The Cable

Feinstein ‘rumor’: Pakistan lost the files on Osama’s compound

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said on Tuesday that the Pakistani government may have lost the paperwork that would explain how a compound was bought and built in Abbotabad to house Osama bin Laden for over five years. Feinstein, the head of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is being more careful lately not to spill ...

Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said on Tuesday that the Pakistani government may have lost the paperwork that would explain how a compound was bought and built in Abbotabad to house Osama bin Laden for over five years.

Feinstein, the head of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is being more careful lately not to spill classified intelligence when talking in committee meetings or with reporters. But in a brief Tuesday interview with The Cable in the hallways of the Capitol building, she said she was very suspicious of "rumors" that Pakistan had misplaced the records regarding the bin Laden safe house.

Asked by The Cable if she had seen any evidence that senior Pakistani government officials had been involved in the hiding of bin Laden, Feinstein paused, thought for a moment, and then gave a very careful response.

"I don’t understand how somebody could buy the land for $48,000, get the building permits, get a contractor, build for a period of time what is essentially the largest home compound in the area, where somebody lives for five years, and nobody asks who’s there or finds out who’s there," she said.

Then she offered this fascinating tidbit:

"I understand it’s very difficult to go back and find the records, that they suddenly disappeared. That’s not a positive sign either," she said.

Pressed by The Cable on how she knew that the bin Laden files had been lost, she said, "That’s what the rumor is… I didn’t hear this from [the] intel [community]."

Feinstein also criticized Pakistan for reportedly arresting five CIA informants who helped set up the bin Laden raid, and said it was problematic that Pakistan seems to be warning militants that U.S. strikes are coming.

"According to the Army Times, at least four mutually agreed upon targets, the Pakistani side has alerted the target, and the target has cleared out," she said, again attributing the information to open sources. "Put together, those are not hopeful signs."

 Twitter: @joshrogin

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