These are my links for August 14th from 12:49 to 20:46:
- Iran vows to protect nuclear scientists after assassinations – Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi announced last week that the regime will increase security around its research staff, according to the Iranian news agency. This is said to be a first step in a series of measures to protect Iran's nuclear scientists.
The announcement is a first indicator that the regime is concerned about the fact that four key individuals involved in the development of the Iranian military's nuclear program were assassinated over the past two years, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Sunday.
The latest incident occurred on July 23, when Darioush Rezaei, who was identified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as a physicist working on the development of components used in nuclear weapon systems, was shot dead by a motorcyclist in Tehran.
Despite international media reports on Rezaei's background, the Iranian authorities claimed that it was a physics student who was mistakenly shot.
The Iranian media reported recently that the assassination was carried out by internal elements, further suggesting that the regime has been shaken by the incident, since admitting that a foreign body was behind the assassination would have caused a bigger embarrassment.
Read it all
- Pakistan lets China see US Stealth helicopter from Bin Laden Raid – Pakistan allowed Chinese military engineers to photograph and take samples from the top-secret stealth helicopter that US special forces left behind when they killed Osama bin Laden, the Financial Times has learnt.
The action is the latest incident to underscore the increasingly complicated relationship and lack of trust between Islamabad and Washington following the raid.
"The US now has information that Pakistan, particularly the ISI, gave access to the Chinese military to the downed helicopter in Abbottabad," said one person in intelligence circles, referring to the Pakistani spy agency. The Chinese engineers were allowed to survey the wreckage and take photographs of it, as well as take samples of the special "stealth" skin that allowed the American team to enter Pakistan undetected by radar, he said.
President Barack Obama's national security council had been discussing this incident and trying to decide how to respond. A senior official said the situation “doesn't make us happy”, but that the administration had little recourse.
Read it all.
And, what will be the Obama Administration's response?
- President 2012 Poll Watch: Obama Approval Dips Below 40 Per Cent | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 Poll Watch: Obama Approval Dips Below 40 Per Cent #tcot #catcot
- President 2012: Tim Pawlenty Drops Out of Republican Race for 2012 – So What? | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: Tim Pawlenty Drops Out of Republican Race for 2012 – So What? #tcot #catcot
- Flap’s Links and Comments for August 11th through August 14th | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Links and Comments for August 11th through August 14th #tcot #catcot
These are my links for May 4th from 14:49 to 14:55:
- The Slippery Story of the bin Laden Kill – As for the claim that bin Laden was living in a mansion, as opposed to just a big house, all that's needed to debunk that description is some pictures of the house. A Wall Street Journal reporter went to the scene and gave this eye-witness account, concluding there was nothing mansion-like about it:
The size and fortress-like nature of the compound stood out in the area, though many of the houses in Abbottabad, built by ex-servicemen and business people, also have high walls. Homes are separated by empty plots where people grow crops like potatoes and wheat.
The top two floors of bin Laden's three-story house are visible above the high perimeter walls. The house, built in 2005, appears run-down. Grass grows off a ledge below the roof. The outside walls are scarred with damp and mold. A hand-painted advertisement for Jamia Girls College, in Urdu and English, decorates one of the outside walls of the compound.
One of the awnings on an outdoor window hung down at an angle, perhaps after being damaged during the attack. Otherwise, the house stood intact, with few signs a major firefight only two days earlier.
There were no visible airconditioning units to keep residents cool through the Pakistan summer. At the back of the house was a small, private triangular garden with a towering fir tree, where bin Laden could have gotten air without being seen by outsiders.
Read it all.
Definitely not a mansion and there has to be a reason why Obama is not releasing bin Laden's death photos.
- To get bin Laden, Obama relied on policies he decried – Let's cheerfully and ungrudgingly give credit to Barack Obama for approving the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.
In my Washington Examiner column last Sunday I criticized Obama's foreign policy, which was characterized by one of his advisers in an interview with the New Yorker's Ryan Lizza as "lead from behind." That criticism still stands.
But in tracking down and nailing bin Laden, Obama led from behind the right way — behind the scenes he made a right but risky decision, without any leaks to the press, to achieve an objective sought by two presidents and thousands in the American government and military since Sept. 11, 2001.
The decision was risky because the operation could have failed, like Jimmy Carter's Desert One operation to rescue American hostages in Iran failed in April 1980.
But this time, even though one helicopter was lost, the operation succeeded. There was evidently a lot of redundancy in the plan and a lot of flexibility on the ground. A lot of good people did a lot of good things right.
Read it all.
Yes, he Did
These are my links for May 4th from 12:26 to 12:38:
- John Yoo: From Guantanamo to Abbottabad – WSJ.com – John Yoo: From Guantanamo to Abbottabad
- John Yoo: From Guantanamo to Abbottabad – President George W. Bush, not his successor, constructed the interrogation and warrantless surveillance programs that produced this week's actionable intelligence. For this, congressional Democrats and media pundits pilloried him for allegedly exceeding his presidential powers and violating the Bill of Rights.
As a candidate in 2008, then-Sen. Obama held Mr. Bush and Sen. John McCain "responsible for the most disastrous set of foreign policy decisions in the recent history of the United States." These decisions, he said, allowed bin Laden and his circle to establish "a safe-haven in northwest Pakistan, where they operate with such freedom of action that they can still put out hate-filled audiotapes to the outside world."
Upon taking office, Mr. Obama tried to fulfill the dreams of the antiwar left. In January 2009, he signed executive orders to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay and limit the CIA to U.S. military interrogation methods. He made it clear that al Qaeda leaders would be tried in civilian courts. And in August 2009, his attorney general, Eric Holder, launched a criminal investigation into CIA officers who had interrogated al Qaeda leaders.
Imagine what would have happened if the Obama administration had been running things immediately following 9/11. After their "arrest," we would have read KSM and al-Libi their Miranda rights, provided them legal counsel, sent them to the U.S. for detention, and granted them all the rights provided a U.S. citizen in criminal proceedings.
Read it all
These are my links for May 3rd from 19:45 to 19:49:
- Osama Bin Laden dead: Obama took 16 hours to make up his mind – Barack Obama kept military commanders hanging by declaring he would 'sleep on it' before taking 16 hours to give the go-ahead to raid Bin Laden's compound.
Hit squads of specialist Navy Seals – who were not even told who they were preparing to capture – had practised the mission at two reconstructions of the terror chiefs sprawling compound.
The mission looked set to be given the all clear last Thursday when analysts confirmed beyond doubt that Bin Laden was in busy town of Abbottabad in northern Pakistan.
- US may have got Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad clue in 2008 – WikiLeaks – The US may have obtained a clue three years ago that Osama bin Laden was hiding in Abbottabad, according to information gathered by interrogators at Guantánamo.
Buried in a document from 2008 released by WikiLeaks last week are notes from the interrogation of a Libyan, Abu al-Libi, who had apparently been with Bin Laden in Afghanistan.
According to the document, Libi fled to Peshawar in Pakistan and was living there in 2003 when he was asked to become one of Bin Laden's messengers. The document says: "In July 2003, detainee received a letter from [Bin Laden's] designated courier, Maulawi Abd al-Khaliq Jan, requesting detainee take on the responsibility of collecting donations, organising travel and distributing funds for families in Pakistan. [Bin Laden] stated detainee would be the official messenger between [Bin Laden] and others in Pakistan. In mid-2003, detainee moved his family to Abbottabad (Pakistan) and worked between Abbottabad and Peshawar."
Libi was captured in Pakistan in 2005. The CIA says it tracked Bin Laden by tracing the network of couriers, in particular one especially trusted by the al-Qaida leader and who died with himin the US raid on Sunday. The US has not yet named the courier.
Senior members of the Bush administration claim evidence gained in Guantánamo has provided important information, in this case supposedly leading to Bin Laden.
WikiLeaks released the report last week, prompting speculation that the US, afraid that its planned raid might be pre-empted, brought forward its attack.
If true, then why did the Obama Administration wait so long?
These are my links for May 3rd from 06:25 to 06:29:
- Clues Gradually Led to the Location of Osama bin Laden – For years, the agonizing search for Osama bin Laden kept coming up empty. Then last July, Pakistanis working for the Central Intelligence Agency drove up behind a white Suzuki navigating the bustling streets near Peshawar, Pakistan, and wrote down the car’s license plate. The man in the car was Bin Laden’s most trusted courier, and over the next month C.I.A. operatives would track him throughout central Pakistan. Ultimately, administration officials said, he led them to a sprawling compound at the end of a long dirt road and surrounded by tall security fences in a wealthy hamlet 35 miles from the Pakistani capital.
Read it all
A fascinating story of Osama Bin Laden's demise.
- Bin Laden lived in Pakistan compound 5-6 years – Osama bin Laden lived for the past five to six years in the compound deep inside Pakistan where the al Qaeda leader was killed by U.S. forces, President Barack Obama's counterterrorism adviser said on Tuesday.
Bin Laden, who was living in Afghanistan before a 2001 U.S.-led invasion helped topple its Taliban regime, was holed up in a compound in the military garrison town of Abbottabad in Pakistan before Sunday's operation to kill him.
"Well I think the latest information is that he was in this compound for the past five or six years and he had virtually no interaction with others outside that compound. But yet he seemed to be very active inside the compound," White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan said on the CBS Early Show program.
"And we know that he had released videos and audios. We know that he was in contact with some senior al Qaeda officials," Brennan added.
"So what we're trying to do now is to understand what he has been involved in over the past several years, exploit whatever information we were able to get at the compound and take that information and continue our efforts to destroy al Qaeda," Brennan added.
The fact that the al Qaeda chief had lived in the compound for such a long time has prompted some U.S. lawmakers to demand a review of the billions of dollars in aid the United States provides Pakistan, which is fighting a Taliban insurgency.
America must re-evaluate its relationship with Pakistan and
1. Freeze any foreign aid
2. Limit travel and require VISAs for Pakistanis traveling to the USA