While acting as cocky and arrogant as ever, President Obama applauded the capture and execution of Osama bin Laden, who had eluded U.S. intelligence for nearly a decade after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. "Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children," Obama told the American people . . . after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice."
What Obama didn't share with the American people was the place and techniques used to lead the team of Navy Seals to the compound in Pakistan where Obama had been hiding out in plain sight for years. The New York Times provides us some of those details:
After years of dead ends and promising leads gone cold, the big break came last August. A trusted courier of Osama bin Laden’s whom American spies had been hunting for years was finally located in a compound 35 miles north of the Pakistani capital, close to one of the hubs of American counterterrorism operations….Did you catch that? "Detainees at the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had given the courier's pseudonym to American interrogators." Yep, good ole Gitmo that Obama ordered closed to "restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great even in the midst of war, even in dealing with terrorism." And yes, detainees were subject to enhanced interrogation techniques condemned by Obama and others on the Left. As Marc Thiessen observes the other part of the message Obama left out last night about those key detainees at Gitmo:
Detainees at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, had given the courier’s pseudonym to American interrogators and said that the man was a protégé of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the confessed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.
American intelligence officials said Sunday night that they finally learned the courier’s real name four years ago, but that it took another two years for them to learn the general region where he operated.
What else KSM and Abu Faraj have in common: Before coming to Gitmo, both were held by the CIA as part of the agency’s enhanced interrogation program, and provided the information that led to bin Laden’s death after undergoing interrogation by the CIA. In other words, the crowning achievement of Obama’s presidency came as a direct result of the CIA interrogation program he has denigrated and shut down.And I would be remiss if I didn't point out the irony of the Left and the media's triumphant reaction to news of bin Laden's death compared to their reaction when President George W. Bush announced in 2006 that U.S. forces had killed one of his top lieutenants, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Newsbusters rewinds to the reaction then to Bush's announcement:
Something the president forgot to mention last night, when he claimed credit for “the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.” The president owes some thanks—and apologies—to the men and women of the CIA’s interrogation program.
So Guantanamo detainees provided the key intelligence that allowed the CIA to track down bin Laden. But not just any Guantanamo detainees. It turns out the detainees in question were KSM and Abu Faraj al-Libi, the man who succeeded KSM as al Qaeda’s operational commander, when the 9/11 mastermind was captured in 2003. Following KSM’s capture, Abu Faraj was designated by bin Laden as his official messenger to his operatives in Pakistan, and even moved his family to Abbottabad—the city where bin Laden was killed—to carry out that role. He continued serving as bin Laden’s messenger until his arrest in 2005.
While most Americans were presumably taking a moment to celebrate the death of Zarqawi, or at least appreciate the efforts of the U.S. military in eliminating the vicious terrorist, CNN and MSNBC continued with their more pessimistic agenda. CNN featured two reports on the already much-covered Haditha allegations; a piece by senior correspondent John Roberts closed with a hyperbolic quote from Dartmouth College’s Aine Donovan: "If Haditha proves true, it will be, unfortunately and very sadly, the most memorable episode of this war."And there was this reaction from some Democratic members of Congress:
Over on MSNBC, the network took time away from covering the breaking news of Zarqawi’s death to feature positive profiles of United States military deserters, highlighting their claims that the Iraq war is immoral. Anchor Melissa Stark attempted to smoothly transition between the contrary subjects: "On this very successful day for the U.S. military with the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, one U.S. soldier is refusing to deploy to Iraq. Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada believes the Iraq war is morally wrong and a breach of American law." Reporter Tim Haas claimed Watada has "become the new face of the anti-war movement."
"This is just to cover Bush's [rear] so he doesn't have to answer" for Iraqi civilians being killed by the U.S. military and his own sagging poll numbers, said Rep. Pete Stark, California Democrat. "Iraq is still a mess -- get out."I've not watched, heard or read one negative story today in the mainstream media or heard one Republican member of Congress criticize Obama in today's coverage of the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden, even as Americans have grown ever more weary of the losing and costly wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, Ohio Democrat, said Zarqawi was a small part of "a growing anti-American insurgency" and that it's time to get out.
"We're there for all the wrong reasons," Mr. Kucinich said . . .
Within hours of the news breaking of Zarqawi’s death, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) was on CNN saying we should leave Iraq and let the Iraqis work out their civil war just the way we worked out ours . . .
On Islam, Obama still doesn't get it. He insisted there is no war between the U.S. and Islam and that bin Laden was not a leader within the Muslim community in his speech last night:
As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.Stop denying the obvious. Poll after poll of Muslims throughout the world indicated that bin Laden was one of the most admired Muslims looked up to by other Muslims. People in Muslim countries cheered him on and celebrated in the streets when he scored with his 9/11 attacks against America. We're not idiots, Mr. President. And perhaps he doesn't think we're at war with Islam, but somebody forgot to tell them that:
The death of Osama bin Laden will bring a "new era of jihad," predicted British extremist cleric Anjem Choudary.
Warning there are motivated jihadists "in the heart of America," Choudary said al-Qaida will likely carry out revenge operations with "meticulous accuracy" and "devastating affect" comparable to that of the 9/11 attacks.
Choudary is the founder and former chief of two Islamic groups disbanded by the British authorities under anti-terror legislation.
Speaking today in an interview with "Aaron Klein Investigative Radio" of New York's WABC Radio, Choudary said that while bin Laden was a "lion of Islam … there are many lions waiting to take his place."
I do believe that the death of Sheikh Osama will bring in a new era of jihad," Choudary told Klein.
"Post-Osama bin Laden, I believe the mujahedeen around the world will have something to prove, that the jihad is not about an individual."
Choudary said instability for U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan "will be a complete nightmare after this event."
Asked whether he believes al-Qaida is planning revenge attacks, the British extremist speculated the global jihad group "will have their own emergency meetings and they will plan their own response."
Continued Choudary: "It may be in the short-term or it may be in the long-term, but ultimately, we know that when they decide on an operation, that most likely it will be fulfilled with meticulous accuracy and with devastating effect."
"We saw that with 9/11," he added.
Choudary said worldwide jihad "at the current time is spread right from Australia all the way to the heart of Europe and into the United States."
"There are many people who believe in the phenomenon of jihad which has been franchised as well from al-Qaida. … And these people live in the heart of Europe and they live in the heart of America."
Choudary currently presents himself as an Islamic lecturer and a leader of Britain's Shariah Islamic court. He is a founder and former chief of Al Muhajiroun, a British group that sought to impose an Islamic state on the U.K. and that was allied with the goals of al-Qaida.
Al Muhajiroun was officially disbanded by the British government in 2004 under anti-terrorism laws, and its main leader, Omar Bakri Muhammad, was banned from the U.K. in 2005. Choudary then became a leader of Al Ghurabaa, which was reportedly a continuation of Al Muhajiroun. Al Ghurabaa was banned in 2006 by the U.K. for reportedly supporting terrorism.
"People who believe in the phenomenon of jihad . . . live in the heart of America." A "complete nightmare" for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Did you catch that? Sounds like the religion of peace, eh?
UPDATE: Before you get too excited about the crack job our intelligence appartatus did in this instance in capturing and killing bin Laden, consider this item on the safe house where Obama has been living for a number of years:
Abbottabad is essentially a military-cantonment city in Pakistan, in the hills to the north of the capital of Islamabad, in an area where much of the land is controlled or owned by the Pakistani Army and retired Army officers. Although the city is technically in what used to be called the Northwest Frontier Province, it lies on the far eastern side of the province and is as close to Pakistani-held Kashmir as it is to the border city of Peshawar. The city is most notable for housing the Pakistan Military Academy, the Pakistani Army’s premier training college, equivalent to West Point. Looking at maps and satellite photos on the Web last night, I saw the wide expanse of the Academy not far from where the million-dollar, heavily secured mansion where bin Laden lived was constructed in 2005. The maps I looked at had sections of land nearby marked off as “restricted areas,” indicating that they were under military control. It stretches credulity to think that a mansion of that scale could have been built and occupied by bin Laden for six years without its coming to the attention of anyone in the Pakistani Army.Wow. Check out this story from October, 2010 describing precisely where bin Laden was living in Pakistan:
The initial circumstantial evidence suggests that the opposite is more likely—that bin Laden was effectively being housed under Pakistani state control. Pakistan will deny this, it seems safe to predict, and perhaps no convincing evidence will ever surface to prove the case. If I were a prosecutor at the United States Department of Justice, however, I would be tempted to call a grand jury. Who owned the land on which the house was constructed? How was the land acquired, and from whom? Who designed the house, which seems to have been purpose-built to secure bin Laden? Who was the general contractor? Who installed the security systems? Who worked there? Are there witnesses who will now testify as to who visited the house, how often, and for what purpose? These questions are not relevant only to the full realization of justice for the victims of September 11th. They are also relevant to the victims of terrorist attacks conducted or inspired by bin Laden while he lived in the house, and these include many Pakistanis, as well as Afghans, Indians, Jordanians, and Britons. They are rightly subjects of American criminal law.
Outside the Justice Department, other sections of the United States government will probably underplay any evidence of culpability by the Pakistani state or sections of the state, such as its intelligence service, I.S.I., in sheltering bin Laden. As ever, there are many other fish to fry in Islamabad and at the Army headquarters, in nearby Rawalpindi: an exit strategy from Afghanistan, which requires the greatest possible degree of coöperation from Pakistan that can be attained at a reasonable price; nuclear stability; and so on.
It seems the most wanted man in the world is not bothered by the tag that has been placed on him. Or so it seem if new reports that the leader of Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden is living “comfortably” in a mansion in Pakistan is true.
CNN quoted an unnamed NATO official as saying that none of the Al-Qaeda members are hiding in the caves being bombed by NATO forces.
Osama bin Laden who is a Saudi descendant is wanted by the US and NATO forces for masterminding the September 11, 2001 attacks that claimed the lives of some 3000 people in the United States. The US in particular has been “hunting” for the Saudi born militant for almost a decade now.
The official further claimed that the alleged “mansion” of the al-Qaeda leader is located close to his number two man, Ayman al-Zawahiri’s house at the northwestern part of Pakistan.