Pakistan greater U.S. enemy than Qaeda, spy says

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Afghan intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh addresses a press conference in Kabul Nov. 16, 2009.
AFP/Getty Images

WASHINGTON - The biggest question raised by the operation to kill Osama bin Laden -- "deep inside Pakistan" as the president made a point of saying -- is how could the world's most-wanted man have been living in the midst of Pakistan's military elite, just an hour's drive from their capital?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that Pakistan's cooperation helped lead the U.S. to bin Laden. But the fact is he was found just a half mile from Pakistan's version of West Point, CBS News chief foreign affairs correspondent Lara Logan reports.

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One man who was not at all surprised is Afghanistan's former spy chief and for years the CIA's lead source on bin Laden, Amrullah Saleh. In a rare "60 Minutes" interview, he said recently that America's greatest enemy in that region is not al Qaeda. It's Pakistan.

Saleh: You have to give Pakistan a title. Is it a friend? What is Pakistan?

Logan: It currently has the title of ally.

Saleh: Right. Deceptive.

Logan: So you think its title should be?

Saleh: It should be a hostile country, a hostile state.

Logan: So Pakistan is the enemy of the U.S.?

Saleh: The amount of pain Pakistan has inflicted upon the United States in the past 12 years is unprecedented. No other country has inflicted that amount of pain upon your nation.

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(Below, read and watch more from Logan's interview)

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Video: More from Saleh

That pain is Pakistan's long-term support for al Qaeda and its allies battling U.S. forces in Afghanistan. On Monday, the president's counterterrorism chief also seemed to point the finger at Pakistan.

"I think it's inconceivable that bin Laden did not have a support system in the country that allowed him to remain there for an extended period of time," John Brennan, the White House counterterrorism adviser, told reporters.

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That was more blunt than Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose carefully worded statement seemed mindful of the fact that the U.S. still needs Pakistan's help in the war on terror.

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"Our partnerships, including our close cooperation with Pakistan, have helped put unprecedented pressure on al Qaeda and its leadership," Clinton said.

That talk of continued co-operation hints at what one top U.S. counterterrorism official said, that they're closely watching Pakistan to see who they'll cough up now that the heat is on them. The U.S. no doubt has an eye on al Qaeda's No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, who are both believed to be protected inside Pakistan along with a number of other significant leaders.

  • Lara Logan
    Lara Logan

    Lara Logan's bold, award-winning reporting from war zones has earned her a prominent spot among the world's best foreign correspondents. Logan began contributing to 60 Minutes in 2005.