AQ’s AQ In?

Reports are very preliminary, but it would appear that the death of OBL may already be helping us:

Alleged Al-Qaeda operative Khaled Hadal Al-Qahtani, who figured high on a list of 47 most-wanted terrorists, has surrendered to Saudi security authorities, Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki announced on Wednesday.

“Al-Qahtani contacted security agencies expressing his desire to return to the Kingdom and surrender himself to authorities,” Al-Turki told the Saudi Press Agency.

“Consequently, we made arrangements for his return and reunite him with his family.”

Al-Qahtani would be dealt with according to the procedures followed in similar cases, Turki said, adding that his initiative to surrender would be taken into consideration while looking into his case.

Many AQ members swore personal loyalty to Osama. Now that he has fallen, the rats may flee the sinking ship.

Or maybe not. One man isn’t a wave. We’ll see how this unfolds over the next few months. But it’s encouraging.

While I’m on the subject, I’ll put out some thoughts on two bin Laden-related issues:

First, on the refusal to release the pictures. I’m OK with this. I realize the Arab street, in particular, will claim that this means Osama isn’t really dead. But they’ll claim that anyway. My non-objection to keeping the photos classified has nothing to do with Arab sensitivity or anything so silly. I just don’t think it would accomplish anything.

Second, on the changing story of the raid: this is normal (the current iteration, where Osama was unarmed and in bed, is here). In the aftermath of a conflict, contradictory information trickles out. And in our hyper-media culture, it instantly flares across the internets. But a changing combat story is not unprecedented. I remember how the Bush I people kept the performance of the F-117’s quiet when we invaded Panama. During the Gulf War, we didn’t exactly shout from the hilltops that we were using GPS to navigate the desert and take Saddam’s divisions by surprise. There were exaggerated reports of looting after the fall of Baghdad. Sometimes stories are exaggerated on purpose (Jessica Lynch comes to mind). But the truth comes out eventually. As I said the night of the raid — it will be a while before we know exactly what happened.

Those who are in the military are very familiar with the fog of war. This fog spreads when you have a war that is partially classified, fought in the far corners of the world and fed to an insatiable media machine. The Obama Administration needs to get a little more disciplined about message control. But this is not some shady conspiracy. It’s normal.

Comments are closed.

  1. JimK

    There’s a post at Ace of Spades that kind of ties in with this. Ace takes the line that talking publicly about bin Laden and the intel is a bad thing. And I see that point, I do.

    But…then there’s this story. It does appear like this guy tested the wind and said “Okay, fuck that, I’m not interested in getting shot in the face. At least if they try me in a court they have to feed me and no one shoots my wife (wives?) and whatnot. I quit.”

    I have to think that yes, there would be value in staying silent and not discussing anything. Keep the element of surprise, not be seen as taking victory laps around Ground Zero, etc. But there is also value in telling the entire AQ organization “hey fuckwits, we know. Get me? We. Know. So you can run, or you can surrender, or you can quit and go back to goat farming or oil fields or beating your wife or whatever shit life you had that made you join a suicide group in the first place…but you ain’t anonymous no more.”

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  2. Mississippi Yankee

    Didn’t Gadaffi give up his nuclear ambitions and terro-turd ways too, yanno back when an adult was making decisions? Not so much now.

    Consequences is not a Progressive byword. Unless your state is on fire and your governor once displeased the i-won.

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  3. dahlhowse

    I understand the reasoning behind not releasing the photos, but I’m still disappointed. I, like so many veterans and regular Joes, am seeking some measure of closure to the traumatization of 9/11 that we all had to endure and this just drags it out.

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  4. Orpheus

    I’m waiting for someone to question Obama’s marriage so we can start a Registry of Birthers, Deathers and Marriage-ers.

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  5. HARLEY

    What amazes me about the discussion of the Bin Laden death photos, is the fact that many who are wanting not to release teh photos on the ground it might incite violence, are the same ones who were biting at the bit to release all the Abu Ghraib torture pictures and similar ones from other incidents, citing the need tor proof and closure.
    As for the AQ turning himself in, hopefully this is a start of something.

    oh has anyone kept track of the changing narrative,on the Attack on bin Ladens place? It seems that either the WH can not keep its facts straight or the media cant? As i get it now , Obama and hte WH Staff did not see the attack in real time as it was once claimed.

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  6. HARLEY

    But there is also value in telling the entire AQ organization “hey fuckwits, we know. Get me? We. Know. So you can run, or you can surrender, or you can quit and go back to goat farming or oil fields or beating your wife or whatever shit life you had that made you join a suicide group in the first place…but you ain’t anonymous no more.”

    Which would be vastly easier, if we had his head, sitting on a pike on the White house lawn.

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  7. AlexInCT

    What amazes me about the discussion of the Bin Laden death photos, is the fact that many who are wanting not to release teh photos on the ground it might incite violence, are the same ones who were biting at the bit to release all the Abu Ghraib torture pictures and similar ones from other incidents, citing the need tor proof and closure.

    While there are people in both parties that are against the release of the pictures, the ones that seem to be mostly against it are indeed the same people you mention. Don’t forget they were also fine with showing pictures of dead troops or the Gitmo detainees, and anything else that would hamper our war efforts and piss off the enemy.

    Seriously, part of me thinks we should release the pictures just like we should regularly show the 9-11 video footage on TV to remind people we are at war, and not give a rat’s ass what the enemy thinks about that. We seem to be acting like we need to walk on egg shells, so as not to piss off people that hate our guts and would love to see us all dead anyway, simply because we are standing in the way of the religious fanatics amidst them forcing their abomination of a cult on the world. Why are they never worried about our sensibilities, huh?

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  8. HARLEY

    Why are they never worried about our sensibilities, huh?

    I think that deep down, even the libs, know WE ARE THE civilized ones.

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