OBL hideout: US Embassy counters Panetta's statements

Published: January 29, 2012

Defence department spokesperson clarifies that Panetta's interview to CBS was old. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

ISLAMABAD: The US Embassy in Islamabad issued a statement on Sunday countering Defence Secretary Leon Panetta’s statement about Pakistani officials being aware of Osama bin Laden’s hideout.

Defense Department spokesman George Little, in the statement, clarified that Panetta’s interview aired by CBS was old and was recorded at the time when the Defence Ministry was unsure whether the Bin Laden network was present in Pakistan or not.

Little further said that Panetta, in the same interview, had also said that there was no proof that Pakistani government and the higher authorities were aware of Bin Laden’s whereabouts.

He added that Panetta, along with other officials, are working for the betterment of ties with Pakistan that were strained after the US operation in Abbottabad that killed al Qaeda chief Bin Laden on May 2.

In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes”, Panetta said that he still believed someone in authority in Pakistan knew where Bin Laden was hiding before US forces went in to find him.

Intelligence reports found that Pakistani military helicopters had passed over the compound in Abbottabad, according to the interview.

Reader Comments (28)

  • Cautious
    Jan 29, 2012 - 3:09PM

    Panetta said that he still believed
    someone in authority in Pakistan knew
    where Bin Laden was hiding before US
    forces went in to find him.

    So does everyone outside of Pakistan. The fact that you haven’t lifted a finger to discover who was helping him live comfortably for 5+ years outside the Pakistan Military Academy makes it pretty obvious that he was hiding with the approval of someone in a powerful position.
    .
    BTW = Hows that Abbottabad Commission coming?

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  • THE
    Jan 29, 2012 - 3:10PM

    Oh so do you now want the NATO supplies opened as well since that interview was old? LOL

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  • Jan 29, 2012 - 3:15PM

    Ignore stupid statements from panetta please

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  • antanu g
    Jan 29, 2012 - 3:46PM

    @Cautious:
    your favourite item….for u anyting from US officias are devine words.And i thought we have have got rid of slave mentality after 60 years of independence.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jan 29, 2012 - 3:49PM

    It is an absurd statement of US Embassy in Islamabad that “Panetta’s interview aired by CBS was old and was recorded at the time when the Defence Ministry was unsure whether the Bin Laden network was present in Pakistan or not”.

    Panetta’s statement was not old and what he has said, he means it.

    For the sake of arguments, I would like to give my input to the valued readers of these columns that Government of Pakistan, neither civilian, nor military leadership nor any other intelligence agency of Pakistan was NOT hiding Osama Bin Laden from US.

    Had there be such an intention, he would have NOT lived in the fort with high walls in Abbottabad but instead he would have been living in a secret place and Dr. Shakeel Afridi for whom US Defence Secretary is quite worried would NOT have been able to conduct DNA test of OBL in Abbottabad.

    If it is a matter of only putting blame, it would be easier to accuse that US Government was hiding all the terrorists who high jacked the planes and attack the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, so that in retaliation, US should invade Afghanistan and then Iraq to have total control of oil in Iraq.

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  • STRIVER
    Jan 29, 2012 - 4:00PM

    The worrying aspect of all this is that there are some Pakistani who will pass on intelligence to the US in return for a fist full of US dollars and a promise of a green card. Whatever happened to the good doctor who wanted to vaccinate the Laden’s.

    There are otherws still lurking about.

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  • HSK
    Jan 29, 2012 - 4:40PM

    My two cents; any story coming out of OBL episode should not be taken as anything but a lie. No proof, no video and no picture of dead OBL whatsoever proves nothing else but a initiation to USA’s exit strategy out of Afghanistan to improve Obama’s rating in upcoming elections and to declare success in a lost war on terrorism to general public in US and rest of the world. Moreover to justify trillions of dollars drained for nothing but to establish world supremacy and the recent America’s economic depression to fuel these very wars in addition to sustaining the weapons/arms industry.

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  • Jan 29, 2012 - 4:51PM

    Anything to cause anarchy in Pakistan. Anything!

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  • American pakistani
    Jan 29, 2012 - 5:12PM

    @Cautious

    How naive of you to believe that OBL death is a reality, bravo to US government for making a fool out of all thier american citizens and trying the same on pakistanis as well :)

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  • Uza Syed
    Jan 29, 2012 - 5:33PM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui: “Panetta’s statement was not old and what he has said, he means it.” ——— AND ALSO TRUE, you might wish to add!

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  • Aaron Upright
    Jan 29, 2012 - 5:34PM

    Seriously the US Embassy thinks that all Pakistanis are about 5 year old.

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  • Righteous
    Jan 29, 2012 - 5:46PM

    @HSK: Couldn’t agree more. How true.

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  • P N Eswaran
    Jan 29, 2012 - 6:13PM

    How old is LP’s interview? The US thinks that it can say anything about Pakistan and get away with it. That is pakistan’s plight.

    @Aaron Upright

    “Seriously the US Embassy thinks that all Pakistanis are about 5 year old.”
    When you live in denial even 5 years is very old.

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  • BS.Detecter
    Jan 29, 2012 - 6:22PM

    @HSK:
    Agreed absolutely

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  • PAKSARZAMEEN
    Jan 29, 2012 - 7:22PM

    ha ha ha ….Many Americans Panetta,s own country men including scientists, engineers etc believe that 9/11 was an inside job and a good no of people in authority knew well before hand about the catastrophe.

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  • Jan 29, 2012 - 7:38PM

    what does our foreign, over sized, ministry has to say!

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  • J Oberoi
    Jan 29, 2012 - 8:32PM

    Don’t think there’s anything new in what Mr.Panetta has expressed. It is obvious, isn’t it?

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  • Mirza
    Jan 29, 2012 - 8:52PM

    This “old” interview has not even been shown on TV, and it would be on CBS 60 Minutes tonight. In the US politicians can talk all they want but they cannot change the facts like we do in Pakistan. On one hand we refute the presence of OBL in Abbottabad and at the same time we demand Dr. Afridi be tried for treason and cooperation in the operation. OBL was not in Abbottabad but his harem was and the Commission has been dragging its feet and ISPR or generals have not “exposed” the US lies as yet, are they accomplice too?

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  • Maken
    Jan 29, 2012 - 9:55PM

    it is irrelevant. Either pakistanis authorities knew the hideouts of OBL or not??

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  • Jan 29, 2012 - 10:01PM

    Confronted statement, so for this reason is not acceptable.
    I would like to comment on this interview from other angel,

    Pakistan was first ally of the United States in war on terror,
    if American had received the information of his presence in
    Abbottabd,American should informed Pakistan.

    In case,
    they undertook such line of action,it was better for bilateral
    relation and relations would never been so strained as of to day.

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  • Nand
    Jan 29, 2012 - 11:35PM

    When OBL was not in Abbottabad, WHY has the establishment arrested Dr. Shakeel Afridi?. Yesterday, all were commenting that he is punishable for treason. On what charges were you all commenting on. This is the problem inside Pakistan. One day one comment and the next day a U-turn.

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  • Khan
    Jan 30, 2012 - 1:28AM

    it was recorded last week, guess that must be old

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  • Hammad Kakar
    Jan 30, 2012 - 2:33AM

    @ Cautious
    U seem to know much but a little less then everyone ! There was no Al Qaida chief Ossama Bil Laden in Pakistan it was a popularity stunt by Obama Administration to gain popularity, now here the question lies ??? WHY the only reason why is because there r no more jobs in USA & they wanted to divert attentionn moreover how & why is it a coincidence that the Navy Seal Team 6 died all 31 members of team 6 were on a chopper that was accidentally destroyed in mid air by the Taliban ???
    My innocent friend the Team 6 never found any OBL they killed the whole Team 6 died just because they wanted to burry the truth that there was no OBL there & it was just his wives & children so that they never blow the whistle ever. Another CIA dirty job.Recommend

  • stenson
    Jan 30, 2012 - 2:39AM

    @Cautious: It’s not what every Indian like you thinks or doesn’t think that matters. It’s what Pakistanis think that matters. OBL deserved to be killed but what you don’t understand is that Pakistan deserved to be in the loop. What if an Indian national in India helped a supposed ally commit an armed attack on Indian soil against a criminal without the Indian’s government’s knowledge and permission? Would all you Indians stand up and cheer? Dr. Afridi deserves the justice that the US would give one of its own US citizens for conspiring and aiding an attack on US soil without US government knoweledge and permission. This is the point which Pakistanis seek to explain. No one cares about OBL who was a foreigner involved in crimes. And don’t kid yourself about the small confused minority of extremists who support him in the Muslim world.

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  • Bakir
    Jan 30, 2012 - 2:46AM

    @Nand:
    for being framed in the US propaganda and bringing bad name to pakistan, that should be enough on state level for you to arrested and locked up.

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  • MarkH
    Jan 30, 2012 - 5:51AM

    It was old but still true. Nothing has happened to make the statement invalid even up until now. The army/ISI goes nuts over international embarrassment (hello Mr. Ijaz). If they could have managed to offer answers without self-incrimination, they would have.

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  • Malatesh
    Jan 30, 2012 - 9:14AM

    **@American pakistani
    @Hammad Kakar
    @stenson
    @Bakir

    grow up men.. grow up.. Let your government deny the fact of OBL presence is Pakistan. Why your gvt is still shouting that killing OBL in Abottabad is attack on its Sovereignty? what about OBL wives found in that compound?**

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Jan 30, 2012 - 10:39AM

    Very well done and said Mr. Panetta.It seems you have same qualities and features as PM Gillani has of taking back or withdrawing his words after saying against and taking back notifications after issuing against any one/person/department.

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