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Pakistan Trip Conjures Eerie Memories for 2 Lamwakers

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) are back on American soil after what turned into a rather dramatic trip to Pakistan -- a fact-finding mission that evoked eerie memories for both.

The two lawmakers stopped in Pakistan last week as part of a larger trip to the Middle East and South Asia. They were scheduled to meet Banazir Bhutto for dinner on the very day that she was assassinated.

Specter, who served on the Warren Commission that investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, is now calling on the United Nations to appoint a commission to investigate the Pakistani opposition leader's death.

"In a matter of this sort, it is to be expected, based on what happened following the assassination of President Kennedy, to have a wide range of allegations and conspiracy theories," Specter wrote yesterday in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

When The Sleuth spoke to him by phone Wednesday afternoon, Congressman Kennedy sounded as if he was still in shock at what happened to Bhutto -- and just how close he and Specter came to it all.

Just hours before Bhutto's death, he and Specter had visited the park in Rawalpindi where the former prime minister was assassinated following a political rally. They were scheduled to have a late dinner with her after first stopping by a reception at Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's home.

Ironically, Kennedy said that the day before Bhutto was killed, he found himself chatting with Pakistanis about the assassination of his uncle. The subject came up when the congressman handed out Kennedy half dollars, as he often does when he travels, to thank various officials for their "good will."

"When I did, they'd tell me where they were the day my uncle was killed. People half way around the world, speaking through interpreters, remembering where they were," Kennedy said. "It's highly ironic, because on that day I'll never forget where I was when Benazir Bhutto was assassinated."

Specter, in his letter to the U.N. secretary-general, recalled how newly sworn-in President Lyndon Johnson appointed an independent investigating commission -- the Warren Commission -- "within seven days" after JFK was assassinated.

In the very next sentence, in his typical legalese manner, Specter laid out the facts:

"As you may know, Representative Patrick Kennedy, member of the U.S. House of Representatives (D-RI), and I were scheduled to meet with Ms. Bhutto at 9 pm on Thursday, December 27th. She had called for that late meeting because she was fully engaged in campaigning that day. As Representative Kennedy and I were preparing to depart for a dinner with President Musharraf at 7pm and the later meeting with Ms. Bhutto, we were informed of her assassination."

By Mary Ann Akers  |  January 3, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
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my congressman never gives me money

Posted by: Anonymous | January 3, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Pharmer | January 3, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

An autopsy must be done! Bhutto's husband stinks, Musharif stinks, The US State Department stinks. Do we even know that Benazir Bhutto is dead? No autopsy. Isn't it convenient that The Pakistani Peoples Party nominated Bhutto's son just days after her assasination. And what about the corruption charges against her husband? Nothing.

Posted by: Bill P | January 3, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I would like to be a lamwaker

Posted by: BHO | January 3, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Bhutto killed by laser weapon as Sen. Arlen "Magic Bullet" Specter and Rep.Patrick Kennedy wait to see her.

Sometimes the headlines just write themselves.

Posted by: Chuck Feney | January 4, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I heard she was abducted by aliens

Posted by: Anonymous | January 4, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

The Assassination of Ms. Bhutto was as tragic as of President Kennedy. However, two totally different personalities. Both were elliminated for different reasons, by act of God, as their time was up, not any amount of security could delay what happened.
After President Kennedy, Johnson took over, and after Bhutto, Zardari both of them were involved in the assassination.

Posted by: Tariq M.Haider. | January 6, 2008 4:53 AM | Report abuse

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