There are many unanswered questions and potential uncomfortable truths swirling around OBL's death.
While Pakistan's role in bin Laden's living conditions for the past seven years should absolutely be scrutinized (see below), please let's first examine the role of the entities that we actually had a reasonable expectation in locating bin Laden for the past seven years -- namely our U.S. intelligence agencies.
As a 9/11 widow, I fought very long and hard to make sure our intelligence agencies were operating at their optimal performance post-9/11. That's why I find it reprehensible that OBL was living in a million-dollar, custom-built home in the open Pakistani countryside, a mere mile from an ISI military base, 30 miles from Islamabad, and 100 miles from the Afghan mountains.
So please, with all the hullabaloo surrounding OBL's execution and the incredible cache of intelligence material found at OBL's compound, let's not lose sight of the fact that while it is undoubtedly a SOCOM success story, it is also a stunning seven-year-fumble by U.S. intelligence and foreign policy.
Abbottabad was not an unknown place to our intelligence agencies. It is a well-known military town, home to Pakistan's "West Point."
Abbottabad was also apparently a well-known destination for terrorists who, as it now turns out, might have been touching base with bin Laden during the past seven years.
For example, in 2005, al Qaeda's No. 3, Abu Faraj al-Libi, lived in the town before his arrest. Wasn't bin Laden's home just nearing completion in 2005?
Moreover, earlier this year, Indonesian terror suspect Umar Patek (wanted for the 2002 Bali bombings) was caught by Pakistani intelligence at a house in the town. Ironically, news reports stated at the time of his arrest in March: "Details about what Patek was doing in Pakistan also remain murky, raising questions about whether he was there to plan an attack with al-Qaida's top operational leaders as the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack nears."
Now, given its status as a home to an ISI military base and also the place of al-Libi's arrest in 05, why was Abbottabad not considered a ripe place to infiltrate back in '05?
If our spy satellites and eavesdropping capabilities were not geared toward this town and its installations since '05, then we need to know why.
What potentially more important Pakistani quadrant or target could NIMA, NGA, or NSA been calibrated to other than a military town like Abbottabad?
Will there be any post-mortem? Will old images be reviewed to determine if something was overlooked -- namely a six-foot bin Laden (or his shadow) strolling through his cabbage fields? Because it simply defies logic to believe that bin Laden never took a single stroll outdoors in sunlight during the past seven years.
Will anyone at NGA, NIMA, or NSA be held accountable for this seven-year failure? Or are we just too distracted by our victory and comfortable in our complacency to bother to look back, learn vital lessons, or hold anyone accountable?
And what about the CIA?
The big question for the CIA is what role, if any, Raymond Davis played in the taking down of OBL. Recall that Davis was the American who was arrested back in January for gunning down two men in Lahore. At the time, several media reports stated that Davis was CIA and had a history with both Special Forces and XE.
According to the Guardian, it was confirmed that Davis was a CIA agent who was "on assignment at the time" of the killings.
Additionally, when Davis was arrested, Pakistani officials remarked, "This is not the work of a diplomat. He was doing espionage and surveillance activities."
So what was Davis' assignment? And who were the men he killed? Did they have any relation to OBL? Or OBL's couriers?
Quite interestingly, the Guardian had this to report:
Some reports, quoting Pakistani intelligence officials, have suggested that the men Davis killed, Faizan Haider, 21, and Muhammad Faheem, 19, were agents of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency (ISI) and had orders to shadow Davis because he crossed a "red line."
ISI agents? A red line?? Wonder what that could be.
But perhaps what remains most damning to me when it comes to Pakistan and its blatant complicity of harboring OBL for the past seven years is what was so obviously missing during the SEAL's raid: any large-scale, legitimate resistance.
Here you had the world's most wanted individual. A $50 million bounty on his head. Stories heard throughout the past 10 years of a dizzying array of body doubles and bodyguards, a man who allegedly took his own security and protection to the paranoid extreme.
And yet, frankly speaking, those SEALS would have met more resistance breaching my residence in the middle of the night -- and all I've got are motion cameras, an alarm, and two dopey (though loyal) retrievers.
In short, it is downright suspicious that there were no bodyguards, body doubles, security personnel, alarms or even dogs protecting the world's most wanted man and his family.
It's almost as if OBL had a tacit understanding that he would be left alone and kept safe.
And considering the $1.5 BILLION in taxpayer dollars Congress hands over to Pakistan each year, I sure hope President Obama demands some answers. Because, it makes me sick to think that any of our tax dollars might have been spent on keeping OBL safe and worry-free for the past seven years.
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