Rand Paul Pushes to Free Pakistani Who Assisted bin Laden Operation

Wednesday, 25 Jul 2012 03:59 PM

By Jim Meyers and Kathleen Walter

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Sen. Rand Paul is pushing for a vote in Congress to end all aid to Pakistan until the doctor who helped America track Osama bin Laden, Shakil Afridi, is freed.
Afridi has been sentenced to 33 years in prison.

“I’m concerned about Dr. Afridi,” Paul told Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview.

“He’s the one that got the information that helped us to get bin Laden. I’m concerned for his safety because the information minister in the province where he’s being held wants him transferred out because they think his life is at risk.

Story continues below video.

“Who released his name? This came from a leak in our country — someone leaked that a doctor helped us. That’s why he’s in prison.

“Pakistan’s gets about $2 billion in aid. Unfortunately, President Obama’s done the exact wrong thing: Last week, we released an extra billion dollars.

“[Afridi] was supposed to have an appeal last week and it didn’t happen, and I threatened to have the vote this week. I have the ability and the signatures of senators to force a vote on ending Pakistan’s aid, but his appeal has been rescheduled so I’m going to wait.

“My hope still is that Pakistan understands that I will get a vote on this, and that Pakistan reconsiders and he is released. If that happens, then I’ll let the vote go. If he is not released I will force a vote.”

As for the leaks that led to the doctor’s imprisonment, Paul said: “I don’t have any information to know where they’re coming from, but I’m here in the Senate and I had no idea that a doctor helped us get bin Laden other than reading the newspaper. I would think that’s information that shouldn’t have been released.

“It’s important that people who want to help America around the world know that their name’s not in The New York Times. So whoever released this I would think did something that really goes against their oath of office. It’s an offense that could cost someone their life. A leak, particularly if it was a leak to promote someone’s political career or a leak to make someone look good, really is a serious crime and ought to be treated as such.”

Editor's Note: See these other exclusive Newsmax stories:

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