Bombshell that Shocks Precisely No One: Pakistanis Knew Osama bin Laden Lived a Few Hundred Yards from Military Academy

And the whole world gasps in shock and horror to learn that the Pakistanis knew exactly where Osama bin Laden was, and that he had a "handler" to watch over him (said no one ever):

In trying to prove that the ISI knew of Bin Laden’s whereabouts and protected him, I struggled for more than two years to piece together something other than circumstantial evidence and suppositions from sources with no direct knowledge. Only one man, a former ISI chief and retired general, Ziauddin Butt, told me that he thought Musharraf had arranged to hide Bin Laden in Abbottabad. But he had no proof and, under pressure, claimed in the Pakistani press that he’d been misunderstood. Finally, on a winter evening in 2012, I got the confirmation I was looking for. According to one inside source, the ISI actually ran a special desk assigned to handle Bin Laden. It was operated independently, led by an officer who made his own decisions and did not report to a superior. He handled only one person: Bin Laden. I was sitting at an outdoor cafe when I learned this, and I remember gasping, though quietly so as not to draw attention. (Two former senior American officials later told me that the information was consistent with their own conclusions.) This was what Afghans knew, and Taliban fighters had told me, but finally someone on the inside was admitting it. The desk was wholly deniable by virtually everyone at the ISI — such is how supersecret intelligence units operate — but the top military bosses knew about it, I was told.
You have to read the rest of this *bombshell* as the details are actually kind of interesting even if the conclusion was foregone and the NYTimes writer annoyingly puts herself at the center of the piece.

The main point of it, I guess, is that when the US leaves Afghanistan that our *ally* in Pakistan is pretty much going to ramp up the proxy war it's been fighting through the Taliban oh these many years. Which, again, surprises practically no one.

Posted by: Rusty at 12:12 PM


1 Musharraf though? when do we bomb Pakistan?

Posted by: Pete at March 20, 2014 05:07 PM

2 Come on Rusty, this is from an unnamed single source, and is at best hearsay.

"According to one inside source, the ISI actually ran a special desk assigned to handle Bin Laden."

I'm not willing to believe that at face value. If that can be proven, then it would be a very big deal. The rest of the article is a rehash of old news.

Posted by: balls at March 20, 2014 05:15 PM

3 I don't think Seal Team 6 ever got 0sama bin Laden. 0bama administration never released the picture of his remains, the famous White House "situation room" photo fake. HELLO? ST6 all dead no one to tell if such raid really ocured. 0bL might not survived a year on the run with badly malfunctioning kidneys.

Posted by: James Lee at March 20, 2014 05:21 PM

4 Sounds like a cover-up. "It was just one guy, not saying who, and no one else was involved."

The ISI is not the only place with these problems. Someone in the CIA was protecting Omar Abdel-Rahman before 1993 and Khalid al-Mindhar before 2001. If there is ever any information released about that, they will probably say something similar.

Posted by: Tang at March 20, 2014 06:40 PM

5 "Ziauddin Butt" -- That last name rings a bell. I wonder if he's related to this phony:

Posted by: Respecter at March 20, 2014 09:28 PM


Posted by: redc1c4 at March 21, 2014 04:18 AM

7 This being the NYT, I would hope that there might another source to confirm this story. Sorry. I don't trust the NYT staff, no matter whether the story confirms something I have suspected all along or whether it is garbage that has no basis in reality.

That said, it is common knowledge that the ISI created the Taliban during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, with assistance from the CIA. It shouldn't surprise anyone that someone in ISI knew exactly where OBL was. However, that knowledge, like many such secrets, would have to have been very compartmentalized to a level no higher than his handlers.

This is common practice in intelligence agencies. The people at the top won't know and don't want to know such details. So can we blame Musharraf for "knowing" where OBL was? Probably not. What the hell, I wouldn't be surprised if someone from within the CIA knew too.

However, they were probably busy pumping OBL's traffic for information on the various Al Qaida cells. At the end of the day, OBL was just a figurehead. There are others. We need to kill Al Qaida. We do that by intercepting their traffic and then killing the operations before they have a chance to get started. We do that by disrupting their economic systems.

The leader himself is probably the most replaceable part. We only get propaganda value from killing him. And that pretty much explains what President Obama was after.

Posted by: Gork at March 21, 2014 05:58 AM

8 In Steve Coll's book "Ghost Wars" he point blank states that the is is directly responsible for creating the taliban. He also point out that al qaeda was brought to life in pakistan. KILL ALL TERRORIST!!!

Posted by: JusCruzn at March 21, 2014 08:17 AM

9 I don't believe for a second that the Paki's didn't know who was holed up in the walled fortress just down the road from their Military Academy.

Posted by: nadadhimmi at March 21, 2014 08:34 AM

10 Correction to #8 should read the isi is directly responsible for creating the taliban. If you should read the book it makes you realize exactly how corrupt the pak's & saudi's are. They make our politicians look like choir boys. KILL ALL TERRORISTS!!!

Posted by: JusCruzn at March 21, 2014 09:16 AM

11 Of course he did.

Bin Laden had always been a Paki military asset.

We were all far too gentle with all involved in 9-11. Most of the highjackers were Saudis, Bin Laden was a Paki asset, and Afghanistan provided him a safe haven.

All three of these countries should have been nuked unmercifully as an example.

Posted by: Kristophr at March 21, 2014 11:44 AM

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