Troubling questions on bin Laden

Troubling questions on bin Laden

May 8th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

Americans are relieved that U.S. forces recently found and killed 9/11 terrorist Osama bin Laden at a compound near Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan.

But some of the circumstances surrounding those events raise disturbing questions.

How, for instance, did bin Laden manage to live in a three-story house at the compound - evidently for about six years - when it was only half a mile from Pakistan's most elite military academy? After all, the Pakistanis supposedly have been "cooperating" all along with U.S. efforts to find bin Laden. So how did Pakistani officials not realize bin Laden was hiding in the large, well-fortified home for such a long period of time?

Were some Pakistani officials not only failing to cooperate with the United States on this matter, but perhaps even protecting bin Laden?

Even more troubling, the house where bin Laden was killed had been raided by Pakistani intelligence agents back in 2003. They were hunting for an al-Qaida operative at the time. Although that was before bin Laden himself apparently moved into the home, it seems odd, to say the least, that Pakistani officials wouldn't have kept an eye on the compound.

Ordinary neighbors, too, were suspicious. News accounts say they wondered about the home's residents, who were rarely seen outside.

Congress is threatening to withhold the $1.3 billion that U.S. taxpayers provide to Pakistan in foreign aid each year if our lawmakers find that Pakistan knew bin Laden was at the compound.

That would be a good start.

But more importantly, if we discover that supposed "ally" Pakistan was sheltering bin Laden, it should make us rethink how we determine who our allies are in the first place.