I don’t know the first thing about Pakistan, but I cannot imagine that all this happened with zero cooperation from the Paks. It’s just too far out. Yes, they played ball with bin L, but they could also betray him at the same time. And if you’re going to insist–as most everyone is insisting–that we didn’t whisper a word to any of them about anything until the whole thing was done, well, there isn’t room on my bald forehead to get my eyebrows as high as they would wish to rise.
John Brennan, the administration’s point man on such things, declared himself outraged at the fact that bin L was living “in plain sight” down the block, so to speak, from the military academy. Obviously people knew he was there, right?
Easy for him to say, but then again, consider the story of the real Don Corleone, whose name is Toto’ Riina. The capo di tutti i capi of the Sicilian Mafia. He lived in Corleone, down the block from the cathedral where Michael Corleone was married in Godfather I. He–Riina, the most wanted man in Italy–lived there for more than twenty years. Corleone’s downtown is maybe ten square blocks, maybe less, and the cathedral is on the main street. Obviously people knew he was there, right?
Well maybe they did. But for twenty years nobody in the very capable Italian anti-Mafia forces seemed to know it. And they must have spoken multiple times with every citizen of the little town. Maybe the whole town was sworn to silence, which is possible, but remarkable if true. Maybe the cops knew but preferred to ignore it. I don’t know. Maybe they didn’t know. I don’t know that either.
Since I don’t know much of anything, I’ve got two movie versions:
ONE: The Paks betrayed bin L to us because the relationship was getting too tense, even for them, and they thought we’d be pleased. All the finger-pointing from the Americans was set up in advance, to provide cover for the spectacular act of betrayal;
TWO: Obama has decided on a big, fast withdrawal from Afghanistan. The bin L operation lets him declare victory, and the branding of the Paks as enemies (at worst) or totally two-faced allies (at best) gives him cover to say “we’ve done all we reasonably could, and I don’t want to have any more of our heroic warriors killed or maimed in that God-forsaken place, and if we can’t get real cooperation from the Paks, we really can’t win a decisive victory.”
Again, I don’t know anything. All of this is sucked out of my (left) thumb (the right thumb is recovering from carpal tunnel). But I don’t believe the Paks didn’t know what was up, I can’t imagine we failed to alert some friends over there that we were entering their air space, and all the yelling at them, combined with the chorus of believers in the press and the Congress makes me very skeptical.
Roger, can we make the movie? Maybe we can make it with both scenarios, and show them on alternating evenings…