Quotes of the day

“Since the al Qaeda leader was killed May 1 in a U.S. special operations forces raid on a compound in Pakistan, numerous details about the raid and materials confiscated at bin Laden’s home have been leaked to the media.

“In Panetta’s letter, obtained by CNN, he says the operation, ‘has led to an unprecedented amount of very sensitive — in fact, classified — information making its way into the press.’

“Disclosure of classified information to anyone not cleared for it — reporters, friends, colleagues in the private sector or other agencies, former agency officers — does tremendous damage to our work. At worst, leaks endanger lives,’ the letter said.”

“The CIA employed sophisticated new stealth drone aircraft to fly dozens of secret missions deep into Pakistani airspace and monitor the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed, current and former U.S. officials said…

“The agency turned to the new stealth aircraft “because they needed to see more about what was going on” than other surveillance platforms allowed, said a former U.S. official familiar with the details of the operation. “It’s not like you can just park a Predator overhead — the Pakistanis would know,” added the former official, who, like others interviewed, spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the program

“The stealth drones were used on the night of the raid, providing imagery that President Obama and members of his national security team appear in photographs to have been watching as U.S. Navy SEALs descended on the compound shortly after 1 a.m. in Pakistan. The drones are also equipped to eavesdrop on electronic transmissions, enabling U.S. officials to monitor the Pakistani response.”

“In the stash of hard drives, thumb drives, and personal papers discovered in Osama bin Laden’s compound, one especially revealing find was his personal diary. According to an analyst privy to the frequent updates of translated material being posted to the intelligence community’s classified internet, the late Al Qaeda leader periodically recorded his amusement that U.S. drones were searching for him in the mountainous border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan while he was living comfortably less than a quarter of a mile from a Pakistani military academy. ‘Bin Laden was yukking it up about how clueless we were,’ the source says.

“The joke ended up being on bin Laden, but it’s worth asking why he felt so cocky. He was, after all, the world’s most wanted man, and yet there were only a few bodyguards at his compound. Did bin Laden believe he would be tipped off before a SEAL team knocked down his door?

“To survive for six years in the posh Islamabad suburb of Abbottabad, bin Laden almost certainly relied on what might be called a ‘deep state’—a network of current and retired intelligence and military officers who are actively undermining the official policy of Pakistan’s government. ‘I have no doubt that members of Pakistan’s military and intelligence services knew of bin Laden’s whereabouts,’ says Representative Steve Rothman, a New Jersey Democrat who sits on the House subcommittees that fund the military and foreign-aid budgets and who has attended top-secret briefings on the May 1 raid. ‘The question remains, however, how far that knowledge went up the command chain in Pakistan.'”

“A ‘senior al Qaeda commander’ recently captured by Pakistani security officials served as a courier between slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin laden and his deputy, Ayman al Zawahiri…

“Yesterday, the Pakistani military, via its Inter-Service Public Relations directorate, took the unusual step of announcing the capture of Muhammad Ali Qasim Yaqub, a Yemeni citizen who is also known as Abu Sohaib Al Makki, during a raid in the southern port city of Karachi…

“Unnamed Pakistani military officials later told BBC that Yaqub was arrested on May 4, just two days after Osama bin Laden was killed during a raid in Abbottabad.”

“New satellite images have shown the alarming speed at which Pakistan is constructing a weapons-grade nuclear reactor…

“The site was barren in 2009 and the facility ‘costing billions’ was undetectable by satellite just 17 months ago, but has since grown at an alarming rate…

“Paul Brannon, a nuclear analyst with the Institute for Science and International Security, said: ‘The buildup is remarkable.’…

“And that nobody in the U.S. or in the Pakistani government says anything about this — especially in this day and age—is perplexing.”