Tuesday, May 03, 2011

News Items and comments

Information you need to know about Obama. America is a great nation. A foreign national drug user and prostitute, a cheat and liar and a friend to terrorists can rise to become President.
www.youtube.com
Information about Obama's hidden past is finally coming out due to the diligent research ofwww.citizens4freedom.com and Donald Trump's investigation into Ob...


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A PM who knows how to be PM
www.youtube.com
John Howard's press conference in full. See more at tennews.com.au


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A good victory.
THE death of Osama bin Laden is good news but it is not the end of the war on terror. Those who deliver death and destruction in the form of terror long ago stopped needing him to order and direct the...
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Apparently people smugglers didn't take part in the survey.
AUSTRALIAN tourism operators need to up the ante when it comes to customer service if they are to compete with destinations such as Fiji and Bali.
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By reason of insanity?
AN Adelaide man plans to plead not guilty to shooting dead three of his neighbours and attempting to kill a boy and a policeman.
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Federal budget? State budget? I couldn't imagine Swan being open or transparent.
THE May 10 budget will reveal only half the story of the government's finances in the absence of detail, according to an accountancy body.
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They are adorable.
THEY'VE got faces to melt hearts, but before too long these puppies' furry little noses will be busy busting hardened criminals.
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And still Della Bosca is yet to face a question on Hamidur Rahman
BELINDA Neal and her husband's ex-mistress have been banned from going within 70m of each other after the former MP accused the 28-year-old of taunting her by saying: "You must have been hurt by me f....
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Welcome back.
THE state's new infrastructure chief, Nick Greiner, has flagged high-speed rail to the regions as a possible way forward for NSW but said city metros were some time away.
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I have no doubt the Department of Education were negligent in their duty of care to him.
JOHN Flowers, the MP for whom the Government changed the law to avoid a by-election after it found he was on a disability pension, says he is fit to be an MP despite being mentally unfit to return to ...
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Terrorist supporter upset by Bin Laden's death.
THE war on terror has not ended with the death of Osama bin Laden, said two Australian men forever linked to the decade-long stand-off.
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Trad must be very surprised by Habib.
OSAMA bin Laden's death was welcomed by leaders of Sydney's Muslim community yesterday. The spokesman for Australia's largest mosque at Lakemba, Kaysar Trad, said many Muslims in Australia never knew ...
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If he knew he wouldn't have tweeted.
DEEP in the heart of Pakistan, IT worker Sohaib Athar, also known by his Twitter moniker @ReallyVirtual, was "taking a break from the rat-race by hiding in the mountains with his laptops".
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I don't know how. But I hope I somehow tipped this off ..
ANYWHERE in the world, $50 million is a lot of money. In Pakistan it is a king's ransom. Such a sum would buy a lifetime of luxury and influence.
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I look forward to the computer game which deals with this. And tv shows. Maybe Dexter will holiday in Pakistan. Maybe call of duty ..
AS the four American Nighthawk special forces helicopters swooped in low over the massive compound on the outskirts of Abbottabad the 30-strong CIA-led raiding party knew they were at the sharp end of...
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A life allows so much possibility. His was wasted through his own choices.
IT was a huge compound at the end of a dirt road in the exclusive part of town. A residence fit for a Saudi millionaire, his four wives and numerous children.
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Some are celebrating his death. Some say that is wrong. I celebrate the fact that the living voice and hand of a terrorist and killer of many has been silenced and rendered immobile. Be on alert for his supporters.
THE world's most wanted and feared terrorist, Osama bin Laden, died in a daring US special forces raid in Pakistan yesterday.
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I am sure Gadaffi is upset too
www.news.com.au
ISMAIL Haniya, the head of the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, today condemned the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a US raid in Pakistan.
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I am sorry a pathetic sportsman got so drunk he couldn't remember what he was doing at a function. I am sorry that the club covered it up to protect him.
www.news.com.au
ON 10 March 2009, the news.com.au website published a series of articles about the police investigation into allegations of sexual assault made by a 17-year-old girl against Brett Stewart.
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this is why I love iComp
www.icompositions.com
My latest compo. Hope you like ! Dedicated to Renee. - LaFayette

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I prefer the degree.
www.foxnews.com
Roughly 2,000 students have to decide by Sunday whether to accept a spot at Harvard. Here's some advice: Forget Harvard. If you want to earn big bucks and retire young, you're better off becoming a California prison guard.
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This was written when their government was lefty. At the time they were anti US, isolationist and pursued protectionist trade policy.
www.news.com.au
NEW Zealand has been branded a potential breeding ground for Muslim extremists in a leaked secret cable informing the United States of the nation's internal affairs.
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This announcement is timed with Bin Laden's death ..
www.news.com.au
A SOUTH AUSTRALIAN MP has been suspended from the Australian Labor Party after being charged with child pornography offences.
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www.fortywinks.com.au
The FlexGel Montage from Forty Winks represents the ultimate in healthy comfort with natural latex base support and a luxurious pillow top design. Check our online catalogue or visit one of our 90 stores nationwide.
16 hours ago · · ·

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JI-HA-HA-HA!

Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 03, 11 (04:55 am)

Taiwan’s NMA.TV brings the animation action:

Numerous highlights require multiple viewings. There’s also a Chinese-language version, in case Leslie Cannoldwants to feel all multicultural.

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428 DAYS UNTIL LABOR’S FESTIVUS TAX

Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 03, 11 (04:52 am)

This is beautiful:

Business leaders have been summoned tomorrow night for a dinner with Julia Gillard on the carbon tax.

The dinner comes as the Prime Minister launches a charm offensive to quell rising anger over her climate change policy.

Considering the number of business leaders who need to be charmed, this could end up bigger than Kevin Rudd’s genius summit.

The dinner at Ms Gillard’s Sydney residence, Kirribilli House, will be followed by one-on-one meetings with the business leaders on Thursday where they can air grievances they were not prepared to raise at the dinner.

The airing of grievances! In May! It’s a Festivus miracle! No miracles for Gillard in the latest poll, however.

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NICE FRIENDS

Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 03, 11 (04:50 am)

The Guardian‘s Michael White:

Plenty of Europeans – including friends of mine – muttered quietly when they watched the twin towers fall in Manhattan that “the Americans had it coming”.

Remember, September 11 immediately followed eight years of Clinton-Gore leadership. If those two suck-ups couldn’t convince sophisticated Guardian types that Americans didn’t deserve to be incinerated at their places of work, what hope for Europe is there? Meanwhile, screaming wussiness (or worse) is at large in Australia, where twoQ & A guests joined in general hand-flappery over Osama’s high-velocity body piercings:

Alana Johnson: I find it disturbing that we actually celebrate it. It is about death. The images from ground zero in New York and outside the White House of people actually thinking this is a victory is very disturbing, because I think it’s a really sad comment on us as humanity.

Sadder was that the Q & A audience applauded instead of instantly getting up and leaving.

Eliza Brown: Being in a position of losing my father, I wouldn’t like anybody to lose anybody … I don’t think celebrating anybody’s death is great.

Just checking to make sure none of the fourteen bottles of wine consumed here tonight are from Eliza’s company, Brown Brothers … nope. All good. Wouldn’t want her to be tainted by any inappropriate celebrations.

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HE GOT THERE IN THE END

Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 03, 11 (04:23 am)

The Daily Telegraph farewells Osama bin Laden:

For a believer in martyrdom, it sure took him long enough.

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COTTON IS LATIN FOR BACON

Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 03, 11 (04:18 am)

An excellent hotel-based cooking tip from Natalie Tran, who these days gets 40,000 hits even for clips of her 7PM Project appearances.

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LEAD BY REVERSING

Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 03, 11 (03:08 am)

[A friend, usually opposed to Democrats, sent this note yesterday: “Obama can stay President now. I’m fine with that.” Currency Lad makes similar points in this guest post.]

Michael Rubin notes an important spin-off:

All terrorists deserve death. Perhaps it is time for Americans, Europeans, and their media elite to reexamine their most glaring double standards: If Americans can kill a master terrorist targeting civilians then Israel too should be able to target Hamas leaders in Gaza, Damascus, Oslo, or Dubai, wherever they may be.

Yes.

Just a few years ago, the Democrats – chiefly, Barack Obama – opposed some or all of the following: the War on Terror itself; ‘extra-judicial’ assassination squads and extraordinary rendition (both were deployed in the bin Laden raid and against Gaddafi); Camp X-Ray (from which the intell on OBL’s courier emerged and which Obama has kept open); military tribunals (now to be used for 9/11 technical mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, et alia, a straight-out dumping of Democrat policy); congressionally unapproved wars (formerly opposed by Obama); wars where the continental United States isn’t threatened (formerly opposed by Obama); unilateralism (sans UN permission).

All of these are Bush policies or policies customarily associated with Bush. It’s a stunning reversal.

Obama made a good call and he would have been conscious of the ghost of Operation Eagle Claw (nobody seems to have noted the crashed helicopter arc, which must have sent shivers down the spines of everyone in the Situation Room when relayed). There was real courage here in both the ordering and the execution.

The context, however, must also be conceded in good will: that George W. Bush, against massive opposition and not a little treachery from his own intelligence apparatus, to say nothing of the press, persevered. By doing so he inaugurated a national security praxis that has now become (albeit hypocritically) bipartisan.

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OBAMA SPEAKS

Tim Blair – Monday, May 02, 11 (12:44 pm)

A late-night press conference is called by Barack Obama. Subject unknown. Coverage to follow.

UPDATE. ABC24, unaware that the US has several time zones, keeps mentioning that it’s “10.30pm in the US.” But where?

UPDATE II. Still no Presidential word, but NBC reports:

Military operations in Pakistan, possibly via drone strike resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden. Body is said to be in custody.

UPDATE III. New York Times: BIN LADEN DEAD.

UPDATE IV. Binny now said to have bought it “in a mansion outside Islamabad.”

UPDATE V. Every major Australian network is covering this live ... except the main ABC channel, which is showing something called Monarch of the Glen.

UPDATE VI. ABC24 has cut to “broadcasting partner” Al Jazeera, which is padding with commentary from Robert Fisk. This could go on for hours.

UPDATE VII. Reuters avoids the t-word:

Challenging the might of the “infidel” United States, Osama bin Laden masterminded the deadliestmilitant attacks in history and then built a global network of allies to wage a “holy war” intended to outlive him.

UPDATE VIII. Dead for a week: “According to Fox News, Osama bin Laden was killed over a week ago by a U.S. missile in Pakistan. CBS News, NBC News and CNN also said that Bin Laden’s body is in possession of the United States.”

UPDATE IX. Obama speaking now.

image

UPDATE X. It wasn’t a drone - it was a firefight. Someone personally took the bastard out.

UPDATE XI. Rappers unhappy:

“Osama dead!?!” Lupe Fiasco tweeted. “Afghan operation done now!?? Now kill wack schools and US imperialism.”

“USA is at it again, number one in the rankings of killing championships. Stealing the gold in the murder olympics and the crowd goes wild!” Public Enemy rapper Chuck D. tweeted.

Lupe Fiasco?

UPDATE XII. Department of Defense:

President Barack Obama announced Sunday, May 1st, 2011 at 11:34pm EST that the infamous terrorist Osama Bin Laden is dead. He was killed in a compound outside of Islamabad, Pakistan. He was killed by U.S. military forces on May 1st, 2011 in a firefight, and those forces took possession of the body. No civilians were harmed in this attack.

UPDATE XIII. Leftist idiot Leslie Cannold:

I am an American & American values I learned growing up were that state sponsored extra-judicial killings were wrong.

If we found Arab street repellent when they celebrated 9/11, and I definitely did, how do we justify our celebrations now?

A $25 million bounty on Osama’s head sounds like an inducement to extra-judicial killing to me.

Celebrating death is in poor taste, period.

Well, let’s compromise, and instead celebrate the life of the US soldier who sent Osama to his own personal Virgin Megastore.

(Via Garth Godsman)

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A MIGHTY WINDFALL

Tim Blair – Monday, May 02, 11 (11:50 am)

Our low-carbon future beckons:

Six Scottish windfarms were paid up to £300,000 to stop producing energy, it has emerged.

The turbines, at a range of sites across Scotland, were stopped because the grid network could not absorb all the energy they generated.

Details of the payments emerged following research by the Renewable Energy Foundation.

The REF said energy companies were paid £900,000 to halt the turbines for several hoursbetween 5 and 6 April.

(Via Peter)

UPDATE. Maybe these wind barons can put all their money in a great big new Australian carbon bank:

The [Clean Energy Council] is putting out a discussion paper which suggests a carbon bank could manage the money raised by a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme.

That money could then be lent out to trade-exposed industries to help them manage the change to a low-carbon economy …

The CEC says such a major structural reform to the economy needs a new institution to manage the change.

Just what we need. Another institution.

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Where Osama died just underlines the US message

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, May 03, 11 (07:05 am)

THE United States killed Osama bin Laden in shots that will be heard around the world.

It is not just that the Saudi-born al-Qaida chief was killed by US special forces in Pakistan just after midnight yesterday, finally brought to justice for the September 11 attacks a decade ago.

It is also how and where he was killed - by US soldiers flying into Abbottabad, a garrison city for the Pakistani military, elements of which must almost certainly have been protecting him.

That bin Laden is dead is of course the most significant part of this remarkable US feat of arms.

Bin Laden said it himself in a tape made two months after his operatives hijacked four passenger jets in 2001 and brought down the World Trade Centre that so signified US economic power: “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse.”

Bin Laden long thought the US was that weak horse, running away from peacekeeping operations in Lebanon and Somalia, first after the bombing of US Marine barracks in Beirut and then after the infamous Black Hawk Down crash and firefight with some of bin Laden’s own mujahidin fighters.

In 1998, he said: “We have seen in the last decade the decline of American power and the weakness of the American soldier who is ready to wage Cold Wars, but unprepared to fight long wars.

“This was proven in Beirut in 1983 when the Marines fled after two explosions. It also proves they can run in less than 24 hours, and this was also repeated in Somalia (in 1993).”

Bin Laden after the September 11 attacks was the strong horse - the world’s mightiest terrorist leader.

His example as much as his money helped to inspire jihadism across the world by men from crippled cultures, but now intoxicated by the fear they could inspire in even the mightiest country.

In truth, the jihadists have for years been on the back foot, at least in the West, after initially devastating success in Washington, New York, Madrid, London, Mumbai and Bali.

Not once since 2001 has al-Qaida managed another successful operation in the US. It’s been unable lately to stage a successful mass slaughter in any Western country at all.

In the meantime, the US, stung into fighting, chased al-Qaida’s Taliban allies out of power in Afghanistan, and toppled the terrorist-sponsoring Saddam Hussein in Iraq. In our region, Indonesia took the battle to its own extremists.

Yet bin Laden remained free, a taunting reminder of the limits of US power and a symbol of untouchable defiance. It is unclear how much operational ability he had, but he remained an inspiration to young men prepared to make weapons of their bodies.

Now that will slowly change. The US has already issued pictures of bin Laden’s body, as was done with the hanged Saddam Hussein to break his aura of power and end his ability to inspire.

Of course, this will not stop the Taliban from fighting in Afghanistan or angry jihadists, like the three arrested in Germany over the weekend, from plotting fresh bombings. This cultural movement will take years yet to exhaust itself, but it helps that jihadism seems more pathetic by the day.

But while the most important part of what the US did was simply to kill bin Laden, where they killed him counted, too

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Gillard improves from absolutely gone to gone

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, May 03, 11 (06:53 am)

Royal weddings makes us feel more forgiving - up to a point:

The latest Newspoll survey, conducted exclusively for The Australian at the weekend, puts the Coalition’s two-party preferred support at 53 per cent, down two points, with Labor up two points to 47 per cent.

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What kind of government would let Sir Ken go?

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, May 03, 11 (06:29 am)

One explanation for the unfortunate resignation of Victoria’s deputy commissioner of police, a straight-talking and much respected advocate of back-to-basics policing:

SIR Ken Jones is quitting the police force amid revelations he had talks about a role as the state’s new corruption-buster.

The Herald Sun can reveal that Chief Commissioner Simon Overland’s deputy had been discussing heading the new commission against corruption.

The appointment was to be made with a view to installing Sir Ken as Chief Commissioner after his term as founding leader of the corruption body.

He was offered the post, it was claimed last night, but complications had emerged.

Another explanation - one which, if true, demands someone else’s departure and the return of Sir Ken Jones:

THE Brumby government successfully pressured Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Simon Overland to release favourable and incomplete crime statistics four weeks before last November’s state election.

The decision to release the data last October was a factor in last night’s sudden resignation of Deputy Commissioner Ken Jones.

The Age can reveal senior advisers from the former government met with Mr Overland, Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe and Victoria Police media director Nicole McKechnie in October last year to urge police to expedite the release of data showing a reduction in assaults in Melbourne’s central business district.

Following the meeting, senior police officials, including Sir Ken and Ms McKechnie, privately raised strong objections to complying with the request, arguing that it could be perceived as a partisan act by Victoria Police so close to a state election where law and order was a major issue… The government interference in the release of the statistics is also believed to have been a factor in Ms McKechnie’s decision to resign last month.

The Age has learned Mr Walshe, who released the statistics citing a 27.5 per cent drop in street assaults over a three-month period compared with the previous year, had six months earlier received a detailed briefing which presented a much bleaker picture of violence in Victoria....It emerged in February that the set of statistics released by Mr Walshe in October last year did not include categories showing huge increases in assaults in car parks, fast food outlets and train stations.

If Jones is allowed to leave, Peter Ryan is a weaker Police Minister and Deputy Premier than I take him to be. Either that, or Premier Ted Baillieu is even more fatally risk-averse a Premier.

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How dare they be glad Osama is dead

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, May 03, 11 (06:14 am)

Last night’s Q&A audience did not clap Labor frontbencher Simon Cream when he welcomed the death of Osama bin Laden.

But it broke out into loud applause when Alana Johnson of the Victorian Women’s Trust said this:

I find it disturbing that we actually celebrate it. It is about death. The images from ground zero in New York and outside the White House of people actually thinking this is a victory is very disturbing, because I think it’s a really sad comment on us as humanity.

Similar distate from the Left’s Kuranda Seyit and Leslie Cannold.

UPDATE

More party poopers:

Arabs in the village of Silwan, adjacent to the City of David neighborhood in Jerusalem, rioted Monday night in protest over the elimination of Osama Bin-Laden. The rioters were throwing stones at police and attempting to block roads.

While most of the free world praised the United States for having rid it of arch-terrorist Bin Laden, the Hamas organization - which has recently all but merged with Fatah, headed by Mahmoud Abbas - condemned the act.

The Gaza-based website Al Qassam reports that Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the local Hamas chapter that runs Gaza, told reporters on Monday that Bin Laden was an “Arab holy warrior.”

Just remember this, when you next hear someone burbling about Israel simply striking a peace deal with those who rage at the killing of the al Qaeda chief and call him “holy”.

UPDATE

Talking about inappropriate reactions, here’s an astonishing non-sequitur from Bob Brown:

Greens leader Bob Brown has called on the Government to bring Australian troops home from Afghanistan.

“He was a criminal and mass murderer. There will be few tears shed about this event,” he said.

But this has heightened the Greens calls to bring the Australian troops home from Afghanistan. This will emphasise the growing feeling among Australians that our troops should be home in Australia.”

How does the killing of a terrorist chief who was inspirational to the Taliban “emphasise” any feeling about withdrawing our troops from that war? I’d have thought victory tends only to embolden and legitimise.

UPDATE

“Inappropriate” celebration? The critics had better not listen to the speech of the United States Naval Academy Commandant, Captain Robert E. Clark II, to the cheering cadets outside his front door:

(Thanks to reader the Dean.)

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US vindicated, Pakistan not

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, May 03, 11 (06:12 am)

Reader TQS asks: was the fateful tip-off that led the US to Osama bin Laden, obtained by waterboarding the captured al Qaeda commander Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?:

The path to Osama began with a detainee tip-off about the pseudonym of a trusted Al-Qaeda courier:

After the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, “detainees gave us information on couriers. One courier in particular had our constant attention. Detainees gave us his nom de guerre, his pseudonym, and also identified this man as one of the few couriers trusted by bin Laden.”

That courier turned out to be one of the brothers, whose house Osama was found in:

In 2009, “we identified areas in Pakistan where the courier and his brother operated. They were very careful, reinforcing belief we were on the right track."In August 2010, “we found their home in Abbottabad,” not in a cave, not right along the Afghanistan border, but in an affluent suburb less than 40 miles from the capital.

So who gave the original tip-off? The courier is described as a “protege of Khaled sheikh Mohamad”.Haaretz makes the connection explicit:

One of these interrogations, of top al-Qaida official Khaled Shiekh Muhammad, was helpful in indentifying some of bin Laden’s closest aides

And how was all the intelligence extracted from KSM? The intelligence that delivered the nickname of the courier who lead us to Osama? By waterboarding.Waterboarding, so maligned, and denigrated, by the left, has emerged triumphant. It has been vindicated. And in the wake of this great success, it should be reinstated as US policy.

Greg Sheridan:

It is utterly implausible that any international figure of note could hide in a mansion near Islamabad without the knowledge of the Pakistani intelligence services. Completely impossible.

UPDATE

Indeed, and so says the US:

THE United States questioned overnight how Osama bin Laden had managed to hide out undetected in a Pakistani compound, after the Al-Qaeda leader was killed in an overnight raid by US special forces.

Counter-terrorism chief John Brennan said it was “inconceivable” bin Laden had not had some kind of support system as he managed to live “for an extended period of time” in a heavily-fortified compound barely two hours drive from Islamabad.

Laying bare Washington’s mistrust of its “war on terror” ally, he revealed that the Pakistani government had only been notified of the raid after the elite team of Navy SEALs had left Pakistan’s airspace.

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Can’t condemn Osama, but can damn the partying at his death

Andrew Bolt – Monday, May 02, 11 (09:37 pm)

Sounds like someone’s sad or something:

THE director of the Forum on Australia’s Islamic Relations (FAIR) has labelled US celebrations over the death Osama Bin Laden “disgusting” and called on people to be more reserved.

Kuranda Seyit said the images of Americans rejoicing in the streets of Washington and New York after US President Barack Obama announced bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan were not appropriate.

“I’m just totally disgusted about it,” he said.

And if that sounds less the expression of good manners than of a certain disappointment at the cause of the celebrations, well… let’s go back to 2004, and a certain stupid grant under the Howard Government:

This year, it gave $45,650 to the Forum on Australia’s Islamic Relations to “create empathy and understanding”. Noble goals, and FAIR’s founder, Kuranda Seyit, struck me as a peace-preaching man when we met, although, like many born-again believers, he seemed incapable of admitting to any flaw in his faith.

Sure enough, as editor of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils’ newspaper, he told the ABC: ”I can’t really make a judgment, cast a judgment against another Muslim.”

Which may be why he wrote: “From our viewpoint here in Australia, the characters of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein are hardly verifiable, we have no way of knowing if they exist, where they live or if at all that the images and their words are truly assignable to these notorious figures of the world.”

Students of Muslim apologists for terrorists will recognise this refusal to confront the facts. But the Living in Harmony bosses did not, and gave Seyit your money....

Very slow to condemn the terrorist, very fast to condemn rejoicing at his deserved death.

UPDATE

I’m not sure what Leslie Cannold - Fairfax columnist and officially one of Australia’s top 20 public intellectuals - wants in these circumstances. A polite request to come down to the police station?

As an American I can say I find state-sponsored extrajudicial killings of baddies - no matter how bad they r - inconsistent with American values

Again, that crossness at the celebration of the demise at last of a mass-murderer pledge to the destruction of Americans and Jews:

Celebrating death is in poor taste, period

And in a war, no one must be shot on the battlefield without a trial - and probably not even then:

he wasn’t tried, remember. It’s still extrajudicial killing, whether we hate the guy or not

Challenged, Cannold outlines her preference:

No, I’d do what Israel did to Eichmann. Made him confront his victims, proved him guilty & sentenced him in open court

Er, and then kill him? Cannold cannot bring herself even then to say even that. Nor can she acknowledge the difference between trying to capture an active combatant refusing to surrender and kidnapping a fugutive long after the shooting has stopped.

But Cannold and her friends even a bare two weeks after the September 11 attacks were already recommending that bin Laden get no more than a talking to:

But when the ABC’s Virginia Trioli and Melbourne University philosopher Leslie Cannold gave us the ABC Left line on all this last Thursday on radio 774, I could only laugh.

Join me, by reading these highlights from the transcript of Trioli’s radical-chic musings:

``If we want to avoid the kind of conflagration that many of us fear, the language of diplomacy is actually needed here rather than war rhetoric, and that is all about never really calling anyone the bad guy, isn’t it?’’

Unless they’re American:

``It was an important point made by a really interesting Afghani American writer that I read the other day, which was that until America understands its own hegemony and understands to what extent it has absolutely controlled and oppressed and run the international agenda for so many years, no-one is going to really want to talk to them.’’

And so to Trioli’s solution:

``This is possibly a realistic example: Despite the fact that George W. Bush and everyone else have in their view identified Osama bin Laden as the prime suspect, which is what they call him, what if that involved bringing him somewhere, absolutely safely, sitting down with him, treating him like a human being and talking about it, and then Osama bin Laden going home again, not bombing the hell out of bin Laden?

``That’s the suggestion: Talk to him, understand their anger, listen to them.’’

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Bin Laden dead

Andrew Bolt – Monday, May 02, 11 (12:57 pm)

The US reports that it has the body of Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda chief..

UPDATE

Fox believes bin Laden was killed by a missile (wrong: see below). Barack Obama is said to be considering an urgent address to the nation, closer to midnight.

What is significance of this? Bin Laden said it best, in talking to his senior followers in November 2001, two months after hijacking four jets and bringing down the World Trade Centre, with the loss of nearly 3000 civilians.

When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse.

UPDATE

He reportedly was killed in Pakistan, and a DNA test verified his identity. Reports differ as to whether he was killed with a missile or a bullet. The killing apparently happened days ago.

So ends the conspiracies:

UPDATE

It is believed that bin Laden was killed in a mansion not far from Islamabad, Pakistan, with members of his family.

Early intelligence suggests that bin Laden was killed as a result of a US-led military assault.

The location of bin Laden and his family confirms recent speculation that he was hiding in comfortable surroundings and close to civilisation, not in the remote mountains dividing Pakistan and Afghanistan.

UPDATE

The questions so far:

If this was a covert US operation near Pakistan’s capital, does this mean bin Laden had Pakistani protection?

How long had bin Laden been living there? How? How long did the US know he was there?

Was any information recovered with his body? Any henchmen?

Where is bin Laden’s deputy, the allegedly even more radical Ayman al-Zawahri?

And then the unknowables:

How will jihadists around the world react?

Is this the beginning of a slow end of the jihadist culture, especially given the failure of al Qaeda to strike the US on its soil again in the decade since September 11, and given, too, how miserable the latest jihadist operations have been:

A day after the Taliban declared the beginning of its spring offensive, a young suicide bomber detonated his explosives in a town near the Pakistan border in southeastern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing 4 people and wounding 14, an Afghan official said… He said a 12-year-old boy had carried out the attack

And I guess we’ll soon know how empty was this threat:

Al-Qaeda terrorists have threatened to unleash a “nuclear hellstorm” on the West if their leader and world’s most wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden is nabbed. A senior al-Qaeda commander has claimed that the terror group has stashed away a nuclear bomb in Europe which will be detonated if bin Laden is ever caught or assassinated, according to new top secret files made public by internet whistleblower WikiLeaks.

UPDATE

Obama adresses the US just after 11.30pm, Washington time:

Says in August he had a possible lead on Osama, apparently in a compound in Pakistan. Last week, he determined there was enough intelligence for a US operation. Today, a small team carried it out in Abbottabad. No Americans harmed. After a firefight, Osama killed and body taken.

Now riffs on his theme that Osama was not a “Muslim leader” but killer of Muslims.

Claims Pakistan helped lead the US to Osama’s hideout. But then says he tonight called the Pakistan president, which suggests Pakistan did not know of the operation.

“Justice has been done.”

UPDATE

About Abbottabad, bin Laden’s hideout:

- far from being some remote cave, it is a very large town of 80,000 people, 120 km from Islamabad.

- far from being discreet, it is relatively modern and has tourists passing through:

- far from being out of reach from Pakistan’s military, it is actually a military centre:


Abbottabad became and is still an important military cantonment and sanatorium, being the headquarters of a brigade in the Second Division of the Northern Army Corps. The garrison consisted of four battalions of native infantry (Gurkhas) and four native mountain batteries

- far from being secret, it’s celebrated:

ABBOTTABAD, July 23: Pakistan’s two dozen cricketers are currently undergoing strenuous training in the foothills of the Himalayas in Kakul like novice soldiers.

Led by captain Shoaib Malik, the national players are attending a conditioning camp at Pakistan Army’s Physical Training Institute (5KM from Abbottabad) in typical military style in a bid to sharpen up for September’s Champions Trophy. Cricketers are generally used to five-star hotel facilities even during training sessions, but Kakul offers no such luxury, not even room service.

So what was Osama bin Laden doing there, and isn’t it very, very likely he was protected by the Pakistani military?

UPDATE

Associated Press reports:

Osama bin Laden was killed in a helicopter raid on a mansion in an area north of the Pakistani capital, U.S. and Pakistani officials said Monday.

Four helicopters launched the attack in the Bilal area of Abbottabad, about 100 kilometers north of Islamabad, said a Pakistani intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information. One of the helicopters crashed after it apparently was hit by fire from the ground, the official said. He gave no word on casualties.

He said the helicopters took off from a Pakistani air base in the north of the country.

Women and children were taken into custody during the raid, he said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.

Published in Pakistan’s The Express Tribune today:

ABBOTABAD:
A helicopter crashed in Abbottabad near the Pakistan Military Academy Kakul late on Sunday night, police sources said.

The chopper was seen flying low before it crashed, locals said. The sound of gunfire and two small blasts was heard before a massive explosion, sources said.

They added that the third blast damaged windowpanes of the area houses. This was stated to be the first incident of its kind in Abbottabad at night.

The Dunya News Network:

At least three people were injured when a helicopter crashed near the Pakistan Military Academy.

According to eyewitnesses, a low flying helicopter crashed in a populated area and as a result two houses were engulfed in flames. Three people including two women were injured in the attack and were taken to the CMH Hospital.

On receiving reports, rescue teams arrived at the scene and started the relief work. After the incident, law enforcement agencies surrounded the area.

The US reports no casualties on the US side.

UPDATE

Was the arrest in January at Abbottabad of Bali bomber Umar Patek a breakthrough? And why didn’t Osama run?

image

This photo taken on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 shows the home of Abdul Hameed in Abbottabad, Pakistan from where Indonesian al-Qaida-linked militant, Umar Patek, was arrested in Jan. 2011. Patek was on the run from a $1 million U.S. bounty on his head, for allegedly helping mastermind the 2002 suicide bombings of nightclubs in Bali that killed 202 people.

Interesting deail in this report three weeks ago on Patek’s arrest:

Questions also remain over his fate, and there are signs he may be caught up in tensions between Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence agency and the CIA, which have previously cooperated during terror arrests and would like access to him.

Islamabad has said it will not hand Patek over to the CIA and that he will be sent to Indonesia. But officials in Jakarta don’t appear that keen to have him, and have expressed doubts whether they could make charges stick against him for his alleged role in the Bali attacks.

Abbottabad is in northwest Pakistan, one of the first towns on the famed Karakoram Highway that leads to the Himalayas and China and less then a day’s drive from the Afghan border. During the era of British rule, it was a major garrison town and it remains so today, with Pakistani troops now occupying the barracks built and lived in by the region’s former rulers.

Officials did not say how or why Patek ended up there, but his arrest followed the detention of an alleged al-Qaida facilitator in the town called Tahir Shehzad, who worked as a clerk at the town’s post office, a squat building just across the road from the British-era St. Luke’s Church.

Tahir had been under surveillance since last year when he was spotted in Abbottabad with an Arab terror suspect, said the intelligence official, who like all Pakistani spies is not permitted to give his name.

UPDATE

Smart propaganda by the US, if true:

Pakistani television stations on Monday broadcast what they described as unconfirmed images of Osama bin Laden’s bloodied face after the United States said he had been killed.

“The picture of Osama bin Laden’s dead body has been released. It is unverified,” said the commentator on Pakistan’s largest TV network, Geo.

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