Pakistan has a lot of explaining to do!

As joyous an occasion as today is, with the news that Usama Bin-Laden has been killed in Pakistan by US Special Operations Command operatives, it is very disturbing that Bin-Laden has been hiding under the nose of the Pakistan military! Abbottabad is the home and headquarters of Pakistan’s 2nd Division of the Northern Army Corps- one of the biggest divisions in the Pakistani Army; and is located only 38 miles from Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan.

For years we have been led to believe, largely by the Pakistani military and Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), that Bin-Laden was hiding in an isolated region in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan, probably in a cave. As it turns out, he had been living in a large custom-built (5 years ago) compound with 18 foot high walls topped with barbed wire, designed to protect a high-value target like Usama Bin-Laden.Even the White House has described the compound as a “unique structure that does not match any of the homes in the area.” There is no conceivable way that his presence in Abbottabad was NOT known by members of the Pakistani Military and the Pakistani ISI.

The fact that President Obama and the US Special Operations Command initiated the operation to capture or kill Bin-Laden from Afghanistan and without any notification to the Pakistani government, makes it clear that the US government realizes that we can not trust the Pakistani government and their military; and that there was a serious risk that, had they notified Pakistan of the operation, Bin-Laden would have been tipped off and, likely, been able to escape! How many years ago might we have been able to capture or kill this monster, had our “partners” in Pakistan not been helping Bin-Laden to hide?

These facts call into serious question, the billions of dollars in funding that we have given Pakistan over the past 10 years because of their supposed assistance in the “war on terror.” Why have we been funding a country and a military that is not truly our ally? I don’t mean to imply that the entire Pakistani government has been working against our efforts; but it’s clear that Bin-Laden has enjoyed the protection of the Pakistan at some of the highest levels of their government, military and intelligence apparatus. Without such help, there is no way he would have been able to hide in such plain sight.

Even if those people who aided Bin-Laden comprise a small faction within the Pakistani government, it is unacceptable; and there is no way that this double-cross was not known (or at least suspected) within the rest of the Pakistani government. These fears have been expressed by many people here in the US for years but have always been down-played by the US government (at least publicly) in order to maintain whatever “assistance” we could get from Pakistan. Now the question must be asked: at what cost and to what end? In the end, the killing of Usama Bin-Laden was, primarily, the result of US intelligence with very little assistance from Pakistan and there is good reason to suspect that many US lives and billions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted chasing fairy tales and lies cooked up by elements within the Pakistani government!

Once the celebration over the death of Usama Bin-Laden is finished, there need to be some hard questions asked of Pakistan and some real answers need to be required. Congress should launch a serious and detailed investigation into Pakistan and determine whether we have wasted our lives and money supporting the Pakistani government. If the evidence shows that Pakistan has been accepting US assistance and, at the same time, shielding Bin-Laden, they MUST be held to task for this double-cross. There is no sense in continuing our relationship with Pakistan, as it currently exists, if they are not truly united in their desire to eliminate terrorism and to stop their country from being used as a haven for terrorists.

We have long been told, and we’ve hung to the belief, that “most” Pakistani’s want ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ and that they disavow radical Islam. Unfortunately, as we watch the reaction to Bin-Laden’s death in Pakistan, the protests on the street paint a very different picture. Even if it’s not a majority of Pakistani’s citizens sympathizing with, or openly supporting radical Islam, it’s certainly too many of them. Considering the $18.6 billion we’ve shelled out to Pakistan ($3 billion more last year!), I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a majority of the Pakistan population to be both grateful and supportive of the US effort. If they’re not so inclined, I think it’s time we formulate another approach to dealing with Pakistan.

This is, apparently, what $18.6 billion taxpayer money buys us!

Pakistani's protest killing of Usama Bin-Laden

Pakistan has been ‘milking’ the American taxpayer for too long. It’s time that we put some actual strings onto any future support that we give Pakistan and that we require solid and concrete positive results for our money. At a time when we are dealing with a financial crisis unlike anything since the Great Depression at home, we simply aren’t in a position to throw good money after bad and support a country that seems to support our enemy at least as much as they support us. What is wrong with demanding results and imposing performance-based aid packages. Let Pakistan earn our gifts instead of giving them away and hoping that we get something worthwhile in return.

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