KyaemonMay 2, 201123min21625




Crowds gathers outside White House – Yahoo! News Photos;_ylt=At7O4L3_aQWoS98kb3Plus1H2ocA;_ylu=X3oDMTBubW10OGo5BHBvcwMxOQRzZWMDZXAEc2xrA2ltYWdl




Death Comes for the Master Terrorist: Osama bin Laden (1957-2011) – TIME,8599,2068858,00.html?iid=tsmodule




YouTube – President Obama on Death of Osama bin Laden

President Obama praises those Americans who carried out the operation to kill Osama bin Laden, tells the families of the victims of September 11, 2001 that they have never been forgotten, and calls on Americans to remember the unity of that tragic day.


YouTube – Osama Bin Laden dead- body identified


YouTube – Osama Bin Laden is killed in Pakistan


YouTube – Al-Qaida Head Bin Laden Dead





YouTube – Cameron reacts to bin Laden death

Uploaded by itnnews on May 2, 2011

David Cameron has welcomed the news that Osama bin Laden has been killed, praising the work of US forces who carried out the operation. . Like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at

YouTube – Osama Bin Laden killed

YouTube – Bin Laden Killed: Al Jazeera via CSPAN 1/3




Osama bin Laden killed in Pakistan – Americas – Al Jazeera English




New York News and Opinion on The Huffington Post






Osama bin Laden – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia





  • အာဖျံ ကွီး

    May 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    2011 ကတော့ Lucky year လို.ပဲဆိုရမလားပဲ ???
    လူဆိုးတွေပဲ တဖြုတ်ဖြုတ်နဲ. !!!

  • eros

    May 2, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    မယုံသေးဘူး။ ဓာတ်ပုံ အထောက်အထားလည်း မရှိဘူး။ ဒါမှမဟုတ် ခွဲစိတ်ပြုပြင်နေတာလား။

  • Kyaemon

    May 3, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Behind the Hunt for Bin Laden

    WASHINGTON — For years, the agonizing search for Osama bin Laden kept coming up empty. Then last July, Pakistanis working for the Central Intelligence Agency drove up behind a white Suzuki navigating the bustling streets near Peshawar, Pakistan, and wrote down the car’s license plate.

    The man in the car was Bin Laden’s most trusted courier, and over the next month C.I.A. operatives would track him throughout central Pakistan. Ultimately, administration officials said, he led them to a sprawling compound at the end of a long dirt road and surrounded by tall security fences in a wealthy hamlet 35 miles from the Pakistani capital.

    On a moonless night eight months later, 79 American commandos in four helicopters descended on the compound, the officials said. Shots rang out. A helicopter stalled and would not take off. Pakistani authorities, kept in the dark by their allies in Washington, scrambled forces as the American commandos rushed to finish their mission and leave before a confrontation. Of the five dead, one was a tall, bearded man with a bloodied face and a bullet in his head. A member of the Navy Seals snapped his picture with a camera and uploaded it to analysts who fed it into a facial recognition program.

    And just like that, history’s most expansive, expensive and exasperating manhunt was over. The inert frame of Osama bin Laden, America’s enemy No. 1, was placed in a helicopter for burial at sea, never to be seen or feared again. A nation that spent a decade tormented by its failure to catch the man responsible for nearly 3,000 fiery deaths in New York, outside Washington and Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001, at long last had its sense of finality, at least in this one difficult chapter.

    For an intelligence community that had endured searing criticism for a string of intelligence failures over the past decade, Bin Laden’s killing brought a measure of redemption. For a military that has slogged through two, and now three vexing wars in Muslim countries, it provided an unalloyed success. And for a president whose national security leadership has come under question, it proved an affirming moment that will enter the history books.

    The raid was the culmination of years of painstaking intelligence work, including the interrogation of C.I.A. detainees in secret prisons in Eastern Europe, where sometimes what was not said was as useful as what was. Intelligence agencies eavesdropped on telephone calls and e-mails of the courier’s Arab family in a Persian Gulf state and pored over satellite images of the compound in Abbottabad to determine a “pattern of life” that might decide whether the operation would be worth the risk.

    As more than a dozen White House, intelligence and Pentagon officials described the operation on Monday, the past few weeks were a nerve-racking amalgamation of what-ifs and negative scenarios. “There wasn’t a meeting when someone didn’t mention ‘Black Hawk Down,’ ” a senior administration official said, referring to the disastrous 1993 battle in Somalia in which two American helicopters were shot down and some of their crew killed in action. The failed mission to rescue hostages in Iran in 1980 also loomed large.

    Administration officials split over whether to launch the operation, whether to wait and continue monitoring until they were more sure that Bin Laden was really there, or whether to go for a less risky bombing assault. In the end, President Obama opted against a bombing that could do so much damage it might be uncertain whether Bin Laden was really hit and chose to send in commandos. A “fight your way out” option was built into the plan, with two helicopters following the two main assault copters as backup in case of trouble.

    On Sunday afternoon, as the helicopters raced over Pakistani territory, the president and his advisers gathered in the Situation Room of the White House to monitor the operation as it unfolded. Much of the time was spent in silence. Mr. Obama looked “stone faced,” one aide said. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. fingered his rosary beads. “The minutes passed like days,” recalled John O. Brennan, the White House counterterrorism chief.

    The code name for Bin Laden was “Geronimo.” The president and his advisers watched Leon E. Panetta, the C.I.A. director, on a video screen, narrating from his agency’s headquarters across the Potomac River what was happening in faraway Pakistan.

    “They’ve reached the target,” he said.

    Minutes passed.

    “We have a visual on Geronimo,” he said.

    A few minutes later: “Geronimo EKIA.”

    Enemy Killed In Action. There was silence in the Situation Room.

    Finally, the president spoke up.

    “We got him.”

    Filling in the Gaps

    Years before the Sept. 11 attacks transformed Bin Laden into the world’s most feared terrorist, the C.I.A. had begun compiling a detailed dossier about the major players inside his global terror network.

    It wasn’t until after 2002, when the agency began rounding up Qaeda operatives — and subjecting them to hours of brutal interrogation sessions in secret overseas prisons — that they finally began filling in the gaps about the foot soldiers, couriers and money men Bin Laden relied on.

    Prisoners in American custody told stories of a trusted courier. When the Americans ran the man’s pseudonym past two top-level detainees — the chief planner of the Sept. 11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed; and Al Qaeda’s operational chief, Abu Faraj al-Libi — the men claimed never to have heard his name. That raised suspicions among interrogators that the two detainees were lying and that the courier probably was an important figure.

    As the hunt for Bin Laden continued, the spy agency was being buffeted on other fronts: the botched intelligence assessments about weapons of mass destruction leading up to the Iraq War, and the intense criticism for using waterboarding and other extreme interrogation methods that critics said amounted to torture. ….(more pages to page 4)

    [More Photos and videos in article(s)]

  • Kyaemon

    May 4, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    News Analysis: Terrorism far from over with Bin Laden demise

    BRUSSELS, May 2 (Xinhua) — The abrupt killing of the world’s top terrorist may be a psychological blow to his empire, the highly decentralized group is far from dead, observers here said, warning it is very likely al Qaeda will get a boost from the jobless young people with dampened spirit for a normal life across part of the Islamic world.
    “Obviously, there is a certain degree of satisfaction because, in terms of terrorism, he was the number one enemy,” said Antonio Panzeri, Member of the European Parliament and Chair of the Delegation for relations with Maghreb countries.
    “However, this event doesn’t mean we have defeated terrorism,” Panzeri told Xinhua.
    According to him, the satisfaction is accompanied by a feeling of worry: there could be a response from some al Qaeda terrorist cells, which are now spread all over the planet.
    “We must remain extremely watchful and vigilant,” he warned. Josef Janning, Director of Studies of the European Policy Centre ( EPC), believed death of Osama Bin Laden could offer a temporary relief.
    For him, the killing of the al Qaeda boss has proved that no perpetrator of terrorist acts could hide from an international hunt however strong was his local penetration.
    “There is probably no safe haven for known and active terrorists,” said Janning, an expert on situations in the Middle East.
    Nevertheless, the de facto decapitation of al Qaeda doesn’t necessarily mean the its network would be paralyzed, Janning said.
    Al Qaeda had been forced over the past years to become increasingly decentralized, which means much less a large scale coordination of terrorist activity could be seen.
    Apparently the network is not dependent of the existence of an active central leadership, said Janning.

  • Kyaemon

    May 5, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    U.S. agents race to exploit data from Bin Laden raid
    Intelligence agencies are scouring documents and computer files seized in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad,0,1702862.story

    …..The CIA has created a special task force in Afghanistan to analyze Bin Laden’s material for clues to ongoing terrorist plots, the location of other Al Qaeda leaders, funding streams and other fresh intelligence.

    The National Security Agency’s eavesdroppers also have stepped up efforts to pick up unusual “chatter” from Al Qaeda leaders or sympathizers around the globe following the predawn raid Monday by Navy SEALs that killed Bin Laden and four others….

    ……..One possible challenger is Abu Yahya al-Libi, a propagandist for Al Qaeda who became a militant folk hero when he escaped from the U.S.-run prison at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan in 2005.

    But some analysts suspect that the Libyan-born cleric’s ****(NOTE: ANOTHER FAKE PRIEST!!!!)**** dark skin may increase the odds against his acceptance by some rank-and-file fighters from the Arab world.

    “Jihadists are capable of racism too,” said Stephen Tankel, an expert on Al Qaeda at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington-based think tank….

    ***Can you imagine so many fake priests running wild in Al Qaeda’s leadership?***

  • Kyaemon

    May 6, 2011 at 8:35 am

    US reminded of Osama bin Laden making

    ISLAMABAD – Minister for Information & Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan Wednesday in the Senate elaborating the government’s position on the killing of Osama Bin Laden said it was a unilateral action of US forces while the lawmakers termed the statement evasive, incoherent and apologetic.
    Later, the legislators taking part in the debate that was initiated by suspending the other proceedings of the house under Rule 194 of House Business also criticised the Prime Minister for visiting France at the time of critical situation. They also termed the incident a failure of the Pakistani intelligence agencies saying that the armed forces get major portion of the country’s total budget but failed to defend it in that specific case.
    The information minister in his policy statement said that anti-terror campaign was the national priority of the government adding that they had ongoing cooperative engagements with several countries to defeat and eliminate terrorism. “Under no circumstances, Pakistan can allow any cooperative endeavours to be constructed, in any manner, that compromises Pakistan’s sovereignty and national security,” she added.
    She in between the lines criticising US said that “let us not forget that there was also a history of the making of Obama bin Laden.”
    She said in categorical terms that US forces had directly conducted operation against Osama bin Laden and Pakistani leadership, civil as well as military, had no prior knowledge of his particular operation. “We have also officially stated that this event of unauthorised unilateral action cannot be taken as a rule. Nor could such an event serve as a future precedent by any state, including United States,” the policy statement said.
    “The fact is that Abbottabad and the surrounding area has been under sharp focus of intelligence agencies since 2003 resulting into highly technical operation by ISI which led to arrest of high value al-Qaeda target in 2004,” the minister said.

  • Kyaemon

    May 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Mystery shrouds the quiet man who built Bin Laden’s compound

    Known in Abbottabad, Pakistan, as Arshad Khan, neighbors say he lived in the fortress-like residence with a man believed to be his brother and their families. But little else is known, including whether he was the courier whose trail eventually led to Osama bin Laden.,0,1840864.story

    By Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times

    May 6, 2011
    Reporting from Abbottabad, Pakistan—
    The builder of Osama bin Laden’s last lair was a polite but taciturn man who kept the neighbors at arm’s length and prying eyes from discovering the identity of his boss.

    Known here as Arshad Khan, the stocky Pashtun with glasses and a tuft of hair under his lower lip bought up plots of land on the outskirts of this garrison city. Then, he built a sprawling compound anchored by a three-story building that would serve as sanctuary for the world’s most wanted man.

    The CIA says Bin Laden lived there for five years before he was finally tracked down. Khan lived there, too, along with another man known as Tariq who neighbors said was Khan’s brother, and the wives and children of the three men.

    Otherwise, little is known about Khan — including whether that was his real name, and whether he was also the courier whose trail eventually led U.S. intelligence agents to Bin Laden’s door. U.S. officials say four other people died in the raid early Monday that killed Bin Laden: the courier, his brother, Bin Laden’s son and a woman described as the wife of the courier.

    U.S. officials have said they believe the courier also was the owner of the compound, and that he had been identified by a nickname, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, suggesting that he was from Kuwait.

    Neighbors said that the behavior of the compound’s residents was unusual, but not so much that it drew tremendous attention.

    Asked why he needed security cameras and perimeter walls as high as 18 feet topped with barbed wire, Khan said he was in the midst of an acrimonious feud with relatives and had to safeguard his family. Disputes between family factions can get ugly in Pakistan, and often result in someone picking up a gun.

    “When I saw it being built, I thought, ‘Wow, the walls are so big,’ ” said Zahim Shekoh, 22, a college student whose house is about 100 yards from the compound. ” ‘Why so big? And why all the barbed wire?’ ”

    By all accounts, Khan was Bin Laden’s lifeline to the outside world, supplying the compound with food and medicine, neighbors said. His red Suzuki van was often seen stuffed with large bags of flour, fruit and other groceries. Neighbors wondered why Khan and the man they knew as his brother needed so much food, and surmised that they were stocking up in bulk.

    According to neighbors and local authorities in Abbottabad, Khan bought several parcels of land in 2004 and 2005 on the edge of Bilal Town, a neighborhood of middle-class homes just 2.5 miles from the Pakistan Military Academy, the country’s equivalent of West Point.

    He combined the parcels into a plot of roughly one acre and hired a contractor to build the compound. One man he bought a plot of land from, Dr. Qazi Mahfooz Ul Haq, remembers Khan’s eagerness to deal.

    “He said he wanted to buy it because he was building a house for his uncle,” Ul Haq said in an interview at his small basement clinic in central Abbottabad. “I met with Arshad two or three times during this nine-month period I had the land. He was already building, and he would say, ‘Please sell me this land.’ ”

    The doctor turned a tidy profit. He bought the parcel of a little less than a third of an acre in 2004 for $17,650 and sold it to Khan the next year for $25,880.

    The last time Ul Haq saw Khan was last fall when he came into the clinic complaining of a fever and chest congestion. He said Khan appeared to be in his mid-30s, always wore a traditional Pakistani tunic and spoke Urdu with a Pashtun accent.

    “He wasn’t a very talkative person — polite, but a simple man,” Ul Haq said. “It’s hard to accept. Was this all real? He was just one of many men I meet, and suddenly he becomes this infamous man.”

    Local authorities say they approved Khan’s request in 2004 for a construction permit to begin building the compound, and he broke ground that same year.

    The documents Khan submitted for the permit listed him as a native of Charsadda, a largely Pashtun city not far from Pakistan’s volatile tribal areas along the Afghan border, where Al Qaeda and Taliban militants continue to maintain strongholds. Officials in Charsadda, however, denied that Khan hailed from their city.

    The compound was completed in 2005. From that point on, neighbors said, Khan, the man identified as his brother and occasionally their young children were the only occupants to venture outside its dusty gray walls.

    Neighbors say they rarely got more than a nod and a “salaam alaikum” greeting — peace be unto you — from Khan as he ambled down the dirt road for visits to a market or to a mosque for prayers. Social invitations were politely refused.

    When local boys playing cricket batted a ball over the compound’s walls, guards inside typically waited a day or two to give it back, said Mohammed Tariq, 17.

    That behavior didn’t raise major concerns in the neighborhood, either. People chalked it up to a desire by the people in the compound to keep to themselves.

    Shekoh said he believed Khan had two children, ages 3 and 4. He called Khan “a good guy,” who on one occasion helped him fix his car. He said he never asked about who else lived in the compound because “they minded their own business.”

    “No neighbors ever went inside. They wouldn’t let anyone inside,” he said.

    On Thursday, the compound was a magnet for curious Abbottabad residents overwhelmed by the idea that Bin Laden had been in their midst for so long.

    An old man pushed a rickety wooden cart up near the compound’s large green gate and began selling slices of watermelon to throngs of reporters and Pakistanis mingling outside in the hot sun. Parents with toddlers in tow strolled up to the gate to pose for snapshots.

    Seated in his living room, Shekoh contemplated the side of Khan he never knew — the man who sheltered Bin Laden.

    “If he did such things,” Shekoh said, “then America did a great job in killing him.”

    • zoe

      May 12, 2011 at 3:59 am

      Dogs are loyal, brave. intelligent and smart… best loved animal of men.

  • Kyaemon

    May 7, 2011 at 6:24 pm


    Osama bin Laden’s American legacy
    By Tom Engelhardt

    Back in the 1960s, senator George Aiken of Vermont offered two American presidents a plan for dealing with the Vietnam War: declare victory and go home. Roundly ignored at the time, it’s a plan worth considering again today for a war in Afghanistan and Pakistan now in its tenth year.

    As everybody not blind, deaf and dumb knows by now, Osama bin Laden has been eliminated. Literally. By Navy Seals. Or as one of a crowd of revelers who appeared in front of the White House on Sunday night put it on an impromptu sign riffing on The Wizard of Oz: “Ding, Dong, Bin Laden Is Dead.”

    And wouldn’t it be easy if he had indeed been the Wicked Witch of the West and all we needed to do was click those ruby slippers three times, say “there’s no place like home” and be back in Kansas. Or if this were V-J day and a sailor’s kiss said it all.

    Unfortunately, in every way that matters for Americans, it’s an illusion that Bin Laden is dead. In every way that matters, he will fight on, barring a major Barack Obama administration policy shift in Afghanistan, and it’s we who will ensure that he remains on the battlefield that George W Bush’s administration once so grandiosely labeled the global “war on terror”.

    Admittedly, the Arab world had largely left Bin Laden in the dust even before he took that bullet to the head. There, the focus was on the Arab Spring, the massive, ongoing, largely non-violent protests that have shaken the region and its autocrats to their roots. In that part of the world, his death is, as Tony Karon of Time Magazine has written, “Little more than a historical footnote,” and his dreams are now essentially meaningless.

    Consider it an insult to irony, but the world Bin Laden really changed forever wasn’t in the Greater Middle East. It was here. Cheer his death, bury him at sea, don’t release any photos, and he’ll still carry on as a ghost as long as Washington continues to fight its deadly, disastrous wars in his old neighborhood.

    The Tao of terrorism
    If analogies to The Wizard of Oz were in order, bin Laden might better be compared to that film’s wizard rather than the wicked witch. After all, he was, in a sense, a small man behind a vast screen on which his frail frame took on, in the US, the hulking proportions of a super villain, if not a rival superpower.

    In actuality, al-Qaeda, his organization, was, at best, a ragtag crew that, even in its heyday, even before it was embattled and on the run, had the most limited of operational capabilities. Yes, it could mount spectacular and spectacularly murderous actions, but only one of them every year or two.

    Bin Laden was never “Hitler”, nor were his henchmen the Nazis, nor did they add up to Joseph Stalin and his minions, though sometimes they were billed as such. The nearest thing al-Qaeda had to a state was the impoverished, ravaged, Taliban-controlled part of Afghanistan where some of its “camps” were once sheltered.

    Even the money available to Bin Laden, while significant, wasn’t much to brag about, not on a superpower scale anyway. The 9/11 attacks were estimated to cost $400,000 to $500,000, which in superpower terms was pure chump change.

    Despite the apocalyptic look of the destruction Bin Laden’s followers caused in New York and at the Pentagon, he and his crew of killers represented a relatively modest, distinctly non-world-ending challenge to the US. And had the Bush administration focused the same energies on hunting him down that it put into invading and occupying Afghanistan and then Iraq, can there be any question that almost 10 years wouldn’t have passed before he died or, as will now never happen, was brought to trial?

    It was our misfortune and Bin Laden’s good luck that Washington’s dreams were not those of a global policeman intent on bringing a criminal operation to justice, but of an imperial power whose leaders wanted to lock the oil heartlands of the planet into a Pax Americana for decades to come. So if you’re writing Bin Laden’s obituary right now, describe him as a wizard who used the 9/11 attacks to magnify his meager powers many times over.

    After all, while he only had the ability to launch major operations every couple of years, Washington – with almost unlimited amounts of money, weapons and troops at its command – was capable of launching operations every day. In a sense, after 9/11, Bin Laden commanded Washington by taking possession of its deepest fears and desires, the way a bot takes over a computer, and turning them to his own ends.

    It was he, thanks to 9/11, who insured that the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan would be put into motion. It was he, thanks to 9/11, who also insured that the invasion and occupation of Iraq would be launched. It was he, thanks to 9/11, who brought America’s Afghan war to Pakistan, and American aircraft, bombs, and missiles to Somalia and Yemen to fight that “war on terror”.

    And for the past near-decade, he did all this the way a Tai Chi master fights: using not his own minimal strength, but our massive destructive power to create the sort of mayhem in which he undoubtedly imagined that an organization like his could thrive.
    Don’t be surprised, then, that in these past months or even years, Bin Laden seems to have been sequestered in a walled compound in a resort area just north of the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, doing next to nothing. Think of him as practicing the Tao of terrorism. In fact, the less he did, the fewer operations he was capable of launching, the more the American military did for him in creating what collapsing Chinese dynasties used to call “chaos under heaven”.

    Dead and alive
    As is now obvious, Bin Laden’s greatest wizardry was performed on us, not on the Arab world, where the movements he spawned from Yemen to North Africa have proven remarkably peripheral and unimportant.

    He helped open us up to all the nightmares we could visit upon ourselves (and others) – from torture and the creation of an offshore archipelago of injustice to the locking down of our own American world, where we were to cower in terror, while lashing out militarily.

    In many ways, he broke us not on 9/11 but in the months and years after. As a result, if we don’t have the sense to follow Aiken’s advice, the wars we continue to fight with disastrous results will prove to be his monument, and our imperial graveyard (as Afghanistan has been for more than one empire in the past).

    At a moment when the media and celebratory American crowds are suddenly bullish on US military operations, we still have almost 100,000 American troops, 50,000 allied troops, startling numbers of armed mercenaries, and at least 400 military bases in Afghanistan almost 10 years on. All of this as part of an endless war against one man and his organization which, according to the Central Intelligence Agency director, is supposed to have only 50 to 100 operatives in that country.

    Now, he’s officially under the waves. In the Middle East, his idea of an all-encompassing future “caliphate” was the most ephemeral of fantasies. In a sense, though, his dominion was always here. He was our excuse and our demon. He possessed us.

    When the celebrations and partying over his death fade, as they will no less quickly than did those for Britain’s royal wedding, we’ll once again be left with the tattered American world Bin Laden willed us, and it will be easy to see just how paltry a thing this “victory”, his killing, is almost 10 years later.

    For all the print devoted to the operation that took him out, all the talking heads chattering away, all the hosannas being lavished on American special ops forces, the president, his planners, and various intelligence outfits, this is hardly a glorious American moment. If anything, we should probably be in mourning for what we buried long before we had Bin Laden’s body, for what we allowed him (and our own imperial greed) to goad us into doing to ourselves, and what, in the course of that, we did, in the name of fighting him, to others.

    Those chants of “USA! USA!” on the announcement of his death were but faint echoes of the ones at Ground Zero on September 14, 2001, when president George W Bush picked up a bullhorn and promised “the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!”

    That would be the beginning of a brief few years of soaring American hubris and fantasies of domination wilder than those of any caliphate-obsessed Islamic fundamentalist terrorist, and soon enough they would leave us high and dry in our present world of dismal unemployment figures, rotting infrastructure, rising gas prices, troubled treasury, and a people on the edge.

    Unless we set aside the special ops assaults and the drone wars and take a chance, unless we’re willing to follow the example of all those non-violent demonstrators across the Greater Middle East and begin a genuine and speedy withdrawal from the Af/Pak theater of operations, Bin Laden will never die.

    On September 17, 2001, Bush was asked whether he wanted Bin Laden dead. He replied: “There’s an old poster out West, as I recall, that said ‘wanted dead or alive’.” Dead or alive. Now, it turns out that there was a third option. Dead and alive.

    The chance exists to put a stake through the heart of Bin Laden’s American legacy. After all, the man who officially started it all is theoretically gone. We could declare victory, Toto, and head for home. But why do I think that, on this score, the malign wizard is likely to win?

    Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project, runs the Nation Institute’s He is the author of The End of Victory Culture, a history of the Cold War and beyond, as well as of a novel, The Last Days of Publishing. He also edited The World According to TomDispatch: America in the New Age of Empire (Verso, 2008), an alternative history of the mad Bush years. His latest book is The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s (Haymarket Books),

  • Kyaemon

    May 7, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Video shows bin Laden watching himself on TV

    WASHINGTON – 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.
    In another, he has apparently dyed and neatly trimmed his beard for the filming of a propaganda video. The video, which the U.S. released without sound, was titled “”Message to the American People” and was believed to be filed sometime last fall, a senior intelligence official said during a briefing for reporters, on condition that his name not be used….

  • Kyaemon

    May 8, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    YouTube – Crowd celebrates Osama bin Laden’s death

    A crowd of hundreds celebrated out front of the White House after President Obama announced the death of al Qaeda figurehead Osama bin Laden. Chip Reid reports.

  • Kyaemon

    May 9, 2011 at 3:29 am

    9/11 families to Obama: ‘Thank you for doing what you promised’

    9/11 families to Obama: ‘Thank you for doing what you promised’ –

    New York
    President Obama’s visit to ground zero on Thursday was all about handshakes and hugs – not high fives to celebrate the death of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, an architect of the 9/11 terrorism attackIt had its poignant moments, such as the president’s meeting with young Payton Wall of Rumson, N.J., who lost her father, Glen, on that September day and then wrote Mr. Obama to tell him how she has handled the loss.
    It had some symbolism – Obama laying a red, white, and blue wreath at the foot of the “Survivor Tree” originally planted at the World Trade Center site in the 1970s. It was rescued from the smoldering ruins of the site and nursed back to health.
    IN PICTURES: Obama at ground zero
    There was also plenty of patriotism – the Star Spangled Banner hanging from construction cranes at ground zero, flag-waving New Yorkers outside the site.
    But most important, the event seemed to provide some comfort to the families of those who lost loved ones on 9/11….

    Obama at Ground Zero – The Christian Science Monitor –

    17 pictures (Click next button)

  • Kyaemon

    May 9, 2011 at 3:47 am

    US presses Pakistan on Bin Laden
    BBC News – Obama presses Pakistan over Bin Laden’s support network

    US President Barack Obama has called on Pakistan to investigate the network that sustained Osama Bin Laden in his hideout where he was killed last week.
    Mr Obama told CBS show 60 Minutes the government in Islamabad had to find out if any of its officials knew of the al-Qaeda leader’s whereabouts.
    An Obama administration official said the US wanted to speak to Bin Laden’s widows, who are in Pakistani custody.
    Pakistan has denied knowing Bin Laden was holed up in Abbottabad.
    In an interview being broadcast on Sunday, President Obama told CBS the al-Qaeda leader must have had “some sort of support network” in Pakistan, but he did not know whether it included government officials.
    “We don’t know whether there might have been some people inside of [Pakistan’s] government, people outside of government, and that’s something that we have to investigate and, more importantly, the Pakistani government has to investigate,” the US president said in the interview, which was conducted on Wednesday.
    ‘Library’ of intelligence
    US National Security Adviser Tom Donilon meanwhile told NBC talk show Meet the Press that Islamabad needed to establish how Bin Laden lived for six years a short drive from the capital and beside a military academy.

    With Bin Laden dead, there has been speculation about whether his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, will take over as al-Qaeda leader.
    But Mr Donilon said the Egyptian “is not anywhere near the leader that Osama Bin Laden was”.
    He also said the Pakistani authorities needed to provide the US with access to Bin Laden’s three widows, who were taken into custody after last week’s US commando raid.
    American officials have meanwhile been poring over computer files seized by US special forces from the hideout.
    “It’s [the intelligence cache] about the size, the CIA tells us, of a small college library,” said Mr Donilon.
    On Saturday, the Pentagon released from the material five home videos featuring Bin Laden, with the audio removed.
    They included a message by the al-Qaeda leader to the US and footage of Bin Laden watching an item about himself on TV.
    US officials said the Abbottabad compound was a command and control centre from where Bin Laden had actively led al-Qaeda.
    But an unidentified senior Pakistani intelligence official told Reuters news agency on Sunday: “It sounds ridiculous. It doesn’t sound like he was running a terror network.”

    Some Pakistanis have been angered by last week’s US raid on its soil

    There have been suspicions that someone in Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency, which has a long history of contacts with militant groups, may have known where Bin Laden was hiding.
    But Pakistan has dismissed such suggestions.
    Former US Vice-President Dick Cheney waded into the debate on Sunday, saying the US was “headed for trouble down the road” if it turned its back on the region.
    In an interview with Fox News, Mr Cheney said: “I think we need to maintain relationships, working relationships, with Pakistan, Afghanistan and the rest of them. I don’t think we need to run for the exits.”
    Meanwhile, a senior United Nations official called on the White House to disclose what orders were given to the US Navy Seals who went into the al-Qaeda chief’s compound.
    UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions Christof Heyns told the BBC the killing could set a precedent for any country to cross borders and pursue enemies “where there is in practical terms no option to capture”.
    “And are we not then on a slippery slope to say that the whole world is a battlefield?” he said, on The World This Weekend programme.

  • Kyaemon

    May 11, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Pakistani Opposition Leader Calls for Bin Laden Inquiry

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The leader of the main opposition political party called Wednesday for an independent inquiry into why the Pakistani Army had no knowledge of the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

    The demand by Nawaz Sharif, the head of the party, the Pakistan Muslim League-N, for an independent judicial commission to report to the public within 21 days stood in contrast to the announcement by the civilian government that the army would conduct its own inquiry.

    Since the May 2 Navy Seal operation that killed Bin Laden there has been unusual criticism of the army, Pakistan’s best-financed and most revered institution.

    “If the government refrains from setting up this commission, they will disappoint the public,” Mr. Sharif said at a news conference in Islamabad, the capital.

    Mr. Sharif, who served twice as prime minister in the 1990s, was ousted from his second term by a military coup led by Gen. Pervez Musharraf in 1999. He has since been distrustful of the military, and his call Wednesday was interpreted as an attempt to strengthen the hand of civilian rule in the face of the powerful military.

    The call for an independent commission came after Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani told Parliament earlier this week that a high-ranking army general would lead an in-house army inquiry. The prime minister did not say when the inquiry would be finished or whether it would ever be made public, and critics of the raid and the military’s performance have so far felt the government’s explanations inadequate.

    Mr. Sharif said he rejected the idea of the military investigation, which is to be led by Gen. Javed Iqbal, a confidant of the head of the army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, who is scheduled to address a closed joint session of Parliament on Friday.

    Farooq Sattar, the leader of the M.Q.M., a party that is part of the governing coalition, said Wednesday that he was also demanding an independent commission that would consist of members of the judiciary, retired judges and parliamentarians.

    The fact that the Pakistani Army was not told of the raid by the Americans was the biggest shock for Pakistanis who have complained that the army allowed an infringement of the country’s sovereignty.

    The army was not told of the raid by the Obama administration before it had started, on the grounds that Pakistan could not be trusted, said the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon E. Panetta. During the operation, Pakistani radar failed to detect the helicopters that carried the Navy Seal team in and out of Pakistan, and the military failed to react during the 40-minute raid at the compound where Bin Laden was hiding.

    That Bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan —either with or without the knowledge of the Pakistani intelligence agencies — caused slightly less alarm. Even so, Mr. Sharif said Pakistanis wanted to know how it was that Bin Laden had lived in the small garrison city of Abbottabad, near the nation’s premier military academy, for at least five years.

    It was not immediately clear whether a judicial commission would actually be established. “The judiciary would probably be reluctant,” said Babar Sattar, a lawyer who writes about legal affairs and politics in the Pakistani news media.

    It could be possible to assemble a panel of retired judges, depending on the terms of reference Mr. Sharif has suggested, Mr. Sattar said.

    Mr. Sharif, who has annoyed American officials with his seeming tolerance of militant groups that have gained strength in his political base, Punjab, said he wanted the judicial commission to also address the American drone campaign against militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

    Mr. Sharif and his brother, Shahbaz Sharif, the chief minister of Punjab, called for an end to the drones even before the killing of Bin Laden. The army chief, General Kayani, told the Americans last month that he wanted the drones stopped. But the Obama administration has said it has no intention of halting the drone attacks.

    In his statement, Mr. Sharif said he was upset at the growing isolation of Pakistan.

    “Except for China, no one is supporting us,” he said. “Look at the state of the country and what the rest of the world is saying about us.”

  • Kyaemon

    May 11, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Why the Taliban Won’t Miss bin Laden
    By Julius Cavendish / Kabul Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    As the sun rose, the men from the raiding party chanted verses from the Koran, spread their checkered scarves on the dirt and prayed for Osama bin Laden’s swift passage to paradise. It was a ritual they’d performed a hundred times for their fallen comrades. But there were no outbursts of grief or pledges of vengeance. Bin Laden had been a good Muslim, said the small, wiry Taliban judge leading the ritual. Bin Laden had surrendered a life of luxury for one of hardship, and his “death on the battlefield” was befitting. Beyond that, as far as the Taliban are concerned, “his death had no impact,” said the judge, who goes by the nom de guerre Khanjari (and whose identity was confirmed by a member of Afghanistan’s security service).

    “Every member of my group is as brave as Osama,” Khanjari continued. “The only difference is he had more money … My friends mean more to me than him. Any one of us would take a bullet for each other.” For the Taliban, bin Laden’s death has been far less important than some in the West may have hoped. (See pictures of the battle against the Taliban.)

    As a fighting season expected to be the bloodiest in a decade gets under way across Afghanistan, a common misconception in Western commentary is to attribute the escalation to a desire to avenge bin Laden. On Monday, NATO’s deputy chief of communication in Kabul, Brigadier General Christine Whitecross, suggested that “al-Qaeda and Taliban will try to take revenge by intensifying their attacks, but the Afghan and NATO-led international troops will not let them to succeed.” Just last month, however, NATO was claiming that al-Qaeda had fewer than 100 operatives in Afghanistan, and that they were mainly hunkered up in the northeastern corner of the country. Now, though, linking violence to al-Qaeda is a ploy to cast the long-expected spike in violence as unconnected with the root causes of the insurgency, explains one Western diplomat. “People are asking, What … are we doing in Afghanistan? We killed bin Laden — wasn’t that the whole point? So this might be a way of thinking we’d better quickly tie what’s left of al-Qaeda to what’s going on in Afghanistan as cover so we can stick around till 2014. I wish someone would call them on this because it’s … bull—-.”

    President Hamid Karzai is also in on the game, claiming that the synchronized attacks that brought the city of Kandahar to a standstill last weekend were the work of al-Qaeda, although it was patently obvious that it had been a Taliban operation long in the making. Blaming al-Qaeda was a way of deflecting blame from the Afghan government and its security forces, which are still reeling from a mass jailbreak that saw nearly 500 insurgents escape. “It’s really embarrassing,” says the Western diplomat, comparing it with the 1968 Tet offensive, which delivered a decisive propaganda victory to the Vietcong. “It shows [the Afghan National Security Forces] can’t handle it, they can’t stop 60 people from infiltrating with heavy arms, PKMs [machine guns], RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades]. So it’s really bad optically.” All the more so given that the cornerstone of NATO’s exit strategy is handing control of Afghanistan’s towns and villages to the ANSF, starting in July. (See pictures of Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan hideout.)

    The prevailing view among analysts and diplomats is that, at the highest levels, the Taliban have in fact almost certainly welcomed bin Laden’s death. Michael Semple, a veteran Afghanistan hand and leading proponent of a political settlement with the Taliban, says many of the movement’s leaders bitterly resented bin Laden for charming Mullah Mohammad Omar into granting him sanctuary, persuading the unworldly cleric that the Americans had no stomach for a fight — and as a result, losing their grip on Afghanistan when al-Qaeda provoked a U.S. invasion. “They’re basically saying good riddance,” Semple says. “They couldn’t be seen to hand him over themselves, and he certainly didn’t rely on them for his security, but now they say … ‘He’s out of the way, let’s see what happens.'”

    That doesn’t mean the Taliban is about to quit the fight, of course. Tuesday saw around 200 insurgents storm police checkpoints in the remote mountain province of Nuristan — the second large-scale attack in four days. In eastern Afghanistan, an improvised explosive device just claimed the 167th coalition casualty of the year. Five people were killed and a dozen wounded when a bomber rammed his motorbike into the gate of a government building on Monday. Militarily, the Taliban’s strategy is still a ride-out, a “Let’s carry on doing what we can until the Americans get tired and go home,” in Semple’s words. (See a photo album of the bin Laden family.)

    But the ability of the U.S. to locate and strike bin Laden will also have the militants anxious. “You want to get my full details? I’ll end up like Osama bin Laden,” laughed Khanjari when TIME asked for his real name. They’re also mistrustful of Pakistan, which affords them safe haven but has been happy to sell out Taliban leaders in the past. With Pakistan under enormous pressure from Washington, militants fear that may happen again. “Mullah Baradar lived in the same madrasah in Karachi for 10 years,” said Khanjari, referring to the former Taliban No. 2 who was arrested by Pakistan’s spy agency in early 2010. “When the Pakistanis feel a threat, they’ll hand over some high-ranking Taliban.”

    Still, Semple believes that because bin Laden is no longer a stumbling block, the U.S. should negotiate directly with the Taliban leadership in Pakistan. “Grasp the nettle,” he says. “After years of pushing Pakistan to tolerate or conduct security raids, it’s time to push the Pakistanis for something they themselves have been recommending — the political engagement.” Finding a mutually acceptable settlement will still be tough, but the Abbottabad raid just provided a fresh place to start.

    See TIME’s complete archive of the bin Laden coverage.,8599,2070640,00.html

  • Kyaemon

    May 11, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Pakistani Intelligence: Friend or Foe?

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – The twin towers in New York were still smoldering in September 2001 when Pakistan spy chief Gen. Mahmood Ahmed went to Afghanistan with the task of urging the Taliban to hand over al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

    The message he actually gave Mullah Mohammed Omar was quite different: “Protect Osama. Hide him. We will help you,” according to former Taliban deputy interior minister Mullah Mohammed Khaksar. His version has been confirmed by U.S. officials and former Pakistani spies.

    A decade later, the U.S. has raised a stinging question: Did Pakistan’s premier spy agency, the ISI, know that bin Laden had been living for at least five years near a military garrison in Abbottabad?

    The answer is quite likely yes, according to ex-ISI agents, military men and analysts, but the issue is really who knew and how close they might have been to the top.

    A week after Navy SEALS killed bin Laden, the U.S. has demanded the names of ISI operatives from Pakistan to investigate what dealings they may have had with al-Qaida. An ISI official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said no formal inquiry was being held, and that it was “no one’s concern” whether Pakistan investigated how bin Laden had lived under the nose of the military without detection.

    At the heart of the matter is the long, complicated relationship between the ISI and various militant groups.

    The ISI, which is part of Pakistan’s military, has a history of spawning and funding jihadi groups to fight India, in particular for the disputed territory of Kashmir. Pakistan’s military relies heavily on these groups in the absence of the conventional might to take on India, said defense analyst Ayesha Siddiqua. For example, Pakistan has hosted training camps for militants and has sent them across the border into India, according to U.S. intelligence reports.

    “How else do you fight?” Siddiqua asked. “It is the Pakistan version of private security guards.”

    However, some of these jihadi groups have links to al-Qaida and share with it a militant Islamic philosophy. Harakat-ul-jihad-Islam, the leader of the Illyas Kashmiri group against India, is also believed by Western intelligence to be al-Qaida’s operational chief in Pakistan. And Lashkar e-Taiba, which the U.S. calls a terrorist group, is thought to have close funding and operational ties to al-Qaida.

    Former President Pervez Musharraf long ago promised to cut off close ties with militants, but there is no evidence that he followed through. Pakistan also claims that it has purged religious extremists from the ISI over the past decade. The ISI did drop Gen. Ahmed soon after the 9/11 attacks, at the insistence of the United States, and Musharraf has handed over senior al-Qaida operatives such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubayda and Ramzi Binalshib to the United States.

    In a WikiLeaks diplomatic cable dating to May 12, 2008, a U.S. delegation asked Musharraf for his views on reports that the Pakistan army and ISI were complicit in allowing militant activities to continue. Musharraf did not give a direct response, but talked instead about the job of catching militants. “Musharraf said that it wasn’t as easy as it appeared,” the cable notes. “The mountainous terrain, poor communications, and local supporters impeded efforts to capture and kill these militants.”

    Despite his protests, experts say, Musharraf grew up under a religious regime and understands the power of religiously motivated uprisings. If anything, the ISI may be as fundamentalist as ever, partly because military personnel from a time when the army was openly involved with militants still work in operations, Siddiqua said.

    The ISI also falls under suspicion because bin Laden went undetected despite the many security guards and officers in Abbottabad, a leafy city of 400,000 people close to Islamabad. Al-Qaida has a history in the area: Senior Indonesian al-Qaida operative Umar Patek was arrested there in January, based on information from a captured al-Qaida member, an intelligence official said. And in 2003, raids were conducted in Abbottabad looking for al-Qaida senior lieutenant Abu Laith al-Libi, who was eventually caught not far away in Mardan in 2005.

    Retired military officer Lt. Gen. Talat Masood conceded that some people within the establishment were likely suspicious about the occupants of the whitewashed, three-story house in a middle-class area of Abbottabad. However, Masood said, most would not have considered bin Laden their first suspect, and some may have been bribed to keep prying eyes away. Security officers at airports and border crossings in Pakistan are often bribed to ignore suspicious movements.

    “The most charitable explanation you can give is that it was at the local level of the police, or some local authority, or someone who carried a lot of weight and influence in the area,” Masood said. “He was paid handsomely to ignore who was living there.”

    The least charitable version, Masood said, is that bin Laden was given safe haven by former military ruler Musharraf, who was waiting until the appropriate moment to announce his capture. Civilian critics in Pakistan accused Musharraf of secretly aiding Taliban militants on both sides of the border, even as militants routinely accused him of siding with the West.

    Some analysts and intelligence officials questioned whether top ISI officials would have a good motive to hide bin Laden. It would not in any way help Pakistan, said Brig. Asad Munir, former ISI head for the frontier until 2003.

    “You at least have to look at motive…what does bin Laden have to offer?” Munir asked. “It doesn’t make sense.”

    Christine Fair, an academic expert who studies Pakistan and militant groups, agreed that the top leadership of the ISI was likely ignorant rather than complicit in the hiding of bin Laden.

    “I really don’t believe they knew,” said Fair, assistant professor at the Center for Peace and Strategic Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, who has done extensive research in the region.

    However, lower-level ISI operatives may well have been aware of bin Laden’s presence, Fair said.

    She cited the example of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, in which two junior ISI spies were disciplined for knowing about and possibly being involved in the operation. There is no evidence that knowledge of the attacks, which killed 166 people, extended higher up in the ranks.

    Mosharraf Zaidi, a private consultant in Pakistan who advises governments on public policy, said essentially the same thing.

    “I think there are people who would have known, but did the leadership know? The prime minister, the president, the army chief and intelligence chief?” he asked. “I don’t believe so.”

    If the top officials really did not know, that suggests an incompetence on the part of the ISI shocking to many in Pakistan.

    The agency is thought to have about 30,000 people, under six major generals and one lieutenant general. Its financial numbers are secret, but it doesn’t have the budget for sophisticated listening devices, for example. In some parts of the country Pakistan doesn’t even have the technology to monitor cell phones.

    “In general the ISI has an exaggerated profile of its capabilities,” wrote Shuja Nawaz, director of the South Asia Center at The Atlantic Council, in an email. “It is best in penetrating India. Worst at handling domestic politics.”

    The latest episode increases the strain between the ISI and the United States, already at a high because of the case of a U.S. contractor accused of killing Pakistanis. In past meetings, Washington has accused Pakistani leaders of harboring terrorists.

    “There was certainly a lot of finger-pointing, a lot of accusing us, both in meetings here and in Washington, of being in bed with the bad guys,” retired Gen. Mahmud Durrani, Pakistan’s former national security adviser, told the AP. “On one or two occasions they were very, very harsh.”

    Durrani refused to divulge details, such as whether bin Laden was mentioned, citing national security reasons.

    The ISI was born more than 60 years ago, with the job of gleaning information, mostly about India, from the army, air force and navy — thus the name, the InterServices Intelligence, or ISI.

    In the early 1970s, then-Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto created a political cell within the ISI to keep tabs on his political opponents. Bhutto was overthrown in 1977 and hanged two years later.

    Gen. Mohammed Zia-ul Haq came to power and, as an Islamic zealot, created a clerics corps in the army. Officers who had once sipped alcohol at the army messes were competing with each other to be seen by Zia at mosques praying, ex-military officers said.

    When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the ISI worked with the CIA and Islamic rebels. The same rebels later would become Taliban, or join al-Qaida, or be redeployed by the ISI to India, and today some belong to U.S.-declared terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba.

    The answer about whether the ISI really knew about bin Laden’s location may finally come from an unlikely source: Bin Laden himself, or rather, his documents. The U.S. is just starting to process a trove of information taken by commandos from the compound occupied by bin Laden, which may be key to many of the puzzles.


    Kathy Gannon is AP special regional correspondent for Pakistan and Afghanistan. AP staff writer Sebastian Abbot contributed to this report.

  • Kyaemon

    May 13, 2011 at 1:18 am

    Thou Shalt (Sometimes) Kill
    Bin Laden’s killing has divided Christians. While Americans celebrated, liberal Europeans felt unease — but they’re the ones who may need to take another look at the Bible.

    News of Osama bin Laden’s death brought people of almost all religious and political persuasions around the world together in a collective sigh of relief. Yet his assassination did as much to expose geopolitical rifts as it did to promote world peace and fellow feeling. America’s relations with Pakistan, already strained, have gone from bad to worse; Republicans and Democrats, hardly lacking in excuses to squabble, have revived stale debates about the use of torture in intelligence gathering.

    But there was also an unusual suspect among the flashpoints of tension: Though few of America’s European allies were sorry to see the al Qaeda mastermind go, they have had mixed feelings about Americans’ cheering and chest-pounding — especially Christians there, who seem ashamed to admit that they worship the same God as America’s conservative evangelicals who have taken bin Laden’s death as an excuse to sermonize on the nature of eternal damnation.

    As soon as the first reports of the assassination trickled out, crowds swarmed in front of the White House shouting “O-B-L, you’re in hell!” Yet as more details emerged about the raid in Pakistan, some Christians, particularly those outside the United States, grew uneasy about how a faithful Christian ought to judge the circumstances of bin Laden’s death. Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, said the murder of an unarmed man by a team of 79 commandos left him with “a very uncomfortable feeling.” Writing in the Guardian, British New Testament scholar N.T. Wright accused Washington of “vigilantism,” “‘justice’ only of the crudest sort,” and an American exceptionalism that casts Washington’s special agents as the “masked hero [who] saves the world.” From their perspective, Robert Kagan is right: Americans are warlike, gun-toting, self-appointed “international sheriffs” from Mars, and peace-loving, multilateral Europeans are from Venus.

    Liberal American Christians, for the most part less critical of the mission, have echoed some of these concerns. But their voices are mostly lost in a clamor of hallelujahs and enthusiastic quotation of the more bellicose psalms. As in most things, conservative American evangelicals have not expressed much moral ambivalence over bin Laden’s death. Several evangelical intellectuals cautioned against vulgar celebrations in the streets, but most have expressed full confidence in the justice of the assassination. When California megachurch pastor Rick Warren heard the news, he tweeted a verse from the Book of Proverbs: “When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.” “Welcome to hell, bin Laden,” said presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee. Never mind Jesus’s admonitions to love our enemies, or that business about turning the other cheek. “If anyone ever deserved the forfeiture of his life for crimes against humanity, it was Osama bin Laden,” said Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

    What disturbs liberal European Christians is their distinct impression that some Americans are not just giving thanks for lives saved, but engaging in the distinctly un-Christian activity of getting even — and then dancing on their enemy’s grave. St. Paul told the Romans to “never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God.” Yet President Barack Obama himself stressed the punitive rationale for the assassination: “Justice has been done,” he told the world in his late-night address on May 1.

    Domestic politics and culture go a long way toward explaining this cleavage in the Christian world. This is an obvious but important point. Conservative evangelicals were hardly the only Americans who cheered bin Laden’s death: The natural human desire for revenge is far more tempting in the country that lost over 3,000 lives on 9/11 and has since sacrificed thousands more in Iraq and Afghanistan. Moreover, in the United States, evangelical Christianity has long been intertwined with patriotism and faith in the country’s role as a “city on a hill,” a beacon of justice to the world — a messianic self-confidence that has grown louder and more self-righteous with the rise of the Christian right. European Christians’ criticisms of the raid in Abbottabad stem as much from their contempt for American triumphalism as from any theological quarrel………

  • Kyaemon

    May 13, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Why We’re Stuck with Pakistan,8599,2071005,00.html

    When the U.S. confronted Pakistan after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, there were no discussions of common goals and shared dreams. There was just a very direct threat: you’re either with us or against us. Pakistan had to choose between making an enemy of the U.S. and taking a quick and dirty deal sweetened with the promise of a lot of cash. In the end, Pakistan’s cooperation was a transaction that satisfied the urgent needs of the day, brokered by a nervous military dictator, Pervez Musharraf, who failed to explain the value of the U.S. relationship to his people. That allowed a theme to become fixed among Pakistanis: the war on terrorism was America’s war. When Pakistani soldiers started dying in battles with militant groups, when suicide bombers began killing Pakistani civilians, it was America’s fault because it was America’s war.

    So as Pakistanis processed the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, many concluded that they had been betrayed by their supposed ally. How dare the Americans sneak into the country without so much as a warning and conduct a military operation just 75 miles (120 km) from the capital? But they felt betrayed too by their military. How could it be that Pakistan’s armed forces, which claim a lion’s share of government spending, were clueless about the presence, a mere mile from the country’s most prestigious defense academy, of the world’s most wanted terrorist? Cyril Almeida, one of Pakistan’s best-known opinion writers, summed up the national anguish in a column: “If we didn’t know [bin Laden was in Abbottabad], we are a failed state; if we did know, we are a rogue state.”
    (See pictures of Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan hideout.)

    Pakistan is a bit of both. It’s not hard to detect dysfunction in a state where the military controls foreign policy, national security and an intelligence network so pervasive that no dinner guest at a foreign journalist’s house goes unscrutinized. The civilian government, hobbled by incompetence and corruption, has no power and, even worse, no backbone. In tea shops and on street corners, Pakistanis’ frustration with their leadership collides with their inability to change it. Instead they lash out at the U.S. for reminding them of their failure as a nation……

  • Kyaemon

    May 13, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Bush tells Obama on bin Laden: “Good call”;_ylt=Av8Tu6jPu21g7Cw0i4BI3pz9xg8F;_ylu=X3oDMTMxcWpybWZmBGFzc2V0A25tLzIwMTEwNTEzL3VzX2JpbmxhZGVuX2J1c2gEY2NvZGUDdG9wZ21wZQRjcG9zAzgEcG9zAzgEc2VjA3luX3RvcF9zdG9yaWVzBHNsawNidXNodGVsbHNvYmE-

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former President George W. Bush, who spent years searching for Osama bin Laden, had two words for President Barack Obama when Obama told him of the al Qaeda leader’s death: “Good call.”

    Bush, who has shied away from the public eye since leaving office in January 2009, spoke about the U.S. raid that killed bin Laden in remarks to a conference of hedge fund managers. An ABC News contributor attended the event and reported on them.

    Bush said he was eating souffles at a Dallas restaurant with his wife, Laura, and two friends when he got word that Obama, his successor as president, was trying to reach him.

    “I excused myself and went home to take the call,” Bush said. “Obama simply said, ‘Osama bin Laden is dead.'”

    After Obama described in detail the secret U.S. raid on Osama’s compound in Pakistan and the decision he made to go ahead with the mission, Bush said he told Obama: “Good call.”

    ABC News said Bush told the group that bin Laden’s death was a victory for the American people and “a great victory in the war on terror.”

    He said U.S. intelligence services deserve a lot of credit for tracking down bin Laden and spoke of meeting in Afghanistan with Navy SEAL Team Six, the highly skilled strike team that reportedly conducted the raid.

    “They are awesome, skilled, talented and brave,” he added. “I said, ‘I hope you have everything you need. One guy said, ‘We need your permission to go into Pakistan and kick ass.'”

    Bush escalated a U.S. hunt for bin Laden after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, but the al Qaeda leader escaped from the mountains of Tora Bora in Afghanistan and ended up living in a large house in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad, apparently for years.

    Bush’s predecessor, President Bill Clinton, launched missile strikes against bin Laden’s compound in Afghanistan in 1998 in an unsuccessful effort to kill bin Laden following al Qaeda attacks on U.S. embassies in Africa.

    (Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Will Dunham)

  • Kyaemon

    May 13, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    US says operation of killing Osama bin Laden was legal

    BEIJING, May 13 (Xinhuanet) –United States Attorney General, Eric Holder, reiterated on Thursday that the US operation that killed Osama bin Laden was legal. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s former intelligence chief denounced the US for not sharing information about Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts.

    The US Attorney General made the remarks during an interview in London with British broadcaster Sky News. Holder’s remarks echoed those he made on Wednesday in Washington before the Senate Judiciary Committee, when he said the death was part of a legitimate military operation.

    He said, “What we did was not an assassination; it was consistent with international law, and I think one has to focus on the way in which the operation occurred. People there who could have been shot were not. The woman who was with him was wounded in the leg, as opposed to being shot in any other place, and so I think we conducted ourselves in an appropriate way, especially given his professed desire not to be taken alive.”

    On Thursday, Pakistan’s former intelligence chief denounced the United States for not sharing information about Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts and challenged American intelligence officials to name one time when cooperating led to a botched operation.

    General Ehsan Ul Haq, Former Head of Pakistan’s Inter-Servies Intelligence, said, “We were picking up information and we were sharing it with the Americans. The Americans have decided to keep their information with them. That’s why, when I made my initial comments, this could have been a turning point if they had used, if they had brought the ISI on board because I can’t recall any incident in the past where they shared information with us and as a consequence of the operation got botched.

    Pakistan is facing ongoing pressure from inside the country and abroad to explain why Pakistani intelligence didn’t know that bin Laden was hiding in their country and whether some Pakistani officials knew and protected him.

    General Ehsan Ul Haq said Pakistan has handed over senior al-Qaeda operatives to the US in the past, and such information helped develop a wealth of data about al-Qaeda, which ultimately led the US to find bin Laden.

  • Kyaemon

    May 14, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    U.S. uses stealth to avoid detection: Pakistan spy chief

    ISLAMABAD, May 14 (Xinhua) — Pakistan’s intelligence chief informed the in-camera session that the United States had used stealth technology on its helicopters that could not be detected by the radars when they raided a compound and killed Osama bin Laden, officials said Saturday.
    The in-camera session of the joint sitting of the parliament was summoned on Friday after the army and the intelligence agencies had been under fire for their failure to detect the U.S. army helicopters, which intruded into Pakistan and conducted nearly one hour operation to kill the al-Qaida chief.
    Osama bin Laden was killed in the May 2 raid along with his son and two couriers in northwest Pakistan’s garrison city of Abbotabad.
    The country’s intelligence agencies are also criticized for their failure to know about the presence of the world most wanted man in a Pakistani compound for five years.
    “It was due to the U.S. technological superiority that they managed to get in undetected,” head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lt. gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha told the parliament, according to officials from the Information Ministry.
    Officials quoted the spy chief as telling the house that armed U.S. aircraft were ready to react to any Pakistani reaction.
    It was reported that the ISI chief presented himself for full accountability before any forum and said if there was any ” negligence or intentional failure”, he was ready to face the consequences.
    The ISI chief offered resignation in the in-camera joint session of the parliament after he briefed the lawmakers about the U.S. operation, officials said. He said he was ready to face any commission of inquiry about the U.S. operation.
    He, however, said that it was also the responsibility of the provincial government, the local police and related agencies to have information about the al-Qaida chief’s hideout in Abbotabad.

  • Kyaemon

    May 18, 2011 at 1:23 am

    Pakistan Nabs Midlevel al Qaeda Operative

    Pakistan’s military nabbed an al Qaeda operative in the port city of Karachi in the country’s first arrest of a militant since the killing of Osama bin Laden on its soil by U.S. forces.
    It was unclear whether the U.S. was involved in the raid that led to the arrest of Muhammad Ali Qasim Yaqub, a Yemeni citizen, who U.S. officials described as a “midlevel” al Qaeda operative.
    But the action comes as officials from both sides attempt to restore cooperation in a counterterrorism relationship that has soured in recent months.

  • Kyaemon

    June 11, 2011 at 7:16 am

    CIA chief to discuss joint intel team in Pakistan

    ISLAMABAD – CIA Director Leon Panetta and senior Pakistani officials will focus on the size and scope of U.S. intelligence activities in Pakistan during a second day of talks Saturday, as both countries work to repair ties fractured by the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden, a Pakistani official said.
    The operation that killed bin Laden plunged an already strained relationship between the CIA and Pakistan’s main intelligence agency, the ISI, to new lows and threatened cooperation that is key to the U.S. fight against al-Qaida and Taliban militants battling foreign troops in Afghanistan.
    In an attempt to rebuild the relationship, the Washington and Islamabad have agreed to form a joint intelligence team to track down militant targets inside Pakistan, drawing in part from the trove of records taken from bin Laden’s personal office during the raid.
    Panetta and Pakistani officials will discuss what U.S. intelligence officers will be permitted to do, and how many will be allowed into the country, as part of the team, said a Pakistani official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue…..

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