War on Terror

Secret U.S.-Pakistan Deal Allowed Osama Bin Laden Raid

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Pakistan has been up in arms over the American raid that killed Osama Bin Laden inside its borders, but now it appears that "outrage" was all pre-arranged. A published report claims the United States had a secret deal with Pakistan that allowed the U.S. to strike Bin Laden without "advance notice," and then complain afterwards.

The British newspaper The Guardian reports that back in 2001, then-President Bush and then-military leader Gen. Pervez Musharraf struck the secret deal that said if the U.S. had information on the whereabouts of Bin Laden or his top two lieutenants and it led American forces inside Pakiston, the U.S. could take them out.

In the aftermath, according to the deal, the Pakistani government would say its sovereignty had been violated.

"There was an agreement between Bush and Musharraf that if we knew where Osama was, we were going to come and get him," said a former senior US official with knowledge of counterterrorism operations. "The Pakistanis would put up a hue and cry, but they wouldn't stop us."

As apparently planned, Pakistani officials have expressed anger over the Bin Laden raid. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani warned on Monday, "Pakistan reserves the right to retaliate with full force" if the U.S. conducts a similar operation in Pakistan.

A senior Pakistani official told the Guardian that the deal was renewed by the army during the "transition to democracy" -- a six-month period from February 2008 when Musharraf was still president but a civilian government had been elected.

"As far as our American friends are concerned, they have just implemented the agreement," the Pakistani official added.

The former U.S. official said the Pakistani protests of the past week were the "public face" of the deal. "We knew they would deny this stuff."