By now, you've heard the news. Osama Bin Laden has been killed
Despite the tone of the preceding post, the thought has occurred to me (and probably to you as well -- admit it, you bastards!
) that this death was staged to rescue the President's poll numbers.
Everyone knows that Dubya disdained the importance of catching Bin Laden. All of America will be comparing Obama to Bush -- and the comparison will work to Obama's favor. That fact alone will have many people muttering about "wag the dog" scenarios.
OBL was hiding, it seems, in a mansion in Abbottabad, Pakistan. For years, we've been told that he was hiding in the wilderness, in caves, in a very primitive part of Pakistan. Turns out he was in a nice, big house in what looks to be a rather well-populated suburb near Islamabad
-- within walking distance of the Pakistani military academy!
The neighborhood is teeming with retired Pakistani officers, and is surrounded by restricted areas
. In other words: Spook city, Pakistan-style. Did Pakistani officials know where Bin Laden was? In this
story, an unnamed senior American intelligence official says that they must have known.
Are there reasons for normal, rational-minded blokes who are non-fans of Alex Jones to express at least some
skepticism toward the official story coming out of the White House?
Yes, I think so. Check this
A U.S. official told CNN that bin Laden was buried at sea. The official said his body was handled in the Islamic tradition, but did not elaborate.Buried at sea? So soon?
Thereby making forensic analysis impossible? No dental check, no fingerprint check, no DNA check?
Come on. They couldn't keep the body on ice for a day or two?
According to this AP story
, the administration was concerned about offending Muslims, who insist on speedy burial. Plus, no Islamic country would take the remains, or so we are told.
I don't see why the American government is so concerned now about offending Muslim sensibilities. We didn't seem so very concerned about that sort of thing when we embarked upon that great unpleasantness in Iraq. If Obama had shipped the Bin Laden cadaver to the U.S. and kept it on ice for a few days -- well, honestly, what would have happened? Do you think Abu Dhabi would have broken off diplomatic relations? Would Saudi Arabia have announced an oil boycott?
As a matter of fact, Islamic custom dictates washing the body of the deceased and placing it in a shroud, saying certain prayers, then burying the body near the site of death, placed in the grave without a coffin. Burial at sea usually only occurs if a Muslim dies onboard a ship. However
If it is feared that an enemy may dig up the grave and exhume the dead body and amputate its ears or nose or other limbs, it should be lowered into sea, if possible, as stated in the foregoing rule.
Islamic countries do
allow autopsies to be performed when identity or cause of death is an issue.
Yeesh. It's as though someone in the White House intended
to rile up the conspiracy theorists.
Aside from all that, the story as we have it seems a little too pat, a little too Hollywood. We're told that the SEALS gave Osama a chance to surrender, and when they didn't, they shot him in the head. I wonder who will get credit for the kill?
More importantly, was there video of the operation? How could there not
The Slate account
is the fullest I've seen so far.
In June 2009, Obama directed his CIA director to "provide me within 30 days a detailed operation plan for locating and bringing to justice" Osama Bin Laden. By August 2010 intelligence officials had identified the suspicious compound where Osama lived. Thirty-five minutes outside Islamabad, the walls were up to 18 feet high and topped with barbed wire. The largest structure, a three-story building, had very few windows. Though the house was valued at $1 million, it had no Internet or phone service.
Wouldn't it be amazing if cell phone GPS really did crack the case?
If Panetta was able to do this job so rapidly, then why couldn't Bush? That's the most obvious question. A lot of Americans will be asking it. Obama must want
them to ask it.
The timing is a bit odd. Just a month before the identification of the compound, Panetta was saying something very different:
June 27 : CIA Director Leon Panetta, speaking on ABC News' This Week, stated that that last time the CIA had "precise information" on bin Laden was "the early 2000s." Panetta states that "He is, as is obvious, in very deep hiding. He's in an area of the tribal areas of Pakistan, that is very difficult. The terrain is probably the most difficult in the world...All I can tell you is it's in the tribal areas...we know that he's located in that vicinity."
Ah, but in October of that year, we had this
A senior NATO official tells CNN claims that bin Laden is alive and well, living comfortably in a house in the north-west of Pakistan and being protected by local people and elements of Pakistani intelligence. Stating that "Nobody in al Qaeda is living in a cave," the official stated the bin Laden was likely to have moved around in recent years in areas from the mountainous Chitral region in the far northwest, near the Chinese border, to the Kurram Valley bordering Tora Bora in Afghanistan. The official stated that Ayman al-Zawahiri is believed to be hiding close to bin Laden in houses in northwest Pakistan, but are not together. Another U.S. official sated that bin Laden and Zawahiri are "somewhere in the tribal areas of Pakistan near the Afghanistan border," but that their exact locations are unknown: "If we knew where he was -- in a house, an apartment, a villa or an underground cave or bunker -- we would have gotten him; we can't rule out he may be in a cave one day and a house in a city on another."
The first bit -- the quote from the UN official -- sounds more or less congruent with the current story. However, Abbottabad is in the northeast
I'd like someone to identify the "U.S. official" who seemed so certain of the "tribal area" location. Was that a deliberate deception? Was the official himself (or herself) deceived?
Here's another obvious question: Why the seeming inaction between August, 2010 and today?
Detainees being held at Guantanamo provided some of the strongest information about those who were trusted by Bin Laden.
Okay, this detail strikes me as being a little too
good. How would the Gitmo detainees know such intel? Isn't it just a bit conveeeeeenient that this justification for Gitmo should crop up at this
particular time -- right after Wikileaks revealed that 150 of the prisoners were innocent
By the way, six of Osama Bin Laden's sons were captured. That factoid definitely works against "wag the dog" theorists. One of the sons was killed. Will the surviving six sons be able to tell us which Bin Laden recordings are real? (If you're wondering, Osama had 19 children from four wives.)
Osama isn't the first high-level Al Qaeda figure arrested in Abbottabad. There was the strange case of Umar Patek
in January of 2010. Poor Umar lived rather less regally than did the Bin Laden family. One wonders: Did Umar provide the intelligence which fingered Osama's location?Take note:
I've learned the hard way that whenever the topic of Osama Bin Laden comes up, there will always be some arrogant young conspira-tard who will sneer: "Cannon, you fool! Don't you know that Osama Bin Laden died years ago?
" No, I do not know
that -- and neither do you. If you have actual evidence for that proposition, by all means share with the rest of the class. But first, please consult a dictionary to make sure you are clear on the difference between "surmise" and "evidence."
I don't mind a moderate amount of surmise (as this very post demonstrates), but I insist on drawing a careful distinction between speculation and that which we know
More to come...