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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Update: About that raid...

In the post below, I noted that the compound wall shown in photos of the downed helicopter does not resemble the walls seen in other (helicopter-free) shots of compound. Well, here's a non-chopper photo of the wall -- and it looks very much like the one seen in shots of the downed helicopter.

The photo is odd, nevertheless. The wall is charred -- indicating that there was an explosion. Some have scoffed at the suggestion that Americans set off bombs.

Could the SEALs have used stealth helicopters? That's the claim made here, and it is based on the difficulty of identifying the tail section seen in various photos.
Bill Sweetman, editor of Aviation Week said the pictures show a 'stealth-configuration' on the wrecked rotor housing.
This would explain why they tried to destroy it. At any rate, we can be sure now that it was not a Pakistani craft.

I'd still like to know how the thing crashed: Judging from the photos, it seems to have landed right on top of the wall, splitting the craft apart.

Incidentally, here is a first-night report from a Pakistani newspaper. This was published before it was announced that Americans had gone after Osama Bin Laden. I reproduce it in full:
Chopper crashes, three blasts heard near PMA Kakul

News Desk
Monday, May 02, 2011

ABBOTTABAD: Three loud blasts were heard near the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) Kakul Road late Sunday night and a military helicopter also crashed. Sources told Geo News that heavy firing was heard in the area before the chopper crashed.

Windowpanes of the nearby buildings and houses were smashed due to the intensity of the blasts, the sources said. Eyewitnesses said first sound of heavy firing was heard and then there was a huge blast. Fire erupted at the scene of the occurrence and according to latest reports police and fire brigade teams were rushing towards the blast scene. Security forces cordoned off the entire area and military helicopters were also hovering over the area.
Note that one sentence: "Security forces cordoned off the entire area..." This, before the fire brigade showed up.

I'd say that this story goes a long ways toward confirming the account in The Nation (the Pakistani newspaper), which said that Pakistan and the U.S. operated jointly, with the Pakistanis handling crowd control. (That article is discussed in detail below.)

I wonder if both the Pakistani and American government can continue to keep the truth of the matter under wraps?

One aspect of the tale that everyone forgets is this: Osama Bin Laden was once in control of much of the world's heroin supply. Those who worked with him in the drug trade may be glad to know that a potential squealer won't go to trial.

Perhaps this fact explains why a guy with no weapon was shot.
Pepe Escobar, is that the Spanish phrase for second guesser?

We sent a message that if you are evil enough fair play don't count.
Unarmed, too bad. Hide behind women, head shot.

When a rabid dog charges you shoot, not try to take it to a vet.

I can't say who was cheering the loudest at the VFW, the Vietnam vets or the Iraq war vets.
Here's an even more confusing image of the 'copter from Reuters. (Warning: Some of the other slides include graphic images.)
Update to my last comment: Looks like Reuters has removed the more-gruesome images (as well as Yet Another helicopter shot). They are still available at other sites.
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