On 60 Minutes last night, President Obama discussed the decision to invade Osama Bin Laden’s compound. “We’re going into the sovereign territory of another country and landing helicopters and conducting a military operation,” Obama said. “So if it turns out that it’s a wealthy prince from Dubai who’s in this compound … we’ve got problems.” The president also reiterated the call to investigate Pakistan’s role in hiding bin Laden, as the already-frayed relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan faces more strain over the mission. “We have to investigate, and more importantly, the Pakistani government has to investigate,” he said. “We think that there had to be some sort of support network for bin Laden inside of Pakistan.”
The U.S. is also looking into local media’s decision to name the CIA’s purported station chief in Islamabad, one of the agency’s most sensitive assignments as the chief oversees covert missions like the drone campaign on Al Qaeda and Taliban targets. The name was first mentioned on ARY, a private television channel. A right-wing paper called The Nation later named a different person as the chief. According to a former U.S. intelligence official outing the agent would be Pakistan’s “own little way of retaliating,” over how “very, very upset and embarrassed” the government was about the raid.
Adding to the tension is the demand to interview bin Laden’s three widows, who are now in Pakistani custody, and get access to any compound materials the government confiscated. The U.S. has repeatedly described the trove of data seized by SEAL Team Six as big enough to fill a small college library–possibly as a coded warning that they will soon know if bin Laden had any support of any Pakistani officials.
U.S. Raises Pressure on Pakistan in Raid’s Wake [NYT]
President Obama on the mission to kill bin Laden [60 Minutes/CBS News]
Pakistan-U.S. Rift Widens [WSJ]
Pakistan: Taliban fighters hold bin Laden memorial [ABC News]