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The Story Behind Abbottabad
Why wait so long?
Most of what's been told to the hysterical masses on television and in front of 1600 Pennsylvania in recent days seems to have been lies. These lies aren't exposed by fanatical tinfoil hat characters but by the US war office. They're exposed by the CIA and by the Gitmo files. Alexander Cockburn and the writers at Counterpunch claim to have put the story together.
Let's start at the beginning.
US Knew Where Osama Was Since 2005
The above piece is written by Israel Shamir, the world's only known anti-semite jew if one is to believe the official Israeli government line which outs anyone not in full agreement with them.
Shamir digs into the WikiLeaks Gitmo files and finds there's a clear trail to Abbottabad already back in 2005 when Abbottabad resident al Libi was captured.
What happened in the last week of April had everything to do with the untimely (and unexpected) release of the Gitmo files.
The Gitmo files were released almost simultaneously by two distinct groups.
- WikiLeaks, the Washington Post, the Telegraph, Le Monde.
- The Guardian, the New York Times, the Israeli Haaretz.
How did the Guardian get the files if not from WikiLeaks? They said the following.
'They were obtained by the New York Times, who shared them with the Guardian, which is publishing extracts today, having redacted information which might identify informants.'
OK. What do they say at the NY Times? They say they got the files from 'another source on the condition of anonymity'.
That 'anonymity' isn't much of a cover anymore: the Gitmo files were one of the things Daniel Domscheit Berg aka Daniel Schmitt purloined from WikiLeaks shortly before being suspended for 'suspicious activities' last September.
Haaretz adds the following about the origins of the leak.
'A few media outlets including the NY Times, the Guardian, and Haaretz obtained them from an independent source without the help of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.'
And the increasingly out of control David Leigh supposedly tweeted furiously 'double-crossing Assange!'
David Leigh was double-crossed by WikiLeaks? How? Who double-crossed whom here? What was Leigh referring to?
According to Shamir, Daniel Schmitt had already begun plotting his palace revolt back in the summer of 2010. (And according to others within the WikiLeaks organisation, he had been for a long time suspected of being not quite what he claimed to be.) Schmitt absconded with the files - these files include both the Afghan War Diaries, the Iraqi War Logs, the Cablegate files, and the Gitmo files.
Schmitt then ran to David Leigh to make a deal. Leigh accepted and tunnel-visioned as he is, decided to go on the attack against WikiLeaks. All of which began to manifest itself in December of last year. Leigh then approached Bill Killer of the New York Times and both organisations began releasing embassy cables even though neither of them had obtained them through ethical channels.
WikiLeaks countered by establishing new media partners - the Telegraph, Le Monde, El País, and so forth. Earlier media partners such as Der Spiegel who'd not done nasty things by Julian and who obviously weren't interested in overtures from homeboy Schmitt of course remained onboard.
Next come the Gitmo files. And again someone lets on to WikiLeaks there's foul play afoot. So WikiLeaks scramble to upload the files and publish right before DDB's new friends start releasing them. Which in turn prompts an infuriated David Leigh to tweet his invective - he'd once again been outwitted by the partner he'd betrayed.
The Guardian and the NYT did a lot of redacting. Or what might be called censoring. They ran straight to Washington where they were advised on what the people in the US and the UK should not see. Shamir selects the file of Adil Hadi al Jaz'iri as an example.
The original document as published by WikiLeaks looks a lot different.
Abu Zubaydah was tortured for nothing, writes Andy Worthington. The CIA worked Zubaydah over with the permission of US medics and the Bush White House until his personality had totally disintegrated. He was considered a 'high value detainee' and all prisoners in this group were tortured to an extent that's hard to comprehend.
But Zubaydah was but a lowly safehouse keeper with psychological issues who was prone to exaggerating his role in the organisation. Says Andy Worthington: 'the United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered'. And a former US intelligence official admitted last year: 'we spent millions of dollars chasing false alarms'.
So why did Washington tell Leigh and Keller to remove his name from the Mickey Mouse version of the Gitmo file? It certainly wasn't out of consideration for Abu Zubaydah - it was to protect the people who'd tortured him and made a bungling mess out of the affair to boot.
Leigh and Keller worked very closely with the US intelligence services on creating their own version of the Gitmo files. An example: the name of Nashwan Abd Al Razzaq Abd Al Baqi, or by another name, Abd al Hadi al Iraqi, or by his number IZ-10026 was edited away from the file of Abu al Libi (US9LY-010017DP) and elsewhere. You can see the Disney version of the file at the Guardian.
And you can get the grownup version from WikiLeaks.
Every attempt was made to remove al Iraqi from the Guardian/NY Times version. But this wasn't done out of 'care for informers' as al Libi was dead, having killed himself in a Libyan jail. The file of al Iraqi is missing in all databases; he was captured in 2005 and kept in various secret prisons until transferred to Gitmo where he's detained now. So why the big deal?
Two people who know today are David Leigh and Bill Killer.
al Libi & al Iraqi
al Libi and al Iraqi have been connected since October 2002. Osama bin Laden declared in 2003 that al Libi would be the official messenger in Pakistan and al Libi moved his family to Abbottabad in the middle of that year, keeping in touch with al Iraqi. The trail to Abbottabad was known by US forces since at least 2005 when al Libi was captured and sent to Gitmo.
These juicy tidbits are things Bill Keller and David Leigh tried to hide from their readers.
So the US knew about the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden back in 2005. They were consulted by Leigh and Keller and they told them to remove all traces of the information. But why didn't they take out bin Laden six years ago? Obviously they could have. There must be a tangible reason they didn't.
The Gitmo Files
Unwittingly or not, the Gitmo files precipitated the events of the last week of April and beyond. Quite a lot happened in those few days.
On 27 April Barack Obama suddenly publishes a full length birth certificate in an effort to resolve an ongoing (three years) issue that caused the start all sorts of crazed groups in the US and attacks by Donald Trump. On 29 April William marries Kate. On 30 April NATO conduct a new raid on the purported residence of Libyan leader Gadaffi, killing a few small children again. And on 1 May a team of US navy seals finally approached the Abbottabad compound of Osama bin Laden.
Almost every early information leak about the Abbottabad raid from the White House has since been debunked by the US war offices. People no longer have any idea what's true and what's not. Alexander Cockburn writes.
'There was scarcely a sentence in the president's Sunday night address, or in the subsequent briefing by John Brennan, his chief counter-terrorism coordinator, that has not been subsequently retracted by CIA director Leon Panetta or the White House press spokesman Jay Carney or by various documentary records.'
Points to consider.
- The story of the photo of Obama and Clinton and the rest watching live from Abbottabad, as reported by amongst others the Daily Mail, is fake. Leon Panetta said so - their realtime video link stopped working already before the forces arrived at bin Laden's compound. That's the word of the director of the CIA.
- bin Laden was not armed and did not use anyone as a human shield. This again according to CIA director Leon Panetta who also concedes that rules of engagement stipulate bin Laden should have been taken prisoner. The seals say bin Laden showed some sign of resistance - probably reaching for his cane.
- No photos. Instead there's a rush job to establish formal identification and then send the al Qaeda leader for a good swim. Which coincidentally should be at a known location. So designated salvagers can then go fishing. Obama says the photos are too gruesome. But that's not stopped them before. So why now?
- The official story from the White House is that US forces only learned of the importance of Abbottabad last August, something now known to be untrue. The compound in Abbottabad sticks out in the area. Everyone's noticed it. The ISI started watching it already during its construction. They raided it and just missed capturing al Libi in 2003.
- The couriers who supposedly led the US to the compound were not on the premises. They were not amongst the prisoners taken by the ISI or those slaughtered by the seals. Pakistani army officer Shaukat Qadir comments.
'The house belongs to two brothers from Mardan who had numerous aliases. They were known as Arshad and Chota Pathan and had been residents of the house for seven years. Neither was identified amongst the dead.'
al Libi was captured in 2005 and sent to Gitmo. And from that point onward, the US knew were Osama bin Laden was. Leigh and Keller approached the US forces with the unredacted Gitmo files. WikiLeaks would be publishing them anyway. WikiLeaks couldn't be stopped. The files are also in the huge 'insurance' file. Now suddenly the charade would be exposed.
But why the charade? Why not just go get Osama straight away?
So they scrambled.
- 2011-04-27. The long lost birth certificate turns up; Donald Trump is roasted; the 2012 election campaign gets underway for an incumbent suffering a frightening lack of popularity.
- 2011-04-29. A good day for a royal wedding but there's a cloud cover over Abbottabad.
- 2011-04-30. The NATO strike at Gadaffi.
- 2011-05-01. No clouds over Abbottabad - in go the seals.
Oxford historian Mark Almond comments.
'Little wonder the royal newlyweds' honeymoon was suddenly cancelled on Saturday. So much of William and Kate's nuptials was choreographed around their parents' and grandparents' weddings that it was a fair guess that like Princess Elizabeth and Philip they were going to fly to Malta to start their honeymoon before going on to Kenya where three generations of Windsors have enjoyed cementing their relations. Malta is too close to Libya for comfort and Kenya's muslim minority might not be too friendly to a serving NATO officer.'
Gadaffi survived the NATO attack. Obama had but one card yet to draw. And later felled the cringeworthy 'we nailed him' and 'tonight we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to - that is the story of our history'.
Counterpunch: A Volcano of Lies
Counterpunch: Driving Libyans Back to Qaddafi
Counterpunch: US Knew Where Osama Was Since 2005
Washington Post: Detainee's Harsh Treatment Foiled No Plots
Washington Post: FBI, CIA Debate Significance of Terror Suspect
WikiLeaks: Gitmo Files: Abu Farajal Libi
Andy Worthington: Abu Zubaydah: Tortured for Nothing