Osama Bin Laden Raid: Inconsistencies and Unanswered Questions

Here's the latest from The Guardian, with information reported by U.S. media from statements of officials, and statements by Pakistani officials who interviewed the survivors.

The consistencies: The only shot fired was by the occupant of the guest house. The commandos approached the guest house first, were fired on by the occupant, and fired back, killing the man and his wife.

The guest house was divided from the main house by a big wall. There was no firefight after the guest house and no armed resistance in the main house. In other words, those clarifications by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and the statements of Leon Panetta about prolonged firefights were wrong. [More...]

Conflicting versions persist on the weapons inside the house. Some news reports say the commandos didn't find weapons in his room until they searched after bin Laden was killed, which would mean they didn't see any weapons near him before they killed him.

When Navy SEALs tried to burst through a door at Osama bin Laden's compound, they found a brick wall behind it and had to blast their way through it....

...Bin Laden was unarmed but the SEALs later found a pistol and an AK-47 in the room.

Pakistani officials said they did not recover any arms or explosives during their search of the compound, so the Commandos must have taken them, assuming there were any.

Still conflicting versions on which son of Bin Laden's was killed. The U.S. said Khalid, then Hamza, then Khalid. The Guardian says Hamza. But the Guardian also says one of the men in the pool of blood pictures resembles Hamza, while later it says the commandos left with both Osama and his dead son. (Most U.S. news reports say the commandos only took Osama.) And since the pictures were taken by Pakistani officials after the commandos left with Osama, had they also taken his son, his son couldn't be in the picture.

The Guardian says the commandos left four dead bodies at the scene. Either one was bin Laden's son or someone else was killed besides the "courier" and his wife in the guest house, and his relative who was on the first floor of the main house.

Assuming one of the pictures of the dead men is bin Laden's son, I think there is one who looks like Khalid. (Not the skinny guy in the t-shirt.) But it also looks like Saad, who reportedly was killed by a drone in 2009 although the U.S. said it couldn't confirm that. None of them look like Hamza who was much younger. Saad was born in 1979, Khalid in 1989 and Hamza in 1991. Khalid is now Sheikh Khalid bin Laden. Here's a video of him riding a horse.

Here's Khalid, Saad and Hamza (who is probably ten years older by now):

Does anyone else see a similarity between the pinkies of Khalid and one of the deceased photos: both have a ridge in it.

None of the released photos of the deceased resemble Hamza to my eye. Assuming he's not in the photos, either he wasn't there, or he's the dead son and the commandos took his body along with Osama's with them, or he was captured alive and the commandos took him. If the commandos didn't leave Osama's dead son behind, then there's an additional as yet unidentified male who was killed and left behind.

This shouldn't be so complicated.

And then there are reports which say the daughter told Pakistani officials commandos took one brother alive and left one dead at the scene. So both Khalid and Hamza could have been there, both could be dead, or one could be alive and in U.S. custody. Or one could be Sa'ad, missing since 2009 when he was presumed (but never confirmed) dead from a drone attack in Pakistan.

There's also continuing conflicts on how many wives were in the house. Some reports say only one, the one who was shot. (Update: Later reports say there were three wives at the compound.)

Bin Laden's last wife is Yemeni Amal Ahmed al-Sadah, whom almost all media identify as the woman shot in the calf. They married in 2000 when she was 17. In 2002, they had their first child, who may or may not be the daughter who was injured and who witnessed her father's killing. (News reports say her name is Safia and she told the Pakistanis she is 12 and Saudi, which doesn't make much sense. Most of Osama's other wives are Saudi, but not Amal Ahmed al-Sadah.) She would be Osama's fifth wife. Reportedly, Muslims can only have four wives, but Osama's first wife, Najwa bin Laden, divorced him. Hamza's mother is Khairia Saaba otherwise known as Umm Hamzah.

And what injured Osama's daughter? Some reports say it was shrapnel from a grenade they threw into the bedroom before entering. Who throws a grenade into a room unless it's a kill mission?

The most important questions seem to have been answered: This was a kill mission, Osama had no meaningful chance to surrender, the occupants of the main house fired no weapons and there was no prolonged firefight.

But the questions that remain are important: Which and how many sons of bin Laden were in the house, which and how many were killed, and where are they (or their bodies) now? Was one buried at sea with Osama? The Administration's changing of names of the dead son from Khalid to Hamza back to Khalid is only bound to fuel conspiracy theories that one was taken alive or two were killed.

The Pakistanis have said injured wife Fatah will be returned to Yemen and the U.S. won't be allowed to question her or daughter Safia. So will we ever know?

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    I bet the ... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Robot Porter on Thu May 05, 2011 at 11:00:28 PM EST
    daughter saying "I am a Saudi" was something she was instructed to say if captured by Americans as a way of assuring better treatment.

    Just a guess.  But an informed one.

    I wondered that too (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Thu May 05, 2011 at 11:16:32 PM EST
    and whether she's more sophisticated than an average 12 year old. It's also curious that she's the source of the rumor that the commandos took one son alive and that Osama was captured before being killed, neither of which have much support in other reported versions.

    Sophisticated (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by star on Fri May 06, 2011 at 08:39:09 AM EST
    I doubt it. This girl has been isolated from other street smart kids around her age. She might tend to exaggerate as all people in that region does. Have to take everything said in Middle east with a grain of salt. exaggeration is expected and is the general style of talking.

    If she is 12 years old, then there is a good chance she is the daughter from another wife and not the Yemeni one. This lady gave birth in 2002. so either safiya is NOT 12 (kids over there often do not celebrate birthdays and such, so they are not sure of their age) .
     My in-laws house there are 20-21 year olds boys who are not exactly sure if they are 20 or 21 or 19. in this day and age it is shocking, but true. this is my hubby's cousin's 2 boys who were given to madarassa when they were BIG ENOUGH to recite verses. so they have no idea about their age.

    This could be the case of this little girl as well.


    Just amazing. (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri May 06, 2011 at 01:45:21 AM EST

    The SEALs performed to perfection. The whitehouse PR after the fact has been run by the Keystone Stooges.  How hard is it to say, "No comment until we verify all the facts."


    It's (none / 0) (#8)
    by lentinel on Fri May 06, 2011 at 04:34:22 AM EST
    pretty obvious that they, like the previous administration, do not want us to have "facts".  

    They're making them up as fast as they can.


    I don't think that at all (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 06, 2011 at 06:34:35 AM EST
    I think that unlike the soldiers in that picture of the principals at the White House, they are not used to the extreme feelings that go hand in hand with something like this taking place. I think many of them have been distracted by that too and unable to not say some things before stories are confirmed.  Emotions during such operations are enormous, some people have much more exposure to that and develop coping skills but if you aren't exposed to it all the time with something like this things can run a little wild until everyone calms down.

    So inexperienced amateurs (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Towanda on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:02:41 AM EST
    are being brought out to speak for the White House?

    This is not reassuring, nor is it the refutation that you apparently intended.  Instead, it is a reaffirmation that the post-op is being botched.


    Reminder (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:05:31 AM EST
    They killed Osama Bin Laden, which the prior administrations couldn't do in almost 15 years of trying.

    I'm going to cut them some slack on the PR slips in the 2-3 days after that accomplishment.

    Where is the big picture here?


    How could we have forgotten? (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by sj on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:10:50 AM EST
    Where is the big picture here?

    No doubt what really must be considered is how this affects O's re-election.  What else is there to worry about?  Amiright?


    Yes they killed OBL (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:15:01 AM EST
    Kudos for that.

    Now, will you agree that Bush put the methods in place for that to happen??


    No...because he didn't Jim (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:19:05 AM EST
    The system for dealing with and taking into custody if possible the real danger and the real terrorists has nothing to do with Bush.  It was built from the ground up by this President, General Petraeus, even god help us infamous General McChrystal, and it was done from basically scratch.  My husband went to Afghanistan to be a part of the people who did that, got that done, defined the parameters and the operations, got a system down and made it work.  And gathering on the ground intel is primary in getting any of that done and torture is not.

    Oh good grief (none / 0) (#42)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:28:52 AM EST
    I'm not gonna argue the point because it is useless to do so but I have to wonder why some Democrats think Obama invented all of the intelligence gathering, etc. Then again, I think I know. BDS flowers again.

    'nuff said on this.  You can have last word.


    Are you going (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:36:00 AM EST
    to give Jimmy Carter credit for freeing the hostages? I mean Jimmy Carter had only been out of office for what a few minutes? If you think that Bush should get credit for getting OBL then Carter should get credit for freeing the hostages.

    Personally (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri May 06, 2011 at 10:13:12 AM EST
    I don't think any of the goofball figureheads we call presidents -- or their ivory tower advisors -- should get this kind of credit.  Or, if they should, then St. Ronny was singlehandedly responsible for tearing down the Berlin Wall, right?

    They are just figureheads.  The careerists are the ones actually doing the real work.  And I think that was true in this case as well.  This is why we don't get a true timeline of when the information was developed.  If we did, we'd likely find that some the crucial information was in place before 2008.

    You actually think that the guy who can't figure out how to manage a PR campaign was responsible for capturing Bin Laden?  In what universe? The guy who was elected senator and then immediately ran for president knows the ins and outs of intelligence well enough that in two years he could appoint the right peope to capture Bin Laden?  hahahahahaha, that's a funny one.  

    It's silly for Obama to get credit for this. He was in the right chair at the right moment. He knows how to win elections and play golf, just like the other presidents before him.  I give Clinton some credit for being engaged and taking some time to develop understanding of the job.  He actually was a smart guy.  And hey, Panetta was a Clinton man, even tho, yet again, a figurehead, so maybe Clinton should get some credit for developing Panetta's skills.  But the rest of these presidents?  Ho, what a laugher.

    And yeah, if you're giving credit to bozo presidents for the efforts of careerists, then yes, Carter deserves some of the credit (or maybe most in that case) for freeing the hostages.  Reagan, the actor isn't any more credible than Carter, certainly.


    Nope...no credit (none / 0) (#72)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 06, 2011 at 11:27:33 AM EST
    He really did get shafted though :)  I look back at that, and that is what a shafting looks like with the worst luck in the world pasted to it.

    First of all (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 06, 2011 at 11:36:07 AM EST
    Bush cherry picked intelligence and tried to "create" intelligence.  Second of all, how in the hell was he getting any intelligence on Al Qaeda from Iraq?  All of our best assets were in Iraq.  Hey, but he did create an Iraq branch of Al Qaeda.  That is a new one, create an enemy from scratch to gather intel on :)

    I'm sorry, I can't help but give you a hard time.  Obama moved our assets to Afghanistan and when Iraq shook out, real leaders who could handle taking on a terrorist enemy shook out too.  If Obama got handed something wonderful from Dubya, it was the clean house where failed military leadership in the face of real danger was eventually sent home :)  Bush created that just like Jimmy Carter created Delta forces and the 160th Night Stalkers :)


    You're the guy (none / 0) (#69)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri May 06, 2011 at 11:03:23 AM EST
    calling BHO "Obamie" on your blog, so look to the beam of ODS in your own before prattling about the splinter of anyone else who may have BDS here.

    Obamie? (none / 0) (#74)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 06, 2011 at 11:40:47 AM EST
    Now Jim...you know that soldiers are always supposed to call their President...President!  Even old ones do that.

    What "methods" are those? (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by lilburro on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:20:59 AM EST
    The shuttering of the CIA's bin Laden unit?  Useless torture?

    Name the "methods" that worked.  Of course kudos to the Bush-era military for initially capturing some of these guys.


    BTW (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by sj on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:28:08 AM EST
    I look forward to your comments on the "New Jobless Claims Jump" post.

    As usual, lots of commenters (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Towanda on Fri May 06, 2011 at 06:27:14 PM EST
    fell for your standard trick of changing the topic.

    You are (none / 0) (#31)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:11:15 AM EST
    right on the bottom line of the situation but the GOP is grabbing the narrative and that is not a good thing.

    All these different messages aid the GOP in their effort to confuse the situation in the minds of the voting public.


    B.O. (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by lentinel on Fri May 06, 2011 at 10:58:42 AM EST
    is the one aiding the GOP.

    He has bought everything they are selling.

    And now he's re-selling it to us.


    Good question. (none / 0) (#63)
    by lentinel on Fri May 06, 2011 at 10:28:59 AM EST
    What in God's name is the "big" picture?

    That Barrack did George one better?


    The Big Picture (none / 0) (#104)
    by norris morris on Fri May 06, 2011 at 05:08:04 PM EST
    is that Obama had the brains and resolve to order this. That bin Laden is dead after Bush and Co gve up when they diverted all $$ and men to Iraq
    after screwing up in Tora Bora. And forgetting about bin Laden.

    Unquestionably our intelligence had stepped up under Panetta with both men on the ground and top work inside CIA analyisis.  Obama swore that finding bin Laden and killing him was a top priority...more than once. We have many new operatives on the ground, and at least now know of Quade's palns for our rail system

    So what's the big deal? Yes, every time someone hears or tells or retells a story it will change.

    Between things we surely cannot and should not reveal, there are the media and the fighters of forever freedom who are treating bin Laden like
    he was entitled to " a fair trial"?  Ridiculous.

    There will be garbled versions which considering the events is not unusual. I would not be unhappy if there was a total shutdown of info on this.

    Importantly we thank the Seals, CIA, Military Officers in charge....and Obama and team.

    Thank God this murderer of innocent thousands is dead. If we continue to be smart we'll keep it close.


    The question... (none / 0) (#16)
    by lentinel on Fri May 06, 2011 at 08:06:38 AM EST
    ...they are not used to the extreme feelings that go hand in hand with something like this taking place.

    The question is: what exactly took place?


    Seems to me that if the guest house (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 06, 2011 at 06:49:33 AM EST
    opened fire right out of the gate, the SEALs have no choice but to believe that the compound orders are to attack anyone coming in as they were.

    When people have no ability to mentally understand that they need to protect themselves from danger, we call that depression and we medicate them and send them to treatment because everyone takes advantage of them.  The Left is always accusing our troops of being insane, but when you enter the compound of a mass murderer and are immediately fired upon I know how sane people go forward with that mission.  And now I know why all the men were killed, because it is obvious that the order given to them was to fight.

    Not me (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by lentinel on Fri May 06, 2011 at 08:11:20 AM EST
    The Left is always accusing our troops of being insane...

    I would be classified as someone on the "left", I'm sure.

    I would never accuse the troops on "being insane".

    I do believe that some of the things they have been commanded to do could drive anyone insane. I have read that some of our troops have committed suicide.

    It's the policies and the politicians that I would characterize as being insane.

    And if they are sane, then they are evil.


    This is the first many of us have heard (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by ruffian on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:53:45 AM EST
    about anyone opening fire immediately from a guest house. Yes, it does put the raid on the main house in a different light, but I have to assume the troops were prepared for fire there even if they had not met that initial resistance.

    No one expects them to not defend themselves. Far from not caring if soldiers are hurt, if it were up to most of the left, soldiers would be in harm's way a lot less often.


    See, right there you easily exposed (none / 0) (#71)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 06, 2011 at 11:07:11 AM EST
    the bias against the soldiers.  We really didn't know much about what happened but how many people on this blog have already called it an assassination?  Called it an assassination from day #1?  The whole blogosphere has been as hopped up as the people from the White House who have gotten how many different stories wrong?

    Tracy, (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by NYShooter on Fri May 06, 2011 at 11:56:58 AM EST
    I know I hate it when people tell me to "calm down" when I get a little excited about something, but you really should "calm down." Your mistake is that you're conflating "soldiers" with their "superiors" who gave them their instructions.

    If some commenter says the soldiers "assassinated" BO I believe what they meant is that they were ordered to do so. The only way a soldier could be criticized is if his orders were to bring the target out alive, and in direct violation of the order, deliberately shot and killed the target.

    I don't think anyone is saying that.

    And, take it from me, no one, no one who hasn't been in battle is in any position to sit in judgement of those who are/were.

    And that's why you don't see me arguing the very points you're arguing......its just impossible. I've come to grips with it, and so should you.

    I'm your friend, and there's no arguing that.


    And secondly (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 06, 2011 at 12:09:58 PM EST
    A President who puts his soldiers in harms way, orders them into danger and says they must somehow survive that while being castrated from being able to us proper defenses to protect themselves is heinous.  And such leaders destroy the morale of their troops took and become unable to protect the nation well.

    President Obama is as balanced and as honoring of life and death and what both of those entail as I could ask any President to be.  I was proud to make whatever few sacrifices I was making serving him in the capacity that this family does.....but today I'm more than proud, I'm just......I'm fricken REPAIRED.


    Repaired? Wow! (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by NYShooter on Fri May 06, 2011 at 12:15:11 PM EST
    and you can barely see the scars:)

    It feels like we could retire now (none / 0) (#87)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 06, 2011 at 12:31:26 PM EST
    It never felt like we could or should retire before now.  There was always a constant background anxiety.  The American taxpayer has invested millions in my husband.  Everything isn't over, but the first threat and the first mission is finally accomplished after years of neglect.  I think we also got some very valuable intel too that is going to make a huge difference in dismantling Al Qaeda.

    The main lesson we sent is (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by NYShooter on Fri May 06, 2011 at 01:20:40 PM EST

    "We will get you. Maybe sooner, maybe later, but your days are numbered. Oh, you can run, and you can even hide, but look in the mirror. Look real close; see that "X" on your forehead?

    We do; oh yes we do.

    Sleep tite, lol"


    George Bush sure helped (none / 0) (#94)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 06, 2011 at 01:51:21 PM EST
    Osama Bin Laden grow into a mythical creature though.  That is on his head until the day he dies.  All the recruitment that his torture brought to Al Qaeda is too.

    Sorry for typos (none / 0) (#83)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 06, 2011 at 12:12:25 PM EST
    For someone so repaired I guess it hasn't filtered into all of me yet.

    I'm not shook up (none / 0) (#81)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 06, 2011 at 12:04:20 PM EST
    Sorry if I'm coming across that way. Seems to me that I'm only stating the obvious.  You forget though that I have been down this road before, and as soon as the Left decides that an illegal order was given....then they go after the soldiers for obeying illegal orders.  I've got this down now :)  But I'm a great mood today for the most part.

    I don't think that is meant as a bias against (none / 0) (#90)
    by ruffian on Fri May 06, 2011 at 01:14:49 PM EST
    the soldiers. Not in my case anyway. We may never know what their orders were but I have no doubt that they carried them out without making it up as they went along. I would expect nothing less of the cream of the crop as these special ops guys are. Regarding the nature of the mission, there are several possibilities that we have been discussing. Of course it is all speculation. I don't think it is unreasonable to posit that everyone involved knew the chances of OBL coming out of it alive were slim to none. I'm not sticking a label on that.

    I think we need to ask questions (none / 0) (#95)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 06, 2011 at 01:55:30 PM EST
    too.  But most of us are the most horrible interrogators ever :)  If you believe wrong doing occurred and you want to know what happened, you need to gain trust.  Smile, nod your head, get them some coffee, allow the conversation to flow :)

    In that case, I would be a most excellent (none / 0) (#102)
    by ruffian on Fri May 06, 2011 at 03:58:24 PM EST
    interrogator! I like to hear a story and can set my judgements aside. :-)

    Then do yourself a favor (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by NYShooter on Fri May 06, 2011 at 04:53:33 PM EST
    and Google "Nazi interrogations."

    There are lots of stories, and I'm not talking about the sadistic pigs who only knew physical  beatings and such, but the really, really smart ones, the ones that got the most information, the most successful ones.

    I recall reading stories of how they befriended the prisoner,  took him out of the cell, and practically adopted him into their own family. They took him out to dinner, to sporting events, even letting him participate. In one case, a pilot pow was even allowed to fly one the experimental planes his "handler" was showing him.

    Anyway, its just incredible how successful information gathering can be when intelligent people are allowed to conduct their craft.
    When you read about how these smart handlers elicit information from the captured soldier, most of the time, when the interrogations are ended the soldier never even has a clue that he told them everything they wanted to know.

    The kinship between pow and handler sometimes grew so strong that after the war ended they remained best of friends.

    One thing these successful interrogators had in common was their utter contempt, even hatred, for their abusive counterparts.

    You would think our highly educated "leaders" could Google as well as I could.

    Oh well.


    Utter Nonsense (3.67 / 3) (#23)
    by sj on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:02:12 AM EST
    The Left is always accusing our troops of being insane

    Every now and then you go here.  It's nonsense every time.  Even when it's being spouted by someone who usually has good sense.


    Please, I've heard soldiers (3.50 / 2) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:14:12 AM EST
    called every filthy insane thing in the world based on the actions of one single soldier.  Another thing that gets to me is that we would never ever expect our police officers being shot at while apprehending a dangerous mass murderer on our own soil to not use lethal force.  We would never expect them to be sacrificial lambs led to slaughter.  And some of them are just as skilled as our special forces are too, our troops are not superman, they are made of flesh and bone and bleed when cut too.  But some people seem to think they are magic or something....on both the right and the left.  Why is that and why is more okay to senselessly get a soldier killed apprehending someone dangerous than it is for a police officer?  Is it because our kids are more likely to go to school with their kids and we have stood next to them in church and at the grocery store?  Why is it easier for the left to make an orphan out of a soldier's child that it is to make an orphan out of a police officer's child?  Just things I ask myself

    Fine (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by sj on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:36:15 AM EST
    But some people seem to think they are magic or something....on both the right and the left.  

    Frankly, there are idiots of all stripes so why even bring UP right/left?

    This is the comment I objected to:

    The Left is always accusing our troops of being insane

    It was nonsense the first time and it's still nonsense.  Now if you want to observe human nature in all its pettiness then observe away.  Just stop adding a political POV as a factor in that pettiness.  That's like saying "Episcopalians are always accusing troops of being insane" as if religion has anything to with it.


    As someone who has been living the (5.00 / 5) (#58)
    by Anne on Fri May 06, 2011 at 10:14:49 AM EST
    military life, you are, no doubt, more sensitive than we non-military types are to the kinds of negative things that are said about the military, but a generality like "the Left is always..." is not likely to win whatever argument follows.

    What bothers me is that I think there is a pretty high level of respect for you here, and often, the information and insight you bring helps all of us understand more and give us more perspective on issues that are pretty much out of our element.

    That respect diminishes quite a bit when you ignore it - apparently don't even consider where and who it comes from - and then make such a wholesale damnation of "the Left."  Perhaps it hasn't been mentioned or mentioned enough that most of us actually understand that the Navy SEALs did not design the mission, they executed it.  That troops did not, of their own volition, just march off to war; their commander in chief sent them there.  That time and again, we have decried not those who serve, but those who send these men and women into harm's way on the basis of a web of lies.  That in situations where heinous and unacceptable acts have been carried out by members of the military, we have not met those revelations with the same kind of wholesale condemnation of the entire military universe that you feel entitled to level at "the Left" for wanting some consistent answers from our president.

    That's not just unacceptable, it's totally uncalled for.


    It looks like I hit a few nerves (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 06, 2011 at 11:03:19 AM EST
    Maybe they needed to be hit too. I appreciate the respect that people give me when they do.  But all of the soldiers and families deserve respect and common decency too.  They deserve to be treated like human beings too.  Our special forces families...I couldn't even be one of them. I couldn't have my spouse gone all the time doing everything top secret, not knowing where they were or even what my chances of seeing them again are.  And I will never expect them to run into a hail of bullets and act like sacrificial lambs.  They went after a very dangerous global mass murdering terrorist, they are doing a job that most of us are too scared to do but that if we want any sort of civilized society must be addressed, murderers and terrorist must be dealt with.  They go and do that and I do not expect their children to become orphans any more easily than any branch of law enforcement.

    Who here has not given respect to (5.00 / 3) (#77)
    by Anne on Fri May 06, 2011 at 11:54:19 AM EST
    those members of the military who were involved in this mission?  

    A lot of questions have been asked, and those questions, as well as any criticism, have, it seems to me, been for the most part directed at the people at the top of the chain of command, and not at those on the ground.  

    "Why didn't they capture him alive?" is more a question about what the mission was than it is about how those on the ground carried it out.  We all know and understand that this was no rogue operation, and I, at least, am pretty sure that they acted within whatever guidelines they were given to achieve the goals set by those in situation rooms.

    The military comprises human beings with the same positives and negatives as exist in the civilian world.  Yes, there is respect for those who volunteer to serve their country, and as you go up the levels from foot soldier to special forces to black ops, the level of risk to life and limb no doubt increases - and we respect that, too.

    If you have a problem with a specific person making derogatory comments about the special forces involved in the bin Laden raid, you might want to consider addressing those individuals, instead of dumping on people who have not - and do not - make a practice of expressing their contempt for all things military.

    I have great admiration for your passion and I even understand your territorial instincts when it comes to the military, but the reason you hit some nerves, Tracy, is because your comment was out of line.  


    Apparently we (5.00 / 3) (#98)
    by sj on Fri May 06, 2011 at 02:15:56 PM EST
    haven't hit your nerve enough yet.  You don't seem to have gotten the point.  We are not talking about soldiers' children.  We are talking about your comment.  

    Based your demonstrated intelligence level I have to believe that it's wilfull misunderstanding.

    Anne's right.  It diminishes all your other comments.

    I should not even have to say this
    but it's for the benefit of those who are uprating this set of your comments:  Of course the soldiers and their families deserve respect.  

    Who here is saying that they don't?  If you find that person call him or her out specifically.


    MT, we both know the answer to (2.00 / 2) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:21:02 AM EST
    the questions you ask yourself.

    Too many people look at the military, and the police, as separate groups and believe they lose being human because they are separated by a code and life style many cannot understand.

    Even in a place like Norfolk, VA the Navy use to occasionally pay in $2.00 bills just to remind the civilian population that the Navy and Marines there were part of the community.


    Wrong as usual (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:37:49 AM EST
    In many parts of the country, people in the military are thought of highly and are respected for their service to their country, where ever it took place, since 9/11.

    The kind of thing PPJ thinks he's talking about is as untrue as those stories of Vietnam Vets being spit on when they came home from overseas.


    I didn't say everyone (none / 0) (#50)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:56:47 AM EST
    I said "too many."

    Good evasive response, PPJ (none / 0) (#54)
    by Harry Saxon on Fri May 06, 2011 at 10:09:12 AM EST
    but where can you find these "too many" people?

    Who are the "too many" people (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by ruffian on Fri May 06, 2011 at 10:03:22 AM EST
    who think like that? I've lived all over the country and have never met them. Everyone's job puts them in a self-selected group of people, with its own traditions, characteristics, etc. No one thinks any one of these groups is less human than the other. different, sure. Tech geeks are different than firefighters in many ways. That does not mean there is not mutual respect on a human level.

    Couple of Notes (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 06, 2011 at 10:17:32 AM EST
    Pakistani officials said they did not recover any arms or explosives during their search of the compound, so the Commandos must have taken them, assuming there were any.

    When a terrorist is captured/killed, all weapons are removed and finger prints are later taken and entered into a database.  It's used to connect and identify terrorists.

    And what injured Osama's daughter? Some reports say it was shrapnel from a grenade they threw into the bedroom before entering. Who throws a grenade into a room unless it's a kill mission?

    Flash grenades are used to shock and disorient before entering.  If it was a real grenade, the girl would be toast, a long with everyone in the room and possible some outside.  They just are used in close quarter situations.

    now Pakistani officials are saying (none / 0) (#62)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 06, 2011 at 10:24:30 AM EST
    there were no spent bullet shells in the house:

    One senior Pakistani official told Reuters on Friday: "We didn't find any bullet shells inside the house. There is no doubt that no shots were fired from there."

    Another security official said: "If there was exchange of fire between U.S. Navy SEALS and people inside the house then they (Americans) should prove it. They must have footage of the operation. They should release it."

    Thanks for the info on the flash vs. other kinds of grenades.


    Believing (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by mmc9431 on Fri May 06, 2011 at 10:48:24 AM EST
    Believing what a Pakastan official says is as scary as believing what our own government says! I wouldn't trust either them as far as I could throw BP or Exxon.

    A-freakin'-men... (none / 0) (#93)
    by kdog on Fri May 06, 2011 at 01:25:39 PM EST
    the only credible sources of info are the Seals and the people in the house...only players here who ain't lied to us yet, as far as we know.

    The various governments have all lied to us repeatedly, ad nasuem....the witness ain't credible, your honor.


    Fumble and bumble (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by mmc9431 on Fri May 06, 2011 at 01:58:00 PM EST
    That's what makes this whole roll out so stupid. Why not get the facts straight from the start and then stick to them.

    The more revisions and fumbles you make, the more doubt you create. I don't know how they can expect anyone to believe their story now.

    For a group that was so media smart all through the election cycle, they continue to amaze me with their new found incompetence.


    Yes (none / 0) (#99)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 06, 2011 at 02:18:57 PM EST
    but during the election cycle Obama was treated with kid gloves hence his team never learned what to do with a hostile press much to the chagrin of a lot of people I'm sure.

    From Wiki (none / 0) (#78)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 06, 2011 at 11:56:03 AM EST
    The M84 is the currently issued stun grenade of the United States Army. Upon detonation, it emits an intensely loud "bang" and blinding flash of more than one million candela and 170-180 dB within five feet of initiation, sufficient to cause immediate (but temporary) flash blindness, deafness, tinnitus, and inner ear disturbance.[1] Exposed personnel experience disorientation, confusion and loss of coordination and balance. The M84 is classified as a nonlethal weapon.

    None of the "narratives" (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by KeysDan on Fri May 06, 2011 at 10:41:59 AM EST
    support anything but a kill mission. Of course, that could change with the next versions of events, although that iteration will require some major gymnastics.  Indeed, one of the final options was to bomb the compound --to be rejected because bombing to smithereens tends to obscure evidence.

    So the decision boiled down to  kill-- cum or sans evidence.  And, assassination of Osama was, to me, pre-ordained.  My clues include Bush's "dead or alive", until he could not get him in either state, and Obama's assassination list that includes American citizens (e.g., the Islamic cleric Anwar Aulaqi, born in NM and now in Yemen), on the dictum of the red queen: death first, trial second.  

    The capture scenario must be a fig leaf for the few Americans remaining who find lawyerly advice from the likes of John Yoo and Jay Bybee to be persuasive, and for some members of the international community, including those pesky Spanish judges.

    B.O. (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by lentinel on Fri May 06, 2011 at 11:06:28 AM EST
    demonstrated his great competence in the eyes of his admirers by orchestratiing the hit. He took the guy out and remembered the cannolis.

    Now, if he could demonstrate some competence with respect to restoring our civil rights and liberties, of restoring the rights of the accused, of negotiating endings to wars, of creating jobs, of funding the development of environmentally friendly sources of energy...

    I must stop.

    I'm just revealing myself to be a leftist peacemongering socialist treehugger.

    I used to be a democrat.

    I Second That (none / 0) (#80)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 06, 2011 at 12:00:27 PM EST
    If we could manage other tasks as well as we kill people, it would be like Shangri-La and Atlantis in North America.

    I second that too, (none / 0) (#84)
    by lentinel on Fri May 06, 2011 at 12:13:26 PM EST
    except that I don't really feel at this point that it is "we" that kill people.

    It's them.


    It was a well-planned and (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by KeysDan on Fri May 06, 2011 at 12:41:28 PM EST
    courageously effected mission.  President Obama's leadership and the exemplary work of his foreign policy and security teams are to be commended.   However, the follow-up undermines a bit of the competence displayed by the mission itself.  It is as if the public relations was based on "Chicago", with Billy Flynn coaching Roxie Hart.  Just say: "he leapt for the gun", with Amos believing it all unquestioningly and Miss Sunshine dutifully reporting.

    I know (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 06, 2011 at 12:51:25 PM EST
    and it's sad that the messaging has somewhat undermined what happened.

    The bottom line though is that Obama did get Osama which is a good thing but whether that will get all muddled in all this well, I guess, we'll just have to wait and see. I think it's at least harder to mess this up than the HCR debate which wasn't really good policy anyway but Obama has lost control of the message or rather his team has.


    Not buying the idea (none / 0) (#3)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu May 05, 2011 at 11:41:00 PM EST
    that the SEALs took Osama's son, either dead or alive.  It makes no sense, particularly given the circumstances of the hasty raid, the dead helo, etc.

    Why bother?  Alive, he wasn't going to tell them anything, and dead he'd just be dead weight.  What would be the point?  If they wanted DNA, they could get that pretty easily without taking him with them.  And how the heck would they know it was Osama's son anyway?  He has dozens.

    I can imagine that they decided to move his body after they shot him, perhaps pulled it down off the stairs, and the girl saw that and drew the wrong conclusion.  Or she could be just flat-out lying through her teeth.  She'd have good reason to be eager to accuse her father's assassins of as many other things as she could think of.

    Also what makes zero sense to me is that the SEALS had to break down the door, but then found Osama without a weapon.  Even if they didn't break down the door, he would surely have known there was a rumpus in the house and grabbed a weapon almost instinctively. He can't have been that heavy a sleeper!

    If he was, in fact, unarmed when they found him, I've yet to hear a reasonable explanation for why he was unarmed.

    It makes sense (none / 0) (#20)
    by star on Fri May 06, 2011 at 08:42:54 AM EST
    to capture anyone they can get their hands on safely . If it is OBL or his son(s) it is a treasure of vital intelligence.
    I do not understand the confusion between khalid and HAmza. It should not be so difficult for out authorities to get this right. They both are rather different to look at as well as in age.

    No, actually, it doesn't (none / 0) (#29)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:09:24 AM EST
    in a mission like that.

    Really? (none / 0) (#37)
    by star on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:20:39 AM EST
    'Alive, he wasn't going to tell them anything,'

    Why do you assume that? then why did we bother to capture and detain KSM and so many others for years?

    You really think OBL's son who has been with him all the time is not of Vital interest to USA?

    It looks like both Khalid and Hamza were in the compound.One was killed and other is in US custody. If that is the case, that is great source of intelligence and makes sense for WH to be ambiguous about his whereabouts.

    In fact Pakistan now says they have 3 Bin Laden wives in custody from the house and they are being questioned. There are far too many children there as well. so it is plausible that Bin Laden was living there with his entire family - minus the ones who left him when one of his wives divorced him .


    It Doesn't Make Sense... (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 06, 2011 at 10:11:23 AM EST
    ... to kill an unarmed OBL and then take the son alive.  OBL was the target, and if there weren't any visible weapons, they didn't want him alive, yet his son, who presumably knows less, is taken.

    All resting on the word of a child in ISI custody ?

    No one seems to be questioning ISI, they may very well have a good reason to distort the 'facts' knowing she won't be questioned by the US, ditto for the wife.

    And the girl is probably scared out of her mind and telling them what they want to hear, or what she thinks will get her home fastest.


    KSM had a major operational role (none / 0) (#75)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri May 06, 2011 at 11:49:00 AM EST
    bin Laden himself didn't have an operational role, never mind his sons, and nobody with an operational role was going to be living in hiding in that house with no telephone and no internet.  Duh.

    No way.  Not worth the trouble and the hoo-rah of abducting one of his many sons.


    WSWS on extra-legal execution of Bin Laden (none / 0) (#4)
    by Andreas on Thu May 05, 2011 at 11:41:22 PM EST
    And, what's with (none / 0) (#5)
    by NYShooter on Fri May 06, 2011 at 12:28:01 AM EST
    blasting through a brick wall masquerading as an opening behind a door? What was that? Osama's idea of a joke? I haven't heard any attempted explanation as to the purpose for that contraption. Was it on the obvious path to Osama's bedroom, put there as a diversion to give the occupant upstairs time to escape or defend himself? There, of course, must have been another door leading upstairs as I don't think Osama bricked himself in every night before going to sleep.

    Anyway, blasting through that door must've given OBL plenty of time to do whatever he intended to do before the Commandos broke into his bedroom.

    Finally, it defies credulity that OBL booby trapped himself, or the room. If he had, he certainly had plenty of time to trigger the explosives, but with so many family members living there, I highly doubt that was the case.

    The only way we'll ever find out the truth is if/when the video's taken by the Seals are ever released.

    And, please don't tell me they don't have state of the art videos in their possession. They taped the torturing they did to try to get OBL, and it defies sanity to believe they didn't tape the assault.

    You're (none / 0) (#10)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 06, 2011 at 05:53:48 AM EST
    assuming that all the commandos came through the door. It could be that they surrounded the house and some entered the house through windows on the second and third floors.

    More Bush-league stuff.... (none / 0) (#9)
    by lentinel on Fri May 06, 2011 at 04:38:22 AM EST
    In other words, those clarifications by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and the statements of Leon Panetta about prolonged firefights were wrong.

    In other words, they told us things that were untrue.

    Do you think this was by accident, or design?

    I go for design.

    I suppose they're not quite sure if we, or the world, like the idea that the president of the United States would order a hit.

    More details (none / 0) (#14)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 06, 2011 at 07:47:07 AM EST
    coming out:link
    he CIA maintained a safe house in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad for a small team of spies who conducted extensive surveillance over a period of months on the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. Special Operations forces this week, U.S. officials said.

    This administrations Instincts...... (none / 0) (#15)
    by samsguy18 on Fri May 06, 2011 at 07:49:46 AM EST
    Are way Off.....Did anyone tell them less is more!
    The more they speak...the worse it gets. The seals performed an exceptional operation.  The administration was too eager to make Obama look good. It appears they spent very little time preparing their narrative. What a mess !  

    To hell with a narrative... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Fri May 06, 2011 at 08:30:31 AM EST
    just tell us the truth...one time!

    I don't really care about the truth here (none / 0) (#21)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri May 06, 2011 at 08:52:27 AM EST
    It is irrelevant for me at least.  Let's imagine the worst case scenario: SEALs go in an kill four people, OBL, his son and two couriers, who are unarmed in cold blood.  A woman is injured in the process but the dozens of kids and others in the house are spared.

      I doubt that's the way it happened but let's assume it did happen that way.I am completely cool with that.

    I opposed the Iraq and Afghanistan wars but I did not oppose treating Al Qaeda members in their lairs as enemy combatants entitled that we have to use our best efforts to take alive.  We've said for years that we would take Osama dead or alive and I have always been fine with that.   If the president decides that it is in our best interest that he be taken dead, so be it.

    That makes the "controversy" over what is the truth about how these four men died irrelevant to me. Would I like to know the details? Sure. Do I think the full story will come out? Yes.  Do I think that much of the confusion was "fog of war" information distortion? Yes.

    When I speak to people I don't hear many concerned about these details beyond minor interest.  

    The goal was to kill him and we did. In this rare case, that is all that matters IMHO.

    I guess (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by star on Fri May 06, 2011 at 08:59:15 AM EST
    you are cool with the Gitmo situation as well then??? They are AQ as well. It was perhaps all uncool when Bush was doing it though?

    Not cool with Gitmo at all (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:15:45 AM EST
    Once we have custody of enemy combatants I believe that strict enforcement of international and domestic laws should apply.

    But I distinguish that because OBL was discovered, in essence, on the battlefield.  In other words, if we had burst in and found Khalid Muhammad, or some other confirmed AQ commander, and shot him on sight as part of a raid, I'd have been fine.

    And many legal experts in this area agree:

    Law professor Kenneth Anderson, who specializes in legal issues related to war and terrorism, said that differing government accounts as to whether bin Laden was armed or invited to surrender or even involved in a firefight have muddled the legal debate and left the administration open to international criticism.

    "Holder was not direct in stating that of course it was legal to target Osama bin Laden, legal to target with lethal force, legal to target without warning or invitation to surrender," said Anderson, who teaches at American University Washington College of Law. "And that has always been the U.S. legal position.

    "The United States actually has firm legal views on these points, which unfortunately, probably for reasons of operational secrecy, the senior leadership hasn't properly communicated," he said. . . . "There's another issue being raised: Whether under the specific circumstances inside the compound, U.S. forces were justified legally in shooting him or instead should at that point have made a greater effort to take him alive," said Matthew Waxman, a professor Columbia Law School and an expert in national security law.

    "We don't have all the facts, but under international law, U.S. forces would have substantial discretion to use lethal force given that this was a military operation against an enemy commander likely to pose a very serious threat to U.S. forces," he said.


    If you are upset by what has happened, you should be upset with the existing positions that have been in place for OBL for years. Under those positions, the actions, even in the worst case scenario, are legal.

    Now I completely agree that it could have been handled better from a PR perspective, but from a legal perspective, I think the footing is firm.

    Clinton, Bush and Obama all issued orders to kill OBL without requiring efforts to take him alive. If you disagree with that, you should have been disagreeing since the mid-90s.


    Good Lord...you don't really care (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Anne on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:49:16 AM EST
    about the truth?

    Well, I'm not entirely surprised; you have a tendency to dream up the scenarios that will ensure you can win your arguments for or against the results.

    That's an easy enough thing to do, and it works great when you're sitting here well-removed from the situation: this happened to other people for whom there is enough of a collective hatred that you can be ever-so-cool with it.

    While I suspect it happens more than we have any idea about, I don't think it's a good idea to be cool with the possibility that your government is lying to you; I think it's important to ask the questions, demand the answers, put things together to see if they make sense,  I think that's how we bring accountability to those in power, and put them on notice that we aren't cool with them just doing whatever they want, to whomever they want, for whatever reason they pulled out of their ass.  The two branches of government that are supposed to be serving as a check and balance on executive power aren't really doing that job anymore - apparently, they are just as cool with not caring about the truth as you are.

    Like the Obama DOJ, which Marcy Wheeler discusses in her post on the Obama's DOJ lying to judges in 2009; you should read it.  Here's the conclusion of the judge in the case, which sums up the big picture - the thing you never seem to want to consider:

    The Government argues that there are times when the interests of national security require the Government to mislead the Court. The Court strongly disagrees. The Government's duty of honesty to the Court can never be excused, no matter what the circumstance. The Court is charged with the humbling task of defending the Constitution and ensuring that the Government does not falsely accuse people, needlessly invade their privacy or wrongfully deprive them of their liberty. The Court simply cannot perform this important task if the Government lies to it. Deception perverts justice. Truth always promotes it.

    Do you get that last point?  Deception perverts justice.  Truth always promotes it.

    The truth matters.  And if we don't seek it, if we continue to keep changing our standards for when truth matters and when it doesn't, it's entirely possible that one day, you won't just be discussing what happened to someone else, but what happened to someone you know, or what happened to you;  And then you are going to be shrieking about why no one did anything to keep things from getting to the point where they were affecting ordinary people like you.

    How cool will you think it is when that happens?


    A very good spokesman for B.0. (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by lentinel on Fri May 06, 2011 at 10:32:05 AM EST
    He doesn't care about the truth. Check.
    He's "cool" with innocent bystanders being killed.
    He  speaks to "people" who don't give a sh*t either.



    Lets hope... (none / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:04:17 AM EST
    it is a rare case...and gangland style hits of mass murderers does not become standard policy.

    I'm thinking another Orwellian Goldstein will be along shortly...hope I'm wrong.

    We're already hearing calls to declare victory and get the f*ck outta Afghanistan...which would be awesome.  Lets see if a new worst human being in the world pops up to keep the perpetual war ball rolling...and if he's a former CIA asset.


    Greenwald on 'The bin Laden Exception' (none / 0) (#92)
    by ruffian on Fri May 06, 2011 at 01:20:51 PM EST
    nce you embrace the bin Laden Exception, how does it stay confined to him? Isn't it necessarily the case that you're endorsing the right of the U.S. Government to treat any top-level Terrorists in similar fashion? Again, this isn't an argument that the bin Laden killing was illegal; it very well may have been legal, depending on the facts. But if we just cheer for this without caring about those facts, isn't it clear that we're endorsing a dangerous unfettered power -- one that runs afoul of multiple principles which opponents of the Bush/Cheney template have long defended?

    Worth a read


    Yeah! (none / 0) (#27)
    by sj on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:04:54 AM EST
    Who needs the truth when we can just imagine it!  And then we can write paragraphs about what we imagined!  



    links must be in html (none / 0) (#32)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:13:35 AM EST
    format or they skew the site. I cannot edit comments, only delete them. Someone just posted a long link and the comment had to be deleted. They can repost, if they put the link in html format, use the link button at the top of the comment box or follow the instructions under the box and preview your comment.

    Easiest way out (none / 0) (#41)
    by mmc9431 on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:28:38 AM EST
    I don't believe there was ever an attempt to capture OBL. It was a kill mission. What would they have done with him? We couldn't even agree on what to do with his driver!

    Whatever contraversy we're dealing with now is nothing in comparison to what would be going on if he was alive.

    Killing him was the easiest solution politically.

    I agree with Kdog that this shouldn't be the future solution to all our international problems. Sadly I don't think anyone in DC cares what we think.

    Yeah it does seem to have been (none / 0) (#45)
    by lilburro on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:37:32 AM EST
    a kill mission...but they don't say that directly, for some reason.  I don't know why they won't, or for whose benefit.

    Why a kill mission?  Imagine if he had escaped!  Maybe they guessed he wouldn't cough up any information anyway (as I seriously doubt he would).  I don't know.


    Obama... (none / 0) (#47)
    by kdog on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:48:01 AM EST
    doesn't wanna send anybody to Gitmo, bad enough he broke a pledge to close the joint...that means their options were shoot on sight or bring to NYC for a trial.

    Can't tell ya why citizens are so dead set against the latter...but our government probably didn't want Osama spilling a ton of beans about his time working with/for the CIA during a criminal trial.


    You mean when he was (none / 0) (#52)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:59:47 AM EST
    fighting the Soviets with our help?? That's old news. Well, maybe not for this crop of youngsters.

    please stick to the subject (none / 0) (#60)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 06, 2011 at 10:17:25 AM EST
    which is the Osama raid.

    This is from (none / 0) (#76)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 06, 2011 at 11:50:15 AM EST
    Fox News and my idiot senator Saxby Chambliss who released classified information aparently so take it with a grain of salt.

    Saxby says that Osama stuck his head out of the door and one seals shot and missed the first time. Then two seals shot at Osama and hit him in the chest and head.

    But what's really important (none / 0) (#86)
    by jbindc on Fri May 06, 2011 at 12:23:32 PM EST
    Is that the folks at the compound drank both Coke and Pepsi, and were apparently growing weed too.

    Guess that whole part of hating all America stands for didn't extend to their choices of beverages, nor did the parts of their "faith" that forbids illicit drugs extend to them.

    depending on who you ask (none / 0) (#97)
    by CST on Fri May 06, 2011 at 01:58:31 PM EST
    I'm not sure weed is against their religion.  Alcohol is forbidden, but weed is pretty common throughout the middle east.  Smoked in hookahs, etc...

    According to wiki, part of it comes from a language disagreement as to the meaning of the word "khamr" - whether it means intoxicant or fermented drink.  But in any event, it's fairly common in that part of the world, despite the fact that alcohol use is prohibited.


    When used in a spiritual way (none / 0) (#100)
    by jbindc on Fri May 06, 2011 at 03:08:39 PM EST
    And really only for the Sufis.

    Not used to necessarily get high on a Saturday night.

    Something tells me they weren't using it religious ceremonies.


    what i mean is (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by CST on Fri May 06, 2011 at 03:19:47 PM EST
    it's not necessarily prohibited for anyone, for any reason, depending on how you read the text.

    And he's certainly not the only non-sufi Muslim who uses it to get high on Saturday night.

    Alchohol is really the big verboten one, but there just isn't the same kind of stigma with pot in the Muslim world.


    What earthly difference does it make? (none / 0) (#106)
    by shoephone on Fri May 06, 2011 at 07:48:56 PM EST
    Does the existence of pot plants on the scene change the situation in any meaningful way?