May 5, 2011

Speculation

From Slate:
Their Fates Were SEALed 
Forget the U.S. version of the Bin Laden raid. Any adult male found in the compound was a dead man.
By William Saletan

You can also look at it the other way around: the SEALs did a fine job of not hurting any of the large number of children in the compound and not hurting any neighbors, and killed only one woman and shot another one in the leg or foot. Meanwhile, all adult men in bin Laden's compound were, by the fact of their presence in bin Laden's compound, assumed to be sworn enemies of the United States and therefore terminated with extreme prejudice. Compare it to the NATO aerial attack on Tripoli the night before that managed to kill a couple of Col. Cathaphee's small grandchildren without getting the target.

The latest news from Obama Administration sources (from the Washington Post):
U.S. officials provided new details on bin Laden’s final moments, saying the al-Qaeda leader was first spotted by U.S. forces in the doorway of his room on the compound’s third floor. Bin Laden then turned and retreated into the room before being shot twice — in the head and in the chest.
“He was retreating,” a move that was regarded as resistance, a U.S. official briefed on the operation said. “You don’t know why he’s retreating, what he’s doing when he goes back in there. Is he getting a weapon? Does he have a [suicide] vest?” 

It sounds like they shot him in the back. In the Wild West, that was supposedly considered unsporting. I recall asking my cousin around 1966 about the plot of some cowboy show episode (Gunsmoke? The Rifle Man?) that turned on whether or not a reward would be paid for a desperado wanted dead or alive who, it turns out, was shot in the back. Saloon sentiment in the show was against paying. (As a rather pragmatic and bloodthirsty seven-year-old, shooting bad guys in the back sounded fine to me.) I don't know what feelings are like in the Wild East.

This could explain dumping bin Laden's body into the sea.

83 comments:

Anonymous said...

An interesting line of speculation explains the strange burial at sea: Only the flunkies were clipped. UBL has been taken alive. The public will condone the deception when the strategy and payoff in intel is revealed in due course.
Gilbert Pinfold.

Anonymous said...

Well, we all know the identity of Otto Skorzeny who conducted the raid to liberate Mussolini, but I wonder in the coming years will the identity (and ethnic background) of the man who killed Bin Laden leak out.
My point is he is the hottest journalistic and human interest story going, editors are slavering to write his story, and write it they must.I have no doubt factual books and movies will be made.The man cannot hide his celebrity forever.

eh said...

“He was retreating,” a move that was regarded as resistance, a U.S. official briefed on the operation said.

Pathetic. It's impossible to respect these people.

eh said...

...Is he getting a weapon? Does he have a [suicide] vest?”...

These are, however, legitimate questions, and one cannot blame the SEALs for shooting first, regardless of their orders. Better him than them.

The administration should just leave it at that, i.e. instead of introducing this odd language about retreating being the same as resistance.

In general I guess they believe that bin Laden alive was a greater risk than the perhaps ignominious circumstances of his death -- meaning what other muslims might think about it.

Anonymous said...

Could've shot him in the leg and immobilized him, like they did with his wife. This was obviously a kill mission and there was no possibility of anyone being captured.

Bin Laden and all the men were eliminated because they could talk. Nobody in DC or Islamabad wanted that.

I don't feel sorry for Bin Laden, but it'd be nice to have some live witness to confirm that the Pakistanis had been sheltering them all these years. Now it seems that our politicians are trying to soften the blame towards Pakistan and keep the "relationship" from collapsing. The politicians wouldn't be able to act in this expedient manner if the public heard verbal evidence, straight from the source, that the Pakistanis had sheltered this guy for 10 years.

As far as I'm concerned, the Pakistanis that aided and abetted the 9/11 slaughterer are our enemies too and need to be exposed. The death of all the men in the house makes that harder. I would've preferred a few weeks of interrogation to get the truth out, quick secret military trials, and execution.

Anonymous said...

I can't help thinking that the original military plan of firing a multitude of cruise missiles at the compound, so it is razed from the Earth just like Sodom or Gomorrah, was the better course of action.
No body, no disposal, no shooting wives, no fuss.
A cock-and-bull story about the compound 'harboring imminent danger' could have been concocted.
Just why the insistence on a 'wet-job' as the MI5 boys put it?

Wes said...

I would say that people forfeit the right to a sporting chance at some point. Like after killing 3,000 innocent Americans - not much sporting chance was given to them. It's like a roach ... I have stepped right on their backs before, didn't even think of letting them have a fair fight.

JustAPatsy said...

Steve, or your many foreign-policy-mandarin readers: why is it assumed that BHO was expecting to find OBL, specifically, in the suspicious McMansion? If CIA/DIA/NSC/Janet Napolitano had really nailed down his residency status, as opposed to turning up a more Nebulous-Value-Target, wouldn't all of this have transpired a couple of months ago?

Or did that part already come out & I missed it--cuz I'd not read any bloggingheads accusing Obama of Pat Tillmanizing the entire scenario.

(And I do not think he has to, either, since being not 100 or 50 percent sure of the identity and making the decision anyway to violate a nuclear "ally" capital's airspace--and scotch a secret copter in the process--seems to me more bold and daring, etc.)

If the issue just ain't relevant, OK, but I tend to think if they'd grabbed/shot apart Joe G. Jihad instead, or even a Pakistani official, we'd be discussing how O has just instigated War #4, right?

Also, Sandy Berger told the Kean commission that a Memorandum Of Notification ordering Binny's offing with extreme prejudice already came down in 1998 (note: disputed by Tenet) so where's all the credit for the first black President, eh

dearieme said...

"“He was retreating,” a move that was regarded as resistance, a U.S. official briefed on the operation said."

Hee, hee, hee, hee, hee, hee, heh.
Wot larks.

AL said...

I recently read a book by a firearms and firearms law expert which advocates the following: if you hear someone break into your home and upon inspection come upon an intruder while his back is turned, shoot him in the back. The fact that he has broken into your occupied home would lead a reasonable man to consider himself in danger of death or grievous injury. You don't need to give him a chance to do what you reasonably conclude he is there to do.

It seems sensible in hunting down a sworn enemy of the U.S. who has acted on those motivations in the past to apply a similar standard, unless you've been ordered to take greater risks to take him alive.

To above commenter "eh" I say that his retreat was clearly resistance to capture, whether it was for the purpose of retrieving a gun, jumping out the window, or for no articulable reason at all.

Anyone who doesn't like the outcome of this is probably best served to search for fault in Washington before Abbottabad. Whatever mission our forces were given was probably relatively clear-cut, such as "kill," or "kill, unless...." The administration's political mission of playing the event to maximum benefit and/or minimum damage has turned out to be much more complicated.

Wes said...

Following up on Al's comment, wasn't it common practice for police to shoot at fleeing criminals? Presumably, most of those would be shot in the back.

In fact, I remember once seeing a show about the changing nature of violence on TV and it used Gunsmoke as an example. Apparently, in the early days, when Matt Dillon rounded a corner and saw a bad guy, he started firing away. At some point, they made Matt stop immediately shooting and he had to say "Hold it" without shooting.

I think the idea that criminals have to be treated with any kind of fair play is a very very modern idea, like just the last 30-40 years. Old TV shows depicted righteous cowboys shooting cowboys with abandon. God I was born too late.

Wes said...

Just curious, has anyone considered the possibility that elements of the Bush Administration knew that Bin Laden was there since 2006? Could some secret side deal have been struck between elements of the Pakistani state and Bush people? I don't know what the benefit to Bush would be, except to keep the War on Terror alive so that policy objectives could be continued and Bush's reelection chances bolstered.

Perhaps Obama's team knew nothing of this deal, if it existed. It just seems to me that if the Pakistanis knew Bin Laden was there, eventually the CIA would know via electronic eavesdropping.

Dave said...

This is disturbing on three levels:

1) If you're going through the immense trouble of a raid like this, surely there might be some intelligence value to be gleaned from a living Bin Laden? We could always kill him later.

2) Dumping the body in the sea makes no sense and only arouses all kinds of suspicions. Worried about his grave site becoming a shrine? Bury him in Guantanamo.

3) If it was a kill mission, as seems to be the case, why not just come out and say that? Why the pathetic, legalistic b.s. by Holder and others, and the constantly changing stories? Why the squeamishness? We're killing Pakistanis with drone-fired missiles every day, and no one in Washington feels compelled to justify those strikes, or ask whether the dead Pakis were armed, running away, on the pot, or whatever.

Chicago said...

If he was running or retreating quickly he reasonably could be thought to be going for an escape hatch; can't take the chance after all that effort and time.
According to a historian I once saw on a documentary (can't remember who) the Wild West has been glamorized and sanitized; people were shot in the back all the time. Jesse James was done in like that.

Anonymous said...

"Chicago" is right - from what I know of the Old west from primary sources, no one was in the least shocked about the shooting of wanted murderers in the back - just read Mark Twain's "Roughing It" for real-life examples. As one western Marshall put it, after having "dry gulched" a man who was coming to kill him "He's dead, and I'm alive, and that's the way I wanted it to be". Steve, your seven-year old self had it right.

Anonymous said...

When I heard that Osama had been shot in the head, my first thought was "God dammit! I hope there was enough left for a decent picture!"

Apparently not. Too bad...

Incompetence in Chief said...

It's obvious that this was a kill every male in the compound no matter what the circumstance: unarmed, surrending or fleeing.

It's also obvious that such an extreme mission goal had to be at least OK'd by Obama despite the latest claims that there was a 20-25min blackout and Obama knew nothing of the killings until after he heard the word "Geronimo".

The Reuters photos of the three dead men left at the compound show one was gunned down (bloodied everywhere). He probably was the courier in the guesthouse who was taken out while shooting at the helicopters (the only armed hostile and only hostile to fire at the SEALs).

The other two men appear to have clean bullet holes in the head and died without blood stains in their nice bright tunics. Osama's 12yo daughter who claimed her father was killed in front of her by the SEALs after his capture is probably a more reliable source of what really happened. I don't think we'll be hearing much from her in the future.

The administration has made itself pathetic with it's multiple version of contradictory stories to try to "soften" the facts of this mission. They look inept with their confusing and contradictory stories trying to pander to the delicate sensibilities of leftish MSM/Euros/SWPL/Davos men under the guise of being sensitive to Muslim backlash.

The most suspecious apsect of the offical story in all this is that Osama had no body guards, no weapons, no escape tunnels, no suicide pills, no exposives/booby traps, etc. This is in stark contrast to his mountain safehouse discovered years ago and the historical common sense of hunted men for thousands of years.

Anonymous said...

It must be really painful for Americans what is happening now. They go to the Middle East and kill little Arab children for nothing other than stealing their oil and to defend the Jews. The Jews, conversely, despise the U.S and see it as a nation to be dismembered, and the profits of the oil companies all go not to the American economy but to shareholders all throughout the World, most of which are Asian. So Americans are accumulating an epic karma for nothing. As for the goons known as Navy Seals, well, they just enjoy fighting for the thrill of it and enjoy killing to experience a power rush. They don't even know why they are killing, nor do they care. They are basically aggressive, stupid men who will kill for whoever gives them the opportunity to without many considertions for motives. The ridiculous motives, such as "freedom" and "democracy" are just semantics for them with no consequence......

"Military men are imbecile thugs to be used as pawns of foreign affair policy."

- Henry Kissinger

Anonymous said...

If we're stealing all that oil, why did I just pay $3.85 a gallon for gas? Why are there so many rich camel jockeys in Saudi? Why isn't Qaddafi paying his army in script instead of petrodollars? And of course, Osama Bin Laden didn't kill any little children, none at all.

What a tool. Go back to whatever third-world Hellhole you came from.

Anonymous said...

How does all this shit keep leaking out?

Anonymous said...

"just why the insistence on a 'wet-job' as the MI5 boys put it?"

Per the White House insider leaking like a seive this week, Barry is the one who insisted, but as a delaying tactic because it would take time to train for the mission. But Panetta had already gotten a group trained, on the side and strictly on the QT.

http://tinyurl.com/3j462z6

True or not,the story is enormously entertaining. Just look at the Situation Room photo - Obama is treated like a teenage boy who just came up from the basement.

CJ

Anonymous said...

So, it was a "Kill mission" - Ok with me. If we'd hit OBL with an Airstrike killing him and everyone else would anyone be "speculating"? Probably not.

Why aren't all these crying Nancys boo-hooing about Ghadahi?

BTW, old westerns used to go to absurd lengths not to have the hero shoot a man in the back. Usually, the good guy had to call the bad guys name - and have him turn around gun in hand before he'd shoot him. The bad guys usually fought with the same code, except for the REALLY bad guys. Even in the Spagetti Westerns, Clint never shoots anyone in the back.

Most Western outlaws were wanted dead or alive. Why should OBL have treated different?

Anonymous said...

What's the big deal? The guy runs from the doorway into his room (that requires turning his back to the assault team). Were they supposed to let him grab a gun to give him a sporting chance to kill one or more of them?

Anonymous said...

To the anon who left the Kissinger quote.

Wow do you sound like a a guy suffering from big time male inadequacy....and no, SEALS aren't stupid.

airtommy said...

This could explain dumping bin Laden's body into the sea.

No, it doesn't explain that at all.

Dutch Boy said...

How can you folks pay any attention to these people who have changed their storyabout every 2 hours or so?
As for backshooting - war ain't beanbag!

stari_momak said...

"Compare it to the NATO aerial attack on Tripoli the night before that managed to kill a couple of Col. Cathaphee's small grandchildren without getting the target."

It has always bothered me that ground guys, grunts and special ops guys, are subject to courts martial for killing the wrong people, or for snapping and massacring folks, when the flyboys and targeteers and commanders who carry out and order airstrikes which they know without a doubt will kill civilians, women, and children are essentially immune from punishment. At least the ground guys have the excuse they are under constant threat of death, while that is just not the case in today's air campaigns against various second and third world peoples.

Seamus said...

So we shot him in the back. During the first Gulf War, we slaughtered retreating Iraqi soldiers on the Highway of Death, and we used plows mounted on tanks to bury Iraqi soldiers alive who were doing nothing but sitting in their trenches. Those are legitimate actions to take toward combatants who are not attempting to surrender.

Anonymous said...

How it all makes perfect sense is this: the man they targeted at that compound was not Bin Laden.

Instead the target was a body double from the glory days. No locals leaked that Osama was living there over the years because they knew the guy wasn't Osama, just some mid level p.o.w.

Anyway demonization has begun. Now it's time to destroy Pakistan just like we did Iraq. Then next comes Turkey. The world will be cleansed of the enemies of Israel.

Anonymous said...

I don't see the shooting of OBL as any kind of victory. From the Islamic perspective, they killed thousands of Americans, destroyed a billion dollar landmark, and precipitated a recession. In response we shot a very old and sick man a decade later.

These are people who willingly trade their own lives for those of the infidels. They need a more disproportionate response - something like ten to one. For every Westerner killed we should kill ten Muslims.

I think a tactical nuke would have been appropriate. Thirty thousand dead Pakistanis for the three thousand dead Americans.


Albertosaurus

Whiskey said...

The SEALs are doomed. Already the UN, Pakistan, and other places are demanding they be extradited. Considering Obama told a 9/11 family member he would not (and walked angrily away) tell Holder his opinion that the CIA interrogators were doing their job, expect the SEALs to be extradited rapidly. Already the Obama Admin is punishing SEALs for "slapping" a terrorist in the face. Seriously.

That's Obama -- by his entire temperament he HAS to make examples out of the SEALs and the CIA interrogators (the ones who got the lead initially on bin Laden).

Whiskey said...

the Obama Admin according to Drudge issued a "kill order" and that bin Laden was not to be taken alive.

Consider that Obama feels (against all reason -- he could pour down dog poop down the Left's throat and they'd pronounce it delicious) he has to court the hard, anti-American Left (really who associates in College with those guys on the idea that they are the winners?) ... expect the SEALs to be extradited to Pakistan or someplace soon. That's just who Obama is.

Whiskey said...

Yes SEALs are "aggressive stupid men" who ... speak Pashto and Arabic. Can navigate from compass and stars. Are expert parachutists, swimmers, ocean navigators, and know the culture of the area (Pakistan) very well. That's why they are "stupid bikers" (with a fail rate of 90% of applicants through SEAL boot camp aka BUDS). You may want a world of a Disney Land ride, but absent mass nuclear destruction highly trained guys like SEALs are the best option to deal with jihadis. And even they are not supermen -- they need bases nearby to helicopter in on the target.
------------
Related: Obama's cold, neutral tone in discussing how he "balanced" the needs of America and Muslim sensibilities in giving bin Laden "an Islamic Burial" was fascinating. The only American President taking dispassionately the other side from America I can recall.

DCThrowback said...

@Anon 7:51am: Light up a joint or something. You're a buzzkill.

Also Steve: Cathaphee. +1. You've outdone yourself. I swear, I almost want a full-scale invasion of Libya just so I can see what further radical spellings you have in store for us!

The only losers are those future googlers who are going to want to see what Isteve had to say about our friend Mohmmar and will only be able to find a post or two when a treasure trove of hundreds exists.

none of the above said...

Anonymous: If we're trying to defend Jews or steal oil in Afghanistan, our leaders are even more confused than I thought.

Anonymous said...

"Military men are imbecile thugs to be used as pawns of foreign affair policy."

Actually, Kissinger said that military men are "dumb, stupid animals to be used" as pawns of foreign policy, not "imbecile thugs.":

http://books.google.com/books?id=B7T706Cg_JkC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA194#v=onepage&q&f=false

none of the above said...

Incompetence:

The obvious guess here is that OBL believed himself to be very safe from a raid. He was, after all, in a part of Pakistan which the Americans would never dare bomb, much less raid. He had successfully hidden there, under the radar, for five years or more, with no hint of anyone having any idea where he was.

Assuming the broad outline of the reports that have come out are true (Pakistan scrambled jets to respond because we hadn't told them we were coming), it's clear that we must have some pretty suggestive evidence that some pretty high level Pakistanis were covering for OBL; OBL's lack of preparation, and his keeping his wife and kids with him, both argue strongly that he probably had some pretty heavy hitters on his side. It would appear his surprise about their failure to protect him was rather short-lived.

jody said...

i think the wild west duel is a hollywood invention. bill hickock was shot him in the back of the head. jesse james was also shot in the back of the head. i think most of those guys where either ambushed or surprised. i doubt that many of them went down in straight up shootings.

jody said...

i think at this point we can start to conclude that the white house cabinet was nearly clueless and had almost no idea what they were doing, or are doing, and that the CIA ran the show on this situation, found osama a while ago, and had to push obama to get the job done. the US navy carried out the mission, of which, we'll never see, because now they're saying that 25 minutes of video from every last helmet camera is missing. they claim to have sent 40 guys. that's a lot of missing video.

whoa black betty, bam-ba-lam. now the video of all the shooting in the raid is "not available" as evidence either. LOL! could this be any more amateur hour? what a totally minor league operation. i mean they get video from operators on all kinds of missions. i never heard of any such total blackout on so many guys in the field.

they can't release any documentation of bin laden's body because it would be dangerous for "national security reasons" yet these are the same people who deliberately revealed to america's enemies how many nuclear weapons devices the US fields. these are the same people who went out of their way to make sure the enemy could see what happened at abu ghraib.

not even the military is exempt from a bungle here, as they built a replica of the bin laden compound (again, evidence that they knew where he was for so long they had time to BUILD A REPLICA COMPOUND!) where they practiced the raid for weeks. then, when the mission went down, they STILL crashed a top secret stealth helicopter into a wall they KNEW was there, leaving a good amount of the helicopter for pakistan to find and recover and, presumably, to turn over to china and russia.

Harry Baldwin said...

Anonymous said...I can't help thinking that the original military plan of firing a multitude of cruise missiles at the compound, so it is razed from the Earth just like Sodom or Gomorrah, was the better course of action.

I couldn't disagree more. This job was handled the right way. One of the slams the mujahadeen throw at us is that we do our fighting with air strikes and predator drones--we're afraid to fight face to face. I take great satisfaction in knowing that the last thing Osama saw was the grinning face of an American SEAL, followed by a large muzzle flash.

jody said...

and, to top off the bungling, what is the FIRST thing barack obama does after the greatest PR coup of all-time? he IMMEDIATELY goes into stumping for amnesty for illegal aliens!

WHAT?! THIS GUY IS A POLITICAL IDIOT! with his jewish support team gone, maybe he IS in some trouble come 2012.

jody said...

oh, and by the way, where was israel in all this? talk about thanks for nothing! we are repeatedly told about america's "greatest" and "most important" ally, and how critical they are to US efforts to combat terrorism. "They provide us with so much intel," i was told again and again by keyboard commandos during the GW years.

how could the mossad know jack shit F-all about osama bin laden for NINE years? not a peep out of those guys. thanks for nothing, bro. i already knew it was a total lie israel was some vital ally to the US but here's yet another instance.

Harry Baldwin said...

I recall asking my cousin around 1966 about the plot of some cowboy show episode (Gunsmoke? The Rifle Man?) that turned on whether or not a reward would be paid for a desperado wanted dead or alive who, it turns out, was shot in the back. Saloon sentiment in the show was against paying.

John Selman shot the notorious gunfighter John Wesley Hardin in the back of the head. There was some confusion between entry and exit wounds, and at the inquest Selman claimed that he had shot Hardin from the front, in the eye, as he went for his gun.

When the medical examiner was asked for his opinion on where Hardin had been shot, he answered, “If he was shot in the eye, I’d say it was excellent marksmanship. If he was shot in the back of the head, I’d say it was excellent judgment.”

"Saloon sentiment" heartily agreed.

In the Old West, it was not unusual for a man to tell an enemy, "Next time I see you you better be heeled," or to express some similar intent to shoot him at the earliest opportunity. After such words were exchanged, the shooting would generally be considered self-defense, even if a man was shot in the back.

Of course, this applies to "good riddance" shootings between drifters and denizens of the saloon. There were greater consequences for shooting decent people.

Anonymous said...

A reminder. This is exactly what Obama campaigned on, and was beaten up for in the primaries by Hilary and McCain alike-- concentrating our warfighting and anti-terrorism resources in Afghanistan and Pakisatn and making the capture or killing of bin Laden a priority...and going behind Pakistan's back to get him if we had to.

All of the mewling by the usual suspects about incompetence and Obama's anti-Americanism is just pathetic. His administration did in a little over two years what the Bushies failed to do in nearly 8-- take out the motherfucker who ordered the deaths of 3,000 Americans, without a single friendly casualty and while capturing a treasure trove of useful information.

All the jumbled stories that came out in the aftermath is just usual fog of war stuff...the initial narrative NEVER matches what actually happened. It didn't with the capture/rescue of Jessica Lynch, it didn't with the death of Pat Tillman. The inconsistencies here are small in comparison to both of those.

Steve is smart enough to recognize that a political figure he doesn't have much use for actually accomplished something good and significant for the country. But most of the rest of you are so invested in the ridiculous caricatures you've built of Obama that you're twisting yourself into pretzels trying to reconcile them with this accomplishment. Like I said. Pathetic.

Steve Wood said...

who are not attempting to surrender.

Exactly. That's the purpose of "not shooting in the back." It's not to give him a fair chance to kill you, it's to give him a fair chance to surrender.

I think most of us would agree that it's a good idea for lawmen to give criminals the chance to surrender when they can rather than gunning them down.

On the other hand, there are situations where the concept doesn't apply. One would be when you want the person not "dead or alive," but just plain dead, which is exactly what I think happened here.

Fred said...

"The obvious guess here is that OBL believed himself to be very safe from a raid. He was, after all, in a part of Pakistan which the Americans would never dare bomb, much less raid. He had successfully hidden there, under the radar, for five years or more, with no hint of anyone having any idea where he was."

This seems right. Osama might have feared an Eichmann-style abduction, which is why he apparently didn't leave his compound much. But US commandos rappelling from helicopters in the middle of Pakistan? He probably never expected that, and neither did the Pakistanis.

The constantly changing stories are slightly embarrassing, but this raid was the single most impressive thing the U.S. military and intelligence agencies have done in years.

Anonymous said...

Killing him and the rest intentionally and then lying about it makes perfect sense to me.

I applaud everyone involved in this. And I laugh that it seems to have made Michael Moore so sad. What a great week.

Anonymous said...

The raid wasn't run by police SWAT rules. AQ declared war on us, and we declared war back. Every adult in the compound was an enemy combatant, and just as on the battlefield, there's no requirement to call on them to surrender before popping them, and if you can shot them in the back all the better.

If you're running an ambush on the battlefield you don't announce your presence and demand the target's surrender. You trigger the claymores and open up with the machineguns. If the enemy wants to take active measures to surrender, fine. Otherwise it's open season, and back-shooting gets you extra points.

David Davenport said...

Posted by Paul McLeary at 5/6/2011 8:54 AM CDT

Our Fearless Leader [ Aviation Week writer Bill Sweetman ]was everywhere yesterday talking about the stealth helo that Seal Team 6 used to drop in to bin Laden's compound and take him out.

[ Video ]


The helicopter(s) is believed to be a modified H-60 BlackHawk belonging to the Army's 160th Aviation Regiment.

The modifications are probably intended to make the helicopter acoustically quieter as well as to reduce its thermal and radar signatures. Unfortunately, modifications to enhance low observability probably also degraded the stealth Blackhawk's lift and handling qualities.

The Air Force's first operational stealth aircraft, the now-retired F-117, suffered from this trade-off in capabilities.

See the supposed proximate cause of the crash below. --DD

Navy SEALS Stealth chopper

Also Stealth Helos Used In Osama Raid

Too Hot For Hover

Posted by Jen DiMascio at 5/5/2011 12:08 PM CDT

A slight difference in temperature brought down the helicopter used in the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.

...

During an event at the Heritage Foundation, though, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee spelled it out.

The back of the helicopter hit the wall, McKeon said, and then there was a 15-degree difference in temperature as it was hovering. With that change, "they couldn't hold the hover," McKeon said. ...


Warmer air means less dense air, which means a helicopter will develop less lift and thrust in warmer air. But a 15 deg. C temperature difference sounds to me like a weak excuse for wrecking the thing.

This airir too warm to hover hypothesis assumes the helo could still hover after its tail struck the wall, which may be assuming too much.

Too bad the stealth Blackhawk's tail wasn't also destroyed, say second guessers and armchair commandos --DD

Too Hot For Hover

Anonymous said...

This kinda reminds me of the rescue of the people at the Japanese Embassy from the Tupac Amaru gang in Peru. I think they killed all the hostage takers.

Anonymous said...

Of course, if Osama were a murderous black terrorist leader in America, the SWAT team couldn't have done what SEAL did to Osama.
Even lily-livered liberals don't give a crap if we ruthlessly kill our enemies in other nations.

Anonymous said...

Photos of dead Che did much bolster his image as a Christ-like figure. Images of dead Osama would surely have spread like wildfire throught facebook and other sites, and it might have turned into an iconic image of his 'marytrdom'. For millennia, Christians recreated the image of dead Jesus over and over and over. So, it was politically smart to get rid of the body as fast as possible.
But, if there's some clever Muslim radical about, he could spin a myth about he witnessed Osama's spirit lifting up to heaven or some such crap.

In politics, Osama really blew it. Had he been less extreme, he could have attracted more people to his cause. Alqaeda squandered a golden opportunity in Iraq by making it plain as day to Sunni Iraqis that it was worse than Shias and Americans put together.

RS said...

> All of the mewling by the usual suspects about incompetence and Obama's anti-Americanism is just pathetic. His administration did in a little over two years what the Bushies failed to do in nearly 8

You made sort of a good point and then undercut yourself bigtime. It's the bushies who duct taped together the two or three gents who later opened this lead, and shipped them wherever for... whatever. Enhanced facilitation of.. cooperative... feelings. I think the spooks banged on the table real hard a couple times and the terrorists got scared straight. The bushies may generally suck, and these measures may be brutal. But the objective fact is that Bush obtained these dudes, used a taste of their own medicine to turn them into sweet baby puppies with a heart of gold, and developed this 'trusted courrier' lead (which did not fully come to fruit for a few years more), partly by checking the one guy's story against the other. Another fact is Obama put a stop to this coercion/torment/torture, in his first week in the saddle.

Do you think these guys would have started singing just on account of being put in jail permanently? =

Eric said...

just why the insistence on a 'wet-job' as the MI5 boys put it?

Two reasons. One, they wanted to be sure. How many times did we kill Chemical Ali before he was finally hanged? Who knows if the Pakistanis would cooperate with DNA samples after an air strike 38 miles from the Capitol.

Two, the SEALs took a bunch of documents, computers, and hard drives. Those items will have more practical impact than snuffing bin Laden.

Anonymous said...

If Pakistan was hiding him all these yrs, why the turn-around? Are Pakistanis hoping US will depart once Osama is killed? Are Pakistanis coming under increased pressure? Are Pakis thinking drone attacks will lead to US victory?

Salvatore Giuliano was also protected by the powers-that-be until he was no longer useful, and then he was killed by a friend.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvatore_Giuliano

And in the case of Che, the communist party in Bolivia found him to be more a hassle and headache than a comrade. It might have played a role in aiding the CIA.

Anonymous said...

"Following up on Al's comment, wasn't it common practice for police to shoot at fleeing criminals? Presumably, most of those would be shot in the back."

This was not a police action but an act of war. And yes, we can shoot fleeing soldiers in the back.

Anonymous said...

Torturing is a no-no but on-stop execution is way-cool.

Anonymous said...

Pakistan hiding Bin Laden is similar to rightwing Latin American nations giving refugee to Nazi criminals and Israel giving refugee to Soviet mass-murderers(of Jewish lineage). And Saudi Arabia, our ally, was the haven for Idi Amin, a man who murdered many more innocent people than Osama ever did.

Anonymous said...

What a scam. The Seals stormed a CIA safehouse and killed a bunch of patsies.

That's why there is no body.

Anonymous said...

If in fact Osama was shot in the back of the head, and the wide exit wound was in the front of the head, that would go a good distance to explain why the photos weren't released.

1, they would be too gruesome, 2, it would make it obvious that he was shot from the back.

Note that the reports have described him as being shot above the left (?) eye. The suggestion of that description is that the bullet entered above the left eye. But if it exited, it looks like one more embellishment to make the SEALS look like great heroes, instead of guys just taking potshots at fish in a barrel.

And, yeah, I know how evil the fish were. But, call me old fashioned, somehow it just detracts from the glory of it all for me. Just seems a little cheap and easy.

Incompetence in Chief said...

First the WH claims to have live video and the WH command center watched events in real time. They even release photos of everyone staring at the screen as the raid takes place. Now the WH makes the patently false claim that the key 20-25mins of the raid has no video, audio and other communications?

Osama's Yemeni wife claims Obama and her haven't left their upstairs room in 5yrs. If true, this would be expected from his known deteriorating health problems, lack of any videos the past 9yrs and explain why he didn't fight back, attempt to flee or have escape routes.

Also, it would explain why all communications and recordings of the raid are suddenly non-existent. The raid was likely nothing like the exciting Hollywood version we're led to believe.

It was more like turning on the kitchen light and stepping on confused hapless cockroaches. Mosly unarmed schmucks, women, children and a very sickly Osama.

If Osama people had weapons they likely would've used them if they could. Being who they are, they would've harmlessly and indiscriminately sprayed the walls and celings with slugs. According to ver x.0, a couple of Osama broads even bum rushed the onslaught of jacked up SEAL team pouring through the compound!

Osama himself was likely probably bedridden, captured, and executed as his wife describes. See the bloodstains on the floor at the corner of what is likely his simple double bed. The other men killed were shown in photos Reuters acquired laying dead in other places with much larger pools of blood. Osama was the only one known to be sick enough to not even potentially get out of bed despite a chopper crashing in his yard and assult team repelling down and doing room to room searches and shootings.

So we likely executed a marginalized bedridden dying old man after he surrended to us. It sure takes away some of the fist pumping glory, but if that was the situation it still likely had to be done.

It's apparent the WH was expecting some prime time vids to come out of the raid by their initially revealing to be tensely watching the raid in real time with forthcoming pics. Given the likely reality, I don't know how you gracefully cover the gulf between reality and their premature PR machine promises. Certainly a continual series of patently false and inconsitent retellings is the worst way to walk this thing back.

Incompetence in Chief said...

Another look end that needs tying: the claim that the Osama raid yielded a wealth of intel is also likely bogus.

First, if there were potentially valuable actionable information, the last thing the US would do is propagandize this to the world and kill whatever hot leads that were found.

Second, without any phone or internet connection the guy was largely incommunicado. The rare foot messenger (it took years of tracking the one that exposed the compound) is not sufficient for Osama to be in the loop much less commanding a global network of terrorists.

Third, the guy was probably had one foot in the grave if not more if he spent the past 5yrs in his bedroom with young wifey and his known degenerative illinesses.

There may indeed have been computers and discs laying about, but my guess is it's either very dated from when Osama was active pre2004 or pirated copies of Ironman movies.

Again, not a knock on the SEAL team - it's just the likely scenario they were delt.

Mr. Anon said...

"Incompetence in Chief said...

First, if there were potentially valuable actionable information, the last thing the US would do is propagandize this to the world and kill whatever hot leads that were found."

You're right. That claim doesn't hold water.

There are now rumors (a headline on Drudge, at least), that bin Laden was sold out by his number two man. I don't know if that's true, but it's a good rumor to start. Get them fighting each other (much as the PLO ended up doing). Perhaps we could send the 25 million dollar reward to that guy's cave, or safehouse, or whatever. Or we could just send it to him marked "c/o Pakistani ISI".

headache said...

Anonymous said...
How it all makes perfect sense is this: the man they targeted at that compound was not Bin Laden.

Instead the target was a body double from the glory days. No locals leaked that Osama was living there over the years because they knew the guy wasn't Osama, just some mid level p.o.w.


Exactly my thinking.

Ronald J said...

Its interesting that people so blindly accept for women to have their cake and eat it too. If we are required to be so gungho on equalizing the opportunities and costs for the sexes, then women should not be given any special accord when it comes to who gets the wild west treatment. These are part of the cost of being a man, which, if women want to accept the benefits of, should also be willing to accept the costs. On a practical note, while many muslim terrorists are men, there are a number of female suicide bombers as well, and instances of women attacking soldiers and civilians with weapons. In fact the one you mention being shot in the leg was apparently trying to do just that according to news reports. Why should she get away with only being incapacitated with a shot to the leg, whereas a man attacking a soldier with a weapon gets the instant ticket to his 40 virgins in paradise?

I think if women in their quest for all things equal had to actually bear the burdens of additional violence, lower valuation of one's life by society, draft into military service, higher assumptions of guilt by police and judges, etc that men have to bear, they would think twice about it.

Ronald J said...

Its interesting that people so blindly accept for women to have their cake and eat it too. If we are required to be so gungho on equalizing the opportunities and costs for the sexes, then women should not be given any special accord when it comes to who gets the wild west treatment. These are part of the cost of being a man, which, if women want to accept the benefits of, should also be willing to accept the costs. On a practical note, while many muslim terrorists are men, there are a number of female suicide bombers as well, and instances of women attacking soldiers and civilians with weapons. In fact the one you mention being shot in the leg was apparently trying to do just that according to news reports. Why should she get away with only being incapacitated with a shot to the leg, whereas a man attacking a soldier with a weapon gets the instant ticket to his 40 virgins in paradise?

I think if women in their quest for all things equal had to actually bear the burdens of additional violence, lower valuation of one's life by society, draft into military service, higher assumptions of guilt by police and judges, etc that men have to bear, they would think twice about it.

Thomas K C said...

If he took a couple to the back of the head, then probably his face is quite a mess since the exit hole is usually quite larger than the entry hole. Publishing those pics would be deemed too graphic, perhaps putting yet another negative ding on the US reputation, and also, since the face might not be so recognizable, might open the door to even more conspiracy speculation.

Anyway, even Al-qaeda are saying he was knocked off, so that should quiet down alot of the speculation beyond the Elvis-type nutty rumors of spending a king's ransom to stage his death and living the rest of his life on a beach in the Bahamas somewhere.

Fernandinande said...

Meanwhile, all adult men ... [were] assumed to be sworn enemies of the United States and therefore terminated with extreme prejudice.

The ladies - I use that term loosely - aren't capable of being enemies?

Anonymous said...

i think the wild west duel is a hollywood invention. bill hickock was shot him in the back of the head. jesse james was also shot in the back of the head. i think most of those guys where either ambushed or surprised. i doubt that many of them went down in straight up shootings.

Wild Bill Hickok did in fact participate in a face to face fast draw shoot out. It was famous. He shot his opponent between the eyes from nearly a hundred feet.

That's not so impressive when you realize that he was firing a cap and ball revolver. No conical bullet. No cartridge. No rifling.

Hickok was very damn lucky. Smooth bore muskets were more accurate than smooth bore pistols but were still wildly inaccurate at such distances. The standard target at fifty paces was ten feet high and five feet wide. Any hit on such a target was considered a bulls eye. It was supposed to represent a man on horseback coming at you.

In countless Hollywood movies the cowboys duel each other as if they were Prussian military students. Yet aside from Hickok there were maybe only two or three real shoot outs in the history of the West. Wyatt Earp preferred to shoot his opponents in the back with a shotgun - a much less risky procedure for a professional.

Albertosaurus

Svigor said...

Helicopters are dangerous. I was just reading about the making of You Only Live Twice. The cameraman lost his foot filming "Little Nelly" because of a downdraft. A #*!@ing downdraft.

Svigor said...

Oh yeah, and the "they're back!" girl from Poltergeist. She and another cast member were killed in a helicopter accident filming one of the sequels.

Anonymous said...

If latest reports are to be believed about the treasure trove of intel from his computers, then if they killed him without an immediate threat, they made a massive mistake.

How much of information does he have locked up in the wet matter, that has been irretrievably lost?

I hope he is still alive and being interrogated.

dcite said...

"Like after killing 3,000 innocent Americans - "

Like you really believe that?

Grow up people. There was no OBL, terror genius guiding all from a cave hooked up to a dialysis machine. His persona was concocted by psyops specialists of no fealty to any one country. They practiced first on the Twins in 1993, when the worst that happened to the "innocent Americans" was that they got winded walking down so many steps. The useful ogre in that scenario was an Egyptian cleric. I remember that well because I'd been living in the middle east for 3 years and had just returned.
OBL was an iconic reason for those frequent red and orange "alerts" that kept us on our toes and ready to acquiece to any inconvenience or invasion of privacy, and eventually to unconstitutional and illegal body searches by strangers and xrays in airports. And now metro trains according to our friendly D.C. metro announcer.
OBL was one of the official boogey men always handy to keep up us in perpetual mental warfare. Oh great government, protect us at all costs, for OBL and 19 not-ready-for-prime-time-Arab-flight-school-students can render to dust, in a matter of seconds, two of the largest buildings on the planet.

OBL, family friend of the Bush's; OBL, members of whose family were flown out of the U.S. just after 9/11, while no other planes were allowed in the air (in spite of our supposedly being attacked by planes where you'd think they'd be scambling fighter jets or something.) While no tax-paying
American citizens could fly at all.

OBL, CIA asset, had nothing to do directly with 9/11; there were no Iraqis or Afghans among the putative 19 Arabs; OBL, man or myth, died many times in the past 10 years, at least one vouched for by Benazir Bhutto before they bumped her off. The real death was probably in 2002. I imagine he was an occasional guest on the BBC radio series, "We Thought You Were Dead."

Wandrin said...

"How does all this shit keep leaking out?"

1. They're trying to talk to two audiences at once, rush limbaugh's and rachel madcow's. It's hard to craft to a message that could get props from both at once - maybe even impossible - and they're messing up through trying.

2. Some of it may be neocons trying to spin it to be more anti-Pakistan while no-more-wars-till-youve-finished-your-last-one peeps try to head them off.

.
"If we're trying to defend Jews or steal oil in Afghanistan, our leaders are even more confused than I thought."

Read neocon sites. Afghanistan is all about Pakistan's nukes, nothing else. It wasn't at the beginning but it has been ever since Iraq started to wind down. That isn't directly about Israel but it's the link when people say it is.

.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

"Oh yeah, and the 'they're back!' girl from Poltergeist. She and another cast member were killed in a helicopter accident filming one of the sequels."

Heather O'Rourke died of a misdiagnosed small bowel obstruction, not from a helicopter crash. There was a helicopter crash involving Spielberg's movie "The Twilight Zone," that killed Jennifer Jason Leigh's dad and two Vietnamese children, and that girl who did the peace trip to Russia and was starring in the TV series "Lime Street" with Robert Wagner died in a plane crash. Interestingly, O'Rourke's "Poltergeist" co-star, Dominique Dunne, also died young, murdered on her lawn by her ex-boyfriend while rehearsing with her co-star for the original "V" miniseries. She was replaced by Blaire Tefkin. Her co-star, David Packer ("Daniel Bernstein") was inside her house when it happened.

Incompetence in Chief said...

If latest reports are to be believed about the treasure trove of intel from his computers, then if they killed him without an immediate threat, they made a massive mistake.

How much of information does he have locked up in the wet matter, that has been irretrievably lost?


I doubt much of any value was lost. The guy was virtually cut off from the world, 3ft into the grave and not even of hallow symbolic propaganda value which is why so many believed he died years ago.

I had to laugh at the NPR hourly broadcast mindlessly parroting the WH's claim that they hauled in a treasure trove of intel from the raid. The example they gave was the insider gossip that OBL dyed his hair black before making videos. OBL last major video was SEVEN YEARS ago in Oct 2004!

People claimed that Bush and his people were dumb as dirt, but the Obama team's main job was handing the messaging of this raid. This WH has more serially inept than anything I can recall for any POTUS.

Now I'm trying to decide how much each of the following factors explain Obama's team total incompetence:

1) They are inherently dumb as dirt (relative for such a high profile operation) and promoted way beyond their abilities

2) They have the clever sillies - basically intelligent but made stupid by anti-reality PC dogma and their lack of natural curiosity to explore obvious inconsistence of PC

3) They've grown incredibly lazy and arrogant knowing the Pravda MSM will parrot their obvious lies and errors without question or comment, enough to brainwash 51% of the electorate

4) They have little to no experience dealing with the real - have never had to make an arguement, sell an idea or meet minimum standards of logic/facts outside the echo chamber of likeminded ideologues

5) They are rank amatuers in all this business. One sign of their novice ignorance - they are sending out many conflicting and illogical stories trying to be all things to all people never thinking that this would cause a problem.

Yeah that's the ticket Jon Lovitz POTUS said...

Take a look at the 5 videos the WH just released. This is an attempt to remind Americans how scary Osama was and how vitally important and active Osama was before we took him out last week.

Upon viewing, it becomes clear why the WH tacked on the discordant gossip girl tidbit about Osama dying his beard. Osama's dark black beard is the most obvious sign that these videos are probably over a decade old.

The videos they released today show a much younger Osama (black beard, fuller/fatter face, more natural skin tone) than his last 2004 video (even the 2004 video's authenticity is disputed). In his long-term declining state of health to the point his last wife claims he was bedridden for the past 5yrs, there is no way these videos anything but very old.

Anyone can clearlysee the rapid aging of Osama in 2001 alone from stills of his videos released that year. The videos released yesterday show an Osama much younger and healthier than these 2001 stills do

These Obama WH guys don't know when to quit. Enough already trying to oversell this.

We went in, put a few in the back of an unarmed bedridden Osama and a few of his buds and got out without much more gain or loss. Mission accomplished. Stop keep trying to make up batsh*t crazy stuff like yeah that's the ticket Jon Lovitz in the White House.

I would think the WH is trying to feed trolls and set up strawmen to attack legitimate critics in 2012 like (eg birthers), but the crap they are spewing is too patently false based upon the very facts/info they are releasing.

Total incompetence.

Incompetence in Chief said...

BTW, 2.7TB = 184 HD DVDs assuming 15GB/DVD. That's some video collection of the Gilmore Girls Osama had.

Guess he needed it given he had not telephone, Internet connection, cable/dish, no Netflix and the courrier only came every few years.

Note to WH, the value of cave-based terrorist intel is not proportionate to the size in TB. This is not Google. In fact, data size often inversely proportional to intel value (eg BlueRay DVD vs email).

Again, is the Obama WH stone cold ignorant or simply pandering to the hoped-for ignorance of the common voter abetted by our Pravda MSM? Enough already.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

"People claimed that Bush and his people were dumb as dirt, but the Obama team's main job was handing the messaging of this raid. This WH has more serially inept than anything I can recall for any POTUS."

Among that ineptness is the White House's claim that they won't release the Bin Laden photos because they don't want to "spike the football," nevermind their rush to have Obama make a televised address to the nation after 11pm EDT on a Sunday night, and nevermind that the speech was clearly written to give as much credit to the Obama Admin as possible. Notice the clear contrast in Obama's talk. When discussing accomplishments during his own administration, he used the pronouns "I" and "me" and "my." When discussing things that happened during the Bush Administration it was all "we," as though everyone deserves the credit.

In an Obama speech there is never a single ecumenical moment where we can all celebrate together: where he isn't deriding an opponent, claiming credit for himself, and bringing in political matters completely unrelated to the issue at hand. In his major public speeches he always, always, always has to implicitly or explicitly raise the issue of civil rights/diversity/multi-culturalism. See his speech to the Olympic Selection Committee, his annual televised speeches to the nation's schoolchildren, or his Berlin Wall Anniversary speech, where he never once used any form of the word "communist," but mentioned both South Africa and his own African ancestry.

The man is an ass, but I like his speeches. They make it easier to hate him. It would stink if he were more likeable but with policies every bit as awful.

TGGP said...

If Obama leaves office without any SEALs being extradited, I hope Whiskey will admit he is wrong and should not be listened to. But based on past experience, he'll just continue being wrong and sure of himself.

Anonymous said...

"Osama's Yemeni wife claims Obama and her haven't left their upstairs room in 5yrs."

Funny typo.

"Its interesting that people so blindly accept for women to have their cake and eat it too. If we are required to be so gungho on equalizing the opportunities and costs for the sexes, then women should not be given any special accord when it comes to who gets the wild west treatment. These are part of the cost of being a man, which, if women want to accept the benefits of, should also be willing to accept the costs."

Yeah but women from that part of the world don't want that.

"On a practical note, while many muslim terrorists are men, there are a number of female suicide bombers as well, and instances of women attacking soldiers and civilians with weapons. In fact the one you mention being shot in the leg was apparently trying to do just that according to news reports. Why should she get away with only being incapacitated with a shot to the leg, whereas a man attacking a soldier with a weapon gets the instant ticket to his 40 virgins in paradise?"

Perhaps the chances of an unarmed men overpowering a SEAL and taking his weapon while low are much higher than the chances of an unarmed women overpowering a SEAL and taking his weapon?

Anonymous said...

bin Laden would be hugely valuable alive & forever incommunicado except with his handlers who administer to him drugs/renditions & gain national security omniscience of Al Queda command structure
IF IF his "death" by way of cutting edge technology could be plausibly simulated--no "conspiracy theory" here--just a question
of MEANS ?

RKU said...

"Incompetence in Chief": BTW, 2.7TB = 184 HD DVDs assuming 15GB/DVD. That's some video collection of the Gilmore Girls Osama had.

Guess he needed it given he had not telephone, Internet connection, cable/dish, no Netflix and the courrier only came every few years.


Ha, ha! I can't remember which pundit---maybe Paul Craig Roberts?---pointed out that the only think we can be completely sure about based on the details released regarding the Bin Laden attack is that our government is absolutely convinced we're all a bunch of total imbeciles.

And, personally, I'm afraid that they're about 95% correct...