Perhaps the single most damming collection of data in a massive trove of secret documents from Afghanistan released by the website WikiLeaks is some 180 files that seem to show Pakistan's premiere intelligence service, the ISI, helping the Afghan insurgency attack American troops.
The United States provides more than a billion dollars to Pakistan each year for help in fighting terrorism, but the papers seem to link the ISI with major Afghan insurgent commanders; claim its representatives meet directly with the Taliban; accuse the agency of training suicide bombers; and indicts Pakistani intelligence officials on hatching up sensational ways to assassinate Afghan president Hamid Karzai and even poison the beer drunk by Americans in Afghanistan.
The United States has long been wary of the ISI's role in the Afghan war, and has occasionally accused the ISI of fomenting violence in Afghanistan, especially against Indian targets. And so in some ways, the allegations are not new. But taken as a whole, the documents present a far greater insight into exactly how the American military and Afghan intelligence see the ISI meddling inside Afghanistan than has ever been revealed.
The level of trust between the two countries has improved vastly since a low point in 2006, say American and Pakistani officials. And many of the documents released do reflect the suspicions of a time when the ISI and the countries' militaries and intelligence agencies viewed each other much more skeptically than they do now.
But some of the skepticism remains, and even after the documents were made public, the U.S. once again said it expects Pakistan to decisively turn against militants that, alongside the CIA, it once trained and funded in Afghanistan.
Pakistan's government, military and intelligence services "must continue their strategic shift against insurgent groups," said National Security Advisor James Jones in a statement on Sunday night, while also lauding Pakistani and U.S. cooperation against Al Qaeda and praising the Pakistani military for going on the offensive in Swat and South Waziristan.
The documents detail specific allegations against the ISI: that it sent sent 1,000 motorbikes an insurgent group in Pakistan to launch suicide attacks in Afghanistan; that it launched plans to attack Indian facilities and workers in Afghanistan; that it worked with members of al Qaeda to map out attacks; and that it helped organize Taliban attacks in eastern Afghanistan, where some of the single worst attacks on American troops occurred.
But much of the information in the documents comes from Afghanistan's premier spy agency, the National Directorate of Security, which has long been the ISI's number one enemy. Former commander of all Western troops Gen. Stanley McChrystal once quipped that the Afghans might blame the bad weather on the ISI. And so Pakistani officials dismissed the data as rehashed allegations that no longer reflect the relationship between the two countries -- and do not reflect recent campaigns by Pakistan against militants.
"From whatever little we have analyzed so far, it's the usual rhetoric and nothing new," a senior ISI official told ABC News, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "Most of it seems to be initial reports from the ground and not corroborated."