Panetta: We didn’t tell Pakistan about the raid because we thought they’d warn Bin Laden

posted at 8:50 pm on May 3, 2011 by Allahpundit

Under any other circumstances, I’d be grumbling that the White House needs to be more diplomatic and not share its doubts about countries we’re forced to worked with. But with Pakistan, why bother? They just got caught hiding the world’s most wanted terrorist and they weren’t even really “hiding” him. If not for their nuclear arsenal, we’d have declared them an enemy ages ago and either bombed them ourselves or heartily encouraged India to do so. Just because we have to play nice doesn’t mean we have to pretend.

So Panetta’s stopped pretending.

In his first interview since commanding the mission to kill Osama bin Laden, CIA chief Leon Panetta tells TIME that U.S. officials feared that Pakistan could have undermined the operation by leaking word to its targets. Long before Panetta ordered Vice Admiral William McRaven, head of the Joint Special Forces Command, to undertake the mission at 1:22 p.m. on Friday, the CIA had been gaming out how to structure the raid. Months prior, the U.S. had considered expanding the assault to include coordination with other countries, notably Pakistan. But the CIA ruled out participating with its nominal South Asian ally early on because “it was decided that any effort to work with the Pakistanis could jeopardize the mission. They might alert the targets,” Panetta says.

Matter-of-fact, just like that. We can’t inform our close regional partner that we’re launching a raid on the mastermind of 9/11 because … they might tip him off. Ho hum. This part’s even better:

That will raise questions about the Pakistani government’s possible awareness of bin Laden’s location in recent years. But one of Panetta’s predecessors says this can work to U.S. advantage. “It opens up some opportunities for us with Pakistan,” says John McLaughlin, former deputy CIA chief. “They now should feel under some great pressure to be cooperative with us on the remaining issues,” like going after the Taliban elsewhere in the country. “It’s called leverage.”

I’m mighty keen to hear more about this “leverage.” According to John Brennan, Bin Laden might have been living in the compound for five or even six years. Another official told ABC that the structure may have been built specifically for him. It’s located a few hundred yards from their national military academy — where U.S. troops have held training exercises in the recent past and where Pervez Musharraf used to jog — and yet it’s still almost unthinkable that they’ll be punished in any meaningful way lest they use their Taliban and terrorist proxies to hit India or further destabilize Afghanistan. For instance, despite the grumbling in Congress right now, does anyone seriously think we’re about to cut off military aid to Pakistan? Just last night on Greta’s show, John McCain argued that we should stick with them, keep the faith, continue nudging them towards democracy (which could be the ultimate destabilizing influence, given the demographics), etc. As long as they keep up the barest pretense of not willingly harboring the scummiest degenerates in the universe, Washington politicians will keep propping them up. That’s why they’re not even bothering to make sure their talking points are consistent: On the one hand, unnamed Pakistani officials are insisting that this was a joint operation while, on the other, President Zardari is claiming in an op-ed that it wasn’t. I swear, I’m half convinced that Bin Laden ended up in Abbottabad, in a military area, precisely because Pakistan wanted to signal to its jihadist element that he was well cared for if/when we ever caught him.

In fact, Panetta’s already revising what he said earlier to make it a bit softer on our trusted allies:

CIA Director Leon Panetta told House members Tuesday that any way you look at it, Pakistan’s role in Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts was troubling.

According to two sources in a closed door briefing, Panetta told lawmakers “either they were involved or incompetent. Neither place is a good place to be.”…

He made clear that he and other administration officials are trying to get to the bottom of which it was -involvement or incompetence.

Could it have been incompetence? Well, apparently, the Bin Laden family (if not Osama himself) was known to interact with local children. And their activities were sufficiently suspicious for one child to say in hindsight, “There was a rumour in the neighbourhood that the man who lived there was Baitullah Mehsud’s nephew.” Mehsud was a top Taliban field commander until he was liquidated in a U.S. drone strike two years ago; he was accused of, among other things, assassinating Benazir Bhutto, whose husband is now … president of Pakistan. If a rumor was circulating in this military town that a Mehsud family member was living there, one would think government officials might want to pay a visit to this strange, secretive compound and ask the inhabitants what they knew about Baitullah. And yet no one ever came knocking. For six years.

Here’s New Yorker writer Steve Coll marveling at the amazing brazenness of Pakistan’s complicity.

Watch the full episode. See more FRONTLINE.


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It looks like the adults (Panetta, Clinton and Gates, mainly Panette) staged a coup against the children (Obama and Jarrett who must be the dumbest woman on the planet). http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2011/05/skulking-towards-bin-laden-obama-overridden-by-military-and-intel-officials-in-takeout-of-obl.html

HalJordan on May 3, 2011 at 8:51 PM

Republicans, here is another gift for you to take down Obama. Will you trow it away too?

HalJordan on May 3, 2011 at 8:53 PM

SO, Panetta made a big Liar out of Hillary.

Nice! Woot, as the left would say!

These are all a bunch of incompetents.

This story is not the end, by far.

Next: the Pakis gave him up in order to tell the Amis to leave Afghanistan.

It is hilarious to watch this story unfold and to see the reaction of the left. These are weird, weird times.

Schadenfreude on May 3, 2011 at 8:53 PM

Beinart is a mental midget. The war is a war, and it ain’t over, not in many, many years. Beinart will likely be dead by the time it ends.

This must be read, by Ace.

HalJ, yes, that Valerie is a piece of work.

Schadenfreude on May 3, 2011 at 8:55 PM

Will the Republicans in the House grow at least one half of one and conduct hearings and call Panetta, Clinton and Gates to testify under oath?

HalJordan on May 3, 2011 at 8:55 PM

Oh, BIG Obama, invites little GWB…given that his EGO doesn’t look so good in the last 48 hours.

Next, he’ll invite Clinton, him, too, and pappy “Together, we fight the terrorists. They can’t hide”.

Oh, my, what a series of polls can do.

These are inept fakes, were, always, and will be, eternally.

Schadenfreude on May 3, 2011 at 8:57 PM

Maybe this is why they didn’t tell Barry Soetoro until the raid was underway…?

SouthernGent on May 3, 2011 at 8:57 PM

The fact remains that the Pakis were brazen because they thought they could get away with it. And they did. For six years. During that time, how many billions did we gift them for building bridges?

cynccook on May 3, 2011 at 8:57 PM

HalJordan on May 3, 2011 at 8:55 PM

sure hope so

cmsinaz on May 3, 2011 at 8:58 PM

If the reporting in http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2011/05/skulking-towards-bin-laden-obama-overridden-by-military-and-intel-officials-in-takeout-of-obl.html is even mostly true, it proves beyond a shadow of the doubt that the entity occupying the Presidency is as an incompetent child.

HalJordan on May 3, 2011 at 8:59 PM

Having had Leon as my mushy liberal congressional rep.years ago ,it is beyond telling that he has emerged as one of the tough guys in this administration.
Just, wow.

jjshaka on May 3, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Maybe this is why they didn’t tell Barry Soetoro until the raid was underway…?

SouthernGent on May 3, 2011 at 8:57 PM

That is very close to an accurate summary.

HalJordan on May 3, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Republicans, here is another gift for you to take down Obama. Will you trow it away too?

HalJordan on May 3, 2011 at 8:53 PM

Well, yes. Yes they will.

sharrukin on May 3, 2011 at 9:01 PM

just because they have nukes doesnt meant they are untouchable, just that we have to use our nukes on them

Daveyardbird on May 3, 2011 at 9:02 PM

I really can’t fathom why Republicans from McCain to Boehner are saying we should stick by Pakistan. They really think their high-level contacts are worth a flying f*ck? More likely their brains are so calcified they can’t take in and process what’s staring them in the face. Worst case: they’re paid off.

Fortunata on May 3, 2011 at 9:02 PM

I really can’t fathom why Republicans from McCain to Boehner are saying we should stick by Pakistan.

Fortunata on May 3, 2011 at 9:02 PM

With McCain the explaination is that he is senile. With Boehner, I don’t know, but it probably has something to do with crying.

HalJordan on May 3, 2011 at 9:05 PM

and yet it’s still almost unthinkable that they’ll be punished in any meaningful way lest they use their Taliban and terrorist proxies to hit India or further destabilize Afghanistan.

Baluchistan.

If they wanted to play hardball they could do so. Baluchistan wants its independence and we want a route to Afghanistan and close airbases.

Pakistan either gets its house in order or we back a Baluchi revolt.

sharrukin on May 3, 2011 at 9:05 PM

Pakistan’s involvement would explain why OBL didn’t have better security–he felt secure & protected by the Pakistanis. Normally he would have been tipped off way ahead of time had they known anything.

karlant on May 3, 2011 at 9:08 PM

One has got to know that Panetta, Clinton and Gates have absolutely no respect for Obama. Has there ever been a case of this before? The head of CIA, the head of State and the head of Defense all having no respect at all for their president?

HalJordan on May 3, 2011 at 9:09 PM

We’re going to have to deal with the Pakistan threat at some point and the longer we wait the more dangerous it becomes.

FloatingRock on May 3, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Having had Leon as my mushy liberal congressional rep.years ago ,it is beyond telling that he has emerged as one of the tough guys in this administration.
Just, wow.

jjshaka on May 3, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Getting daily intel reports will help one see much more clearly than when they just operated on feelings.

darwin-t on May 3, 2011 at 9:09 PM

One of Osama’s neighbors was AQ Khan.

darwin-t on May 3, 2011 at 9:10 PM

So, a week or two will go by and America will be back full time kissing Halal Muslim Scro and handing out bags of money?

BL@KBIRD on May 3, 2011 at 9:13 PM

If we can’t buy some love from the Paks, how ’bout a little you do what we want or we’ll send the Seals back in. How’s that for leverage.

Kissmygrits on May 3, 2011 at 9:15 PM

We didn’t tell Pakistan Barry or Valerie about the raid because we thought they’d warn Bin Laden

FI

RalphyBoy on May 3, 2011 at 9:15 PM

I’m not usually a grammar-Nazi, but Allah is a good writer, so I find this kind of error on his part is more troubling. The people of Pakistan may sometimes be a “they,” but the country is an “it” or “she.” Unless Allah thinks Pakistan is basically a failed state, so we might as well refer to it as a group of people hanging out in a geographical region.

BCrago66 on May 3, 2011 at 9:15 PM

“Daley then informed Clinton that he too would fully support Panetta in his actions, even if it meant disclosing the president’s indecision to the American public should that action fail to produce a successful conclusion. Clinton took that message back to Panetta and the CIA director initiated the 48 hour engagement order. At this point, the President of the United States was not informed of the engagement order – it did not originate from him, and for several hours after the order had been given and the special ops forces were preparing for action into Pakistan from their position in Afghanistan, Daley successfully kept Obama and Jarrett insulated from that order.

If House Republicans would just hold hearings on this and call Panetta, Clinton and Gates under oath, it would destroy Obama. He probably would not even be able to get the democrat nomination.

HalJordan on May 3, 2011 at 9:17 PM

India could “help” us out over there.

SouthernGent on May 3, 2011 at 9:17 PM

Well look at Mushareff and his ‘forget about Osama, he’s dead’ bollocks whenever he was asked about his whereabouts. It’s really obvious when you watch those interviews now.

The current leadership in Pakistan can probably claim some genuine ignorance but the army or the ISI….

lexhamfox on May 3, 2011 at 9:17 PM

SouthernGent on May 3, 2011 at 9:17 PM

“India” doesn’t trust you (the US). Too much bad blood and lefty-liberal equivocating about Islamic terrorism — Until it hit you. Same story with the Brits. India is busy sniggering behind its sleeve.

Fortunata on May 3, 2011 at 9:20 PM

The intelligence services and Military were able to convince them (the WH) of the importance of secrecy. Good on them!

This was a perfect operation up until the body was delivered back to Vinson. After that, the WH has screwed the pooch. This may well bite him-Obama, more than he’s thinking at the moment.

CTSherman on May 3, 2011 at 9:21 PM

for fuxxache…what did i say that my comment hasn’t appeared?

Fortunata on May 3, 2011 at 9:22 PM

I really can’t fathom why Republicans from McCain to Boehner are saying we should stick by Pakistan.

Fortunata on May 3, 2011 at 9:02 PM

With McCain the explaination is that he is senile. With Boehner, I don’t know, but it probably has something to do with crying.

HalJordan on May 3, 2011 at 9:05 PM

I think it’s the nukes. Face it if Pakistan were to fall it would be a disaster. It’s not like Egypt, but like Syria with many groups/tribes.

Tasha on May 3, 2011 at 9:22 PM

If the Republicans in the House would just make themselves useful for a change and hold hearings on this and call Panetta, Clinton and Gates to testify under oath, it would destroy Obama, the Child Emperor with no clothes. He probably would not even be able to get the democrat nomination in 2012.

Were all Republicans in the house other than a few like Allen West born without even one testicle?

HalJordan on May 3, 2011 at 9:24 PM

I really can’t fathom why Republicans from McCain to Boehner are saying we should stick by Pakistan.

Fortunata on May 3, 2011 at 9:02 PM

They like working with people who stab them in the back.

darwin-t on May 3, 2011 at 9:24 PM

Pakistan has quite a racket going, what with the billions (BILLIONS) of dollars they’re raking in every year from the U.S. combined with the other billions in Pounds Sterling they’re raking in from the U.K.

There is just no way that their “ignorance” of Bin Laden’s presence was benign. More like a theatrical performance.

If one watches or reads the Arab media, the duplicity of faces/reports is bordering on commonplace: say one thing in English to the Western World Patsies, say another thing in Arabic or other languages/dialects to the Nation of Islam.

I can’t explain why McCain and others think we should continue funding Pakistan. It makes no sense unless we control how our money is directed once it’s within Pakistan and we ensure it goes toward our national security, not theirs. Because Pakistan is clearly not working with our best interests in mind.

Lourdes on May 3, 2011 at 9:29 PM

Sorry, but I’m getting really p[issed off with the Hotair filter. Bad enough if it’s a prissy piece of code. If it’s a real person: You’re a cunnnnnnt. Ban me, I don’t care any more. Ace is better by far.

Fortunata on May 3, 2011 at 9:29 PM

Folks, if we abandon Pakistan now, another country will come in a fill the void we left. Iran? The way I see it, Pakistan owes us big-time. If they were just 20% competent, they could have found/turned over OBL a long time ago. That would have saved countless US lives. They owe us, and I’ll bet anything they’re getting reamed by a U.S. delegation right about…now.

joejm65 on May 3, 2011 at 9:30 PM

I really can’t fathom why Republicans from McCain to Boehner are saying we should stick by Pakistan.

Fortunata on May 3, 2011 at 9:02 PM

With McCain the explaination is that he is senile. With Boehner, I don’t know, but it probably has something to do with crying.

HalJordan on May 3, 2011 at 9:05 PM

I think it’s the nukes. Face it if Pakistan were to fall it would be a disaster. It’s not like Egypt, but like Syria with many groups/tribes.

Tasha on May 3, 2011 at 9:22 PM

Hasn’t Pakistan already “fallen”? I mean, just what are we keeping from falling that hasn’t already gone down? And it isn’t as if we’re sending just a small amount of money to Pakistan every year…it’s a huge amount of taxpayer money, huge.

Lourdes on May 3, 2011 at 9:32 PM

If not for their nuclear arsenal, we’d have declared them an enemy ages ago and either bombed them ourselves or heartily encouraged India to do so.

And if it weren’t for Saudi Arabia’s oil and money arsenal we would have done the same to them. That’s what Bush should have done on September 12, 2001.

HalJordan on May 3, 2011 at 9:33 PM

Panetta for President!

MayBee on May 3, 2011 at 9:35 PM

Pakistan’s involvement would explain why OBL didn’t have better security–he felt secure & protected by the Pakistanis. Normally he would have been tipped off way ahead of time had they known anything.

karlant on May 3, 2011 at 9:08 PM

Bingo!!

ProfessorMiao on May 3, 2011 at 9:36 PM

Folks, if we abandon Pakistan…

joejm65 on May 3, 2011 at 9:30 PM

It’s a case of keeping a junkie as a roommate and continuing to pay all his/her bills, and then allowing them a weekly and generous “allowance” from your salary…

Pakistan appears to be really adept at getting a great deal of money from the U.S., demanding that we don’t control it or influence it after they have it, and then making these implied threats that they’ll go run off with some other benefactor if we “abandon” them.

Perhaps what’s needed is the requirement of greater control over our money if and when it continues to be doled out to Pakistan because I strongly doubt that Pakistan is using it to our benefit. If they’re going to just run off with whomever/whatever if we ‘dare to stop’, then, well, what sort of relationship IS that?

Lourdes on May 3, 2011 at 9:36 PM

Panetta for President!

MayBee on May 3, 2011 at 9:35 PM

You can’t be serious.

Lourdes on May 3, 2011 at 9:37 PM

Fortunata for President.

Fortunata on May 3, 2011 at 9:39 PM

One of Osama’s neighbors was AQ Khan.

darwin-t on May 3, 2011 at 9:10 PM

That’s another one that needs to be ventilated.

slickwillie2001 on May 3, 2011 at 10:06 PM

I had zero confidence in Panetta when he was appointed. he was a liberal going to an incompetent bureaucracy infested with lazy liberals. I was wrong. In 2 years he has turned this agency into a functioning unit again. Something Bush and Clinton could not.
http://socyberty.com/issues/white-house-insider-obama-hesitated-panetta-issued-order-to-kill-osama-bin-laden/
If this story is true, Obama is a fraud and Jarret a traitor.

pat on May 3, 2011 at 10:09 PM

I’m half convinced that Bin Laden ended up in Abbottabad, in a military area, precisely because Pakistan wanted to signal to its jihadist element that he was well cared for if/when we ever caught him.

I’m not.
It’s too difficult to keep a secret like that one. The US would be better off if we made no mention of UBL’s death–if he just “disappeared.” But we couldn’t have kept that quiet for long, either.

InDubly on May 3, 2011 at 10:09 PM

Only a total moron would believe that Pakistsn is our friend after noting Obama’s luxurious, gated, walled, guarded compound in plain sight of a Pakistani Army barracks. why we give these treacherous pigs money is beyond me but, then again, I didn’t go to Harvard.

MaiDee on May 3, 2011 at 10:15 PM

This just in…..

Empire expresses surprise that Darth Vader was housed inside of “Death Star”, charges Rebel Alliance with violations of law, excessive force in the destruction of peaceful space research facility….

G M on May 3, 2011 at 10:18 PM

If this story is true, Obama is a fraud and Jarret a traitor.

pat on May 3, 2011 at 10:09 PM

What do you expect from a Kenyan-Indonesian and an Iranian?

Stayright on May 3, 2011 at 10:23 PM

Ok, so… hmm… issues on issues…

what to do about Afganistan — continue attempting to get Pak’s support… That seems like asking a heroine addict to help you take out his fav buddy…

Options… Perhaps thinking out of the box would work… Remove all US assets from Afganistan, and then, if things go bad, then execute an e-bomb and perhaps say if you AfGs don’t get it right next time according to some reasonable standards, it’s going to be repeated… If they want to live in the dark ages, it’s their choice… It’s also not hard to invade and take charge once everything local that moves or works with electrical has been taken out…

If you’re in it to win it, there are ways to cut the BS…

drfredc on May 3, 2011 at 10:27 PM

Panetta: We didn’t tell Pakistan Obama until the last minute about the raid because we thought they’d he’d warn Bin Laden

It’s a joke! Just a joke! Well, kind of. He does look like he’s going to hurl in the “Situation Room” photo.

cynccook on May 3, 2011 at 10:35 PM

These Pakistanis like to say with a straight face, they had no idea NO IDEA that bin Laden was “hiding” in Pakistan? WTF, they really aren’t good liars.

bin Laden lived next door to senior Pakistan Army major

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/al-qaeda/8490367/Osama-bin-Laden-dead-bin-Laden-lived-next-door-to-senior-Pakistan-Army-major.html

shanimal on May 3, 2011 at 10:42 PM

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2011/05/skulking-towards-bin-laden-obama-overridden-by-military-and-intel-officials-in-takeout-of-obl.html

HalJordan on May 3, 2011 at 8:51 PM

If any of this is true, we are in deep, deep weeds. You can can bet some very bad folks are lining up to test the boy Resident.
And Valerie Jarrett = Wormtongue

2ipa on May 3, 2011 at 10:43 PM

Didn’t tell the New York Times for the same reason.

Wander on May 3, 2011 at 10:51 PM

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2011/05/skulking-towards-bin-laden-obama-overridden-by-military-and-intel-officials-in-takeout-of-obl.html
HalJordan on May 3, 2011 at 8:51 PM

If any of this is true, we are in deep, deep weeds. You can can bet some very bad folks are lining up to test the boy Resident.
And Valerie Jarrett = Wormtongue

2ipa on May 3, 2011 at 10:43 PM

Consider this comment stolen from Free Republic:


Think about it. Obama orders the Navy Seals to begin an operation to capture the most wanted man in the world- and he goes and plays golf. Nope. The Seals did it on their own and notified the White House. Obama had to be called in from the links to watch it.

Stayright on May 3, 2011 at 11:00 PM

What’s the point of our extradition treaty with Pakistan if we have to send 40 men in to capture or kill a wanted man?

Stayright on May 3, 2011 at 11:25 PM

I remember reading that we (and other allies) had contingency plans in place for seizing the Paks nukes in the event of Islamist coup.

Anyone else remember this?

It correct, no time like the present…

Bruno Strozek on May 3, 2011 at 11:27 PM

One of Osama’s neighbors was AQ Khan.

darwin-t on May 3, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Read the Nuclear Jihadist and wondered about this.

Googled same with no luck.

Source, please.

Bruno Strozek on May 3, 2011 at 11:55 PM

Pakistan is handy, as are Afghanistan and Iraq, for keeping assets near Iran. If I were Prez, I’d want some force in the vicinity, as reminders for Iran, Syria. Course, I’d be an ally to Israel, who knows what Ø is doing.

Bringing the troops home sounds good, but it’s a dangerous world.

jodetoad on May 4, 2011 at 1:28 AM

I think Panetta didn’t tell Pakistan because he was worried they might tell Obama.

mr.blacksheep on May 4, 2011 at 1:42 AM

Obama is worried that if he doesn’t get Bin Laden, the election goes down the tubes, so he votes present. Valerie Jarrett, the real President, tries to delay the strike, and the people with balls in the administration ignore her and do it anyway. Wow, does this ever sound believable. Look at that situation room pic…Obama looks really small and worried.

gordo on May 4, 2011 at 2:40 AM

For instance, despite the grumbling in Congress right now, does anyone seriously think we’re about to cut off military aid to Pakistan?

We should tie that aid to direct results.

Give them a list of the three biggest HVTs we believe/know are in their country and tell them each one they fail to produce will cost them a billion in aid.

BadgerHawk on May 4, 2011 at 3:22 AM

gordo on May 4, 2011 at 2:40 AM

More than that, we are asked to believe Zero gave the order to kill someone, then went golfing only to go back in the middle of his outing after the op started?

But he watched the royal wedding? Connect the dots, folks. The official story is false. Er, all of them. Take your pick.

dogsoldier on May 4, 2011 at 5:32 AM