Archive for the ‘War on Terror’ Category
REUTERS: A stash of pornography was found in the hideout of Osama bin Laden by the U.S. commandos who killed him, current and former U.S. officials said on Friday.
The pornography recovered in bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, consists of modern, electronically recorded video and is fairly extensive, according to the officials, who discussed the discovery with Reuters on condition of anonymity.
The officials said they were not yet sure precisely where in the compound the pornography was discovered or who had been viewing it. Specifically, the officials said they did not know if bin Laden himself had acquired or viewed the materials.
DAILY CALLER: There has been a lot of speculation as to what the post-mortem photos of Osama bin Laden, that the Obama administration has refused to release, show. Member of Congress, however, are being allowed to view them at CIA Headquarters.
The first member of Congress to view them according to “Fox Report” anchor Shepard Smith was Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe. Inhofe appeared on Smith’s show and told him that the photos are “gruesome.”
“They are gruesome, of course, because it was taken right after the incident,” he said. “And so, of the 12, three of them were older pictures so that we could actually compare what he looked like when he had the black beard and what he looked like after he was killed. And that was part — the good way of making that presentation. Then they had some of his ear. Now, what had happened in those, I couldn’t tell whether the bullet went through the ear and out the eye cavity or through the eye and out the ear because a lot of brains were draped out from the socket. But it clearly — what we saw there was it was him. There is no question he was dead. But, the more revealing pictures really were the ones on the USS Vinson and the North Arabian Sea.”
These kids are surprisingly well-informed on the killing of Osama bin Laden.They even knew the gruesome details. The little girl in the red shirt is adorable. The kid in the green and white striped shirt is very articulate. Maybe he can take Anderson Cooper’s slot on CNN.
The most insightful line was from the Indian kid, who said: “We’re trying to help them, but they’re trying to kill us.”
I also liked the girl who said her solution to the problem would be to “buy a yellow canoe.” Terrific also was the girl who had this warning for the terrorists: “If you’re a terrorist and you’re watching this, please don’t terrorize us!”
U.K. DAILY MAIL: The idealistic portrait of the guerilla leader secluded in his lair turns out to be an illusion. Footage of Osama Bin Laden’s life inside his shabby Abbottabad compound might have come from a care home in Hastings.
There he sits, in a woolly cap and brown blanket, silently rocking to and fro in front of a small TV.
He is not watching a shopping channel on daytime TV, but old footage of his younger self – waving an AK-47 assault rifle in the Afghani hills, or acting with faux presidential grandeur in one of his jihadist broadcasts.
That the Pakistanis subsequently found ‘herbal Viagra’ in Bin Laden’s medicine cabinet sheds further light on the super terrorist’s vanity. The new footage reveals that before taping his broadcasts, he used dye on his beard and hair to achieve the impression of virility.
The unkempt figure hunched before the TV seems much older than his 54 years. Occasionally, he can be seen forgetting his lines in otherwise well-crafted propaganda broadcasts.
WALL STREET JOURNAL: Osama bin Laden was killed by Americans, based on intelligence developed by Americans. That should bring great satisfaction to our citizens and elicit praise for our intelligence community. Seized along with bin Laden’s corpse was a trove of documents and electronic devices that should yield intelligence that could help us capture or kill other terrorists and further degrade the capabilities of those who remain at large.
But policies put in place by the very administration that presided over this splendid success promise fewer such successes in the future. Those policies make it unlikely that we’ll be able to get information from those whose identities are disclosed by the material seized from bin Laden. The administration also hounds our intelligence gatherers in ways that can only demoralize them.
Consider how the intelligence that led to bin Laden came to hand. It began with a disclosure from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), who broke like a dam under the pressure of harsh interrogation techniques that included waterboarding. He loosed a torrent of information—including eventually the nickname of a trusted courier of bin Laden.
ERIC GREITENS-WALL STREET JOURNAL: At Camp Pendleton in California, where I
did my initial weapons training, we must have fired thousands of rounds at practice-range targets printed with the likeness of Osama bin Laden. To take the real shot, the one that brought down bin Laden, was the dream of every Navy SEAL.
The man who got that chance in Pakistan last weekend was a member of the SEAL community’s most elite unit. He and the others who descended on bin Laden’s lair would have put in relentless practice for weeks beforehand—assaulting mock compounds, discussing contingencies and planning every detail of the operation. Most of the men on that mission had dedicated the past decade of their lives to this fight, and they—and their families—had made great personal sacrifices.
Turning on my cellphone last Sunday, I got a text message with the incredible news: “OBL is dead. Hoo Yah!” Within minutes, a tidal wave of messages followed from fellow Navy SEALs and other military and nonmilitary friends. My own thoughts went back to James Suh and Matt Axelson (“Axe”), two members of my own SEAL training class. When Axe was pinned down by the Taliban in a firefight in Afghanistan in June 2005, Suh boarded a helicopter to fly in for a rescue mission. The helicopter was shot down that day and both men died. I thought to myself: Axe, Suh, they got him.
What it takes to be a Navy SEAL
ASSOCIATED PRESS: Newly released videos show Osama bin Laden watching himself on television and rehearsing for terrorist videos, revealing that even from the walled confines of his Pakistani hideout, he remained a media maestro who was eager to craft his own image for the cameras.
The videos, released by U.S. intelligence officials Saturday, were offered as further proof that Navy SEALs killed the world’s most wanted terrorist this week. But they also served to show bin Laden as vain, someone obsessed with his portrayal by the world’s media.
One of the movies shows bin Laden, his unkempt beard streaked in gray, sitting on the floor, wrapped in a brown blanket and holding a remote control. He flipped back and forth between what appears to be live news coverage of himself. The old, small television was perched on top of a desk with a large tangle of electrical wires running to a nearby control box.
Obama’s ‘I’ Presidency . . . and why finding bin Laden would not have happened if Obama’s policies had prevailed
VICTOR DAVIS HANSEN-NATIONAL REVIEW: Here are a few excerpts from President Obama’s speech on Sunday night about the killing of Osama bin Laden.
“Tonight, I can report . . . And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta . . . I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden . . . I met repeatedly with my national security team . . . I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action. . . . Today, at my direction . . . I’vemade clear . . . Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear . . . Tonight, Icalled President Zardari . . . and my team has also spoken. . .These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief . . . Finally, let me say to the families . . . I know that it has, at times, frayed. . . .”
Most of these first-person pronouns could have been replaced by either the first-person plural (our, we) or proper nouns (the United States, America). But they reflect a now well-known Obama trait of personalizing the presidency.
The problem of first-personalizing national security is twofold. One, it is not consistent. Good news is reported by Obama in terms of “I”; bad news is delivered as “reset,” “the previous administration,” “in the past”: All good things abroad are due to Obama himself; all bad things are still the blowback from George W. Bush.
Two, there is the small matter of hypocrisy. The protocols for taking out Osama bin Laden were all established by President Bush and all opposed by Senator and then candidate Obama. Yet President Obama never seeks to explain that disconnect; indeed, he emphasizes it by the overuse of the first person. When the president reminds us this week of what “over the years I’ve repeatedly made clear,” does he include his opposition to what he now has institutionalized?
Guantanamo proves to have been important for gathering intelligence; Barack Obama derided it as “a tremendous recruiting tool for al-Qaeda.”
Some key intelligence was found by interrogating prisoners abroad; Barack Obama wished to end that practice: “This means ending the practices of shipping away prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in far-off countries, of detaining thousands without charge or trial, of maintaining a network of secret prisons to jail people beyond the reach of law.” “That will be my position as president. That includes renditions.” Renditions have not ended under Obama, but expanded.
Bob Woodward now weighs in with fascinating account of the phone call and courier that led CIA and Navy SEALs to bin Laden
BOB WOODWARD- WASHINGTON POST: It seemed an innocuous, catch-up phone call. Last year Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, the pseudonym for a Pakistani known to U.S. intelligence as the main courier for Osama bin Laden, took a call from an old friend.
Where have you been? inquired the friend. We’ve missed you. What’s going on in your life? And what are you doing now?
Kuwaiti’s response was vague but heavy with portent: “I’m back with the people I was with before.”
There was a pause, as if the friend knew that Kuwaiti’s words meant he had returned to bin Laden’s inner circle, and was perhaps at the side of the al-Qaeda leader himself.
The friend replied, “May God facilitate.”
If he’s not careful, he might get a 15 yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. The NFL has rules against taunting the opponent.
He’s just looking too pleased with himself for a Commander-in-Chief. He’s no Churchill. That’s for sure. When a Cleveland Browns player was dancing around in the end zone after scoring a touchdown, the great coach Paul Brown put his hand on the should of the player and said: “Son, next time you’re in the end zone, look like you’ve been there before.”
Can blame Obama too much for his glee, I guess. Killing bin Laden is the first things he’s done right as President. Everything else he’s done has been an unmitigated disaster for the country. But he’s quickly managing to screw up even this, as he does victory lap after victory lap in his clown suit.
REUTERS: President Barack Obama, basking in U.S. public approval for the killing of Osama bin Laden, flew
to a military base in Kentucky on Friday to thank special forces who carried out the deadly raid and led a rally filled with cheering troops.
With his poll numbers up and even Republican critics congratulating him for the bin Laden operation, Obama paid tribute to the elite military team in a secrecy-shrouded meeting at Fort Campbell five days after announcing the al Qaeda leader was dead.
Commandos who conducted the assault on bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan gave Obama first-hand accounts of what happened, and he awarded them the highest presidential honor a military unit can receive, a U.S. official said.