Sunday, October 27, 2019

Baghdadi: Sorry, Donnie. No sale.

As readers know, I (stupidly) spent too much time in the 1990s hobnobbing with the conspiracy buffs of that era, mostly the JFK researchers. Although I've been in recovery ever since, I'm still enough of a paranoia addict to question the story we've been told about the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

It's all too damned convenient. Trump was being castigated for betraying the Kurds and (inadvertantly?) freeing their ISIS captives. The death of Baghdadi -- at this moment -- seems designed to polish Trump's image with evangelicals, who were starting to question the wisdom of Dear Leader.

Here's the latest word on how Baghdadi was located.
The surprising information about the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s general location — in a village deep inside a part of northwestern Syria controlled by rival Qaeda groups — came following the arrest and interrogation of one of Mr. al-Baghdadi’s wives and a courier this past summer, two American officials said.

Armed with that initial tip, the C.I.A. worked closely with Iraqi and Kurdish intelligence officials in Iraq and Syria to identify Mr. al-Baghdadi’s more precise whereabouts and to put spies in place to monitor his periodic movements, allowing American commandos to stage an assault Saturday in which President Trump said Mr. al-Baghdadi died.
This next paragraph is obviously intended to take the wind out of Trump's sails.
But Mr. Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw American forces from northern Syria disrupted the meticulous planning and forced Pentagon officials to press ahead with a risky, night raid before their ability to control troops and spies and reconnaissance aircraft disappeared, according to military, intelligence and counterterrorism officials. Mr. al-Baghdadi’s death, they said, occurred largely in spite of Mr. Trump’s actions.
We are also told that this operation began in the summer, and that the Kurds continued to work with the Americans on this matter even after the Great Backstab.

This morning, Marcy issued a couple of rather cryptic tweets which indicate suspicion that something more was afoot.
Trump thanks Russia, Turkey, Syria, suggesting this was part of the grand bargain.
And it's the other parts of the grand bargain that are even more alarming...
What grand bargain? I'm not yet sure, but a short while ago, Sheldon Whitehouse tweeted...
A senior official from a friendly government told me that Trump has handed the Mideast over to Putin, and that it will be decades to repair the damage done to American interests.
Nancy Pelosi says that Trump informed the Russians of the Baghdadi operation before he informed Congress. However...
When asked if he notified Pelosi of al-Baghdadi operation, President Trump says no, citing concerns about leaks. But multiple Congressional sources on the other side of the aisle were notified last night. Fox can find no Democrats who were notified
Russian media, strangely enough, has expressed doubts about this whole affair.
The Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, refuted President Trump’s statement, stating in part: “The Russian Defense Ministry has no reliable information about U.S. servicemen conducting an operation for ‘yet another’ elimination of the former Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the Turkish-controlled part of the Idlib de-escalation zone.”

The Russian Defense Ministry also disputed President Trump’s claim that Russia provided access to U.S. air units entering the airspace over the Idlib de-escalation zone during that mission in Syria.
Say what?
Kremlin-controlled Russian state media shot down President Trump’s announcement, with headlines that read: “The Russian Defense Ministry does not believe in al-Baghdadi’s liquidation.” Major General Igor Konashenkov scoffed at the changing details of the operation, with Trump adding alleged participants and various countries that supposedly took part in the raid, “each with completely contradictory details,” which Konashenkov said “raises reasonable questions and doubts about [the operation’s] veracity, not to mention success.”
The following paragraph is particularly intriguing.
Konashenkov said that the entire territory of the Idlib de-escalation zone that is not under control of the Assad government is in the grip of the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda—the terrorist group Jebhat al-Nusra—which he argued “always uncompromisingly exterminated any ISIS representatives on the spot as the main rivals for power in Syria.” Therefore, Konashenkov does not believe President Trump’s claims that the former ISIS leader could be quietly hiding in the territory controlled by Syrian Al-Qaeda, demanding “at least some direct evidence from the United States or other participants in the operation."
Konashenkov also noted that this is not Baghdadi's first death. The United States, Russia and Syria have claimed to have killed him on previous occasions. As you will recall, such claims were also made for Zarqawi and other Al Qaeda leaders. Jihadis die many times before their deaths; non-jihadis taste of death but once.

There's much more digging to do before I can concoct a properly paranoid theory. Right now, though, I think we can agree that something reeks.
Two liars enter, one comes out. Like the bin Laden raid in Pakistan there's always somebody willing to look the other way when the black helicopters land.
On October 23, 2012 — just two weeks before President Obama’s re-election to a second term — Trump tweeted, “Stop congratulating Obama for killing Bin Laden. The Navy Seals killed bin Laden.”

But as former foreign service officer and professor Angelo Codevilla wrote, OBL disappeared in December 2001 never to be seen or heard again. So the assassination that occurred in Abbotabad was likely not the real bin Laden - too short with a pug nose.

Like this current attempt to resuscitate Trump's political support, Obama was running for reelection.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's brother, Jomaa, served as his bodyguard. Can anyone confirm Jomaa's whereabouts? Curious to know whether the quick DNA field test can distinguish between brothers.
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