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08 December 2013

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William R. Cumming

Again recommend a BBC Contemporary Masterpiece show entitled "PAGE EIGHT" that seems to address closely related issues!

Always remember that this Preisent is fully documented as listening to no one in particular b

William R. Cumming

While Mr. Hersh is sometimes wrong he usually is correct in his analysis IMO!

Charles I

S.H done a lot of interesting work, first encountered him upon the KAL shootdown investigation decades ago.

WRC thanks for the BEEB tip.

Ramojus

Colonel, what is your view regarding the claim, in Hersh's upcoming book, that the Osama Bin Laden operation was faked?

turcopolier

ramojus

You mean the operation that killed UBL? I think that was quite real. but it was not a very difficult operation and the whole thing was hyped far too much. Remember I was in SF/specops in VN. In SOG, ops like that were a commonplace occurrence. We operated "across the fence" against the NVA on a regular basis. Now, "Charles," was a badassed guy unlike a lot of these jihadis. The recent wars are described in an exaggerated way. I hear people on TV talking about how terrible everything was in Iraq or Afghanistan. I have seen things... (reference to Blade Runner) The personal worst for me was the destruction of a company of 2/5 Cav. 52 killed and over 70 wounded in one day. Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes... pl

Bandolero

turcopolier

I still miss any reliable public proof that the guy killed in that op was really OBL, and not, for example, an impersonator of OBL. If that guy was really OBL, I wonder, why he wasn't arrested alive to be presented to the world in a courtroom, but instead shot dead and dumped in the sea.

Do you have any convincing explanation for this?

I may think of lot's of good explanations for this but they all imply that the guy killed in Pakistan was not OBL.

turcopolier

bandolero

Nothing would convince you so why should I try? Oh. well. Why did they kill him? Where would we have tried him? New York? Get serious! Guantanamo? A possibility, but why bother. This was not a criminal case. It was an operation of war and he was a legitimate target. Why not kill him? what were they going to do with his body? Stuff him like Lenin? Lastly, there was no way to know in advance how many men he had in residence with guns. As I said you won't believe this because you think of us as the enemy. pl

turcopolier

ramojus

What does Sy say about the UBL op? pl

Bandolero

Regarding "Whose Sarin?" I disagree with Hersh. I think it's much more likely that the culprit was the "Chemical Unit" of Alloush's FSA "Islam brigade" than Nusra guys.

turcopolier

bandolero

Which rebels' Sarin was used? What real difference does it make? the main issue is whether or not the government "done it." pl

David Habakkuk

Bandolero,

If you think that some of what Sibel Edmonds claims is true, there is an obvious possible answer to your question. He may have known too much, and -- if if brought to trial -- might have revealed it.

Of course, this could well be an answer which could conceivably be true, but which those who are in a position to know what really happened have good reason to believe is false. But to argue from the premise that the USG did not bring OSB to trial, to the conclusion that the figure they killed cannot have been OSB, is a palpable non-sequitur.

Babak Makkinejad

Yes, someone saw OBL in Dar El Salam - and he was staying with the Shah of Iran.

Together, they were going to have lunch with Princess Diana and Elvis.

Babak Makkinejad

I think disposing of the body would have been an issue as well; his grave site would have become a shrine.

Ramojus

I guess I'm just surprised that a journalist of Hersch's reputation intends to make the claim that the elimination of UBL was faked.

I have been influenced by his journalistic contributions since high school(a Jesuit one), when I read his piece about the My Lai massacre.

Is he onto something to put his credibility on the line? Or is this something akin to Bob Woodward books, i.e. claims that are difficult to independently verify?

Ramojus

Whoops, upon further research:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/07/guardian-seymour-hersh-bin-laden_n_4058625.html

My bad...

Laura Wilson

It seems to me that you are right on all counts. In addition, the last thing the world needs is a martyr with a grave site at which to worship. Enough of these already!

Laura Wilson

It's also possible that the main issue was "How do we get rid of more chemical weapons?" Apparently....that has been accomplished. Not all but some more...is this a worthwhile goal no matter whose were used??? I don't know but what do you think?

Bandolero

David

Regarding not bringing the guy to a public trial I agree. If the guy knew something one want to conceal one would make sure he can't communicate with the world. Of course, a victory against all the conspiracy theories around 9/11 would be much bigger, when the mastermind himself would confess to the crime he is accused. For that reason for example the German Nazis bigshots were brought to trial. But, of course, when he could have revealed something embarrassing, it would be plausible to make him silent.

However that guy was not only prevented to speak but also the only reliable evidence regarding his identity was buried at sea. I can see hardly any other motive for this than that there is a secret with the identity that had to be buried. Remember, Gaddafi, for example, was shown five months later to the public for a couple of days, so people should know that the war had ended.

I remember well Robert Baer's "When Will Obama Give Up the Bin Laden Ghost Hunt?"

http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1859354,00.html

As I heard the news that Obama claimed US forces killed a guy in Pakistan and dropped him into the sea claiming it was Bin Laden, I thought it looks pretty much like Obama's way to extricate himself from the policy dilemma Robert Baer described in that article.

And I still haven't found much what would convince me of the contrary.

The Twisted Genius

Ramjous and Bandolero,

I served over two years in a SMU (special mission unit) and worked with both Seal Team Six and Delta. All the information, including helmet video, that has been released about the raid on UBL rings true to me. In my opinion, far too much has been released. It should have been a simple statement that U.S. forces conducted a raid in which they killed UBL. His body was buried at sea in accordance with Islamic law and customs. Nothing more. Let everyone else speculate about what did or didn't happen. Let AQ waste their time and resources trying to prove he's still alive.

The Twisted Genius

This an excellent report by Sy Hersh. It leaves me with two thoughts:

Our SIGINT collectors have to concentrate on the important and hard targets and not continue to expend resources on trying to "collect it all." HUMINT does a much better, though still imperfect, job of focusing limited resources.

The palace intrigues taking place in our government are more vicious and vile that anything in "Game of Thrones."

Fred

Elvis sure does get around.

Fred

I can think of 3,000 or so reasons to kill him. But most important is that it was combat and not a police raid to serve an arrest warrent. If he wanted a public trial he could have turned himself in at any time.

Bandolero

Ramojus

Hersch didn't. Read the Guardian:

"Hersh has pointed out that he was in no way suggesting that Osama bin Laden was not killed in Pakistan, as reported, upon the president's authority: he was saying that it was in the aftermath that the lying began"

http://www.theguardian.com/media/media-blog/2013/sep/27/seymour-hersh-obama-nsa-american-media

I did. I think when Robert Baer wrote in 2008 - see the TIME link I posted above - that OBL may be dead since the end of 2001, the "OBL" tapes following that were made with impersonators and voice fabrications, Baer was right.

Baer also said Obama should declare OBL for dead or irrelevant, but noted that Obama faces a policy dilemma doing so. If Obama just declared OBL for dead, he would have come under attack from hawks, but if Obama never declared OBL for dead US troops and budget would be squandered for hunting the ghost of OBL in some irrelevent AfPak region for years to come. So how could that policy dilemma be solved?

If US forces in 2011 in Pakistan indeed - as I think - killed an impersonator of OBL and Obama declared that it was OBL who was killed, I think, Obama would have found a quite elegant way of extricating himself from the policy dilemma I lined out above. It would have been a well planned PsyOp which I would judge to have been quite useful and successful.

Am I sure? No way. But I find that assumption to be the best matching with the known facts.

Bandolero

turcopolier

The difference, of course, is that if carefully vetted FSA rebels used Sarin, it would be more embarrassing for those countries who vetted and supported them as if it was Al Qaeda.

However, pointing finger to Assad and then making the CW deal I find not a terribly bad move from Obama. That way Sarin using "rebels" and their state backers were sent the strongest possible message of: don't do this, it won't help you.

Fred

" In a letter to Senator Carl Levin, Dempsey cautioned that a decision to grab the Syrian arsenal could have unintended consequences: ‘We have learned from the past ten years, however, that it is not enough to simply alter the balance of military power without careful consideration of what is necessary in order to preserve a functioning state … Should the regime’s institutions collapse in the absence of a viable opposition, we could inadvertently empower extremists or unleash the very chemical weapons we seek to control.’

Thank God for General Dempsey. Why can't the rest of Obama's advisors think as clearly? Just what do they owe their allegiance too? It doesn't seem to be the Constitution of the United States.

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