Were Pakistani officials protecting bin Laden?

May 02, 2011|By Luke Broadwater

The more information that comes out about Pakistani officials, the less it's looking like all aspects of the country's government were American allies against Osama bin Laden. 

President Barack Obama made it clear that he did not share information about the U.S.'s surprise raid against bin Laden with Pakistani officials until after the terrorist leader was killed. 

Why? I suspect he didn't want bin Laden to be tipped off. 

British officials seem to agree.

From today's New York Times

Some of them have been complicit in concealing Osama bin Laden for a very long time,” said Sir Christopher Meyer, who was British ambassador to the United States at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks, referring to senior Pakistani officials.

Sir Jeremy Greenstock, who was Britain’s ambassador to the United Nations when the hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, made a similar point. “There must have been people in Pakistan’s intelligence system who must have suspected where he was hiding,” he said, speaking of Bin Laden.

Here's Yahoo News' Laura Rozen on Pakistan

In his news conference tonight, Obama said he had called his Pakistani counterpart after the operation and both leaders agreed today was a great day for their countries. But it was impossible not to wonder how Bin Laden could have found safe harbor in an affluent suburb of Pakistan's capital -- one that is filled with Pakistani military officials, no less -- without a degree of complicity from Pakistani official elements.

"Abbottabad has a large military cantonment area and the Army college and exam center are located there," a former senior U.S. intelligence official who has worked in Pakistan told The Envoy. "It is very much off the usual track for foreigners … and I simply do not believe Bin Laden could hide there unaided by, or unknown to, the Pakistanis."

The United States did not notify any other country before the operation, not even Pakistan, U.S. officials said, implying U.S. concern that suspected Al Qaeda sympathizers in the Pakistani security services' ranks could have potentially foiled the operation.

What do you think? Has Pakistan been an ally against bin Laden as they've claimed to be (accepting our dollars all the while) or have elements of the Pakistani government been secretly working with bin Laden? Perhaps both statements are true. 

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