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CIA ran bin Laden operation

Has anyone noticed that CIA Director Leon Panetta has said a lot more about the Navy commandos’ killing of Osama bin Laden than has the Pentagon chief, who, after all, is second in the military chain of command behind President Barack Obama? The reason Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said exactly nothing about the raid is that the CIA, not the Pentagon, ran the operation. That fact speaks volumes about the government’s rarely noticed post-9/11 melding of military might with intelligence craft. It’s gotten a lot harder lately to distinguish between soldier and spy. The blending of the two missions
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Pakistan deploys lobbyists to save U.S. aid

Within hours of the stunning announcement that Osama bin Laden had been killed by U.S. commandos, a lobbying firm representing Pakistan’s government began contacting members of Congress and their staffs to counter claims Islamabad protected the al-Qaida chief for nearly six years. The push by Locke Lord Strategies to turn the tide against criticism of Pakistan — and preserve the country’s billions of dollars in U.S. aid — illustrates one of Washington’s enduring realities: No matter the issue or the crisis, lobbyists are working behind the scenes to shape opinions on Capitol Hill. At stake is the continued flow of
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No evidence that Pakistan knew bin Laden was living there

The Obama administration has seen no evidence Pakistan’s leadership knew Osama bin Laden was living in that country before his killing last week by U.S. forces, the U.S. national security adviser said on Sunday. “I can tell you directly that — I’ve not seen evidence that would tell us that the political, the military, or the intelligence leadership had foreknowledge — of bin Laden,” Tom Donilon told NBC’s “Meet the Press” when asked if Pakistan was guilty of harboring the al Qaeda leader. But he added bin Laden’s residence for several years inside a compound in Abbottabad, 35 miles north
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Obama: Risky plan to get bin Laden was best option

President Barack Obama says he knew that sending special forces in helicopters to get Osama bin Laden at his Pakistan compound was risky, but he felt it was the best way to make sure they had their man. In an interview aired Sunday on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” the president said he thought it was very important to be able to be sure. “In some ways, sending in choppers and actually putting our guys on the ground entailed some greater risks than some other options,” Obama said. “I thought it was important, though, for us to be able to say that
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Volker: Deficits pose real danger to economic stability

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker warned on Friday that trillion-dollar deficits posed a threat to the stability of the U.S. economy and the dollar, and said he is frustrated by the gridlock in Washington. Speaking before the World Affairs Council of Oregon, Volcker said that “prolonging trillion dollar deficits can’t be a reality” and that the United States is on course to have its public debt exceed the size of its gross domestic product. “One way or another, we do have to return to a balanced budget,” he said in prepared remarks. Volcker’s speech came on the same day
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Obama spotlights focus on economy, jobs

President Barack Obama is reassuring the public that jobs and the economy are his top priority. At the end of a historic and emotionally charged week that began with his nationally televised announcement that Osama bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan during a raid by U.S. special forces, Obama on Saturday returned to promoting his energy agenda. U.S. forces raided a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where bin Laden had lived for several years, killing the al-Qaida leader. The news of bin Laden’s demise dominated the week’s headlines. “So although our economy hasn’t been the focus of the news this
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U.S. mining treasure trove of intelligence from bin Laden raid

Intelligence experts will mine the secrets of Osama bin Laden as they sort through a trove of material seized during the deadly raid on his Pakistan compound. The documents have already shown the world’s most wanted terrorist was actively involved in planning and directing al-Qaida’s plots. Notes and computer material gathered by Navy SEALs after the pre-dawn raid last Monday, local time, revealed bin Laden’s home was a command-and-control center for the terrorist network, said a senior U.S. intelligence official who briefed reporters Saturday and insisted his name not be used. Bin Laden was eager to strike American cities again
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Hiring, unemployment rise in April

Companies created jobs at the fastest pace in five years in April, pointing to underlying strength in the economy even as the jobless rate rose to 9.0 percent. Private sector hiring, including a big jump at retailers, boosted overall nonfarm payrolls by 244,000, the largest increase in 11 months, the Labor Department said on Friday. Economists had expected a gain of only 186,000. The private sector created 268,000 jobs, the most since February 2006, while government payrolls shrank. The data backed views the economic recovery would regain speed this quarter after stumbling in the first three months of the year.
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Obama to assault team: ‘Job well done’

Brimming with pride, President Barack Obama on Friday met and honored the U.S. commandos he sent after terror mastermind Osama bin Laden, saluting them on behalf of America and the world and capping an extraordinary week for the country. “Job well done,” the president declared. Obama addressed roughly 2,000 troops after meeting privately with the full assault team — Army helicopter pilots and Navy SEAL commandos — who executed the dangerous raid on bin Laden’s compound and killed the al-Qaida leader in Pakistan early Monday. Their identities are kept secret. Speaking to a sweltering hangar full of cheering soldiers, Obama
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Al-Qaida vows revenge for bin Laden’s death

Al-Qaida vowed to keep fighting the United States and avenge the death of Osama bin Laden, which it acknowledged for the first time Friday in an Internet statement apparently designed to convince followers that it will remain vigorous and intact even after its founder’s demise. Al-Qaida’s plots are usually large-scale and involve planning over months or even years. But Western intelligence officials say they are seeing increased chatter about cheap, small-scale attacks — perhaps by individuals or small extremist groups inspired to take revenge for the killing. “USA, you will pay!” chanted more than 100 participants in a pro-bin Laden
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