05-10-2011, 01:23 PM
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Report: U.S. got OK from Pakistan 10 years ago for a raid on bin Laden
Report: U.S. got OK from Pakistan 10 years ago for a raid on bin Laden -
In a secret deal sealed 10 years ago, Pakistan agreed to allow the United States to conduct a unilateral operation against Osama bin Laden with the understanding that Pakistan would protest vociferously afterward, The Guardian reports.
The British newspaper, quoting serving and retired Pakistani and U.S. officials, says the deal was struck between President Bush and Pakistani military leader Gen. Pervez Musharraf. It followed bin Laden's escape from the Afghan mountains of Tora Bora in late 2001 into Pakistan.
Here's how the newspaper describes the agreement:
Under its terms, Pakistan would allow U.S. forces to conduct a unilateral raid inside Pakistan in search of bin Laden, his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the al-Qaeda No3. Afterwards, both sides agreed, Pakistan would vociferously protest the incursion.
The newspaper quotes a senior Pakistani official as saying the deal was renewed by the army during the "transition to democracy" – a six-month period when Musharraf was still president but a civilian government had been elected.
Regarding the raid last week on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, The Guardian quotes the official as saying, "As far as our American friends are concerned, they have just implemented the agreement."
Update at 10:57 a.m. ET: Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf denies that his administration struck an agreement with the United States years ago to let U.S. special forces kill or capture Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan, The Associated Press reports.
"Pervez Musharraf has seen a media report, and let me make it clear that no such agreement had been signed during his tenure," Musharraf's spokesman, Fawad Chaudhry, tells the AP. "Also, there was no verbal understanding."
Chaudhry, speaking from Dubai where Musharraf is staying, calls the The Guardian report "baseless."
"If there is any such agreement, the Pakistan government should place it in the parliament, and if there was any agreement, the American government should make it public," Chaudhry says.
In an AP interview in January 2002, Gen. Tommy Franks, who headed the U.S. Central Command at the time, disclosed a deal with Pakistan allowing U.S. troops in Afghanistan to cross the border in pursuit of fugitive extremist leaders, including bin Laden. At the time, Pakistan denied such a deal existed.
We'll agree to let you do it, but then we'll deny it.
I think the Pakis not only knew he was there but knew at some point we were coming after him. I think they were tired of him too.
"The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history."