8:13am

Tue May 10, 2011
The Two-Way

U.S. Was 'Braced For Fights' With Pakistanis, 'New York Times' Reports

"President Obama insisted that the assault force hunting down Osama bin Laden last week be large enough to fight its way out of Pakistan if confronted by hostile local police officers and troops," The New York Times writes this morning, citing anonymous "senior administration and military officials" as its sources.

According to the Times, Obama's insistence is in part the reason why four helicopters ended up being involved in the raid last week that ended with bin Laden's death.

There never was any confrontation with any Pakistani authorities.

Other stories related to the bin Laden raid this morning include:

-- Bloomberg News — "Pakistan Will Allow U.S. Officials To Question Osama Bin Laden's Widows": Three of bin Laden's wives were with him at the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and "the Obama administration expects to get access to the women soon, based on a response from the Pakistani government, a U.S. official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The specific timing of the access wasn't set, the official said."

-- Morning Edition — "Bin Laden's Death May Speed Afghan War Settlement": Vali Nasr, a recent adviser to the State Department who has written several books about the Muslim world, says that with bin Laden eliminated some room may open up for a negotiated settlement between the government of President Hamid Karzai and the forces who oppose him.

-- Musharraf Calls Talk Of A Secret U.S.-Pakistani Deal "Absolutely Baseless": Monday, The Guardian reported that "the U.S. and Pakistan struck a secret deal almost a decade ago permitting a US operation against Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil similar to last week's raid that killed the al-Qaida leader, the Guardian has learned. The deal was struck between the military leader General Pervez Musharraf and President George [W.] Bush."

This morning, Musharraf posted this note on his Facebook page:

"The accusation of my having allowed intrusion into Pakistan by U.S. forces chasing Osama bin Laden is absolutely baseless. Never has this subject even been discussed between myself and President Bush leave aside allowing such freedom of action that would violate our sovereignty."

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