America knows who deserves the credit for killing Osama Bin Laden – United States Navy SEALs and the American intelligence community. Obama should be ashamed of himself.
Osama bin Laden pondered the merits of US television news channels as he considered how to extract the best propaganda benefit from the tenth anniversary of 9/11 last year, and concluded that CBS was “close to being unbiased”.
But an American-born media adviser for al-Qaeda warned Bin Laden to beware of the broadcasters’ “cunning methods” as he described Fox News as a channel in the “abyss” that should “die in anger”, CNN as too close to the US government and MSNBC as questionable after it fired one of its most prominent presenters, Keith Olbermann.
In a memorandum made public by the US military’s Combating Terrorism Center on Thursday, Bin Laden asked for advice on exploiting the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
“We need to benefit from this event and get our messages to the Muslims and celebrate the victory that they achieved. We need to restore their confidence in their nation and motivate them. We should also present our just cause to the world, especially to the European people,” he said.
Bin Laden suggested contacting Al-Jazeera.
Read More at The Guardian. By Chris McGreat.
Photo Credit: k-ideas (Creative Commons)
After a week where the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden effectively dominated the political news arena, Republicans are looking to shift the message back to a critical examination of President Obama’s economic record.
The Republican National Committee and Romney campaign are launching a new messaging effort centered around the theme of “hype and blame,” a play on the Obama campaign’s 2008 “hope and change” slogans.
Republicans will sell bumper stickers emblazoned with the faux slogan, and accompany that with a digital, radio, and television advertising push. The effort will focus on Virginia and Ohio, the two crucial swing states the president will hold campaign events in on Saturday.
Read More at The Hill. By Justin Sink.
In letters from his last hideout, Osama bin Laden fretted about dysfunction in his terrorist network and crumbling trust from Muslims he wished to incite against their government and the West.
A selection of documents seized in last year’s raid on bin Laden’s Pakistan house was posted online Thursday by the U.S. Army’s Combating Terrorism Center. The documents show dark days for al-Qaida and its hunkered-down leader after years of attacks by the United States and what bin Laden saw as bumbling within his own organization and its terrorist allies.
“I plan to release a statement that we are starting a new phase to correct (the mistakes) we made,” bin Laden wrote in 2010. “In doing so, we shall reclaim, God willing, the trust of a large segment of those who lost their trust in the jihadis.”
Read more at Official Wire. By Kimberly Dozier, AP.
At a press conference with the prime minister of Japan this afternoon, President Obama said that Americans haven’t excessively celebrated the death of Osama bin Laden, and suggested that Mitt Romney would not have made the decision to kill the terrorist mastermind.
“I’d just recommend that everybody take a look at people’s previous statements in terms of whether they thought it was appropriate to go into Pakistan and to take out bin Laden,” Obama said, obviously taking a shot at Romney. “I assume that people meant what they said when they said it. And that’s been at least my practice. I said that I would go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him–and I did. If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they would do something else, then I’d go ahead and let them explain it.”
The president was visibly smirking as he made today’s statement. It also mirrors a campaign ad the president released Friday, which likewise suggests that Romney wouldn’t have killed bin Laden if he, as commander in chief, would have been in the same position.
Read More at The Weekly Standard. By Daniel Halper.
A former Obama administration official says al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden wanted to see President Barack Obama and Gen. David Petraeus assassinated.
But Michael Leiter (LYT’-uhr) tells NBC’s “Today” show he didn’t think that necessarily was bin Laden’s highest priority, suggesting the terrorist leader dreamed of another large-scale, 9/11-type attack on the United States.
Read More at OfficialWire. Associated Press.
On March 19, speaking at a Morris Township, New Jersey Democratic Party fundraiser, Vice President Joe Biden provided what may be the mother of all election year bumper stickers when he asserted, “Osama Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive. Think about it.” To help wrap our minds around these two facts, referring to the May 1, 2011 raid that killed Bin Laden, the Veep boasted, “You can go back 500 years. You cannot find a more audacious plan.”
Indeed the raid succeeded. No Americans were killed. On the down side, the United States left behind a stealth helicopter for the Chinese and Russians to reverse engineer. Nevertheless, President Obama made the right call. Seal Team Six performed magnificently.
But the most audacious plan in 500 years? No way. Just keeping it to raids, the November 20, 1970 Son Tay Raid conducted by U.S. Army Special Forces in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service was far more audacious in concept, planning, and execution. The Son Tay Raid involved two C-130E assault transports, an HH-3E Jolly Green Giant, and five larger HH-53 Super Jolly Green Giant rescue helicopters flying at night, at altitudes below 500 feet for 200 miles across northern Laos into North Vietnam to a prison camp located 28 miles north of Hanoi. The objective: free American prisoners of war thought to be held in the camp.
Planning for the raid started in June 1970 with practice conducted at night on a collapsible replica of the Son Tay prison located deep inside the swamplands that are part of Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Every morning, the “prison compound” was dismantled to prevent Soviet reconnaissance satellites from discovering it. Dubbed “Operation Ivory Coast” to divert speculation from Southeast Asia to Africa, the raiders were not told of their objective until hours before the raid, which departed Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand just after dark.
The raiding party arrived intact. Enemy radio intercepts indicated a major invasion was under way and, perhaps, the United States had used a nuclear weapon. I know. I was one of two intelligence watch-officers on duty at Udorn when the raid took place. Unfortunately, the prisoners had been moved out of Son Tay months before the raid, leaving behind a small contingent of guards who died that night. The raiders also killed up to 200 enemy sappers undergoing training at a school located a quarter mile from Son Tay. The only losses were the HH-3E, which was purposefully crashed into the compound so that Special Forces troops inside could neutralize the defenders before they had a chance to kill the prisoners, and an F-105F Wild Weasel badly damaged while attacking a surface-to-air missile site. Before departing Son Tay, the raiders destroyed the chopper, and a returning Jolly Green Giant picked up the two-man crew of the F-105. A North Vietnamese MiG-21 was lost after a rescue chopper it was pursuing at tree-top level hopped over a mountain ridge into which the pursuing MiG plowed.
The raid showed Hanoi’s leadership how vulnerable it was to attack and focused the world’s attention on the plight of American POWs held in North Vietnam. It also increased the morale of prisoners who knew they had not been abandoned. Finally, fearing the United States might attempt another raid; the North Vietnamese moved all POWs from outlying camps into two or three central complexes in Hanoi. This afforded the prisoners more contact with each other and helped establish who remained alive.
Just as audacious was the 1976 Entebbe Raid, Operation Thunderbolt / Operation Yoni, conducted by the Israelis to rescue Jewish passengers being held captive in Uganda by Palestinian and German terrorists. Operations Ivory Coast and Thunderbolt/Yoni are just two recent raids conducted within the past few decades. The action in Pakistan last May did not begin to approach in audacity the larger—and far more complex—operations like the Inchon landing in September 1950 or D-Day landings in Normandy on June 6, 1944, in planning or execution.
What is audacious is Biden’s indefensible claim. But, then, what else can the administration point to with pride? Doubling the national debt in three years? Half-a-billion dollars wasted on Solyndra? The Chevy Volt subsidized at $240,000 a copy? The administration might brag about the withdrawal from Iraq if the country weren’t edging toward anarchy. There’s no lauding the strategic ineptitude of declaring a withdrawal date from Afghanistan, an act giving the Taliban every reason not to negotiate. Can the administration brag about the unpopular healthcare reformthat Biden dubbed such a “big [expletive] deal?”
For an administration with lots of failures and few successes, bumper-sticker history may be all they’ve got.
The body of Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was not buried at sea, according to leaked emails of intelligence firm Stratfor, as revealed by WikiLeaks.
Stratfor’s vice-president for intelligence, Fred Burton, believes the body was “bound for Dover, [Delaware] on [a] CIA plane” and then “onward to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Bethesda [Maryland],” an email says.
The official version is that the body of Al-Qaeda’s top man, who was killed by a US raid in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, was buried at an undisclosed location at sea in a proper Muslim ceremony.
“If body dumped at sea, which I doubt, the touch is very Adolph Eichman like. The Tribe did the same thing with the Nazi’s ashes,” Burton commented in another email. Eichman was one of the masterminds of the Holocaust by Nazi Germany. He was captured by Mossad agents in Argentina and, tried in Israel, found guilty and executed in 1962. His body was cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea over the Mediterranean.
“Eichmann was seen alive for many months on trial before being sentenced to death and executed. No one wanted a monument to him so they cremated him. But i dont know anyone who claimed he wasnt eicjhman [sic]. No comparison with suddenly burying him at sea without any chance to view him which i doubt happened [sic],” Stratfor CEO George Friedman replied.