Osama bin Laden was killed in a mansion near a military academy not unlike Pakistan's West Point. Are we better off not cooperating with the country when it comes to fighting al-Qaeda?
It sounded like a Michael Bay movie: a daring raid, deep inside Pakistan, to kill the world's biggest terrorists at a mansion in a Abbottabad, a small town in Pakistan. Yet even as crowds gather outside the White House for a raucous, late-night celebration, many questions linger, particularly for the already-troubled U.S. relationship with Pakistan.
In his speech announcing bin Laden's death, the President offered some interesting details:
Over the years, I've repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we've done. But it's important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.
Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.
That is, Obama waited until tonight, hours after the raid was conducted and Osama bin Laden's body collected, to tell the President of Pakistan that it took place. After the news broke, a "senior administration official" told reporters that the administration deliberately waited until after the raid was conducted to tell the Pakistani government about it.