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Monday, July 26, 2010

Who Will Follow Up On This?

Granted, the bulk of the documents that Wikileaks has obtained are largely speculative and need further investigation, one segment that Wired is reporting on merits some follow-up.

according to one of the WikiLeaks logs, Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security got a tip about the man at the very top of the most wanted list: Osama Bin Laden himself. The informant said that Bin Laden “had been transported to Peshawar hospital in Pakistan for treatment, where he has died.”

“NDS stressed that this was a single source report and had not been verified,” the log added. No other document in the WikiLeaks trove appears to corroborate this. So it looks like just another piece of RUMINT in a war full of it.

RUMINT is short for "rumored intelligence". But even rumors of this sort need to be looked into, especially considering that Benazir Bhutto, a woman with intimate knowledge of the happenings in her region, stated back in 2007 that Bin Laden had been murdered.

Let's postulate on why this piece of intel wasn't seriously researched. Firstly, it would put a massive dent into the Bush administration's desire to continue fighting in Afghanistan, even though his tenure would end less than 2 years later. Secondly, and more than likely most importantly, the Bush administration couldn't possibly admit that a foreign country had accomplished something that he had loudly and all too often boasted about American forces doing.

There have been theories and rumors that Bin Laden had died much earlier than 2007, but none had been substantiated by anyone of prominence like Benazir Bhutto. All previous speculations were framed in the context of tin-foil hat nutjob nonsense. As for me, this needs to be seriously reviewed and have proper context be revealed to the American public. After all, this is the most wanted man in the world we are talking about. But considering how this has been completely ignored since 2007, there's going to have to be a great deal of explaining why so many have been so silent.

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