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Friday, May 6, 2011

cnn osama bin laden dead: Full statement from al Qaeda on Osama bin Laden's death

Al Qaeda released a statement on jihadist forums confirming the death of its leader, Osama bin Laden, according to SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant messages.

The statement was issued by the al Qaeda organization - General Command on Tuesday May 3, 2011. Read it

Al-Qaeda statement calls the day " a historic day of the days of the great Islamic umma (nation) and in a noble stand of one of its great men and heroes across its blessed age and on the path taken by the will of all the mighty predecessors and those who will follow them, the Sheikh, the Mujahid & the Commander, the pious migrant fighter, Abu Abdullah Osama bin Muhammad bin Laden, may God have mercy on him was killed in a place where truth shines and where sincerity for good deeds and the call for truthfulness exist. Bin Laden was killed so he can follow the mighty caravan of the umma (the nation) with the great leaders, the loyal soldiers, and the honest knights who refused to abandon their faith for the mundane lives and to hand over the command to those who will be humiliate them and be humiliated and that's why they confronted the weaponry with weaponry, force with force and accepted to challenge the arrogant masses that came out to fight with their killing machines, equipments, aircrafts and forces boastfully so they can be seen as men, and still this didn’t weaken their resolve and didn’t drain their strength, but instead he stood up for them face to face, a mighty mountain, a proud mountain and he was still in the midst of the battle that many got used to and his eyes were used to its sceneries but after that, he was yet to be excused and delivered his message and then he was shot bullets of betrayal and blasphemy delivering his soul to its maker while repeating: 'Who sacrifice the blessed soul for his Lord to fight off the falsehood CANNOT ever be blamed'."

"Congratulations to the Islamic Nation on the martyrdom of their devoted son Osama,

Even when the Americans managed to kill Osama, they managed to do ONLY that by disgrace and betrayal. Men and heroes only should be confronted in the battlefields but at the end, that’s God’s fate. Still we ask, will the Americans be able thru their media outlets, their agents, their instruments, soldiers, intelligence services and their might be able to kill what Sheikh Osama lived for and was killed for? How far! How impossible! Sheikh Osama didn’t build an organization that will vanish with his death or fades away with his departure.

In this context, we in al Qaeda Jihad organization promise God Almighty and we ask Him for help, support and steadfastness to continue on the path of jihad that our leaders, led by Sheikh Osama chose, and that we will not be reluctant, and will not deviate from that honorable path until God be the final judge between us and our enemy.

We also stress that the blood of the mujahid sheikh Osama bin Laden, may God have mercy on him is VERY dear to us and more precious to us and to every Muslim from being shed in vain and this blood (OBL’s blood) will be a curse that will chase the Americans and their agents, a curse that will pursue them inside and outside their country, and soon – with God's help – we pray that their happiness turns into sorrow and may their bloods mix with their tears and let Sheikh Osama’s resonate again that “America will neither enjoy nor live in security until our people in Palestine live it and enjoy it. The soldiers of Islam in groups and as individuals will continue to plan and plot without any fatigue, boredom, despair, surrender or indifference until you receive from them a cunning misfortune that will gray the hair of the child even before he gets old.

We call upon our Muslim people in Pakistan where our dear Sheikh Osama was killed on their soil to rise up and revolt so they can cleanse this disgrace that was brought upon them by a handful of traitors and thieves who have sold everything to the enemies of the Muslim nation, and disregarded the feelings of this great Muajhid (Pakistani) people and let them rise up and start a massive public uprising to cleanse their country (Pakistan) from the filth of the Americans who have wreaked havoc in the land”.

Al-Qaeda chimes in to OBL's body controversy and tells its supporters that OBL had one more message for them.

"The sheikh (OBL) didn’t leave this world before taking part in sharing the joy with his Muslim Umma (nation) regarding its revolutions when the nation has risen in the face of injustice and the tyrants and may God have mercy on him, the sheikh recorded an audio message one week before his killing that we will release soon, God willing and his audio message included a congratulation greeting, advices and a guidance. He ended his audio message with the following verses:

Saying the righteousness to the tyrants is the splendor & the gospel.

This is the path leading to the mundane life, this is the path leading to the hereafter.

You can die a slave if you wish or die a free man, this is your choice.

Moreover, we warn the Americans of any injustice to be made to the corpse of Sheikh Osama, God's mercy be upon him or that he will be mistreated in any despicable manner and this warning includes the mistreatment of any member of the sheikh's honorable family whether they are dead or alive and that the bodies must be handed over to the families because any inappropriate treatment will open the doors of double evil and you will only be blaming yourselves for your own deeds. We call upon all Muslims to do their duty in enforcing this right.”
Al-Qaida on Friday confirmed the killing of Osama bin Laden and warned of retaliation, saying Americans' "happiness will turn to sadness."

The confirmation came in an Internet statement posted on militant websites, signed by "the general leadership" of al-Qaida. The announcement opens the way for the group to name a successor to bin Laden. His deputy Ayman al-Zawahri is now the most prominent figure in the group and is a very likely contender to take his place.

The statement, dated May 3, was the first by the terror network since bin Laden was killed Monday by U.S. commandos in a raid on his hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The statement's authenticity could not be independently confirmed, but it was posted on websites where the group traditionally puts out its messages.

"The blood of the holy warrior sheik, Osama bin Laden, God bless him, is too precious to us and to all Muslims to go in vain," the statement said. "We will remain, God willing, a curse chasing the Americans and their agents, following them outside and inside their countries."

"Soon, God willing, their happiness will turn to sadness," it said, "their blood will be mingled with their tears."

There was no indication how the group will retaliate. Rather than making vehement cries of vengeance, the statement -- entitled "You lived as a good man, you died as a martyr" -- struck a tone of calmness and continuation. Though it included praise of bin Laden, much of the 11-paragraph statement was dedicated to underlining that al-Qaida would live on, depicting him as just another in a line of "martyrs" from the group.

"It is impossible, impossible. Sheik Osama didn't build an organization to die when he dies," the statement read. "The university of faith, Quran and jihad from which bin Laden graduated will not close its doors," it added.

"The soldiers of Islam will continue in groups and united, plotting and planning without getting bored, tired, with determination, without giving up until striking a blow," the statement.

It said bin Laden was killed "along an established path followed by the best of those who came before him and those who will come after him."

In the statement, al-Qaida also called on Pakistanis to rise up in revolt against its leaders to "cleanse the shame." It also said that an audio message bin Laden recorded a week before his death would be issued soon.

The writers of the statement appeared unaware of the announcement by American officials that bin Laden's body had been buried at sea. The statement warned against mishandling or mistreating bin Laden's body and demanded that be handed over to his family, saying "any harm (to the body) will open more doors of evil, and there will be no one to blame but yourselves."
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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Kendra Baby : kendra & baby kendra with baby

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Since being ousted from 'Dancing With the Stars' this week, Kendra Wilkinson has moved on to her next project: making baby number two with husband Hank Baskett.

The reality star, who is already mom to 1-year-old Hank IV, says she wants to have her second child 'soon.' Wilkinson reveals she and her husband are 'practicing for No. 2. Why not?'

Her departure from 'DWTS' came as a shock to many who saw the former Playboy Playmate as a frontrunner thanks to a legion of fans who supported her despite many missteps and a sometimes-poor attitude. Kendra Wilkinson is ready to have another baby with husband Hank Baskett, she reveals to E! Online.

Fresh off her elimination on Dancing with the Stars, Kendra Wilkinson says that she and Hank are in the process of “practicing” to have another baby to join 1-year-old son Hank.

Wilkinson shares, “We have so much love to give. We’re just loving baby Hank so much. We’re raising him well, teaching him everything he needs to be taught. But yeah, I really feel like it’s naturally time for another one soon. I really do.”

Kendra adds, “We’re practicing for number 2. Why not? Just one more would be great. And I wouldn’t mind having Number 2…soon!”

As for Mother’s Day plans, Wilkinson says that she wants to relax – who can blame her after all of that time spent on DWTS? Also? Kendra has food on the brain: “Our plan is to barbeque. I’m done with ‘Dancing With the Stars’ so it’s time to eat. It’s time to barbeque. You know, have some fun and relax a little bit. It’s time to enjoy the outdoors.”

What do you think about Kendra wanting another baby already? I got the itch to have a second child shortly after my first turned one also, but was glad to have put a little distance between the two kids.Reality star Kendra Wilkinson revealed that her future plans are to try and have another baby.
kendra & baby
E! Online is reporting that the ex-'Dancing with the Stars' contestant and mother of 1-year-old son Hank talked about her plans of possibly expanding her family with husband Hank Baskett.

"We have so much love to give," Wilkinson said. "We're just loving baby Hank so much. We're raising him well, teaching him everything he needs to be taught. But yeah, I really feel like it's naturally time for another one soon. I really do."

The former Playboy Playmate also added, "We're practicing for No. 2. Why not? Just one more would be great. And I wouldn't mind having No. 2...soon!"

While Wilkinson's 'Dancing' exit came as a shock to many, she admits that she's glad she doesn't have to worry about the grueling dance rehearsals.

Wilkinson was looking forward to her upcoming Mother's Day celebrations which she said her husband Hank was planning and she mentioned he had a few surprises for her, but the one thing that she was planning to do was to relax and take it easy.

Another benefit to being booted out of the competition was that she would no longer have to worry about watching what she ate.

"Our plan is to barbeque," she said about her Mother's Day plans. "I'm done with 'Dancing With the Stars' so it's time to eat. It's time to barbeque. You know, have some fun and relax a little bit. It's time to enjoy the outdoors."
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National Day of Prayer: what's people are praying

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The National Day of Prayer will be held Thursday, May 5, from 12:10 to 12:40 p.m. at the Christian Family Life Center of First Baptist Church at corner of Zebulon and Sardis Streets.

Its pastor, Rev. Garth Forster, will give the devotional and focus on a prayer of thanksgiving for the victims and volunteers. Rev. Forster was on Grove Street shortly after the tornado ripped the area apart and witnessed the devastation firsthand.

Dr. Olin Gunter, Danny and Lynn Gunter and Gabriel Gunter are members of First Baptist Church.

“It was the first disaster for our community to deal with on this level and our own people dealt with it well”, said Forster.

He said the Georgia Disaster Team crew spent only one day here because the specialists found trees had been mostly removed from roofs.

“That’s a testament to our people,” he said.

Leading hymns and the National Anthem will be FBC minister of music Greg Burrell.

Pre- and post-service music will be brought by the high school concert band led by Nketia Collins.

The welcome will be brought by Russ Jenkins the First Baptist education pastor. Lamar County commission chairman Jay Matthews will represent Lamar County. A responsive reading will be led by Marion Underwood, associate minister of West Mt. Sinai Baptist Church. Singing will be Austin Ogletree, a student at Lamar County Comprehen sive High School.

The Prayer of Confession will be led by John Norman, pastor of Marvin and Milner United Methodist churches. The Pledge to the U.S. Flag will be led by Major Paul Stinson, commander of the high school ROTC program. The pledge to the Christian Flag will be led by Jeffery Morgan, pastor of Antioch Baptist Church.

The Prayer for the Nation will be led by Mic Savage, pastor of the First Assembly of God in Barnesville; and the benediction will be led by Steve Pattison, seniors and care pastor at Rock Springs Church. The 2011 NDP theme is “A mighty fortress is our God,” based on Psalm 91:2, which says, “I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, My God, in Whom I trust.”

Lunch will be available at 12:40 p.m. for a $1 donation towards the Lamar Christian Ministerial Association Fund at the church kitchen. The LCMA fund goes to help individuals and families in need.
Pastors, clergy and religious leaders will ride a prayer caravan through the city on Thursday in honor of the National Day of Prayer.

The caravan will begin at 10 a.m. at Church of the Living God and go through Avondale, Winton Terrace, Price Hill and Over-the-Rhine before a final prayer at City Hall.

"These areas have seen so much crime and violence that we must take action, unite together and pray to the only one who can heal these communities and put an end to the violence," said Pastor Ennis F. Tait, pastor of the Church of the Living God in Avondale.

The prayer caravan will consist of two 15-passenger vans donated by Executive Rental. Pastors, Clergy and religious leaders will meet on the corner of Forest and Harvey in Avondale to pray for healing in that community at 10:00 a.m.. Vans will then depart from Church of the Living God, 434 Forest Ave. at approximately 10:20 a.m.

The following prayer stops will take place: in Winton Terrace on the corner of Dutch Colony and Herron; in Price Hill on the corner of Warsaw and Ross; and in Over-the-Rhine on the corner ofLong and McMicken. The Prayer Caravan will then head to its final destination to pray on the steps of City Hall, 801 Plum St. at 12:00 p.m.

Pastors, clergy and religious leaders will pray over the seven areas that have been outlined by the National Day of Prayer committee: Government, Church, Military, Family, Education, Media,and Business for our city, state and nation.

"We invite all pastors, clergy, religious leaders, community leaders, congregations and lay people throughout Cincinnati to join us either on the Prayer Caravan or on the steps of City Hall to pray for God's power to change the hearts of His people and the pulse of our communities," said Pastor Tait. Millions of Americans will gather today to pray for the United States and its leaders, remembering the victims of tornadoes that swept across the South, the national economy and the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the National Day of Prayer will also prompt reflections on prayer itself.

"I don't think God's so much interested in you getting the right parking place," says the Rev. Russell Levenson Jr., rector of St. Martin's Episcopal Church. "I think all prayers are answered, but it's not always the way we want."

A growing body of research has addressed the issue — whether patients with heart disease are more likely to survive if others pray for them, for example — but the results have been mixed.

That hasn't stopped people from praying.

Almost 60 percent of Americans say they pray at least once a day, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, and Rice University sociologist Michael Emerson notes that those who believe in the healing power of prayer generally embrace studies that confirm their belief, while rejecting those that find no impact.

"Prayer brings a sense of control in an uncertain world," he said. "Whether it works or not, at the level of the supernatural, it works in giving humans a sense of control over their environment." The National Day of Prayer aims to harness the collective power of prayer at services across the country, including an interfaith service that Levenson and Rabbi David Lyon, senior rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel, will preside over at St. Martin's.

"While each of us might pray a little differently, we still pray to the same god," Lyon said. "If it is only a day of Christian prayer, in a nation that is primarily Christian, we might be misled to conclude we are a Christian nation alone. Everyone's prayers are heard by God and should make a difference for us."

But most services, here and elsewhere, will take place in Christian churches, reflecting both the National Day of Prayer's beginnings in 1775 as a Christian observance and the fact that more than 75 percent of Americans identify themselves as Christian.

All religions use prayer, although not all do so in the same way. Christian, Jewish and Muslim tradition all offer prayers for political leaders.

"We typically pray that they would receive the wisdom and skills and gifts they need that would lead to world peace, to justice for all people," Levenson said. In Islam, people may pray for "justice, prosperity, for the nation and its leaders," said Ahmed Rehab, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "Getting people from different faiths to pray together for the common good, the good of our nation, is positive."

Interfaith services generally stress what religions have in common, even if some stand or kneel to pray, while others sit or lie flat.

Regardless of the posture, prayer "engages our mind, it engages our heart, it engages our emotions and our bodies," said Father Donald Nesti, director of the Center for Faith and Culture at the University of St. Thomas. "It really is a very integrating act."

But Emerson said that prayer can vary widely among and even within groups.

In their upcoming book Blacks and Whites in Christian America: How the Legacy of Racial Discrimination Has Shaped Religious Thoughts and Practices, he and coauthor Jason Shelton report that African-Americans pray more often than other believers, and that they have a stronger belief in the power of prayer.

That's true even accounting for socioeconomic differences, Emerson said.

"They pray more, they believe it will work more, and they are more likely to say, I have seen a miracle," he said.

Trust science to investigate those so-called miracles. The findings vary, and Dr. Lois Ramondetta, chief of gynecologic oncology at Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital, suggests that asking whether prayer can change a clinical outcome may miss the point.

"It raises an awful lot of questions to study that," said Ramondetta, who is also an associate professor at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. "Does that mean we can control what a higher power decides by having more people ask for you? I think the prayer studies are flawed from the beginning."

She is in the midst of a research project considering the impact of spirituality and how it changes over time in women with ovarian cancer.

So far, she said, "what has stood out as having the most effect on people's quality of life is their sense of hope, which may come with spirituality. ... You can give medicines forever and never address the things that give meaning to a patient's life."

For patients with cancer, prayers may change over time, Ramondetta said.

"In the beginning, it might be for a cure," she said. "But at some point, it's important to ... pray for no pain and, ultimately, peace of mind."

At the least, Lyon said, belief in the power of prayer can bring comfort to some people.

"Scientific evidence cannot corroborate those claims," he acknowledged. "On the other hand, there's a great Jewish question: 'Can it help?' And the answer is, 'It couldn't hurt."
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Osama bin Laden is gone but why we shouldn't forget him?

good riddance
While "good riddance" and much more damning - the same expletive-filled - epitaphs were mixed with the celebration of America and the jubilation over the killing of the odious terrorist Osama bin Laden, the sad truth is that "there but not forgotten "and will must be our reality.

Yes, I know, we tend to reserve that one nearby, or someone we respect and appreciate. But as America and many countries of the world has gone mad genius wanted al-Qaeda, such as forgetting someone has changed the way we live?

When bin Laden organized the most heinous foreign attack ever on American soil, September 11, 2001, killing more than 3,000 citizens of the World Trade Center twin towers, the Pentagon and Flight 93, America was changed forever. We got two wars that have claimed up to 5,500 American lives and left tens of thousands injured. Scores of soldiers have lost their members have lost their nerve and their families. Government-sanctioned wiretaps expanded exponentially, the pat-downs at airports and in other parts of the security has become a new rule. Citizens, once embraced as neighbors and friends who have come to believe, as their name, how they dressed, their skin color or the way they worshiped. Our government has changed, particularly with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.

Our policy was changed because some candidates of political parties in office and began to declare the condition of the office or simply the ability to lead on who would keep us safe or better to continue the war.

Yes, Bin Laden, the world's most wanted man, who has constantly mocked by the film grain and audio cassettes, disappeared, killed on Sunday in Pakistan during a raid by a group of heroic American workers.

But the U.S. will never what we were before that fateful day in September 2001.

Many say that this is the end or at the time. In some ways it's true. This marks the end of the effort of almost 10 years to bring some 'closure of the 9 / 11 attacks. Many argue that regardless of how much damage and pain inflicted on the Taliban or al-Qaeda was that bin Laden is still at large and apparently groped us in a position to ensure that the debt has not been met, this right is was denied.

Obama stated that "justice was done" everything rings true. This closes an important chapter in the war against terrorism.

Bin Laden was not only the face of 9 / 11 attacks on U.S. soil, but terrorism worldwide. Probably not, since Adolf Hitler had been so maligned and demand. Yes, there was much celebration when the forces of the United States has widened the Iraq of Saddam Hussein from a hole in a farmhouse in Tikrit and taken into custody, he was later tried and hanged by the Iraqis. But even the murderer Saddam, who ruthlessly slaughtered its own people, came in far behind bin Laden.

May be disturbed, Bin Laden has been calculated, the murderer of evil who hated America and everything it represented. Frankly, al-Qaeda is causing havoc around the world. And while Americans focused more heavily on him because of 9 / 11, the spreader of terror has been a thorn in the side of the United States for nearly two decades. Remember that the 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center? Remember the attack on the USS Cole?

Gone, yes, but not forgotten. And we must never forget what kind of damage, and killing of bad people can cause. We must never forget that we are the real enemies who are intent on demanding a real and lasting damage to our people and way of life. The only defense is a united national leadership, work in different lines, ethnic, political and ideological to preserve and protect the unique spirit of America.

A moment after September 11, 2001, it seemed that we understood that: Republicans and Democrats in Washington locked arms and stood behind the president. It seemed they meet, not only to defend the country, but to shape the sound, sensible domestic policy. Love was not long before the bitter partisan bickering and deadlock return with a vengeance.

words of welcome on Sunday of the death of bin Laden came in the middle of traffic Birthe senseless fury tea party, the partisan division and ideological warfare on Capitol Hill and in state houses across the country, including South Carolina. When we we divvied up the sides - us against them - the enemy's most wanted country is headed in a firefight in the hands of the brave members of our military power.

There are chances that the next move that prevented al-Qaeda will attempt a reprisal.

What is our next step? Do we lock arms and circle the wagons around Obama and face the enemy as well as internal problems staring us down? Or will we continue to go Pogo together, convinced that "We have met the enemy and he is us"?

Perhaps we should also think about why bin Laden had a large following around the world. We should think of the unconditional support for Israeli policies, Palestinians. We should think of our unsustainable way of life that we are so proud of the nation and the destruction it wreaks worldwide for other people and other life forms. It 's definitely a lot of things to think about.

Did Harsh Interrogation Techniques Lead To Bin Laden?

To find Osama bin Laden, U.S. officials first had to find the man who served as his courier. But the operation that killed the al-Qaida leader has stirred up some controversy: Some of the information about the courier may have come as the result of harsh CIA interrogations.

NPR has learned the courier was a Kuwait-born Pakistani who went by the name Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti. It was in his house that U.S. forces found and killed bin Laden. Documents from the Guantanamo detention camp show prisoners there and at secret CIA facilities were interrogated over and over about bin Laden's courier network and Kuwaiti in particular.

One man scheduled to be transferred out of Guantanamo, for example, was recommended for continued detention in part because intelligence officials thought he had more information to provide about Kuwaiti.

Every statement was carefully recorded: that Kuwaiti had a guesthouse in Pakistan where he hosted visiting al-Qaida volunteers; that he arranged airline travel and passed along money from al-Qaida financiers; that he was assigned to teach one al-Qaida member to use email. The Guantanamo documents describe Kuwaiti as a senior al-Qaida facilitator and courier. The footnotes reveal how — and when — this information was acquired. Some of the first leads came from detainees who were interrogated while in CIA custody; this is where the controversy arises.

About a third of the CIA detainees were subjected to what the agency euphemistically called enhanced-interrogation techniques. "They range from something as innocuous as the 'attention grasp' or 'facial grasp,' you know, grabbing somebody by the lapels or grabbing them by the chin, to a variety of things that have to do with sleep or diet or stress positions," former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden said. In the most extreme case, detainees were subjected to waterboarding, when they experienced what it's like to drown.

Among those who provided information while under CIA control was Hassan Gul, a senior al-Qaida operative from Pakistan. According to the detainee documents, Gul told interrogators that Kuwaiti traveled with bin Laden. A senior U.S. official says the information Gul provided was key to identifying Kuwaiti as bin laden's courier. But he may have done it under stress.

A 2005 document indicates that Gul was one of the CIA detainees subjected to "enhanced interrogation techniques." He is now free.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, and one of three CIA detainees subjected to waterboarding, indirectly confirmed information about Kuwaiti. Critics of "enhanced interrogation techniques" say they are tantamount to torture, and they argue that intelligence gleaned from those interrogations is unreliable. They also point out that some of the most useful information that came from Mohammed and others was obtained only after the harsh interrogations ended. Hayden says he wouldn't be surprised by that.

"I'm willing to concede the point that no one gave us valuable or actionable intelligence while they were, for example, being waterboarded," he said. "The purpose of the enhanced-interrogation techniques was to take someone who was refusing to cooperate with us and to accelerate the process by which we would move from a zone of defiance to a zone of cooperation."

Moving a detainee from defiance to cooperation — essentially, breaking him.

But how do you know the information the detainee finally provided could not have been acquired some other way? In an interview with NBC, current CIA Director Leon Panetta said harsh CIA interrogations were only one part of the intelligence-gathering process that led to bin Laden's courier. "They used these enhanced-interrogation techniques against some of these detainees, but I'm also saying that the debate about whether we would have gotten the same information through other approaches, I think, is always going to be an open question," Panetta said.

And a hotly debated one, given that finding and killing bin Laden was as much an intelligence triumph as a military achievement.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bin Laden Death Gives U.S. Escape From Trap

 As for whether the White House plans to release photos or other hard proof of bin Laden's death, Brennan said that is still "to be determined." Obama administration officials have said they used multiple methods, including DNA evidence, to confirm that the man they killed Sunday was bin Laden.
Almost 10 years ago, when 3,000 people were killed on Sept. 11, Osama bin Laden set a snare for the U.S. His death on Sunday may not resolve all of the security challenges for the U.S., but it does offer a way out of the trap that is Afghanistan.
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Any euphoria should be tempered by understanding that the impact on global terror will be limited and the U.S. is still under threat from transnational jihadist groups.

Here are four early lessons that must be taken into account:

-- Al-Qaeda hasn’t been significantly weakened.

Bin Laden wasn’t playing an active leadership role in the day-to-day operations of al-Qaeda and the group will probably transition smoothly and avoid any internal political struggles with Ayman al-Zawahiri as the obvious choice to assume command.

It is also important to remember that al-Qaeda is a decentralized outfit and there are new opportunities emerging in Yemen, Iraq and other countries to recruit fresh militants. Sure, al-Qaeda is under constant pressure and the threat is low, but there are many other important players to keep in mind. The Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Taiba, for instance, is more powerful than ever and also has a global agenda.

The impact might only be psychological, but there is no way to know if bin Laden’s demise will translate into more or less anti-American feelings in the Muslim world. Even with the Arab Spring, a change in the paradigm of Muslim public opinion in the Middle East and around the world seems unlikely for now.

-- Bin Laden’s death is of little importance to the war in Afghanistan.

Al-Qaeda has never been a major military force, especially compared with a local insurgency that has been able to mobilize tens of thousands of fighters. And contrary to what was expected in Washington, the surge of U.S. troops didn’t produce solid results. The Taliban is stronger than last year and more aggressive in pushing its advantage.

The number of attacks is historically high and the pressure is growing on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization coalition. Without conducting any major new offensive, the coalition is dealing with the same level of casualties this year as it was last year. With a diminishing presence in Afghanistan, the U.S. and its allies won’t be able to contain the insurgency or plan a transfer to the Afghan security forces.

Even more important, the transition process, which in principle should see the Afghan national army in charge of security by 2014, is unrealistic. Afghan units have low morale, aren’t autonomous and need air support and technology to cope with improvised explosive devices. The regime of Hamid Karzai is more corrupt and unpopular than ever and U.S. leverage on him is nil when it comes to governance.

The jihadist movements are back, especially in Nuristan and Kunar provinces, where the control of the coalition is nominal. Counterterrorism efforts alone are insufficient to deter these groups from using the Afghan border as a sanctuary.

-- Pakistan won’t make major changes, though Washington enjoys greater sway.

The real surprise in bin Laden’s death was the location --a two-hour drive from Islamabad, the capital, in Abbottabad, a military city. It’s unlikely that al-Qaeda, given the fact that it has repeatedly targeted the Pakistani military, was protected by Pakistani generals. But questions should be asked about lower-level complicity in Pakistan’s spy service, Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI.

The successful operation on bin Laden’s mansion does give President Barack Obama greater leverage to push Pakistan to take action on militant groups inside its borders. But the support given by Pakistan to the Afghan Taliban isn’t going to stop. Nor does bin Laden’s death alter plans by the Pakistani generals who envision a strategy of pushing out the U.S. -- while keeping India off-balance -- and turning Afghanistan into Pakistan’s own backyard.

-- Obama has a chance to push for negotiations with the Taliban.

While bin Laden’s death doesn’t win the U.S. a military advantage on the ground in Afghanistan, it makes a negotiated settlement easier. Obama -- at least for a short time -- will be free of Republican criticism on issues of national security and able to take more risks on the diplomatic front without accusations of being weak.

Since the current strategy isn’t working and the public support for the war is vanishing, Obama now has an opportunity to put more emphasis on negotiations with the Taliban’s leadership. The elimination of bin Laden as a symbolic figure will facilitate the negotiations on both sides, since he has been criticized by nationalist Taliban leaders in the past as a danger for the survival of their movement.

Nothing guarantees that negotiations will work because this will depend largely on the attitude of the Pakistani military, which enjoys control over the Taliban’s leadership. But the alternative is a strategic dead end and it will become obvious next year that the coalition finds it can’t withdraw without a rapid disintegration of the Karzai regime and a military victory for the Taliban.

Bin Laden’s death gives the U.S. the unique opportunity to get out of the Afghan trap. Let’s hope the Obama administration doesn’t miss the chance.

(Gilles Dorronsoro, author of “Revolution Unending: Afghanistan, 1979 to the Present,” is a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The opinions expressed are his own.)

--Editors: James Greiff, Charles W. Stevens

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To contact the writer of this column: Gilles Dorronsoro at

To contact the editor responsible for this column: James Greiff at

U.S. Refusal of 2001 Taliban Offer Gave bin Laden a Free Pass

WASHINGTON - When George W. Bush rejected a Taliban offer to have Osama bin Laden tried by a moderate group of Islamic states in mid- October 2001, he gave up the only opportunity the United States would have to end bin Laden's terrorist career for the next nine years. The al Qaeda leader was able to escape into Pakistan a few weeks later, because the Bush administration had no military plan to capture him.

"You know, I just don't spend that much time on him," Bush said of bin Laden at a Mar. 13, 2002 press conference. (Credit:White House photo)

The last Taliban foreign minister, Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, offered at a secret meeting in Islamabad Oct. 15, 2001 to put bin Laden in the custody of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), to be tried for the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States, Muttawakil told IPS in an interview in Kabul last year.

The OIC is a moderate, Saudi-based organisation representing all Islamic countries. A trial of bin Laden by judges from OIC member countries might have dealt a more serious blow to al Qaeda's Islamic credentials than anything the United States would have done with bin Laden.

Muttawakil also dropped a condition that the United States provide evidence of bin Laden's guilt in the 9/11 attacks, which had been raised in late September and reiterated by Taliban Ambassador to Pakistan Abdul Salam Zaeef on Oct. 5 - two days before the U.S. bombing of Taliban targets began.

There had been sketchy press reports at the time that the Taliban foreign minister had made a new offer in Islamabad to have bin Laden tried by one or more foreign countries. No Taliban or former Taliban official, however, had provided details of what had actually been proposed until Muttawakil's revelation.

Muttawakil, who was detained at Bagram airbase for 18 months after the ouster of the Taliban regime and now lives in Kabul with the approval of the Hamid Karzai government, told IPS he had also offered a second alternative - a "special court" to try bin Laden that Afghanistan and two other Islamic governments would establish.

Muttawakil was believed by U.S. officials to have had the trust of Taliban leader Mullah Omar. A December 1998 cable from the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad said he was "considered Omar's closest adviser on political issues" and that he had become Omar's "point man" on foreign affairs in 1997.

The new Taliban negotiating offer came almost immediately after the U.S. began bombing Taliban targets on Oct. 7, 2001. The fear of the bombing – and what was likely to follow – evidently spurred the Taliban leadership to be more forthcoming on bin Laden.

But Bush brusquely rejected any talks on the Taliban proposal, declaring, "They must have not heard. There's no negotiations."

Bush rejected the Taliban offer despite the fact that U.S. intelligence had picked up reports in the previous months of deep divisions within the Taliban regime over bin Laden. It was because of those reports that Bush had authorised secret meetings by a CIA officer with a high-ranking Taliban official in late September.

Former CIA director George Tenet recalled in his memoirs that the CIA station chief in Pakistan, Robert Grenier, met with Mullah Osmani, the second ranking Taliban official, in Baluchistan province of Pakistan.

But Grenier was only authorised to offer Osmani three options: turning bin Laden over to the United States; letting the Americans find him on their own; or a third option, as Tenet described it, to "administer justice themselves, in a way that clearly took him off the table".

Osmani rejected those three options, as well as a subsequent proposal by Grenier on Oct. 2 that he oust Mullah Omar from power and publicly announce on the radio that bin Laden would be handed over to the United States immediately.

On Oct. 3, Bush publicly ruled out negotiations with the Taliban. They had to "turn over the al Qaeda organisation living in Afghanistan and must destroy the terrorist camps," he said, adding "There are no negotiations."

Milton Bearden, the former CIA station chief in Pakistan during the Mujahideen war against the Soviets, observed to the Washington Post two weeks after Bush had rejected Muttawakil's new offer that the Taliban needed a face-saving way of resolving the issue consistent with its Islamic values.

"We never heard what they were trying to say," Bearden said.

The Bush refusal to negotiate with the Taliban was in effect a free pass for bin Laden and his lieutenants, because the Bush administration had no plan of its own for apprehending bin Laden in Afghanistan. It did not even know what level of military effort would have been required for the United States to be able to block bin Laden's exit routes from Afghanistan into Pakistan.

The absence of any military planning to catch bin Laden was a function of Bush's national security team, led by Vice-President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld, which had firmly opposed any military operation in Afghanistan that would have had any possibility of catching bin Laden and his lieutenants.

Rumsfeld and the second-ranking official at the Pentagon, Paul Wolfowitz, had dismissed CIA warnings of an al Qaeda terrorist attack against the United States in the summer of 2001, and even after 9/11 had continued to question the CIA's conclusion that bin Laden and al Qaeda were behind the attacks.

Cheney and Rumsfeld were determined not to allow a focus on bin Laden to interfere with their plan for a U.S. invasion of Iraq to overthrow the Saddam Hussein regime.

Even after Bush decided in favour of an Afghan campaign, CENTCOM commander Tommy Franks, who was responsible for the war in Afghanistan, was not directed to have a plan for bin Laden’s capture or to block his escape to Pakistan.

When the CIA received intelligence on Nov. 12, 2001 that bin Laden had left Kandahar and was headed for a cave complex in the Tora Bora Mountains close to the Pakistani border, Franks had no assets in place to do anything about it. He asked Lt. Gen. Paul T. Mikolashek, commander of Army Central Command (ARCENT), if he could provide a blocking force between al Qaeda and the Pakistani border, according to Col. David W. Lamm, who was then commander of ARCENT Kuwait.

But that was impossible, because ARCENT had neither the troops nor the strategic lift in Kuwait required to put such a force in place.

Franks then had to ask for Pakistani military help in blocking bin Laden's exit into Pakistan, as Rumsfeld told a National Security Council meeting, according to the meeting transcript in Bob Woodward's book "Bush at War".

But Rumsfeld and other key advisers knew it would a charade, because bin Laden was a long-time ally of the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI, and the Pakistani military was not about to help capture him.

Franks asked President Pervez Musharraf to deploy troops along the Afghan-Pakistan border near Tora Bora, and Musharraf agreed to redeploy 60,000 troops to the area from the border with India, according to U.S. Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin, who was present at the meeting.

But the Pakistani president said his army would need airlift assistance from the United States to carry out the redeployment. That would have required an entire aviation brigade, including hundreds of helicopters, and hundreds of support troops to deliver that many combat troops to the border region, according to Lamm.

Those were assets the U.S. military did not have in the theatre.

Osama bin Laden had been effectively guaranteed an exit to Pakistan by a Bush policy that had rejected either diplomatic or military means to do anything about him.

In an implicit acknowledgement that the administration had not been seriously concerned with apprehending bin Laden, Bush declared in a Mar. 13, 2002 press conference that bin Laden was "a person who's now been marginalised", and added, "You know, I just don't spend that much time on him…"

Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specialising in U.S. national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, "Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam", was published in 2006.
 by Gareth Porter

sirius xm: sirius radio sirius sirius canada

sirius radio sirius sirius canada chattijd lara tv
Sirius and XM satellite radio formally merged in 2008 and, three years later, a remapping of their channel lineup has made the two networks finally appear as one.
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SiriusXM's new schedule starts Wednesday with most channels moving to new numbers and a few exceptions. For example, Howard Stern's two stations, Howard 100 and Howard 101, are still on channels 100 and 101, respectively.

Top-40 station SiriusXM Hits 1, which was previously on XM 1 and Sirius 2, is now just on channel 2. Martha Stewart Living Radio, Oprah Radio, Hair Nation, Pearl Jam Radio, Playboy Radio, Shade 45, Radio Disney and more than a hundred other stations also have new, unified dial positions now.

For the stations that have moved, SiriusXM says that presets "should automatically 'follow' any channels that you’ve preset to their new locations." If you still can't find the channels you want, the company has posted a guide to their new channel lineup.

Stern, who signed a new five-year contract in December, is expected to start a new reduced schedule this week. According to Digital Spy, Stern told his listeners last Thursday that he would begin alternating between three-day and four-day work weeks beginning in May. The infamous radio shock jock, who has remained on the air since suing SiriusXM in March for withheld stock awards, said his contract allows the lighter workload.
Things are looking up all over. Sirius just reported that they had a great quarter thanks to new car sales. They are up 118% new subscribers from Q1 2010 and hit 20 million subscribers, up 2 million from the same period last year.

    Subscriber growth accelerates. Strong auto sales drove net subscriber additions in the first quarter of 2011 to 373,064, up 118% from 171,441 in the first quarter of 2010. Ending subscribers as of March 31, 2011 were 20,564,028, up 9% from the 18,944,199 subscribers reported as of March 31, 2010.

Clearly the small uptick in buying is improving the outlook for cars and the radios inside them alike.
SiriusXM announced Tuesday that its first quarter profits had gone up 88 percent, thanks to improved auto sales driving subscriber growth. The satellite radio served posted a revenue of $724 million for the quarter, which Forbes says fell just short of expectations of $736.3 million. Still, the company's first quarter revenue improved 9 percent from a year earlier.

The Wall Street Journal reports SiriusXM ended the quarter with 20.6 million subscribers, up from 18.9 million a year earlier. "Churn," also known as subscriber turnover, was unchanged at 2 percent while acquisition costs went down 3.4 percent. Average revenue per subscriber had gone up 0.3 percent.
The net subscriber growth of 373,064 puts the New York-based satellite radio operator over 20.5 million subscribers (20,564,028) for the first time. That figure is up 9% from the 18.9 million subs of a year ago. The company also reveals that its "SAC", or subscriber acquisition cost, continues to drop, from $59 to $57, and the churn is stable, at around 2%. CEO Mel Karmazin says "we operate in a highly competitive audio environment, yet consumers continue to choose SiriusXM."
sirius radio, sirius, sirius canada, chattijd, lara tv
Free cash flow improved from a negative $127 million last year to a negative $17 million, partly driven by lower costs related to satellites. Net income nearly doubled, from $42 million last year to $78 million for the quarter that ended March 31. That's equal to 1 cent per share. CFO David Frear says "we ended the first quarter with $434 million of cash and cash equivalents" after using $135 million to buy back debt. The leverage (net debt to adjusted EBITDA) improved from 6.6 times a year ago to 4.1 times. SiriusXM sticks with its guidance of achieving $3 billion in total revenue this year and adjusted EBITDA of about  $715 million. Subscriber-wise, it believes it can add a total of 1.4 million subs in 2011, and should generate a better-than-expected $350 million or in free cash flow. 
SiriusXM said it expects to grow by another 1.4 million subscribers this year.

Navy SEALs: Set the Navy SEALs on Whitey Bulger

whitey bulger
The Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden are being hailed as heroes for carrying out one of the most high-stakes missions in U.S. military history.
You’ll have to admit that the Pakistani ambassador to the United States did have a point when he was explaining how Osama bin Laden could live so openly in Pakistan for so long.

“If Whitey Bulger can live undetected by American police for so long,” Husain Haqqani told the Atlantic, “why can’t Osama bin Laden live undetected by Pakistani authorities?”

He’s right, isn’t he? The reason Whitey could live “undetected” so long was exactly the same reason that bin Laden could likewise remain “undetected” in Pakistan. He was one of the boys, he was on the team.
Most of what the SEALs do is never seen publicly. But CBS News has gone into their midst. CBS News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Lara Logan spent two months with U.S. Navy SEALs in southern Afghanistan in 2004, reporting for "60 Minutes." On "The Early Show" Wednesday, Logan offered a look at her report in light of the Sunday mission that resulted in the death of bin Laden.

SEAL operations are extremely secretive, Logan reported.
Haqqani, it turns out, is a former BU professor, so he knows the Whitey story. My old friend Chris Lydon told me that yesterday, and Lydon pointed out another similarity between the FBI’s two Most Wanted. Both were recruited by U.S. intelligence (FBI, CIA) for use against other enemies (the Italians, the Soviets). Eventually, however, the wars the feds hired them to fight were won.

As Lydon wrote to Haqqani yesterday, “The U.S. authorities in both cases forgot to deal with their agents, who suddenly went rogue and then disappeared entirely.”

Of course, it’s easier to be missing when the cops are looking under every rock except the one you’re hiding under.

What was it that Whitey once said to the cops from the DEA? “You’re the good good guys and we’re the good bad guys.”

So here was Osama, living in a fortress in the literal shadow of Pakistan’s West Point. And yet nobody knew what was going on?

Look, I didn’t force the Pakistani ambassador to set me up to write this column. But yes, I do have a new book out in which Whitey figures prominently, and if you’d like to get a personally autographed copy of “Hitman,” I’ll be signing them tonight at the Paper Store in West Roxbury at 7:30.

Back in 1975, Whitey et al set up a Dorchester bar owner named Eddie Connors. They maneuvered him into a phone booth at the Sunoco station on the corner of Morrissey Boulevard and Freeport Street. A couple of hundred yards away was a function hall, where a few hundred cops inside were getting loaded at some big retirement banquet.

You think the presence of all those cops stopped Whitey and Stevie? They knew nobody was going to hear them, and nobody did. For decades you could stroll into the death booth, its broken glass replaced, pick up the phone and see the nicks in the receiver left by Whitey’s bullet holes.

One rogue agent down, one to go. Maybe instead of the FBI, the feds oughta send the Navy SEAL Team 6 after Whitey.

She said, "It took us more than six months to negotiate access to one of their teams -- something that had never been done. For almost two months, we joined them as they hunted down some of the world's most elusive terrorists."

The SEALs were receiving final instructions from their team chief for a mission that would start in just a few hours.

One soldier said to the troops at the time, "I'm going home to see my kids, and you guys are going home to see yours."

While "60 Minutes" spent time with the SEALs, the force's plan was to go after a mid-level Taliban commander, but new intelligence had just come in that compelled them to switch targets at the last minute, a possible location for Rosie Khan, the most powerful Taliban commander in the south of the country.

Logan reported the SEALs knew Khan was the man financing and recruiting Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters and bringing them over the border from Pakistan. Logan and her team flew in with Army pilots from the National Guard, right into the heart of the Taliban insurgency.

As the SEALs approached, Logan noted, people in the village would be able to hear the pounding helicopter blades, so the SEALs prepared to take fire and braced for impact. The SEALs immediately surrounded the village to stop anyone trying to escape into the nearby mountains.

The team commander was in radio contact with his men. They'd spotted a lone man headed away from the village, but no one knew then if he was the person they were after. The Apaches dropped flares to mark the man's position.

A soldier said at the time, "We've got to get him. That's probably him. All forces, it's important that you hold your positions at this time. We're going to take him out with the Apaches."

But before the team commander could give that order, he lost contact with the Apaches, so the SEALs on the ground returned fire and killed him.

Logan asked during the mission, "What can you tell us about the man who's down?"

A soldier told "60 Minutes, "The man -- the man that's down right now appears to be the primary target."

Logan asked the soldier, "What would it mean if you really did have this guy?"

He answered, "It would be -- it would be huge."

On "The Early Show" Wednesday, co-anchor Erica Hill noted Logan wasn't embedded with the team reputed to have killed bin Laden, but Logan does have some insight now into what's it's like to be a SEAL and the nature of their missions.

Logan said the SEALs had been anticipating the bin Laden mission.

She said, "In some sense, there's rivalry: Only a couple of groups that are specifically trained to that level for a high-value target mission like this. It's the highest that you can go, and they spend most of the time, even once they're qualified, they're training over and over and over again, perfecting their techniques. They have to be able to prepare for anything that happens, and it's a very high-stakes world that they live in, and a very shadowy one. Their identities are particularly secret."

As seen in the "60 Minutes" report, the SEALs ultimately got their man, reportedly -- even after experiencing some difficulty with the Apache helicopters - not entirely unlike the reported issues the SEALs experienced in the mission to root out bin Laden.

Logan said the SEALs were ready for those kinds of issues on missions.

"That's not unexpected," she said. "Helicopters have mechanical problems or problems arise all the time, so they would have been prepared for that. It would have probably got their hearts racing a little bit more than they already were, and what's particularly dangerous about a situation like that, you don't have, you are not in the middle of a war, where there are all other kinds of assets around and people standing by ready to come to your aid."

She continued, "You're not supposed to be on the ground in Pakistan. And so they don't want the Pakistan army and military authorities know that they're there until their mission is over. Because they don't want anything to go wrong."

Logan said the mission to bin Laden's compound was "extraordinarily long" for the SEALs.

She explained, "All the operators that I've spoken to say it would have only taken about five minutes to kill Osama bin Laden and capture everybody in that compound. And they would have spent the rest of that time collecting all that evidence. It seems like they knew what they were going into and they were going to take back everything of value."

"We were always led to believe Osama bin Laden was in a cave with a notebook, at best," she concluded. "It doesn't seem like that is what (the SEALs believed. They went in prepared to collect as much evidence as possible."

cnn osama bin laden dead pictures: Should U.S. release pictures of Osama bin Laden's body?

 us release pictures of osama bin laden's body
CIA Director Leon Panetta said Tuesday he thinks a photograph of Osama bin Laden's body will be released at some point, but that it is up to the White House to make the final call. A senior administration official said that no decision has been made yet as to whether to release the photo.

According to a senior U.S. official, the White House has received three sets of photographs. The first batch, which clearly show bin Laden's body, was taken at a hangar in Afghanistan, the official said. The official described one of the images as a clear, but gruesome, picture of his face. Bin Laden is shown with a massive open head wound across both eyes, the official said, adding that the image would not be appropriate for the front pages of newspapers. The White House is hesitating over whether or not to release a picture of Osama Bin Laden’s body to prove to the doubters that the leader of Al Qaeda is dead. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the “gruesome” image could inflame sensitivities. “We are looking at releasing additional information, details about the raid as well as any other types of material, possibly including photos,” White House counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan said on ABC News’s Good Morning America  show. “We want to understand exactly what the possible reaction might be to the release of this information.” However, CIA chief Leon Panetta said there was no question it would at some point be shown to the public. Bin Laden was shot in the head during the raid on his compound in Abbottabad,  Pakistan. The body was buried at sea. Pakistan has hit back at US statements suggesting it could not be trusted with details of the operation which killed Osama Bin Laden. In an interview with the BBC, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir insisted that his country played a “pivotal role” in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden and said US claims that Pakistan could not be trusted was “disquieting.” “As far as the target compound is concerned, ISI had been sharing information with CIA and other friendly intelligence agencies since 2009,” declared Bashir. When the U.S. military released pictures of the bodies of Saddam Hussein's slain sons in 2003, it was to prove that they were dead and to stem attacks on U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

Photos of Osama bin Laden's body, however, present some thornier issues.

The Obama administration was still debating Tuesday whether to release the gruesome images of bin Laden's corpse, balancing efforts to demonstrate to the world that he was dead against the risk that the images could provoke further anti-U.S. sentiment. But CIA Director Leon Panetta said Tuesday that a photograph would be released.

"The government, obviously, has been talking about how best to do this, but I don't think there was any question that, ultimately, a photograph would be presented to the public," Panetta said in an interview with "NBC Nightly News."

Some doctored images purporting to be bin Laden already have surfaced on the Internet. And the FBI also warned Tuesday to use caution upon receipt of e-mails that purport to show photos or videos of bin Laden's death because some are being used to spread viruses.

National security law experts had mixed opinions, expressing many of the same concerns as the Obama administration.

"I would advise against releasing the photos," said John Radsan, a national security law expert, former assistant general counsel for the CIA and now a professor at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn.

"It will be seen as disrespectful or intended to humiliate by some audiences, and I doubt that it will satisfy the skeptics," said Radsan, a former Detroiter whose parents were born in Iran. "We are a visual society, and people want visual confirmation. But, at times, we have to take the word of our government, our military and our intelligence agencies."

But Imad Hamad, regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Dearborn, said he has no problem if the government releases the photo.

"I'm fine either way," he said. "I can understand the logic that says we want to see the body ... but it could also spark more violence."

Troy attorney Shereef Akeel, an Egyptian American and Muslim, said: "It would have been more gratifying if the man had been hauled in alive to face justice."

Akeel acknowledged the trade-off between giving families of victims closure and a sense that justice has been done and inflaming terrorists to pursue more mayhem.

Asked if he would like to see the photo, Akeel said: "To me, it's not meaningful. I'll take the administration's word for it."
So will Paul McNulty, a former U.S. deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush. The onetime No. 2 official at the Justice Department said he believes the government got the right man -- and he doesn't need to see any photos as proof.

"The credibility of what has occurred seems to be self apparent, and I don't think the government should react too quickly to any expression of that kind of skepticism," he said. "I think they've made a very credible case for what has occurred."

Bin Laden’s neighbours noticed unusual things

ABBOTTABAD: When a woman involved in a polio vaccine drive turned up at Osama bin Laden’s hideaway, she remarked to the men behind the high walls about the expensive SUVs parked inside. The men took the vaccine, apparently to administer to the 23 children at the compound, and told her to go away.
cnn, bbc, dawn news abbotabad washington osama bin laden house

cnn, bbc, dawn news abbotabad washington osama bin laden house

The terror chief and his family kept well hidden behind thick walls in this northwestern hill town they shared with thousands of Pakistani soldiers. But glimpses of their life are emerging – along with deep skepticism that authorities didn’t know they were there.

Although the house is large, it was unclear how three dozen people could have lived there with any degree of comfort.

Neighbours said they knew little about those inside in the compound but bin Laden apparently depended on two men who would routinely emerge to run errands or to a neighborhood gathering, such as a funeral. There were conflicting details about the men’s identities. Several people said they were known as Tariq and Arshad Khan and had identified themselves as cousins from elsewhere in northwestern Pakistan. Others gave different names and believed they were brothers.

Arshad was the oldest, and both spoke multiple languages, including Pashto and Urdu, which are common here, residents said.

As Navy SEALs swept through the compound early Monday, they handcuffed those they encountered with plastic zip ties and pressed on in pursuit of bin Laden. After killing the terror leader, his son and two others, they doubled back to move nine women and 23 children away from the compound, according to US officials.

Those survivors of the raid are now ”in safe hands and being looked after in accordance to the law,” the Pakistani government said in a statement. ”As per policy, they will be handed over to their countries of origin.” It did not elaborate.

Also unclear was why bin Laden chose Abbottabad, though at least two other top al-Qaida leaders have sheltered in this town. The bustling streets are dotted with buildings left over from British colonial days. These days it attracts some tourists, but is known mostly as a garrison town wealthier than many others in Pakistan.

Bin Laden found it safe enough to stay for up to six years, according to US officials, a stunning length of time to remain in one place right under the noses of a US-funded army that had ostensibly been trying to track him down. Most intelligence assessments believed him to be along the Afghan-Pakistan border, perhaps in a cave.

Construction of the three-story house began about seven years ago, locals said. People initially were curious about the heavily fortified compound – which had walls as high as 18 feet topped with barbed wire – but over time they just grew to believe the family inside was deeply religious and conservative.

The Pakistani government also pushed back at suggestions that security forces were sheltering bin Laden or failed to spot suspicious signs.

”It needs to be appreciated that many houses (in the northwest) have high boundary walls, in line with their culture of privacy and security,” the government said. ”Houses with such layout and structural details are not a rarity.”

The house has been described as a mansion, even a luxury one, but from the outside it is nothing special. Bin Laden may have well have been able to take in a view of the hills from secluded spots in the garden, though.

The walls are stained with mold, trees are in the garden and the windows are hidden. US officials said the house had no internet or phone connection to reduce the risk of electronic surveillance. They also said residents burned their trash to avoid collection.

Those who live nearby said the people in bin Laden’s compound rarely strayed outside. Most were unaware that foreigners – bin Laden and his family are Arabs – were living there.

Khurshid Bibi, in her 70s, said one man living in the compound had given her a lift to the market in the rain. She said her grandchildren played with the kids in the house and that the adults there gave them rabbits as a gift.

But the occupants also attracted criticism.

”People were skeptical in this neighborhood about this place and these guys. They used to gossip, say they were smugglers or drug dealers. People would complain that even with such a big house they didn’t invite the poor or distribute charity,” said Mashood Khan, a 45-year-old farmer.

Questions persisted about how authorities could not have known who was living in the compound, especially since it was close to a prestigious military academy.

As in other Pakistani towns, hotels in Abbottabad are supposed to report the presence of foreigners to the police, as are estate agents. Abbottabad police chief Mohammed Naeem said the police followed the procedures but ”human error cannot be avoided.”

Reporters were allowed to get as far as the walls of the compound for the first time, but the doors were sealed shut and police were in no mood to open them.

Neighbours showed off small parts of what appeared to be a U.S. helicopter that malfunctioned and was disabled by the American strike team as it retreated. A small servant’s room outside the perimeter showed signs of violent entry and a brisk search. Clothes and bedding had been tossed aside. A wall clock was on the floor, the time stuck at 2:20.

Abbottabad has so far been spared the terrorist bombings that have scarred much of Pakistan over the last four years.

Like many Pakistani towns where the army has a strong presence, Abbottabad is well-manicured, and has solid infrastructure. Street signs tell residents to “Love Pakistan.” The city also is known for its good schools, including some that were originally established by Christian missionaries.

Little girls wear veils while carrying Hannah Montana backpacks to school. Many houses in the outlying areas have modern amenities, but lie along streets covered with trash. Shepherds herd their flock of sheep along dusty roads just a few hundred yards from modern banks.

Al-Qaida’s No. 3, Abu Faraj al-Libi, lived in the town before his arrest in 2005 elsewhere in northwest Pakistan, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials. Earlier this year, Indonesian terror suspect Umar Patek was nabbed at a house in the town following the arrest of an al-Qaida courier who worked at the post office. It is not clear whether Patek had any links with bin Laden.

Western officials have long regarded Pakistani security forces with suspicion, chiefly over their links to militants fighting in Afghanistan. Last year, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton caused anger in Pakistan when she said she found it “hard to believe” that no one in Islamabad knows where the al-Qaida leaders are hiding and couldn’t get them “if they really wanted to.”

But al-Qaida has been responsible for scores of bloody attacks inside Pakistan, including on its army and civilian leaders. Critics of Pakistan have speculated that a possible motivation for Pakistan to have kept bin Laden on the run — rather than arresting or killing him — would be to ensure a constant flow of U.S. aid and weapons into the country.

Suspicions were also aired in Pakistani media and on the street Tuesday.

“That house was obviously a suspicious one,” said Jahangir Khan, who was buying a newspaper in Abbottabad. “Either it was a complete failure of our intelligence agencies or they were involved in this affair.” – AP
ABBOTTABAD/WASHINGTON: Osama bin Laden was unarmed when he was shot dead by US special forces, the White House said, as Pakistan faced further pressure on Wednesday to explain how the world’s most-wanted man was able to shelter so long in a town near its capital.

Washington vowed to “get to the bottom” of whether Pakistan helped bin Laden elude a 10-year manhunt before he was killed in a US raid on his fortified compound in the town of Abbottabad.

Islamabad denied it gave shelter to the al Qaeda leader.

The CIA said it did not tell Pakistan in advance about the raid because it feared bin Laden would be tipped off, highlighting the depth of mistrust between the two supposed allies.

US officials were also wrestling with whether to release graphic photographs of bin Laden’s body – which could provide proof of his death but also risks offending Muslims.

“It’s fair to say that it’s a gruesome photograph,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

Pakistan has welcomed bin Laden’s death, but its foreign ministry expressed “deep concerns” about what it called an “unauthorised unilateral action”. US helicopters carrying the commandos used radar “blind spots” in the hilly terrain along the Afghan border to enter Pakistani airspace undetected.

Carney insisted bin Laden resisted during the raid – although he would not say how – when US forces stormed his compound north of Islamabad and engaged in a firefight there.

“There was concern that bin Laden would oppose the capture operation and, indeed, he resisted,” Carney said. “A woman, bin Laden’s wife, rushed the US assaulter and was shot in the leg but not killed. Bin Laden was then shot and killed. He was not armed.”

While many world leaders applauded the US operation that killed bin Laden, there were concerns in parts of Europe that the United States was wrong to act as policeman, judge and executioner.

US Attorney General Eric Holder defended the action as lawful on Tuesday, but some in Europe said bin Laden should have been captured and put on trial.

“It was quite clearly a violation of international law,” former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt told German TV.

“The operation could also have incalculable consequences in the Arab world in light of all the unrest.”

Pakistan under Scrutiny

Pakistan has come under intense international scrutiny since bin Laden’s death, with questions on whether its security agencies were too incompetent to catch him or knew all along where he was hiding, and even whether they were complicit.

The compound where bin Laden has been hiding, possibly for as long as five or six years, was close to Pakistan’s military academy in Abbottabad, about 40 miles (65 km) from Islamabad.

“It would be premature to rule out the possibility that there were some individuals inside of Pakistan, including within the official Pakistani establishment, who might have been aware of this,” White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan told National Public Radio.

“We’re not accusing anybody at this point, but we want to make sure we get to the bottom of this.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron told BBC radio that Islamabad must answer questions about what he called bin Laden’s “support network” in Pakistan.

CIA Director Leon Panetta, in an unusually blunt interview with Time magazine, explained why Islamabad was not informed of the raid until all the helicopters carrying the US Navy SEALs and bin Laden’s body were out of Pakistani airspace.

“It was decided that any effort to work with the Pakistanis could jeopardize the mission: They might alert the targets,” Panetta said.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, in the first substantive public comment by any Pakistani leader, defended his government, which receives billions of dollars in aid from the United States.

“Some in the US press have suggested that Pakistan lacked vitality in its pursuit of terrorism, or worse yet that we were disingenuous and actually protected the terrorists we claimed to be pursuing,” Zardari wrote in the Washington Post. “Such baseless speculation doesn’t reflect fact.”

Later Pakistan’s foreign ministry said its Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency had been sharing information about the compound with the CIA and other friendly intelligence agencies since 2009 and had continued to do so until mid-April.

“It is important to highlight that taking advantage of much superior and technological assets, CIA exploited the intelligence leads given by us to identify and reach Osama bin Laden,” the ministry said in a lengthy statement.

Bin Laden Death: How The Bin Laden Raid Went Down??

As details continue to emerge regarding the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound, the situation becomes a bit easier to visualize.
cnn bbc bin laden death video How The Bin Laden Raid Went Down video

From the helicopter trouble to the death of the man himself, ABC News has put together a virtual visualization that sums up the events of the raid in just over a minute. Providing a few details and summarizing what is already known, it serves as a cheat-sheet to the raid.

It's not exactly CGI, but it does serve as a good visual guide to the situation.

You can check it out for yourself below.

The video also features a 3D rendering of the compound, giving some perspective on the type of building SEAL Team Six had to enter and how they handled the situation. Bin Laden Death , Bin Laden Dead , Bin Laden Raid , Bin Laden Raid Video , How The Bin Laden Raid Went Down , How The Osama Bin Laden Raid Went Down , How The Osama Raid Went Down , Osama Bin Laden Dead , Osama Bin Laden Death , Osama Bin Laden Raid , World News
The FBI is warning computer users against unsolicited emails purporting to show photos or videos of the killing of Osama bin Laden.

The bureau says they may contain a virus that can steal personal identification information or infect a computer. In a statement Tuesday, the bureau cautioned that such malicious software can even be passed along unknowingly by a friend or family member.

The FBI urged the public to adjust privacy settings on social networking sites to make it more difficult for people to post material.
The Navy SEAL team that offed the 21st century’s most wanted man Sunday was so concerned about preparation and accuracy that they re-created the one-acre compound where their target was living, “Ocean’s Eleven” style. The SEALS ran trial runs there in early April until they were ready to take down Osama bin Laden.

This snippet, mentioned in a depiction of the raid posted at the Atlantic, highlights one particularly interesting facet of this operation: It centered on people. Certainly, the specialized Black Hawk helicopters, hyperspectral imagers and other tactical technology were key — but in the end, bin Laden met his demise at the hands of ultra-trained human warriors, not machines. Here’s how it went down. Back in August, American officials received a tip that bin Laden was hiding in Waziristan Mansion, a suburban compound with walls up to 18 feet whose residents burned their trash and employed various other security measures. Over the next few months, CIA analysts studied whether the chief resident could be anyone else, and decided it was almost certainly him.

In March, President Obama authorized a plan to bomb the compound using B2 stealth planes carrying 2,000-pound ordnance. But ABC News reports the president learned the compound would be reduced to rubble and changed his mind, partly because of the risk of civilian casualties and partly because the destruction would mean there was no proof the leader of al Qaeda was dead. Then he ordered in the SEALs instead.

SEAL Team Six practiced at Camp Alpha, a segregated portion of Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, using a replica of Waziristan Mansion. Team Six, also known as DevGru (the Naval Special Warfare Development Group), is part of the Joint Special Operations Command, the same folks who took out a team of Somali pirates two years ago to rescue a merchant marine captain.

Obama authorized the raid Friday morning, and proceeded to the planned launch of space shuttle Endeavour with First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughters. He also toured areas in Alabama that had been devastated by a string of tornadoes last week.

The operation was scheduled for Saturday night, when the team could take advantage of scant moonlight, but cloudy weather over Islamabad pushed it back to Sunday, according to various reports. The SEALs boarded modified Black Hawk helicopters at Ghazi Air Base in Pakistan and flew to the compound without alerting Pakistani authorities. Though U.S. authorities have not confirmed any additional air support, Danger Room points out that it's unlikely the CIA and JSOC would risk sending in a bare-bones team to face terrorists capable of shooting down helicopters. (One of them was indeed shot down.) “That means air cover—most likely armed drones or Air Force gunships,” Danger Room notes.

The SEALs swept in, engaged in a firefight, ordered bin Laden to surrender, and when he refused, shot him twice in the head. Such a “double tap” would be standard procedure, military officials told ABC News. His body was quickly taken away for DNA testing, ensuring it was really him. Bin Laden was later buried at sea according to Islamic rites. American officials are still contemplating whether to release photos of his body.
 Bin Laden Death  ,  Bin Laden Dead  ,  Bin Laden Raid  ,  Bin Laden Raid Video  ,  How The Bin Laden Raid Went Down  ,  How The Osama Bin Laden Raid Went Down  ,  How The Osama Raid Went Down  ,  Osama Bin Laden Dead  ,  Osama Bin Laden Death  ,  Osama Bin Laden Raid  ,   World News

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Scott Pelley: tv on demand

news media , cbs, katie couric, scott pelley, scott pelley 60 minutes, 60 minutes scott pelley, tv on demand, news from the week
tv on demand
She announced she was officially leaving last week, and now Katie Couric has an exit date.

CBS announced today that Scott Pelley will take over as its evening news anchor starting on June 6.

The network announcement was not a surprise and it was expected the third place newscast would select the veteran 60 Minutes reporter to replace Couric after almost five years.

Couric is pursuing a syndicated talk show, but hasn't said where she will be working next. The date for her final CBS broadcast has not been set, but her contract expires in June.

Pelley is a Texas native who has worked at CBS for two decades. He will inherit a broadcast that is in last place in the ratings behind NBC and ABC, and has been for some time.

CBS said Pelley will continue to do stories for '60 Minutes.'

Last week, after months of speculation, the Couric spoke to People magazine to finally set the record straight.

She told them: 'I have decided to step down from the CBS Evening News. I'm really proud of the talented team on the CBS Evening News and the award-winning work we've been able to do in the past five years in addition to the reporting I've done for 60 Minutes and CBS Sunday Morning.
The appointment five years ago of Katie Couric as evening news anchor represented a bold step, certainly something new for CBS News. Her likely successor, Scott Pelley, hearkens back to a day when CBS was the gold standard in television news.

Pelley, the "60 Minutes" correspondent who has worked at CBS for 21 years, is expected to be named next week as anchor of the third-rated evening newscast, to compete nightly with Brian Williams of NBC and Diane Sawyer of ABC. Many at CBS News see no other candidate.

The expected new anchor is a courtly, 53-year-old Texan, born in San Antonio. Pelley worked in local TV news in Dallas and Lubbock, and worked at CBS as a Texas-based national correspondent. He was a CBS News White House correspondent during the end of the Clinton years, became a correspondent for the short-lived "60 Minutes II" spinoff and joined "60 Minutes" in 2003.

At CBS he has won awards for reporting on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, for stories on American waste that winds up in toxic dumps overseas instead of being recycled, and this season he has reported extensively on the human repercussions of the recession.

"He's relentless as a reporter and he is relentless in his drive to do good journalism," said Dan Rather, a fellow Texan and former "CBS Evening News" anchor. "He's a rock-solid believer in the tradition, history, legends and myths of CBS News."

The CBS News tradition that goes back half a century to Edward R. Murrow is looked on with pride by many at the network and outside, a reflection of an era where excellence in reporting and seriousness of purpose ruled. The new CBS News chairman, Jeff Fager, is a CBS veteran seen as trying to bring back those values. To many, though, it's a time gone by with CBS' news division a clear third in strength behind NBC and ABC.

The evening anchor has long been seen as the face of a news division. Dwindling viewers, the importance of morning shows as profit centers and the ability of people to get news quickly on the Internet or cable news networks has reduced the influence of ABC's "World News," NBC's "Nightly News" and the CBS newscast over the years. Still, the three newscasts collectively averaged 22 million viewers last week, the Nielsen Co. said.

Pelley is a meticulous journalist who does the little things to make a broadcast better, said Beth Knobel, a former Moscow bureau chief for CBS News and now a professor at Fordham University. When Pelley recently filled in as news anchor, he called correspondents ahead of time to craft their own questions for him to ask them on the air, which made them noticeably more informative than if he had read questions written by others, she said.

"He has the best qualities of the people who made CBS News America's premier news organization," she said. "He has the moral compass of Edward R. Murrow, the intensity of Mike Wallace and the compassion of Ed Bradley."

She suggested that in Pelley's hands, CBS' evening newscast would be more hard-news oriented, with fewer human interest features.

Andrew Tyndall, a consultant whose Tyndall Report monitors the content of network evening newscasts, said the "CBS Evening News" under Couric and Executive Producer Rick Kaplan is already "harder" than its counterparts at ABC and NBC. He judges this by the amount of international news it includes, and that its features are more public-policy oriented.

Couric has solid news credentials, but many people look at her and remember Halloween costumes, makeovers and happy talk at the "Today" show, he said.

"The transition from Couric to Pelley is going to be more about having a face on the newscast whose persona does not undercut the content, rather than allowing them to change content," Tyndall said.

Couric, who is said to be weighing overtures from ABC, CBS and NBC centered on a syndicated talk show, expressed frustration at the limitations of the anchor job shortly after confirming this week she was leaving the CBS post. CBS has set no exit date.

"While it was a privilege to sit in that chair that was occupied by Walter Cronkite, you know it's a pretty confining venue," she said in an interview with PBS' Tavis Smiley that aired Wednesday evening. "I'm looking forward to doing what I think is what I do best, which is interacting with people, interviewing people, having more of an extended conversation."

Pelley comes without the detractors that stuck with Couric almost from the start, but also without her public profile. He can also seem stiff and formal on the air -- the same criticism that current ratings leader Williams faced when he took over for Tom Brokaw at NBC.

That's not necessarily bad, Tyndall said. Williams grew into his job and Pelley has the potential to do the same. "It allows you to work into the job rather than have the job change to fit you," he said.

"He has Texas manners and he has Texas gentlemanly ways," Rather said. "In today's world, that strikes people as old-fashioned and stiff. I don't see it that way at all. It strikes me as genuine."

The only question Rather has about Pelley is his ability in special news situations that require long hours and ad-libbing, because it's something he hasn't done. But Rather said he believed Pelley had the skill to succeed.

Some who know Pelley also suggest he'd be good for morale, because he is known for reaching out and taking notice of others around him who have done good work. Couric has clearly been a polarizing figure at CBS News.

One question for CBS will be whether Pelley can maintain his connection to CBS' showcase news program, "60 Minutes," which Fager is still producing. Both Rather and Couric also worked for "60 Minutes," but their presence there was more nominal than real. Pelley has been a mainstay of the show. There's a new emphasis at CBS News in trying to tie the broadcasts together; Fager's top deputy recently scolded "The Early Show" leaders in a memo that quickly circulated on the Web for not highlighting reporting from "60 Minutes" and other CBS newscasts.

Another, more profound worry for CBS is that its evening newscast has become a permanent No. 3 -- much like its morning show has been for half a century. The evening newscast has been a clear No. 3 for more than a decade, and Couric couldn't change that. It is handicapped by weak programming leading into the newscast at many CBS stations. CBS' strength has always been in the heartland, and many of those viewers follow Shepard Smith at Fox News Channel, Tyndall said.

Pelley likely won't make much of an immediate ratings impact, Rather predicted.

"It won't be easy," he said. "It will take time and probably a little bit of luck. But I do think they can move up." CBS News made official today what had been unofficial for a while: Scott Pelley will succeed Katie Couric as anchor of The CBS Evening News, starting June 6.

The announcement is pretty much the opposite of everything Couric's was: it's not groundbreaking, risky or surprising. He's a competent, well-known CBS fixture—and falls into a reliable category for CBS, the white guy with a drawl. And I would assume the choice is uninspiring by design. With Couric, the network paid a lot to try to make a grab at the competition's viewers. With Pelley, it seems to be trying to offer familiarity to the viewers the third-place network still has, and, well, hoping something breaks its way in the future.

None of which is exactly a criticism or a compliment: it just is, which is to say, CBS is probably right to guess that the evening news is not in the innovation business anymore. But Pelley may prove very good at the staying-the-course business.


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