Wednesday, 13 May 2015
What Pakistan Knew About the Bin Laden Raid, BY HUSAIN HAQQANI
MAY 13, 2015 Foreign Policy
As Islamabad’s ambassador to Washington, I had an intimate view of the Pakistani response to the SEAL Team 6 operation. But I still have a few unanswered questions.
With a litany of unproved claims, veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has revived discussion about the circumstances in which al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was discovered and killed in May 2011 in the Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad.
Some of Hersh’s assertions in a 10,000-word London Review of Books article border on fantasy. He claims that bin Laden lived under the protection of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), was given up for reward money by one of the agency’s officers, and was eventually eliminated in a U.S. raid covertly backed by Pakistan’s army commander and ISI chief.
According to Hersh, the Americans “blackmailed” Pakistan’s generals into helping them kill bin Laden but then stabbed them in the back for political reasons by denying them any credit for assisting in the raid by Navy SEALs. Instead of blaming ISI for sheltering bin Laden in Pakistan (which Hersh claims it did), he points the finger at the Obama administration for not acknowledging ISI’s role in the U.S. operation that killed the terrorist mastermind.
With the exception of the possibility of a Pakistani “walk in” selling information about bin Laden’s location, the other details of Hersh’s story simply do not add up.
Hersh may have his unnamed sources, but he clearly does not know how Pakistan works.
Was the “walk-in” real?
In the middle of a diplomatic dance
The generals were embarrassed, both over bin Laden having being found in Pakistan and the U.S. taking place raid without knowledge or approval.
Security Council cover