Benghazi consulate massacre: State Dept. turned down repeated requests for more security

October 2, 2012

“You have adequate security.”

Dear God, it’s as if they were asking for a hit:

“Based on information provided to the Committee by individuals with direct knowledge of events in Libya, the attack that claimed the ambassador’s life was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and subcommittee chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, wrote Clinton today. They dismissed out-of-hand the suggestion that the attack ever could have been regarded as a spontaneous protest gone awry.

“In addition, multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the Committee that, prior to the September 11 attack, the U.S. mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi,” Issa and Chaffetz added (my emphasis). “The mission in Libya, however, was denied these resources by officials in Washington.”

Emphasis added.

It won’t surprise anyone to learn that, per the AP,  there are multiple whistleblowers anxious to talk to the committee, so frustrated are they that no one would listen to them in spite of repeated warnings about the dangers in Libya, including the ambassador’s own misgivings.

But there’s something else in the AP article — a little refresher of what Madame Secretary herself said about the Benghazi attack a week after it happened:

Clinton discussed security on Sept. 18, when asked whether measures were appropriate.

“Let me assure you that our security in Benghazi included a unit of host government security forces, as well as a local guard force of the kind that we rely on in many places around the world,” she said.

“In addition to the security outside the compound, we relied on a wall and a robust security presence inside the compound,” she said. “And with all of our missions overseas, in advance of September 11th, as is done every year, we did an evaluation on threat streams.”

Clinton also said the Office of the Director of National Intelligence “has said we had no actionable intelligence that an attack on our post in Benghazi was planned or imminent.”

Oh, no. Nothing at all. Really:

—Just weeks before the attacks, the unarmed Libyan guards at the consulate, employed by British contractor Blue Mountain Group, were warned by family members to quit their jobs because there were rumors of an impending attack.

—In April, a gun battle erupted about two miles from the consulate between an unidentified armed group and forces loyal to the transitional government.

—In June, a posting on a Facebook page mentioned Stevens’ early morning runs around Tripoli along with members of his security detail. The page contained a threat against Stevens and a stock photo of him. Stevens stopped the runs for about a week, but then resumed.

And that’s just a short list. Among other “non-actionable intelligence” (including a formal warning) was a bomb blast that blew a hole in the compound wall so large that a platoon could charge through. But, you know, Hillary is on top of things, so you know they did all that a reasonable person would do.

In Libya. In Benghazi. In the local heart of al Qaeda recruiting. Where warnings and even attacks had already taken place. And it was the anniversary of September 11th.

The committee has hearings scheduled for October 10th. To say they should be interesting is the understatement of the year.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Benghazi consulate massacre: White House knew it was a terrorist attack, lied about it

September 27, 2012

Americans died, Obama lied.

Fox News is also reporting what Eli Lake reported yesterday: the administration knew within 24 hours of the jihadist attack in Benghazi that it was not demonstration that just got out of control:

U.S. intelligence officials knew within 24 hours of the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Libya that it was a terrorist attack and suspected Al Qaeda-tied elements were involved, sources told Fox News — though it took the administration a week to acknowledge it.

The account conflicts with claims on the Sunday after the attack by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice that the administration believed the strike was a “spontaneous” event triggered by protests in Egypt over an anti-Islam film.

Two senior U.S. officials said the Obama administration internally labeled the attack terrorism from the first day in order to unlock and mobilize certain resources to respond, and that officials were looking for one specific suspect.

One should point out that these sources could be the same who talked to Lake, so it many not be a confirmation, just different outlets for the same whistle-blower.

All the same, members of Congress are not happy:

The account that officials initially classified the attack as terrorism is sure to raise serious questions among lawmakers who have challenged the narrative the administration put out in the week following the strike. A few Republican lawmakers have gone so far as to suggest the administration withheld key facts about the assault for political reasons. 

“I think we should have answers right away. … I think they’re reluctant to tell us what this event really was probably because it’s an election year. But the American people deserve to know answers about what happened at our embassy in Libya,” Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., told Fox News.

Obama? Democrats? Putting electoral politics ahead of the national interest? Now whatever would give anyone that idea?

(Hint: Their behavior over Iraq from 2004 to 2008.)

This is quickly becoming a national scandal. While elements of the administration were treating this as a terrorist attack by the next day, high government officials, including the president, were trying to convince us it was all about an obscure YouTube video. As Bryan Preston at PJM writes, the situation is so screwed up, only one person can answer the questions:

The president himself needs to conduct a press conference and explain his administration’s actions and multiple conflicting statements. Nothing less than an explanation from Obama himself will do at this point. His own credibility is on the line, and the campaign of misdirection has ruined Secretary of State Clinton’s and Ambassador Rice’s credibility.

Neither Rice nor Clinton can credibly claim that they were acting on bad information from subordinates. Their subordinates, according to both Eli Lake and Fox, were treating the attack as terrorism, and even hunting a specific suspect, while Rice, Clinton, and Jay Carney continued to blame the YouTube video. Obama blamed that video again in his UN address and even now refuses to call the attack an act of terrorism.

And it’s not just the questions about the blatant lies the administration told; we’re also owed explanations for the obviously poor security in Benghazi and the failure to act on warnings, including Ambassador Stevens’ own misgivings.

Maybe the MSM should spend its time questioning Obama about this, rather than NFL refs.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Benghazi consulate massacre: White House knew within 24 hours it was a terrorist attack

September 26, 2012

It was on September 11th, 2012, that our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and a supposedly secret safe house there were attacked by jihadists allied with al Qaeda. Our ambassador was raped and murdered. Three other Americans died in the slaughter. For over a week after the attack, spokespeople for the Obama Administration, including the president, himself, insisted the problem started with outrage over an obscure video posted to YouTube and that the attack was a spontaneous eruption, not preplanned:

So, you’ll be totally shocked —SHOCKED, I say!!— to learn that all these wonderful public servants were lying through their teeth.

They knew within a day:

Within 24 hours of the 9-11 anniversary attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, U.S. intelligence agencies had strong indications al Qaeda–affiliated operatives were behind the attack, and had even pinpointed the location of one of those attackers. Three separate U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said the early information was enough to show that the attack was planned and the work of al Qaeda affiliates operating in Eastern Libya.

Nonetheless, it took until late last week for the White House and the administration to formally acknowledge that the Benghazi assault was a terrorist attack. On Sunday, Obama adviser Robert Gibbs explained the evolving narrative as a function of new information coming in quickly on the attacks. “We learned more information every single day about what happened,” Gibbs said on Fox News. “Nobody wants to get to the bottom of this faster than we do.”

The intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast did so anonymously because they weren’t authorized to speak to the press. They said U.S. intelligence agencies developed leads on four of the participants of the attacks within 24 hours of the fire fight that took place mainly at an annex near the Benghazi consulate. For one of those individuals, the U.S. agencies were able to find his location after his use of social media. “We had two kinds of intelligence on one guy,” this official said. “We believe we had enough to target him.”

So not only did they have warning of the attack, but they knew by September 12th that it was a jihadist strike and they had even located one of the ringleaders. Look at the dates on that list above, again. For two full weeks after the massacre and intelligence catastrophe, high officials from the president on down were insisting it was either a spontaneous outgrowth from a demonstration that got out of hand (And to which people just happened to bring heavy weapons.) or that we just didn’t know and were still investigating.

It’s not that they lied that’s so appalling; all administrations will lie when it comes to national security matters, if they feel it’s necessary. And often they’re right to do so, when telling the truth could lead to greater harm.

But it’s the motive for these lies that’s truly offensive. It wasn’t to fool the enemy — they knew what really happened. It wasn’t to deceive them about our response; if we knew where one of these clowns was hiding, we could have snatched or killed him by now, and the administration could spike the ball on this, too. No, the Obama administration’s reactions in the wake of the massacre were too clumsy and uncoordinated to be a cover for retaliatory operations. They simply didn’t know what to do, except play CYA. It’s politically insane, because, had they come out and said forcefully “It’s a war. Al Qaeda hit us, but we’ll get these monsters,” much of the nation would have instinctively “rallied to the flag” and backed Obama.

Instead they lied. To us. Why?

The only motive for this serial lying was to deceive us. They are desperate to get the press off their backs and mollify the American people, treating the MSM like tools (admittedly, that’s often justified) and us like idiots or gullible children in the hope they can avoid a well-earned heaping helping of blame for this deadly fiasco. Obama’s reelection is all that matters.

Americans died, Obama lied.

As former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy writes on a closely related matter:

If they lie, you can’t trust them. That’s a fairly straightforward rule. It is certainly the one that trial lawyers bank on.

It is not a hard and fast rule. A person may shade the truth for various reasons: vanity, personal allegiances, financial incentives, etc. Usually, once you figure out the relevant motivation, you can sort out on what matters he is probably credible and what he is prone to lie about. Sometimes, though, the story is so unbelievable, so insulting to the intelligence, that a rational juror knows it is best to discount all of the testimony — or, worse, to conclude that the truth is likely the opposite of the witness’s desperate version.

The claim that the demonstrations and embassy invasion in Cairo and the massacre in Libya were spontaneous reactions to an obscure video is just that sort of insult to our intelligence. It is sad and pathetic.

Just like the Obama administration, itself.

via Hot Air

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


House GOP protests any plan to release Blind Sheikh

September 19, 2012

Looks like I’m not the only one who finds this rumor credible. Several House Republican committee chairmen have written the Secretary of State and the Attorney General to say “Don’t you dare:”

The lawmakers called recent reports that the inspiration behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing could be released in a goodwill gesture to Cairo. He is currently serving a life sentence behind bars.

“Succumbing to the demands of a country whose citizens threaten our embassy and the Americans serving in it would send a clear message that acts of violence will be responded to with appeasement rather than strength,” the chairmen wrote. “…The release of Abdel-Rahman or any terrorist who plots to kill innocent Americans would be seen for what it is – a sign of weakness and a lack of resolve by the United States and its President.”

Signing the letter were Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), Homeland Security Chairman Pete King (R-N.Y.), Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), and Appropriations subcommittee chairmen Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Kay Granger (R-Texas).

Read the rest: State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland vehemently denied there were any plans or even  preliminary negotiations to release Abdel-Rahman, but note again that she said nothing about not transferring him to Egyptian custody…

This just stinks of appeasement.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Dear President Obama: no, no, no, NO!!!

September 18, 2012

This had better just be a rumor:

The U.S. State Department is actively considering negotiations with the Egyptian government for the transfer of custody of Omar Abdel-Rahman, also known as “the Blind Sheikh,” for humanitarian and health reasons, a source close to the the Obama administration told TheBlaze.

“Humanitarian reasons” my rear end! If they’re considering this, it’s  because their whole foreign policy in the Middle East has blown up in their faces, and Abdel-Rahman’s release has been one of the Islamists’ demands for decades. Just weeks before the current crisis, Egypt’s President Morsi, himself a Brotherhood member, had been pressing for Abdel-Rahman’s release. They’re in a panic.

And who is “the Blind Sheikh?” He was the mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the jihad’s first attempt to bring those buildings down. Six people died in that attack, including a pregnant woman, and more were seriously injured. We were lucky only that the bomb makers underestimated how much explosive they would need. If anything, Abdel-Rahman should have been taken out and hanged.

And we’re negotiating for this savage’s release? Seriously??

According to the DoJ… “Nah, not happening:”

The Department of Justice, however, told TheBlaze that Rahman is serving a life sentence and is not considered for possible “release.”  Previous calls to the State Department were referred to the Department of Justice and so far, the State Department has neither confirmed nor denied the report.

Well, that’s comforting. Not. Note that, while they said Abdel-Rahman was not eligible for release, they didn’t say a thing about not transferring him to Egyptian custody “for humanitarian reasons.” (Poor baby’s not been feeling well. I weep.) You can bet what’s left of your 401K that’s what they’re discussing.

But, it’s just a rumor, right? Hold on a minute:

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, who was the lead prosecutor in the Blind Sheikh case, told TheBlaze that he does not doubt the accuracy of the report, saying “there are very good reasons as to why it could be true.”

McCarthy explained that Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has been calling for the release of the Blind Sheikh ever since he was elected earlier this year. He said it is a matter of “great importance” to the radical Islamists in Egypt and throughout the Middle East, adding that his transfer to Egypt would undoubtedly lead to the terrorist’s release.

“I think the plan has been to agree to the Blind Sheikh’s release but not to announce it or have it become public until after the election. That is consistent with Obama’s pattern of trying to mollify Islamists,” he added. “Obviously, they did not want this information to surface yet… but sometimes a situation can spin out of control.”

Given this administration is so quick to appease that it would make Neville Chamberlain blush, I find this rumor very credible, too. And that has my blood boiling.

No fan of Obama, but still skeptical, Allahpundit wonders what possible political advantage the White House could see in such a crap sandwich of a deal:

Just one question: What would Obama get out of it, assuming he followed through on this in a second term? His credibility on counterterrorism would be shattered instantly; all the GOP accusations of appeasement, which have failed to get traction against the guy who ordered Bin Laden taken out, would finally have a track to run on. After years of trying, the Dems have finally pulled even with the GOP on the question of which party is better on fighting terror; hard for me to believe O’s going to give that away in one fell swoop. Granted, a lame duck wouldn’t have to worry about his own reelection but he would have to worry about vulnerable Democrats in Congress, whom he’d need to achieve any of his second-term goals. And no, needless to say, “humanitarian and health reasons” won’t be enough to justify the release. That wouldn’t have flown even before Britain gave the Lockerbie bomber back to Libya, but after Megrahi lingered for years after doctors had given him six months to live, that all but ensured no western government will ever try that excuse again.

One problem: Obama doesn’t give a tinker’s cuss about the congressional Democrats. He never has. He’s already factored in a future Republican congress and plans to pursue his agenda through the regulatory powers of the presidency. What he wants is for this mess in the Islamic world to calm down, now, before the press can’t cover for him anymore. A deal with Morsi over Abdel-Rahman might just give him that, especially if he can hold off on the “transfer” until after the election.

You know, when he’ll have more flexibility.

Transferring Omar Abdel-Rahman to Egyptian (read: Muslim Brotherhood) custody would be the ultimate “briar patch” moment for Team Smart Power’s foreign policy, doing exactly what the jihadists want. Not only would it insult the Rule of Law, not only would it be a slap in the face to the victims and their survivors, it wouldn’t even do any good! It would be a craven, cowardly act of appeasement that would only lead to further demands and further American deaths, not peace, because they know they can get away with it.

Churchill once wrote of appeasement:

“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile – hoping it will eat him last”

And the crocodile always comes back for more.

via Blue Crab Boulevard

SNEAKY AFTERTHOUGHT: What if the story is true, but someone in the government who still has a shred of decency left was rightfully appalled and leaked this to a friend, who leaked it to a friend, who told another friend who knew Glenn Beck, who was the first to break this? That would be a good way to put a lot of pressure on the administration to put down the stupid idea and back away. If so, well played. Well played.

RELATED: More at Roger’s Rules; Fausta calls it insane. Andy McCarthy has written the definitive book on the 1993 WTC bombing and the prosecution of the Blind Sheikh, called “Willful Blindness.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Arguments against the President “Valerie, may I?” story

July 31, 2012

Yesterday I posted an article about the assertion in a forthcoming book by journalist Richard Miniter that President Obama let himself be talked out of the bin Laden assassination mission three times, before finally okaying it, by long-time close adviser Valerie Jarrett, a corrupt slum-lord. Now that I’ve had 24 hours to calm down (1), there are reasonable arguments for questioning the story. I’ll present them here and let you decide:

Anonymous sources: Miniter cites “an unnamed source with Joint Special Operations Command who had direct knowledge of the operation and its planning.” The trouble with an unnamed source is that you have no way of verifying what the source is saying, because you don’t know who he or she is. You have to take the intermediary’s word (in this case, Miniter’s) that the source is credible, telling the truth.

What if the anonymous source was really in no place to know the things he claims? What if he’s making it all up to inflate his own importance? What if he observed things, but misinterpreted them? What if Miniter’s source and Ulsterman’s are one in the same? Then, instead of Miniter confirming the earlier piece, he’s merely repeating the same uncorroborated gossip. And (candy for the conspiracy buffs out there) what if the whole story is a Republican plant meant to embarrass Obama? It wouldn’t be the first time something like this has happened in American politics, that is, the press being used to bring down an opponent. From the reasonable to the wild, all these doubts show why we should be very careful of “anonymous insiders.”

In the end, it was his call, after all: The story paints a picture of Obama as indecisive, weak. As I put it, he ran to his political nursemaid to ask if launching the raid was a good idea, and she told him “no.”

But there’s another way to look at it. Obama is naturally cautious and diffident when faced with having to make a real decision, and invading the territory of an ally unannounced was darned risky — an act of war, without a doubt. And he is entitled to ask advice of anyone he chooses. Perhaps he felt the intel wasn’t solid enough and Jarrett’s arguments were enough to convince him of “not yet.” In other words, he sought advice, not permission. And he did, in the end, make the final decision to go.

Finally, Jim Geraghty at The Campaign Spot makes the following argument:

Put another way: apparently Valerie Jarrett made enemies like Rahm Emanuel and Robert Gibbs at times. You don’t think guys like that would leak something like that if they knew, in an effort to undermine her influence?

Point taken.

(Geraghty also makes a political observation we should keep in mind: the Obama administration would love to argue about Osama’s death from now until election day, because the discussion always ends with “and then we got him.”)

For what it’s worth, the White House has denied and denounced the report, while Miniter has dared them to prove him wrong:

The author of a new book describing presidential paralysis prior to the May 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout is demanding the White House back up its vehement denials with documentation.

“I call on them to release the full [planning] timeline, starting in October 2010, of each of the major decisions that the president made relating to the bin Laden mission,” author Richard Miniter told The Daily Caller.

TheDC asked Miniter if his inside sources might go public with their accounts of presidential indecision. “Yes, yes,” he replied. “There is a chance.”

(via Nice Deb)

I hope the source does go public, since we, then, will be in a better position to make our own judgement. October surprise, anyone?

So, what do I think? At this point, I think it’s more likely true than not. Not because of Miniter’s or Ulsterman’s source(s), about whom we know nothing, but because it seems to fit with Obama and his long relationship with Jarrett. She has been a close patron and key counselor for Barack and Michelle Obama for many, many years. Close enough that the account in “Leading from Behind” is, I suspect, closer to the truth than not.

We’ll see.

Footnote:
(1) I freely and cheerily admit to having a “hot button” about 9/11, al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, and a president’s proper response. Said response being “Hunt them down like rabid dogs and kill every last one of them!” And I get angry at any hint of softness on this issue. I doubt I’ll ever change.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Secrets? We don’t need no steeenking secrets!

June 14, 2012

Oh, what the heck? Why not tell al-Qaeda just what we’re doing in North Africa, where we’re doing it from, and what kinds of planes we’re flying?

And while we’re at it, let’s give them the nuclear launch codes, too:

U.S. expands secret intelligence operations in Africa

Note that word “secret” Shh! You don’t know anything about this… Don’t tell! 

The U.S. military is expanding its secret intelligence operations across Africa, establishing a network of small air bases to spy on terrorist hideouts from the fringes of the Sahara to jungle terrain along the equator, according to documents and people involved in the project.

At the heart of the surveillance operations are small, unarmed turboprop aircraft disguised as private planes. Equipped with hidden sensors that can record full-motion video, track infrared heat patterns, and vacuum up radio and cellphone signals, the planes refuel on isolated airstrips favored by African bush pilots, extending their effective flight range by thousands of miles.

About a dozen air bases have been established in Africa since 2007, according to a former senior U.S. commander involved in setting up the network. Most are small operations run out of secluded hangars at African military bases or civilian airports.

The article insists that much of this report (and, again, it’s fascinating reading) comes from public sources… but much of it doesn’t, also. And while it’s one thing to say the US is ramping up special forces operations in Africa with the cooperation of friendly local governments, it’s a whole other ball of “WTF??” to publicize details of bases, cities, and just which governments are helping us. Just the kind of things Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQAM, the local AQ affiliate) or the Nigerian Boko Haram would love to know so they can have an easier time striking back against our… “secret” operations.

I had to love this little gem from late in the article:

In an interview with The Post, Djibril Bassole, the foreign minister of Burkina Faso, praised security relations between his country and the United States, saying they were crucial to containing al-Qaeda forces in the region.

“We need to fight and protect our borders,” he said. “Once they infiltrate your country, it’s very, very difficult to get them out.”

Bassole declined, however, to answer questions about the activities of U.S. Special Operations forces in his country.

“I cannot provide details, but it has been very, very helpful,” he said. “This cooperation should be very, very discreet. We should not show to al-Qaeda that we are now working with the Americans.”

Umm…. too late?  Hate to break it to you, Djibril, but al-Qaeda has people who can use computers and probably saw the same article I did. Agreeing to drinks with the Post reporter was not the best idea, capiche?

This may be another in the series of leaks designed to make Obama look tough on national security, or it may just be a case of too many people being too willing to talk to the reporter from the big newspaper and wanting to look important. Regardless, I wish to God more people would remember that we are at war and that, sometimes, silence really is a virtue.

As the great Strother Martin once said, “Morons. I’ve got morons on my team.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The foiled bomb plot: great news, but…

May 9, 2012

On the one hand, this is great news: We infiltrated Al Qaeda’s Arabian subsidiary [AQAP] and kept a lot of people from being killed, while at the same time delivering flaming justice to one of the masterminds of the attack on the USS Cole:

The CIA takedown of an Al Qaeda plot to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner involved an international sting operation with a double agent tricking terrorists into handing over a prized possession: a new bomb purportedly designed to slip through airport security.

U.S. officials Tuesday described an operation in which Saudi Arabia’s intelligence agency, working closely with the CIA, used an informant to pose as a would-be suicide bomber. His job was to persuade Al Qaeda bomb makers in Yemen to give him the bomb.

After weeks operating undercover in Yemen, the double agent arranged to deliver the device and a trove of vital intelligence to U.S. and other authorities waiting in another country, officials said. He is now safely out of Yemen.

Experts are analyzing the device at the FBI’s bomb laboratory at Quantico, Va., to determine whether it could evade current security systems. Officials said it appears to have a more advanced triggering device than that of the so-called underwear bomb that fizzled instead of exploding aboard a packed passenger jet over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009.

U.S. officials said President Obama was informed of the bomb in early April and was assured that it did not pose a threat to the public. Officials emphasized that the terrorists had not chosen a target or purchased air tickets, and that the plot to blow up an airliner never reached the operational stage.

And, according to the Washington Post:

The most recent strike killed an alleged operations planner wanted in connection with the attack on the USS Cole warship in Yemen in 2000. U.S. officials said that Fahd al-Quso was probably involved in directing the plot but that the drone strike was ordered because of his larger role in AQAP.

So, latest underwear bomb plot foiled, double-agent safe, we got our hands on Al Qaeda’s latest toys, and a terrorist murderer brave jihadi got the payback he so richly deserved. What’s not to like, right?

Well, there’s what’s on that other hand…

Don’t get me wrong; this is great news, and the CIA and Saudi intelligence service deserve pats on the back. But…

Why are we hearing about this at all??

One of the greatest secrets you can have in intelligence work –especially when dealing with a deadly enemy– is that you’ve compromised their security. That you’ve cracked their codes, found their safe houses, planted a bug in their meetings, slipped a mole deep inside… so many things. You want them kept secret because you can exploit the advantage again and again, disrupting and demoralizing your enemy because they can’t figure out how you’re always one step ahead. These are secrets you go to your grave with, because, once blown, they’re useless.

So, I ask again: Why are we being told this? The LA Times article provides a hint:

U.S. intelligence officials had planned to keep the bomb sting secret, a senior official said, but the Associated Press learned of the operation last week. The AP delayed posting the story at the request of the Obama administration, but then broke the news Monday.

“When the AP got it and started talking about it, it caused all kinds of problems with the operation,” said a U.S. official who would not be quoted by name discussing the classified operation. “The investigation never went to its full conclusion.”

AP spokesman Paul Colford said the news agency held off publishing until U.S. officials told the AP that security concerns were allayed.

“We were told on Monday that the operation was complete and that the White House was planning to announce it Tuesday,” he said.

So we have two different stories. In one, the AP learns about the operation and, with security compromised, the government felt it might as well tell, since the information was going to come out, anyway. It’s a common story.

In the other, AP waited, found out the administration was going to open up on Tuesday, and so decided to get its story out, first.

Call me a cynic, but the second seems much more plausible. Remember that this is the same administration that, after killing bin Laden, didn’t want to be seen “spiking the ball.” Now, a year later and with a difficult reelection campaign underway, the president and his minions are running around doing the  “Gutsy Call” end-zone dance like a NFL rookie scoring his first touchdown. With the economy in the crapper and the public mood so bad that even a convicted felon gives Obama a run for his money in a Democratic primary, Obama needs all the good news he can get.

You can bet on it: The One and his team couldn’t wait to brag about this. And all it cost was letting AQAP know just how much we had penetrated them.

Final thought: What was the “opportunity cost” of this latest bit of chest-thumping? Are there any more of these newest bombs out there? Other plots in the offing? How much are we now not going to learn of because AQAP will surely change their security measures?

Sometimes, silence really is golden.

PS: And lest we forget, they’re still trying to kill us.

LINKS: More from Hot Air.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


(Video) “Heroes don’t spike the football.”

May 2, 2012

Whoa. That sound you heard was Obama getting slapped in the face by this:

That’ll leave a mark.

Since we’re using football analogies, what this reminds me of is Terrell Owens’ classless celebration on the Cowboys’ midfield star, and Emmitt Smith’s lesson to him why that was a bad idea.

PS: Ever get the feeling President Short Pants has lost 99.99% of the “military and their families” vote?

via Jim Geraghty

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


In which the Master schools the ignorant student and leaves him whimpering for mercy

November 14, 2011

I don’t know how many of you watched the Republican debate on foreign affairs and national security last Saturday (1); I caught only parts, but I have to share this gem, which came when arrogant prat CBS anchor Scott Pelley (2) asked Newt Gingrich about the rule of law and the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki last September. The former Speaker starts to answer, and then Pelley kicks his moderator role to the gutter and begins to argue with him. (3)

Let’s just say that, when Gingrich was done with him, Pelley looked like Daffy Duck after yelling “Duck! Fire!

Thing. Of. Beauty.

RELATED: ST surprises herself by taking a second look at Newt. Much to my surprise, so am I.

Footnotes:
(1) I had been avoiding them up until this point; I hate the quiz-show format. I will be watching the AEI-Heritage-CNN debate on the 22nd, however, since it will deal with foreign policy, one of my main interests.
(2) Pelley infamously compared skeptics of Man-caused global warming to Holocaust deniers. As you might imagine, he’s one of my favorite people.
(3) Thus displaying again the renowned impartiality of the MSM.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Libya: Daffy Qaddafi dead? And the country’s future?

October 20, 2011

Let’s hope so; I can think of few people more deserving of a trip to Hell. What’s certain, though, is that his “hometown” and last major focus of resistance, Sirte, has fallen:

There are unconfirmed reports deposed Libyan leader Moamar Gaddafi has died of wounds sustained when fighters captured his home town of Sirte.

If true, his death, which came swiftly after his capture is the most dramatic single development in the Arab Spring revolts that have unseated rulers in Egypt and Tunisia and threatened the grip on power of the leaders of Syria and Yemen.

“He (Gaddafi) was hit in his head,” National Transitional Council official Abdel Majid Mlegta said.

“There was a lot of firing against his group and he died.”

Mr Mlegta said earlier Gaddafi was captured and wounded in both legs at dawn on Thursday as he tried to flee in a convoy which NATO warplanes attacked.

There was no independent confirmation of his remarks and NATO said it was still checking on the reports, which could take some time to confirm.

“We are checking and assessing the situation,” a NATO official said.

“Clearly these are very significant developments, which will take time to confirm. If it is true, then this is truly a historic day for the people of Libya.”

I’ll say it would be, if true. That sharp-dressing psychopath made the lives of most Libyans a nightmare for over 40 years and was responsible for the murder of Americans and other nationals in acts of terror. In the 70s he was a backer of the Irish Republican Army, as well as the Italian Red Brigades, the Basque ETA, and Peru’s Sendero Luminoso. While it became easy to laugh at his public buffoonery (and here’s the sad truth about his female bodyguards), let’s keep in mind that Muammar Qaddafi was a seriously evil, vile human being. If he has indeed met the fate of Saddam Hussein, Nicolae Ceaucescu, and Benito Mussolini, let no tears be shed for him.

But what of Libya’s future? This morning I caught a few minutes of Fox and Friends and watched Gretchen Carlson interview a reporter from the New York Times (sorry, can’t find a video link) and almost laughed at the man’s naivete: the Libyans were fighting for “democracy” and the “rule of law,” and that they “want the same things we do.” It was the starry-eyed “they’re just like us” argument that’s almost inevitably lead to cries of “what went wrong” a few years later.

“Just like us?” Did this reporter know of the Libyan Jew who went home to rebuild a synagogue in his old neighborhood, only to be told to flee for his life? Or how the rebels would scrawl the Star of David over pictures of Qaddafi, implying he was a Jew and thus an enemy to the Muslims?

“Just like us,” only without the religious tolerance part.

Did the reporter recall that eastern Libya, the Benghazi area, where the rebels originated, was also a hotbed for Al Qaeda recruiting? Or that at least some influential rebel commanders and their soldiers have fought for Al Qaeda? I think the “rule of law” they’re fighting for may mean something a bit different to them then it does in a Western liberal democracy. (hint: Sharia)

“Just like us,” only without that equality under the law part.

I’m not saying all the Libyan rebels are Islamists nor that there are no liberals among them; they’re not and there are. Libya may yet become a recognizable constitutional democracy instead of another Islamic hellhole. Let’s hope so, for the world would be a better place. But no one can predict a revolution’s future, and I’m not nearly so sanguine and indeed positively chirpy about Libya’s as a “sophisticated” reporter from the nation’s fish-wrap of record.

They’re not “just like us.”

RELATED: Some great photos at The Atlantic on the fall of Sirte. (via Stephen F. Hayes)

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


How we tracked Awlaki

October 1, 2011

At Big Peace, the Investigative Project on Terrorism (1) provides the inside story of how we tracked down Al Qaeda’s rising star, Anwar al-Awlaki:

Awlaki lived in the southern Yemen province of Shabwa, an area beyond the reach of Yemen’s military and central government. Much of Yemen is like the Wild West, with no central governing authority. The numerous tribes settle disputes among themselves. Awlaki came from the Awalik tribe.

Intelligence gathered last year from Yemeni authorities and from debriefings with several American converts who returned to the United States after training with Awlaki, helped narrow Awlaki’s location to a 100 square mile area. He moved at night, often in convoys of armored SUVs in order to prevent U.S. drones and surveillance from determining which vehicle he was in. But the drones, which have advanced in the ability to recognize faces on the ground, hovered above the area where Awlaki was believed to be. Electronic intelligence – including telephone intercepts –also were used, although Awlaki was said to be careful in limiting his use of electronic communication, aware that he could be tracked that way.

In the past several months, American drone operators were confident they had identified Awlaki as he moved from among a series of underground bunkers. An initial drone missile targeting him was fired at an al-Qaida training camp but missed him.

Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agents collected as much personal data about Awlaki as they could from his extended family living in western countries. For example, he had an ex-wife living in Ireland that no one knew about until a close relative living in the United States identified the family tree for agents in early January. The relative proved to be a goldmine of information about Awlaki’s siblings, parents, wives, and children.

Intelligence officials learned about the American relative in January through other Yemeni expatriates living here who knew her. She agreed to cooperate and provided extensive information about close relatives living either with him, elsewhere in Yemen, or in different parts of the world. Telephone numbers belonging to a close relative living in Yemen’s capital Sanaa that the American relative provided to U.S. intelligence officials proved the most critical.

The relative knew that Awlaki called that number. The National Security Agency (NSA) quickly was able to triangulate the phone numbers and determine almost exactly where Awlaki was when he called the Sanaa number. The American relative also provided information on other Awlaki relatives who apparently had direct contact with Awlaki, either through email or other electronic means. That knowledge helped track other communication and confirm Awlaki’s whereabouts.

I’m not surprised the ex-wife was willing to talk, given this deeply spiritual man’s preferred hobbies.

It really is a fascinating story: once they had a good idea of the area Awlaki was hiding in, they flooded the skies with drones and kept watching. We also had informants on the ground posing as his students. (2) Finally they got word he was moving in a convoy during the day from one bunker to another. The CIA had passed on earlier shots before, out of fear of too many civilian casualties, but this one looked good and so…

Bye-bye, Anwar. (3)

I draw a few lessons from this:

  • I’ve read elsewhere that the investigative work was carried out by the same group that tracked down bin Laden. These guys are good.
  • If you make a name for yourself among jihadists and you take us on, we will find you and you will either take a bullet to the head or go boom. Our choice, not yours.
  • If you’re going to live the life of a terrorist on the run, stop calling family! On second thought, scratch that. Make all the calls you want.

Be sure to read the whole thing.

Footnotes:
(1) The IPT is Steve Emerson‘s outfit. They do great work.
(2) In other words, we have spies in their midst. Your first thought may be to ask why we’re revealing this, but consider: whether fact or disinformation, it plays with AQAP’s minds and throws a heaping helping of doubt and suspicion into their internal operations. Whom can they trust, even among their “brothers?”
(3) Bite me, Glenn Greenwald. (Among others.)

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The Traitor Anwar al Awlaki is dead. This is war, not a police matter.

September 30, 2011

"I say again, the infidels will never find me! Wait. What's that noise?"

And, we sincerely hope, he is in a place decorated in fire and brimstone.

I’ve waited most of the day to post the good news, because it’s happened many times over the years since 9/11 that we’ve announced a major kill, only to have the target show up in another video thumbing his nose at us. But now it’s confirmed: we nailed the traitor Anwar al Awlaki:

Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born Islamic militant cleric who became a prominent figure in al-Qaida’s most active branch, using his fluent English and Internet savvy to draw recruits to carry out attacks in the United States, was killed Friday in the mountains of Yemen, American and Yemeni officials said.

The Yemeni government and Defense Ministry announced al-Awlaki’s death, but gave no details. A senior U.S. official said American intelligence supports the claim that he had been killed. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

Yemeni security officials and local tribal leaders said the was killed in an airstrike on his convoy that they believed was carried out by the Americans. They said pilotless drones had been seen over the area in previous days.

And we didn’t just get Awlaki; this same strike also took out another traitorous dirtbag, Samir Khan, the editor of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) online magazine, “Inspire.” Khan also had regularly threatened the lives Dr. Rusty Shackleford and  his family. Shackleford is the main Jawa at The Jawa Report, an important counter-jihad blog that’s done invaluable work against Al Qaeda’s online presence,  so this news is doubly sweet.  Replacing these two won’t be easy for Al Qaeda; as men born in America, they had a unique ability to communicate jihadist thinking to radicalized Muslims in the West who might not speak Arabic well enough to understand the garbage spewed by the likes of Zawahiri and bin Laden.

Naturally, this set off caterwauling among Leftists and hardcore libertarians (and jihadist sympathizers) about the targeted killing of American citizens, denying them due process in a court of law. I can understand the argument and I have a reasoned, thoughtful reply:

Boo-freaking-hoo! Cry me a river!

Forget the whining from CAIR, they’re nothing but tools of the Muslim Brotherhood. But leftists like the ACLU and Ron Paul-worshipping libertarians need to pull their heads out of their collective rears and realize one thing: this is war, not a police matter. Traitors like Awlaki, Khan, and al Qaeda mouthpiece Adam Gadahn chose to side with those who make war on their (former) country. Awlaki in particular was described as having operational control over AQAP’s foreign strikes. He was involved in the attempted bombing of a Northwest flight over Detroit; he was at least the spiritual mentor to Major Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter; and he may have had an operational role in 9-11, itself. And who knows what else he was planning?

To quote what I’ve been told is the First Rule of Texas Common Law:

“He needed killing.”

And so did Samir Khan, and so does Gadahn, and so does everyone who takes up arms for Al Qaeda. I’m very much a Jacksonian about this: they are traitors and they are trying to destroy my country. They want to kill my people. They need killing.

Again: this is war, not a police matter.

If traitors who join the jihad against us want to surrender, fine: we’ll give them a fair trial, hopefully followed by a hanging. But, if we spot them going about their merry jihadi way, then…

“Gentlemen, you may fire when ready.”

And, to the group that tracked Anwar al-Awlaki and took him and Khan out, good work!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Bill Whittle: What we did right in Afghanistan and Iraq, and my qualified disagreement

September 16, 2011

Bill Whittle returns with another episode of Afterburner, this time with his own retrospective on the ten years since the attacks of September 11th, 2001. In it, he looks at what has happened since in Afghanistan, Iraq, and America and looks at the things we got right, a needed corrective to the constant drumbeat of failure played for us by the MSM:

I find myself both agreeing and disagreeing with Bill. We did indeed liberate over 60,000,000 people from two of the worst tyrannies on Earth, and we did indeed maul Al Qaeda, killing thousands of fighters who might otherwise have found there way to America or Europe. The removal of Saddam’s regime ended a serious strategic threat that would surely have returned once the sanctions regime had finally failed (which it was already doing).  And Iraq has a realistic chance to establish the first genuine Arab representative, constitutional democracy, though Obama is endangering that by pulling out too fast and too soon. And we have been very successful at preventing further catastrophic attacks against us.

None of that is to be dismissed lightly.

But I can’t wholly agree with Whittle. While he’s right that the fall of Saddam and it’s replacement with a democratic regime (albeit flawed) inspired the recent Arab revolts against dictators, much as the French Revolution inspired the liberal rebellions in Europe in 1848, I’m much less sanguine than Bill about the prospects for those revolts. Unlike mid-19th century Europe, the Arab “liberal class” (1) is small and likely to be overwhelmed by Islamist factions, such as the Muslim Brotherhood and its allied Salafi groups in Egypt or the Islamists among the rebels in Libya. I can more easily see this “Arab Spring” turning into a bloody winter.

And while I too take great joy from the killing of bin Laden, unlike Bill (and assuming I’m not misunderstanding him), I don’t see this as the end of anything, except perhaps the end of the beginning. Al Qaeda “central” may be broken and reduced in influence, but it has dangerous franchises around the globe. And beyond Al Qaeda, the broader jihadist movement, one of the keystones of which is Iran, remains a menacing, perhaps even existential threat.

So, yes, while we’ve ravaged Al Qaeda, the struggle with the problem of jihad and the conflict created by the matter/antimatter incompatibility of Western liberalism and Islamic Sharia remain.

RELATED: Commentary’s Abe Greenwald on “What We Got Right in the War on Terror.”

Footnote:
(1) “Liberal” as in the constitutionalist, limited government and free market philosophy that evolved from the 17th-19th centuries, not the progressivism that hijacked the word “liberal” in the 1930s.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


9/11 ten years later: they’re still trying to kill us

September 10, 2011

With the tenth anniversary of the September 11th atrocities coming tomorrow, there’s reasonable fear that Al Qaeda could attempt an attack in New York or elsewhere in the US for their own “celebrations.”

But don’t think they or other jihadist groups have been quiet in the meantime, just waiting for an anniversary to strike us. Far from it, for they see it as their religious duty to attack us. As this chart from the Heritage Foundation shows, there have been at least 40 domestic terror plotsan average of four per year— foiled since September 11th, 2001:

(Click the image  for a larger vesion.)

Never forget, and always be on guard. They’re still trying to kill us.

via The Jawa Report

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Al Qaeda #2 sent to meet his virgins, courtesy of the USA? Update: He’s not dead yet?

August 28, 2011

BOOM:

Atiyah Abd al Rahman, a top al Qaeda leader who long served Osama bin Laden, was reportedly killed on Aug. 22 in Waziristan, Pakistan, according to multiple press reports. Both the Associated Press and Reuters cite US officials as saying that Rahman has been killed. Matt Apuzzo of the AP reports that a US official would not confirm how Atiyah had been killed, but the AP story notes that on same day, the CIA launched a drone strike in Waziristan.

US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal would neither confirm nor deny Atiyah’s reported death. One senior US intelligence official observed that verifying the deaths of top terrorists is difficult and the US has gotten it wrong in the past. Atiyah himself, the official pointed out, was reportedly killed in 2010. Still, this official said, it is certainly possible that the new reports of Atiyah’s demise are accurate.

(…)

Atiyah has been described as al Qaeda’s “operations chief” in some press reports, and his role in plotting terrorist attacks has been repeatedly noted. But according to one senior US intelligence official contacted by The Long War Journal, Atiyah was al Qaeda’s “general manager” and also served as Osama bin Laden’s “chief of staff.”

While Atiyah was involved in plotting attacks, the official said, he was not really the “operational commander.” In the nascent plot to attack the US on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, for example, Atiyah would pass messages back and forth between Osama bin Laden and operatives elsewhere, but the tactical details of the plot were left to other al Qaeda commanders.

Atiyah was also given a senior role in managing al Qaeda’s finances, the official said. Only the most loyal and trustworthy terrorists would be given such a role.

You can read more about this thankfully dead medieval lunatic glorious martyr to Allah’s cause at The Long War Journal.

As TLWJ points out, this surely hurts Al Qaeda by killing another senior leader, disrupting operations and spreading fear and mistrust — did a traitor give Atiyah’s location away? Are there spies in their midst?

But we should keep in mind that Al Qaeda is a deliberately decentralized organization, with branches (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) and franchises (Al Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb) that are fully capable of planning and carrying out operations on their own. Indeed, the attempted Christmas bombing over Detroit and the jihad attack at Ft. Hood were both planned or supported by AQAP, while AQIM has been linked to plots to launch a Mumbai-style attack in Europe. Striking a blow at Al Qaeda-central, while important, shouldn’t be and I’m sure isn’t our sole focus. (See also and also.)

Coming back to the probably-late Mr. Atiyah, if he is dead, it’s almost certain that this is one fruit of the intelligence haul we made when we looted bin Laden’s compound after killing him last May. You can bet there have been and will be others, as we exploit that trove of information for all it’s worth. And one has to wonder about the reaction of the next guy to be promoted to second-in-command: give thanks to Allah or run shrieking in terror? It doesn’t seem to be a job with much future in it…

UPDATE: From TLWJ’s blog, Threat Matrix, doubts are being cast on reports that Atiyah is really dead. This is a reminder that many such reports of prominent AQ and Taliban casualties have turned out to be premature. Perhaps Al Qaeda’s number two isn’t quite ready to go on the cart, yet.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Religion of Peace watch: “Kill every Israeli in Egypt!”

August 23, 2011

The Sinai peninsula has been in almost a state of anarchy since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak (1). Jihadist groups, including al Qaeda (2), have begun to operate openly as Egyptian sovereignty crumbles in an area crucial to Israel’s security. Late last week, Muslims waging jihad fi sabil Allah struck from Sinai in a series of terrorist attacks against Israel. Israel struck back hard, killing not only the instigators of the attack, but also, unfortunately, some Egyptian soldiers (3).

So, what is the logical response of the average Egyptian Islamic scholar to these events? Demand that the transitional government reassert national sovereignty and the rule of law over Egyptian territory and suppress these groups that are endangering the treaty of peace with Israel? Denounce these hijackers of Islam who clearly misunderstand Muhammad’s message of peace? Does he…

Never mind. We all know what the answer is: Kill every Zionist in Egypt.

Islamic scholar Dr. Salah Sultan issued a religious decree according to which it is permissible to kill “any Israeli on Egyptian land, in response to the killing of Egyptian soldiers near the border with Israel,” Egyptian Al-Shuruq newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Thus Israeli businessmen in Alexandria to make a deal are fair game, even though they had nothing to do with the fighting, because, well… they’re Jews and therefore the enemies of all mankind! And, you see, the brave jihadis wouldn’t have done what they did (in Allah’s name) if those nasty Jews hadn’t been occupying Muslim lands (that is, the whole state of Israel) and those Egyptian soldiers wouldn’t have died in the criminal Zionist attack, so all Israelis (and therefore Jews) are to blame!

Yes, that really is what passes for logic there. And yet some people wonder why Arab Islamic society is screwed up.

I don’t.

Footnotes:
(1) Helped along by our Smart Power Administration. Heckuva job, Barry!
(2) See also the announcement from the Kavkaz Center, the propaganda arm of the Chechen jihadi terrorists.
(3) If you don’t want this to happen, Cairo, maybe you should try suppressing these medieval loons before the Israelis have to do it for you. Just a thought.

UPDATE: Barry Rubin with some interesting background on Sultan Salah.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Missed opportunities: tapping the Taliban’s lines before 9/11

August 8, 2011

Here’s a bombshell from late last week that was lost in all the brouhaha over the debt agreement and S&P’s downgrade of US debt. In the last years of the Clinton administration and the early months of Bush’s, we had a golden chance to tap Afghanistan’s cell-phone networks, probably including their communications with their al Qaeda guests, because we would have built it for them:

Vanity Fair contributing editor David Rose reveals for the first time that in 1999 the Taliban had granted license to an American company, Afghan Wireless Communications, to construct a cell-phone, and, Internet system in Afghanistan. Had the secret deal, named Operation Foxden, been completed, the U.S. would have had complete access to al-Qaeda and Taliban calls and e-mails in a matter of months. “The capability we would have had would have been very good,” a former N.S.A. official tells Rose. “Had this network been built with the technology that existed in 2000, it would have been a priceless intelligence asset.” But, as Rose reports, “at the critical moment, the Clinton administration put the project on hold, while rival U.S. agencies—the F.B.I., the N.S.A., and the C.I.A.—bickered over who should control it.” This “was one tool we could have put in Afghanistan that could have made a difference,” says a former C.I.A. official. “Why didn’t we put it in? 

Click through for the rather “colorful” answer.

The upshot is that a businessman who both had excellent relations with the Taliban and was an FBI source had secured a contract to build a wireless network for Afghanistan, and with the components added by US intelligence, we would have had unparalleled access to their cellular and satellite calls, with the operations run out of Fort Meade. Sweet, right? With this kind of access, we might well have leaned about 9/11 in time to stop it.

So what went wrong?

As the article makes clear, the program fell victim to both inter- and intra-agency bureaucratic chest-thumping, including an effort to squeeze out the British (Some British investors were involved, and they presumably had MI-6 backing.) because everyone was fighting over who would control it.

On top of that, the Clinton administration had issued an executive order prohibiting Americans from doing business in Afghanistan, a development that affected the FBI “asset” who had signed the contract. I find it mind-boggling that, as far as I can tell, Clinton a) apparently had no idea of a major intelligence operation against our avowed enemies and that b) no one went to him to argue or could convince him that a quiet exception needed to be made in this case.

Seriously. Did no one tell the President of the United States? 

This reminds me of the various bureaucratic frictions so amply documented in the 9/11 commission’s report, including the infamous Gorelick wall against intelligence sharing. Hidebound bureaucracy was one of our weakest links leading up to 9/11, and this news is another big example.

via Eli Lake

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The mission to get Osama bin Laden

August 2, 2011

Bar none, the most riveting article you’ll read this week. The New Yorker’s Nicholas Schmidle interviewed principals involved in the raid to kill that porn-addicted medieval psychopath bin Laden –including members of SEAL Team 6– and put together an account of the mission from planning stages to aftermath that you won’t be able to put down. An excerpt:

The SEALs’ destination was a house in the small city of Abbottabad, which is about a hundred and twenty miles across the Pakistan border. Situated north of Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, Abbottabad is in the foothills of the Pir Panjal Range, and is popular in the summertime with families seeking relief from the blistering heat farther south. Founded in 1853 by a British major named James Abbott, the city became the home of a prestigious military academy after the creation of Pakistan, in 1947. According to information gathered by the Central Intelligence Agency, bin Laden was holed up on the third floor of a house in a one-acre compound just off Kakul Road in Bilal Town, a middle-class neighborhood less than a mile from the entrance to the academy. If all went according to plan, the SEALs would drop from the helicopters into the compound, overpower bin Laden’s guards, shoot and kill him at close range, and then take the corpse back to Afghanistan.

In other words, no matter what was said publicly, this was a mission to kill, not capture. Fine by me. I figure anyone objecting to this is either a hopeless pacifist, someone who thinks this a law enforcement matter rather than a war, or a transnationalist who can’t stand the idea of nation-states actually defending themselves by any means more stern than a press conference, a memo of concern, and perhaps sniffing “unacceptable” if the terrorist atrocity is really bad.

(In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t have much regard for those types. None at all, actually.)

Anyway, on reading this, here are three things that jumped out at me:

  • After weeks of training, we were this close to having the mission turn into another Eagle Claw. Helicopters are darned difficult to control in restricted areas.
  • I want to meet the guy code-named “Ahmed,” the Pakistani-American who pretended to be a Pakistani cop to keep curious locals away while our guys were inside killing the world’s most wanted man. His assignment prior to this raid: a desk job.
  • As of the article’s writing, the President of the United States does not know who fired the kill shot(s). He didn’t ask, and the SEALs didn’t offer. Probably for security reasons. That secret may well go to the grave.

Anyway, after weeks of wondering if our government can do anything right, here’s something that shows they can, and do it superbly.

Enjoy.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


And I support firing a Hellfire missile into this guy’s fat butt

July 8, 2011

According to Egyptian lawyer Muntasar Al-Zayat, Osama bin Laden was a martyr who was innocent of mass murders committed by al Qaeda in Iraq  and other Arab countries. The people of Baqubah in Diyala province, Iraq, among others would beg to disagree.

Anyway, here’s counselor al-Zayat:

The transcript, via MemriTV:

Following are excerpts from an interview with Egyptian lawyer Muntasar Al-Zayat, which aired on Faraeen TV on May 23, 3011:

Muntasar Al-Zayat: The Americans are the ones who killed Bin Laden. They killed him and, therefore, he is a martyr. He is considered a martyr because he was fighting for a cause: first, the liberation of the Hejaz from the Americans, and then the liberation of Iraq from the Americans, and the liberation of Afghanistan from the foreign invasion.

Interviewer: What about the terrorist operations carried out by Al-Qaeda, which left behind rivers of blood in Islamic countries? Who bears the responsibility for this?

Muntasar Al-Zayat: I say that Bin Laden, Allah’s mercy upon him, is innocent of those operations. Sheik Osama Bin Laden had positions with which I disagreed, but this did not prevent me from respecting and appreciating him.

[…]

I support any operation of resistance that targets American soldiers anywhere in the world.

[…]

And now you know the reason for the subject line.