Sunday, September 10, 2006

Bin Laden Trail 'Stone Cold'

* there's a remarkable piece of reporting (apart from they got a date wrong) on the front page of the wapo today:
"Bin Laden Trail 'Stone Cold'
Today, however, no one person is in charge of the overall hunt for bin Laden with the authority to direct covert CIA operations to collect intelligence and to dispatch JSOC units. Some counterterrorism officials find this absurd. "There's nobody in the United States government whose job it is to find Osama bin Laden!" one frustrated counterterrorism official shouted. "Nobody!""
* there's also a remarkable piece on the front page of Murdoch's broadsheet The Australian (which is probably the best paper in the country):
"THE US will intensify the hunt for Osama bin Laden after al-Qa'ida taunted the West yesterday with a video of the fugitive meeting the suicide hijackers of the 9/11 terror attacks.
But the footage provides no proof that the world's most wanted terrorist, who has not been heard from since October 2004, is still alive."

that's either some really bad reporting, or a tacit admission that most of the 'tapes' are bollox.

meanwhile, damien sez:
Nice piece over at WUFYS on where the Osama tapes come from.


damien said...

THe Australian bit is interesting. On 8 Sept they ran a major article by Paul Kelly talking up the 'war on terror' and making clear to Aussie readers that bin Laden really is the enemy. Their editorial (9 Sept) said pretty much the same thing and did a bucket job on 9/11 conspiracy theorists to boot - 9/11 was due to bin Laden and nobody else. Their take on the recent video:

To commemorate the fifth anniversary of the attack, the Arabic al-Jazeera television network this week aired a video showing bin Laden reportedly meeting some of the September 11 masterminds. Two of the 9/11 attackers, Wael al-Shihri and Hamza al-Ghamdi, were shown presenting their taped "wills". If any were needed, the video provides further proof that the 2001 attacks were part of a calculated and long-term campaign against the West.

...seems to support the tape.

Anyhow, I wrote several blog postings both for the Kelly article and their editorial. I regularly get published there, but not this time. It seems the fix is in to support US foreign policy. My main letter was disputing 9/11 as an exclusively bin Laden effort, quoting Sen.Bob Graham on the participation of a "sovereign foreign govt" in 9/11 (see here). It was a short piece, quoting sources, that should have been published (they posted 33 others!). It's quite clear they were not going to acknowledge any 'inconvenient truths'. The week before they called all their opponents Nazis and Jew-haters. Don't get your hopes up about The Oz, Lukery.

Kathleen said...

The 9/11 attacks began the day Busholini mouthed his oath of office and then sent a memo to the director of the FBI, ordering him to lighten up on Bin Laden.

This memo was reported in the WSJ, then in Between The Lines, 10 most under reported stories of 2001, then in John Dean's book, Worse Than Watergate.

If the first thing you do when you park your buns in the Oval Office and take over the defense of our country from Bill Clinton, is to call off the FBI from looking for Bin Laden, then why would anyone expect him to find him now?

They let 9/11 happen or worse. It's that simple. What other possible reason could Busholini have had for doing that?

Ron Brynaert said...

Who told Cameron Stewart and Geoff Elliot that the search has been stepped upd?

There's not one fucking "officials say" in the first two paragraphs and the rest of the article never addresses that "exclusive."

However, the Washington Post article does claim near the end that improvements have been made etc etc with regards to the hunt. But not because a tape.

It's absolute bullshit to claim that a five year old tape has intensified the search and not provide any evidence or quotes for the assertion.

lukery said...

Ron - i used the term 'remarkable reporting' to describe both articles - although i didnt mean the same thing in both cases. my bad. i was not being flattering in the case of The Australian.

fwiw re 'stepped up' - the same thing was also unsourced in the WaPo: "the CIA has sharply increased the number of intelligence officers and assets devoted to the pursuit of bin Laden"

lukery said...

kathleen - thnx for that. i kinda only half knew that.

lukery said...

damien - that Graham piece is in PressForTruth (altho they dont quite capture the significance very well)