Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 11, 2015

Why Is The Hersh Abbottabad Story Coming Out Now?

The Hersh story about the killing of Osama bin Laden gets trashed by the usual suspects in the main stream media. They have fallen for, and "reported", the story the White House and the CIA told them. To acknowledge that Hersh is mostly right on this would embarrass them too much.

But they could have known better. The Hersh story is not new. It is pretty much the same story R.J. Hillhouse told back in 2011. Her take was also somewhat confirmed by the former Pakistani Brigadier FB Ali at Pat Lang's site.

Hillhouse is now pissed, rightly, that the current Hersh story does not mention her account:

On August 7, 2011, I wrote, among other things:
  • The US cover story of how they found bin Laden was fiction
  • OBL was turned in by a walk-in informant, a mid-level ISI officer seeking to claim $25 million under the "Rewards for Justice" program.
  • The Pakistani Intelligence Service -- ISI -- was sheltering bin Laden
  • Saudi cash was financing the ISI operation keeping bin Laden captive
  • The US presented an ultimatum to Pakistan that they would lose US funding if they did not cooperate with a US operation against bin Laden
  • Pakistani generals Kiyani and Pasha were involved in the US operation that killed OBL
  • Pakistan pulled out its troops from the area of Abottabad to facilitate the American raid
  • The Obama administration betrayed the cooperating Pakistani officials
  • The Obama administration scrambled to explain the crashed helicopter when their original drone strike cover story collapsed

That all make sense and, as I do not believe that Hersh has a need to simply plagiarize her, is now confirmed by his sources.

The great heroic tales of the seals, the "torture let to bin Laden" claims by the CIA and all the other nonsense told about the event were just propaganda.

But one wonders why the story is coming out now. Sure it makes the White House look bad. It also lets the Pakistani generals look bad but only in the eyes of the Saudis. But it surely lets the Saudis look bad - those people who financed Bin Laden and paid the Pakistanis to keep him locked up. Who might have been that?

Coincidentally a piece in today's NYT about the new Saudi king gives hints:

In increasing the kingdom’s regional role, King Salman risks escalating the conflict with Iran, fueling further instability. And his support for Islamists could end up empowering extremists, just as Saudi support for the Afghan jihad decades ago helped create Al Qaeda.
King Salman has a history of working with Islamists. Decades ago, he was a royal point man and fund-raiser for jihadists going to Afghanistan, Bosnia and elsewhere.

Salman just snubbed Obama by declining an invitation to Camp David. He is ignoring U.S. "advice" to stop the bombing of Yemen. Is someone trying to apply pressure on him.

It is always interesting when one sees such issues - the Hersh story, the NYT tale of his AlQaeda financing and Salman's resistance to the White House orders - come together at a single point in time. Is that directed or just coincidence?

Posted by b on May 11, 2015 at 02:06 PM | Permalink


This story has been suggested by Hersh in the past. So yes why now. The Saudi relationship may be the target or source of discontent with Sy's source but this couldn't come from the WH because the latter looks like a total liar in the story.

Posted by: Pob | May 11, 2015 3:07:31 PM | 1

The Saudis are being played by USrael. Why - really - have they attacked Yemen? What's in it for them? Nothing.

They only manage to overshadow - in the MSM's 15 second spotlight - the Israelis' even worse serial attacks on Gaza since 2004.
They are replacing Israel as the leading ogres of the Middle East. Why?

They're being played - and they're being made to pay for weapons, Big Time - to be played.

The Saudis will morph - on our TV sets in our living rooms - into al-cia-da/isis, there will be alarming 'blowback' in the Saudi oilfields, and then the bugles will sound and the USrael cavalry will ride to the 'rescue' : and jointly occupy the KSA.

Posted by: jfl | May 11, 2015 4:01:37 PM | 2

I wondered why, myself. It appeared to be the BNOTD (big nooz of the day). Why now? Why again? There's been a ton of rumors & gossip about what did or did not go down in Abbottabad. Some even posit that ObL had long been dead & never lived there anyway, although perhaps some of his relatives and wife did. Were there documents - either in print or digital - to be grabbed? Was there even any kind of "mission" like that?

Then there was that propaganda POS "movie" that purported to be "all about" the whole thing Zero Dark Bullsh*t. Even in that "film," it showed that torture didn't work to "get" bin Laden but alleged that someone figured out where he was by tracking cell phone calls and such. Now this is saying even that - aka old spycraft methods - wasn't true. Not a giant surprise.

Cui Bono? I'm not sure myself. There is certainly a segment of the US populace who "buys" this story about ObL being killed by the manly Marines in Abbottabad, albeit conservatives refuse to give Obama any credit for it - hypothetically given that it happened - bc Obomber was there pulling the trigger himself (dumb).

Whatever. Someone decided to chuck the "body" in the ocean because something something, so nothing can be officially "proven" 100%. Why did SEAL Team 6 get offed in that Helo crash?

I haz confused. Glad to see I'm not the only one.

Posted by: RUKidding | May 11, 2015 4:04:25 PM | 3

Interesting example of how news is only News when it is coming out of certain mouths.

Posted by: guest77 | May 11, 2015 4:31:10 PM | 4

I'd say Pakistan comes out looking the worst here. Piss a little on the new China/Pakistan deal perhaps.

Next they approached the chiefs of the Pakistani military and the ISI. The US was going to come in with or without them. The CIA offered them a deal they couldn't refuse: they would double what the Saudis were paying them to keep bin Laden if they cooperated with the US. Or they could refuse the deal and live with the consequences: the Saudis would stop paying and there would be the international embarrassment.... link

Well, the Pakistanis spent the money, now they're getting the international embarrassment. Humiliating the Saudis now and again is always good for the US, but we're so addicted to that money that there's no way we can do without them.

Posted by: guest77 | May 11, 2015 4:40:18 PM | 5

it is interesting pakistan not wanting to send their troops to yemen, saudi arabia and the usa both happy to support al qaeda or isis for different reasons when it suits them and maybe a little hissy fit over who is doing too much or not enough of any of it... the usa sleeping in bed with israel and saudi arabia never really looked all that great to me, but maybe saudi arabia feels they are being played more then they want to at this point in time? anyone can make a guess in this cesspool of warmongers, but at present pakistan looks better then the others.. egypt even looks better, in spite of how they have become another tinpot dictatorship propped up by the same gang of thugs..

Posted by: james | May 11, 2015 5:29:26 PM | 6

@2 The Saudis can't tolerate any kind of popular rule in the Muslim world especially in olive producing areas. The Houthis might not be an outright majority, but the Sauds don't want their puppets ousted by local militias. 5000 princes can't put down a rebellion or rally against a coup. Having popular colonels branded as war criminals might help keep a coup at bay.

Besides the Sauds are thugs. The Ottomans tried to wipe the clan out for this reason. They probably just enjoy killing and the attention.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | May 11, 2015 5:39:27 PM | 7

Thanks I forgot all about the Hillhouse story and confirmed over at Pat Lang.

Posted by: jo6pac | May 11, 2015 5:39:38 PM | 8

The centuries old global plutocracy of the Western world is in crisis, manufactured or real. I vote for the manufactured morphing into the real.

It is not often that the hatred of the day/wag the dog spin doctors work with established or aspiring plutocrats as focus of their craft. Definitely above my pay grade but I am pissed the future of all of us are at the mercy of plutocratic whim. Thanks for laying it out b.

The US (in my name) is blatantly committing war crimes all over the world in support of plutocratic empire and since we have a preponderance of the nukes, any opposition to our global control and direction must be measured. That said, I think the global effects of nuclear pollution from Fukushima and potential attempts to address them will come to dominate the pressure for social change hastened either towards nuclear winter or deprecating war against each other rather than for survival of the species as a central part of the social focus.

But I am a dreamer that believes that logic and reason can win out over the the controlling myths of religion, private ownership of property, inheritance and rule-of-law or force to support the former.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 11, 2015 7:48:39 PM | 9

A month ago at UCLA:

Former US ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter said on Tuesday that “Pakistan probably didn’t know about Osama bin Laden as there is no evidence to suggest there was a link”.

and back in February 2015:
Former chief of Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt-General (retd) Asad Durrani has said that Pakistan may have exchanged the whereabouts of former al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden to the US in exchange for an agreement on ‘how to bring the Afghan problem to an end’.

and now Hersh

Posted by: Yul | May 11, 2015 8:49:07 PM | 10

The USA is stepping up the pressure on Saudi Arabia. After decades of "carrots", it is maybe the time for some "sticks".

The Hersh report is part of the effort to warn Saudi Arabia that they are exposed to 'sanctions' in view of their support of terrorists and that the USA will not continue to remain blind about that.
In this perspective, the recent Saudi-Turkey 'pact' that allowed Islamist terrorists to invade North East of Syria has not played well with the USA.
It is probable that Obama will not offer more carrots to the GCC but offer a tough bargain. Saudi Arabia will drop its support for Islamist terrorist in Syria and allow the UN to proceed with a peace plan. In exchange the USA will push Iran to allow a face saving exit of Saudi Arabia from Yemen's quagmire.
The king of Saudi Arabia is right not to go to Camp David, he is not ready to be humiliated.

Posted by: Virgile | May 11, 2015 10:25:10 PM | 11


it is interesting pakistan not wanting to send their troops to yemen,(...) (...)egypt even looks better, in spite of how they have become another tinpot dictatorship propped up by the same gang of thugs..

In both cases, the tectonic geopolitical changes moving the axis of power from West to East, caused both Pakistan and Egypt to stay away from a tar baby, at the same time isolating the Saudis in their misadventure. Pakistan is developing an "all-weather friendship" with China, pairing up strategic interests to both countries and the development of a China-Pak economic corridor. Pakistan was able to withstand the pressure from the degenerate Saudis and the Gulf Counterrevolutionary Council, after China offered to save the day at the tune of $46 billion dollars investment on the China-Pak economic corridor, and the promise of full economic backing from the Yemen fallout.

Defying royal request: China helped Pakistan ‘weather the storm’ over Yemen

(...)But what really helped Pakistan ‘weather the storm’ was a Chinese assurance of economic investment and assistance to the tune no Arab country —let alone Saudi Arabia—could match, said one official.

The officials, who requested not to be identified, said the unveiling of $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor by President Xi Xinping was one of the factors that helped Islamabad to persevere despite immense pressure from Riyadh even after a unanimous resolution of parliament.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 11, 2015 10:59:53 PM | 12


(Sorry james, previewing my comments take my posts on an endless loop, had to cut them into two parts.)

In the case of Egypt, China & Russia double up to keep Egypt from joining the "Coalition of the Bastards," by withholding promised economic and financial aid on the energy sector. Also, the Chinese president called-off a visit to Egypt in the middle of "Operation (not-so)Decisive Storm," a big blow to al-Sisi, who had been publicly making a big deal out of it. The Russians cancelled a series of economic assistance meetings the Egyptians were looking forward to with promised aid for the agricultural and energy sectors.

Egypt's foreign policy worries mount after Yemen crisis

(...)Cairo had reluctantly joined the Saudi-led Operation Decisive Storm, but at no small political and economic cost. Both Russia and China, which had promised to reach out with economic — particularly energy — assistance to Egypt are holding back that support to express unease at Egyptian participation in a war in Yemen that both Moscow and Beijing oppose.

As a result, the Chinese president decided at very short notice to call off a scheduled visit to Cairo this week, “a huge embarrassment given that President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi himself had spoken publicly of the visit and its added value,” according to an Egyptian diplomat.

Shortly afterwards, Moscow called off a series of economic meetings that were planned for the last week of this month. Egypt was hoping that these meetings would lead to significant energy and agricultural assistance – sorely needed as the crises in both sectors are becoming critical.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 11, 2015 11:03:50 PM | 13

Hersh's article is much more in-depth on the topic than Hillhouse's breaking posts. An exception is the amount of attention she gives to the Saudis' involvement:

The Saudis were in a very precarious situation with no good answers. OBL was a Saudi who had sworn to overthrow the House of Saud, but he had widespread support among the Wahhabists whose acquiesence is critical for the stability of the Saudi state. And he was the US public enemy number one. Paying off a third party to keep him under wraps might have been the best solution for handling such an uncomfortable problem.

Yes, the Saudis were sheltering, but at the same time they were apparently trying to keep him on a tight rope. An interesting side question is under what conditions were the Pakistanis supposed to be holding OBL? Did the Saudis stipulate that he be allowed or not be allowed contact with the outside world and did the Pakistanis honor the Saudi wishes or do their own thing?

Now why the Pakistanis cooperated seems that it would have been a better option that having OBL running around loose in Waziristan and the tribal areas, constantly provoking US pressure and raids and potentially acting to destabilize Pakistan.

And of course, there was the money.

Compared to Hersh, almost in passing:

A worrying factor at this early point, according to the retired official, was Saudi Arabia, which had been financing bin Laden’s upkeep since his seizure by the Pakistanis. ‘The Saudis didn’t want bin Laden’s presence revealed to us because he was a Saudi, and so they told the Pakistanis to keep him out of the picture. The Saudis feared if we knew we would pressure the Pakistanis to let bin Laden start talking to us about what the Saudis had been doing with al-Qaida. And they were dropping money – lots of it. The Pakistanis, in turn, were concerned that the Saudis might spill the beans about their control of bin Laden. The fear was that if the US found out about bin Laden from Riyadh, all hell would break out. The Americans learning about bin Laden’s imprisonment from a walk-in was not the worst thing.’

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | May 11, 2015 11:07:09 PM | 14



IMHO, both Pakistan and Egypt were pleased to find support in Russia and/or China; in Egypt's case, it could use the pressure exerted from both Russia & China as a pretext not to go forward with their initial commitments made to the "Coalition of the Bastards." All is well that ends well...

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 11, 2015 11:21:41 PM | 15



IMHO, both Pakistan and Egypt were pleased to find support in Russia and/or China; in Egypt's case, it could use the pressure exerted from both Russia & China as a pretext not to go forward with their initial commitments made to the "Coalition of the Bastards." Also, the Egyptians intervened in Yemen in the 1960s during Nasser and his Pan-Arab dreams, and it was a disaster, so for Egypt, the past guides the present, sort of.

All is well that ends well... :-)

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 11, 2015 11:25:11 PM | 16



IMHO, both Pakistan and Egypt were pleased to find support in Russia and/or China; in Egypt's case, it could use the pressure exerted from both Russia & China as a pretext not to go forward with their initial commitments made to the "Coalition of the Bastards." Also, the Egyptians intervened in Yemen in the 1960s during Nasser and his Pan-Arab dreams, and it was a disaster, so for Egypt, the past guides the present, sort of.

All is well that ends well... :-)

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 11, 2015 11:27:26 PM | 17

I think I agree, b. Everyone in the story comes out looking good, the cia, but especially retired cia guys, pakistan, as they're using bin laden well, except for Saudi. So the primary sources are probably some retired cia contracting people.

Posted by: Crest | May 11, 2015 11:33:08 PM | 18

Like me, Paul Criag Roberts believes the widely reported story Tht OBL died in December 2001 from illness that he could not have survived for a decade.

Roberts goes on to say that the only evidence that OBLL was killed on Obama's order, is the govt's word.
One would have thought that the Bush administration's obviously phony tapes of an OBL stand in over the years would be sufficient to raise questions.

Posted by: Ronald | May 11, 2015 11:59:01 PM | 19

There were a lot of laughs, and a grim reminder, in the Abbottabad Fairy Tale.

- Pics of the Important People watching it Live (right there on their TV).
- Delayed reports that one of the choppers crashed before the op was complete (shades of the bungled, heroic, "rescue" SNAFU in Iran).
- The 'burial at sea' a typically Yankee expression of utter contempt for an alien culture.
- the 911-ish way in which the story changed every time the wind changed.

Grim reminder:
I was just a kid when King Farouk was deposed (by ??) but the impression I was left with is that he had to go because of his collection of Dirty Pictures. So I wasn't surprised when the Dumbass Yankees said they found some Dirty Pictures in ObL's hideout.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 12, 2015 12:01:39 AM | 20

Hersh must have researched the story for months. On top he published not in the US but in the London Review of books. On balance the timing of the article is coincidence

Posted by: Tom | May 12, 2015 1:15:23 AM | 21

You seem to overlook the role the China/Pakistan deal plays in this. If it goes through it would definitely be a game changer. The US would start to play second fiddle to China in that region. The US have every motive to stop this.

Pakistan Army is one of the main backers of this project. They have also agreed to set aside one to two division solely for the security of this project. This only not only suggests that the army has majorly corrupt members in its core (ISI), but also makes the top leadership of the army look very bad. And it hurts the overall image of the Army in the country.

So yes, thwarting the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) definitely needs to the looked into as a motive.

Posted by: NotMe | May 12, 2015 1:36:13 AM | 22

I cannot imagine this will have any effect on the Chinese-financed Iran/Pakistan gas pipeline deal.

Posted by: jfl | May 12, 2015 1:46:44 AM | 23

Ever thought that Hersh actually might be wrong? And I dont see the reason at all really, what matter does it make if hersh story is true or if the White house story is true, its not really a big difference. Whats Hersh's reason?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 12, 2015 2:05:21 AM | 24

Confirmation of the Hersh/Hillhouse story in the "walk in" point

The News, Pakistan, and likely with official cover:

Brig Usman Khalid informed CIA of Osama’s presence in Abbottabad

Well-informed intelligence circles in the garrison town of Rawalpindi concede that the vital information about the bin Laden compound was actually provided to the Americans by none other than an ISI official - Brigadier Usman Khalid. The retired Brigadier, who has already been granted American citizenship along with his entire family members, persuaded Dr Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani physician, to conduct a fake polio campaign in the Bilal Town area of Abbottabad to help the Central Intelligence Agency hunt down Osama.

That makes "Zero, dark, 30" and the claim that torture helped to find Bin Laden complete CIA propaganda nonsense.

Posted by: b | May 12, 2015 2:24:57 AM | 25

The big weakness in Hillhouse/Hersch story is if the ISI and the Pac military were co-operating, why didn't ISI just turn OBL to the US quietly, discretely, instead of this big bumbled op? Maybe the US were trying to set up another fake Jessica Lynch rescue for propaganda purposes? O wasted no time crowing about it! - which vexed ISI according to both accounts.

There's a lot to doubt about whether OBL was even alive, so whoever the Seals killed had to be entirely covered up - burial at sea, body parts thrown out on the return trip, whatever, that body COULD NOT be available for inspection by ANYBODY.

Posted by: okie farmer | May 12, 2015 4:06:07 AM | 26

The killing of Osama bin Laden: Obama’s “historic moment”

4 May 2011

Of all the images that have emerged from the morally unclean events of Sunday night, the most politically significant and, one has reason to believe, enduring will prove to be the official photograph, released by the White House, of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and other high officials of the United States government seated together in the situation room as they witnessed the killing of Osama bin Laden and several other human beings, including one woman.

Normally, the witnesses to an execution are not photographed. But the White House clearly wanted this “historic moment” captured for posterity. The eyes of all the participants in this ghoulish tableau—with the exception of a military officer who is working his computer—are apparently focused on a television screen. Obama, leaning forward, is stone faced as he stares ahead. Gates wears the sour expression of a man who is too well acquainted with such operations. Hillary Clinton’s right hand is raised over her mouth, a gesture that betrays the horror of what is unfolding before her eyes.

After bin Laden had been liquidated, the White House and the media moved quickly to orchestrate the celebration of what was, in fact, an extra-legal state killing. The president chose the East Room to inform the nation, late Sunday night, of bin Laden’s death.

Posted by: okie farmer | May 12, 2015 4:29:49 AM | 27

Paul Craig Roberts says:

I do not believe Hersh’s story for three reasons...One reason is that Hersh’s story is too convoluted for an assassination raid, a routine event.

i agree. assassination is run-of-the-mill for our 'special ops' goobers. all of this byzantine tomfoolery, spicy and tantalizing, can only serve to consolidate the one official message that counts, i.e. Bin Laden is dead and 'we got him.' USA!USA!USA!

Posted by: john | May 12, 2015 5:50:24 AM | 28


All I want to know is, if Lee Harvey Oswald was really killed by Jack Rubio ('Ruby' aka 'Rubenstein'), and Rubio later died in prison, why is Marco Rubio's grandfather acting as his father? Is Marco a front-man for Narco-Terrorists taking over Miami?

Tongue-in-cheek, but honestly, that's all the credence I give to Hersh's hashtag.

Ever since 2011, when QEn failed to jizz the Euro economy at the expense of the USA-ians, and now the price of crude oil, which drives everything, including tax revenues in layer after concentric layer, has fallen by half, there hasn't been a day when the world hasn't been subjected to CIA:State:MI6:Mossad media psyops.

Why believe it? It's like following Hansel and Gretel's bread crumbs. All you're going to find is a house built of fake gingerbread, and more ovens of Auschwitz, when the very last thing we should want to stumble upon, is a coven of vampires.

Posted by: NoReply | May 12, 2015 6:37:43 AM | 29

"Is someone trying to apply pressure on him."
Him being Salman and Saudi Arabia

Or...has this story been created to further demonize Saudi Arabia- for when the tide turns. And Saudi Arabia becomes a less favoured nation.
Along the same line of what we have seen the last little while with Turkey-

The death of Bin Laden was necessary for the creation of ISIS
It's pretty obvious in hindsight, isn't it?

Posted by: Penny | May 12, 2015 6:57:16 AM | 30

Osama bin Laden was the poster-boy terrorist and appeared before 9/11 on many MSM tv screens in the US. Most of the major channels. He was a kind of emblem, and willing actor.

He was not wanted by the FBI for 9/11, only for other things (previous WTC bombing..etc..) That is of course lost to history, one can look that up but it takes a lot of time ..

In short, some figure was set up, and actually killing him (as it is is now normal to simply drone or shoot or torture, hang, butcher, any designed high-target person) would represent a victory for those who accomplished it. Here, Obama. Therefore the hype and spin. This is a political propaganda game, and has nothing to do with national security or even Bin Laden. It is all theatre. If it was even him in Pakistan...

one somewhat confused article from global research, Chossudovsky, 2006

Posted by: Noirette | May 12, 2015 12:11:04 PM | 31

@12/13/15 lone wolf. thanks for those posts giving more understanding of the relationships at work. it seems to me if china/russia were influencing pakistan/egypt, that the relationship between china/russia and saudi arabia wouldn't be too good at this point..

for me it isn't so much about what happened to osama bin laden as it is, the dynamics between countries internationally.. i always though isi was a made in the usa cia run type organization with some al qaeda infiltration to mess things up some.. pakistan is one crazy place where it seems one can get murdered for very little.. perfect fodder for the usa or china for that matter, oh and did i mention they have nuclear weapons? saudi arabia asking pakistan for troops sounds like a nice way for the usa to ask pakistan for troops to murder innocent people in yemen.. this new king salman is one hell of a loser at this point..

Posted by: james | May 12, 2015 12:17:19 PM | 32

Um aren't we helping the Saudis bomb Yemen? Target info etc?

If Seymour has been hired to smear anyone it's Obama, not the Saudis.

Posted by: Ananymus | May 12, 2015 1:14:00 PM | 33

jfl @ 2

I've always thought that this was the "long game", an eventual KSA occupation. It seems, from the past decade of arms deals(really, a US stockpile if one looks at it objectively), cooperation, etc...a long courtship, to the grave. It's amazing that the Saudis have let themselves be led to this point, but then again they are an inbred medieval monarchy.

I'm assuming there is some sort of escape clause for the immediate royal family members. I can't see them being so cooperative, for so long, otherwise.

Posted by: Ananymus | May 12, 2015 1:42:40 PM | 34

Interesting example of how news is only News when it is coming out of certain mouths.

Posted by: guest77 | May 11, 2015 4:31:10 PM | 4


Posted by: MRW | May 12, 2015 2:03:57 PM | 35

Posted by: Ronald | May 11, 2015 11:59:01 PM | 17

I heard from a connected source that when OBL died in Dec 2001, OBL was put on ice for use later. The story I got was that had his death been trumpeted in Dec 2001, there would have been no reason to bomb Iraq, and Israel wanted it so they could recover the Mosul-Haifa pipeline that was shut down in 1947 or 49.

Posted by: MRW | May 12, 2015 2:08:57 PM | 36

It's interesting that no one has been allowed near the "wives" to corroborate the story.

Posted by: MRW | May 12, 2015 2:10:12 PM | 37

URGENT: Iran Warns to Start War if Its Aid Ship Comes Under Attack

TEHRAN (FNA)- Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazzayeri warned on Tuesday that Iran would launch war on any state that dares to attack the Iranian ship that is on its way to Yemen with a humanitarian aid cargo.

"Attacking the Iranian Red Crescent aid ship will spark war in the region," General Jazzayeri told the Arabic-language TV Alalam on Tuesday evening, adding, "And this fire may not be put out or brought under control."

"The US and Saudi Arabia should know that Iran's self-restraint has a limited," he cautioned(...)

IMHO, I don't think the Iranians are bluffing. If I were the MoFo KSA pederast ruler, I would let the ship pass, otherwise, the shit might hit the fan in ways beyond our imagination.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 12, 2015 3:30:53 PM | 38

@37 - lone wolf.. thanks... just the opportunity some - and i will not mention the countries names directly - are looking for... this is probably the fear that some have expressed already..

Posted by: james | May 12, 2015 5:01:19 PM | 39

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 12, 2015 3:30:53 PM | 37

Iran = Russia proxy?
i.e. If Putin is ready (as He'll ever be) for the war the Neocons thought they wanted, then Iran can light the match and Russia/China can do an R2P on the dumb Yankees and the dumber, past their use-by date, "Israelis".
A perfect twofer...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 12, 2015 5:09:53 PM | 40


Iran = Russia proxy?(...) (...)A perfect twofer...

I was thinking about the same lines...Iran will not gamble its hard gained geopolitical position going solo...defying the US and its Saudi puppets...without certain coordination and backup. The degenerate Saudis have all the latest military toys money can buy, but if the shit hits the fan, they will be asking for the US/UN/Western world et al to intervene in less than two the most. The old Napoleon dictum fits the pervert Saudis perfectly..."morale is to the materiel as three is to one." The prosaic version goes "to own a weapon and think that you're armed is like owning a piano and think you're a musician."

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 12, 2015 6:31:58 PM | 41



Writing on automatic pilot...posting without editing...

I meant to say, "I was thinking along the same lines..." or "I was thinking about the same thing..." Now is as clear as mud...

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 12, 2015 8:32:04 PM | 42


A cleverly worded passive-aggressive missive from the Persians that doesn't preclude blocking, diverting or refusing passage to the aid ship only the very unlikely 'attacking' the ship.

We'll soon see if the US/Saudis allow this ship to pass but don't expect any new war if they don't, unless it's more bluster and a war of words.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | May 12, 2015 8:33:37 PM | 43

It still doesn't make sense that there was no body. I don't buy the tale about the Seals tossing out the body parts without authorization, and it there was authorization I wouldn't buy that either. And why those phoney internet photos of a fake bin-Laden in the house watching TV and then again when he was killed? And the more earlier ones too. There are still loose ends so I find it difficult to buy any of the account...even from Seymour Hersh.

Posted by: Genie | May 12, 2015 8:53:11 PM | 44

Kerry: Poroshenko Should 'Think Twice' Before Using Force in Donbass

Following an extensive six hour discussion between US Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and President Putin, Kerry stressed that any Ukrainian efforts to seize the Donetsk Airport through force would violate the Minsk Protocol and would face strict opposition from Washington.

Where is this coming from? So suddenly the US seems reasonable? Was it the military hardware shown at the 70th V-Day, or the march of the Immortal Regiment? Or is this the same old, same old BS? We will see how long it lasts...

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 12, 2015 8:53:13 PM | 45

Wayne Maden says on Press TV: “I think that Seymour Hersh really uncovered what really happened,” Madsen said. “I think that Seymour Hersh has basically hit the nail on the head with this one.”

But ignoring the 'body' part of the killing of bin-Laden story is like ignoring that the Twin Towers was a demolition yet believing the rest of it. I'm just stuck on this one little ol' point. I need a rational explanation.

Posted by: Genie | May 12, 2015 9:01:47 PM | 46

Kerry: Poroshenko Should 'Think Twice' Before Using Force in Donbass

Following an extensive six hour discussion between US Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and President Putin, Kerry stressed that any Ukrainian efforts to seize the Donetsk Airport through force would violate the Minsk Protocol and would face strict opposition from Washington.

Where is this coming from? So suddenly the US seems reasonable? Was it the military hardware shown at the 70th V-Day, or the march of the Immortal Regiment? Or is this the same old, same old BS? We will see how long it lasts...

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 12, 2015 9:26:13 PM | 47


The body parts nonsense in this fable set off my BS detector but examining the body of the story I detected the smell of week old fish. Many journalists and analysts have dissected this reeking corpse of a story to try to understand what should be learned from it.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | May 12, 2015 9:27:18 PM | 48


A cleverly worded passive-aggressive missive from the Persians that doesn't preclude blocking, diverting or refusing passage to the aid ship only the very unlikely 'attacking' the ship.

Wrong. This is not different from sexual abuse, where only the offended party can define what constitutes crossing a red line. The interpretation of those actions, "blocking, diverting, or refusing passage" is up to the Iranians, only they can determine the path of action to take if facing with any passive-aggressive attitude from the US/KSA and its puppets. My take on their announcement is they are sending a humanitarian ship to Yemen, and they don't want it "blocked, diverted, or refused passage," or else...If I were the US/KSA, I will take them seriously. Let's await for their response...

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 12, 2015 9:57:46 PM | 49

In the meanwhile, unconfirmed reports are going around in Pakistan that Gen Kayani is being investigated for corruption (which is unprecedented if true). And that his brother Kamran Kayani is to be put on exit control list for making shady deals with real estate tycoon Malik Riaz.

Posted by: NotMe | May 12, 2015 10:53:28 PM | 50

Actually, assuming the bulk of Hersh's narrative to be accurate, the team would have planned to kill OBL, remove the body from the compound and put it somewhere. If the cover story was intended to be that OBL was killed somewhere on the Af/Pak border and that the story would be broken to the media a week later, it could have been part of the Seal's plan to plant it there immediately (and leave the remains exposed to the elements for a week). Dumping pieces of a dead body from such a high altitude seems an odd choice for low-ranking Seals to make for enemy #1. One gruesome possibility is that they decapitated the corpse and dumped the body (the source claimed that his head wasn't injured and, as we've seen with ISIS, it is a form of identification of the dead).

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | May 12, 2015 11:03:24 PM | 51

I wonder if it was the ISI, and not the CIA, who pulled off some kind of intelligence coup. (I'm kidding)

@30, I agree with Noirette. A great and astonishing bit of theater could be an explanation, since OBL, if alive, had become irrelevant, and would be too sick to be running anything operationally. The Saudis were probably the real target, being most exposed at the moment; and yes,the US public was a fundamental target, as well,--the conditioning of the public mind.

I still can't purge the image from my mind of those young American men in the streets in this country, besotted, bellowing their approval of this raid. The seminal event of their lives was the destruction of the WTC in New York City; and all they know of the world exists as the twisted view created by a hellbent, militarist war propaganda,--the disdain for truth of their own government.

The idea comes to mind that Obama's cold-blooded, opportunistic, narcissistic double-crossing of everyone else, for the adulation he would receive, could have been predicted by psychologists who have had more than enough time to analyze his personality. There are surely techniques through which they could have stimulated this response, as well.

From Hersh's story:

‘We thought the best way to ensure that [OBL's] body was given an appropriate Islamic burial,’ Brennan said, ‘was to take those actions that would allow us to do that burial at sea.’ He said ‘appropriate specialists and experts’ were consulted, and that the US military was fully capable of carrying out the burial ‘consistent with Islamic law’. Brennan didn’t mention that Muslim law calls for the burial service to be conducted in the presence of an imam, and there was no suggestion that one happened to be on board the Carl Vinson.

In a reconstruction of the bin Laden operation for Vanity Fair, Mark Bowden, who spoke to many senior administration officials, wrote that bin Laden’s body was cleaned and photographed at Jalalabad. Further procedures necessary for a Muslim burial were performed on the carrier, he wrote, ‘with bin Laden’s body being washed again and wrapped in a white shroud. [...]

A major part of the US coverup , was the fiction of OBL's burial at sea, aboard the Carl Vinson. Photographs of the shipboard burial were described in a magazine story; but the Vanity Fair author admitted later that the photographs he described came as second-hand knowledge (from a source he trusted), and he had not seen them himself.

A Freedom of Information Act request was sent to the Pentagon to obtain those photos.

[...] The Pentagon responded that a search of all available records had found no evidence that any photographs had been taken of the burial. Requests on other issues related to the raid were equally unproductive. The reason for the lack of response became clear after the Pentagon held an inquiry into allegations that the Obama administration had provided access to classified materials to the makers of the film Zero Dark Thirty. The Pentagon report, which was put online in June 2013, noted that Admiral McRaven had ordered the files on the raid to be deleted from all military computers and moved to the CIA , where they would be shielded from FOIA requests by the agency’s ‘operational exemption.

McRaven’s action meant that outsiders could not get access to the Carl Vinson’s unclassified logs. Logs are sacrosanct in the navy, and separate ones are kept for air operations, the deck, the engineering department, the medical office, and for command information and control. They show the sequence of events day by day aboard the ship; if there has been a burial at sea aboard the Carl Vinson, it would have been recorded. (my emphasis)

Admiral McRaven is an interesting figure. After his work obstructing or frustrating Freedom of Information Requests, after the bin Laden raid, he has gone on to become chancellor of the University of Texas system. J.David McSwane writes about NORTHCOM's Operation Jade Helm in the Statesman Of Austin, Texas. Seems like McRaven is some kind of authority on what is called "mastering the Human Domain":

The push to expand the Special Forces foray into the social sciences can be traced to a 2013 white paper dubbed “Strategic Landpower: Winning the Clash of Wills.” It was penned by Gen. Ray Odierno, head of Special Forces command; Gen. James Amos, a Marine Corps commandant; and Navy Adm. Bill McRaven, now chancellor of the University of Texas system.

Part military doctrine, part response to budget constraints in Washington, the white paper makes the case for investment in Special Forces human domain efforts because, while the blunt force of the U.S. military apparatus is unrivaled, it is often not enough to achieve strategic goals in conflict zones.

A review of dozens of military policy documents, scholarly articles and congressional transcripts show McRaven was the vanguard in the push for more human domain training. In March 2014 testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Armed Forces, McRaven said: “As we look at the human domain, it’s kind of the totality of the cultural, the ethnic, the social fabric that makes up the people that live in a particular area. You have to know that before you can make any decisions.”

Posted by: Copeland | May 13, 2015 12:44:19 AM | 52

Well, to put all kidding aside, I think that Hersh's piece shows that Pakistan's ISI was willing to take risks to achieve its objectives, and that it may have achieved more than it could reasonably have hoped to obtain.

Posted by: Copeland | May 13, 2015 1:19:16 AM | 53

The following cite from the the end of Copeland's May 13, 2015 12:44:19 AM | 50 says..

"Part military doctrine, part response to budget constraints in Washington, the white paper makes the case for investment in Special Forces human domain efforts because, while the blunt force of the U.S. military apparatus is unrivaled, it is often not enough to achieve strategic goals in conflict zones."

.. and is a non sequitur.
The "blunt force" of the US military is either "unrivalled" or it's not. And everyone, including the Yankees themselves, knows that the only aspect of the US military that's "unrivalled" is its cowardice and cupidity.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 13, 2015 2:32:58 AM | 54

ad 52... its awkward blend of cowardice and cupidity.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 13, 2015 2:44:03 AM | 55

"Alas, the actual story of “our history” is an unrelenting ability to lie about everything, while simultaneously claiming America’s superior moral worth."

Posted by: Cracklier | May 13, 2015 3:18:58 AM | 56

Greece has been invited by Russia to become the sixth member of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB). The $100 billion NDB is expected to compete with Western dominance and become one of the key lending institutions.

The invitation was made by Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak on Monday during a phone conversation with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, according to a statement on Greece's Syriza party website. Tsipras thanked Storchak, who’s currently a representative of the BRICS Bank for the invitation, and said Greece was interested in the offer.

Posted by: okie farmer | May 13, 2015 3:48:33 AM | 57

Whatever the timing, it proves 9/11 was an inside job. Osama bin Ladin wasn't hiding in an estate; he was being kept on ice. The compound was a prison. When he could serve no further advantage his murder was exploited.

Posted by: David Lemire | May 13, 2015 5:51:56 AM | 58


The Persians

They are Iranians. Only the israeli fucks and their neocon helpers call them Persians - their colonial name. They prefer to be called Iranians. Even John McCain calls them Iranians. This was changed in 1935 - "Reza Shah requested that the international community refer to the country as Iran. In truth during the rise and fall of the Persian Empire the land was known to its people as 'Aryanam', which is equated to the current “Iran” in the proto-Iranian language." from Wikipedia
Maybe instead of WOW we should just call you Asshole, even though your handle is Wow and you no doubt prefer to be called WOW. Get with the times and look at a map, Asshole.
Do you still call Myanmar Burma, ffs?

Posted by: farflungstar | May 13, 2015 9:30:53 AM | 59

The Persians were the tiny minority (4-5%) the British chose to enthrone. The vast majority left when the Shah fell.

Posted by: Madrone | May 13, 2015 9:57:50 AM | 60

MRW at 35, I had a similar thought, Bin Laden passed from arch-enemy no. 1. poster-boy terrorist, to being absent from the world scene (the last time ‘true’ pix appeared *iirc* were from Dec 01, in a French women’s magazine, the famous Bin Laden family, etc. at the wedding of one of his sons, the eldest I think, it was a splendid orientalist pictorial spread. Of course I have no links to this. Which is a pity. It was in the mag Marie-Claire. Fat Binny was one of the guests!) Osama was thereafter absent, either because he soon died, or was truly incapacitated, extremely diminished, or was ‘retired.’ At the time, I did not think about him being ‘killed’ later, he had served his purpose, though with hindsight it seems an obvious move.

I mean, despite the article by S. Hersch, this is really a glorious killing - but without a corpse. (see also Genie at 43.) The burial at sea according to Muslim rites was risible, made up on the hoof, hogwash right from the start, I remember laughing out loud. As for chopping him up and tossing or whatever, this is an obvious fabrication as well.

Recall also that Bush Junior said he didn’t care about or know about Osama B. L., his whereabouts, etc. He was just brushed out…to be miraculousy ressucitated and then murdered.

Fatty Bin Laden, one link

Bush don’t care about OBL

see also: Obama on Osama

Posted by: Noirette | May 13, 2015 10:37:20 AM | 61


.. and is a non sequitur.
The "blunt force" of the US military is either "unrivalled" or it's not.

The "blunt force" of the US military may or may not be "unrivaled," we won't know that until it faces an equal match i.e. Russians or Chinese. What the quote points out is the lack of US strategic achievements DESPITE the "unrivaled blunt (brute) force," a vacuum they are trying to fill out with the "human domain" BS. No matter how well they know the cultural and social conditions of any given country marked for the use of "blunt force," it is a contradiction in terms from inception, the "blunt force" traditionally being used against and over the "hearts & minds" of those who have to acquiesce to be part of the strategic objectives. Blunt (brute) force is a necessary tool for the empire, and it stays in total contradiction with any strategic objectives, unless these are the creation of perpetual chaos.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | May 13, 2015 11:05:03 AM | 62

Well, they got us all talking about that lying scum, which was probably the point.
My take: Obama has been hitting at Hillery with all the leaks and background info, like the Clinton Foundation antics. So the Hillery clique hits back at the Obama clique with articles like this. As others have pointed out, Osama was long dead before any of this story could have played out.
The clear point is that Obama lies. (delivered to a larger audience than before)

Posted by: Arkie | May 13, 2015 1:32:20 PM | 63

It's only the gaudy post-revolution Iranian expats who call themselves 'Persian'. It's a pop culture signifier, separating them from the dusty theocratic savages 'back home'.

Think Kardashians et al(yes I know they're Armenian, but these regional ex-pat communities all behave, dress, and disdain the same way in the west).

WoW is a media fed bot.

"Persian" instead of Iranian, "Ukraine" instead of "The Ukraine", etc. Newspeak.

Posted by: Ananymus | May 13, 2015 2:02:33 PM | 64


The Persians have a long and great history and the modern state of Iran reflects that history. They still speak Persian but I will refrain from calling them Persians if it is not PC even though I admire the history referenced by that word.

Ukraine is the name of that nation state even though 'The Ukraine' was correct when they were a region inside a larger empire.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | May 13, 2015 2:37:29 PM | 65

From an American perspective, it seems to me that the target of the Sy Hersh story is primarily Obama and the top tier of his admin who were exposed as both mendacious and bumbling. Secondarily, Pakistan looks like a double dealing market hawker playing all sides in the international power struggle. Saudi Arabia comes in third *from and domestic American perspective*.

Perhaps from a less biased perspective, the more important aspect of the story is that high level Pakistanis were willing sell a Saudi citizen to the US for money and state funding. That little detail is coming at a time when Pakistan (also known as KSA's military ground force) declined to participate in KSA's war in Yemen. So yeah, seems likely that the desired result of the piece may be to drive a wedge between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

If that is so, then we ought to be thinking more about US intentions for "assisting" in Yemen.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | May 13, 2015 2:45:42 PM | 66

As to the details in the article about Bin Laden's burial at sea (or sprinkling of his body parts over the Hindu Kush), now would be a good time to recall that the Stratfor leaks included some emails about what happened to Bin Laden. However, the Strator emails were hacked at a time when Sabu was already working with USG, so the whole body of the leaks need to be eyed with reservation. Judge for yourself.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | May 13, 2015 2:51:46 PM | 67

One other thought: Al Arabiya had an opinion piece recently essentially saying that King Salman's succession plan announcement was done to kiss American ass. If so, KSA may be fearful about its changing relationship with the US.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | May 13, 2015 3:01:12 PM | 68


One minor correction, OBL was stripped of his Saudi citizenship in the early '90s.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | May 13, 2015 4:54:39 PM | 69

Fair criticism. Should have said "Saudi tool" instead of "Saudi citizen". My point remains though.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | May 13, 2015 6:28:35 PM | 70


Al-Saud tool before '91 I'll agree with but after that point in time he and al-Qaeda became and remain mortal enemies of the House of Saud.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | May 13, 2015 7:06:54 PM | 71

AQ is not an enemy of the House of Saud as long as it is operating outside the Kingdom's borders. Syria for example. Whether AQ is frendlier to the House of Saud than has been officially noted *inside Saudi borders* is up for debate.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | May 13, 2015 7:18:51 PM | 72


AQ is and has been operating in Saudi Arabia since '95 some of their attacks have been dramatic killing numerous people, Westerners and Saudis, including an attack on a security chief. The most recent was last year when AQAP filmed their attack on a Yemini/SA border crossing. The Saudi govt has arrested large numbers of AQ fighters and supporters some with long histories going back to Afghanistan.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | May 13, 2015 10:05:17 PM | 73

Yet AQ could never exist without financial support of the family, and the family has been *very* generous. I'm more inclined to believe what is said with money than what is said officially.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | May 14, 2015 1:26:29 AM | 74


Are you inferring that the Saudi Royals pay AQ to attack their minions and interests in Saudi Arabia? There are a lot of rich sources of funding in the ME that may fund AQ besides the family, some of them even in Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | May 14, 2015 2:26:23 AM | 75

Syemour Hersh in this Salon interview says:

Hersh: If you believe, as a smart guy said to me, if anybody, if anyone didn’t think the president was going to fuck [the Pakistani military] they are out of their mind. He was always going to fuck them.

Need we look for any other explanation for this article?

Posted by: NotMe | May 14, 2015 7:30:34 AM | 76

@75 I'm stating that is unclear whether the purpose of AQ, from a royal perspective, is to channel the energy of dangerous jihadis away from the Kingdom but toward Saudi-friendly wars abroad or whether AQ is an unofficial military force of the Kingdom, a faction of princes and their international cohorts, or something else. It's worth questioning.

Take Yemen for example. Why has Saudi bombing there strengthened AQ's hold on territory if, in fact, the House of Saud is so terrified of being overthrown by AQ jihadis on the Arabian Penninsula? It makes no sense.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | May 14, 2015 12:46:48 PM | 77


Good question, YSD this meme about the Saudi attack helping AQAP, intentionally some say, is offered without any context or perspective. AQAP is a growing future threat to Yemen and SA but is quite small about 3000 fighters while Ansar Allah, the Houthis, is a much larger and immediate threat to Saudi interests with 100,000 active troops. They have overthrown the Saudi backed Govt and taken the capital and are fighting to take the other population centers.

If AQAP makes some gains because of this Saudi aggression it will not have much affect on the overall situation. I don't excuse or support the Saudis but would you think they might be more terrified by the Houthi's gains than AQAP's?

Posted by: Wayoutwest | May 14, 2015 3:17:35 PM | 78

Russia and Greece have been strengthening economic cooperation, as both countries have their own issues. While Russia is stuck in a so-called ‘sanctions war’ with the EU and the US, Greece is struggling to repay its multibillion euro debt to the troika of international lenders – the IMF, the ECB and the European Commission. More info on spanish

Posted by: | Jun 3, 2015 5:58:45 AM | 79

The comments to this entry are closed.


Site Meter