May 02 2011

How Clean Is Pakistan On Bin Laden?

Published by at 1:53 pm under Bin Laden/GWOT

In my usual glass-half-full nature (and the rule everyone is innocent until proven guilty) my title is more optimistic than I feel. Two reports bear serious consideration. First up, from the New Yorker:

The city is most notable for housing the Pakistan Military Academy, the Pakistani Army’s premier training college, equivalent to West Point. Looking at maps and satellite photos on the Web last night, I saw the wide expanse of the Academy not far from where the million-dollar, heavily secured mansion where bin Laden lived was constructed in 2005. The maps I looked at had sections of land nearby marked off as “restricted areas,” indicating that they were under military control. It stretches credulity to think that a mansion of that scale could have been built and occupied by bin Laden for six years without its coming to the attention of anyone in the Pakistani Army.

The initial circumstantial evidence suggests that the opposite is more likely—that bin Laden was effectively being housed under Pakistani state control. Pakistan will deny this, it seems safe to predict, and perhaps no convincing evidence will ever surface to prove the case. If I were a prosecutor at the United States Department of Justice, however, I would be tempted to call a grand jury. Who owned the land on which the house was constructed? How was the land acquired, and from whom? Who designed the house, which seems to have been purpose-built to secure bin Laden? Who was the general contractor? Who installed the security systems? Who worked there? Are there witnesses who will now testify as to who visited the house, how often, and for what purpose? These questions are not relevant only to the full realization of justice for the victims of September 11th. They are also relevant to the victims of terrorist attacks conducted or inspired by bin Laden while he lived in the house, and these include many Pakistanis, as well as Afghans, Indians, Jordanians, and Britons.

Could not agree more. I am still wondering at the hint of hesitation in the President’s announcement last night, and the bizarre leak regarding the March bombing raid, which was authorized and then canceled in favor of the surgical strike. Something just ain’t hinky here.

The second report comes from the UK Telegraph:

American diplomats were told that one of the key reasons why they had failed to find bin Laden was that Pakistan’s security services tipped him off whenever US troops approached.

Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISID) also allegedly smuggled al-Qaeda terrorists through airport security to help them avoid capture and sent a unit into Afghanistan to fight alongside the Taliban.

In December 2009, the government of Tajikistan warned the United States that efforts to catch bin Laden were being thwarted by corrupt Pakistani spies.

According to a US diplomatic dispatch, General Abdullo Sadulloevich Nazarov, a senior Tajik counterterrorism official, told the Americans that “many” inside Pakistan knew where bin Laden was.

It does seem strange such a dangerous person could hold court so close to the Pak Military elite. Was it the fact we finally barred Pakistan from the operational details that we finally nailed our man? As the first article notes, how many people died needlessly while Osama was hidden?

18 responses so far

18 Responses to “How Clean Is Pakistan On Bin Laden?”

  1. crosspatch says:

    I am seeing reports around the net that the property where OBL was killed was used at times as an ISI safehouse.

  2. WWS says:

    Now a Paki government official is saying “oh please, don’t ask anymore about who in Pakistan knew what.” Not “that’s not true”! just “oh please don’t talk about that anymore.”

    uh huh.

    The Indians have been saying for years that the Taliban and Al Qaeda are both just Pakistani ISI operations – looks like there might be a lot of truth in that view.

    Shamelessly stolen from the comments over at Ace’s blog:

    CIA: It’s come to our attention that you have been hiding Osama bin Laden in an ISI safe house. Is that correct?

    George Costanza Musharraf: Who said that?

    CIA: His courier did.

    George Costanza Musharraf: Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? I tell you, I gotta plead ignorence on this thing, because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started with the U.S. that that sort of thing is frowned upon… you know, cause I’ve worked with a lot of other countries, and I tell you, spy agencies do that all the time.

  3. lurker9876 says:

    I’ve read about how Al Qaeda infiltrated itself into the ISI organization.

  4. Redteam says:

    But…… we’re all sure the LFCB is completely legit…..

    He’s just dishonest about everything else….

  5. WWS says:

    Oh CANADA! A banner day indeed!!!!

    “Liberal Party of Canada Buried at Sea After Dying in Firefight”

  6. lurker9876 says:

    I have a question…did the navy seals make sure that OBL was at the compound at that exact time? Did the CIA spend enough time to detect his patterns?

  7. lurker9876 says:

    www, funny parody by Mark steyn of a serious election in canada. Good news for harper! And quite possibly a great sign for our own 2012 elections!

    Am reading that obama will enjoy a short bump in his poll numbers but only temporary.

  8. lurker9876 says:

    wws, intrade has obama up at 70…

  9. RoboMonkey says:

    Now a Paki government official is saying “oh please, don’t ask anymore about who in Pakistan knew what.” Not “that’s not true”! just “oh please don’t talk about that anymore.”

    Can’t we all just “move on”?

    No. No we can’t.

  10. ivehadit says:

    Lurker, check Rasmussen’s comment on Drudge. No bounce so far.

  11. WWS says:

    re: intrade

    Look at the stories for Canada the last few days: *EVERY* pundit was writing about the incredible surge by the NDP (far left) and at the same time declaring that the “terrible” conservatives had no chance of winning a majority, and would probably not even continue in power. Harper was going to have to retire in disgrace, they said.

    Result? DOMINANT conservative victory! That’s what makes this so sweet: ALL the pollsters and pundits tried so hard to fool the voters that they fooled themselves and believed their own nonsense.

    And now this morning, I’ve been having fun looking at liberal websites and seeing, over and over, “how could we have been so wrong? How come no one saw this coming????”

    Now I believe the same thing could happen in 2012 – all of our papers, and pundits, and intrades will be predicting an Obama victory until the night before the election. And it will all be bullcrap.

    HA! Fake all the polls with your liberal bias, and all you’ve done is guarantee that everything will be a surprise to you!

    Btw, the NDP’s (far left’s) surge came because the French speakers in Quebec changed affiliation en masse; they decided that instead of wanting to break up Canada and make Quebec independent, their goal for the last 18 years, now they just want to be socialists. Heh – the NDP may have got them this election, but they are notoriously fickle, since the francophones primarily hate the rest of Canada more than they are actually for anything.

  12. lurker9876 says:

    Thanks, ivehadit! I am not surprised about the lack of bounce but surprised about the increase in Intrade.

  13. joe six-pack says:

    Pakistan has a population that generally favors much of the ideology that Bin Laden expressed. It can only be expected that this is reflected in it’s government. Just look at Saudi Arabia. All Muslim countries have this issue. Islamic nationalism is alive and well. I believe that it is growing.

  14. ivehadit says:

    Me, too.

  15. AJ,

    A better question to consider:

    What if the files captured with Osama Bin Laddin prove Al-Qaeda is a branch of the Pakistani ISI?

  16. WWS says:

    Trent – did you hear what Leon Panetta said today? Openly, without any attempt to hide this or couch it in any diplomatic terms: We didn’t tell Pakistan about the raid in advance because bin Laden would have been warned.

    This is an open and calculated slap in the face to Pakistan. It is publicly calling them cheats and liars who cannot be trusted. We are spitting in Pakistan’s face and daring them to do anything about it.

    Now of course they deserve this, but still – you wonder what the long term consequences to this will be.

  17. Yes, I heard. The Pakistanies are playing a game of:

    “Who are you going to believe?


    Or your lying eyes?”

  18. WWS,

    For the record, this is what Panetta said:

    Brian Williams: I’d like to ask you about the sourcing on the intel that ultimately led to this successful attack. Can you confirm that it was as a result of waterboarding that we learned what we needed to learn to go after Bin Laden?

    Leon Panetta: You know, Brian, in the intelligence business you work from a lot of sources of information, and that was true here. We had a multiple series of sources that provided information with regards to this situation. Clearly, some of it came from detainees and the interrogation of detainees, but we also had information from other sources as well. So it’s a little difficult to say it was due just to one source of information that we got.

    Williams: Turned around the other way, are you denying that waterboarding was in part among the tactics used to extract the intelligence that led to this successful mission?

    Panetta: No, I think some of the detainees clearly were — you know, they used these enhanced interrogation techniques against some of these detainees. But I’m also saying that the debate about whether we would have gotten the same information through other approaches I think is always going to be an open question.

    Williams: So, final point, one final time: enhanced interrogation techniques, which has always been kind of a handy euphemism in these post-9/11 years, that includes waterboarding.

    Panetta: That’s correct.