Tag Archives: Pakistan

What did the PM know about bin Laden?

Pakistani media personnel and local residents gather outside the hideout of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden following his death by US Special Forces in a ground operation in Abbottabad on May 3, 2011. The bullet-riddled Pakistani villa that hid Osama bin Laden from the world was put under police control, as media sought to glimpse the debris left by the US raid that killed him. Bin Laden's hideout had been kept under tight army control after the dramatic raid by US special forces late May 1, 2011 in the affluent suburbs of Abbottabad, a garrison city 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Islamabad.  AFP PHOTO/ AAMIR QURESHI (Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Oh, how I wish I could be a fly on one of the White House walls when Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif comes for a visit with President Obama.

I would love to hear a conversation that goes something like this:

President Obama: Welcome, Mr. Prime Minister. But let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we? I know you weren’t in office on May 2, 2011 when our SEALs took out Osama bin Laden. But I have to ask, didn’t you get a full national security briefing from your predecessor when you took over?

Nawaz Sharif: Well, yes, Mr. President. Of course.

Obama: What did he tell you about bin Laden’s presence in Afghanistan, where our men killed him while he was hiding in plain sight in Abbottabad? Surely he knew bin Laden was there, right?

Sharif: I don’t know what you’re talking about …

Obama: Oh, stop right there. Everyone with half a brain in this country believes your government knew that bin Laden was in that large compound just a stone’s throw from that military academy. How could your intelligence folks have missed detecting his presence?

Sharif: We don’t snoop and spy on everyone and everything in our country.

Obama: Knock it off. This guy was the most wanted terrorist on the planet. The entire civilized world — and that include Pakistan — wanted him killed or captured. You operate a sophisticated intelligence network there.

Sharif: It can’t detect every person’s move.

Obama: But surely it can detect the movements of a man who stood 6 feet 5 inches tall and whose face has been plastered on TV screens around the world for a decade, ever since the 9/11 attacks.

Sharif: If you think our government knew of bin Laden’s presence, is that why you launched the raid in secret, without ever telling us you were invading our airspace?

Obama: Airspace … shmairspace, Nawaz. The bad guys invaded our airspace on 9/11 — and killed 3,000 innocent victims. Bin Laden took credit for doing that damage. Do I really care about airspace concerns? No. I wanted him dead and by God, we were intent on making sure we killed him.

Sharif: Well, back to your initial question. I wasn’t told anything about bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan. Even if I was told, I cannot disclose  national security secrets, not even to you.


Will this conversation occur when the Pakistani prime minister visits the White House on Oct. 22? Oh, probably not. Then again, not every conversation occurs when there’s media present.

I’m going to hope that Barack Obama presses his guest for some answers to the burning question: What did the Pakistanis know about Osama bin Laden and when did  they know it?

Pakistani PM to visit White House


SEAL turns into POTUS defender

Rob O’Neill angered me some months ago when he stepped forward to take credit for killing Osama bin Laden in May 2011.

Why? Because as a member of an elite Navy SEAL team that killed the notorious terrorist, he violated what I’ve always understood was an unwritten code: that the team came first and the men involved with the team didn’t seek publicity.

He broke the code.

Now he’s standing up for the commander in chief’s version of what happened on that dark night in Pakistan, refuting the claims made by journalist Seymour Hersh, who says President Obama “lied” to Americans when he announced bin Laden’s death.


Yahoo News reports: “O’Neill took particular issue with Hersh’s allegation that there was no firefight during the nighttime raid on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

“’Well I’m sure that my friends who got shot at and almost took a few bullets in the face through the doors would disagree,’ O’Neill said. ‘I saw Osama bin Laden standing on two feet, there were no [Inter-Services Intelligence] up there. I shot him in the head twice, and then I shot him again in the face while he was on the ground.’”

Who do you believe? Someone who took the word of a single, unnamed source or someone who actually was there, drawing down on Osama bin Laden?

Hersh’s account has been roundly criticized. He said Pakistan’s ISI spy network had been tipped off prior to the raid. The White House says it acted without notifying Pakistani officials.

I am inclined to take the White House account over Hersh’s version.

One of the SEALs who was there backs up the White House.

Until proven otherwise, that’s good enough for me.

Did the president really lie about bin Laden raid?

Are we now going to believe more than four years after the fact that President Obama lied to us about the details of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden?

Famed journalist Seymour Hersh says “yes.”


Pardon me, sir. I think I’ll stick with what was reported at the time of the raid.

Hersh asserts — citing a single unnamed source — that Obama didn’t tell the truth about what happened the night of May 2, 2011 when Navy SEALs killed bin Laden, hauled his body out of Pakistan, deposited it aboard the USS Carl Vinson, where sailors then “buried” bin Laden’s remains at sea.

The Pakistanis had a much greater role in the raid than the president said at the time, according to Hersh; the White House wanted to announce a drone strike took out bin Laden, Hersh writes; Obama had no way to explain to Americans what happened had the raid failed, Hersh asserts.

Of all the purported inconsistencies, the one I find least believable is the one about what the Pakistanis knew and how much they assisted in killing bin Laden.

If you’re a Pakistani intelligence official, or a leader of the Pakistani government, you would want the world to know you had a hand in taking out the world’s No. 1 terrorist. The White House said at the time that the SEALs killed bin Laden without Pakistan knowing about it. I continue to believe the SEAL team performed the act as it was announced by the president that evening.

And it takes four years to dig out the so-called “truth” about this raid?

I remain skeptical of these latest revelations.

Here’s the link to the report: Take a look.



Malala gets justice

Malala Yousafzi has gotten the justice she deserves … I hope.

Ten men who attacked the then-15-year-old child activist were sentenced in a Pakistani court to life in prison. Malala, who suffered a grievous gunshot wound to the head has recovered.

She’s gone on with her life and, oh by the way, winning the Nobel Peace Prize this past year for her work in advancing the cause of children in her native Pakistan.


The men who attacked here were Taliban terrorists — and, yes, I’ll call them “terrorists,” even though the White House declines to use that term to describe the monstrous men who align with the Taliban.

What troubles me, though, is that a Pakistani court has convicted these men. Why the concern? Pakistan hasn’t exactly been the most reliable U.S. ally in our fight against international terrorism. The Pakistanis haven’t committed themselves fully to the fight against the Taliban, al-Qaeda and now the Islamic State.

Remember, too, that Osama bin Laden was killed by Navy SEALs in May 2011 in his compound in the middle of a major Pakistani city.

Should we expect Malala’s assailants to spend the rest of their lives in prison?

The hope is that they will. The expectation, though, well … let’s just wait and see.

'Jihadi John' gets a name

Now we’re getting somewhere in the hunt for the guy seen in all those ISIL videos.

“Jihadi John” has been identified. The individual wearing all black reportedly is Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwaiti-born Briton who is known to come from a prosperous family; he earned a degree in computer programming. The world has seen this guy, heard his voice and assumed he’s carried out the gruesome beheadings of captives, some of whom were Americans and Brits.


British intelligence officials, naturally, aren’t confirming or denying this goon’s name. It came from The Washington Post, which likely has sources within the UK’s intelligence network.

If the guy comes from a well-to-do family, there likely will be pictures revealing his face released before too long.

A part of me believes the Brits and U.S. intelligence officials are looking for this guy as these words are being written. Another part of me understands the difficulty in finding him and, um, dealing with him once he’s located. Yes, we found Osama bin Laden hiding in plain sight in Pakistan, but that search took nearly a decade after 9/11 to complete. Our spooks located bin Laden and the commander in chief ordered the hit that was carried out by SEALs and CIA commandos.

Will Emwazi meet the same fate as bin Laden?

I surely hope so.


News flash: Pakistanis knew bin Laden was among 'em?

This must rank as perhaps the least-surprising item to come out of the Global War on Terror.

Pakistan’s intelligence apparatus likely knew Osama bin Laden was hiding in that country when he was killed in May 2011 by Navy SEALs and CIA spooks.


What’s more, they well could have know precisely where the world’s most wanted terrorist was hiding when the U.S. strike force landed in the middle of a moonless night in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The possible revelation comes from former Pakistani Lt. Gen. Asad Durrani, who once led ISI, Pakistan’s major intelligence agency.

The fact that bin Laden was holed up in a large compound so close to a military academy in the city just north of Islamabad has brought suspicion on Pakistan almost from the moment he was shot to death and carried out of Pakistan aboard a Special Forces helicopter.

Many skeptics in this country have wondered how bin Laden could have hidden in plain sight for as long as he did, how he was able to escape detection for a decade after the 9/11 attacks.

As MSN.com reported: “Asked whether it was possible for bin Laden to have lived in the town without the powerful ISI’s knowledge, Durrani said: ‘My assessment… was it is quite possible that they (the ISI) did not know, but it was more probable that they did.'”

ISI is known to be a crack intelligence outfit, with some seriously sophisticated sleuthing skills. Yet, bin Laden was going about his business inside that compound without anyone inside Pakistan ever knowing about it?

Yes, it stretches credulity — and it provides some more tough questions for American intelligence officials to ask of their so-called “allies” in this war on terror.


Massacre might have gained U.S. an ally

It is virtually impossible to find any glimmer of goodness in the massacre of school children by monstrous terrorists.

But the Taliban’s attack the other day in Peshawar, Pakistan on a military school that killed dozens of students might have produced a single — but critical — bit of positive news.

It might have delivered to the United States a critical ally in its war on terror. Welcome to the fight, Pakistan.


Sure, Pakistani leaders have said they’re on board with fighting terrorists. Their actions — or non-actions — though, tell a different story.

Terrorists have been given refuge in the remote regions of the country bordering Afghanistan. Military and law enforcement experts keep telling us about the difficulty of navigating through the region, that it’s impossible to track down and capture or kill the bad guys. However, as the PBS link attached here explains, the Peshawar attack has shocked and stunned Pakistanis at every level.

And how in he world does one explain that the late Osama bin Laden — the world’s most notorious terrorist — had been “hiding in plain sight” in the middle of a major Pakistani city? In May 2011, though, Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces pilots and CIA commandos took care of that by hunting down bin Laden and killing him in his compound.

The Pakistani response to that raid? They threw up their hands as if to say, “Who knew?”

The Taliban’s horrific act well might spur the Pakistanis now to do more than just say they’re in the game. They’ve lost many of their young people in a horrifying attack perpetrated by a despicable band of killers.

It’s time to actually join the fight.


Monsters strike once again

Do you suppose the madmen who opened fire on a military school in Pakistan would say their attack was a “proportionate response” to the deaths of Taliban killers?

If they do, then they’ve just demonstrated for all the world to see the ruthlessness of this enemy.


Gunmen opened fire in a Peshawar, Pakistan school, killing at least 132 people — most of whom were students.

The nine killers themselves were killed by Pakistani military and police after a nine-hour gun battle.

I guess there can be no limit to the hideousness of this cabal of killers. They once ran the government in Afghanistan and they’ve been mounting terrorist attacks there and throughout the region ever since their ouster in 2001 right after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

The list of ghastly incidents of violence is too numerous to recount here. The latest attack on the military school is just one more example of how we must fight this enemy.

We must keep fighting them with extreme vigor — and prejudice.


Terror group won't die

Al-Qaida is “stronger than ever,” says the Republican chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee.

Interesting, eh?

The infamous terrorist group has been seen in a large gathering in Yemen, apparently getting past U.S. intelligence officials whose job is to ensure that these gatherings don’t occur.

Chairman Mike Rogers is alarmed, as he and all of us should be.


It never has been assumed that al-Qaida would wither and die the moment those U.S. Navy SEALs gunned down 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May 2011. You kill one leader, and others would surface to succeed him. That’s been the thought all along.

The troubling part of this is that al-Qaida seemingly is strong enough to appear to be plotting major attacks against the United States. The video of the Yemen meeting shows terrorist group leaders meeting in the open in plain view. Others’ faces are blurred, but the meeting is large and is occurring right under the nose of U.S. drone aircraft supposedly on the hunt for these very types of terror group gatherings.

The fight will go on, regardless of whether our troops are fighting in Afghanistan; that military engagement is scheduled to conclude at the end of the year.

However, our “war on terror” must continue vigorously — and with vengeance and extreme prejudice.