Let's say you've got a toddler. Maybe you already do! Let's take your hypothetical toddler on a walk where (oh no!) it is bitten badly by a nasty dog with a reputation for attacking little kids all over the neighborhood. And then, boom! The dog disappears. You'd hunt for the dog, right? You might even enlist the help of your neighbors in hunting for that dog. Now flash forward ten years. Your toddler is a stupid, fat fourth-grader (this is America, after all). One day, you find out the dog that bit your kid is STILL ALIVE and, in fact, has been living in the spare bedroom of one of the buddies who "helped" you search for it all those years ago.
"Hey, friend," you'd say to the buddy in question. "What gives?"
"Haha, oops!" he'd say. "I didn't know the dog was there in my guest bedroom, an easily-accessible and very nice room literally right next to my own bedroom! LOL! Can we still be friendsies?"
And that, in one terrible extended metaphor, is the state of America's relationship with Pakistan. Here is a slightly smarter, more nuanced version of events as provided by your New York Times…
The United States government is demanding to know whether, and to what extent, Pakistani government, intelligence or military officials were complicit in hiding Bin Laden. His widows could be critical to that line of inquiry because they might have information about the comings and goings of people who were aiding him.
"We have asked for access," [national security adviser] Mr. Donilon said on the CNN program "State of the Union," "including three wives who they now have in custody from the compound, as well as additional materials that they took from the compound."
The request had echoes of previous struggles with Islamabad, starting with the days right after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Then, the United States insisted that Pakistan clearly choose sides and join the United States in fighting Al Qaeda, and Pakistan formally broke ties with the Taliban government, which was still in power in Afghanistan. But ever since, Washington has frequently lost out in its efforts to seek information about the loyalties and actions of top Pakistani officials.
So good luck with squeezing any info out of your neighbor! Sure, you had the dog put down, but you're never gonna find out who paid for its chew toys and wee-wee pads and organic free-range doggie biscuits for the past 10 frigging years.
Here's a thought, though: maybe stop inviting that neighbor to dinner parties. And, you know, giving him shitloads of money every time he asks.
Photo via Getty Images
Tags: al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, Pakistan, Terrorism