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Old 05-04-2011, 08:27 AM
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Default Osama Bin Laden had cash, was ready to flee

Osama Bin Laden had cash, was ready to flee
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Osama bin Laden had cash totaling 500 Euros and two telephone numbers sewn into his clothing when he was killed — sure signs that he was prepared to flee his compound at a moment’s notice — top U.S. intelligence officials told members of Congress at a classified briefing in the Capitol Tuesday.

Three sources who attended the briefing confirmed the details for POLITICO, and a fourth source said he had been told the same thing outside Tuesday’s meeting. A White House spokesman said he would not comment on the matter.

CIA Director Leon Panetta told lawmakers about the items found in bin Laden’s clothing in response to a question about why he wasn’t guarded by more security personnel at his relatively luxurious home in a military town north of Islamabad. The answer, according to one source: Bin Laden believed “his network was strong enough he’d get a heads-up” before any U.S. strike against him.

The evidence of cash — which amounts to about $740 in U.S. dollars — and phone numbers was divulged to support the administration’s belief that bin Laden was prepared to escape the compound if alerted to an impending attack, the source said.

That view may also be buttressed by the White House’s revelation that bin Laden was not armed when he was killed in a Sunday raid by a Navy SEAL team. That team was able to capture intelligence — including computers and thumb drives, and, apparently, the phone numbers bin Laden was carrying.

If American officials believe bin Laden thought he’d get tipped off before an invasion, that may help explain reluctance on the part of the United States to tell Pakistan of the invasion before it was completed.

Lawmakers have become increasingly frustrated with Pakistan over the years, and the fact that bin Laden was living in relative peace in that country has brought harsh condemnations from Congress. Some want to cut off aid to Pakistan or put new conditions on assistance.

Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) has drafted legislation that would require Pakistan to prove it didn’t know bin Laden was hiding in Abbottabad to get U.S. funds.

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told POLITICO yesterday that Pakistan is too important to cut off but that he believes the U.S. now has more clout in the relationship. That’s because Pakistan looks bad whether they knew bin Laden was there and hid it or didn’t have good enough intelligence to know, he explained.

“We have the leverage to get them to cooperate with us a lot more than they have in the past,” Ruppersberger said.

That’s the same line of reasoning Panetta used when hit with lawmakers’ questions at Tuesday’s classified briefing, and the White House view that funding can’t be cut off is taking hold among foreign policy experts on the Hill.

“You can’t trust them, and you can’t abandon them,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), top Republican on a Senate subcommittee responsible for doling out foreign aid. “One thing that’s just not an option to me is to sever ties – that to me is a formula for a failed state.”

Many lawmakers did not hear about bin Laden’s cash and phone numbers because they left the briefing before the question-and-answer session wrapped up.

Read more: Osama Bin Laden had cash, was ready to flee - Jonathan Allen - POLITICO.com
It sure sounds like OBL was getting ready to hit the road again..
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: Osama Bin Laden had cash, was ready to flee

It wouldn't be extraordinary for any fugitive to make some preparations to flee quickly. The amount of cash $500 Euros indicates he didn't think he would need to get very far. I would be surprised if he didn't have a support network nearby to take him in.
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