Inquiry Commission: US opposes disclosure of Abbottabad findings

Published: July 23, 2011
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The hideout house of slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.

The hideout house of slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.

ISLAMABAD: 

The United States is pushing Pakistan not to make public the findings of a high-powered commission investigating the circumstances surrounding the presence and death of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in his Abbottabad compound on May 2.

The US opposition stems from its fears that the conclusions of the Abbottabad Commission may compromise the future operations of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Pakistan and its ‘local assets,’ said government officials familiar with the development.

“The US was in fact strongly against the very idea of any commission to investigate the Abbottabad incident,” said a security official, who chose to stay anonymous.

The high-level judicial commission headed by the senior most judge of the Supreme Court after the chief justice was formed following a national outcry over the failure of the country’s powerful security establishment to detect both the al Qaeda leader and the US midnight raid.

Officials acknowledged that making the outcome of the Abbottabad Commission’s probe public will be embarrassing for the security establishment but might provide classified details about how the CIA penetrated deep into Pakistan.

“It was an intelligence failure … let me put it this way, it was the mother of all intelligence failures,” said an intelligence official.

He said the security apparatus might not object to the Abbottabad Commission’s findings as ‘a lot has already been said about our failures, so we have nothing to fear.’

“What people don’t know at this moment is how the CIA operates in this country … what tools they use, what tactics they employ,” he added.

He said the findings of the commission might provide answers to all these ‘chilling questions.’

‘CIA informants’ held

Intelligence agencies have been collecting evidence and all the relevant details that could provide leads on how the world’s most recognised face managed to live undetected in a garrison town for so long, said another official.

“The arrest of several local people who were working for the CIA is also helpful in finding the unanswered questions,” the official revealed.

The ‘CIA informants’ were held in a nationwide crackdown in the wake of the Bin Laden debacle.

Amongst these ‘informants’ were Dr Shakeel Afridi, who launched a fake polio vaccination drive in Abbottabad on behalf of the CIA to get the DNA samples of the Bin Laden family.

His arrest has become a thorn in the already tense relations between Pakistan and the United States.

“The security agencies will certainly share all this information being gleaned from the CIA informants,” the official said.

This is one of the main reasons that the US is objecting to making public the findings of the commission, he said.

Meanwhile, the Abbottabad Commission is also planning to ask the US officials to explain their position on the controversy.

Lt General (retd) Nadeem Ahmed, a member of the commission, recently said in an interview that the commission is planning on trying to get testimonies from US officials, and added that if no one testified, the panel would note their refusals in its record.

A US diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity ruled out the possibility of American officials testifying before the Abbottabad commission.

When approached, US Embassy spokesperson Courtney Beale denied that the US had communicated any sort of opposition to the commission and/or making its report public. She, however, refused to comment on whether the US was opposed to making the findings public.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (25)

  • Jul 23, 2011 - 4:24AM

    No more cover ups! Make it public or sink with the stench of incompetence!

    Recommend

  • Sajida
    Jul 23, 2011 - 5:08AM

    http://www.cfr.org/us-strategy-and-politics/bringing-our-foreign-policy-home/p25514
    Bringing Our Foreign Policy Home

    America is heading to a debt trap and its new minority majority is in the cradle. It needs to reduce expensive ventures that are not productive and focus on spending wisely. The sprawling American military footprint is a refection of an era out of step with America’s changing condition.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ news/article-2007181/Majority- babies-U-S-born-ethnic- minorities.html
    Babies born to ethnic minorities outnumber number of white toddlers for first time in U.S. history

    ·

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  • Jul 23, 2011 - 5:36AM

    There was no Osama bin Laden there. Accept the fact. They just want to repeat the drama they did in 1961 with lunar landing. Good job Uncle Sam :)

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  • vasan
    Jul 23, 2011 - 5:48AM

    I think the US has nothing to worry about the issue of making the Commission Report public. Pakistan has a history of not making the reports public. It is all an eye wash to deceive the public, I mean,. the appointment of Judicial commissions, enquiries and the report. Starting from Humudoor Commission report till BB murder, it is the same story.

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  • Tariq
    Jul 23, 2011 - 6:46AM

    Blame the US, what else is new

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  • Jul 23, 2011 - 7:25AM

    Non Orwellian Headline:
    US opposes disclosure of Abbottabad findings for protecting it’s lies.

    Recommend

  • Iftikhar-ur-Rehman
    Jul 23, 2011 - 7:37AM

    Pakistan Govt.should not accept the demands of American Govt. and make the outcome of this commission public.

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  • America is a Fascist State
    Jul 23, 2011 - 7:51AM

    The USA is not a democratic state but a fascist oligarchy.

    This is why American does not want transparency but like to obfuscate.

    Publicize all US agents by printing their photographs and full names.

    Release all documents related to America since 2001.

    Expose America as a tyrannical plutocracy.

    Recommend

  • Tariq
    Jul 23, 2011 - 8:42AM

    Why does Pakistan have to blame the US for everything

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  • Maulana Diesel
    Jul 23, 2011 - 9:19AM

    Haha…..there is no freedom of press in America! Murdoch rules America and the corporate media only peddles the lines approved by the government.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jul 23, 2011 - 10:16AM

    CIA cannot be given a free hand to do what ever it wants to do in Pakistan.

    Would CIA give a free hand to Pakistani Intelligence Agencies in USA?

    Abbotabad findings would be made public sooner as soon as the findings are completed.

    CIA won’t get a second change to do a May 02, 2011 like operation in Pakistan in which CIA got all the basic information from Pakistan’s intelligence agencies and then conducted operations in Abbotabad unilaterally to defame ISI and Pakistan Army.

    The Government of Pakistan has now got a very clear idea as how CIA has conducted May 02, 2011 operations.

    On the one hand US say that Pakistan is a sovereign country and on the other hand US itself violates Pakistan’s sovereignty? This is the height of US Administrations double standard policy.

    Government of Pakistan should ensure that similar actions of May 2 operations should not be repeated again by US Administration in Pakistan.

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  • Asad
    Jul 23, 2011 - 10:42AM

    This shows the extent of interference by americans in pakistan. now they arrested gulam nabi fai wrongfully claiming that he is working for the ISI and they want to protect their assets in pakistan!

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  • SK
    Jul 23, 2011 - 11:05AM

    If US is speaking against the release of report while investigation is ongoing does it mean any/some of investigation team members are releasing/leaking inside details?

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  • LIAQAT ALI
    Jul 23, 2011 - 12:27PM

    I agree with Vasan’s comment that US has nothing to worry about . Actually they should insist to make the report public. It is highly unlikely in any case. Even if the report is made public ,I fully expect that portions of it(the ones matter) will be concealed in the name of so called security consiaderations.Recommend

  • Truth Prevails
    Jul 23, 2011 - 1:25PM

    @Tariq:
    They will not as soon as US leaves this region … Convince them to do so then your vain wish can be of some weight …

    Recommend

  • MB
    Jul 23, 2011 - 2:29PM

    ISI’s one more stunt – Hide the information and throw it at CIA . . . wow great !!

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  • MB
    Jul 23, 2011 - 2:44PM

    Basically what they are doing is this : Playing both sides . . . first feeding media the news that USA is putting pressure so that public sentiment start shifting to USA , then if they release the report , they will claim its credibility and if not release they will say , its due to USA pressure or , that , its release will harm our relations with USA, National Security bla bla or the same old pretext they used for Hamud ur rehman commission report

    Recommend

  • Much Amused
    Jul 23, 2011 - 3:04PM

    @Sohaib Irshad:
    Which planet are you living on ?
    and btw the lunar landing did not take place in 1961.

    Recommend

  • Sacha Sain
    Jul 23, 2011 - 4:53PM

    @Tariq

    Did you read article? Who blamed US for what? Please read before posting and also use your real name if you are Indian, ET will still post the comment since it is a fairly liberal newspaper.

    Recommend

  • cautious
    Jul 23, 2011 - 6:23PM

    Pretty good sign that the USA believe the report is going to focus on how the USA discovered where OBL was hiding — and ignore who was hiding OBL.

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  • Jul 23, 2011 - 8:56PM

    OBL was not shown to media…
    One Chopper crashed..

    One possibility is that suicide attack by OBL destroyed that chopper with marines too..
    Any how,Pakistani intelligence agencies should work hard and fearlessly to search for CIA etc paid informers and treat them accordingly.
    Let the commission do its job.Recommend

  • Tanweer
    Jul 24, 2011 - 1:55AM

    Commission findings not making public is nothing new to Pakistan. But people of America definitely have all the rights to know what their brave solders at the cost of their billions of tax dollars did in Abbotabad. For sure it is going to be a serious set back to the US Administration if they got to know that they killed a man already dead since 2006 out of kidney failure in Afghanistan. That’s why they don’t want Pakistan to make the finding public. Out of Abbotabad episode they just wanted to justify their people to pay more tax dollars with reduced social services spending so that their corrupt leaders could manage to create situation around the world conducive to sell more weaponry out of the factories of their masters.

    Recommend

  • Tariq
    Jul 24, 2011 - 7:50AM

    I have no idea why people in Pakistan are so worried about what money America spends, it is their money they can spend it any way they want

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  • Dr,A.K.Tewari
    Jul 25, 2011 - 2:24PM

    The report should not be made public it is going to put hindernce before the pakistan’s resolve to continue war against terrorism , Since the Abotabad Operation was as a result of collaboration or failure of both army and ISI hence in both case its publication is go to heip the terrorists to mould the public opinion in favour of the supporter of terrorism ,

    Recommend

  • ScoobyDoo
    Jul 26, 2011 - 1:13PM

    It is like the the person under trial saying dont make the decision public. US has a very interestong policy with Pakistan that say nonsense things and be hopeful that they might work. And more interestingly they work too, they know how to deal with us.

    Recommend

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