Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Bin-Laden Story... R.I.P.? We Wish!


"Fatima, when are you bringing me the goat shawarma? (شاورما‎)"

Does anyone not know that the U.S. has released home videos of bin-Laden sitting around being boring. But boring was the whole idea-- the "seized videos shows him watching himself on television, looking old, ordinary and vain... puncture the mystique surrounding" him.
In the most extraordinary footage among five videos made public, the late al-Qa'ida chief sits wrapped in a brown blanket and winter hat, gazing at TV footage of himself as he holds a remote control in his right hand.

His beard has gone grey and he looks older than his years. He sits in a spare-looking room, stroking his beard and rocking back and forth as he watches the television screen.

Al-Qa'ida tried to promote the image of a fearless and powerful holy warrior, but bin Laden appears in the "home video" as an ordinary and solitary figure, reduced to watching news clips of himself.

"I think it's pretty clear what they're trying to do is demystify this icon who has terrorised the world for the past 10 years, to show for a fact he was not 10 feet tall," said Mark Kimmitt, a retired US brigadier general.

The video left an impression that "he seems to be a tired, old man," Mr Kimmitt said.
As the footage of bin Laden was shown to reporters at a Pentagon briefing, there was an audible gasp in the room.

The video lifted a veil on an elusive and almost mythical figure, who had managed to escape the reach of a superpower for more than a decade.

The CIA had been spying on him from a safe house in Abbottabad for months assembling a "pattern of life" portrait of the occupants. They even had eavesdropping devices inside the compound. "The effort was so extensive and costly that the CIA went to Congress in December to secure authority to reallocate tens of millions of dollars within assorted agency budgets to fund it, officials were cited as saying." Not everyone in Abbottabad believes it actually happened:

China Network News reports from Abbottabad.

The government of Pakistan would love for the whole matter to disappear and they're likely to do their best to make that happen, first off by obliterating the compound itself before someone makes it into a shrine (or an amusement park). It's already a tourist attraction.
"The crowds have been getting bigger every day," said Hasnat Ahmed, a 22-year-old engineering graduate who can see bin Laden's compound from his rooftop. "We are not sure about international tourism yet, but I think we will be getting plenty of people from Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi."

While al-Qaeda has finally admitted bin Laden's death, many Pakistanis are sceptical about claims the al-Qaeda chief was killed in the raid and question the White House's decision not to release photos of his body.

The US disposed of bin Laden's body at sea so his grave wouldn't become a shrine for extremists. But if the past few days are any guide, the al-Qaeda chief's house has pulling power.

Sources have told The Sunday Age that demolition of the concrete buildings and high perimeter wall is being considered to stop it becoming a shrine. No date has been announced for any demolition.

Extra security personnel have been deployed around the compound in recent days to tighten security and help with crowd control.

"Everyone is interested in this," said telco worker Shah Zaib Khan, who walked from his home more than an hour away to take a look at the walled compound. "Is it drama or is it a reality?"

Rashid-ul-Haq Qazi, a lawyer who visited the compound, had another suggestion: charge people to look inside. "It would be wiser to print some tickets and charge an entry fee," he said.

Bin Laden's fifth wife, detained after the raid on Abbottabad, has told Pakistani investigators that he lived in another town in northern Pakistan before moving to the neighbourhood where he was killed, the Dawn newspaper reported.

Amal Ahmed al-Sadah reportedly told investigators that bin Laden lived on the outskirts of Haripur, about 25 kilometres south of Abbottabad, from 2003 until late 2005.

I'm guessing the video below isn't going to be the end of the story-- not for Fox viewers or hate talk radio fans or for primitives in Abbottabad, but if people can accept that Ken Lay is really dead, why not bin-Laden?

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At 8:19 AM, Blogger LH said...

The CCTV piece is on auto play! When I open FF, or even go from this comment page back to the home page, it plays, even if I hit pause to come here. I'll have to remove the FF tab to this page to stop it from interfering with the rest of my work.

At 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These supposed Bin Laden videos are getting ridiculous. Try convincing the clerk at the DMV to put a photo on your driver's license from the same angle as the unidentifiable man in the video.

No body = no proof. Without that body and independent corroboration of its identity, the White House, Pentagon, and CIA are essentially saying, "Trust us."

Does anybody remember when Colin Powell went in front of the entire world with pictures of trucks he said were mobile weapons labs? Turns out they were tanker trucks of helium gas for filling artillery balloons.

I'm constantly amazed and alarmed at how the government's "trust us" still manages to reel in nets full of fish, even after the past ten years.

At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

".....but if people can accept that Ken Lay is really dead, why not bin-Laden?" I live with someone that wouldn't be surprised if Ken Lay is alive and living on one of those man-made islands off the coast of Dubai. Anyone seen Mrs. Lay lately?

At 1:24 AM, Anonymous Lisa said...

are you guys saying that Laden is still alive? I was really confused why the army was not ready to show the footage of it when they are 100% sure about his death.


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