Saturday, May 07, 2011
I believe in publicly acknowledging when I am wrong - if only because the discipline makes me less likely to be.
So was I wrong?
We are told an American raid caught him in a house, specially built in 2005, in Abbottabad. Abbotabd, a military town founded by a Victorian officer called Abbott is pretty much the Langley and west Point of Pakistan rolled into one. Clearly something deeply embarrassing to the Pakistani government happened there or they would be loudly calling it a hoax. Finding bin Laden there is like finding Hitler had retired to a mansion in Langley and the CIA were claiming not to have noticed. Anybody who suggested that was even possible would be considered beyond a conspiracy theorist and right into loony tunes territory.
Whoever it was was clearly a leader of al Quaeda and was being protected by the Pakistani military/intelligence complex. Was it bin Laden? Lets leave that a minute.
Did the Pakistani government know? This raises the question of who exactly wields power there? Who is the state within the state? The current President of Pakistan is the husband of former leader Benazir Bhutto who was assassinated
Pakistan's military-led former government failed to protect former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto before her 2007 assassination, and intelligence agencies hindered the subsequent investigation, a U.N. commission concluded .....She was killed in December 2007 by a 15-year-old suicide bomber ..."No one believes that this boy acted alone," the report states. "A range of government officials failed profoundly in their efforts first to protect Ms. Bhutto, and second to investigate with vigor all those responsible for her murder, not only in the execution of the attack, but also in its conception, planning and financing." ...A spokesman for then-President Pervez Musharraf [the military commander in chief who previously officially seized power from her and executed her father, apparently with the full confidence of Pakistan's military/intelligence complex] said Friday the government offered adequate protection for Bhutto. ..."I believe the government at the time did whatever they thought was reasonable," said Muhammad Ali Saif, a spokesman and adviser to the former president....Pakistan's government and the CIA blamed the killing on Baitullah Mehsud, a top Pakistani Taliban leader with ties to al Qaeda. Mehsud was killed last year in a suspected U.S. drone strike.Very tidy. Made slightly less so by the fact that she had been the source of one of the claims that he was dead, paradoxically murdered by his own officers. Had she made that claim on the instructions of Pakistani intelligence? - probably. Had she believed it? - possibly. Was it true? - Probably not. Was she murdered by Pajistani intelligence or Al Quaeda? - Yes. How far are they separate organisations? - Apparently not very far (in the same way that US intelligence and Britain's are siamese twins who occasionally carry out murders that inconvenient laws prevent one party or the other doing in their own name? - Does Pakistan's current President understand this? - Presumably, at least he does now. How far is he really the ruler of Pakistan rather than a front for the military and thus able to do something about it? - Well he hasn't done anything up to now.
Here is a previous post I did about skullduggery in Pakistan - the French secret service breaking the legs of 2 Pakistani admirals in retaliation for a murder blamed on al Quaeda. Clearly an untrustworthy lot those Franco-Pakistanis whom upright and trustworthy anglosphere governments shouldn't trust.
I am sure somebody seniur in Islamic terrorism was killed. Somebody who the people really in charge of Pakistan were working with. If it had been more faked than that the Pakistani authorities would not be standing still for it. Perhaps it was bin Laden but if he is long dead there are no shortage of replacements. Perhaps the Americans thought it was/was likely to be/might be him when they attacked. Perhaps not.
Certainly their actions since and the continual change of the story is not compatible with everything being as we are told. We have been told he was/wasn't armed. That his wife/daughter was used as a human shield/armed and defending him/in the way and was killed/shot in the leg. We have been told the President and cabinet were watching the entire event on close circuit TV/weren't/missed the vital 20 minutes/saw highlights later. We have seen nobody allegedly involved, including the wife/daughter saying anything. We have seen assurances, 6 hours after the event and thus maybe a couple of hours after they got the body to the US fleet, that he had been positively identified by DNA - that is simply impossible since DNA identification, at even the most basic level takes days and if done thoroughly, a couple of weeks. So we have certainly been deliberately lied to and almost certainly repeatedly.
However the strangest action of all was the instant disposal of the body by burial at sea "in accordance with Islamic tradition". Speedy burial is a tradition in all hot countries for obvious reasons. Burial at sea isn't. Burial at sea in Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan obviously isn't because, at its closest, it is 400km from the sea. There have now been complaints that he wasn't shot overboard feet pointing to Mecca so it wasn't actually a "traditional" Islamic burial and clearly no attempt to find out what this tradition was were made. Since it is not a Christian tradition to be blown up in a skyscraper I cannot, for the life of me, see any reason why he should have been given such respects in the first place. Gaddafi's grandchildren weren't..
So they had to dispose of the body, before anybody got a chance to examine it. Does that sound like they didn't know it was somebody else's. If, for no other reason, it should have been kept for a full autopsy. Imagine what Abby could have found out. A real life autopsy at the molecular level would have shown where he had been living and eating over the years; it would have shown if he had had dialysis and possibly which of the 2 of Pakistan's best hospitals located in Abbottabad had treated him; it would have shown a lot about lifestyle. All things an intelligence analyst would want to know. There may well be more - there certainly wouldn't be less. Yet so anxious were they to get rid of the body that this was thrown away. Under what circumstances other than it not being him does this make sense?
So it wasn't him. This is being said by other conspiracy theorists, making the assumption that he is still alive. I make the opposite assumption. The evidence he was already dead, is as good as it ever was (lack of sightings; evidnece that the voice on "his" tapes wasn't him; the tapes changing their line from Saudi matters to Palestine and even "climate change") and that the "failure to find" him was wearing thin, particularly with so many al Quaeda leaders having been found by US drones and killed. He was developing into as elusive a character as the Scarlet Pimpernel, Elvis or the Mattoon Gasser and there is a Presidential election coming up where there would be an incentive to ask obvious questions.
.This raises the question of who exactly wields power here? Who is the state within the state? Under what circumstances can ANYTHING government here tells us be trusted?
My guide for conspiracy theories is that I don't believe anything involving flying saucers or working black magic (non-working but scary stuff like Skull and Bones or the Masons is common). I don'y believe in conspiracies that require those in charge to be very smart or have particular capability to foresee the results of their actions, but really dim stuff like not knowing funeral cistoms is believable. I tend not to believe overly large or complicated conspiracies on Heinlein's dictum that "there is a maximum size to conpsiracies and soap bubbles and for the same reason". However that does not exclude those where it is possible to take strenuous methods to maintain silence (eg the Mafia) or where they aren'tvreally secret, it is just not discussed by respectable people or the media (our police organlegging in Kosovo; 7/8ths of the price of the Forth crossing being theft; theft, nepotism and crony capitalism in government). My other dictum is that everybody lies to make their enemies look bad or themselves look good but nobody lies for the opposite reasons (when Madelina Albright told the world's press that it was the US not Yugoslavia which was being intransigent and trying to start a war you can take it to the bank, though obviously the media took it nowhere).
Assume those in government and media are lying in stupid and greedy ways that you wouldn't believe if you were told it by a drunk in a pub and you won't go far wrong.
This one's fake too