1. Osama bin Laden was being held in Abottabad as a prisoner of ISI, the Pakistani Intelligence Service, which was using him as a hostage to keep al Qaeda from attacking Pakistan. The Saudis were funding his detention.
2. There was no courier trail. A former Pakistani intelligence spilled the beans to the CIA in order to get the offered reward.
3. The Pakistanis knew we were coming, and reluctantly agreed to let the US conduct the hit under threat of loss of US aid.
4. There was no heroism and no firefight. Osama had no guards. He was a helpless invalid and a prisoner and the Seals were under orders simply to kill him out of hand.
5. Osama was not in touch with, or directing, al Qaeda operations, and there was no treasure trove of intelligence.
6. Barack Obama then completely broke his word to the Pakistanis. There was supposed to be a delayed announcement that Osama had been killed by a drone strike on the Afghan side of the Hindu Kush, no mention of the house in Abottabad, and no clues whatsoever of Pakistani involvement or cooperation. By exploiting the killing of Osama for personal prestige immediately and abandoning the agreed-upon “drone strike” story, Obama double-crossed Pakinstan’s Intelligence Service, leading to a four-year-long rupture in relations.
7. There was never any burial at sea or Islamic service. Osama was literally shot to pieces, and the Seals happily tossed body parts out of the helicopter while flying home over the Hindu Kush.
David Samuels, in an important essay, argues that Osama bin Laden out-strategized a series of dimbulb American administrations, astutely predicting precisely how they would respond.
judging from his last known private letter, dated April 25, 2011, Bin Laden died a happy man. â€œWhat we are witnessing these days of consecutive revolutions is a great and glorious event,â€ he mused, after watching the fall of the secular, Western-backed regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, which he watched on CNN, before the daring Navy SEAL raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. â€œ[T]hanks to Allah things are strongly heading toward the exit of Muslims from being under the control of America.â€
Even at this late date, it seems difficult for American policymakers to grasp exactly how Bin Ladenâ€™s mastery of the inherently paradoxical logic of warfareâ€”a logic very different than the linear cause-and-effect style of reasoning that governs normal life and electoral politics alikeâ€”allowed a man without a country, heavy weapons, or even broadband Internet access to reshape the world to his advantage. The clarity of Bin Ladenâ€™s strategic insight, which now seems obvious, also suggests that the dynamic that he deliberately set in motion is still unfolding, in ways that he foresaw before his deathâ€”ways that continue to roil the Middle East and will continue to pose a threat to the safety of Americans at home. …
Bin Laden was never shy about explaining what he was doing and why. His public statements about his strategic logic and goals in targeting â€œthe far enemyâ€ remained remarkably consistent, from his first fatwa against America until the last letter he wrote before his death. In his 1996 â€œDeclaration of War Against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places,â€ published soon after the Khobar Towers bombings in Saudi Arabia, he explained that â€œit is essential to hit the main enemy who divided the Ummahâ€â€”the Muslim worldâ€”â€œinto small and little countries and pushed it, for the last few decades, into a state of confusion.â€
Americaâ€™s response to an attack would be to get sucked into a war, he predictedâ€”and when the going got tough, the United States would cut and run. Responding to then-U.S. Defense Sec. William Perry, who had called the Khobar bombers cowards and had sworn not to give in, Bin Laden asked, â€œWhere was this false courage of yours when the explosion in Beirut took place on 1983 AD (1403 A.H). You were turned into scattered pits and pieces at that time; 241 Marine soldiers were killed.â€ …
In public and private following the Sept. 11 attacks, he returned to the same themes, over and over again, in at least three-quarters of his public statements and in private letters to other jihadists that were seized from his compound in Abbotabad and later made public. â€œThe goal is to weaken America until it can no longer interfere in Muslims affairs,â€ he explained, in a letter whose contents were entirely typical of his communications. â€œOnce the American enemy has been defeated, our next step would be targeting the regionâ€™s leaders who had been the pillars of support for that American hegemony.â€
It is proof of Bin Ladenâ€™s mastery of the unexpected logic that animates strategic thought, and of the glaring inability of Americaâ€™s political leaders to think strategically, that not one but two American presidents have faithfully acted their roles in his geo-political script: George W. Bush, the hawk, with his open-ended and heavy-handed occupation of Iraq; and Barack Obama, the dove, with his precipitous and wholesale withdrawal of American military forces and influence from the Middle East. Both menâ€”and their many advisersâ€”should have known better.
Read the whole thing. It’s depressing reading and hard to argue with.
Young Osama bin Ladin (second from the right, in blue bell bottoms) vacationing with his family in Sweden in the early 1970s.
This arresting image of the young conformistically Western counter-cultural Osama happily posing in the midst of a family shopping expedition in Sweden completely undermines the authenticity of the older bin Ladin’s self-assumed role of warrior-prophet. The photo demonstrates that Osama bin Lain was never anything but a spoiled, rich and thoroughly Westernized resident of the modern world using old-time cultural stereotypes to glamorize a cynical and calculated program of terrorism aimed at accessing personal political power.
This kind of opportunistic reversion to a deep-in-culture primitive image of leadership is actually a tactic we’ve seen before. The astute Winston Churchill recognized Ghandi as another practitioner of the same kind of fraud.
“It is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr. Gandhi, a seditious middle temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the east, striding half-naked up the steps of the viceregal palace, while he is still organizing and conducting a defiant campaign of civil disobedience, to parley on equal terms with the representative of the king-emperor.”
At the urging of Valerie Jarrett, President Barack Obama canceled the operation to kill Osama bin Laden on three separate occasions before finally approving the May 2, 2011 Navy SEAL mission, according to an explosive new book scheduled for release August 21. …
Miniter, a two-time New York Times best-selling author, cites an unnamed source with Joint Special Operations Command who had direct knowledge of the operation and its planning.
Obama administration officials also said after the raid that the president had delayed giving the order to kill the arch-terrorist the day before the operation was carried out, in what turned out to be his fourth moment of indecision. At the time, the White House blamed the delay on unfavorable weather conditions near bin Ladenâ€™s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
But when Miniter obtained that dayâ€™s weather reports from the U.S. Air Force Combat Meteorological Center, he said, they showed ideal conditions for the SEALs to carry out their orders.
â€œPresident Obamaâ€™s greatest success was actually his greatest failure,â€ Miniter told The Daily Caller Friday. â€Leading From Behind,â€œ he said, traces the arc of six key Obama administration decisions, and shows how the president made them â€” and, often, failed to make them.
When I tried to open the Daily Caller link this morning, Firefox initially blocked access, warning that this site had been reported as a site distributing malware.
It is evident that someone on the left was sufficiently angry and alarmed by the Daily Caller’s scoop that a false malware complaint was filed to deter traffic.
Retired General Jack Keane tells Mike Huckabee that the US knew the location of Osama bin Ladin’s hideout by the summer of 2010, and the Obama Administration dithered for nearly a year before authorizing the mission to eliminate him.
Barack Obama’s reelection campaign of 2012 is increasingly looking like Michael Dukakis’s campaign of 1988, in which the conspicuously Dove-ish Massachusetts liberal governor tried bolstering his commander-in-chief creds by being photographed wearing a helmet and riding in the turret of an M1 Abrams tank.
First, there was the attempt to portray Mitt Romney as mean to dogs for taking his Irish setter along on a vacation trip in a rooftop carrier which exploded in a nationwide gale of jokes after Jim Treacher pointed out that Barack Obama had referred, in his famous autobiography, to eating dog as a child in Indonesia.
Then, there was the short-lived attempt to push voters’ buttons by having various democrats note that Mitt Romney was a descendant of Mormon polygamists. This one also failed when Republicans responded that it was true that, like many Mormons, Mitt Romney had fairly remote polygamous ancestry, a great-grandfather, but Barack Obama’s father was also a polygamist.
The latest attempt on the part of the Obama campaign to gain advantage involved putting Bill Clinton in a video to praise Barack Obama for making the oh-so-very-difficult decision to send in the Navy SEALs to take out Bin Ladin.
The response to what is being referred to as the Obama campaign “spiking the football” has been a combination of criticism of the president for exploiting the bravery of members of the US military and ridicule.
Mitt Romney retorted that even Jimmy Carter would have made the same decision.
John McCain, in a follow-up rejoinder, delivered a withering response.
I’ve had the great honor of serving in the company of heroes. And, you know the thing about heroes, they don’t brag.â€
And, worst news of all for the Obama team, this particular campaign ploy provoked pushback from former SEALs.
Serving and former US Navy SEALs have slammed President Barack Obama for taking the credit for killing Osama bin Laden and accused him of using Special Forces operators as â€˜ammunitionâ€™ for his re-election campaign. …
Ryan Zinke, a former Commander in the US Navy who spent 23 years as a SEAL and led a SEAL Team 6 assault unit, said: â€˜The decision was a no brainer. I applaud him for making it but I would not overly pat myself on the back for making the right call.
â€˜I think every president would have done the same. He is justified in saying it was his decision but the preparation, the sacrifice – it was a broader team effort.â€™
Mr Zinke, who is now a Republican state senator in Montana, added that MR Obama was exploiting bin Ladenâ€™s death for his re-election bid. â€˜The President and his administration are positioning him as a war president using the SEALs as ammunition.
Some political observers think many SEALs are so infuriated by the Obama Administration’s exploitation of their valor for political gain that they are bitterly angry. SEALs commonly believe that, from the time of the actual operation, the White House has shamelessly used the Abbottabad raid, hastily and irresponsibly making details public, and placing its own interests above the safety and security of SEAL team members and American long-term strategic goals.
There is active speculation that an organized group of SEALs may play an active role later in the campaign to “Swift Boat” Barack Obama.
The website WikiLeaks has continued releasing for a fourth day what it says will eventually be 5 million e-mails sent between July 2004 and late December 2011 by the private intelligence company Stratfor. …
Wikileaks claims that Osama bin Ladenâ€™s body was transferred to Dover, Delaware on a CIA plane. An email dated May 2, 2011 states the body will then be moved â€œâ€¦to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Bethesda.â€ Two US Air Force Airlift Wings are based at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware. In another email dated May 2, 2011 a Stratfor staff member expresses doubt that Bin Ladenâ€™s corpse was buried at sea and mentions, â€œWe would want to photograph, DNA, fingerprint, etc. His body is a crime scene and I donâ€™t see the FBI nor DOJ letting that happen.â€
According to leaked secret files of Statfor, a US security agency, Osama was not buried at sea in an Islamic ceremony but his body was shifted to the military mortuary in Dover, DE, on a CIA plane.
Then it was shifted to the medical institute of US armed forces in Maryland for examination.
At 5:26 a.m. on May 2, the morning after Barack Obama announced the successful raid on Osama bin Ladenâ€™s Abbottabad compound, Stratfor CEO George Friedman sent an email that said: â€œReportedly, we took the body with us. Thank goodness.â€
Fred Burton, Stratforâ€™s vice president for intelligence, followed that up at 5:51 a.m. with an email titled â€œ[alpha] Body bound for Dover, DE on CIA planeâ€ that said: â€œThan [sic] onward to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Bethesda.â€
At 1:36 p.m. Burton replied to a thread named â€œRe: OBLâ€™s corpseâ€ with the message: â€œBody is Dover bound, should be here by now.â€
That contradicts the official story that bin Ladenâ€™s body was handled in accordance with Islamic tradition and released into the sea from a U.S. Navy vessel.
If this is true, we need to elect another president from Yale who can see to it that Osama’s skull winds up (along with those of other enemies of the United States like Geronimo) preserved for long-term private appreciation and ridicule inside a certain windowless building on High Street in New Haven, Connecticut.
The US Navy Seals who killed Osama Bin Laden – codenamed ‘Bert’ – are angry over inaccuracies in the official account of the al-Qaeda mastermind’s death, a new book featuring interviews with the men claims.
A former commander of Seal Team 6, which carried out the killing, Chuck Pfarrer, interviewed many of the men who took part for his new account, Seal Target Geronimo, reports The Sunday Times.
One of the biggest revelations is the claim that the White House blew valuable intelligence gathered during the mission by announcing Bin Laden’s death too soon, giving “time for every other Al-Qaeda leader to scurry to another bolthole” according to Pfarrer.
The Seals are also angry that the White House described the operation as a ‘kill mission’. First, says Pfarrer, Bin Laden was killed within 90 seconds of US Navy landing in his compound â€“ though the version of events given to the press suggested his death came towards the end of the 38-minute mission.
He was killed not after a protracted gun battle â€“ but in a clinical operation where just 12 shots were fired.
Second, the Seals were fully prepared to take him alive. “I’ve been a Seal for 30 years and I never heard the words ‘kill mission'”, Pfarrer said. “It’s a [Washington insider’s] fantasy word.
“If it was a kill mission you don’t need Seal Team 6; you need a box of hand grenades,” he added, explaining they were forced to shoot Bin Laden as he reached for his AK-47.
[T]he President was not nearly that engaged â€“ and was actually playing golf until 20 minutes before the operation began in earnest. …
Mr Pfarrer says the President’s role was largely inflated and suggests he stayed out on the golf course for so long so he could distance himself in case it went wrong. Mr Pfarrer writes: ‘If this had completely gone south, he was in a position to disavow.’
He says the White House photographs did not show the moment that Bin Laden was killed, but the moment a helicopter went down, which happened after the shooting. …
The book also gives a dramatic new insight into what happened during the 1am raid, during which only 12 bullets were fired.
Within 90 seconds of their helicopter landing, the SEALs saw Bin Laden slam his bedroom door shut. Two SEALs burst in and saw Bin Laden and one of his four wives, Amal, who shouted: ‘It’s not him!’
Contrary to White House statements that he was unarmed, Bin Laden had a gun next to him. As he shoved his wife at the SEALs, four shots were fired.
The first round whistled past Bin Ladenâ€™s face. The second grazed his wife’s calf. Mr Pfarrer claims: ‘Two 5.56mm Predator bullets slammed into him. One struck him next to his breastbone, blowing apart his aorta. The last went through his skull.’
He also reveals that Bin Laden was known as Bert to the Seals, and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri was Ernie â€“ a reference to the Sesame Street puppets.
Michael Yon, as a tribute, published a photo of the interior of a CH-47 helicopter loaded with troops.
DEBKAfile says that the Taliban shot down that Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter in Wardak province carrying 25 members of US Navy SEAL Team Six, 5 crew members, and and 7 Afghan allies, the helicopter down brought using only a rocket-propelled grenade.
Downing a helicopter apparently by a rocket-propelled grenade, which is not a standard anti-aircraft weapon, indicates that the Taliban has perfected methods for shooting down low-flying American helicopters with the basic weapons in their possession.
As the investigation begins on the incident, there are conflicting reports about the mission performed by the men aboard.
According to a US military source, they were returning from an operation in which eight insurgents were believed to have been killed. A Taliban insurgent present at the crash scene told Western correspondents the helicopter was not leaving but arriving: “What we saw was that when we were having our pre-dawn (Ramadan) meal, Americans landed some soldiers for an early raid. The other helicopter also came for the raid,” Mohammad Walil Wardag said. “We were outside our rooms on a veranda and saw this helicopter flying very low, it was hit by a rocket and it was on fire. It started coming down and crashed just away form our home close to the river.”
Some are interpreting the helicopter loss as a deliberate attack on the US force responsible for the killing of Osama bin Laden and blame the Obama Administration for basking publicly in the success of that operation and releasing too many details.
Middle Eastern cartoon accusing ISI of assisting Osama
The New York Times reports a story leaked by US intelligence officials which connects the dots between the late Osama bin Laden and Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency.
The cellphone of Osama bin Ladenâ€™s trusted courier, which was recovered in the raid that killed both men in Pakistan last month, contained contacts to a militant group that is a longtime asset of Pakistanâ€™s intelligence agency, senior American officials who have been briefed on the findings say.
The discovery indicates that Bin Laden used the group, Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen, as part of his support network inside the country, the officials and others said. But it also raised tantalizing questions about whether the group and others like it helped shelter and support Bin Laden on behalf of Pakistanâ€™s spy agency, given that it had mentored Harakat and allowed it to operate in Pakistan for at least 20 years, the officials and analysts said.