Don't Blame Pakistan Intelligence

Let’s not blame Pakistan for the failure to detect bin Laden’s hideout. If President Obama and his staff were able to watch the killing of Osama Bin Laden unfold via satellite in real time, if our military knows exactly where to send drones to kill enemy combatants with pin-point accuracy, if our high-tech intelligence capability is the best in the world, then it’s obvious that the CIA must have had precise information on Bin Laden’s hideout all along. Furthermore, the CIA must have known that Bin Laden’s main role in Al-Qaeda was not as a field commander but as a fund-raiser and financing genius, and that he was in poor health. So the CIA could not possibly have taken seriously the propaganda portrayal of him as a rugged warrior scaling mountains and hiding out in caves. His hideout had to be a facility with a minimum of material comforts, access to medical assistance, and in an unsuspected location. And being the wily man that he was, the unsuspected location he chose was next door to Pakistan’s top military academy and within a short driving distance from the capital. (Recall Poe’s detective story “The Purloined Letter.”) Surely our highly-trained intelligence agents could have figured that much out.

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