Sep 11 2006

US Licensed To Kill?

Published by at 5:30 am under All General Discussions

Not sure what to make of this news item from a Pakistani news site that claims the US has carte blanche access to Pakistan to hunt down Bin Laden:

A special US unit now has the authority to go after Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan without having to seek permission first, according to two US officials.

A comprehensive report on the hunt for bin Laden run by the Washington Post on Sunday says that Lieutenant General Stanley A McChrystal, the commander of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) operates on the understanding with Pakistan that US units will not enter Pakistan, except under extreme circumstances, and that Pakistan will deny giving them permission.

This is what happened in January 2006, when the JSOC troops clandestinely entered the village of Saidgai, two officials familiar with the operation said, and Pakistan protested.

“The authority,” one knowledgeable person said, “follows the target”: if the target is bin Laden, the stakes are high enough for McChrystal to decide any action on his own.

My first reaction is why am I even reading this? This is the kind of leak that makes our efforts harder it would seem. If we have a once in a blue-moon slice at the apple we would not want to tip our hand and lose that opportunity like this. What is the point of this leak? That we will do what it takes to get Bin Laden, even if that means hurting an alliance with Pakistan? No need to blurt that out in public! But it is worse than that, this article is a serious heads up to Al Qaeda and Bin Laden:

The JSOC has been given more resources from the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies. President Bush recently directed the team to “flood the zone” or intensify the search for bin Laden. The resources of the special group in terms of personnel and materials were also increased. However, no one is certain where the “zone” is.

Well, Bin Laden knows where he is and now is being tipped off to lay low. Brilliant. This report is too damn detailed! It is painting targets on our folks backs by noting where they are:

A senior Pakistani intelligence official told the newspaper, “For technical intelligence ISI works hand in hand with the NSA (National Security Agency). The US assistance in building Pakistan’s capabilities for technical intelligence since 9/11 is superb.”

Since early 2002, the US is said to have stationed a small number of NSA and CIA personnel near where bin Laden may be hiding. They are embedded with counter terrorism units of the Pakistan army’s elite Special Services Group, according to senior Pakistani intelligence officials. The NSA and other specialists collect imagery and electronic intercepts that their CIA counterparts then share with the Pakistani units in the tribal areas and with Balochistan. But even with sophisticated technology, the local geography presents formidable obstacles.

I am just stunned anyone would blab like this to the media. Unless this is an effort to flush Bin Laden this would seem to be a near treasonous leak. I plan to see how much of this was in the Washington Post.

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “US Licensed To Kill?”

  1. pull says:

    They may be trying to kill the idea that, for instance, “Pathway to 9/11” showed… that we can’t do anything in Pakistan… we can’t screw in a lightbulb unless we get three heads of state from both countries.

    I haven’t read the article.

    What does bother me, and has for a long time, is our lack of ability to infilitrate and operate freely in ME and related nations. As many of us tend to come from European stock we stick out in these nations.

    That problem can be trivially alleviated through disguises… which we do have the capability for. (ref: “Master of Disguise”).

    But such an outrageous idea, I am sure, of sending in guys en masse, looking like Pakistanis or Iranians or such… and operating daily in this way… is just too extreme, perhaps, for us to consider.

    Further, we have far too restricting of rules when it comes to working with immigrants from here… and we are not very cogent about who is acceptable to work with and who isn’t. (eg, all of the Pakistani, Iranian, etc immigrants here who have family and other ties back home that are opposed to radical extremists… including using them as potential conduits for agents… as well as hiring them directly…)

    We had, after all, what, six people on the ground in Iraq? How many in Iran in 79?

  2. pull says:

    Our gov is such a leaky sieve, here’s one from the marines (prolly the same guy who filed the report leaked it):

    This stuff is really growing. It is a crime. You don’t punish it… it encourages others. We don’t punish it.

  3. Ken says:

    Pull believes the public should continue believing in the
    rosy-colored ,romper room, optimismically sugar-coated
    lies that Paul Bremer’s “a few dead enders” comment set off
    in 2003? Doesn’t Pull understand that the public can only
    accept US government versions of “Baghdad Bob” propaganda for a reasonable time length and when the blood of their sons and daughters is at issue, it doesn’t need WaPo leaks to tell them its leaders are both corrupt and incompetently so?

  4. MerlinOS2 says:


    Perhaps a review of TF 147 is in order.

    Of course it has been renamed as the tasking was altered but the concept is the same.

    They are the most responsible unit for taking down the Z man.

    Foreign media is a delightful thing, stuff pops up there that is somehow fluffed and bewildering to our local yokels.

    Pieces to the puzzle, wherever you get them, just check for multiple sources to achieve credibility to build a worldview.

  5. pull says:

    On Ken’s post:

    This administration, the Bush Administration, is as good as it gets – so far – in America. It is a grave shame that we have a country full of spineless ingrates who do not appreciate this.

    These fine people, best in their respective fields, have gone against world opinion and done what had to be done.

    I think we have created a tradition of ungratefulness… by the spoiled and ungrateful baby boomers… the hippies, anyway… which has rotted this country. Now, the later generations have to try and fight this battle and clean up the mess… thankfully, there are some who did not betray all, such as Bush and company.

  6. Ken says:

    Pull-“What had to be done,” destroy another country and turn over
    what was left to Iran,another “axis of evil” member? With the blood of 2700 troops, 30,000 wounded? “Baby boomers, and hippies,” like William Buckley, George Will, Pat Buchanan, many members of George Bush the First’s administation, eg. Brent Scowcroft, and according to recent polls, about half of self-identifying American Conservatives?