Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Cross your fingers

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Cross your fingers

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1050491.htm

    US and British special forces have cornered Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a mountainous area in north-west Pakistan, near the Afghanistan border, the Sunday Express newspaper reports.

    Quoting "a US intelligence source," it said bin Laden and "up to 50 fanatical henchmen" were inside an area 16 kilometres wide and deep "north of the town of Khanozai and the city of Quetta".

    "He is boxed in," the unidentified source was quoted by the tabloid as saying, adding that US special forces were "absolutely confident" that he could not escape.

    The source says bin Laden moved into the area "in the desolate Toba Kakar mountains," about one month ago from another area 240 kilometres to the south, the newspaper said.

    On Thursday, General Richard Meyers, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, said US forces were engaged in "intense" efforts to capture bin Laden, but held back from saying where he might be hiding.

    "There are areas where we think it is most likely he is, and they remain the same," General Meyers said, who was speaking to reporters in Washington.

    "They haven't changed in months," he said.

    Asked whether the Al Qaeda leader was believed to be in Pakistan, the General said, "don't know that - we think in that border region somewhere, we don't know where it is precisely".
    I know, I know, "US intelligence source" and all that implies. But let's hope .
    "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."

    – Associate Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Olmstead vs. United States.

  • #2
    I wish the government would not release or leak this kind of information. It can damage American intelligence's credibility. Then again, maybe officials figure why worry about something we no longer have. (I have more confidence in our intelligence community, but admit the blunder and respect the reality it creates.)

    Even if the reports are true, 16km sq is alot of hiding space for just one man. The terrain only complicates matters. Bin Laden is likely operating in areas that he knows very well. All the advantages on his side. The only time we can honestly say Bin Laden is cornered is when troops have him on the ground, naked, and in flex cuffs. He intends to use every opportunity to escape, even if that means death.
    "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

    Comment


    • #3
      Two groundhog days within a single year would be too much for the fundamentalists and Arab nationalists. I expect major turmoil in the Muslim world if Bin Laden is captured alive. US troops should kill him on sight to avoid escalation later, even if he waves the white flag. Bin Laden KIA will give some radicals a sense of closure.

      "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
      --Frederick II, King of Prussia

      Comment


      • #4
        Wait a minute, Bin Laden wears white bedsheets so he doesn't need a flag. To offer surrender he just needs to kind of wave his arms and shake his hips.

        "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
        --Frederick II, King of Prussia

        Comment


        • #5
          It defies belief that he could not have escaped Afghanistan a long time ago.
          Acres and acres of poppy fields can't be found. Hundreds of people a day cross the borders undected. How are you going to find one guy hiding?
          ...a man that can stand up for a principle and sit down on his own stool.
          -the Firesign Theatre

          Comment


          • #6
            The guy's also on DIALYSIS. And levels at an NBA-proof SIX-FOOT-FIVE. U.S. intelligence is baaaaddd, man. Who else could destroy Latin America and flood the streets with drugs. Seriously though, I still have confidence in them, I think they're som eof the best in the business.

            I'm crossing my fingers. Catch that bastard.
            Furthermore, they had calculated that if 25,000 of them died for every one of us, they would finish us first, for they were many and we were but few.
            -Hernan Cortez

            The Pacific is our ocean. The power that rules the Pacific, therefore, is the power that rules the world. That power is and will forever be the American Republic.
            -Senator Albert J. Beveridge, 56th Congress

            Comment


            • #7
              When it comes to Iraq, I accept the fact the US was likely wrong about what Saddam had. I embrace criticism because that might be what it takes to fix the problems many people have warned about for years when it comes to American intelligence.

              Yet, I also have some frustration. I know how intelligence is gathered. There is alot of cooperation on such matters. The US was not the only one to goof. Most of the countries involved, including France and Germany, felt Saddam possessed WMDs. This means the failure occured throughout the Western Hemisphere intelligence network. In some cases, coountries took US intelligence at face value. At other times, we relied on the information provided by allies.

              I don't say this to undermine criticism of American intelligence. The US and UK can't be the only ones to reform intelligence. If we are, the quality of information produced will fail be degraded. It would also make it that more difficult to challenge American intelligence in the long-run. Credibility is usually something that can be recovered.

              I wish I could say everyone is thinking clearly. However, politicians are politicians. If they can dodge negativitism until the next election, they will.

              As for hunting down Bin Laden. The problem is:

              It is nice to know where he has been;
              It is good to know where he is at the moment;
              But you MUST know where he is going to be in order to mount an attack.

              Predicting the movements of any person is very difficult. At best, the CIA might know be twenty-four hours behind Bin Laden. Unfortunately, that is at least twenty-five hours too much.
              "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

              Comment


              • #8
                bin laden is 6'7", not 6'5"

                at least according to my copy of the Land Warfare Studies Centre's brief on assymetric warfare
                Now listening too;
                - Russell Robertson, ruining whatever credibility my football team once had.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Deltapooh
                  When it comes to Iraq, I accept the fact the US was likely wrong about what Saddam had. I embrace criticism because that might be what it takes to fix the problems many people have warned about for years when it comes to American intelligence.

                  Yet, I also have some frustration. I know how intelligence is gathered. There is alot of cooperation on such matters. The US was not the only one to goof. Most of the countries involved, including France and Germany, felt Saddam possessed WMDs. This means the failure occured throughout the Western Hemisphere intelligence network. In some cases, coountries took US intelligence at face value. At other times, we relied on the information provided by allies.

                  I don't say this to undermine criticism of American intelligence. The US and UK can't be the only ones to reform intelligence. If we are, the quality of information produced will fail be degraded. It would also make it that more difficult to challenge American intelligence in the long-run. Credibility is usually something that can be recovered.

                  I wish I could say everyone is thinking clearly. However, politicians are politicians. If they can dodge negativitism until the next election, they will.

                  As for hunting down Bin Laden. The problem is:

                  It is nice to know where he has been;
                  It is good to know where he is at the moment;
                  But you MUST know where he is going to be in order to mount an attack.

                  Predicting the movements of any person is very difficult. At best, the CIA might know be twenty-four hours behind Bin Laden. Unfortunately, that is at least twenty-five hours too much.

                  And the weird bit about the intelligence was that Saddam was behaving as if he had them too. A weird story I heard was that he was lead to believe this by his own people who wanted to appease/please him. It is probably a case of nobody playing devil's advocate and exploring all the options, or if they did, getting laughed out of the office.

                  "What do you mean? That they want to be invaded for tax reasons?"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Prester John
                    And the weird bit about the intelligence was that Saddam was behaving as if he had them too. A weird story I heard was that he was lead to believe this by his own people who wanted to appease/please him.
                    What do you mean by "behaving as if he had them"? I only recall some scientists asking for government representatives (not necessarily Saddam's doing) during interviews and the haggling over the U2 sites. What I do remember is Saddam giving UNMOVIC total access wherever and whenever, destroying his missiles (when realistically there was no reasonable grounds to do so) and otherwise cooperating to a degree that he never had before.
                    "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."

                    – Associate Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Olmstead vs. United States.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MikeJ
                      What do you mean by "behaving as if he had them"? I only recall some scientists asking for government representatives (not necessarily Saddam's doing) during interviews and the haggling over the U2 sites. What I do remember is Saddam giving UNMOVIC total access wherever and whenever, destroying his missiles (when realistically there was no reasonable grounds to do so) and otherwise cooperating to a degree that he never had before.
                      And why was that? Because he was faced with imminent invasion. Do you think he would have been so cooperative with no 'coalition' troops on the ground and ready to go? How long do you think that that stick could have been maintained? Why didn't he cooperate when faced with the sanctions instead of letting thousands of people die? Those deaths are on his head not America's. Those sanctions were a U.N. authorized deal weren't they?
                      ...a man that can stand up for a principle and sit down on his own stool.
                      -the Firesign Theatre

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MikeJ
                        What do you mean by "behaving as if he had them"? I only recall some scientists asking for government representatives (not necessarily Saddam's doing) during interviews and the haggling over the U2 sites. What I do remember is Saddam giving UNMOVIC total access wherever and whenever, destroying his missiles (when realistically there was no reasonable grounds to do so) and otherwise cooperating to a degree that he never had before.
                        None of this demonstrated that his WMD (that was known to exist from 10 years prior), was now accounted for by it's destruction or otherwise. Simply saying that UNMOVIC can't find anything therefore it doesn't exist was not in the terms of the resolution. The material had to be accounted for.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Prester John
                          None of this demonstrated that his WMD (that was known to exist from 10 years prior), was now accounted for by it's destruction or otherwise. Simply saying that UNMOVIC can't find anything therefore it doesn't exist was not in the terms of the resolution. The material had to be accounted for.
                          That has nothing to do with Saddam "behaving" a certain way, though.

                          How do you demonstrate you don't have something?
                          "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."

                          – Associate Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Olmstead vs. United States.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MikeJ
                            That has nothing to do with Saddam "behaving" a certain way, though.

                            How do you demonstrate you don't have something?
                            It looks like Muammar Gadafi is giving it the good ol' college try.

                            (much to everybodies surprise)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MikeJ
                              What do you mean by "behaving as if he had them"? I only recall some scientists asking for government representatives (not necessarily Saddam's doing) during interviews and the haggling over the U2 sites
                              Saddam Hussein stockpiled medical supplies to treat contaminated soldiers. Many of the Iraqi soldiers killed within 50km of Baghdad wore gas maks. Embedded reporters for CNN actually was describing this as Abrams proceeded down the highway in line formation guns firing on both sides. The Kay report also suggested money was being appropriated for WMD development programs, but going nowhere.

                              The stockpiling of medical supplies would have been detected by intelligence. It isn't illegal. Secondly, the people handling the material likely has less security clearance. Some informant who is looking to make a quick buck passes this on to the CIA, which in turn send it to analysts. The most logical conclusion is this information suggest Saddam is preparing to use WMDs.

                              Similar conclusions could be reached concerning gas masks and the money. Both generate somekind of attention.

                              Having said all that, it still does not excuse away the failure in assessment. This information should have been interpreted as "suggesting" Saddam had possession of WMDs. However, analysis being pressed hard by an Administration already in "war mode" could easily reach a more definitive conclusion. It won't be the first time that political pressure interfered with the assessment of intelligence.
                              "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

                              Comment

                              Latest Topics

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X