US says operation of killing Osama bin Laden was legal
United States Attorney General, Eric Holder, reiterated on Thursday that the US operation that killed Osama bin Laden was legal. Meanwhile, Pakistan's former intelligence chief denounced the US for not sharing information about Osama bin Laden's whereabouts.
The US Attorney General made the remarks during an interview in London with British broadcaster Sky News. Holder's remarks echoed those he made on Wednesday in Washington before the Senate Judiciary Committee, when he said the death was part of a legitimate military operation.
He said, "What we did was not an assassination; it was consistent with international law, and I think one has to focus on the way in which the operation occurred. People there who could have been shot were not. The woman who was with him was wounded in the leg, as opposed to being shot in any other place, and so I think we conducted ourselves in an appropriate way, especially given his professed desire not to be taken alive."
On Thursday, Pakistan's former intelligence chief denounced the United States for not sharing information about Osama bin Laden's whereabouts and challenged American intelligence officials to name one time when cooperating led to a botched operation.
General Ehsan Ul Haq, Former Head of Pakistan's Inter-Servies Intelligence, said, "We were picking up information and we were sharing it with the Americans. The Americans have decided to keep their information with them. That's why, when I made my initial comments, this could have been a turning point if they had used, if they had brought the ISI on board because I can't recall any incident in the past where they shared information with us and as a consequence of the operation got botched.
Pakistan is facing ongoing pressure from inside the country and abroad to explain why Pakistani intelligence didn't know that bin Laden was hiding in their country and whether some Pakistani officials knew and protected him.
General Ehsan Ul Haq said Pakistan has handed over senior al-Qaeda operatives to the US in the past, and such information helped develop a wealth of data about al-Qaeda, which ultimately led the US to find bin Laden.
[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 13May11]
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