Kissinger: 'Almost Impossible' That Pakistan Didn't Know Bin Laden Was Hiding in the Region

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 3, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: There is backlash in Pakistan. Pakistan is now criticizing the United States-led raid that killed Usama bin Laden. Why? Because the U.S. did not notify Pakistan of the attack for fear of losing the target.

And there is much more. Earlier today former secretary of state Henry Kissinger went "On the Record."


VAN SUSTEREN: Dr. Kissinger, nice to see you, sir.


VAN SUSTEREN: The AP is reporting that Pakistan says it has deep concerns over unauthorized U.S. raid against Usama bin Laden. What do you think about that?

KISSINGER: Well, they have to say that they are defending the airspace, but, you know, it's a strange situation.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why is it strange?

KISSINGER: Well, it's hard to believe that they did not know that bin Laden was there. Almost inconceivable also conceivable to me that somebody in the Pakistani establishment cooperated with us in making the raid possible and they don't want to admit either.

If they admit the first they admit collusion with the terrorist. If they admit the second, they admit cooperation with Americans. Either one of them will hurt them with their public.

VAN SUSTEREN: I find it impossible to believe that someone in the military or the ISI didn't know that bin Laden was there much.

KISSINGER: I find that inconceivable.

VAN SUSTEREN: Impossible or inconceivable? Or is it the same.

KISSINGER: Almost impossible. It's a military town military school there. It's 80 miles from the capital. The building had unusual characteristics, no telephone, no internet. Somebody had to ask the question of how did he get there?

VAN SUSTEREN: What does that mean for our relationship with Pakistan? Now we have proof although many are suspicious of Pakistan leading up to this? What do we do?

KISSINGER: It's not do they have sympathy with some of the terrorist groups. They do because they created some -- the Taliban was actually created by Pakistan as part of the war against the Soviet Union and Afghanistan. So we are cooperating with Afghanistan and they with us own national interest. They are not doing it as a favor to us. On some issues our national interests coincides. In their view it doesn't coincide on everything. So we get mixed cooperation.

VAN SUSTEREN: Some of these decisions are life and death. They are not just money. Whether it's sending drones into particular areas or supplying supply routes to American soldiers.

KISSINGER: The territories in which the terrorists are based in Pakistan have never really been fully controlled by the government, then under the British and then under the current government. So to some extent, there is some plausibility but there is no doubt that the Pakistanis would at least some elements in Pakistan want to keep the Taliban as a reserve in case of a conflict with India, which is their overriding obsession.

So what we have to decide from case to case is to what extent do our interests coincide. But we have to understand that for Afghanistan -- for Pakistan, Afghanistan, that's not represent identical interest with the United States.

VAN SUSTEREN: There are two things that I wondered about. One is if bin Laden was there, are the others there like al Zawahiri, the number two. The second thing is how can we feel safe that their nuclear weapons are secure and secured by the right people?

KISSINGER: The Taliban is almost certainly there, because it's organic connection it's with that part of Pakistan.

VAN SUSTEREN: So they are essentially protecting him if he is there.

KISSINGER: They are making it possible for his survival, closing their eyes to his presence. I think that's almost certain.

With nuclear weapons, that is a totally different issue for them. They know if the weapons are unsafe. If they threaten us or if they get into a nuclear war with other countries that would involve us in a way that they would not be willing to face.

So, in that respect, we have a common interest -- I think it is possible -- I think it is likely that they are keeping their nuclear weapons safe. What could happen further down the road it's not that they are able to protect nuclear weapons but for example they sell them to the Saudis or to other possible allies. That is the worry one has to have about the Pakistan nuclear establishment as a backup to other radical or to radical Islamic government.

VAN SUSTEREN: Dr. Kissinger, thank you, sir.