Monday, May 09, 2011

Did Bradley Manning nearly tip off Osama bin Laden?

In an effort to defend their president's war on whistleblowers, one of the more committed partisans at Daily Kos has a diary up claiming that Bradley Manning and his friends at WikiLeaks nearly tipped Osama bin Laden off to the fact that the U.S. was aware he may be living in Abottabad, Pakistan. How so? Because Manning, "who violated his oath and honor" by supposedly leaking secret government files on prisoners at Guantanamo Bay; you know, that place liberals used to talk of as a grave stain on the U.S.'s image before Barack Obama made it his own.

According to diarist "FreeStateDem," echoing claims from one "Extreme Liberal," it was the leaking of the following file on al-Qaeda operative Abu Faraj al-Libi in particular that nearly ruined Obama's Great Day:
"In July 2003, detainee received a letter from UBL's designated courier, Maulawi Abd al-Khaliq Jan, requesting detainee take on the responsibility of collecting donations, organizing travel, and distributing funds to families in Pakistan. UBL stated detainee would be the official messenger between UBL and others in Pakistan. In mid-2003, detainee moved his family to Abbottabad, PK and worked between Abbottabad and Peshawar."
According to the diarist, thanks to Manning and WikiLeaks, "bin Laden would have been made aware that the U.S., through Abu Faraj al-Libi, had established a connection between high-level al-Qaeda operatives and the city of Abbottabad, Pakistan, where bin Laden was hiding."

My god -- damning, right? The Obama administration almost didn't get to extrajudicially execute the guy.

Except, well . . . As New York magazine notes, Pakistani intelligence officials "raided a house in Abbottabad years ago in search of Abu Faraj al-Libbi, the man who succeeded Khalid Sheik Muhammad." Given al-Qaeda's reported contacts within the Pakistani intelligence serve, one can safely presume the world's most wanted fugitive would have been aware of such a raid in the town in which he was living. But that's not all:
"In his memoirs, former President Pervez Musharraf said interrogations showed al-Libbi used three houses in Abbottabad, including the same compound where the U.S found bin Laden."
Musharraf's memoirs were published in 2006.

Dear anti-WikiLeaks Democrats,

If you want to defend your guy's mistreatment of Manning and, by extension, shame those shameless purists who insist on upholding the values of transparency and accountability even when one of their own's in power, do us all a favor: try harder. Or perhaps you could spend half the time you do slamming Jane Hamsher and Glenn Greenwald as Bad Liberals reading up on how your beloved president clandestinely cluster bombed and killed 41 innocent men, women and children in Yemen, a brutal act of mass murder confirmed by WikiLeaks and Amnesty International.

Or, as I suspect, not.


  1. Anonymous4:54 PM

    You can always pick out a bullshit pro-Obama argument by whether or not Obama bothers to make it himself. Other examples include the magical 1945 law that authorized the Libyan War on Congress' behalf, and the hundreds of informants and soldiers dead at Wikileaks' hands.

  2. It's not like bashing Glenn Greenwald is automatically signaling observers that the basher is a "liberal" or some other Donklebot. Greenwald's not exactly a firebrand... the guy would preserve just about everything in our Government except those few bad apples. Presumably he'd be okay with himself as Supreme Executive, though he's been coy on that aspect of his own political-posturing-through-blogging.

    You could pick a better, wiser, smarter, more adept and more jurisprudentially skilled person to defend, Mr Davis. Greenwald's not exactly an enemy of the Democrats.

    And Jane Hamsher? Talk about a foolish naif!

  3. Karl,

    Not passing judgment, just observing what party-line Democrats spend their time on these days.

  4. Stevede2:25 AM

    Been following you a few days now. Really like what I am seeing, you really should be on the front line on Huffpost.

    I have been there 2 days nonstop in the trenches and to say that the hypocrisy there is palpable is like claiming a blow torch is a little warm.

    Keep up the good work!