Pakistan P.R. Offensive Involves Leaking Bin Laden Detainee Quotes

Pakistan's credibility is on the line. The plan? Undermine U.S. credibility

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Remember that report where bin Laden's daughter said the Navy SEALs took him alive, then killed him? Did it make you wonder a bit? According to a new report from The Guardian, that could be exactly what Pakistan's army wanted you to do. Pakistan has custody of the survivors of the SEAL raid on the compound. The Guardian's Declan Walsh in Islamabad and Jon Boone in Kabul write that "battered by American accusations of duplicity and collusion with Osama bin Laden, and withering criticism at home, Pakistan's army is striking back with the main tool at its disposal: the word of his surviving relatives."

The account from bin Laden's daughter was one part of a "steady drip of testimony" Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, is letting through. Apparently, "some Pakistani officials would prefer if the world focused on the violence of the raid." No surprise there: in the wake of serious questions about how bin Laden waltzed around in a compound right next to a Pakistani military academy, the planned $3 billion in aid to the country could be in real jeopardy. Politicians and pundits alike want answers.

But is responding to U.S. attacks by attacking the U.S. really going to help Pakistan? Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. What's going on here? Here's one hypopthesis to keep in mind. Just this morning we highlighted Michael Hirsch's piece for National Journal, which argued that most of Pakistan's two-faced dealings can be explained by the division between the helpful Pakistan and the Pakistan run by the military: apparently Pakistan's "current ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqan," has argued that "radical Islamists [will] always have a safe haven inside the country as long as military strongmen [run] Islamabad." This drip of credibility-undermining info on the U.S. raid, remember, is coming from the army, according to The Guardian.

Photo: AP Images, "Pakistan army soldiers patrol the area around Osama bin Laden's residence in Abbottabad, Pakistan, Tuesday, May 3, 2011."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.