CHICAGO (WBBM) – U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk said he believes that the Pakstani government was “probably fully aware” that Osama bin Laden was living somewhere in the country.
But he said that home video recovered by Navy SEALs from bin Laden’s hideout shows that the Al-Qaeda leader, deemed “High Value Target (HVT) #1” by the U.S. military, was reduced to “a pathetic figure, living for five years in just one room watching himself on television and reveling in his image as one of the great mass murderers in the world’s history.”
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Kirk, who is also a Naval Reserve intelligence officer and has been posted to Afghanistan, said he is not sure if Pakistani officials knew specifics about bin Laden’s location. And he said it would be a mistake to cut off U.S. aid to Pakistan, because U.S. military supply lines to Afghanistan are dependent upon Pakistan.
“Pakistan has always been a three-dimensional chess game for the United States,” Kirk said. “Some part of the population and government were people working for bin Laden, some parts against. And so the job of the U.S. military, CIA and diplomats is to work with those who will work with us to pull off intelligence coups like nailing bin Laden.”
Kirk said that cannot be accomplished overnight, and said that, as a result, he is against any attempt by Congress to speed up the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
Instead, he said, he is hoping that Congress will authorize similar operations against other high-value al-Qaeda targets.