Forget the cover story of waterboarding-leads-to-courier-leads-to bin Laden. Sources in the intelligence community tell me that after years of trying and one bureaucratically insane near-miss in Yemen, the US government killed OBL because a Pakistani intelligence officer came forward to collect the approximately $25 million reward from the State Department’s Rewards for Justice program.
The informant was a walk-in.
The ISI officer came forward to claim the substantial reward and to broker US citizenship for his family. My sources tell me that the informant claimed that the Saudis were paying off the Pakistani military and intelligence (ISI) to essentially shelter and keep bin Laden under house arrest in Abbottabad, a city with such a high concentration of military that I’m told there’s no equivalent in the US.
The CIA and friends then set about proving that OBL was indeed there. And they did.
Next they approached the chiefs of the Pakistani military and the ISI. The US was going to come in with or without them. The CIA offered them a deal they couldn’t refuse: they would double what the Saudis were paying them to keep bin Laden if they cooperated with the US. Or they could refuse the deal and live with the consequences: the Saudis would stop paying and there would be the international embarrassment…
The ISI and Pakistani military were cooperating with the US on the raid.
The cooperation was why there were no troops in Abbottabad. They were all pulled out. It had always seemed very far-fetched to me that a helicopter could crash and later destroyed in an area with such high military concentration without the Pakistanis noticing. But then it seemed even wilder to believe that a US Navy SEAL (DEVGRU) actually shot a woman who rushed them in the leg. Yeah, right. I know these guys. They only way they’ll shoot a woman in the leg is if they are double tapping a head or chest and that leg got in the way.
DEVGRU shoots to kill.
The cover story was going to be a drone strike in Pakistan and it was designed to hide the cooperation of the Pakistani military and intelligence services. Things went south when the helicopter crashed. The White House freaked and the cooperating Pakistanis were thrown under the bus.
Although the White House really pissed off the intel and DEVGRU guys with their knee-jerk reaction that tossed the Pakistanis under the proverbial bus, ironically it did have the same outcome as the original CIA cover story: the way they were treated, no one believes Generals Kiyani and Pasha were cooperating with the US.
Big shaka for that, Barry!
(cross-posted @ The Spy Who Billed Me)