US Says China Photographed Secret Bin Laden Kill-Copter

That mostly-intact tail of the top secret stealth helicopter that helped kill Osama? According to US intelligence figures, Pakistan gave China full access as revenge for the raid—including photos, and chunks of the damn thing, the NYT reports.

Although the reports aren't 100% confirmed, the NYT says American spies are pretty sure China's military eyeballed the super Black Hawk before Pakistan finally shipped it back:

One person with knowledge of the intelligence assessments said that the American case was based mostly on intercepted conversations in which Pakistani officials discussed inviting the Chinese to the crash site. He characterized intelligence officials as being "certain" that Chinese engineers were able to photograph the helicopter and even walk away with samples of the wreckage.

This makes sense. Pakistan was incensed over the in-and-out penetration of their air space, and despite the fact that SEAL Team 6 blew the hell out of the downed chopper, having hands-on access to the sophisticated modded tail section could be a boon for the Chinese. Although their military is large and well-funded, it still relies heavily on the tech of other countries—whether purchased, like their new carrier, or outright stolen. The ability to reverse engineer the tech that allowed commandos to enter another country's borders, kill a bunch of people, and then slip out undetected would be enormously valuable to any country—especially one with China's burgeoning military agenda. The tail section's not the whole puzzle, but if they can reproduce it, they'll have a very powerful piece. [NYT]