. Does he have something on her or other people?
- Why did Nancy Pelosi lie when she said she never heard of Awan? Email revealed by Wikileaks says Awan had access to Pelosi’s iPad. (Wiklileaks has never been shown to be inaccurate.)
- What is on the smashed hard drives Awan is trying to retrieve from the FBI? (Oh, those Democrats and their hard drives.)
- Why is Awan suddenly being legally represented at the highest level by Clinton ultra-loyalist Chris Gowan — a fact-checker for Bill Clinton’s memoir of all things? (They are already using the same right-wing conspiracy baloney they used in the Lewinski case.) Does this make sense if Awan’s just a low-life fraudster? Why not let him dangle?
- Just what is the relationship, if any, between the Awan case and the unsolved Seth Rich murder? Is it entirely an accident that Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s brother Steven is accused of blocking the investigation? Denials from Debbie aren’t worth much anymore.
- Where did the Wikileaks come from anyway? Was it really Russia?
That is, as they say, the tip of the proverbial iceberg. As for why Awan was chosen in the first place, well, if there’s anything Democrats fear, it’s being called an Islamophobe or in any way politically incorrect. Who better than someone of Pakistani origin to do your IT work? It proves just what a wonderful person you are, doesn’t it?
Do it, Jeff!
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His latest book is I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already. He tweets @rogerlsimon.
NOTE: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Imran Awan was responsible for 2014 article on CNN about Islamaphobia.