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View Diary: Americans react to the death of Osama bin Laden (232 comments)

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  •  Yes. But I think it's very hard to believe... (40+ / 0-)

    ...that people in Pakistan's intelligence services, with long-standing ties to al Qaeda, did not know about this compound long ago. Especially since it's apparently near an area in which new recruits are trained and the military has a strong presence.

    From the press backgrounder after Obama's speech:

    Q    Thank you.  Thank you for taking this call.  Can you give me a comment on the very fact that Osama bin Laden was just in Islamabad -- and has long been (inaudible) Afghanistan (inaudible) also from India, that Osama bin Laden is hiding somewhere near Islamabad?  What does it signify, that?  Does it signify any cooperation or any kind of link that he had with establishments in Pakistan?

    SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  As the President said, Pakistani cooperation had assisted in this lead, as we pursued it.  So we’re continuing to work this issue right now.  We are very concerned about -- that he was inside of Pakistan, but this is something that we’re going to continue to work with the Pakistani government on.

    Q    But the very fact you didn’t inform the Pakistani authorities -- did you have any suspicion that if you informed them, the information might lead somewhere?

    SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  An operation like this that is conducted has the utmost operational security attached to it.  I said that we had shared this information with no other country, and that a very, very small group of individuals within the United States government was aware of this.  That is for operational security purposes.

    Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Sun May 01, 2011 at 11:45:29 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I wish the press would stop (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sethtriggs, IM

      giving anonymous sources the opportunity to air their propaganda, when said sources are supporting the institution to which they belong.  There is no journalistically upstanding rationale to let them do that.

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Sun May 01, 2011 at 11:53:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  From all I've heard so far Pakistan gov did very (4+ / 0-)

        little to help. In fact since his compound was in the middle of a large city, his location was probably known by some in the Pak. Gov and military.

        Progressives will win when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

        by auapplemac on Mon May 02, 2011 at 12:17:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  These were NOT anonymous sources... (16+ / 0-)

        ...These were senior officials speaking publicly, one after another, on background before a number of reporters. Scores (perhaps more) of reporters/bloggers, including two from Daily Kos, listened by phone. A few questions were asked. The only proviso was that they could not be identified, even though everybody in the room knows who they are.

        There is a perfectly reasonable and ethical journalistic rationale for such background reporting that dates back 50 years.

        Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Mon May 02, 2011 at 01:57:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  More than fifty years. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glic, divineorder, Miss Blue

          As with a number of things done in government there are good reasons about which many today seem absolutely clueless, or just disingenuous. "On background" by "senior officials," particularly in intelligence related fields, known to reporters but otherwise unidentified is one.

          Just look at so many reactions to shield laws that actually make it possible for ordinary citizens to work in government functions for another example. None of us could afford to work for any level of government if we faced personal liability and the cost of defending ourselves for every one of the many actions per day about which someone in our litigious society could haul us into court. Deny a school transfer, even if justified, and end up losing a small fortune in defense fees. Goodbye public schools.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Mon May 02, 2011 at 03:36:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  They're anonymous to us readers (0+ / 0-)

          If one of the anonymous officials says something that turns out to be false or misleading, will any of the reporters out that official, or even refuse to use that official or his/her superiors as a source anymore?

          I think the answer is no, and therefore more hoodwinking along the lines of WMD, the Jessica Lynch story, the Pat Tillman story, etc. is bound to happen.

          Some of the elements in the official story are believable but quite convenient for the administration:  some of the relevant intel came out of Guantanamo, the only woman shot was used as a human shield by a terrorist, bin Laden refused to be taken alive, etc.

          I would propose a standard of anonymity only if the individual were providing information critical of the institution he or she represents.  If it's the institution itself that would face negative consequences from on-the-record release of the information, tough beans.

          Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

          by Simplify on Mon May 02, 2011 at 11:45:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Retracting the Guantanamo bit (0+ / 0-)

            That was from a different source, the Wikileaks USA State Dept. cables that the NYT reported on recently.

            Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

            by Simplify on Mon May 02, 2011 at 12:29:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Disallowing "on background" sessions... (0+ / 0-)

            ...means that information will simply not be provided. It's up to reporters — as is always the case — to dig beyond what the government sources (identified or not) tell them. Just as it is when any source tells them something.

            Over the past few years, I've had many people tell me that using any anonymous sources is unethical and should never ever happen. I can give you a long long list of stories that would never have been broken over the past century if anonymous sources could not be used.

            Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Mon May 02, 2011 at 06:08:02 PM PDT

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    •  I actually heard about this on FB at 2:30 AM EST (9+ / 0-)

      A time when normally I would be sleeping, but got up early to do chores before going to work because I have a new job !

      I'm thinking some of the diplomacy involved and the reshuffling of Petraeus to the CIA plus aid to Egypt and Libya, maybe Syria, Bahrain and Yemen represents a lot of slow quiet 17 dimensional chess.

      As I recall, despite that  getting Osama Bin Ladin was why we went into Afghanistan and why we fired drones on Pakistan, his involvement with Afghanistan's mujahadin goes back to when Mika's dad Zibegnew Breshinski first began identifying funding for a movement to resist the Russian's push into Afghanistan in the Carter administration.

      The Bin Ladin clan from Yemen made a fortune building infrastructure for us in Saudi Arabia in the seventies and we used them or in particular Osama to help set up resistance to a Russia plan to pipe their oil to China through Afghanistan which would have been disasterous for us given their strength as a rival going back to the Nixon administration.

      Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

      by rktect on Mon May 02, 2011 at 12:09:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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