Martin Bashir | May 02, 2011
>>> how was osama bin laden able to hide out in a large compound just 35 miles north of the capital of pakistan without the pakistani government knowing a single thing about it? now that he's dead, should the pakistanis be forced to answer that question? senator chuck shum ser a democr -- schumer is a democrat from new york and he joins us. good afternoon.
>> good afternoon.
>> i wonder if i can ask for your immediate reaction that osama bin laden was taken and killed?
>> well, obviously as a new yorker in particular i felt very good. i knew people who were lost in 9/11. a guy i played basketball with in high school , a business man who helped me on my way up, a firefighter who did blood drives, and when i talked to the families of the 9/11 people, they would say, gee, you know, it just galls us to see that man, bin laden , still alive while our father, sister, daughter is dead. well, at least they won't be galled. they'll still have a hole in their hearts. their loved ones are lost, but some justice was done and i think for most of the families that will be some degree of solace.
>> in the light of that solace, a statement was issued just a few moments ago by a new jersey senator, frank lautenberg , and he said before we send another dime, we need to know whether pakistan truly stands with us in the fight against terrorism. until congress and the american public are assured that the pakistani government is not shielding terrorists, financial aid to pakistan should be suspended. do you agree with that?
>> well, i'm not sure i agree with it. we know that pakistan is a divided country. there's a strong pro-western element and, in fact, if you talk to the top people in our intelligence organizations, pakistan was helpful in finding bin laden . at the same time there's also a strong element that is anti-u.s., pro-taliban. their whole goal is to fight india and they seek allies in that regard and we're not part of that, and that's why, of course, the mission could not be told to pakistan because there were too many people in the defense agencies, the intelligence agencies who weren't trustworthy. and so there's a division. now, the hope is that the killing of bin laden will strengthen the hand of those who are pro-western and on our side. but i think you have to be careful before cutting off aid because the country is vital to us, and we need to find ways to strengthen the pro-western factions in pakistan and weaken those who are anti-western, pro-taliban.
>> you will know, however, that a number of governments around the world, the british government , for example, the indian government , have all accused pakistan of operating as it were with two faces. on the one hand, taking, resourcing and gifts and charitable donations and on the other hand using their own security operations to protect terrorists and members of al qaeda . how do we get into that mindset and change it at the very center of pakistani governments?
>> well, it's a very -- that's one of the $64,000 questions, because i think with all the trouble we have in so many other parts of the world over the next decade, pakistan could be more trouble than inelse. a huge country, a poorclear country with lots of different divisions and very dangerous factions. but to abandon it would be the wrong idea. because then we're going to lose everything. we have to figure out a policy that will strengthen the pro-western hand in pakistan .
>> if the pakistanis were in some way protecting bin laden , do you think it's possible that other high-value terrorists may also be enjoying the safety of the pakistani government and intelligence services ?
>> if pakistan was protecting bin laden , then absolutely a corollary would flow that they're probably protecting others. and we'll have to wait and see and get as much evidence as we can. it is a very, very difficult, it's probably the most difficult foreign policy question we face.
>> and in terms of your own constituents, do you share with them their sense of celebration that was expressed earlier today in times square and down at ground zero ?
>> well, you know, celebration would not be quite the right word, but pride and patriotism. you know, i visited the site of 9/11 a day after with senator clinton . the smell of death was in the air. it was so moving. one of the most poignant things was hundreds and hundreds of people holding up signs and pictures of loved ones . have you seen my sister, nelly? have you seen my father, bill? it was just so moving and so that night when i got home, i said, i'm going to put a flag on my lapel and i called on americans to wear the flag. millions did. i've worn this flag every day on my lapel since 9/11, god willing i'll wear it the rest of my life. i have to tell you something, martin, my feeling, i couldn't be prouder than to wear this flag today.
>> new york senator chuck schumer , thanks so much for joining us this afternoon.
>> thank you.