What Did Pakistan Know About Bin Laden

I've been watching the news reports and following the stories, and it's becoming more absurd to think that Pakistan didn't know that Osama bin Laden was living in Abottabad.

Apparently the head jihadist has been living in Abottabad, Pakistan  for several years, perhaps since 2009, maybe longer. It's unclear exactly how long, but it looks like he didn't just move in last week.

The neighborhood Welcome Wagon hadn't dropped in with a welcome basket recently.

And to make things even more suspicious, Abottabad is apparently a very military intense place, an important military area for Pakistan. There is a high military presence in the area and apparently you need special credentials to get in and out and around the area. That is the part that is really curious.....

The idea the number one most wanted man was living down the street is pretty intense and now embarrassing to officials in Pakistan whether they choose to admit it or not. For their part, the Pakistan Government has gone on something of an offensive, critizing the critics who claim they knew, threatening any further unauthorized action on behalf of foreign (American) action on their soil and generally acting quite affronted.

It's a good way to play it. In fact
it might be the only way to play it, turn things around to look offended and affronted, try to throw the light off what they knew or didn't and get everyone riled up about what the Americans did. I suppose it's the inspired work of a team of Pakistani Spin Doctors. I applaud their efforts, it is a valiant attempt to throw inquiring minds into a tizzie trying to sort out fact from fiction. I have used this method myself on several occasions and had mixed results.

To give Pakistan the benefit of some doubt, there is the old cliche of 'hiding in plain sight' meaning the hunted person hides in the least likely place anyone would look.

It's like a bank robber hiding in the bank, no one would think he would do it. I'm not a expert in American western history, but it seems to me infamous American bank and train robber, Jesse James did more or less the same thing, hiding in plain sight in Missouri during the 1860's and 1870's while he and his gang had rewards on their heads and posses searching for them in other places.

In hindsight it was becoming pretty unbelievable that Osama Bin Laden, reportedly suffering from kidney disease was able to hide in the rugged mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan. It seems very possible and plausible that while the anti-terrorist military units were searching the caves and mountains, bin Laden was tucked away in his mansion in Abbotabad, or somewhere similar.

There is also a suggestion that maybe, just maybe the Pakistan officials did know about bin Laden, and they also knew about the impending raid on the compound by US SEALS and permitted the action, while publicly condemning and refuting any such prior knowledge.

Pakistan, like many Eastern countries is always in a precarious place. It is a highly Islamic country and surely has it's share of radicals etc. It might not have been in the best interests of the Pakistan government to admit they knew and agreed to the raid prior to it happening. We need to remember, that not everyone in Pakistan is in agreement with U.S. Foreign Policy and action. Pakistan could be thrown into a hell of an uproar should the militant Islamic folks take issue with the government.

Personally I always wondered if bin Laden had somehow managed to escape to the United States and was hiding somewhere in New York, but I guess I had that one wrong.

No matter what you may think of bin Laden, he played his cards like an Islamic Cool Hand Luke. He was living a quiet life with four or five wives in a large compound, mansion, fortress, prison sorta smack dab in the center of town. All the while controlling international terrorism and undoubtably planning his next move, choosing his next target and his next victims.

It's difficult for those of us here to imagine how someone so famous, so wanted, could live in such a fashion under the noses of Pakistan officials without someone noticing. It's also difficult to imagine why someone, perhaps someone outside the Pakistan military hadn't noticed things were kind of strange around the place and dropped a quarter to the U.S. which might have netted them a handsome $25 million dollar reward.

It's that point, and that alone, that makes me think that it is actually possible that no one really did know that was where Osama bin Laden was hiding. It seems so unlikely that if the wherabouts of bin Laden was common knowledge, someone would have seized an opportunity to become very wealthy very quickly.

It's too late now, the business is done. However the recent relevations are casting Pakistan is a less than nice light in terms of the fight against terrorism. Regardless of what anyone says, it leaves Pakistan in an unfavorable place in American minds. 

Everyone is now wondering about motives and if perhaps American's trust in the Pakistan government  is misplaced.

What do you think? Did Pakistan know about the raid before it happened? Were they hiding bin Laden knowingly?

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