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Posted by wmmbb in US Politics.

The history of this sordid affair is being rephrased and then rewritten. There is an update for the happy multitudes from the New York Times – the most esteemed and reliable newspaper on the planet.

Mark Landler and Mark Mazzetti write:

The new details suggested that the raid, though chaotic and bloody, was extremely one-sided, with a force of more than 20 Navy Seal members quickly dispatching the handful of men protecting Bin Laden.

Administration officials said that the only shots fired by those in the compound came at the beginning of the operation, when Bin Laden’s trusted courier, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, opened fire from behind the door of the guesthouse adjacent to the house where Bin Laden was hiding.

William Saletan at Slate consider the conflicting and reports, it seems that males were targeted.

After the Seal members shot and killed Mr. Kuwaiti and a woman in the guesthouse, the Americans were never fired upon again.

This account differs from an official version of events issued by the Pentagon on Tuesday, and read by the White House spokesman, Jay Carney, which said the Seal members “were engaged in a firefight throughout the operation.”

In a television interview on PBS on Tuesday, Leon E. Panetta, the director of the C.I.A., said, “There were some firefights that were going on as these guys were making their way up the staircase of that compound.”

Administration officials said the official account of events has changed over the course of the week because it has taken time to get thorough after-action reports from the Seal team. And, they added, because the Special Operations troops had been fired upon as soon as they touched down in the compound, they were under the assumption that everyone inside was armed.

“They were in a threatening and hostile environment the entire time,” one American official said.

When the commandos moved into the main house, they saw the courier’s brother, who they believed was preparing to fire a weapon. They shot and killed him. Then, as they made their way up the stairs of the house, officials said they killed Bin Laden’s son Khalid as he lunged toward the Seal team.

When the commandos reached the top floor, they entered a room and saw Osama bin Laden with an AK-47 and a Makarov pistol in arm’s reach. They shot and killed him, as well as wounding a woman with him.

Very commendable of Messers Landler and Mazzetti to take a face value everything that they are told to report by the White House – as indeed they should.


Robert Scheer summary of events and times concerning bin Laden and Afghanistan has the measure of excellence.

Chris Floyd observes that the writing of this history will not be complete until the stories of the living victims are recorded. This glitch in the storyline was made possible by the crash of one helicopter so that they could not be removed from history, although presumably that will surely happen when they are returned to their home countries as the Pakistani authorities have promised.

The Pakistan newspaper Dawn published a Reuters report saying that Pakistani Investigators concluded that the people in the compound were killed in cold blood. They suggest that the people in the house were unarmed. How persuasive close cropped photographs of  murder victims is moot, but all of whom, as was reportedly bin Laden, appeared to have been shot in the head. Here is the relevant quote from the article:

Two senior Pakistani security officials, citing their investigation, said there was no firefight because the inhabitants never fired back.

“The people inside the house were unarmed. There was no resistance,” one of the officials said.

“It was cold-blooded,” said the second official when asked if there was any exchange of fire during the operation which, US officials said lasted nearly 40 minutes.

The officials declined to say how they got their information, but officials had earlier said wounded had been detained.

Who can vouch for the veracity of any account, but nonetheless the accounts published in the NYT and Dawn provide a contrasting interpretation of events. As I understood the case to be an unarmed combatant killed in cold blood would constitute a war crime.

Almost every element of the story seems to have been changed or in doubt. For example, Jason Ditz writes that bin Laden wife, who was claimed to be the human shield, was in another room. And then there are legal questionings hanging over the proceedings.

 Jim Miklaszewski provided an outcome for NBC News. Why could not the Obama Administration officials get the story straight? I suppose they were successfully hiding the true nature of the murders, the illegality of which naturally according to the prevailing American Government standards does not matter.

Greg Miller in The Washington Post (via Anti-War.com) says that the CIA has bin Laden under surveillance for a number of months, that the invaders had to blast through false walls (confirming the reports of the locals hearing explosions) and that bin Laden retreated with intent to secure weapons. This report does not mention the other people killed, and why they were killed. Clearly if the suggestions of the inside information are to be believed the operation was intended to be an assassination or murder.

The Guardian writers provide a description of the house and the sequence of events. As we might expect there was no remorse by the murderers. How convenient to overlook the fact that others were killed beside bin Laden? Since the President of the US is above the law, it is doubtful whether the investigations by the international law experts for the UN will amount to much.



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