There are ‘experts’ views,’ and then there are experts’ views. There are ‘government sources,’ and then there are government sources. Not all experts are equal. And, not all sources are reliable. Am I talking in riddles? Of course not; give me a chance and I’ll explain.
We have members of the popular media (mainstream and quasi alternatives alike) ever anxious to market and disseminate government conspiracy and propaganda. They, members of the popular media, have their own rolodex of ‘experts’ and analysts, some on their payroll, to help them propagate the delivery and execution of government-given propaganda-conspiracy. The same principle applies to ‘sources.’ The popular media relies on their government sources who act as middle-men-government messengers who’ve been given a government written and approved script to be delivered; almost always anonymously. Well, this is exactly what we have been getting from our media, around the clock, since the announcement of the Bin Laden Death Operation: ever-changing government scripts, delivered mainly by anonymous government sources to the US media, and further embellished and expanded upon by government-connected experts and analysts on the payroll.
On the other hand, there are many independent real experts whose analyses and views you won’t, or rarely, get to hear or read about; at least not in the mainstream media or at quasi-alternative sites. And there are current and former government sources not tasked with messenger duties; many of whom don’t see the ‘calculated’ necessity to remain ‘anonymous.’ I can assure you, you do not, and will not, read or hear these experts’ and sources’ statements, analyses or views when it comes to government-written stories and their media buddies.
Last weekend Boiling Frogs Post contacted several independent sources and experts, and asked them for their straight-forward take on the absurdity-filled and ever-changing Bin Laden Death story. I say independent, because they are. As you’ll see these veterans and sources come from all different walks of Intelligence-Law Enforcement-Military, and as far as political orientation goes, they fall into every single category-liberal, conservative, libertarian and none. I want to thank them all for honoring the request given to them on extremely short notice, and for being honest, direct, commonsensical, and in some cases realistically humorous. Here is what they had to say, and say it briefly per my request, starting with my favorite investigative reporter and bestselling author, whom I respect tremendously and consider ‘truly independent,’ James Bamford:
I don’t know what happened, but here’s what I suspect. The White House press office was horrified. The image of an unarmed Bin Laden killed in his PJs, and his unarmed wife shot as she was trying to protect him, was too bland for prime time TV. So after consulting with the “perception managers” at The Rendon Group, they quickly called together a team of experts for a conference in the Roosevelt Room to come up with a better narrative.
Among those present was Nurse Nayirah, daughter of the former Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S., accompanied by several PR representatives from Hill & Knowlton. It was her false claim that she had witnessed Iraqi soldiers take babies out of incubators in Kuwait and leave them on the floor to die, a lie propagandized around the world by H&K, that helped push the U.S. into the first Gulf War. Sitting next to her was Ahmed Chalabi, the man whose deceptions about Saddam and his WMD, heavily promoted by the New York Times, helped lead the country to war with Iraq. Then there was Jim Wilkinson, the Bush master propagandist who needed to find a way to get the country behind the war. He thus fed the story to the media of how Pvt. Jessica Lynch fearlessly mowed down Fedayeen terrorists with her M16 until she ran out of ammo, whereupon she was shot, stabbed, captured, tortured and raped. Unfortunately, through no fault of Lynch, it was later discovered to be totally made up. Finally, there was General Stanley McCrystal, largely responsible for promoting the fact that football star and Army private Pat Tillman was killed in a heroic battle in Afghanistan when in reality he was accidentally shot by his own men. The false story was then ballyhooed by the press and used by the Army as a major recruiting tool for the Afghan War.
After a few hours going around the table for ideas, the White House press people finally had their story. With one hand wrapped around his wife as a shield, Bin Laden used the other in a desperate effort to fight off capture by firing wildly at the commandos with an AK-47, but was finally taken down with a bullet right between his eyes.
James Bamford- One of the country’s leading writers on intelligence and national security issues.
If you factor in growth in government and the actual costs of the military and intelligence effort that finally succeeded in killing Osama bin Laden after fifteen years of trying, the renowned terrorist becomes the $3 trillion dollar man. Considering that he has not personally directed a successful terrorist operation since 9/11 that is quite impressive, somewhat like winning a lifetime achievement Oscar at the Academy Awards ceremony. And even 9/11 is by no means a slam-dunk for Osama as the Justice Department never charged him with that particular crime because they knew they did not have enough evidence to convince a jury. So his story ends, shot down in Pakistan while resisting or possibly surrendering, with his wife and son or alone, in a lavish mansion or a shack, as a result of a great spy operation or maybe not, and with the President of the United States personally directing the operation or possibly just sitting in for a photo op. Requiescat in Pace Osama.
Philip Giraldi- Former Counterterrorism Specialist & military Intelligence Officer of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
The executive-ordered assassination of Osama bin Laden, in what is now described as a rubbish-strewn, dirt-infested and barely habitable compound, does free up a spot on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list. As a result of this grand and newsworthy success, after an interminable decade of really, really, really hard work, the flag-draped and platinum-plated military-industrial-intelligence complex is poised for even greater rewards, in both glory and gold. Constitution-minded and economically strapped Americans, and those who oppose unnecessary undeclared wars of any kind, need to get back under the Bush-Obama bus, and quick. Here’s why: President Obama will not remind Americans that bin Laden was never “wanted” by the FBI for the 9/11 attacks, and as such, bin Laden’s death is irrelevant to Washington’s long war in Afghanistan. Likewise, former President Bush will not tell the country that the bin Laden connection to Saddam Hussein was manufactured in 2002 by neoconservatives bent on invasion, and as a result, bin Laden’s death has no bearing on Washington’s 9-year occupation and nation-building project in Iraq. Come to think of it, not having Osama around anymore is stagnation we can believe in.
Lt Col Karen Kwiatkowski- Retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel and a specialist on the Middle East
Two UN guys are sitting in a bar in Kabul – and one turns to the other and says “Did you hear the one about the president, the terrorism advisor and the pope?” The second guy turns to the other and says “Well – no – I have not” – and the first guys says “Me neither - but it cannot be any more funny than the way the White House has handled the narrative of the Bin Laden raid.”
Four days after the Bin Laden raid, and in the middle of what must have been the 10th White House modification to the story, I was asked in an on-air interview “don’t you (in the Special Operations Community) have plans for dealing with the media?” – well yes, yes, we do…but this plan was not used due to the White House insinuation of their “academic smart guys and gals” – so the plan was not followed – because the raid became a White House center piece that was quickly (and badly) absorbed for purposes of supporting the President’s reelection.
National security – and what is best and necessary for the nation – should NOT be an issue that is used by either side for political gain…the harsh reality is that it often is. As I have said many time: “I am not anti-war, I am anti-stupidity…” we have sycophants in the White House who will do or say anything to get the President re-elected and sacrifice the truth, and the nation’s best interests, in the process as they drive the clown car of freedom around the nation for a victory lap…
Lt Col Tony Shaffer- Intelligence Officer & recipient of the Bronze Star, with 25 years of field experience commanding and directing several key operational intelligence organizations
The "fog of war" excuse for the Obama Administration’s horrendous series of factual errors in reporting bin Laden’s killing was mostly due to rushing to make the U.S. press deadline and take credit before being upstaged by leaks from international press. One small detail that reveals the over-arching importance placed on Obama’s need for a bold, decisive press image lies in his unqualified announcement about getting his man that was made even before the DNA testing was completed. The White House later clarified that they were 90 to 95% certain it was bin Laden based on photo comparisons and later they upped that to 95% certainty but there’s nothing scientific about "facial analysis" photo comparisons. Quite likely another reason the Administration doesn’t want the dead bin Laden photo out now is that it would invite scrutiny of the hasty announcement. I think the series of errors was mostly based on the rush to frame this quickly for the press so Obama would appear bold and strong on terrorism and get what Charley Cook projected as a 13% "bounce" in the polls.
Coleen Rowley- Retired FBI Agent and Former Cchief Counsel of the FBI Minneapolis field office
So we come through the mountain passes that are being watched by tribal warlords who have our left over stinger missiles from the Soviet’s little adventure there, because if we fly too high the Pakistani defense radar network will pick us up. We don’t know who is in this compound, so we shoot-to-kill every unarmed male resident on the spot, before we even know if Bin Laden is there. And we insist Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service knew nothing of Bin Laden being in the middle of their retirement neighborhood for military generals and intelligence officials. Oh, we wanted to do it one week earlier, but our government knew that on that day the Easter Bunny would be hiding multi colored eggs for all the little Pakistani children!
Russell D. Tice- Former Intelligence Analyst for the U.S. Air Force, Office of Naval Intelligence, Defense Intelligence Agency & National Security Agency
From my own 25-years experience on the inside much of it doing international covert operations, I'm pretty certain that the competing federal bureaucracies' decades long, often bizarre war for headlines is at the root of this whole weird episode. Of course this is fueled by the ease with which mainstream media is manipulated into printing absolutely anything that comes from their "inside" usually "anonymous" sources.
With the Bin Laden hit, the media skirmish started with the scramble for "credit" by the public affairs offices of each of the parties involved a. First the Pentagon (Defense Intelligence) and White House take the lead. Then the CIA, the Criminal Inept Agency, sorely hurting from five decades of being total and abject losers and perpetually at war with DIA, grabs the whole ball and runs with it, like they invented it. This pisses off the DIA and leaks and counter-leaks begin to spring in every direction from inside sources on both sides, sniping at each other's "story."
But you can't count out the FBI, the Federal Bureau of Incompetence, who has been totally and insultingly left out of the whole mix. Rumor is they even had an FBI Files episode on "How the FBI killed Bin Laden, "ready to go into production, no matter how Bin Laden died. All they needed was a body. Leaving them totally out of the kill of the dude for whom they've spent half their PR budget hunting, is...well...insulting to say the least. And you do NOT want to piss off the FBI. Remember Cointelpro?!
Finally. What really happened? My bet is that some Navy Seal captain in charge of the guys out there circling around Pakistan's night skies in helicopters like sitting ducks waiting for the Washington suits to make up their minds, said, "Screw it! I'll take responsibility. Let's do it guys!"
Mike Levine- Retired supervisory agent, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); also served the U.S. Customs Service, IRS (Criminal Investigations Division) & the FBI/DEA Task Force
Obama’s Idea — Whatabad!
Killing Osama in Abbottabad
Serves only to get a whole lottabad
guys planning in sync
To pay back Murder, Inc.
From Kandahar to Jalalabad.
Ray McGovern- Retired CIA Analyst, former Army Intelligence Officer & Founder of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
A part of me is going to miss Bin Laden, at least I understood him. I certainly do not condone his methods or his twisted logic; but his actions were extremely predictable (I was one of the few people that actively tried to prevent 9-11). But I do not understand our own government. First we attack a country that had nothing to do with 9-11, we lower our moral standing in the eyes of the world, we violate our Constitution, we turn our military into the Peace Corps resulting in thousands of our own military casualties and tens of thousands of innocent civilian casualties overseas, we treat our own citizens as guilty of something until proven otherwise at airports, the list is endless. The final straw, however, is the PR campaign of the killing of BL. If ever there was a “black operation” in the traditional use of the term, this was it. Our government should have said nothing about this assassination. Oh, word would have leaked out over time and years from now we could have our day in the sun, but this isn’t the time. We celebrate this killing like it’s the winning touch-down at the Super Bowl. All this dog and pony show is a rallying cry for the same fanatics that rioted and killed over cartoons. How many more innocent lives will be lost just so our politicians can make a little splash in the news?
Bogdan Dzakovic- Special Agent, Team Leader of the Red Team (terrorist team) and Federal Air Marshals for the Federal Aviation Administration(FAA), and Former Coast Guard Officer & Federal Criminal Investigator