Was Pakistan Hiding Osama Bin Laden?

Del474753Bin Laden was discovered not in the godforsaken, lawless borderlands but living in a million-dollar mansion in a touristy suburb nearby Pakistan’s top military academy. Steve Coll of the New Yorker writes that the Pakistani military was obviously sheltering bin Laden and that al-Qaeda’s other top leaders are likely being given safe haven as well, but the United States simply cannot press the issue — Pakistan has nuclear weapons and is “too big to fail”:

Abbottabad in the hills to the north of the capital of Islamabad, is in an area where much of the land is controlled or owned by the Pakistan Army and retired army officers. The city is most notable for housing the Pakistan Military Academy, the Pakistan Army’s premier training college, equivalent to West Point.

Looking at maps and satellite photos, 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 area,” indicating that it was 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 it coming to the attention of anyone in Pakistan’s Army.

The initial circumstantial evidence suggests 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. They are rightly subjects of American criminal law.

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  • smooth_operator

    I never thought of this until now, but perhaps this is a stepping stone for a conflict with Pakistan.

    • Lazarus

      Surprised you didn’t see this coming. All last night before and after Obama’s speech, news people kept stepping just shy of suggesting that Pakistan was harboring him intentionally.

  • Anonymous

    I never thought of this until now, but perhaps this is a stepping stone for a conflict with Pakistan.

  • MrPINKi

    You would think this could be a stepping stone to start getting our troops home but will most likely be a precursor to WWIII.

  • MrPINKi

    You would think this could be a stepping stone to start getting our troops home but will most likely be a precursor to WWIII.

  • Lazarus

    Surprised you didn’t see this coming. All last night before and after Obama’s speech, news people kept stepping just shy of suggesting that Pakistan was harboring him intentionally.

  • chand

    Don’t bring indians into this you fuck! Indians hate muslims more than americans do

  • chand

    Don’t bring indians into this you fuck! Indians hate muslims more than americans do

    • quartz99

      hey, chill and reread the sentence that says “Indians”. He’s saying they’ve been among al-Qaeda and bin Laden’s victims, which is almost certainly true, not that they are muslim terrorists.

      I can understand the quick anger though. I’ve got a couple friends from India who are always stopped at airports and hassled and often miss their plane when they’re flying out of the country because their skin is kinda brown so “they must be terrorists.” *rolleyes*

    • T.Mann

      I think perhaps we should give that $1.3 billion to India and cut off Pakistan. Screw their nukes the U.S. I am sure has them targeted and has so for many years. I’m sure India would make a good occupying force.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I refuse to admit that the ‘individual slain’ was in fact the original Osama Bin laden…more likely it was the strappingly healthy young fellow that replaced him in photo ops for the last 6-7 years.

    That issue aside…its kind of overdue to put heat on Pakistan’s ‘non-secret secret’. They are a massive cesspool of funding and weapons and unilateral ‘under the table support’ for terrorism globally. Unfortunately this brings us back to the sticky issue of their being a well funded US ally…and the complaint both within and without the US intelligence services has been that we’re essentially funneling cash to people who literally fund, arm and train Al Qaeda AND the Taliban. The ties between Pakistani ISI and 9/11 are multitudinous…the ties between ISI and various political assassinations are also clear and plentiful. Its an open secret…Pakistan is a rogue state with nuclear weapons. When even intelligence workers gripe that the past two administrations have been coddling a pack of psychopathic murderous sleazebags…it means its even worse than we know.

    Was the real Osama hidden there with government knowledge? I doubt that for the reason listed at the top…I think Osama died years ago…and a figurehead was installed to keep this hoopla going until we chose the time to end it. DNA is easy to acquire for a guy who needed hospitalization and treatment even in the 90s. All you need is a sample…so do we have one…sure…but did we take it off the dead guy from last night…who can say?

    But did Pakistan know that major players in global terrorism are in its borders and living comfy lives? Oh hell yes. We should only be tired of this being stated as a question instead of statement of fact.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I refuse to admit that the ‘individual slain’ was in fact the original Osama Bin laden…more likely it was the strappingly healthy young fellow that replaced him in photo ops for the last 6-7 years.

    That issue aside…its kind of overdue to put heat on Pakistan’s ‘non-secret secret’. They are a massive cesspool of funding and weapons and unilateral ‘under the table support’ for terrorism globally. Unfortunately this brings us back to the sticky issue of their being a well funded US ally…and the complaint both within and without the US intelligence services has been that we’re essentially funneling cash to people who literally fund, arm and train Al Qaeda AND the Taliban. The ties between Pakistani ISI and 9/11 are multitudinous…the ties between ISI and various political assassinations are also clear and plentiful. Its an open secret…Pakistan is a rogue state with nuclear weapons. When even intelligence workers gripe that the past two administrations have been coddling a pack of psychopathic murderous sleazebags…it means its even worse than we know.

    Was the real Osama hidden there with government knowledge? I doubt that for the reason listed at the top…I think Osama died years ago…and a figurehead was installed to keep this hoopla going until we chose the time to end it. DNA is easy to acquire for a guy who needed hospitalization and treatment even in the 90s. All you need is a sample…so do we have one…sure…but did we take it off the dead guy from last night…who can say?

    But did Pakistan know that major players in global terrorism are in its borders and living comfy lives? Oh hell yes. We should only be tired of this being stated as a question instead of statement of fact.

    • quartz99

      I dunno. I was looking at some photos and I think it’s the same guy (heh, well, whether they killed the right guy or not is a different story). He looks like he was sick for very short time and then got better (moving into a cushy “mansion” compound will help with that). The newer pictures really don’t look any younger than the older pictures, and he’s gotten consistently greyer. Look at some pictures from the late 90s and then from the last two or three years. If it’s not the same guy, it’s an astonishingly similar double and given that, I have to employ Occam in the absence of other evidence.

      *shrug* Doesn’t matter who it really was, in the end. They’ll use it as an excuse to continue the wars and continue clamping down here in the States. See, we’re winning! That means we can’t stop! *rolleyes*

  • emperorreagan

    They should’ve checked the rest of the block – al-Zahiri was probably hanging out three doors over.

  • emperorreagan

    They should’ve checked the rest of the block – al-Zahiri was probably hanging out three doors over.

  • Spanko!

    Your Indian food stinks, burgers rule!!!

  • BuzzCoastin

    The bigger question is: Is Amerika Hiding Bush? Come on Amerika show us your Bush!

    • Haystack

      It wouldn’t have been possible for Bush to become what he did without bin Laden. Without 9/11, there wouldn’t have been a “War on Terror” and all the garbage that came with it.

    • T.Mann

      Bush has died many years ago thats his
      Doppelgänger Ivan Jones

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    The bigger question is: Is Amerika Hiding Bush? Come on Amerika show us your Bush!

  • Haystack

    Clearly US military planners suspected as much, or this would have been some sort of joint operation. The fact that the Pakistanis don’t seem to have been in the loop at all probably tells us all we need to know.

    I think this operation is a perfect contrast to Tora Bora, where we just dropped a lot of bombs and relied upon Afghan “allies” to do the footwork for us. Here Obama took the risks of landing US troops in a foreign city because he recognized the value of ending this with a confirmed kill by an American soldier, and it paid off. It was a fait accompli–the revenge we deserved for what he did to us.

    I know half the people on Disinfo will decide that this event was somehow manufactured, or do not believe that bin Laden was behind 9/11 to begin with, and they’re entitled to their belief. As for me–I’m happy to celebrate a rare and fleeting instance of justice being served.

    • Thomascrowne

      Murder is not justice. A million or so innocent ppl dead for one guy. I hardly call that justice.

      • Haystack

        I never said I supported the invasions of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the “War on Terror” generally–though, none of that would have happened had it not been for bin Laden’s actions.

        Are we only allowed to be outraged at that crimes our own country commits?

  • Haystack

    Clearly US military planners suspected as much, or this would have been some sort of joint operation. The fact that the Pakistanis don’t seem to have been in the loop at all probably tells us all we need to know.

    I think this operation is a perfect contrast to Tora Bora, where we just dropped a lot of bombs and relied upon Afghan “allies” to do the footwork for us. Here Obama took the risks of landing US troops in a foreign city because he recognized the value of ending this with a confirmed kill by an American soldier, and it paid off. It was a fait accompli–the revenge we deserved for what he did to us.

    I know half the people on Disinfo will decide that this event was somehow manufactured, or do not believe that bin Laden was behind 9/11 to begin with, and they’re entitled to their belief. As for me–I’m happy to celebrate a rare and fleeting instance of justice being served.

  • Lurvecrusader

    Chuck Norris killed Osama — he mistook osama for a towel, grabbed him by his head and used him to wipe his ass

    • Wtf

      You wipe your ass with a toilet?

  • Lurvecrusader

    Chuck Norris killed Osama — he mistook osama for a towel, grabbed him by his head and used him to wipe his ass

  • Haystack

    It wouldn’t have been possible for Bush to become what he did without bin Laden. Without 9/11, there wouldn’t have been a “War on Terror” and all the garbage that came with it.

  • Wtf

    You wipe your ass with a toilet?

  • Thomascrowne

    Murder is not justice. A million or so innocent ppl dead for one guy. I hardly call that justice.

  • Abdullah-world

    hahaha okay CHAND y do u hate us? isit cuz you’ve killed so many of us? SHUT IT BITCH!
    btw osma bin ladins from saudia arabia fuktard

  • Anonymous

    I dunno. I was looking at some photos and I think it’s the same guy (heh, well, whether they killed the right guy or not is a different story). He looks like he was sick for very short time and then got better (moving into a cushy “mansion” compound will help with that). The newer pictures really don’t look any younger than the older pictures, and he’s gotten consistently greyer. Look at some pictures from the late 90s and then from the last two or three years. If it’s not the same guy, it’s an astonishingly similar double and given that, I have to employ Occam in the absence of other evidence.

    *shrug* Doesn’t matter who it really was, in the end. They’ll use it as an excuse to continue the wars and continue clamping down here in the States. See, we’re winning! That means we can’t stop! *rolleyes*

  • Anonymous

    hey, chill and reread the sentence that says “Indians”. He’s saying they’ve been among al-Qaeda and bin Laden’s victims, which is almost certainly true, not that they are muslim terrorists.

    I can understand the quick anger though. I’ve got a couple friends from India who are always stopped at airports and hassled and often miss their plane when they’re flying out of the country because their skin is kinda brown so “they must be terrorists.” *rolleyes*

  • superfluous

    this seems to me more like a way of “verifying” bin ladens most recent death. *if* said death was a hoax, this would be a way of deepening the lie…letting the public narrative gain momentum before the bluff is called.

    pakistan harboring isi/cia/terrorists is kind of old news. old news? how’s that even possible..

    “too big to fail”:

    Pakistan’s military and intelligence service takes risks that others would not dare take because Pakistan’s generals believe that their nuclear deterrent keeps them safe from regime change of the sort under way in Libya, and because they have discovered over the years that the rest of the world sees them as too big to fail. Unfortunately, they probably are correct in their analysis; some countries, like some investment banks, do pose systemic risks so great that they are too big to fail, and Pakistan is currently the A.I.G. of nation-states. But that should not stop American prosecutors from following the law here as they would whenever any mass killer’s hideout is discovered.

    so, either blame obama or celebrate him as a hero, but blame pakistan.
    (what law he is talking about is quite beyond me..)

    personally, i think pakistan is too drunk to fuck at the moment..

  • superfluous

    this seems to me more like a way of “verifying” bin ladens most recent death. *if* said death was a hoax, this would be a way of deepening the lie…letting the public narrative gain momentum before the bluff is called.

    pakistan harboring isi/cia/terrorists is kind of old news. old news? how’s that even possible..

    “too big to fail”:

    Pakistan’s military and intelligence service takes risks that others would not dare take because Pakistan’s generals believe that their nuclear deterrent keeps them safe from regime change of the sort under way in Libya, and because they have discovered over the years that the rest of the world sees them as too big to fail. Unfortunately, they probably are correct in their analysis; some countries, like some investment banks, do pose systemic risks so great that they are too big to fail, and Pakistan is currently the A.I.G. of nation-states. But that should not stop American prosecutors from following the law here as they would whenever any mass killer’s hideout is discovered.

    so, either blame obama or celebrate him as a hero, but blame pakistan.
    (what law he is talking about is quite beyond me..)

    personally, i think pakistan is too drunk to fuck at the moment..

  • Haystack

    I never said I supported the invasions of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the “War on Terror” generally–though, none of that would have happened had it not been for bin Laden’s actions.

    Are we only allowed to be outraged at that crimes our own country commits?

  • Haystack

    From CNN:

    “In his first interview since commanding the mission to kill Osama bin Laden, CIA chief Leon Panetta tells TIME that U.S. officials feared that Pakistan could have undermined the operation by leaking word to its targets. Long before Panetta ordered Vice Admiral William McRaven, head of the Joint Special Forces Command, to undertake the mission at 1:22 p.m. on Friday, the CIA had been gaming out how to structure the raid. Months prior, the U.S. had considered expanding the assault to include coordination with other countries, notably Pakistan. But the CIA ruled out participating with its nominal South Asian ally early on because “it was decided that any effort to work with the Pakistanis could jeopardize the mission. They might alert the targets,” Panetta says.”

  • Haystack

    From CNN:

    “In his first interview since commanding the mission to kill Osama bin Laden, CIA chief Leon Panetta tells TIME that U.S. officials feared that Pakistan could have undermined the operation by leaking word to its targets. Long before Panetta ordered Vice Admiral William McRaven, head of the Joint Special Forces Command, to undertake the mission at 1:22 p.m. on Friday, the CIA had been gaming out how to structure the raid. Months prior, the U.S. had considered expanding the assault to include coordination with other countries, notably Pakistan. But the CIA ruled out participating with its nominal South Asian ally early on because “it was decided that any effort to work with the Pakistanis could jeopardize the mission. They might alert the targets,” Panetta says.”

  • Anonymous

    As of the death of Osama Bin Laden, I find there’s been a metaphorical cloud of mystery surrounding the consequences. I myslef have been doing a bit of reading and have found the following article one of the more clear and reliable ones. (here’s a link, if you’d like a look:
    http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/showlink.aspx?bookmarkid=G2NXDMDSH7G8&preview=article&linkid=80c0e3c4-d6f7-4708-b6c0-2fbab40234c2&pdaffid=ZVFwBG5jk4Kvl9OaBJc5%2bg%3d%3d) Well anyway, hope this helped a little with context, and I’m sure more will come up as the media fuss calms down a little.

  • Julian Renwick

    where to find the fortified house where bin laden was hanging out ; go to google maps ; type in kakul , pakistan ; go to elev 1200m approx or eye alt 1.50 km find the PMA DRILL SQUARE on awami rd follow to the north west past the two swimming pools until the gandahara school junction [ clic on photo at junction to check] follow the little street north for 200 metres and the walled residence is on the right or use co-ordinates 34* 11″ 15 .64 N and
    73* 14″ 33 . 36 E . It has a driveway with a small garden round-a-bout . THE JEWELER .

  • Julian Renwick

    where to find the fortified house where bin laden was hanging out ; go to google maps ; type in kakul , pakistan ; go to elev 1200m approx or eye alt 1.50 km find the PMA DRILL SQUARE on awami rd follow to the north west past the two swimming pools until the gandahara school junction [ clic on photo at junction to check] follow the little street north for 200 metres and the walled residence is on the right or use co-ordinates 34* 11″ 15 .64 N and
    73* 14″ 33 . 36 E . It has a driveway with a small garden round-a-bout . THE JEWELER .

  • T.Mann

    Bush has died many years ago thats his
    Doppelgänger Ivan Jones

  • T.Mann

    I think perhaps we should give that $1.3 billion to India and cut off Pakistan. Screw their nukes the U.S. I am sure has them targeted and has so for many years. I’m sure India would make a good occupying force.