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  • US had tacit consent of Pakistan military for OBL raid, claims book

    Obama administration had tacit consent of Pakistan military, claims book

    Anwar Iqbal

    WASHINGTON: The Obama administration seems to have acquired a “tacit consent” of the Pakistani military for the May 2 raid in Abbottabad that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, claims a new book released in the United States on Wednesday.

    The book – “Leading from Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him” – also claimed that in August 2010, the ISI offered valuable information about bin Laden’s hideout to the CIA.

    On page 116, author Richard Miniter disputes US President Barack Obama’s claim that he took a great political risk by ordering a strike into a compound near the Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul.

    “Far from taking a risk, there are indications that a cover story had been developed with the Pakistani military and that Mr Obama had their tacit consent for the mission,” he writes.

    The author, a former reporter with The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, argues that “the Obama administration’s account of Pakistan’s role (in the operation) is misleading and incomplete.”

    The author also claims that Pakistan Army chief may have been briefed in December 2010 about the operation, five months before the night-time raid on bin Laden’s concrete castle. “Pakistan was more involved in the bin Laden operation than Obama’s team admitted,” he argues.

    Giving a “never-before-reported account” of the Abbottabad raid, the author writes: “When the CIA revealed that an ISI colonel had contacted the CIA in Islamabad and offered information about bin Laden, a debate followed.

    “Was this a secret sign that the head of the ISI was pointing out bin Laden’s hiding place or was the colonel actually the patriot who hated extremism that he claimed to be?”

    Although Mr Miniter does not explain what information did the ISI provide, he notes that “the CIA found bin Laden’s hiding place within a month of the colonel’s visit” to its Islamabad office.

    An official with “second hand knowledge of the White House discussion” on the operation tells the author that “there was talking about devising a cover story that would allow Pakistan to be helpful while keeping its leaders form political harm.”

    The story was that bin Laden was killed in a drone strike and that the US later sent in a SEAL team to recover the body.

    “That was believed to be less politically harmful than a commando team treading on Pakistan’s oil,” told the author.

    According to this official, when the Pakistan Army chief was alerted in December 2010, “no concrete facts about the operation were passed on, but an informal approval was sought.”

    When A US helicopter crashed into bin Laden’s compound, the cover story was abandoned. The decision “completely … Pakistan” by leaving it alone to deal with the consequences of a hugely unpopular operation.


    The author says that while he could not be independently confirm the information, “it has the virtue of explaining why the Obama administration did not press to end military aid to Pakistan when bin Laden was found 800 yards from its officer training facility.”

    The book also gives intriguing details about the walled-compound where bin Laden was hiding, which CIA analysts estimated cost well over $1 million to build. It had no telephone, Internet, cable-television, or electrical wires attached to it.

    A CIA team gained access to Pakistan’s official building-permit and ownership records. The paperwork indicated that the building permit for this specially constructed enclave was issued in 2005 and that bin Laden’s courier, Omar al-Kuwaiti, was listed as the owner, under the name Arshad Khan. His brother Abrar was listed as a co-owner.

    “The record held another surprise. The land for the bin Laden lair seemed to have been carved out of property owned by the Kakul Military Academy,” Mr Miniter claims.

    The book also disputes Obama administration’s claim that the al-Qaeda leader was killed in a forty-minute fire-fight. “Few shots were fired and the mission was completed in less than twenty minutes.”

    As the elite US commando team, known as the SEALs, entered the compound, Omar al-Kuwaiti emerged with an AK-47 and was instantly felled by a single shot. The bullet passed through him and killed his wife, who was standing a few feet behind.

    His brother Abrar would die within a minute when he, too, stepped out into the night with an automatic weapon.

    The book also shows that while the Pakistani military claimed to have no knowledge of the operation until after it was over, OBL’s neighbours were knocking at the door as soon as the raid began.

    “With the gunshots and the helicopter crash, the neighbours appeared. In perfect Pashto, (a CIA) translator acted the art of a Pakistani policeman. “Go back to your houses. There is a security operation under way,” he said.

    Although the Pakistan Military Academy was only a 1,000 yards away from the compound, no military personnel came to enquire what was happening, not even after a helicopter crashed.

    At 4:18 p.m. Washington time, the SEAL’s finally reached bin Laden. Within two minutes bin Laden, his son and his protectors were dead.”

    The book also claims that key clues to bin Laden’s hideout, especially the identity of the courier who was his main link to the outside world, were first uncovered in the Bush years.

    The CIA found bin Laden’s hideout in the first few months of the Obama administration. “Yet it took the president almost two years to make a decision to act on this valuable intelligence as he deliberated and delayed,” says the author.

    “Mr Obama was often disengaged as the bin Laden operation took shape; he left critical decisions to the then-CIA director Leon Panetta, then-Secretary of Defence Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Obama feared taking responsibility for a risky raid that might go tragically wrong.”

    A single call to al-Kuwaiti, lasting less than a minute, gave him away in 2009. America’s electronic sleuths were tracking al-Kuwaiti through his mobile phone. A technical team mapped the locations of every phone al-Kuwaiti made a call to or received a call from. It showed red dots all over Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    A covert ground team eventually spotted al-Kuwaiti himself in the Bilal Town section of Abbottabad. He liked to roam the busy streets of Abbottabad in a white sport-utility vehicle, with a distinctive red rhino emblazoned on its spare tire cover. It made him easy to follow.

    Within weeks al-Kuwaiti was tracked repeatedly entering and exiting a mysterious walled compound. Inside the protective walls was a three-story tower with concrete-block privacy walls screenings it balconies.

    Mr Panetta had previously ordered surveillance by satellite and drone aircraft. In April 2009, a ground team also began an intense surveillance.

    What if it was not OBL? “It does not matter,” Mr Panetta responded, “if it isn’t bin Laden, then it’s another very senior al-Qaeda leader.”

    Initially, a drone or a B-2 bomber cruise missile, Mrs Clinton and Mr Gates both supported but another closed Obama aide Valerie Jarrett, opposed.

    An undercover ground team was sent into Abbottabad, and they soon learned there was another family living with the couriers and that the composition of that family matched bin Laden’s.

    The covert CIA team tried various ruses to learn the identity of the compound residents, including free door-to-door polio immunisation.

    President Obama realised that an air strike could kill non-combatants, provoking enormous outrage in Pakistan.

    In January 2010, President Obama ordered Vice Admiral Bill McRaven, a former Navy Seal, ran the Joint Special Operations Command, to develop a range of military operations. The SEALs’ Team Six was formed but commander was not informed bin Laden was the target.

    At a March 14, 2011 White House Situation Room, President Obama decided Pakistan should be kept in the dark while America made its plans.

    Bombing was ruled out. “All it has to be is about 1,000 yards and it hits the Pakistan Military Academy,” said a senior CIA official. Also, bombing would not produce conclusive evidence that bin Laden was dead.

    President Obama’s national security team was particularly worried about Pakistan. The allied government was always vocally opposed to operations on its soil, in that nation’s press at least. Al-Qaeda and other extremist groups remained popular in Pakistan and parties allied with them ideologically usually commanded more than one-third of the vote in elections.

    In private, Pakistan usually asked for some wiggle-room to deny knowing about a drone operation for internal political reasons.

    Obama administration had tacit consent of Pakistan military, claims book | DAWN.COM

    =============

    Originally posted by zraver View Post
    Nah, just his house in a military city, the way joint ops with the ISI tended to go bust, and the doctor put in jail.... If it walks like a duck, likes water and goes quack its a duck.
    The above account would appear to somewhat contradict the narrative you and many others have chosen to cling to.
    Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
    https://twitter.com/AgnosticMuslim

  • #2
    Originally posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
    The above account would appear to somewhat contradict the narrative you and many others have chosen to cling to.
    Two key words there: "would appear".

    There's no independent confirmation of that story. It wouldn't surprise me if a few Pakistani officials (military, political, ISI etc) were providing information on Bin Laden's whereabouts.

    The fact remains that Bin Laden was residing roughly 1000 yards from the Pakistani Military Academy for FIVE F-CKING YEARS.

    Any other straws that you'd care to cling to?
    “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
    ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
      Two key words there: "would appear".

      There's no independent confirmation of that story.
      Is there any confirmation of the allegations that the Pakistani government, military and/or intelligence agencies were aware of OBL's location prior to the US raid?

      Why ask for 'confirmation' of Pakistan innocence and blindly believe in her guilt?
      It wouldn't surprise me if a few Pakistani officials (military, political, ISI etc) were providing information on Bin Laden's whereabouts.

      The fact remains that Bin Laden was residing roughly 1000 yards from the Pakistani Military Academy for FIVE F-CKING YEARS.
      So? Is it standard procedure in the US to do random house searches of every residence within a certain radius of West Point every so often?
      Any other straws that you'd care to cling to?
      No more than the ones that allow some to cling to the narrative of 'Pakistan Army/ISI was hiding OBL'.

      The only thing supporting the narrative you cling to is speculation based on location, not even any circumstantial evidence.
      Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
      https://twitter.com/AgnosticMuslim

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
        Is there any confirmation of the allegations that the Pakistani government, military and/or intelligence agencies were aware of OBL's location prior to the US raid?

        Why ask for 'confirmation' of Pakistan innocence and blindly believe in her guilt?
        Confirmation? From the government of Pakistan? Yeah, I'm sure that'll be forthcoming, just as soon as they confirm that Lashkar-e-Taiba's little vacation jaunt to Mumbai in 2008 was supported by the ISI.

        Wake up and smell the coffee. Bin Laden wasn't hiding out in some modest shack somewhere in the Pakistani badlands.

        Either Pakistan's military and internal security apparatus was at least tacitly allowing Bin Laden to reside in Bilal Town or they are so incompetent and bumbling, that they had no clue he was living there for five years, as to defy all reason. So which is it?


        Originally posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
        So? Is it standard procedure in the US to do random house searches of every residence within a certain radius of West Point every so often?
        First of all, you're comparing the United States to Pakistan? Really? Wow...just wow.
        Could you have picked two countries that were more different?

        Second, if an out-of-place compound on the scale of Bin Laden's suddenly popped up a thousand yards from West Point, I'm fairly certain there'd be some inquires, even of the most idle and casual kind, made about the residents...especially with their clannish secretive nature.

        It's this new thing all the kids are doing called "Basic Counter-Intelligence".


        Originally posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
        No more than the ones that allow some to cling to the narrative of 'Pakistan Army/ISI was hiding OBL'.

        The only thing supporting the narrative you cling to is speculation based on location, not even any circumstantial evidence.
        Yeah, such a minor thing, location. Well inside Pakistan, in a major army town, down the street from the Pakistan Military Academy.

        Irrelevant. Totally irrelevant.
        “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
        ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

        Comment


        • #5
          Author Richard Miniter has been accused of factual errors in his account of Obama's handling of the OBL matter.

          For what it's worth keeping in mind that this site takes special aim at conservatives.

          Miniter's Bin Laden "Bombshell" Is Inaccurate By A Full Year | Blog | Media Matters for America
          To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

          Comment


          • #6
            All this information and Pakistan could not do the raid herself ...

            Comment


            • #7
              AM, your Dawn article is taking the quotes from the book and adding its own commentary to it in addition to the quotes.

              Remove this side commentary, and only look at the quotes, and it's actually nothing ground breaking, except maybe for the part where it states Osama's compound was actually on Military property.



              According to the book, as the CIA found the Abbottabad compound where bin Laden lived along with his family members and started researching on the property, they found out that the land was carved out from the military academy compound.

              “The records held another surprise. The land for the bin Laden lair seemed to have been carved out of property owned by the Kakul Military Academy, Pakistan’s answer to Sandhurst and West Point,” Miniter claimed.

              “The bin Laden compound was akin to an isosceles triangle, carved out of the property of the Kakul Military Academy, Pakistan’s West Point. The campus’s main building sat some eight hundred yards from bin Laden’s castle.

              “The triangular compound was bordered with concrete walls ranging in height from ten to eighteen feet. The main building, a three-story tower, housed the arch terrorist, his wives, and their children,” he wrote.
              That is news.

              The following, we already knew;

              The book also claims that army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani may have been briefed by the US on its operation to kill bin Laden, some five months in advance.

              “Pakistan’s Army chief of staff may have been briefed in December 2010, five months before the night-time raid on bin Laden’s concrete castle. Far from taking a risk, there are indications that a cover story had been developed with the Pakistani military and that (Barack) Obama had their tacit consent for the mission,” claims Miniter, a former reporter with ‘The Wall Street Journal’ and ‘The Washington Post’

              Bin Laden was killed by US Navy SEALs inside his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan in May 2011.

              The book also says a colonel in the Pakistan’s spy agency ISI had provided vital help to the CIA in tracing bin Laden.

              A colonel in Pakistan’s feared intelligence service, the Inter-Services Institute or ISI, provided vital help in locating Bin Laden when he walked into the CIA’s Islamabad station in August 2010,” says the book.

              “In a never-before-reported account, Pakistan was more involved in the bin Laden operation than Obama’s team admitted. When the CIA revealed that an ISI colonel had contacted the CIA in Islamabad and offered information about bin Laden, a debate followed,” it says.

              Was this a secret sign that the head of the ISI himself was pointing out bin Laden’s hiding place or was the colonel actually the patriot who hated extremism that he claimed to be? Whatever the motivation, the CIA found bin Laden’s hiding place within a month of the colonel’s visit,” the book claims.

              “There was talk about devising a cover story that would allow Pakistan to be helpful while keeping its leaders from political harm. The story, according to an official with second-hand knowledge of the White House discussion, was that bin Laden was killed in a drone strike and that the US later sent in a team to recover the body. That was believed to be less politically harmful than a commando team treading on Pakistan’s soil,” Minter says.

              “According to this official, Pakistan’s Army chief of staff was alerted in December 2010, months before the operation. No concrete facts about the operation were passed on, but an informal approval was sought,” he writes.

              “When the SEAL helicopter crashed into bin Laden’s compound, the cover story was abandoned,” the official said.

              The story could not be independently confirmed, but it has the virtue of explaining why the Obama administration did not press to end military aid to Pakistan when bin Laden was found eight hundred yards from its officer training facility,” Minter wrote.
              According to the book it was on March 14, 2011 during a situation room meeting that President Obama decided that Pakistan “should be kept in dark” while America made its plans.


              So according to this; a Pakistani Colonel, claiming to be acting alone, passed on information helping to find Bin Laden. The book itself puts a question mark on whether the Colonel was acting on the ISI's behest or alone. Clearly not an official ISI brief to the CIA. It states that the US approached Kayani for a tacit approval for a raid within Pakistani territory, followed up with a cover story, but it also mentions that no details of the Abbottabad operation were passed on to Pakistan.

              This is nothing significant.

              We are already well aware of Bush having this 'tacit approval' of Pakistan to launch a raid against Osama, whenever he would be located.

              My guess is, they never expected America to strike so deep.
              Last edited by Tronic; 23 Aug 12,, 05:01.
              Cow is the only animal that not only inhales oxygen, but also exhales it.
              -Rekha Arya, Former Minister of Animal Husbandry

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
                The above account would appear to somewhat contradict the narrative you and many others have chosen to cling to.
                This to me appears a white wash.

                Explain why you went after your citizens that assisted the US in the OBL raid, if all the while you were in cahoots with the US.

                Why the trumped up charges against those citizens.

                Let me see you convince Pari :)

                FWIW i used this same line of thought soon after the raid as I could not imagine how the CIA could find a needle in a haystack of 180 million. I would find that position untenable in light of developing events in the weeks after.

                It became apparent that the US had over the years constituted their own informer network inside Pakistan. The only Pak contribution in this effort was to look the other way when the raid occurred. Offer token protests after and claim non involvement.

                Naturally, its far worse for the Pak administration to be seen aiding the US in this effort than harbouring OBL. I'd expect strenuous denials from them about the claims in this book.
                Last edited by Double Edge; 23 Aug 12,, 12:08.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The White House has labeled Mr. Minter's account "an utter fabrication"...

                  Source: USAToday

                  It also doesn't even remotely jibe with an excellent book I read a few months ago:

                  SEAL Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden
                  Chuck Pfarrer / St. Martins Press / 2011 / 240pp

                  Mr. Pfarrer is a former element commander of SEAL Team Six. For this book he interviewed Adm. William McRaven (Commander/JSOC), Geronimo Mission Commander Scott Kerr, members of the Army Night Stalkers (insertion/extraction) and the participating elements of SEAL Team Six.
                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                    Explain why you went after your citizens that assisted the US in the OBL raid, if all the while you were in cahoots with the US. Why the trumped up charges against them.
                    Indeed. The Pakistani doctor (CIA asset) who solicited the compound residents (free flu shots) is still rotting in a Pakistani prison.
                    sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      AM,

                      A piece of real estate belonging to the military is used to construct a building which in turn houses the most wanted terrorist on earth and the same military is unaware who lives in? Are you really convinced yourself?
                      sigpicAnd on the sixth day, God created the Field Artillery...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Maj, the best place to hide things is right in front of people's noses.

                        On a serious note Pakistan can't have it both ways, acting full scale state when it comes to relations with other nations, while openly admitting they are unaware wtf is going on it's own turf (Abbottabad, Naval Base, Taliban...).
                        No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

                        To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Doktor View Post
                          Maj, the best place to hide things is right in front of people's noses.

                          On a serious note Pakistan can't have it both ways, acting full scale state when it comes to relations with other nations, while openly admitting they are unaware wtf is going on it's own turf (Abbottabad, Naval Base, Taliban...).
                          Responses to the rest of the posts later - so where does that place the US when it comes to incidents like the WTC bombings, 9/11 attacks, Fort Hood shootings etc. etc.
                          Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
                          https://twitter.com/AgnosticMuslim

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Deltacamelately View Post
                            AM,

                            A piece of real estate belonging to the military is used to construct a building which in turn houses the most wanted terrorist on earth and the same military is unaware who lives in? Are you really convinced yourself?
                            Real estate belonging to the military was allegedly sold - the OBL compound was not the only construction in that area, and certainly not the newest one, so you can't argue that the real estate was sold specifically for that compound alone.

                            Second, if you believe the account about the real estate, then why ignore the part where the ISI/PA was also providing intel that assisted the US in locating OBL?
                            Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
                            https://twitter.com/AgnosticMuslim

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
                              Responses to the rest of the posts later - so where does that place the US when it comes to incidents like the WTC bombings, 9/11 attacks, Fort Hood shootings etc. etc.
                              Shit happens everywhere, you can go with the same argument about Spain, UK, France... The thing is what happens afterwards. How the state reacts on such events.

                              And BTW, in none of the mentioned countries, armed formations don't penetrate their borders.
                              No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

                              To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

                              Comment

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