Nidal

“You know what I did? I left troops to take the oil. I took the oil. The only troops I have are taking the oil, they’re protecting the oil. I took over the oil.”

  • Seymour M. Hersh : The Killing of Osama bin Laden · LRB 21 May 2015
    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n10/seymour-m-hersh/the-killing-of-osama-bin-laden

    It’s been four years since a group of US Navy Seals assassinated Osama bin Laden in a night raid on a high-walled compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The killing was the high point of Obama’s first term, and a major factor in his re-election. The White House still maintains that the mission was an all-American affair, and that the senior generals of Pakistan’s army and Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) were not told of the raid in advance. This is false, as are many other elements of the Obama administration’s account. The White House’s story might have been written by Lewis Carroll: would bin Laden, target of a massive international manhunt, really decide that a resort town forty miles from Islamabad would be the safest place to live and command al-Qaida’s operations? He was hiding in the open. So America said.

    The most blatant lie was that Pakistan’s two most senior military leaders – General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of the army staff, and General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, director general of the ISI – were never informed of the US mission. This remains the White House position despite an array of reports that have raised questions, including one by Carlotta Gall in the New York Times Magazine of 19 March 2014. Gall, who spent 12 years as the Times correspondent in Afghanistan, wrote that she’d been told by a ‘Pakistani official’ that Pasha had known before the raid that bin Laden was in Abbottabad. The story was denied by US and Pakistani officials, and went no further. In his book Pakistan: Before and after Osama (2012), Imtiaz Gul, executive director of the Centre for Research and Security Studies, a think tank in Islamabad, wrote that he’d spoken to four undercover intelligence officers who – reflecting a widely held local view – asserted that the Pakistani military must have had knowledge of the operation. The issue was raised again in February, when a retired general, Asad Durrani, who was head of the ISI in the early 1990s, told an al-Jazeera interviewer that it was ‘quite possible’ that the senior officers of the ISI did not know where bin Laden had been hiding, ‘but it was more probable that they did [know]. And the idea was that, at the right time, his location would be revealed. And the right time would have been when you can get the necessary quid pro quo – if you have someone like Osama bin Laden, you are not going to simply hand him over to the United States.’

    This spring I contacted Durrani and told him in detail what I had learned about the bin Laden assault from American sources: that bin Laden had been a prisoner of the ISI at the Abbottabad compound since 2006; that Kayani and Pasha knew of the raid in advance and had made sure that the two helicopters delivering the Seals to Abbottabad could cross Pakistani airspace without triggering any alarms; that the CIA did not learn of bin Laden’s whereabouts by tracking his couriers, as the White House has claimed since May 2011, but from a former senior Pakistani intelligence officer who betrayed the secret in return for much of the $25 million reward offered by the US, and that, while Obama did order the raid and the Seal team did carry it out, many other aspects of the administration’s account were false.

    ‘When your version comes out – if you do it – people in Pakistan will be tremendously grateful,’ Durrani told me. ‘For a long time people have stopped trusting what comes out about bin Laden from the official mouths. There will be some negative political comment and some anger, but people like to be told the truth, and what you’ve told me is essentially what I have heard from former colleagues who have been on a fact-finding mission since this episode.’ As a former ISI head, he said, he had been told shortly after the raid by ‘people in the “strategic community” who would know’ that there had been an informant who had alerted the US to bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad, and that after his killing the US’s betrayed promises left Kayani and Pasha exposed.

    (pas encore lu)

    • Pakistanis Knew Where Bin Laden Was, Say U.S. Sources
      http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/pakistanis-knew-where-bin-laden-was-say-us-sources-n357306

      Two intelligence sources tell NBC News that the year before the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, a “walk in” asset from Pakistani intelligence told the CIA where the most wanted man in the world was hiding - and these two sources plus a third say that the Pakistani government knew where bin Laden was hiding all along.

      The U.S. government has always characterized the heroic raid by Seal Team Six that killed bin Laden as a unilateral U.S. operation, and has maintained that the CIA found him by tracking couriers to his walled complex in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

      The new revelations do not necessarily cast doubt on the overall narrative that the White House began circulating within hours of the May 2011 operation. The official story about how bin Laden was found was constructed in a way that protected the identity and existence of the asset, who also knew who inside the Pakistani government was aware of the Pakistani intelligence agency’s operation to hide bin Laden, according to a special operations officer with prior knowledge of the bin Laden mission. The official story focused on a long hunt for bin Laden’s presumed courier, Ahmed al-Kuwaiti.

      While NBC News has long been pursuing leads about a “walk in” and about what Pakistani intelligence knew, both assertions were made public in a London Review of Books article by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh.

    • Author Reported Essentials of Hersh’s bin Laden Story in 2011 — With Seemingly Different Sources
      https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/05/11/former-professor-reported-basics-hershs-bin-laden-story-2011-seemingly-di

      R.J. Hillhouse, a former professor, Fulbright fellow and novelist whose writing on intelligence and military outsourcing has appeared in the Washington Post and New York Times, made the same main assertions in 2011 about the death of Osama bin Laden as Seymour Hersh’s new story in the London Review of Books — apparently based on different sources than those used by Hersh.

      Bin Laden was killed by Navy SEALs on May 2, 2011. Three months later, on August 7, Hillhouse posted a story on her blog “The Spy Who Billed Me” stating that (1) the U.S. did not learn about bin Laden’s location from tracking an al Qaeda courier, but from a member of the Pakistani intelligence service who wanted to collect the $25 million reward the U.S. had offered for bin Laden; (2) Saudi Arabia was paying Pakistan to keep bin Laden under the equivalent of house arrest; (3) Pakistan was pressured by the U.S. to stand down its military to allow the U.S. raid to proceed unhindered; and (4) the U.S. had planned to claim that bin Laden had been killed in a drone strike in the border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, but was forced to abandon this when one of the Navy SEAL helicopters crashed.

      The Spy Who Billed Me: Hersh Did Not Break Bin Laden Cover Up Story
      http://www.thespywhobilledme.com/the_spy_who_billed_me/2015/05/hersh-did-not-break-bin-laden-cover-up-story.html

      Seymour Hersh’s story, “The Killing of Bin Laden,” in the London Review of Books has a fundamental problem: it’s either plagiarism or unoriginal.

      If it’s fiction—as some have implied, it’s plagiarism. If it’s true, it’s not original. The story was broken here on The Spy Who Billed Me four years ago, in August 2011

      […]

      I have had great respect for Seymour Hersh, arguably one of the greatest investigative journalists of our time. I do not believe his story is fiction. I trust my sources—which were clearly different than his. I am, however, profoundly disappointed that he has not given credit to the one who originally broke the story.

    • La presse semble vouloir régler son compte à ce grand journaliste.

      Etats-Unis. Mort de Ben Laden : une enquête très polémique
      Publié le 12/05/2015

      (...) D’aucuns, à l’instar du site internet Vox [ http://www.vox.com/2015/5/11/8584473/seymour-hersh-osama-bin-laden ] , n’hésitent cependant pas à parler du penchant du journaliste pour la théorie du complot. Pour le journaliste Max Fisher, “l’enquête de Seymour Hersh est certes impressionnante à lire, mais elle ne résiste pas à un examen minutieux des faits et est bourrée de contradictions et d’incohérences”. Elle serait une bonne illustration de la dérive de Seymour Hersh “qui s’est éloigné, ces dernières années, du journalisme d’investigation pour s’engager sur le terrain glissant des conspirations.” (...)

      cet article a été repris et cité ce matin sur France-Culture Par Thomas CLUZEL

      Que s’est-il passé la nuit où Ben Laden a été tué ? x
      12.05.2015
      http://www.franceculture.fr/emission-revue-de-presse-internationale-que-s-est-il-passe-la-nuit-ou-

    • Oui, l’article de Vox a beaucoup circulé. Cet article de The Nation (assez marrant) répond à l’article de Vox : It’s a Conspiracy ! How to Discredit Seymour Hersh | The Nation
      http://www.thenation.com/blog/207001/its-conspiracy-how-discredit-seymour-hersh

      Max Fisher, now at Vox, learned well during his apprenticeship under Marty Peretz at The New Republic. This week, he was among the first to try to smear Seymour Hersh’s piece in the London Review of Books, which argued that pretty much everything we were told about the killing of Osama bin Laden was a lie. Most importantly, Hersh’s report questions the claim that Washington learned of OBL’s whereabouts thanks to torture—a claim popularized in the film Zero Dark Thirty.

      There’s a standard boiler plate now when it comes to going after Hersh, and all Fisher, in “The Many Problems with Seymour Hersh’s Osama bin Laden Conspiracy Theory,” did was fill out the form: establish Hersh’s “legendary” status (which Fisher does in the first sentence); invoke his reporting in My Lai and Abu Ghraib; then say that a number of Hersh’s recent stories—such as his 2012 New Yorker piece that the United States was training Iranian terrorists in Nevada—have been “unsubstantiated” (of course, other reporters never “substantiated” Hersh’s claim that Henry Kissinger was directly involved in organizing the cover-up of the fire-bombing of Cambodia for years—but that claim was true); question Hersh’s sources; and then, finally, suggest that Hersh has gone “off the rails” to embrace “conspiracy theories.”

      […]

      To accuse Hersh of falling under the thrall of “conspiracy theory” is to repudiate the whole enterprise of investigative journalism that Hersh helped pioneer. What has he written that wasn’t a conspiracy? But Fisher, and others, believe Hersh went too far when in a 2011 speech he made mention of the Knights of Malta and Opus Dei, tagging him as a Dan Brown fantasist. Here’s Fisher, in his debunking of Hersh’s recent essay: “The moment when a lot of journalists started to question whether Hersh had veered from investigative reporting into something else came in January 2011. That month, he spoke at Georgetown University’s branch campus in Qatar, where he gave a bizarre and rambling address alleging that top military and special forces leaders ‘are all members of, or at least supporters of, Knights of Malta.… many of them are members of Opus Dei.’”

      But here’s Steve Coll, a reporter who remains within the acceptable margins, writing in Ghost Wars about Reagan’s CIA director, William Casey: “He was a Catholic Knight of Malta educated by Jesuits. Statues of the Virgin Mary filled his mansion.… He attended Mass daily and urged Christian faith upon anyone who asked his advice…. He believed fervently that by spreading the Catholic church’s reach and power he could contain communism’s advance, or reverse it.” Oliver North, Casey’s Iran/Contra co-conspirator, worshiped at a “’charismatic’ Episcopalian church in Virginia called Church of the Apostles, which is organized into cell groups.”

      Not too long ago, no less an establishment figure than Ben Bradlee, the editor of The Washington Post, could draw the connections between the shadowy national security state and right-wing Christianity: Iran/Contra was about many things, among them a right-wing Christian reaction against the growing influence of left-wing Liberation Theology in Latin America. Likewise, the US’s post-9/11 militarism was about many things, among them the reorganization of those right-wing Christians against what they identified as a greater existential threat than Liberation Theology: political Islam. Fisher should know this, as it was reported here, here, and here, among many other places.

      Eager to debunk Hersh, it’s Fisher who has fallen down the rabbit hole of imperial amnesia.

    • Seymour Hersh Article Alleges Cover-Up in Bin Laden Hunt - NYTimes.com
      http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/12/us/seymour-hersh-article-alleges-cover-up-in-bin-laden-hunt.html?ref=todayspap

      In one conceivable episode, Mr. Hersh writes that American intelligence officials were alerted to Bin Laden’s whereabouts by a Pakistani military officer who walked into the United States Embassy in Islamabad and was subsequently paid a reward and moved by the C.I.A. to the United States. The account told by the Obama administration after the raid — that the C.I.A. tracked down Bin Laden through the work of dogged analysts — was a ruse intended to protect the real informant, according to Mr. Hersh.

      It is a deception that the C.I.A. has employed before, claiming for years that it discovered that one of its own, Aldrich H. Ames, was passing intelligence to the Soviet Union through the work of a team of analysts. The truth that eventually emerged was that crucial evidence against Mr. Ames came from a Soviet spy working for the C.I.A.

      Yet other claims by Mr. Hersh would have required a cover-up extending from top American, Pakistani and Saudi officials down to midlevel bureaucrats.

      [...]

      Mr. Hersh is standing by his article. In a brief telephone interview on Monday, he said, “You can have your skepticism.”

      His manner was cheerful and breezy, and he seemed unfazed about the controversy his reporting has stirred up. It is not the first time that Mr. Hersh’s work has been met with hostility from the authorities, and he laughed loudly at the mention of the denials from the White House and others.

      “Those are classic nondenial denials,” he said, before rushing off to take a call from another reporter.

      [...]

      [...] Mr. Hersh’s story would probably have gained much less traction had it not been for the often contradictory details presented by the Obama administration after the raid, and the questions about it that remain unanswered.

    • Les révélations de Seymour Hersh sur l’assassinat de Ben Laden sont à prendre au sérieux
      12 mai 2015 | Par Thomas Cantaloube
      http://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/120515/les-revelations-de-seymour-hersh-sur-lassassinat-de-ben-laden-sont-prendre

      Le vétéran américain du journalisme d’investigation livre dans un long article une version différente de ce qui s’est passé en mai 2011 à Abbottabad, quand le leader d’Al-Qaïda a été tué par un commando américain. Son récit est crédible et informé, autant en tout cas que celui fourni jusqu’ici par la Maison Blanche.

    • « L’Assassinat d’Oussama ben Laden » par Seymour Hersh (3/4)
      Par Seymour Hersh pour la London Review of Books, le 10 mai 2015
      http://www.reopen911.info/News/2015/05/14/lassassinat-doussama-ben-laden-par-seymour-hersh-34
      Suite de la deuxième partie de l’article.

      ““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““
      L’Assassinat d’Oussama ben Laden (London Review of Books) - (4/4)
      http://www.legrandsoir.info/l-assassinat-d-oussama-ben-laden-london-review-of-books-4-4.html
      ou
      http://www.reopen911.info/News/2015/05/15/lassassinat-doussama-ben-laden-par-seymour-hersh-44

    • The Detail in Seymour Hersh’s Bin Laden Story That Rings True - Carlotta Gall
      http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/12/magazine/the-detail-in-seymour-hershs-bin-laden-story-that-rings-true.html

      On this count, my own reporting tracks with Hersh’s. Beginning in 2001, I spent nearly 12 years covering Pakistan and Afghanistan for The Times. (In his article, Hersh cites an article I wrote for The Times Magazine last year, an excerpt from a book drawn from this reporting.) The story of the Pakistani informer was circulating in the rumor mill within days of the Abbottabad raid, but at the time, no one could or would corroborate the claim. Such is the difficulty of reporting on covert operations and intelligence matters; there are no official documents to draw on, few officials who will talk and few ways to check the details they give you when they do.

      Two years later, when I was researching my book, I learned from a high-level member of the Pakistani intelligence service that the ISI had been hiding Bin Laden and ran a desk specifically to handle him as an intelligence asset. After the book came out, I learned more: that it was indeed a Pakistani Army brigadier — all the senior officers of the ISI are in the military — who told the C.I.A. where Bin Laden was hiding, and that Bin Laden was living there with the knowledge and protection of the ISI.

      […]

      I do not recall ever corresponding with Hersh, but he is following up on a story that many of us assembled parts of. The former C.I.A. officer Larry Johnson aired the theory of the informant — credited to “friends who are still active” — on his blog within days of the raid. And Hersh appears to have succeeded in getting both American and Pakistani sources to corroborate it. His sources remain anonymous, but other outlets such as NBC News have since come forward with similar accounts. Finally, the Pakistani daily newspaper The News reported Tuesday that Pakistani intelligence officials have conceded that it was indeed a walk-in who provided the information on Bin Laden. The newspaper names the officer as Brigadier Usman Khalid; the reporter is sufficiently well connected that he should be taken seriously.