On last night’s “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart moved from cathartically reacting to the death of Osama bin Laden to asking an important question. No, he didn’t speculate whether bin Laden was really buried at sea. Rather, he questioned whether Pakistan’s leaders knew where the al-Qaeda leader was living.
Stewart wondered how bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound could be so close to Pakistan’s West Point equivalent and Islamabad, the capital city, yet go unnoticed. “The Pakistani military could have caught bin Laden with a rod and reel or a giant Acme magnet,” Stewart said. “You were neighbors.”
Because of the compound’s location, size and visibility, Stewart said that Pakistan’s leaders, including former President Pervez Musharraf, “have some ‘splainin’ to do.”
Musharraf told CBS News this week, "I don't remember at all having said that [bin Laden] surely will not be in Pakistan...there was no proof, obviously, and those who were saying he was in Pakistan, I don't think they were talking with any evidence."
“You want us to believe that ISI, the Pakistani intelligence, the military, the government, they didn’t have any idea bin Laden was there or any involvement in putting bin Laden there,” Stewart asked, not buying the former president’s explanation that the Inter-Services Intelligence agency wouldn’t hide bin Laden in such an obvious place. “If Waldo hid the way Osama bin Laden did, I wouldn’t find those books so incredibly frustrating,” Stewart said.
Stewart isn’t the only one questioning Pakistani leaders about their knowledge of bin Laden’s whereabouts. “How is it possible that the Pakistan army, and the Pakistan police and the Pakistan intelligence did not know of the presence of bin Laden when it was in such a central place?” Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) asked on NPR Tuesday. This question has been echoed by many others in Congress, including Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Some U.S. lawmakers have suggested reconsidering the $3 billion in annual aid given to Pakistan, while others, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), have rejected this notion for the time being. The Post reports that Obama administration officials have “demanded ... that Pakistan quickly provide answers to specific questions.”
Watch the clip below: