Thursday, May 14, 2015

Abbotabad Raid Largely Myth

The raid by Navy SEALs that killed Bin Laden was fictitiously portrayed by Hollywood hacks in a movie that predictably won an Oscar. Understandably no one has blamed Hollywood for being unpatriotic since the 50s. However, as Alexander Cockburn wrote at Counterpunch four days after OBL's death, even the official version of the nighttime raid in Abbotabad, Pakistan is mostly lies. The most poisonous lie of all is that the official narrative is still presented as justification for torture.

At the time of the May Day 2011 raid Bin Laden, an invalid because of his kidney and liver diseases, was practically under house arrest. He was watched by Pakistani intelligence, ISI, around the clock. Abbotabad is basically a cantonment--home to four regimental centers and the military academy--so the 24/7 surveillance was easily accomplished. The CIA was alerted to OBL's presence in the town by a "walk-in" informant, not a tortured Al-Qaeda courier as claimed by torture apologists. The informant eventually collected part of the $25 million reward offered by the US government. ISI obtained DNA evidence from Bin Laden's doctor, an ISI agent, to confirm the suspect's identity. CIA alerted ISI before the raid. The Pakistani agency arranged for electric power to Abbatobad to be cut off and cleared a flight path to the compound for US helicopters. The intelligence agency even provided an on-the-ground guide through the house. SEALs were under orders to execute Bin Laden on sight. There was no resistance from the occupants, and no significant intelligence was obtained by the raiders. Neither were the two alleged couriers among the dead.

A former Pakistani military officer, Shaukat Qadir, confirmed the above facts reported by Seymour Hersh in his latest book. The compound was under surveillance while it was being constructed according to Qadir and was raided by the ISI first in 2003 when they narrowly missed capturing the al-Qaeda leader's most trusted courier, Abu al-Libi. Thanks to the Pakistanis the trail to Abbotabad was known to CIA at least since 2005 when al-Libi was captured by them near Mardan. When unredacted WikiLeaks files surfaced, CIA assumed OBL would become aware his 'hideaway' had been betrayed to the Americans and flee. So the tool Obama sent in the amphetamine-enhanced assassins with due haste and in time for his re-election bid to begin. What was the Current Occupant watching so intently on the video screens at the White House? It might have been NBA basketball playoffs; it was NOT a live video of the assassination. That fact has been established on no less authority than Leon Panetta, former Secretary of Defense, who told journalists the live video link stopped working before the assassins reached OBL's compound--hardly the stuff of military glory.