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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  May 2, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT

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society's declined the burial. is that true? >> we took steps we had agreed to in the interagency to ensure that the burial at sea was the appropriate thing to do. i will not go into any details about who we might have consulted with in the aftermath of his death and before his burial. >> mr. brennan, can you give us details on whether there were previous operations called a last-minute -- called off at the last minute, and the inability to identify bin laden's body positively -- >> there were different courses of actions and options available to present, as to whether there would be an assault on the ground, or some type of a stand- off option for yet discussed all the pros and cons of them, and through the process of discussion, the options were
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narrowed down until the president decided this was the best option, because it gave us the ability to minimize collateral damage, ensure that we knew who it was that was on that compound, as opposed to taking some type of strike there, and also as a way to do what we could to respect the sovereignty of pakistan and also to allow us to engage with them immediately after the fact as opposed to some type of ordinance that might be dropping on the. thatou mentioned questions would be raised about pakistan, understandably, and the role of pakistan. for you and your counterterrorism not come in the wake of the agreement -- counter-terrorism job come in the wake of the raymond davis episode and the fact that this was done without consultation, are you worried? >> they are expressing
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understanding about the reasons why we did this. they are appreciative that it was done without having pakistani casualty's outside the compound. if the u.s.-pakistani relationship, which is the strategic relationship, goes on a number of different areas and levels -- counterterrorism is one of them. it is a complicated matter. we don't always agree on some of the things we wanted to buy through that communication, we get to where we want to be. we look forward to continuing to work with our pakistani colleagues, because they are as much if not more on the front lines of the battle against terrorism. >> how certain are you that there will be some kind of movement to avenge this debt, some kind of retaliation if you still had the color-coded alerts, would this be a time when you raised the alert?
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>> janet napolitano at homeland security put out a statement saying we don't have a credible threat reporting that would in their mind require the elevation of that status -- of threat status. we make sure we have our vigilance up and take appropriate measures. i think there is always the potential terrorist groups to strike out and then an operation like this, but some of them are asking ourselves -- bin laden is dead, the al qaeda narrative is increasingly bankrupt. there is a new wave sweeping the middle east that is putting a premium on human rights and dignity. the time is to move forward, and we hope this will send a message to the individuals out there
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terrorism and militancy is not a wave of the future, it is the way of the past. >> is al qaeda weaker? >> this is a strategic blow to al qaeda. it is unnecessary, not necessarily sufficient load to -- it is a necessary, not necessarily sufficient load to lead to its demise, but we can create factors within it. number two, so we're hearin -- no. 2, zawahiri, is not charismatic, he was not involved in a fight early on, has a lot of detractors within the organization. we will see them eating themselves more and more. >> there was a replica of the compound but can you tell us about how that was put together? >> you can imagine that with something as important and risky as this, every effort would be
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made to do the practice rounds, and to stand the complexities and layout of a compound. there were multiple opportunities to do that in terms of going through the exercises to prepare for it, so that once they hit the compound, they had already simulated that a number of times. i will not go into details of where and when, but needless to say, when they hit the compound, date at of hatred against it numerous times -- they had already trained against it numerous times. >> the connaught was so big -- compound was so big. how did they know where to find bin laden? was it a bedroom, dining area? >> the outer features were studied intensively, and there were assessments made about where individuals were living and where bin laden and his family were. they operated according to that. they did not know what some of
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the internal features would be, but they had planned based on certain observable pictures of the compound. >> wasn't the bin laden family part of the compound? >> absolutely. >> this is a question mark fo-- more for jay, but given the appeal you have seen from both parties -- given the unity you have seen from both parties, will the president appeal -- >> i will go to april and maybe two or three more --. sar -- sorry. >> how many casualties were there? >> bin laden died, couriers, the
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woman presumed to be his wife, shielding bin laden. >> did someone take her as a shield -- >> i was -- wasn't there. it was an effort to try to shield bin laden. >> the intelligence folks and the administration -- the attack is not about if it will happen, when it will happen. because the head of the snaked was lopped off, are we changing the mindset? >> every day, a counter- terrorism officials, whether it be intelligence, homeland security, law enforcement, are trying to stop an attack that might be out there.
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this does not mean that we are putting down our guard as far as al qaeda is concerned. it may be mortally wounded tiger. we cannot relent, because there are individuals within the organization determined to carry out attacks and murder innocent men, women, and children. >> to you believe that the pakistan government is transparent and be forthcoming with information on osama bin laden, what they knew or finding out more about the situation? >> there are a lot of people in the pakistani government, and i am not going to speculate about who had foreknowledge about bin laden. being there outside of the capital raises questions. but they, in our discussions with them, seemed as surprised
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as we were initially that the logic was holding out in it that area -- as we were initially that bin laden was holding out in that area. >> is the president still firmly committed to visiting pakistan this year? >> i am not going to address the president's schedule. there is a commitment the president made that he is intending to visit pakistan. the president feels very strongly that the people of pakistan need to be able to realize their potential to have a wife that is full of security as well as prosperity, and because -- to have a life that is full of security and prosperity, and because of militant organizations in that country, it too many pakistanis have suffered and died because of that. what the president is wanting to do, and what we're doing, government -- is to see if the pakistani government cannot provide for that livestock in
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the future -- can provide for that lifestyle in the future. >> given that bin laden was out in such a comfortable position in pakistan, and there are big in yemen for counterterrorism, does that on a c -- does that undercut the need to have thousands of troops in afghanistan? >> the basis of the presence in afghanistan is to give that country the security and and not allow al qaeda a chance to ever use that country as a launching pad. we need to make sure that part of the world, which has given rise to a number of groups, al qaeda and others, that they can use the area within kennedy to carry out attacks -- we are a tt withcannot use the area
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impunity to carry out attacks. >> i know that we did not let any other countries know before the bikes, but did the president have any contacts with leaders of nato? >> the president has had a number of conversations with the four leaders. i will not go into individual discussions he has sat, but clearly this is something of international significance and he will continue have a conversation and in the coming days. >[inaudible] >> is that likely that the neighbors had known anything about this? >> when you look at the features of this compound, the walls with barbwire on the top, this is a compound that had a very limited in direction, to the
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best of our knowledge and alteration, -- limited interaction, to the best of our knowledge and observation, with the surrounding houses. it does raise questions about -- [inaudible] well, we have had some indications that they -- the family i was there tried to remain anonymous and tried not to have an erection. again, it does raise questions a -- not come out tri -- tried not to have interaction. again, it does raise questions about the compound. >> the woman that was killed was bin laden's wife? >> my understanding. >> he was using her as a shield. >> we are still getting reports of what happened at the particular moments. she fought back and when there
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was the opportunity to get to belong to it, she was positioned in a way that she was the -- when there was the opportunity to get to bin laden, she was positioned in a way that she was a shield. >> thank you, sir. >> i am not sure we will have more -- >> is there a reason you are 99.9% sure it is bin laden? why not say 100? >> i believe it is based on dna. tonight the president well, obviously, as john said, make some remarks related to the successful mission against osama bin laden. one of the themes he will likely hear a sound will echo what he said last night, but these are good days for america and
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americans. the fact that we were able to accomplish this says a lot about our country and our perseverance. i think you can fairly say that the victims in this country on 9/11, the americans who were victims, were not republicans or democrats. they were americans. those who had been working on this diligently for 9.5 years, not republicans or democrats. they are americans. those who carried out the mission yesterday, the same thing can be said about them. 1 think you'll like it here from the president tonight is the capacity of americans to come together and achieve a very difficult goals when we work together. [inaudible] we can follow up with you on logistics. there are logistical issues.
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we will get it to you right afterwards. let me do it 10 minutes or so so that we can file and other things. i will move around. i will take associated press, then i will move around a little bit. >> obviously, if the president gave this final order on friday morning and then went on the trip on friday and then the correspondents dinner on saturday, can you describe him tkeeping his poker face knowing the actions that were being taken? >> well, i think one thing that is important to note is, as john mentioned, the compartmentalization here. there was obviously a success and a different level, which was the ability to keep the mission secret. having spent a great deal of time with him on friday, i can say that he was focused on the devastation in tuscaloosa, and
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talked a lot about it in the wake of that is it -- that visit. the experience that i think what's unique about that -- when folks get an opportunity to meet the president, there are different ways that they do that -- town hall meetings, rope lines, things like that. but there's something unique about our president being able to meet individuals who have suffered such terrible things, as those residents of tuscaloosa did, and in their moment of despair, that is very powerful. he was focused on that. obviously, keep an ample, and then on to -- cape canaveral, and then on to the commencement address at miami-dade college. having said that, he was taking calls and up rather early, and the same thing on saturday and sunday pratt sunday, he spent a
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great deal of this date in the west wing, a situation room. >> other than at bin laden, what are his objectives as far as budget and debt limit? >> this is a continuation of its effort to bring leaders of congress here in a social setting with spouses to improve communication in general. there is no agenda, there is no goal in terms of budget or any other issue, except to have that kind of conversation, which i think he finds a useful thing to do in terms of, in some ways, creating a better environment for the kind of work about the white house and congress needs to do together. nothing beyond that, george. hold on one second.
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>> thank you. two things. who is in charge of the compound now? >> that was asked -- or understanding from the visuals we have seen is that pakistani authorities are in charge of the compound. >> what was the legal basis for the intervention? >> i would refer you to the president said, that deepened the it -- that given the attack that osama bin laden launched against the united states, the lies he took not just on 9/11, -- lives he took not just on 9/11, that he was a high-value target, and that given actionable intelligence to capture or kill osama bin elated, he would move quickly to
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take action. the opportunity presented itself. >> this would apply to pakistan and other countries he was found -- >> there was a great deal of confidence among experts for some time now that he was in that border region or in pakistan. i don't think the hypothetical makes a lot of sense. sheryl. >> as the president picked a new commerce secretary? >> i don't have personnel announcements for you or timing of personnel announcements. bill press. >> almost lost in this news is the nato strike against gaddafi's compound on saturday. does the white house believed that admission was in it
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carryin -- that admission was keeping with the united nations mission? >> we do believe that, and we continue to focus on that mission, as we do on other missions. >> [unintelligible] to gaddafi? >> you could say that. [laughter] >> that was jay carney, the white house spokesman. before him, john brennan, the chief counterterrorism adviser. we heard a lot from john brennan in that briefing, which lasted some 48 minutes. john brennan telling us a great deal of detail about the operation 20 or so hours ago that led to the killing of osama bin laden. listing -- listening in is our correspondent, katty kay, at the
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pentagon. huge amount of detail emerging. katty, i believe we cannot speak to her at the moment. if you can hear me -- i would just like a little of what we heard in that -- i would just outlined a little of what we heard in that news conference from john brennan. pakistan was not told about this operation until all u.s. personnel, the navy seals, were out of pakistani airspace, according to john brennan. he was asked, do you believe pakistanis didn't know he was there, and he said we are looking at the possibility he had some kind of support system. we're talking to the pakistanis of how he was able to stay there, and we're talking to the pakistanis on a regular basis. we learned this was an operation carried out with real-time visibility. this was visible and followable
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personnel back there. they had c-- the president, he said, had to make a decision about whether to go for the operation, and that it was one of the gutsiest calls a u.s. president made in recent memory. katty, can you hear me? >> i can hear you. it was an absolutely fascinating reading. less than 24 hours after personnel got there, we're getting a lot of information about how the whole operation unfolded. what struck me was this whole issue about the fact that they did not tell the pakistanis, so the pakistanis did not know what a firefighter was about. it was clearly concerned in the white house on sunday as they were monitoring about whether
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pakistani forces would retaliate, or what they would it do that. clearly a real risk for the white house that pakistani forces or jet fighters would become involved in this, and in that case, what would at navy seals have done? also interesting from john brennan is that he had been tracking a somewhat belated for 15 -- tracking osama bin laden for 15 years and this is the first time since tora bora that they were close to getting him. what a long time they won with very little information about where been mawson was. -- where bin laden was. >> fascinating talking about the absolute anxiety and had until all the navy seals were out of the airspace. what about low that he believes this is to the al qaeda operation -- the blow he believes this is to the al qaeda
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operation? >> i had a conversation with an official who reiterated what john brennan was saying, and he said this was strategically important, not just symbolically important. the official i spoke to said they do believe that osama bin laden was involved in the long- term strategic planning in the direction of al qaeda and was useful as a recruiting tool in a way that ayman al-zawahiri, the no. 2, is not. zawahiri did not have the bona fides of bin laden. they went at considerable risk to american forces and at to relations with pakistanis as well. >> he mentioned it has agreements with pakistan, but he also gave reassurances -- he mentioned it disagreements with pakistan, but also give reassurances.
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>> the white house still recognizes the significance of a very troubled relationship with pakistan, but keen to give credit pakistanis. they have detained, he said, way more terrorists than any other country, and the pakistanis have been a close ally with terrorists internally. while there are questions, and the white house is recognizing this, on how it could possibly be that osama bin laden could be hiding out so close to a major pakistani military academy, clearly the fact that they did not tell pakistanis suggested there is a real cost of is that there, but also, the white house -- real trust deficit there, but also, the white house keen to give credit. >> bin laden threatened attacks
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against pakistan and the united states. american embassies are on high alert, and british foreign secretary william hague has told all british embassies to review their security. >> the mantle al qaeda's leadership is likely to pass from right to left, from was, related to -- from osama bin laden to dr. ayman al-zawahiri. in trouble, impoverished yemen, al qaeda has set up a new base. it has taken in the brightest brains of its saudi affiliate and is a serious threat to the west. anwar al-awlaki speaks in fluent english. it was this group that sent ithe
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underpants bomber to the united states in 2009. the operations failed, but the group has boasted of planning the next one. >> i don't think the tactics are likely to change particularly. al qaeda as a terrorist organization has long been parasitic. it is relying on others protect its leaders and other groups to deliver kinetic effect. when you look at what is happening in afghanistan, most of the activity with which al qaeda is this as it involves other groups. >> bombing of this cafe in marrakesh has been blamed on jihadis. in 2009, they murdered this briton, and insurgents are holding french hostages demanded
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the withdrawal of french troops from afghanistan. >> see the news unfold, that the top stories from around the globe, and click to play video reports. experienced in that reporting of bbc world thosnews online. >> funding was made possible by frieden bank, newman's own foundation, the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, and union bank. >> union bank has put its global expertise to work for a wide
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