Although the compound where bin Laden hid for five years was large, the three wives were all cooped up in the same house. The older two lived on the second floor and the youngest one on the top. Their husband alternated between them. Pakistani officials who have been debriefing the women portray life in the compound as an Islamic version of Desperate Housewives. ... "It's a well-known fact that when you have two older wives and then this young one comes along half their age, they don't like it," said one.
The wives even dispute who tried to protect their husband in the raid. The youngest was reported to have attempted to save him, sustaining a bullet wound to her calf. But the older wives say they were the ones who rushed to shield him.
According to Najwa's account, he kept his wives behind walls from the start. Expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1991, they spent five years in Sudan, until the Khartoum government kicked them out and they travelled to Afghanistan. They lived on a mountainside in Tora Bora then, when the Taliban took power, moved to Kandahar. Apart from their time in Tora Bora, the wives always had separate houses or apartments. Bin Laden divided his nights between them.
In Abbottabad, CIA agents, who watched bin Laden from satellites and stealth drones referred to the tall figure walking round and round the compound as the Pacer.
"The joke in Pakistan is that Bin Laden called in his location to CIA because he was being driven mad cooped up for five years with so many wives and children," said Rehman Malik, Pakistan's interior minister.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.