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Ego Te Absolvo

March 21st, 2014 - 6:18 am

Carlota Gall of the New York Times describes what — if true — must be the biggest cover up in of all of the Obama administration’s checkered history.  Her article is titled “What Pakistan Knew About Bin Laden”.  But it is really about what the Obama administration knew that Pakistan knew about Bin Laden. The answer, as far as she can tell is that Washington knows for a fact that Osama bin Laden was Pakistan’s creature.  They know it was Pakistan — or factions within it — that ran the whole war on terror.

But,  she writes, the Obama administration has made a policy decision to ignore this perfidy, since to publicly acknowledge Islamabad’s guilt would force the administration to act in ways they are not prepared to act.

It took more than three years before the depth of Pakistan’s relationship with Al Qaeda was thrust into the open and the world learned where Bin Laden had been hiding, just a few hundred yards from Pakistan’s top military academy. …

Soon after the Navy SEAL raid on Bin Laden’s house, a Pakistani official told me that the United States had direct evidence that the ISI chief, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, knew of Bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad. The information came from a senior United States official … Colleagues at The Times began questioning officials in Washington about which high-ranking officials in Pakistan might also have been aware of Bin Laden’s whereabouts, but everyone suddenly clammed up. It was as if a decision had been made to contain the damage to the relationship between the two governments. “There’s no smoking gun,” officials in the Obama administration began to say.

The haul of handwritten notes, letters, computer files and other information collected from Bin Laden’s house during the raid suggested otherwise, however. It revealed regular correspondence between Bin Laden and a string of militant leaders who must have known he was living in Pakistan, including Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a pro-Kashmiri group that has also been active in Afghanistan, and Mullah Omar of the Taliban. Saeed and Omar are two of the ISI’s most important and loyal militant leaders. Both are protected by the agency. Both cooperate closely with it, restraining their followers from attacking the Pakistani state and coordinating with Pakistan’s greater strategic plans. Any correspondence the two men had with Bin Laden would probably have been known to their ISI handlers.

Afghanistan — Obama’s “war of necessity” — turns out in her narrative to be a squirrel, a mere distraction. Far from being a valuable strategic target Afghanistan played the role of a decoy against which America could expend what remained of its indignation at 911.  It acted as political therapy where US citizens could act out their hostility and bad vibes without doing any real damage.

The whole point of luring America into Afghanistan, according to bin Laden, if Gall’s sources are to be believed, was to take the heat off Pakistan.  Bin Laden wanted America to waste its energy so that when the US eventually tired, al-Qaeda could move right back in from their sanctuaries in Pakistan just as if nothing happened.

Had the SEALs not got bin Laden in Pakistan, he might have waited out the posse in his Abbotabad digs and then moved right back to Afghanistan when the US shipped out. Gall writes:

In 2009, Bin Laden reportedly traveled to Pakistan’s tribal areas to meet with the militant leader Qari Saifullah Akhtar. … At his meeting with Bin Laden in August 2009, Akhtar is reported to have requested Al Qaeda’s help in mounting an attack on the Pakistani army headquarters in Rawalpindi. … At the meeting, Bin Laden rejected Akhtar’s request for help and urged him and other militant groups not to fight Pakistan but to serve the greater cause — the jihad against America. He warned against fighting inside Pakistan because it would destroy their home base: “If you make a hole in the ship, the whole ship will go down,” he said.

No fighting in Pakistan. Better to play along with the “war of necessity” charade. Why Pakistan could pretend to be an ally and charge the U.S. exorbitant rates for the privilege of supplying its pointless military endeavor over Pakistani roads. Clever, wasn’t it?

Brilliant. Positively brilliant.  Thousands of American troops dangling at the end of a lifeline ultimately controlled by the sponsors of al Qaeda wasting billions of dollars on Obama’s strategy.

If ruse it was then it was eminently successful. Gall notes that, even after the Raid, even after burying Osama at sea so as not to offend … well who? … Obama has still not identified the principal enemy as Pakistan. In fact he may never. “The United States was neither speaking out against Pakistan nor changing its policy toward a government that was exporting terrorism … after 13 years, more than a trillion dollars spent, 120,000 foreign troops deployed at the height of the war and tens of thousands of lives lost … the real enemy remains at large.”  There are bigger considerations, you know.

It’s a monstrous accusation, all the more horrifying because it might well be true.  Where does an American president get the power to foist a lie upon an entire nation in order to take upon himself the burden of truth so that all of his countrymen might sleep soundly in their imagined security?

Chris Edelson of the American University examines the question of whether the president may unilaterally declare peace.

President Obama has announced that the United States will not be “getting into a military excursion in Ukraine” … But, policy considerations aside, does President Obama have the constitutional authority to effectively “declare peace” against Russia? …

Hamilton reasoned that, because the power to interpret treaties (outside of litigation) and declare neutrality is not expressly assigned to any other branch, it must belong to the president as part of the executive power. He observed, however, that the President and Congress have “overlapping or concurrent powers” in this area. When the president acts first (as Washington had) by “declaring peace”, Congress is not bound to defer to the president’s decision, although Hamilton argued that Congress should consider the president’s initial action as having “establish[ed] an antecedent state of things which ought to weigh in [any subsequent] legislative decisions.” In other words, Congress should take into account what the president had done before changing course.

The example Edelson uses — coming to the aid of an ally in fulfillment of a security treaty — is entirely different from Pakistan’s situation. Russia’s actions against the Ukraine affect the United States only indirectly. By contrast the forces abetted by Pakistan are presently engaged in direct hostilities against the United States. In such cases, can the president  ”declare peace” with a country currently waging war against America?

Suppose another mass terrorist attack on America occurs, can he continue to withhold the material fact that he knows who done it? Or is he capable of absolving Pakistan for the second or third offense under this power to declare peace? Would it not be inconvenient, in the event of a second attack, to admit you knew who perpetrated the first attack but refrained from saying it? A second attack would portray him as an accomplice.

Of course, one may ask: who cares? The whole point is that half the voters don’t care, as long as they get their dose of reality TV and talent shows; their Obamaphones and their Obamacare. As the Martha’s Vineyard Times puts it “Planning begins for another Obama vacation”. “Like the annual return of pinkletinks and crocuses, inns and hotels around the Island are getting familiar calls this week from White House officials planning a vacation on Martha’s Vineyard for President Obama and his family.”

Maybe the real political justification for the Obama administration’s failure to name Pakistan as Osama bin Laden’s handler is that we really don’t want to know. That would complicate things and a substantial number of voters don’t want the complications. Obama can honestly say that he has a mandate to do nothing. Isn’t that the truth, the truth no one wants to admit?

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Top Rated Comments   
I am not sure Bush knew in the legal sense, but I believe he strongly suspected Pakistan's complicity to the point where he was virtually certain. But since Pakistan was a nuclear power he decided to confront it indirectly, by destroying the sources of its power.

Readers will know that I've long argued that this was why Iraq was so important. It was on the border of Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran. All the props ou wanted to knock out from under Pakistan. The locus of money, ideology and men. The old "Ten Ships" post says exactly that.

The way you confront a nuclear power is indirectly, a la Reagan. And Pakistan's center of gravity was India and the Middle East. These were the pressure points. These ARE the pressure points. You only wanted to outpost Afghanistan, but not to wage war in it (see Ten Ships) because there was nothing important there.

This line of argument has been a recurring theme on this site for many years. So why didn't Obama see it?

My own personal guess is that Obama purposely locked up the ground forces in Afghanistan as a goodwill gesture to Pakistan. His idea was to build a "strategic partnership" with Islamabad and jointly they would cleanse the Land of the Pure of its Islamist cancer. He wasn't going to confront Pakistan, he would help them become a "21st century country", to rid itself of its demons.

This is his style, but it is also the source of his greatest blunders. His attempts to "partner" with Putin, Iran, Syria, Palestine and Pakistan are characteristic of his diplomacy. But it left him open to being double crossed. And he was double crossed in each and every one of these instances.

I suppose he really thought it would work. Maybe he said to himself, "why not give this outreach business a chance." Well fair enough. But there must come a point when the time comes to admit the experiment has failed. I suppose that moment has come vis a vis Russia, following the Ukraine debacle.

What debacle must we await before Obama wakes up regarding Pakistan?
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48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes. That is why they followed the Rumsfeld doctrine of a small SOF doctrine that could easily b exfiltrated. Obama initiated a 'surge' there of conventional forces. Obama owns it.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
The ISI created the Taliban, for cripes sake! Why should anything after that surprise anyone? (And no, for the record I am not surprised by any of this and, in fact, have not only previously suspected much of it but also publicly suggested as much.)

Not all of Pakistan is our enemy, but the most important players in that country are. We should keep that in mind and act accordingly. I suggest:
--Get out of Afghanistan and let Iran worry about filling the void.
--Align more and more closely with India.
--Stop paying Pakistan, except in retribution for her perfidy.

I could go on, but these few small observations and suggestions make the point.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (108)
All Comments   (108)
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uddy arsen
Mosqueing the Empire State Building

re: I describe this well-worn but successful tactic by these supremacist colonizers in my book, Stop Islamization of America, A Practical Guide to the Resistance.

Amazon and other sources show this book to have been written by Pamela Geller. Yet you claim "I" describe ... this ... tactic ... "in my book". Others here have claimed you're someone who previously posted under the name "Doug" or somesuch.

I have a simple question: are you Pamela Geller? If not, why are you claiming to have authored her book? Some of the views you've expressed in various posts certainly correspond to ideas I've heard or read Geller express, but there are others that contradict the premise that you're Geller. Please explain.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Our present situation has come about because George Bush was a failure.

I think a very significant event vis-a-vis Iran was when Bush declined to respond when they were discovered to be aiding and arming Iraqi insurgents killing American soldiers. The Iranians suspended their nuclear program at about the time the US invaded Iraq, if I recall, because they feared the wrath of the United States.

Then the Iranians, having watched CNN, figured out that Bush was constrained by domestic politics and would not attack them, period.

Their fear went away.

Domestically, the democrats, also having watched CNN, figured out that Bush would not attack them, no matter how many lies they told about him and his party.

Their fear also went away, assuming they ever had any.

Both grew bolder, at no cost. This is failure on multiple levels, for George Bush.

If the Iranians had been attacked because we figured out they were arming insurgents against us, maybe that unpopular regime would have fallen before Bush left office. If the democrats had faced competent political opposition, maybe they wouldn't have been so bold in claiming Bush "lied" to justify war against the Hussein regime- and maybe much else would be different, too.

But the Iranians were able to kill American troops unmolested, and the democrats were able to claim Bush faked the case to get approval for the Iraq War- and much ill flows from all that.

So who fears the wrath of the United States now? Why should the American left fear the GOP establishment?

It doesn't matter how many carrier battle groups the US Navy has, or how many seats in Congress the Republican Party holds, because the enemies of both have come to believe that no harm will come to them for defying either.

Unless and until that changes both the United States efforts to defend itself against regimes such as Iran and the opposition to Barry and his band of traitors will come to naught.

48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
We really ought to bomb Pakistan for the limited purpose of destroying all the high tech weaponry we have given them. It would serve them right.

In order to maintain the balance of power, we must also bomb Iran.

Bambi won't do either.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
There an interesting concept explained in the clip from King Kong – the ritual loses its potency once outsiders see (or worse, photograph) the ritual. How is this scene essentially different from children listening to the Superman radio show in 1946 to learn the secret code words of the Ku Klux Klan?

Elitists use codes to foster the illusion of their own superiority. They could use Latin. They could use Arabic. They could use Sanskrit. They could use code words or secret handshakes. The language of “political correctness” or what George Orwell called “Newspeak” is simply another means to create that illusion. Any language will do for an elitist, so long as that language is sufficiently exotic and exalted to convey an illusion of superiority. Bahasa Indonesia accomplishes that task for Mr. Obama. “Newspeak” is an inferior form of elitism for leftists too stupid to learn an aboriginal language.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Weren't Ramsi bin alsheeb, Khalid sheik muh0mad, and bin Laden all enjoying safe haven in Pok-eee-ston when they were abruptly extracted from their digs there? What happens in Pok-eee-ston apparently is supposed to stay in Pok-eee-ston.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Say, wouldn't the Pakistani government know what nationality Obama claimed when he visited there with his Pakistani boyfriend in his early 20's, at a time when US passports were not accepted for entry into the country?

Why... yes - yes, they would.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
There has never been a time, from August 14, 1947 to tonight when U.S. passports were invalid for travel to Pakistan.

During the time that "Obama" visited Pakistan, I was working with a group of US citizen scientists who maintained a research facility in Pakistan (1980-83). They traveled to and from Pakistan all the time, and usually got their visas on arrival at either Karachi or Lahore.

I don't know why this falsehood keeps getting repeated.

Of course, this does not mean that "Obama" travelled on a US passport - but he certainly could have, if he had one.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Red Ping-Arc Update

A nice description of satellite to aircraft pinging from PPRUNE

"So, back to our satellite. It was expecting a response at “tick” number XYZ and it actually arrives at “tick” number XYZ + whatever. It knows, because it is in the standard, that the receiver on the plane is obliged to reply exactly N ticks after receipt of the request, so by subtracting N from XYZ + whatever it knows how long the message has taken to transit to the receiver and back again in “ticks”. Halve that and you have how many ticks away the plane is. "

So the plane waits for the satellite to call on it and replies. Sort of like a teacher taking attendance.

Q - MH370?
A - Here!

No positive ID, just a tick in the right time slot.

You could substitute another source and the satellite would never know the difference. The substitute just spoofs the teacher.


3.fraudulent spam e-mail: a method of sending e-mail using a false name or e-mail address to make it appear that the e-mail comes from somebody other than the true sender
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wretchard, there's also this:

The US Chamber of Commerce and the US-Pakistan Business Council. Read it. And note who's pictured standing with these guys: I was shocked and saddened to see her there.

You see, it's we "little people" who are quaintly concerned about our country and her honor and safety. The Plutocrat Class throws us a well gnawed bone from the table every now and then, then goes back to their gorging and feasting, pausing only to snort in derision when one of the "little people" makes a stand in defense of such moldy, passe nonsense.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
To quote Thomas Jefferson, "Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains."

With that in mind, nothing I see from the American ruling surprises me- including who I saw standing there.

48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not shocked at all here:

Straightforward, hardworking, upright parents, then "higher education" studied under Maddie Albright's Daddy, became Provost at Stanford, "As Provost, she was responsible for a $1.5 billion annual budget and the academic program involving 1,400 faculty members and 14,000 students.

In 1997, she also served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender -- Integrated Training in the Military."


If she and Powell had fetched beer for Cheney and Rummy, we wouldn't be where we are now.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
UC has more than 125,000 Employees!

234,464 students!
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
The University of California system has $14.5 billion in outstanding debt

People like to talk about student debt – read, for example, my five part series on the topic. (Ok, I know you’re busy. How about at least one part of it? Do it for me.) But university debt, although rarely discussed, is arguably more important. Schools across the country are borrowing more money, and the increasing reliance on debt-financing at universities is adding logs covered in lighter fluid to an already flammable higher education system. The University of California system, for example, has $14.5 billion in outstanding debt, more than double its level in 2005. The total volume of debt across colleges of all kinds has increased so much that interest payments per student have increased 86% since a decade ago despite low interest rates.

The trend of taking on more debt puts schools’ educational and social mission at odds with their financial needs, making it less likely that colleges will be able to do what they’re supposed to do – which is to provide a high quality education for students of all backgrounds.

The good old days:
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Encouraging news.

We will know that there is a possibility for this beloved country's turnaround when the Educational-Industrial Complex crashes.

48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
When John Kerry Speaks for his POTUS, People Listen

Away from the conflict in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin is quietly seeking a foothold in Latin America, military officials warn.

To the alarm of lawmakers and Pentagon officials, Putin has begun sending navy ships and long-range bombers to the region for the first time in years.

Russia’s defense minister says the country is planning bases in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, and just last week, Putin’s national security team met to discuss increasing military ties in the region.
“They’re on the march,” Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) said at a Senate hearing earlier this month. “They’re working the scenes where we can’t work. And they’re doing a pretty good job.”

Gen. James Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command said there has been a “noticeable uptick in Russian power projection and security force personnel” in Latin America.

“It has been over three decades since we last saw this type of high-profile Russian military presence,” Kelly said at the March 13 hearing.

The U.S. military says it has been forced to cut back on its engagement with military and government officials in Latin America due to budget cuts. Kelly said the U.S. military had to cancel more than 200 effective engagement activities and multi-lateral exercises in Latin America last year.

With the American presence waning, officials say rivals such as Russia, China and Iran are quickly filling the void.

48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Iran has opened up 11 additional embassies and 33 cultural centers in Latin America while supporting the "operational presence" of militant group Lebanese Hezbollah in the region.

“On the military side, I believe they're establishing, if you will, lily pads for future use if they needed to use them,” Kelly said.

China is making a play for Latin America a well, and is now the fastest growing investor in the region, according to experts. Although their activity is mostly economic, they are also increasing military activity through educational exchanges.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you don't want to take responsibility for your actions, don't sneeze in your trombone in the midst of a performance in church.

Or during Mom's quiet time.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Maybe the real political justification for the Obama administration’s failure to name Pakistan as Osama bin Laden’s handler is that we really don’t want to know."
Not true. I sustect millions of us DO WANT TO KNOW but they are afraid of confirming it to us. A day of reckoning wil come, I'm sure, but it won't be these miscreants that pay the bill.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
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