Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen says military investigations have turned up no evidence that senior Pakistani officials knew where al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was hiding.
"I've gone into this with my eyes wide open," Mullen said at the State Department on Wednesday. "I've seen no evidence since the bin Laden raid that indicates that the top leadership knew bin Laden was there."
Members of Congress are skeptical that Pakistani officials were ignorant of bin Laden's hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and are trying to block the billions in financial aid that the U.S. sends to Pakistan annually.
"I understand Congress' frustration," said Defense Secretary Robert Gates. "That said, I think we have to proceed with some caution. ... We do have significant interests in Pakistan."
He reiterated that the Pentagon has found no evidence that senior officials were involved in hiding bin Laden. "In fact, we've even seen some evidence to the contrary," he added.
"It's hard to go to them with an accusation when we have no proof that anybody knew," Gates said. "My supposition is that somebody knew ... but we have no idea who and we have no proof and no evidence."