As details emerge about where Osama bin Laden was hiding before he was killed by U.S. forces on Sunday, Pakistani authorities look worse and worse. Yesterday, we learned that bin Laden was living not in some remote cave but in a three-story, million-dollar compound (pictured above) in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, near a military academy and only 35 miles north of the capital, Islamabad. Today, White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan noted that bin Laden probably lived in the compound for the past five to six years. Which, as many commentators have noted, raises the question: How could Pakistan not have known where bin Laden was?
The revelations put Pakistan in a bind. If Pakistani officials say they weren't aware of bin Laden's whereabouts, they look incompetent. If they say they were, the optimistic reading suggests that they were effectively keeping bin Laden under some sort of house arrest, and ultimately gave up bin Laden to the U.S. for a price. This morning, Pakistani officials appear to be making the case for incompetency, though they're also highlighting the ways they've helped the U.S. in its fight against terrorism. Meanwhile, U.S. lawmakers increasingly disillusioned with Pakistan as a good faith partner are calling for a review of the billions of dollars in aid the U.S. provides Pakistan, according to Reuters.