Contradicting the assertions of some American officials that bin Laden was running a “command and control” center from the walled compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, officials say that bin Laden clearly wasn’t in control of al Qaida, though he was trying to remain involved or at least influential.

“He was like the cranky old uncle that people weren’t listening to,” said a U.S. official, who’d been briefed on the evidence collected from the Abbottabad compound and who spoke only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. “The younger guys had never worked directly with him. They did not take everything he said as right.”…

One new detail, discovered by McClatchy, is that the bin Laden household was buying and selling gold jewelry, perhaps as a way to raise money. Another is that for a household that included at least nine women and twice that many children, its consumption of electricity and gas was far less than that of neighboring households, a sign either of bin Laden’s legendary frugality or an indication that the terrorist leader simply had run out of money and was living as cheaply as he could.