Yesterday Wikileaks released several hundred emails from the intelligence firm, Stratfor. One email concerning Pakistan confirmed long held suspicions about Osama Bin Laden (OBL). Pakistan’s very powerful spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), knew that Osama Bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan.
“Mid to senior level ISI and Pak military with one retired Pak Military General that had knowledge of the OBL (Osama bin laden) arrangements and safe house,” according to a leaked email from Fred Burton, Stratfor’s vice president for intelligence.
After the raid in which OBL was assassinated by US navy seals, the US questioned whether the Pakistani Government knew about OBL’s hideout. Pakistanis were furious about invasion of their sovereignty and Americans were furious about Pakistan’s alleged knowledge of the hideout of the 9/11 mastermind.
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There were calls from Pakistan to sever ties with the US, and there were calls from America to cut off foreign aid to Pakistan.
To defuse the situation the Obama administration had to answer some questions.
Tom Donilon, Obama’s national security adviser, said in an interview at the time that there was no evidence that Pakistan had knowledge of Bin Laden’s presence.
This email now greatly complicates America’s relationship with Pakistan. While the email does not state definitively whether the Pakistani Government knew where OBL was, it will certainly make many more skeptical.
Pakistan has long denied any links to terrorist organizations. President Zardari denied knowledge of OBL’s whereabouts in an interview http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/08/zardari-asked-about-osama_n_200356.html, which took place in 2009.
Now that the Pakistani Government has been caught in a lie America has a huge dilemna. On the one hand, America provides foreign aid to Pakistan to fight Al-Qaeda, on the other hand these leaked emails will help those who argue in favor of cutting off aid to Pakistan.
With tensions with Iran heating up, the mess that the Obama administration created in Syria and Egypt, and the US trying to overthrow the Government of Syria; the current news is likely going to be a big headache.