Osama Bin Laden's Wives Could Be the Key to Punishing Pakistan For Their 'Double Game'

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Updated below

American officials have had it up to here with the "double game" Pakistan is playing, benefiting from billions of dollars in U.S. aid while also likely harboring the terrorists we're hunting. President Barack Obama said Sunday on 60 Minutes, "We think that there had to be some sort of support network for Bin Laden inside of Pakistan," and American advisers want to start with Osama Bin Laden's three wives, now in Pakistani custody, and the "additional materials" taken from the Abbottabad compound where Bin Laden was killed. "Our guess is that the wives knew just who was keeping Bin Laden alive for all these years," one official told the New York Times.

One of Bin Laden's wives was shot in the leg during the raid, but Pakistan "has said nothing about allowing interviews of the wives, who were among the handful of survivors of the raid":

Pakistan has said it will conduct its own investigation, but American officials doubt it will be credible. For more than two years Pakistan has slow-walked investigations into the 2008 siege in Mumbai, India, by a terrorist group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, that is believed to have strong links to portions of the Pakistani intelligence apparatus. To the distress of Pakistani officials, a trial scheduled to start soon in Chicago is expected to reveal evidence about the role in that attack of an officer of the Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan's main military intelligence agency.

UPDATE: On Tuesday, Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik told CNN that the U.S. will indeed be given access to the wives for questioning, though he did not specify a timeline.

The New Yorker has more on the "double game," noting that, "Pakistan's economy is now almost entirely dependent on American taxpayers." And unfortunately, the U.S. seems stuck in that arrangement:

Many foreign-policy experts maintain that America cannot, at this juncture, cut off military aid to Pakistan--even if elements of the I.S.I. turn out to have harbored bin Laden. There are two prongs to this argument. One is that America needs Pakistan's support in order to defeat the Taliban. If the U.S. withdraws aid, it is argued, Pakistan might insist that we can no longer fly drones over tribal areas. But Pakistan has covertly supported the drone program for years, in return for the U.S.'s targeting of Taliban forces that it cannot vanquish on its own. Without U.S. aid, the Pakistani military will need drone assistance more than ever.

The more pressing concern is that radical Islamists will somehow get their hands on a nuclear bomb, either through covert means or by actually coming to power. "The military is playing on this fear," a Pakistani reporter, Pir Zubair Shah, told me.

Meanwhile, a Pakistani newspaper and TV station potentially published the name of the United States' CIA station chief in Islamabad, a "critical and sensitive" assignment that oversees Al Qaeda-targeting drone strikes. Releasing this operative's name to the local media might have been Pakistan's "'own little way of retaliating,' given how 'very, very upset and embarrassed' the government remains over the raid and its aftermath."

[jcoscarelli@villagevoice.com / @joecoscarelli]

This post was originally published on May 9, 2011, at 9:20 a.m. ET.


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8 comments
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ANONYMOUS
ANONYMOUS

why do americans ALWAYS need the upperhand in everything against everyone? why do they ALWAYS need to be better in everything? its because america is a global bully. if someone stole a bun from an american they would be executed, yet if an american stole oil from a country, they somehow are still in the right??? how does that work. AMERICA CAN SUCK MY

m0nged
m0nged

I think we all know that Adam is a fucking retard.

So what if America invaded a country for oil? I for one support my country (UK) for invading a country that has vast amounts of a natural resources we require. Lets think like an adult for a second, if we asked nicely if we could buy all the oil from Saddam where would all the BILLIONS and BILLIONS of $/£ go? It would go into the hands of extremists and terrorists! How/Why would this happen? Its because the rich sand people are supporters of terrorists and all that money would be spent on creating an army and buying nukes and blowing up targets in the countries in the West.

I for one believe that invading and targeting the East is one of the best made decisions ever made.

mad
mad

Deluded person ... little do you know that the East has already invaded the once unstoppable British Empire; If you still don't get me, pretty sure half of the stuff you use on a day to day basis is either made in or has parts made in China and/or India. And guess what? They did so without the use of "weapons of mass destruction".

Speaking of which, none were found in the Middle East ... all seem to have been brought in from the West to bomb the Middle East. If you're so worried about people like Saddam using your hard earned money to buy weapons, then why don't you close the Western companies that sell these weapons and/or technology to them?

m0nged
m0nged

I dont get what your argument is?!

When osama bin dead fuck had his face blown to bits by an American (God bless his soul) they found products like drinks, soaps and shit like that that are from large American Corps, I thought he hated America? Why the fuck was he using products from that country and using his own money to buy AMERICAN products.

Osama got his education from USA & UK, he lived in these two countries, he used the knowledge gained from these two glorious countries to build up a team of sand people and start blowing shit up, I find the whole terrorist thing really funny, the guys at the top never blow themselves up, they get the dump stupid un-educated sand person to strap a bomb to his face and kill some innocent people. Hows that for a religion, fucking hippocrits

Thabang
Thabang

Your are a sick man, sand people? you derogatory little human being.

m0nged
m0nged

They are stuck in the old ages, these sand people need to evolve and stop following a religion that is so outdated its untrue.

Adam
Adam

PUNISHING?????? FOR WHATT . ALL AMERICA HAS DONE IS BULLY EVERYONE AROUND AND IM EFFING SICK OF THE BULLSHIT THAT COMES OUT OF THEIR MOUTH.

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