Tag: Pakistan

Bin Laden Coverup

Seymour Hersh, source of some big — although not necessarily accurate — stories, is alleging that the bin Laden raid did not go down as we were told:

The principal claims that Hersh’s article makes, which largely rely on the assertions of a single, unnamed, retired senior U.S. intelligence official, are:

• That the 2011 U.S. Navy SEAL raid on the Abbottabad compound where bin Laden was hiding in northern Pakistan was not a firefight in which SEALs went into a dangerous and unknown situation, but a setup in which Pakistan’s military had been holding bin Laden prisoner in Abbottabad for five years and simply made him available to the SEALs who flew in helicopters to the compound on the night of the raid.

• An officer from Pakistan’s powerful military intelligence agency ISI accompanied the SEALs on the raid and showed them around the Abbottabad compound, and the only shots fired that night were the ones that the SEALs fired to kill bin Laden.

• A “walk in” to the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad tipped off the CIA that bin Laden was living in the Abbottabad compound, and it was not true — despite the statements of multiple U.S. officials after the raid — that the CIA had traced back one of bin Laden’s couriers to the Abbottabad compound and built a circumstantial case that bin Laden was living there.

• Saudi Arabia was financing bin Laden’s upkeep in his Abbottabad compound.

• A Pakistani army doctor obtained DNA from bin Laden that proved he was in Abbottabad, proof that was provided to the States so that all the supposed uncertainty — cited by Obama administration officials after the raid — about whether bin Laden was actually living in the compound was a lie.

• The “most blatant lie,” according to Hersh, was that “Pakistan’s two most senior military leaders — General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of the army staff, and General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, director general of the ISI — were never informed” in advance of the U.S. raid on the bin Laden compound.

In short, according to Hersh’s account, President Barack Obama and many of his top advisers lied about pretty much everything concerning what is considered one of the President’s signal accomplishments: authorizing the raid in which bin Laden was killed.

In some way, I’m disposed to believe this story. It always did seem suspicious that bin Laden was right near a Pakistani military headquarters. And I wouldn’t put it past Obama to lie to us about it. The Administration has been milking the raid for propaganda since before it happened, including giving classified information to filmmakers for Zero Dark Thirty.

But after thinking about it, I have to say, like Peter Bergen, I am deeply skeptical of this. Part of this is Hersh. Yes, he broke My Lai story. But he also claimed that Bush intended to use nuclear weapons on Iran. So he’s not always in Earth orbit. Part of this is my general suspicions of conspiracy theories. Part of this is that it smells badly of a Killian Memo.

But mostly it because it contradicts well-established facts. You can read the details in Bergen’s piece. Notably, multiple witnesses, including Bergen, can attest to a bullet-riddled compound and multiple bodies. And there’s this:

Common sense would also tell you that if the Pakistanis were holding bin Laden and the U.S. government had found out this fact, the easiest path for both countries would not be to launch a U.S. military raid into Pakistan but would have been to hand bin Laden over quietly to the Americans.

Indeed, the Pakistanis have done this on several occasions with a number of other al Qaeda leaders such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the operational commander of 9/11, who was handed over to U.S. custody after a raid in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi in 2003. So too was Abu Faraj al-Libi, another key al Qaeda leader who was similarly handed over by the Pakistanis to U.S. custody two years later.

Ed Morrissey is suspicious of the story for similar reasons.

We’ll see what comes out. But I highly suspect Hersh is full of it. ISI may have known more than they were saying about bin Laden’s whereabouts. But a cover-up of this magnitude would also involve Seal Team 6 and multiple intelligence agencies. I find it highly unlikely a lid could be kept on such a conspiracy only to be blown by the likes of Hersh.

Glimpse of the future?

One of the contractors working for me send me a link to a Reuters story about how India is scrambling to update its military capability out of fear of Chinese expansionism. Here is an excerpt:

(Reuters) – India’s 1.3 million-strong armed forces, hobbled by outdated equipment and slow decision-making, are undergoing an overhaul as defence priorities shift to China from traditional rival Pakistan.

And like a refit of the imposing but dilapidated defence ministry on Delhi’s grand South Block, it’s a plodding process.

Defence chiefs are hurrying to modernise ageing weaponry as China reinforces a 3,500-km (2,200-mile) shared but disputed border through the Himalayas.

It took 11 years to select France’s Rafale as the favoured candidate for a $15 billion splurge on 126 new combat jets to replace a Soviet-era fleet of MiGs dubbed “flying coffins” for their high crash rate.

At the same time, feeling encircled as China projects its fast-growing naval power from Hormuz to Malacca, India is rushing to firm up friendships the length and breadth of the Indian Ocean.

India is the world’s largest arms importer with plans to spend $100 billion on weapons over the next decade.

“The Indian military is strengthening its forces in preparation to fight a limited conflict along the disputed border, and is working to balance Chinese power projection in the Indian Ocean,” U.S. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper told the U.S. Senate this week.

That “balance” includes a strategic alliance with Washington that in turn has stoked Chinese fears of containment. It is due to test-fire its nuclear capable Agni V rocket in the next few weeks, with a strike range reaching deep into China.

Now I could focus on the angle that India is trying the incredulously difficult task of rebuilding all three of her military branches – Navy, Air Force, and Army – to deal with this threat, basically abandoning 3 decades of concern about what that backwards shithole Pakistan meant security wise to them. Pakistan militarily is a joke. Save for the nukes and their terrorists their military is in an abysmal shape. Hopefully the US will cut off the $1 billion we give Pakistan’s military off and let them implode, but that’s a different discussion, and India certainly has surmised that a war with Pakistan won’t be their big problem anymore, likely because they would pound Pakistan into the ground.

Basically India is joining all the South East Asian countries that are waking up to the reality of what a more modern Chinese military capability means for them all. And that’s what I want to talk about. How often do you hear India, or for that matter anyone but those nations where tyrants with crazy ambitions of genocide, complain about the size or modernity of the US military, let alone spend some $100 billion to upgrade their armed forces to be better prepared? For all the talk about how America isn’t either exceptional or the peace that American military superiority provides as great a thing as many of us see it to be, it sure looks to me that India, or any of those neighboring the area, doesn’t expect a rising China to mean anything good for them.

Maybe that Pax Americana your average leftard college professors so cavalierly love to dismiss as either soft colonialism or just empire building isn’t as bad as what’s to follow it, huh? The Indians get it. The world in which America no longer is a super power and the guarantor of security isn’t going to be a friendly, nice, or better one. They are pretty convinced of that too if a country like India, with a growing but still relatively small economy, is willing to spend $100 billion in the coming decade to modernize their armed forces, while at the same time seeking alliances with the US, and others that share the vision that a Chinese surge isn’t going to be anything but bad for them, in that corner of the world. Wish our liberals would get this too.

Gaffe or Freudian slip?

That’s what I ask when I see Defense Secretary Leon Panetta make this statement:

“The reason you guys are here is because of 9/11. The US got attacked and 3,000 human beings got killed because of Al-Qaeda,” Panetta told about 150 soldiers at the Camp Victory US base.

“We’ve been fighting as a result of that,” he said.

The fact of the matter is that no matter what you want reality to be, the decisions to go into Iraq allowed our military to draw Al Qaeda there, and our military then basically crushed them. Afghanistan is proving to be a huge problem because Pakistan is unreliable and outright hostile IMO.

That wasn’t his only “gaffe” – he also said this:

The new defence secretary also committed a faux pas in Afghanistan on Saturday, telling reporters the United States intends to keep 70,000 troops there until 2014.

President Barack Obama’s administration has said it plans a steady withdrawal of US forces until the Afghans can take over their own security. Panetta’s aides immediately retracted his remarks.

Maybe this too was a Freudian slip. Obama was just electioneering and Panetta just likely got reality and the narrative confused.

Ron Paul thinks the Pakistani government is above board

I was like, “No way. He didn’t. There’s no way that numbskull said we should’ve ‘worked with the Pakastani government’ to get a man they were protecting for years.” But yeah…he said it. And this is why Ron Paul is not fit to be dogcatcher much less President.

Ron Paul says he would not have authorized the mission that led to the death of Osama bin Laden, and that President Barack Obama should have worked with the Pakistani government instead of authorizing a raid.

“I think things could have been done somewhat differently,” Paul said this week. “I would suggest the way they got Khalid [Sheikh] Mohammed. We went and cooperated with Pakistan. They arrested him, actually, and turned him over to us, and he’s been in prison. Why can’t we work with the government?”

It’s dumb things like this which prevent the “big L” Libertarians from ever being taken seriously (I know, we’re all supposed to pretend Ron Paul is a Republican. It’s BS.). This is naive. It’s stupid. It’s reckless, ignorant, and not a little myopic. It’s Ron Paul all over. The man isn’t fit to be block captain of my neighborhood watch with naivete like that. I’m sorry, I know that Republicans are almost nothing but a disappointment and we desperately need legitimate third & fourth parties but not this man, and not in these times.

Paul also said:

What if he’d been in a hotel in London? We wanted to keep it secret, so would we have sent the airplane, you know the helicopters into London, because they were afraid the information would get out?”

Ed at Hot Air added:

For one thing, had we found him holed up in London, we would have been able to trust the British intelligence service to cooperate.

Duh. Paul’s showing his ass on this one for sure.

Hat tip: Jammie Wearing Fool via Hot Air via Ace.

The Pakistan Problem

Obama made absolutely the right call when he did not tell the Pakistani government that we were going after bin Laden. While I think the Pakistani government tries to be sympathetic to us, I also think they are both compromised by Wahabbists within and desperate not to inflame a radical Islamist revolution in their own country.

Whether we should break off things with them is even more iffy. Having their government on our side makes it easier to chase down AQ operatives in their country and try to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of Jihadists. Pakistan is also being courted by China as a strategic ally, a potentially dangerous power shift.

But the Pakistani’s are not making it easy for us. Beside hiding bin Laden in their country, they’ve threatened to give the wreckage of the stealth helicopter to the Chinese. And yesterday, they outed our CIA station chief:

The public outing of the CIA station chief here threatened on Monday to deepen the rift between the United States and Pakistan, with U.S. officials saying they believed the disclosure had been made deliberately by Pakistan’s main spy agency.

If true, the leak would be a sign that Pakistan’s powerful security establishment, far from feeling chastened by the killing of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani garrison city last week, is seeking to demonstrate its leverage over Washington and retaliate for the unilateral U.S. operation.

Less than six months ago, the identity of the previous CIA station chief in Islamabad was also disclosed in an act that U.S. officials blamed on their counterparts in Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI.

The new station chief, who runs one of the largest U.S. intelligence-gathering operations in the world, played an instrumental role in overseeing efforts to confirm bin Laden’s location before last week’s raid.

This is, to some extent, a temper tantrum by Pakistan. The Soviet Union and the US used to do this to each other in retaliation during the Cold War. But there’s a very real danger here of Pakistan sliding toward China and away from us. (On the other hand, the Chinese would probably find an alliance with Pakistan even more of a mixed blessing than we do).

The future of our relationship with Pakistan is going to be a real test of both Obama and Hillary Clinton. I don’t know if we can keep Pakistan on our side and I don’t know that we should. But without them, things get a lot more difficult. Patching up our relationship as best we can — at least in the short term — may be the least of several evils.

Long term, India is far more important to us and far less insane. We might be better off concentrating our efforts there.

Time to rethink U.S. – Pakistani relations…

As I suspected and as the news hinted, it now looks like we finally got Osama because the US went at it alone instead of telling the Pakistanis we were going after him as was the case in the past. That’s because the Pakistanis were actually playing us and helping him.

American diplomats were told that one of the key reasons why they had failed to find bin Laden was that Pakistan’s security services tipped him off whenever US troops approached. Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISID) also allegedly smuggled al-Qaeda terrorists through airport security to help them avoid capture and sent a unit into Afghanistan to fight alongside the Taliban.

The claims, made in leaked US government files obtained by Wikileaks, will add to questions over Pakistan’s capacity to fight al-Qaeda. Last year, David Cameron caused a diplomatic furore when he told Pakistan that it could not “look both ways” on terrorism. The Pakistani government issued a strongly-worded rebuttal.

But bin Laden was eventually tracked down and killed in compound located just a few hundred yards from Pakistan’s prestigious military academy in Abbotabad. The raid by elite US troops was kept secret from the government of Pakistan. Only a tight circle within the Obama Administration knew of the operation. In December 2009, the government of Tajikistan warned the United States that efforts to catch bin Laden were being thwarted by corrupt Pakistani spies.

Explains why the guy was so effective at hiding out for so long, despite our major effort to find and bag his ass. The Pakistanis played us, and played us good, and this revelation should reshape our policies and actions towards them. At a minimum we should stop giving them any money or aid. And we should be seriously concerned that so many in the military and intelligence agencies of a nuclear armed Pakistan are in bed with al Qaeda, a sworn enemy, that has repeatedly said it wants to nuke the west. Doesn’t this qualify Pakistan as a terror enabling state: our worse night mare? This is going to be one heck of a foreign policy problem for us. At least Pakistan now should be made aware that any WMD action by al Qaeda means we obliterate their country. Might serve as a deterrent, might not. We are dealing with insane religious fanatics and evil men here in most cases.

Think about it: how can we ever feel secure with al Qaeda having ties to a government that not only has sympathies for their cause, but has nukes? And what’s China’s role in all this? Pakistan is one of their proxies – against rival India – and I am sure China has going-ons there that are definitely not in our interest. Seriously, while the death of bin Laden is a big score, the revelations that come with it should make us wearier than ever that we can win this war against the terror enablers without resorting to a brutal “hammer them all down” approach. Does the west reach a point where it simply looks at the cost vs. return and decides that since these people want to drag us all back to a dark age that it’s us or them? These revelations are not good for anyone I think, but we can not ignore them. Looks like team Obama is going to have to do some serious growing up here.

UBL finaly sent to hell.

It now looks like a team of US NAVY Seals shot and killed UBL in an operation Sunday evening May 1st, 2011. Coincidentally, May 1st is also the day Hitler was declared dead, so maybe there is some freaky karmic justice thing going on here. The team apparently tried to catch him alive, but he wouldn’t have any of that, so he was shot in the head. Seems someone there – not sure if it was UBL or one of the other bastards there with him – used a woman that was there as a human shield, and she got killed as well. Kudos to our military, and our president for finally bagging this bastard. Now for the not so fun stuff.

It seems UBL was living high and mighty in Pakistan, not in caves as people kept telling us, and was shot and killed in a compound owned by his couriers in the city of Abbottabad, not more than 35 miles outside of the Pakistani capital. Pakistan is going to have some serious “splaining” to do, because as the article points out, this compound was right next to military and law enforcement facilities. A key bit of information is that the US did not inform the Pakistanis about this operation, and that’s likely why UBL wasn’t warned and able to get away this time. As many suspected, these bastards were protecting this monster, and we should find out whom amongst them did this and make them pay for that.

BTW, the information on those couriers and the compound? Guess who spilled that and when? Yeah, it was KSM, and the names came from those harsh interrogations that people equate to torture. Even if the MSM can’t come clean and admit them’s the facts. Are they going to say that torture worked in this case? I don’t really care what they say honestly, I knew these people were simply talking out of their ass, and didn’t know better, but this guy was broken and gave valuable information. That’s what counts.

Anyway, UBL’s fans are pissed. I am pissed too. It seems we bent over backwards to follow Islamic protocol for this bastard. He was buried in under 24 hours, at least they did that at sea and even though it was at sea and thus deprives the mass murderers of a shrine, I think we should have made an example of this asshole, wrapped him in pig skin, loaded him with alcohol, and then burned his stinking corpse under a banner wishing him straight passage to hell. We will be hated on for killing his ass anyway. Why not set an example for all the Jihadis that we will make sure they don’t get heaven or those virgins? They certainly don’t show our side that courtesy, and they seem to have big plans regardless of the outcome. No, this isn’t about us being better than them: it is war and we need to break their will to keep on fighting.

Now for the fun conspiracy crap. At least we plan to confirm we got him and not a double with DNA tests. I am sure the UBL worshiping world will now start claiming that UBL wasn’t killed but actually is a prisoner of the evil American imperialist military. Information like this might fuel that myth. Maybe under a different president. The current one wouldn’t go along with that short of someone telling him that he could then use UBL to win the next election, and I doubt anyone did that. They will also want to know whom in Pakistan betrayed UBL. No, Obama just wants this guy killed so he can say he is gone. I am sure the dream team in the WH with UBL dead, will now start talking about pulling out of Afghanistan while pretending the hornets nest in that area is now pacified. Hopefully the saner minds prevail and we stay there.

There are some people there that need to be wiped out if we want to break this enemy. And they are already saying they want to retaliate. The WH seems to take the threats seriously. Frankly speaking, if the Jihadis are stupid enough to do some of this shit, I think they are going to be in for a rude surprise. Obama strikes me as the kind of guy that when pushed over the limit will lash out disproportionately. All that professed love for the Jihadis and their death cult might go up in a nuclear flash or two if the Jihadis do use WMDs. Or he might do nothing. Who knows? Community organizers aren’t very predictable. More to come. as this all plays out. I am sure there will be some morons on the left that will make us all wonder if they are insane when they speak up about this all.

Breaking – Osama Bin Dead

ABC and others are reporting that Osama bin Laden has been killed.

Burn in hell, you fucker.

More to follow. The President is about to speak.

Update: I’m up way past my bedtime, but will dash off a few quick paras and then think more about this while I sleep.

This appears to have been a carefully planned and perfectly executed operation. Eight months in preparation to nab this guy. The boys in JSOC came through big on this one.

It does, again, illustrate, the problem of Pakistan. This guy was hiding in what I understand was the equivalent of a ski resort within a thousand feet of a police station. It was like he was hiding in Tahoe. Some Pakistani factions knew he was there; others helped us get him.

The long term effects are unknowable. I expect an short-term escalation from AQ. But long term, their hero is dead, having claimed his 72 science fiction convention attendees. In the end, that has to hurt them. And I’m glad it does.

Oh, yeah one last thing: America, FUCK YEAH!

Update: Some details on the raid. And the tweeter who accidentally witnessed the event.

Update: Joe Sheehan:

Here’s what I do know: in those last moments, Bin Laden proved himself a fraud. This supposed leader of men, of a movement, of jihad, this dispenser of lies about the glory of killing innocent people, killing yourself, this half-man who’d sent so many to their deaths from the safety of caves and protective details and a coterie of believers, who faced his enemies not on the floor of a government body or a field of battle, but in videotapes and e-mails…this man’s last acts on Earth were to save himself at any cost. Men had strapped themselves to explosives, immolated themselves, launched themselves into death at 500 mph for him, and in the end, they did these things for a coward. Bin Laden’s last act was to grab a woman and place her in the line of fire in an effort to steal a few more seconds of life.

Osama Bin Laden was a fraud. He didn’t believe his own hype, didn’t throw himself into his own fight secure in the knowledge that his god would reward him for his courage. He tried to cheat death by using a woman as a human shield, and when that failed, went down without so much as taking out one of the Americans he’d so frequently declared his mortal enemies. In the defining fight of his life, Bin Laden proved to be neither soldier nor general, but just another flawed man lacking the courage of his convictions. Don’t mourn him. Mourn the men, women and children who died for the myth that he was so much more.

Update: One more point. Given how we know this went down, Obama could very easily have done this with a smart bomb. Instead, he chose to go in, shoot Osama in the face and get his body as proof that it was done. It was the right choice; now no one can deny that the fucker is dead.