Council on Foreign Relations Prez Haass says it "strains credulity" that Pakistan didn't know bin Laden's location 

Richard Haass, a former State Department official and current president of the Council on Foreign Relations, says it is not credible that the Pakistani government didn't know the location of Osama bin Laden, and the news of his whereabouts raises serious questions about their commitment to helping the United States fight terrorism.

 “It strains credulity to think that Pakistan didn't know what was going on in the suburbs of Islamabad,” Haass said during a conference call.

Haass served as director of policy planning for the Department of State from 2001 to 2003, and recalled that after the Sept. 11 attacks, Pakistan faced a similar “moment of truth.” He said the U.S. told Pakistan, “You are going to have to fundamentally change your relationship with the Taliban or you will end up with a fundamentally different relationship with us.”

While the Pakistanis said they'd help the U.S., the cooperation has been limited. Pakistan has argued that they don't have much capacity, but Haass said the bin Laden news suggests that they may not even want to help when they can. At a minimum, he said it suggests, “What appears to be a willingness to look the other way.”

He later added, “Pakistan essentially has a choice. It either partners with the United States much more completely, or it has to be prepared for the United States to act independently.”

Haass said that if the Associated Press report is correct about the role that harsh interrogation techniques played in the intelligence gathering operation, then it would likely reignite the debate on the use of those techniques.

Despite all the excitement, however, he cautioned, “I do not think this is a transformational event” in terms of the effect that bin Laden's death has on the operational ability of terrorists.

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