(Host) Senator Patrick Leahy is calling for a complete review of foreign aid to Pakistan. Leahy says he wants to be certain that Pakistan is a strong ally of the United States in the war on terrorism. Leahy’s decision is significant because he’s the chairman of the Senate subcommittee that distributes foreign aid.
Leahy says he’s certain that some Pakistani military and intelligence officials knew that Osama bin Laden was living in a suburb of Pakistan’s capital and he’s disappointed that the officials didn’t notify the United States:
(Leahy) "It’s impossible for them not to have had some idea he was there and of course it’s obvious the Obama Administration worried about that the fact they didn’t tell anybody in Pakistan what they were doing. I’m going to have my Appropriations subcommittee we’re going to reevaluate the whole question of aid to Pakistan."
(Host) The Obama Administration is seeking $1.8 billion in new aid for Pakistan. Leahy says his committee isn’t going to simply sign a blank check for the request:
(Leahy) "We’re not going to just walk away from Pakistan we do have some very real reasons to be concerned with them but I also don’t believe that we have to say we’re just going to give you money and we’re not going to ask for any accountability."
(Host) There are reports that bin Laden was unarmed when he was shot by Navy SEALS. Leahy says the U.S. soldiers made the right decision to open fire when they did:
(Leahy) "You’ve got a firefight going on finally work your way to the top floor. A man who’s 6 foot 6 comes rushing at them I don’t think it’s fair to expect a SEAL to say ‘Gosh he’s going to reach me in about a quarter of a second I should first determine is he armed or not armed. I think the Navy SEAL who was there did exactly what he is trained to do."
(Host) Leahy says the United States has "a complex and difficult relationship" with Pakistan that requires a comprehensive review before any final decision is made about future funding.