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Monday, May 2, 2011

Far From A Cave

May 2nd, 2011
by F. Grey Parker

Photo Source Global Grind
For some time there have been reports and rumors that Osama Bin Laden was not living in the rugged frontier that divides Afghanistan and Pakistan. Just how luxuriant his compound and hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan actually was now becomes clear.

This information will be of tremendous importance in the coming months. We have killed the man but we must still crush his legend and cult of personality. Those dejected, lost souls in the Middle East that have romanticized his Jihad were led to believe that he was some master tactician who was able to move faster than the most sophisticated military in the history of the world. This is part of the Al Qaeda big lie.

The implications for Pakistan/U.S. relations are not good. Reports vary, but it seems increasingly obvious that Bin Laden had been living in this manner and at this location for years. Here is a screen grab of Abbottabad, Pakistan from Google Maps. This is a comfortable suburb. Note the golf course in the upper right. For Bin Laden to have been here for so long requires us to assume he was under the protection of the ISI with complicity at its highest levels.
















Bin Laden was no brave, rugged revolutionary eking out a living on the run with our men and women in hot pursuit. He was a rich gangster who bought and paid for his protection. The following photos attest to just how lovely Abbottabad actually is.

Families can go for picnics and long walks in Lady Garden Park.



Chinar Road, with its many carefully cultivated non-indigenous trees, is popular with bicyclists.



The following map from CBS News shows the area within which the Bin Laden Compound lay.



The relative peace of this affluent community was broken in the early morning hours Sunday as U.S. forces, acting alone and without the knowledge of the Pakistani Government according to some reports, swept in to take out the world's most wanted man.



Below is raw footage received by ABC taken inside the compound after the raid.


In a nation so impoverished, you might wonder how such a carefully planned and maintained suburb could be carved out of such inhospitable terrain? You might ask why a country with so many limitations on certain resources and shortages for millions of the most basic necessities would provide for such huge infrastructural investments to be made in this particular location? The answers to these questions are not pretty.

Steve Coll writes in The New Yorker:


"Abbottabad is essentially a military cantonment city in Pakistan, in the hills to the north of the capital of Islamabad, in an area where much of the land is controlled or owned by the Pakistan Army and retired army officers." 

"It stretches credulity to think that a mansion of that scale could have been built and occupied by bin Laden for six years without it coming to the attention of anyone in Pakistan’s Army.

The initial circumstantial evidence suggests the opposite is more likely—that bin Laden was effectively being housed under Pakistani state control. Pakistan will deny this, it seems safe to predict, and perhaps no convincing evidence will ever surface to prove the case. If I were a prosecutor at the United States Department of Justice, however, I would be tempted to call a grand jury. Who owned the land on which the house was constructed? How was the land acquired, and from whom? Who designed the house, which seems to have been purpose-built to secure bin Laden? Who was the general contractor? Who installed the security systems? Who worked there? Are there witnesses who will now testify as to who visited the house, how often, and for what purpose? These questions are not relevant only to the full realization of justice for the victims of September 11th. They are also relevant to the victims of terrorist attacks conducted or inspired by bin Laden while he lived in the house, and these include many Pakistanis as well as Afghans, Indians, Jordanians, and Britons. They are rightly subjects of American criminal law."

Who knows at this early juncture where the chips will fall, what opportunities will be missed or properly exploited or even whether or not this will signal an increase or a decrease in militant acts of violence in the short term? Who knows how profoundly this will impact our relationship with Pakistan's current leadership? Will this hasten a refocusing in Afghanistan and a speedy draw down of our forces there? 

All we know for sure is this; We got him. And he was a coward who, at the very end, used one his own sons and a woman as human shields while cowering in the bedroom of a mansion. He did not die proudly as a martyr. He did not go in defiance of the "infidels." He died like a panicking animal. The world needs to know this. Those that would have pledged allegiance to his cruel vision need to know this. It is this that will serve to defeat him in death as we have now defeated him in life.

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