2011 May 08 Sunday
The Unsecret Trail To Bin Laden

Does it hurt future US intelligence operations that the key steps to Bin Laden's death are detailed in news reports?

One day last year, a trusted courier for Osama bin Laden answered a phone call that might have been wholly unremarkable except for one thing — the National Security Agency was apparently listening in.

Isn't this useful information for terrorists? Also, if it took the US government almost 10 years to find the bastard then doesn't it need to protect what small advantages it has? Really, it it takes 9+ years to find 1 guy who is living in a conspicuous building (barbed wire, CCTV cameras, high walls) down the street from the Pakistani military academy then the budgets of the NSA, CIA, etc require enormous outlays per accomplishment.

We get to hear an intercepted phone conversation with Bin Laden's courier Arshad Khan (Abu Ahmad al-Kuwait).

First they turned up al-Kuwaiti’s family, who were still living in the Arabian Gulf. With the discovery of his real family name, the high-tech sleuths of the National Security Agency began monitoring their communications and brought in satellites, unmanned drones and telephone eavesdropping. Then the breakthrough came.

“Where have you been? We’ve missed you. What’s going on in your life? And what are you doing now?,” inquired an old friend of the courier one day in a catch-up telephone call.

I even learned from that article that one of the Navy SEALs, who need to keep their identities secret, is 6 feet tall.

Interrogation results are supposed to have been helpful.

It is widely reported that the detained 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed gave his US interrogators the pseudonym of a man he described as Osama bin Laden’s most trusted courier, whose whereabouts were tracked last fall to a fortress-like compound in Abbottabad city, some 75 miles north of the capital Islamabad.

An Al Qaeda guy captured in Iraq gave up the name of Bin Laden's courier.

Then in 2004, top al-Qaida operative Hassan Ghul was captured in Iraq. Ghul told the CIA that al-Kuwaiti was a courier, someone crucial to the terrorist organization. In particular, Ghul said, the courier was close to Faraj al-Libi, who replaced Mohammed as al-Qaida’s operational commander.

So the Iraq war eventually led to the death of Bin Laden.

Update: Here's another contrarian take on the death of Bin Laden: Ferdinand Bardamu is mad that we let our "ally" Pakistan hide Bin Laden and we were so slow to find him. It certainly illustrates the limits to American power. But then so do the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the Libya stalemate, and our large trade deficit.

Update II: Did Leon Panetta manage to pull off the operation to kill Bin Laden in spite of Valerie Jarrett's opposition and Obama's reluctance? We did this thing in spite of the President and one of his favorite advisors?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2011 May 08 07:22 PM  Terrorists Western Response

Lono said at May 9, 2011 8:59 AM:

"Does it hurt future US intelligence operations that the key steps to Bin Laden's death are detailed in news reports?"

Umm.. not if it is all Bull S**t - which it most certainly is!

Let's not be gullible - Govt.'s lie - ours does it now more than ever - of course it makes zero sense to release important secret strategic info - that's part of why this doesn't even begin to pass the sniff test.

(as if disposing of the evidence immediately at sea wasn't enough of a F-ing GIANT red flag)

I suggest the uninitiated take a look at this excellent analysis below from former Reagan Administration Treasury official Dr. Paul Craig Roberts.

Osama bin Laden’s Useful Death:


Let's try and hold our Democratic Republican Govt. to some standard of accountability while we still can, eh?

Lou Pagnucco said at May 9, 2011 10:08 AM:

Unfortunately, many still resent the government's promotion of virtuous, inspirational falsehoods - and censorship of dispiriting, disillusioning facts. But, could a stable society even exist if news/history were true? To wit ---

Today Antiwar.com points out that the serious enemy-vacuum needs to filled quickly -
"It’s All About Pakistan: America’s latest villain – and future victim"

Israel Shamir pointed out that WikiLeaks may have leaked some relevant, ignored, intriguing memos -
"US Knew Where Osama Was Since 2005"

no i don't said at May 9, 2011 11:46 AM:

10 years to find Osama with all this technology?? U.S. "intelligence" must've been doing something wrong.

I really wonder if WikiLeaks is really going to bring out some hard news and revelations on this issue or just the usual wimp-gossip-embarrassing "news" that everybody can guess or hear at the nearest laundromat.

C'mon WikiLeaks, you really have to put a little more "caffeine" in your "revelations" in order to ger half an awe from the world.

sabril said at May 10, 2011 2:15 AM:

I agree with Lono. . . you can be pretty confident that the story of how bin Laden was found has had important details withheld and/or altered.

no i don't said at May 10, 2011 2:41 PM:

"Osama bin Laden has been killed"

Where's the body?? Oh I remember, they trew it really quickly into the ocean, right?

"Osama bin Laden has been killed"

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Evidence like, hmmm, maybe... THE BODY, for example.

What are we fucken idiots? There's no Osama bin Laden, nor was there any in the past, other than a character created only as an idea; just like people are saying all over Pakistan, and the rest of the world.

Lono said at May 10, 2011 3:05 PM:

no i don't,

Totally Agreed!

Also - expert analysis of the "home videos" found show that the nose and ears do not seem to match up properly with known verified video of Bin Laden from before the 9/11 attacks.

(they also don't even seem very close to the layman either)

I continue to be shocked by how the American people are not willing to put this "case" to the same professional scrutiny we would expect from any normal murder case.

(didn't the pseudo-science of modern TV crime drama's teach them anything!?!!)

The group suspension of disbelief is amazing!

Jeff Maylor said at May 11, 2011 5:07 AM:

Who are these creeps from infowars with their Reptile people nonsense? They are like low IQ children who think they understand the world and insist on taking over every venue they crawl into. Shoo!

As to the question, yes, Obama and his team weigh the importance of national security versus and political gain ... and guess which sides wins!

Lono said at May 11, 2011 8:43 AM:


As a Mensan I find your ad-hominem attack to be laughable.

Infowars and Alex Jones (an investigative reporter exposing government waste and corruption for decades) have no association with the lunatic fringe theory regarding Reptile people.

Please take your straw-man arguments elsewhere.

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

- Benjamin Franklin (1775)

no i don't said at May 11, 2011 11:42 AM:

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

I'll second that.

The populace is no more than a poor flock of ducks frightened for 10 years, now gathered 'round the pond trying to fathom into the motives and whereabouts of a decoy...

People ought to read Carl Sagan's "Demon Hunted World" in order to get rid of all that dogma -whether religious or political. There's a baloney detection kit that can be very useful to anybody.

Demolition Man said at May 11, 2011 5:28 PM:

In addition to the duration of the hunt (9 + years), the global war with the war triggered by Bin Laden cost us astronomical blood and treasure.



Ages 18-21 -- 28.2% (1,325) of the deaths
Ages 22-24 -- 23.7% (1,108) of the deaths
Ages 25-30 -- 25.6% (1,198) of the deaths
Ages 31-35 -- 10.4% (486) of the deaths
Over 35 -- 12.1% (566) of the deaths

30,490 U.S. service members have been wounded due to combat actions in Iraq and 2,309 in Afghanistan (32,799 total).
The Army experienced 22,948 (70.0%) of those casualties, the Marine Corps 8,721 (26.6%), the Navy 656 (2%), and the Air Force 474 (1.4%).


Separately, the estimated cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is estimated to be over 1.19 trillion dollars:


I believe that these wars significantly contributed to the economic crisis and unemployment that we are experiencing because we were forced to reduce investments in productive long term activities and we just paid for the war with borrowed money. Thus we won at most a pyrric victory, and in retrospect I believe that Al Qaeda calculated this outcome from the beginning, and their original plan was to ruin the US economy with this protracted war, and they are winning. The only way out for the United States, is to start a Bronx Project for energy independence, so that the foreign trade deficit is mitigated.

Jeff Maylor said at May 11, 2011 7:24 PM:

Lono, what would being a Mensan have to do with whether or not you take offense to a so-called ad-hominem? You just wanted to mention you are a "Mensan". Alex Jones is a joke. He floats bizarre unsubstantiated conspiracy theories and sells a bunch of ripoff Survivalist stuff on his website. The very fact he has to distance himself from Lizard People theories (if he does) shows how far off the deep end he really is. I know for a fact he floats strange "Satanic" theories to explain world events. There is a common thread among a certain unstable element in our society that runs through Alex Jones fans, Lyndon LaRouche acolytes and sundry other loudmouths that need to be called out.

He is just a cheap carnival barker, but what's annoying about him and those like him is that he takes up media space that should be devoted to a serious critique of power.

Davison said at May 11, 2011 7:41 PM:

Ignore this Jeff Maylor character. He shows up on HBD and hard right blogs to concern troll. He's either some kind of disinfo agent or a patriotard. In other words, he's completely worthless and has nothing to say. He's just an annoying concern troll.

Lono said at May 11, 2011 9:43 PM:



I always find it boorish when any forum participant anywhere on the net attacks the messenger instead of intelligently debating the message.

Thanks for the heads up!

Jeff Maylor said at May 12, 2011 1:48 AM:

No one should debate Lyndon LaRouche, Alex Jones, David Ickes or any of their followers. They are an opportunistic infection that jump on alternative venues and attempt to hijack them. But they should be called out as cranks and, in fact, this is being done more and more. It is rude for you to post links to your bizarre conspiracy sites when the men are trying to have a serious conversation. Please go away.

Jeff Maylor said at May 12, 2011 1:54 AM:

Davinson are you really so dense as to think the government pays people to monitor and post to sites that have 10 to 15 comments at most? If there are any "disinformation agents" then surely they are over at Huffington Post or Free Republic or some site that gets thousands of comments a day. It is wonderful to have alternative sites where people can intelligent discuss HBD issues, and it is sickening to have it interrupted by people who offer Lizard People theories as the cause of human events. Oh but wait! Maybe this is all part of a false flag operation! Go back and read your kindergarden level espionage books and leave intelligent discussion to the grown-ups.

Lou Pagnucco said at May 12, 2011 2:36 PM:

Former Colin Powell Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson told MSNBC’s Ed Schultz Wednesday that President George W. Bush wasn’t interested in bringing Osama bin Laden to justice.

“I don’t think they really wanted to get bin Laden,” Wilkerson said...


But, this is from a guy who has impugned America's (and Colin Powell's) motives, maligned the Bush-Regime, implied that the war was not fought entirely for U.S. interests, said evidence of Iraq's weapons was fabricated, ....

So his honesty should certainly not be taken for granted.

Randall Parker said at May 12, 2011 9:29 PM:

Demolition Man,

Since trauma treatment has improved so much the ratio of injured to dead for American soldiers is much higher than it used to be. So your numbers for dead have some multiple of people coming back with brain damage, lost limbs, damaged peripheral nerves, and damaged organs. Those costs are probably more than the military equipment and fuel usage in the long run.

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