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Thursday, May 5. 2011
All sorts of stories are going around. Here's my conspiracy theory: After ten years of work, last summer the CIA believed that they tracked down bin Laden to an old ISI safe house in a city just north of Islamabad. After collecting all of the data they could, a SEAL team was trained for the killing job. When the government finally gave the OK, they secretly choppered in from Afghanistan in stealth choppers and shot up the place, while nabbing bin Laden's corpse and a pile of computer stuff. Then they left after 40 minutes without a scratch, but after blowing up one downed chopper.
But who could believe a crazy story like that? SEALs could believe it, because it's the sort of thing they do routinely. I think this turned out to be an easy job.
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I agree with this scenario.
I think what makes it hard to believe is the relative ease with which it was pulled off. So much of what the US has attempted along these lines has, over the last 30 years, turned into a hot mess.
Now I know how professional SEAL teams are, and how prepared they are for unusual scenarios (such as the downed chopper). So, up to a certain point, they can deal with adversity and make it seem like it's "part of the job". But we're used to hearing about missions gone awry (Blackhawk Down, Iran, etc.) rather than simple missions that go smoothly. Remember the Ranger drop into Afghanistan back in October 2001? Very few people do because the bad guys were already gone and it amounted to not much of anything. But it was successful in some respects, and very meaningful.
The parts I wonder about, and this isn't conspiracy stuff, it's just typical wonderment, are how long have we really known and if it WAS last summer, why did it take so long? What role did political expediency play? Why a kill mission (well now we're told it wasn't a kill mission, but who shoots an unarmed man?)?
Not complaints, mind you. Not criticisms. Just questions. All in all, it was a good win.
Just a new commercial on the Travel Channel... "What happens in Abbotabad, stays in Abbotabad."
That's mine, but there's more here...
ANd...and then, the crack team spirited body of the ghost to Arabian Sea to feed starving Arab pisceans but only after lettin' Comander in Chief know the camera they used to document prime kill malfunctioned therefore there is no proof that fishes got any caloric benefit from experienced teams charity.
Ah shucks, Jethro we'll have to get another crack team of high dollar attorneys to bend the lack of facts into a credible story that any dam Yankee will swallow.
What yall call America's favorite Aves, Yankees?
Take yall's time because yall are under no onus probandi to get it right.
"but who shoots an unarmed man?"
What's being unarmed have to do with anything?
Interesting theory, Barrie, although I think I found a few plot holes. For starters, if they "routinely" do such things, why would they need to be "trained" for the job? Plus, isn't the old "losing a chopper" routine just a bit overused these days, when in reality it's just a cover-up to have the huge resulting fire devour the bodies of the countless massacred victims?
On top of that, this weakening-by-the-minute theory of yours has some pretty stiff competition. The two leading contenders at the moment are:
1. They didn't get bin Laden, they got his double. I mean, duh! All famous people use stand-ins, and certainly ol' Binny (as his friends call him) would. The Bin-man is currently residing in secret with a second cousin back in Sauditown, enjoying the comfort and ease of a palatial estate and LOL'ing his ass off.
2. They captured him alive for the treasure trove of intel he is. I mean, duh! Right -- you're going to throw away the one guy on the planet who can provide more info on al-queda than anyone else? Nobody would piss away a gold mine like that.
As I said, you've got some tough competition. Who knows where the truth lies? Me, I've got ten bucks bet on the side that the "compound" ends up being on the same Hollywood studio lot where they faked the moon landings.
Being unarmed hasn't got much to do with anything - if you don't want it to. That's my point.
It's odd for an armed individual to indiscrimately shoot and kill.....no, let's put this in correct terminology...."Double Tap" an individual UNLESS it was a "hit". This kind of shooting is mob style killing.
I'm not saying I'm opposed or questioning why it was done. But it's time for the administration to be flat out honest and say "Yeah, we had no intention of bringing him back alive." and leave it at that.
The manner in which this has been explained leaves alot for the imagination. As I heard this morning "it seems the raid was extremely well planned but the post raid PR wasn't even considered."
The first day of training in the mock-up of the compound was probably a goat-rope. The second day not much better.
After a few weeks, the SEALS probably knew their way around the compound better than I know my own bedroom. If you have ever seen a good dynamic entry team in action it is impressive - like ballot with lethal weapons and high-explosives. A team will flow through a building like a single organism.
The actual mission was probably easy - the crashed helo a minor inconvenience that was covered in training.
Osama armed or unarmed? Who cares? He had to die. If he was alive in Gitmo, how many hostages would AQ be trying to grab in order to demand his release?
Again, I'll reiterate - I don't care if he was armed or unarmed. I don't even care that he was killed.
1. There are ALOT of people who will care about both things. Call them sappy sentimentalists, but regardless of what you call them, they matter. They matter because they vote. And most of them who care about this stuff vote for people like Obama. So the story has to be prepared properly in order to make sure he doesn't show that he's a bloodthirsty leader hellbent on vengeance. Because some people will not vote for him if they think that. To that end, it does matter if he was armed, or if he could've been taken into custody. Not to me. But to some people. You can't just discount them as "unworthy of notice".
2. It shows some major flaws in the administration's management. Oddly, flaws that are more fitting of the Bush presidency - the inability to take a decent story and make it work 100% the way it should. Obama has the benefit of the press being his toadies. That there are any questions regarding this shows their lack of preparation for success.
My points have nothing to do with the mission or its outcome. They have to do with PR and style management. It's lacking. But it's also telling. Because they haven't been able to get their story straight. It doesn't mean the story is wrong, bad or didn't happen. It shows that this administration isn't used to the use of force....and it also gives some idea that political expediency was at play here.
I'm not opposed to political expediency - every president uses it to their advantage when they can (Bush happened to be pretty bad at it, though).
In addition, I will add that I don't think this was a necessity. It's just a "nice to have". If the ONLY thing we got out of this was joy over the fact that "we got him!" - well, it's hardly worth it. It won't stop terror, it won't stop Al Qaeda, it's unlikely to push the Taliban into any meaningful talks, and he's been marginalized for a LONG TIME. The longer we thwarted events, the more irrelevant and impotent he showed himself to his followers.
In the end, political events trump the succesful raid. We'll see where this goes.....
"Rumors of my demise are greatly overstated" Mark twain
How about this one:
Somebody did die.
Pakistan disolves in caos over who knew or didn't. US forces get more involved.
In a few weeks,OBL makes a new video that shows him still alive.
Just how does one spin that in your next election campaign?
What are the odds binny would have had a remote-control panic button detonator which would destroy the entire place, along with any incriminating data?
I don't think the SEALS would have wanted any compound resident to touch anything.