Congress frustrated about Pakistan's cooperation on finding Bin Laden, Chandler says

05/02/2011 05:43 PM

Congressional leaders are now scratching their heads wondering how Osama Bin Laden hid in plain sight so close to Pakistani leaders, said U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, a Democrat from Kentucky’s 6th District.

Chandler is a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence. But he declined to say how long he had been aware of Bin Laden’s location or even how he found out that a Navy Seals team killed Bin Laden on a Sunday raid on his compound just 35 miles from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.

“I think there’s an enormous amount of frustration in this country and certainly in the Congress about their role in this thing. And while we do need their cooperation on a lot of things — and while they have cooperated on a number of things — you really do have to wonder about just how much they cooperated on the Bin Laden matter,” he said. (See the 3:30 mark of the video to hear that part.)

Chandler added that the United States provides some $20 billion in aid to Pakistan.

“It’s very hard to believe ultimately that the Pakistanis didn’t know that a facility like that was there,” he said of Bin Laden’s compound. “… As I understand it, it was built very close to one of their main military training centers — sort of the West Point of Pakistan,” he said. (See the 2:30 mark to hear that).

Chandler praised the operation on Sunday, which led to the death of Bin Laden, one of his sons and two couriers. It was the couriers that first tipped off U.S. intelligence officials about Bin Laden’s whereabouts, the New York Times reported Monday morning.

“I want to commend the courage of the president, to make the decision to do it. And their success has been outstanding. They didn’t lose a single person. No one injured. Right in the heart of Pakistan,” he said at around the one-minute mark of the video. “It was obviously a very difficult and delicate operation, and I couldn’t be more proud of our folks.”


- Ryan Alessi


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