Pakistan and bin Laden

| Tue May 3, 2011 12:13 PM EDT

Time's Massimo Calabresi interviews CIA chief Leon Panetta on the bin Laden raid:

Months prior, the U.S. had considered expanding the assault to include coordination with other countries, notably Pakistan. But the CIA ruled out participating with its nominal South Asian ally early on because “it was decided that any effort to work with the Pakistanis could jeopardize the mission. They might alert the targets,” Panetta says.

I'm surprised to hear this. Not surprised that everyone thought this, but surprised that Panetta is saying it publicly. Our official posture toward Pakistan has been getting steadily tougher for a while now, and apparently it's now OK to flatly to assert on the record that they're in bed with al-Qaeda. Interesting.

In the end, I think it's quite possible that the effect of the bin Laden raid on our relationship with Pakistan will end up being its most important long-term consequence. Stay tuned.

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