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30 August 2011

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The Twisted Genius

The comments section in the Hillhouse blog points out that Larry Johnson (No Quarter) came to the same conclusions.

http://www.noquarterusa.net/blog/60685/obama-uses-the-new-yorker-to-bamboozle-america/

It could be true. It could be fiction. It could be deliberate deception... or an enticing mix of all three. This is why we need good intelligence analysts. If this is true, however, we are witnessing a serious breach of security.

used to post here

...The United States certainly got their man but, in the process, lost Pakistan. F.B. Ali

In that case, Mr. Ali, I am sure you will understand if the United States suspends any and all aid to Pakistan and uses these funds to safeguard Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

Patrick Lang

TTG

I don't believe that either LJ or Brigadier Ali have it right. I particularly do not believe that the Pakistan Army were "on board." that sounds like the CIA talking and planting stories in an attempt to denigrate tha achievements of the armed forces, as usual. pl

Arun

The US told the Pakistani generals that it knew that bin Laden was sheltered by them, and then the Pakistani generals always had the exit option of having its unofficial channels move bin Laden. So I don't believe the above version can be correct.

Arun

If bin Laden were to be hunted down and killed by the Americans in the tribal badlands of Pakistan, it would give the regime a black eye in the view of many of its people as well as being a serious blow to the bin Laden clan.

As I remember, two Saudi princes died in "accidents" for some peripheral involvement in all this; yet the Saudis would shield bin Laden?

-----
As to plausible deniability about why bin Laden was moved - very easy - militants were attacking Pakistani military targets left and right; easy enough to stage an attack/attempted attack on the military academy at Abbottabad. Given the increased security scrutiny that would follow, it would be natural for Osama bin Laden to be moved. The allegation of a leak from the top generals having caused the move could never be proved.

As an example of such militant attacks:
--
Feb 10, 2011

MARDAN, Pakistan — A teenage suicide bomber walked onto the parade ground of a major military training school in northwest Pakistan on Thursday and blew himself up, killing 27 cadets, officials said.

The attack at the Punjab Regimental Center in Mardan was the second by militants against the school in the last three years.

Arun

If the Saudis approached the Pakistanis to shield OBL around 2006, one must explain why the Saudis didn't try to have him shielded 2001-06, and what happened in 2006 to make the Saudis do so.

confusedponderer

utph,
"In that case, Mr. Ali, I am sure you will understand if the United States suspends any and all aid to Pakistan and uses these funds to safeguard Pakistan's nuclear arsenal."

... and how do you think that will work?

Suspending any and all aid to Pakistan, and 'using these funds to safeguard Pakistan's nuclear arsenal', 'safeguard the nukes' would mean to ... give it to Pakistanis i.e. giving them aid to have them improve their security?

But that's not what you mean I presume. You're talking about the US taking them. The Pakistanis are not going to give them to the US.

Why do you think the US will succeed in doing that, say in a coup de main. Is that even feasible? We're talking about assaulting several well guarded military bases, simultaneously. That would be a very complex operation, with lots of things that can go sour. What will happen if they don't succeed?

Jake

"In that case, Mr. Ali, I am sure you will understand if the United States suspends any and all aid to Pakistan and uses these funds to safeguard Pakistan's nuclear arsenal."

One question... That is to be done how?

The Twisted Genius

PL,

"that sounds like the CIA talking and planting stories in an attempt to denigrate the achievements of the armed forces, as usual"

I can certainly believe that based on personal experience. Actually, I would rather believe that the sources for both RJ and Johnson are part of a deliberate deception. The thought that there would be multiple leaks about a sensitive operation so soon after it took place makes me shudder. It would be horribly damaging to the credibility and trustworthiness of USI. I'd hate to be a C/O on the street trying to make a recruitment now.

JYD

Brig. Ali,

Once again, a very timely and useful contribution on this still hazy topic. I do wonder how much of your deductions were perhaps colored by a need to rationalize why the Pak mil chose to take the risk of protecting the World's #1 terror target. I wager that the House of Saud may feel like they were thrown under the bus.

My main reason to disagree with this analysis is that I simply cannot see the US military/intel circles trusting the Pak mil leadership enough to share their discovery of Bin Laden's lair.

I also see increasing evidence that shows that there is a powerful, but short-sighted wing of the Pakistani military/spy establishment that has steered its country into taking mind boggling risks with jihadist elements. Let's call this the Hamid Gul/Aslam Beg wing. And with every inevitable blowback, Kayani and the military leadership seem to be drawn closer into the paranoia filled alternate reality of the Gul/Beg wing, instead of moving the other way.

Ironically, the more paranoid and Pavlovian the Pak military becomes, the more likely it us that their worst fears come true.

bth

If the raid had failed, I wonder how the story would have been told?

crf

There's one way to partly verify this story: to get the supposed Pakistani ISI source to give a public account. I know that this might be difficult, since details might expose him, his friends, etc. And it goes against the current "trust and worship" imperial zeitgeist rather than the democratic "trust and verify".

I'm a bit skeptical of is that the ISI and Pakistan government was knew where Bin Laden was and was sheltering him, as if it were a managed political policy. It is likely true, in part, but it is just the most plausible theory.

The past has shown that US government often expects, and not just assumes, greater competence of US enemies than turns out to be the case.

seydlitz89

FB Ali-

Sir, I'd like to thank you for this post.

What is clear is that the whole concept of al Qaeda as a non-state supported entity needs to be thoroughly rethought.

It is not the "decline of the state" "paradigm" we are dealing with but rather the obscuring of state interests/involvement we should be asking ourselves about.

jerseycityjoan

I have to wonder how we can have "lost" Pakistan? Isn't the point of your story that we never had it? I'm not sure they ever had us, either.

Was there ever a meeting of the minds between the two countries? How about a meeting of the minds that included both the civilian and military worlds?

Thanks for the food for thought, though.

John Waring

A few conclusions from your post, kind sir. The Saudis are complicit in terrorism, no surprise there. The Pakistanis are playing a hydra-headed game, we Americans not knowing at times what head was up. The resulting confusion on our parts obscured the fact that the interests of the United States and Pakistan seldom converged on a fundamental basis. Our killing of bin Laden in Abbottabad has cleared away the smoke.

J

The important point is that the bastard OBL is fish fodder. Instead of worrying about this and that on the raid, we need to worry about successive OBL's we are creating with our UN-natural insertion into matters that if they ran their natural course, would work out to our advantage. We can do minor 'tweaking' here and there, while at the same time keeping our fingerprints out of the pie, instead of jumping in whole-hog like we have a bad habit of doing.

Problem is, that our D.C. civies never have to get their hands dirty, instead they leave all the dirty work for us professional bastards. Now and again, we need to be able to grab our D.C. civies by their short-hairs and stuff their faces to within two-three inches of the things they love to stick us in, and watch them clean our their drawers for a week (at the same time we're laughing our arses off watching their circus cleaning act). Then maybe we can then watch nature takes it course, and only enter into matters when this really matter/life threatening for nation.

Now I'll get off my little 3 inch soapbox.

Charlie Wilson

Jeez J, chill out man. I gotta clean out my drawers just reading your post. Whew!!!

William R. Cumming

Once again the duplicitous Saudi officialdom complicates the world for others. Their time is coming IMO!

used to post here


In that case, Mr. Ali, I am sure you will understand if the United States suspends any and all aid to Pakistan and uses these funds to safeguard Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.


Posted by: used to post here | 31 August 2011 at 04:46 AM

...Why do you think the US will succeed in doing that, say in a coup de main. Is that even feasible? We're talking about assaulting several well guarded military bases, simultaneously. That would be a very complex operation, with lots of things that can go sour. What will happen if they don't succeed?

Posted by: confusedponderer | 31 August 2011 at 08:31 AM

One question... That is to be done how?

Posted by: Jake | 31 August 2011 at 09:07 AM

If I knew the precise operational details you request, I would not be in a position to reveal them in public, would I. It would be difficult, but not impossible. The easy way would be to cut a deal with the right people at the right time. Let me ask a question. How much money is a nuclear free Pakistan worth to the world? Nuclear proliferation is out of hand, something drastic needs to be done; carefully and quietly.
I have faith in our USA.

William R. Cumming

By the way General Ali hoping you have seen the movie "Rashoman"! Seven versions of the truth?

Arun

http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110901/ENTERTAINMENT18/309019983/-1/ENTERTAINMENT10

Quote:

A new documentary film reveals that a last-minute double-check of intelligence before the raid that killed Osama bin Laden last spring cast fresh doubt on whether the al-Qaida leader was really in the Pakistani compound where he was found.

The History network, in its "Targeting Bin Laden" special that airs next Tuesday at 8 p.m., said President Barack Obama convened a special "red team" of terrorism experts to take a fresh look at the evidence.

That team had greater doubt that bin Laden was in the Abbottobad, Pakistan home primarily because they didn't believe he would take the risk of having as many visitors as he did.

Despite the new assessment, Obama ordered the mission to proceed. Four days later on May 2, a team of U.S. Navy SEALs successfully located and killed the terrorist leader behind the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

FB Ali

TTG and PL,

I had not seen Larry Johnson’s piece earlier. The information provided by his sources includes what RJ Hillhouse reported, but has additional items and is more coherent (or he makes it appear so). RJH’s seems almost to be bits and pieces picked up by someone around a coffee machine. But neither of them “denigrate the achievements of the armed forces”. What they do denigrate are the CIA (instead of their good intelligence work leading to ObL, he was offered to them on a plate by a walk-in) and Obama (LJ’s whole article is quite a hatchet job on him).

To be credible, any hypothetical narrative about an event, much of which is shrouded in secrecy, must account for the known facts. In this affair, one known fact is Obama’s nature. The official narrative (Schmidle’s) makes him out to be a big risk-taker, almost a reckless gambler. By authorizing a raid in which the helicopters could have been shot down, or the SEALs attacked by Pakistani troops, he was risking his presidency (a la Carter). And quite unnecessarily ─ there was a perfectly good alternative available (the drone strike). This is not the Obama we know in real life; he is neither an idiot nor a risk-taker. It is a logical conclusion that the real Obama would never have ordered this raid unless he knew that there was no risk of Pakistani interference. No help was needed from them, just the guarantee that they would not intervene.

Another significant fact that has to be accounted for adequately is ObL’s living in a high-walled secretive compound in a military garrison town for several years, without any guards or other defensive arrangements (i.e, he felt quite secure). With terrorist attacks occurring regularly on military targets, there is no way that the house would not have been checked out, and its occupants identified, unless some powerful entity (such as the ISI) did not want that to happen. Yet, the ISI did not consider ObL a high-value asset (otherwise he would have been kept in a secure place and well-guarded). But ObL certainly was a valuable commodity to trade to the US (as Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and several others were) ─ unless he was protected by someone the ISI could not afford to displease (e.g, the Saudis).

I think my reconstruction accounts for these known facts; I have not come across another one that does. These two important facts (and the inferences they lead to) also explain some other issues that arise. When the Pakistani military discovered that the US knew about ObL, why didn’t they insist that they would grab him and hand him over (instead of risking all the internal problems arising from the violation of sovereignty by a US raid or even a drone strike)? Why didn’t they move him? (Because he wasn’t of any value to them, Arun!).

Fred

Meanwhile, it is still terrorist condition yellow in every square inch of the USA. We should fire quite a few people for continuing the fear mongering bs.

JohnH

A highly credible analysis.

I feel vindicated for casting doubt on the official story at the time, something that got me banned from commenting here.

Patrick Lang

JohnH

You were wrong then and you are wrong now. i don't think i banned you. Ah, I see now that I did. You are unbanned, for the moment. pl

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