By The Hill Staff - 05/09/11 10:00 AM EDT
Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) finds it hard to believe that no one in Pakistan knew Osama bin Laden was living in the military city of Abbottabad.
“It seems logical to me that if bin Laden was there for six years … then a lot of people in Pakistan knew he was there,” Lugar said on “State of the Union.”
But former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice disagreed, saying it is possible the Pakistani government was unaware of bin Laden’s presence.
“I think it is entirely possible, even probable, that high-ranking people didn’t know,” Rice said on “This Week.” “But if this happens in your country, you have an obligation to find out.”
“The U.S. chose to spend most of its money in Iraq and then Afghanistan, not Pakistan, so things fell through the cracks,” Haqqani said.
Haqqani also said Pakistan intends to cooperate with the United States in investigating what happened.
National Security Adviser Tom Donilon said on “State of the Union” the United States requested access to the materials and people obtained at the bin Laden compound by the Pakistani military, including bin Laden’s three wives, but it had not yet been granted.
But Haqqani said Donilon would know everything the Pakistani military does. “We are allies and partners who need each other,” Haqqani said.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) said on “Face the Nation” that it is important for the United States and Pakistan to maintain an alliance, especially since the U.S. military in Afghanistan receives supplies through Pakistan.
Donilon said Pakistan has been an important partner in the war against terrorism and that the administration would discuss if bin Laden’s killing would affect the timetable for withdrawal in Afghanistan.
A reduction of troop levels is scheduled for July, with complete withdrawal in 2014.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO forces are still committed to helping the U.S. in Afghanistan.
“We are in this together,” Rasmussen said on “State of the Union.”
During his appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” National Security Adviser Tom Donilon compared the amount of that intelligence to a “small college library.”
Donilon, Bush aides differ on interrogation
National Security Adviser Tom Donilon defended the Obama administration’s position against “enhanced interrogation” techniques Sunday, one week after the killing of Osama bin Laden.
“An operation like this is the result of hundreds of pieces of information,” Donilon said on “Fox News Sunday.” “No single piece of intelligence [was the key to its success]. We drew from detainees, from human sources, technical sources, through liaison services.”
Many officials who served in the George W. Bush administration contend that the techniques they refer to collectively as “enhanced interrogation” made the mission to kill bin Laden possible. It was through such techniques — discontinued under the Obama administration — that the United States obtained vital clues about the al Qaeda founder’s whereabouts, they claim.
“One of the key threads came from … detainees. So you can’t deny that we got valuable information from these folks. We did it this way, and this way worked,” Bush-era CIA director General Michael Hayden said on “Meet the Press.”
Dick Cheney made a similar point on “Fox News Sunday” — though the former vice-president offered qualified praise.
“He gets high marks for making the decision,” Cheney said. “But it’s not clear to me today that we have a [solid interrogation] program we could put someone through.”
Gadhafi on the ropes, NATO chief insists
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen insisted that his organization’s mission in Libya was succeeding Sunday, despite apparent setbacks in the north African nation.
“We’ve stopped [Libyan leader Moammar] Gadhafi in his tracks and he’s on his way out,” Rasmussen said on “State of the Union.”
On Saturday night, however, Gadhafi’s forces dropped bombs on four large oil-storage tanks in the city of Misurata, destroying the facilities. Misurata is the last remaining city in western Libya under rebel control.
Rasmusssen nevertheless asserted that NATO was effectively executing its mission to achieve three goals: ending the attacks on civilians; enabling safe access to humanitarian assistance; and forcing Gadhafi’s troops to retreat to barracks.
Al Qaeda attacks may take different forms
Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff speculated Sunday that the assassination of Osama bin Laden could give rise to a different breed of al-Qaeda attacks.
“Now that [bin Laden] is gone, there might be an opportunity for others who have a different perspective [to shape strategy],” Chertoff said on “Meet the Press.”
It could mean more “Mumbai attacks” rather than ones focused on airliners, for example, he said.
Former CIA Director Michael Hayden agreed that because al Qaeda is already decentralized, the death of bin
Laden could lead “independent actors” to become more “agile.”
“Our [operational] tempo should increase. This is the pursuit phase. We should press the fight,” Hayden said.
WHO WAS WHERE
State of the Union: National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) and former Obama White House aide Anita Dunn
Fox News Sunday: National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, former Vice
President Dick Cheney
This Week: National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, former Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice, Pakistani Ambassador to the United States Husain
Meet the Press: National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, former Homeland
Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, former CIA Director General Michael
Hayden and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Face the Nation: Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry
(D-Mass.), former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld