How can our leaders in Washington deem Pakistan worthy of even a single U.S. dollar?

In April 2011, the U.S. had given away $2 billion as military aid to Pakistan.

In addition, Congress' civilian financial aid to Pakistan could also amount to almost $1 billion.

Over the last decade or so, Pakistan is estimated to have received $20 billion in aid from the U.S.

And Pakistan deliberately flaunts its disdain at us.

The U.S. has continuously asked Pakistan to dismantle terror camps running in its territories, as well as expressing concerns about the ties between Pakistani military and the Afghan Taliban. Pakistan ignores the requests.

Here are the real clinchers.

First, the Pakistanis arrested Shakeel Afridi, 48, just weeks after U.S. Navy SEALs found and killed Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad last summer an operation that Afridi assisted by running an unauthorized hepatitis-B vaccination campaign to trace bin Laden through DNA samples of his children.

Soon after, Pakistani court documents state, Afridi was "handed over to an intelligence agency," presumably the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (I.S.I.).

In October, he was presented before the high-powered Abbottabad Commission, which includes a Supreme Court justice and a retired Army general, which had also recommended a treason trial for him. Within a week of that appearance, Afridi's worldly possessions were confiscated and he was sacked from his government job, along with others who had reportedly helped him.

Then he was sentenced to 33 years of imprisonment.

As if this isn't enough, another travesty occurred last week.

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court freed four men accused of being involved in the 2010 Times Square bomb plot, said a lawyer and family members of the men. The men were arrested in the wake of the May 2010 incident during which Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad drove an SUV packed with a bomb into Times Square.

The bomb produced smoke but no explosion.

Lawyer Malik Imran Safdar said Saturday that the prosecution failed to prove its case against his clients. The men were released after the court in Rawalpindi, next to the capital of Islamabad, acquitted them.

How can any American political leader justify financial aid to a nation that acts with such disregard for our concerns? Is it that there are those who still feel we can buy peace, when in reality all we're doing is making ourselves look foolish?

As for the Afridi case, why was his identity revealed by America?

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in January acknowledged that Afridi provided key information to the U.S. in advance of the successful Navy SEAL assault on Osama bin Laden's compound.

Why release so much information?

He said Afridi helped provide intelligence for the raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Why was it necessary to let the world know our intelligence secrets?

Panetta also told "60 Minutes" that he remains convinced that someone in the Pakistani government "must have had some sense" that a person of interest was in the compound. He added that he has no proof that Pakistan knew it was bin Laden.

The evidence is certainly in on the question of whether Pakistan should be getting any more handouts from this country.

The answer is a big "NO."

By Ron Gower

rgower@tnonline.com