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Tilting at Windmills

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January 13, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

ZAWAHIRI DEAD?....CNN and ABC are both reporting that al-Qaeda #2 Ayman al-Zawahiri and several other high-ranking al-Qaeda figures may have been killed in a CIA airstrike on a building in Damadola, a Pakistani village near the Afghan border. No confirmation yet, but if it's true it would certainly be a ray of sunshine in an otherwise dreary news week.

Kevin Drum 9:44 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (110)

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How does the CIA, not an Armed Service, launch an airstrike inside Pakistan, a country with which we are allied by treaty?

Just asking.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on January 13, 2006 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

i would hope we've worked out some kind of agreement with Pakistan. we can bomb inside their territory and they get to ... ?

Posted by: cleek on January 13, 2006 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

The operative word is "may."

Posted by: pol on January 13, 2006 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

And then they'll leak that we got the info necessary for the raid from the wiretapping project, which proves we need it. And that'll go on for a few days. And then it will turn out we didn't get him after all, but the point will have been made.

Just guessing here.

Posted by: DonBoy on January 13, 2006 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

What I'd like to see is a report on how many times it's been reported that an Al-Qaeda #2 or #3 man has been captured and/or killed.

Posted by: Mike Hoye on January 13, 2006 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

Zawahiri MAY be dead is not news. It's a travesty. JMG MAY be having a secret affair with Kirsten Dunst. Naturally, we've covered it up. So prove it wrong. Some Pentagon flack MAY have been ordered to come up with some good news or write press releases in Greenland for the next five years.

Posted by: JMG on January 13, 2006 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
Its gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.

I think I can make it now, the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is the rainbow Ive been prayin for
Its gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.


What did Pakistan get? Well we patted the back of their hand for selling nuclear secrets to multiple countries, ended sanctions started because of their nuclear tests, gave them billions of dollars, armed their military with state of the art missiles, aircraft and helicopters, and have helped prop up their dictator.

Posted by: woohoo on January 13, 2006 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

CIA officials coordinate with various military assets--they can call in strikes with drone aircraft, with cruise missiles or from aircraft.

An operation like that would be considered a joint operation. The location comes from CIA, the military carries it out, medals for everyone.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

al-Zawahiri and several other high-ranking al-Qaeda figures may have been killed

What, again? This is really getting to be a bad habit with these guys.

Posted by: alex on January 13, 2006 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

Well, that is good news, isn't it (if true - how can we be sure)? But of course, the way it works is: kill one and five more take the place of the dead one. Yep, at this rate, we ought to have killed all of them in a couple of million years.

Posted by: Taobhan on January 13, 2006 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

Well we don't want the 'War on Terror' to end too soon. What would GW use as an excuse for his fu's if he didn't have the WOT.

Posted by: WhoSays on January 13, 2006 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK


KEVIN DRUM: ...if it's true it would certainly be a ray of sunshine in an otherwise dreary news week.

Oh, yeah, nothing brightens my day so much as hearing that some two-bit thug might be dead.

What is wrong with you? Is this more of your attempt to earn street cred with the phoney patriot freaks?

On his worst day Zawahiri couldn't dream of killing as many innocent people as Bush does for real while chopping wood. And yet here you are creaming your pants because some pitiful excuse for Bush to increase his power may be dead.

Cheering death is what Bush does. In the end, you are his cheerleader.


Posted by: jayarbee on January 13, 2006 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, that would be a real ray of sunshine, but not to the three families that the NYT is reporting having been killed. Three houses destroyed by missiles...was Zawahiri in all three at once?

Holy shit.

Posted by: Viacondotti on January 13, 2006 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

I believe Atrios said it best when he reported that the Bush Administration had announced the death of Al Qaeda #3 man John "Stumpy" Pepys.

(and yeah, I had to look it up to get the joke, too.)

Posted by: BruceK on January 13, 2006 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

When they say they're bringing tissue back to DC do you think they might mean the dude's head in a box of dry ice?

That ought to bring some sunshine to Wild West W the trophy collector.

Posted by: B on January 13, 2006 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

Of greater importance is the bullshit story about the Department of Homeland Security being 'concerned' about how Middle Eastern men are buying dozens of prepaid cellular phones at Target.

See, now that 'the public' knows that NSA has been caught listening in on phone conversations, the DHS wants you to think that 'the terrorists' have been emboldened by this and are now buying up phones so they can communicate with one another and attack America...

Then, of course, 'the blame' can be placed on the people who stopped NSA from listening in on the phone conversations of Americans.

See, that's how you start a war.

Ease up on Mr. Drum, people. Having been banned and kicked out of every frickin' blog there is, Pale Rider has found a wonderful home here and Mr. Drum has always been very courteous in allowing me to run roughshod on trolls and smack shills about the head with a baseball bat.

Of course, the clock is ticking...

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

Prediction: tbrosz and Al will say it's another nail in the Dem's coffin.

I say this will all be forgotten once the economy slides into the abyss as oil prices spike much higher and the US dollar collapses over then next three years. Ain't no savings left in middle America to cope with the coming economic crises.

Only then will we see the full extent of how Bush has destroyed America by squandering our children's future through tax cuts for the rich and the burning of billions for an illegal invasion of a sovereign country.

I read an amusing little book in 1999 which predicted how Bush would destroy this country, much as he's destroyed almost everything in his business path. The prediction is being borne out.

Posted by: JimBobRay on January 13, 2006 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

The danger that Bush poses to the republic is so very great that any event which tends to strengthen his hold on power is of dubious positive value. And this is especially true of any event which tends to stengthen his lawless policy of "premptive war." So therefore, I wouldn't be rejoicing at any such news and if history is any guide it's bull anyway.

Posted by: Oleary25 on January 13, 2006 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, a drone was reported in the vicinity for several days. However, how did they manage to have that power mower go beserk to take out Pepys? Inspector Morse tried to look into it, but was called off by MI-5 & 6, or as O'Arrogantone says, EM-One 5 & 6. So much for him studying at the London School of Economics.

Posted by: stupid git on January 13, 2006 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

I guess this is the second US attack on a Pakistani village this week. Here's the NYT report:

"PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Jan. 7 - An attack on a residential compound in Pakistan's northern tribal region early Saturday killed eight people and wounded nine, the Pakistani military said Saturday. Local residents said an American helicopter had fired a missile at the compound, but the American military said it had no knowledge of the incident.

Local officials said the attack, an hour or so after midnight, was on the residence of Maulvi Noor Muhammad, a religious leader in Saidgi, near the border with Afghanistan in the North Waziristan tribal area.

Residents including a local elder, Momin Khan, said that they had seen two American helicopters hovering over the compound and that one had fired a missile that destroyed the residence. Witnesses said that two women and a child were among the dead and that nine people had been wounded."


One of these days they're bound to get lucky...

Posted by: nepeta on January 13, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

What's all this about JMG and Kirsten Dunst? I thought she was Spiderman's girlfriend?

Man that guy gets all the hot chicks!

Posted by: trex on January 13, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

This would be BAD NEWS. BAD NEWS. Pray to imaginary Man in the Sky that this is not true.

Posted by: Charles Simpson on January 13, 2006 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

[Press]: Mr. President, people are starting to ask hard questions about impeachment...

[Bush]: Quick! Look at the shiny thing!

[Press]: Ooooh, shiny...

So another house full of women and children got blown up by an unmanned drone with anti-tank missiles. So what? We do that in Iraq a couple times a week.

Posted by: Anon on January 13, 2006 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

You know, Kevin, you might at least want to mention this bit of context, particularly if our Keystone Kops turn out to be mistaken once again:

A doctor in the area told The Associated Press that at least 17 people were killed in the attack, but other witnesses at the scene said the death toll was higher.

What's more likely? That they "got" Zawahiri? Or they're suggesting they got him so that people don't bat an eye at the news that they killed nearly 2 dozen, including a whole family. Something similar happened last week, too.

In any case, do you really think Zawahiri's death would make any difference at this point? It would just give Bush another trophy to put on the wall, along with the hundreds of thousands of civilians he's helped usher into early graves since 9/11.

Posted by: Bill on January 13, 2006 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

Was that Bob Zawahiri? Shit, there go my pizza deliveries.

Posted by: craigie on January 13, 2006 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

Was that Bob Zawahiri? Shit, there go my pizza deliveries.

It's your fault for moving in with Ned. You should have stuck with the romance writing - data mining be damned. You had talent, boy. You could have been a contender.

Besides, gravy pizzas? Bleech.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 13, 2006 at 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

Every time a "may" announcement about a terrorist being killed has been put out, I've called BS every time, and I can't remember being wrong yet.

Posted by: Chris O. on January 13, 2006 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

Once again, Kevin shows himself to be a completely gullible tool. This report is obvious propaganda to cover up a military mistake that, yet again, killed a large number of innocent civilians.

Posted by: nemo on January 13, 2006 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmmm.

Does that mean that Emmanuel Goldstien Jr. is expendible as long as Emmanuel Goldstien Sr. is still on the loose?

Posted by: Jim Ramsey on January 13, 2006 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, it was Dr Bob "Feel Good" Zawahiri - Pizza delivery was only a cover - A whole lot of "meds" are going to be missed.

Posted by: stupid git on January 13, 2006 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

How many #3s were with him?

Posted by: Robert Earle on January 14, 2006 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

if al-Zawahiri is actually dead, this is indeed an important victory in the war against al-Quaeda. However, I remember that BushCo said that it's not important to take out the #1 & #2 guys in al-Quaeda - as long as the organization is weak. Let's see if BushCo plays this up, or if they stick to their guns and say, "this isn't actually that big a victory against AQ.." I predict they'll play it up.

Posted by: Andy on January 14, 2006 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

Wait, you're telling me that Al's last name is Zawahiri? And he's dead?

I think I'll take the weekend off! Flanders, bring me another beer!

Posted by: craigie on January 14, 2006 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

Here's a glass to that mofo being dead.

Posted by: Nils Gilman on January 14, 2006 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

They kill this guy all the time. He's like raising the DHS a color- good for a few points.

Posted by: MillionthMonkey on January 14, 2006 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

Hmmm. Master of not only the world and the US, what is there left but the mastery of all time and space? These women would one day have given birth to a Zawahiri-type person.

I can't tell with Kevin sometimes if he's just bending over backwards to be "fair" or if he really isn't making an effort to think things through. Other times he's brilliant. But it seems to have escaped him that these people always tell lies to distract from their doings. Why repeat a "May have" as if it mattered, when there is, for instance, documentary evidence that George W. Bush ordered widespread wiretapping of Americans several month before 9/11. For instance. http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/011306Z.shtml

Posted by: jim p on January 14, 2006 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

King George W. the First and his Royal Court would not let El Quaeda perish if he and the boys had to run it themselves. Don't be surprised to find Shiek El Cheney on the most wanted list next.

Posted by: murmeister on January 14, 2006 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

Hmm, finally got him when the administration needed some good news. Tough bit that national sovereignty stuff though. Hard to say how much of this is manufactured or even true. Guaranteed he didn't use a cell phone to call friends in the U.S. however they spin this. He is gone just days after confirming the dangers of cutting and running on video.

Posted by: Sparko on January 14, 2006 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

They got his evil and recurring ghost ... again.
And in answer to the earlier question "how many #3's" it appears to be between 12 and 25.

Posted by: jay boilswater on January 14, 2006 at 12:48 AM | PERMALINK

So can we now declare victory and proclaim the War on Terror is over?

Posted by: lib on January 14, 2006 at 12:53 AM | PERMALINK

In other news today, SNL announced that Francisco Franco is still dead.

Posted by: stupid git on January 14, 2006 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

No confirmation yet, but if it's true it would certainly be a ray of sunshine in an otherwise dreary news week.

Honestly, I don't see how anyone can believe the Bush adminstration when they claim anything like this. Sure, it could be true, but why act like a gullible child and take their claim with any degree of seriousness until it's been established all kinds of independent ways?

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me 10 gazillion times, and I'm a fucking idiot too dumb to breathe on my own.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 14, 2006 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't hold my breath on this. When they announce it as confirmed with DNA or something else, get back to me.

What's really funny here is people actually asking for examples of someone who believes Bush is a worse threat than al Qaeda.

On his worst day Zawahiri couldn't dream of killing as many innocent people as Bush does for real while chopping wood. And yet here you are creaming your pants because some pitiful excuse for Bush to increase his power may be dead. Cheering death is what Bush does. In the end, you are his cheerleader.

That's a pretty good one, I'd say.

Get yer own damn beer, craigie. Frigging liberals sponging off the productive, as usual.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 14, 2006 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

If we can whisk away Germans to be tortured in Afghanistan when we find them, why can't we whisk away Egyptians to be tried in New York?

Or is that too civilized?

Posted by: Boronx on January 14, 2006 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK

That's a pretty good one, I'd say.
Get yer own damn beer, craigie. Frigging liberals sponging off the productive, as usual.

So, some twit insults our host and you bundle us all into mix. Little bit like me lumping you in with rdw. (I've been ruminating over his acronym...best I have come up with is really dumb wingnut. I know it isn't particularly lyrical or even very clever, but that seems to fit his style) craigie doesn't have to get his own beer. He's still down here with me, so I'm buying (seeing as he missed the Farmer's Market shindig). And it's not going to be Coors.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 14, 2006 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I'm sure if he's dead, this is really going to help with the war for us.

Because everyone knows Al-Quaeda is a highly centralized operation. You just kill a couple of the leaders and the whole operation falls apart.

Whatever.

Posted by: chuck on January 14, 2006 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

They kill this guy all the time. He's like raising the DHS a color- good for a few points

ROTFLMMFAO!!!! :-)

Posted by: chuck on January 14, 2006 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

ok... call off the hunt... we can send the rest of the troops to Iraq to look for WMDs.

Posted by: buck turgidson on January 14, 2006 at 2:25 AM | PERMALINK

This news just in: with the death of the #2 man in the organization, Al Qaeda management can no longer find sufficient intelligent Yankee-hating, Islamic terrorists in the Mideast. Members of the management team have therefore decided to retire to their bucolic country residences in various Mideastern countries and spend their remaining days doing good works. An Al Qaeda spokesman explained that unlike traditional terrorist organizations, known for strict compartmentation between cells and the ability of each to function independently of any central command, Al Qaeda is so centralized that it absolutely cannot afford to lose such an important member. The spokesman also noted that most of the other members of Al Qaeda do not hate Westerners and the Israelis the way management does and that it was highly unlikely that the rank-and-file would want to proceed. Finally, the spokesman noted that the death of the #2 man would severely hamper the ability to raise funds for their cause from their various sponsors.

Guess that's it, then. Kevin's right on top of this one.

Posted by: Nixon Did It on January 14, 2006 at 2:30 AM | PERMALINK

There done for now. They can't find that pile of applications they were relying on to fill the ranks.

Posted by: ChetBob on January 14, 2006 at 3:17 AM | PERMALINK

How many times have we heard this? I can't believe major media are even reporting this until there is some kind of confirmation. And, I wonder if the wingnuts will get up in arms about this information being leaked to the media.

And, there's something else fishy about this story:

Villagers described seeing an unmanned plane circling the area for the last few days and then bombs falling in the early morning darkness.

Eighteen people were killed, according to the villagers who said women and children were among the fatalities.

But Pakistani officials tell ABC News that five of those killed were high-level al Qaeda figures, and their bodies are now undergoing forensic tests for positive identification.

Let me get this straight...villagers have been seeing this unmanned drone flying around for a few days, and AQ #2 is going to leave himself vulnerable to an airstrike? It sounds fishy.

And I'm tired of saying if it's true. There have been so many false alarms this story should not be reported until it's true. Stop it.

Posted by: Jimm on January 14, 2006 at 4:28 AM | PERMALINK

Saw this story first on Anderson Cooper. Over images of bombed buildings and a dead cow, he said they were told #2 was down.

"I'm not sure exactly what we're looking at or where it came from, but someone must have filmed this."

Nothing to psy see ops here psy move ops along.

Posted by: canucklehead on January 14, 2006 at 4:29 AM | PERMALINK

"Let me get this straight...villagers have been seeing this unmanned drone flying around for a few days, and AQ #2 is going to leave himself vulnerable to an airstrike? It sounds fishy."

Exactly.

If the part about the villagers seeing the drone flying around is accurate, then there is no way Zawahiri - or any other AQ - were killed.

More likely this was a case of someone using the US military to (unwittingly) settle a tribal dispute.

Posted by: machine_gun on January 14, 2006 at 4:34 AM | PERMALINK

It's not like here in America, you know, where there's only ONE Constitutional Bush's Number 2 guy ; )
Posted by: Cheney

actually, I think bush himself may be the number 37 guy ... ;)

Posted by: Nads on January 14, 2006 at 5:23 AM | PERMALINK

Did Bush have a warrant?

Did that building attack us first?

Did they consider the pain and torture survivors would experince? I thought we weren't supposed to torture people...blowing off an arm or leg would qualify as torture wouldn't it??

Bush didn't even attempt to get this guy to surrender, there could have been negotiations..why go around blowing stuff up...its so 1940s.

Posted by: Patton on January 14, 2006 at 6:55 AM | PERMALINK

He only looks dead. He married Mrs. Alito's sister.

Posted by: Pechorin on January 14, 2006 at 7:32 AM | PERMALINK

BBC already reporting that he wasn't there:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4612400.stm

The deputy leader of al-Qaeda was not in a Pakistani village near the Afghan border which was hit by in an apparent missile attack, Pakistan officials say.
The unnamed officials said the attack - in which at least 18 people were killed - was based on "false information".

I'm shocked. Shocked, I say.

Posted by: Shinobi on January 14, 2006 at 7:56 AM | PERMALINK


LW PHIL: So, some twit insults our host and you bundle us all into mix.

Our "host" insults us all the time with his half-baked opposition to the criminal enterprise which comprises the current administration, as well as nearly the entirety of government.

On record as opposed to capital punishment (albeit, only in his typically shilly-shally fashion), our host insulted humanity as he jubilantly hoped Zawahiri had been executed -- even as he knew innocents (including children) had been killed.

As to whatever "mix" you might properly be bundled into, I'll go with the one that combines elitist and naive.

Regarding Kevin's "ray of sunshine," NBC is reporting that Zawahiri was not killed in the missile attack on three houses in Pakistan: "Pentagon officials pointed out that it's extremely difficult to kill an individual from an air strike."

Yeah, difficult. Easy to kill kids, though. Meanwhile, how's the weather where you are, Kevin?


Posted by: jayarbee on January 14, 2006 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

Patton: Did that building attack us first?
BBC: at least 18 people were killed

Patton apparently only sees the buildings. Yeah, terrible thing that lost innocent building.

Good though that those 18 people could die knowing they were making the folks in Wichita feel safer.

Seriously, I have absolutely no problem with taking Ayman al-Zawahiri out. But the Brits and the Israelis seem to manage to do this sort of thing while killing fewer innocents (and actually getting their guy).

Posted by: snicker-snack on January 14, 2006 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK


TBROSZ: What's really funny here is people actually asking for examples of someone who believes Bush is a worse threat than al Qaeda.

Yes, that's hilarious, since I read through the entire thread and could not find even one instance of people asking for such examples. But don't worry, a lot of people get notions in their heads and then think they read them somewhere. Except in your case, your head is so full of notions you'd be better off laughing them off on your own, rather than exposing your delusions for all to giggle at.


Posted by: jayarbee on January 14, 2006 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

snicker-snack, I'm not sure about the Israelis. They may get their guys, but don't they have a habit of assassinating terrorist leaders by blowing them up in the middle of a public street full of people?

Posted by: KCinDC on January 14, 2006 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

No doubt another bogus boast by Bushco. Probably just killed another wedding party -- plenty of innocent women and children. Tsk, tsk, too sad, too bad. What a culture of life the good ol' USA is.

Posted by: contrarian on January 14, 2006 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

Air raid on an ally? Next thing they will be having air raids on Blue States with the same lame pretext.

Posted by: Guy Banister on January 14, 2006 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

CNN says he wasn't there.

Posted by: cleek on January 14, 2006 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

It is really surprising that the corporate whore cheerleader press got it wrong, again. And, like others have said, how many #2's have allegedly been killed so far?

You guys need to lay off Kevin. He reminds me of Bill Clinton with his views. We all remember how good he was for the Dem party, right?

Right?

Posted by: Chris on January 14, 2006 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

The incomparable Phil: He's still down here with me, so I'm buying (seeing as he missed the Farmer's Market shindig). And it's not going to be Coors.

I forgot all about that Farmer's Market shindig. Was that fun? Were y'all asked to leave or anything?

Maybe Kevin should do a road tour and have Sunday-morning brunches in various cities.

Posted by: shortstop on January 14, 2006 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

I think big brother has finally completed the replacement of calpundit
i cant believe that the REAL kevin would be such a willing spokesperson for the empire!

Posted by: Rick on January 14, 2006 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

Got # 2 man for the tenth time. Sort of like "orange alert" when you want to change the subject. Will probably turn out to be a flash light.

Posted by: Oakland on January 14, 2006 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

More lies from CNN and ABC. All we did was put a dent in the Pakistani-Afghan jewelry business.

Posted by: EvanstonDem on January 14, 2006 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

Laid back Political Pussycat always looking for the silver lining, the bright spot.

Posted by: Libby Sosume on January 14, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

You lefties are a piece of work. You bitch because you claim we are not going after these guys. Knowing full well that we are constantly looking for opportunities to nail them. Then when it looks like we might have gotten the guy that sits next to Osama. All you can do is whine and ridicule.

Also for all you bozos that have trouble with numbers. It's the #3 guys that have been getting tagged on a regular basis. Of course you lefties are too stupid to recognize that when you eliminate someone in the chain of command that the guy under him moves up into his spot. So you won't run out of #2's and #3's until al-Qaeda is wiped out. I love it!

Posted by: Fat White Guy on January 14, 2006 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

All you can do is whine and ridicule

said the Pot to the Kettle.

Posted by: cleek on January 14, 2006 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

"Probably just killed another wedding party"

At this rate, Hugh Grant is going to have a sequel - "Forty Weddings and One Thousand Funerals"

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 14, 2006 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

Well, if I may cite tbrosz the timing of this stinks. I'm sure once we find out who these "anonymous" sources are behind this it'll turn out to be only a handful of individuals. I'd like to know more details about this. Ad infinitum....

Posted by: Stefan on January 14, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

That anyone not on the extreme red end of the doppler shift still believes a single word the WH says is soooo cute, kinda like believing that Angelina and Brad are the OMG-OTP.

Posted by: CaseyL on January 14, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Zawahiri was a doctor arrested by Egypt, imprisoned and tortured. He became a radical Islamist. Although I do not agree with his politics or his militancy, I do empathize with his experience. The US illegal invasion, occupation, incarceration and torture of Iraqis will create ten thousand more Zawahiris, fulfilling the desires of Bush and his majority of constituents to create a situation of endless war.

Posted by: Hostile on January 14, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

How does the CIA, not an Armed Service, launch an airstrike inside Pakistan?

It is the same deal the CIA made with Chile, when Chile blew up Letelier in DC back in the Seventies.

Posted by: Powrpuff on January 14, 2006 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

"Probably just killed another wedding party"--contrarian.

No, but according to the NY Times it was "six women and six children under the age of ten".

Posted by: Dwight on January 14, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Sorta like creating ghettos of underfunded schools, no economic opportunites and then blaming the rebellion of the youth.

Twig's referring to al-Qaeda as trying to restore the Caliphate is insulting to all of the Muslims who are anti-al-Qaeda and dream of a Caliphate. Twig knows how to stir the pot as well as help create more nationalists and terrorists.

In England, many refer to Blair as Twig's
poodle - Is Merkel, his Dachshund?

Fransisco Franco is still dead and the beat for #2 goes on and on and on.

Posted by: stupid git on January 14, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe another oops? Good thing we didn't use lethal force based on bad intell or anything. Maybe if they stopped listening to Quakers and Democrat's pizza orders, and maybe invested a little of that technology in real enemies? But I quibble. We are all the time talking about impeachment for the "politics uber alles" philosophy of this corrupt administration--but they have authorized the killings of numeros people sometimes only vaguely suspicious. Can we still summon outrage outside of the Heritage Foundation? Who resigns if we kill innocents in an allied nation?
We have become too infatuated with ominpotent drone attacks as a nation, and it has robbed us collectively of the moral highground--this is a cross-party political failure because neither party seems to care or weigh the consequences of their guess-work military actions any more. This nation has much for which to atone. I just hope these were really "bad guys" and not Fahrenheit 451 props.

Posted by: Sparko on January 14, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Drones? Marvelous idea - Must use them for border control. Fire one, Fire Two - Marvelous and we will have video for my show. Did you see that guy trying to get away, hahahahahahahaha!

Posted by: Bill O'R from FAUX on January 14, 2006 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

The GOP need the terrorists and the terrorists need the GOP. That is why these Al Quida dudes get "killed" (maybe) every six months of so, when King G needs a boost.

Wagers on whether this incident makes it into a certain speech coming up soon? Any takers out there?

Posted by: The fake Fake Al on January 14, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Reading all of the comments that condemn extrajudicial killing makes me proud and feel a little less like a lonely voice in the wilderness of Carlyle Group terror.

Posted by: Powerpuff on January 14, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

"you lefties are too stupid to recognize that when you eliminate someone in the chain of command that the guy under him moves up into his spot. So you won't run out of #2's and #3's until al-Qaeda is wiped out. I love it!"

FWG makes a crucial point...

...just not the one he thought he was making.

"Until," indeed!

Posted by: Lionel Hutz, attorney-at-law on January 14, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Morbidly Obese Cracker Guy -

Perhaps the reason why they can't get too excited about this Zawahiri (non) death is because Bush himself has managed to create untold numbers of radicalized islamists all too willing to fill his spot.

The time to get bin Laden and Zawahiri was in Afghanistan, when their deaths or captures would have made a statement. 5 years later, it's too late. They lured Bush into the Iraq trap, and invigorated the islamist movement. They themselves probably didn't even expect to make it this long.

Posted by: ShuggyBear on January 14, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

So you won't run out of #2's and #3's until al-Qaeda is wiped out. I love it!

Yes, they'll soon be wiped out because we all know al-Qaeda closed their doors to new members back in 2001 and we're now getting down to the last couple guys.

Posted by: trex on January 14, 2006 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Al-Qaeda No. 2 wasn't on site during U.S. attack, officials say

DAMADOLA, Pakistan (AP) Pakistan on Saturday condemned a purported CIA airstrike on a border village that officials said unsuccessfully targeted al-Qaeda's second-in-command, and said it was protesting to the U.S. Embassy over the attack that killed at least 17 people.

Thousands of local tribesmen, chanting "God is Great," demonstrated against the attack, claiming the victims were local villagers without terrorist links and had never hosted Ayman al-Zawahri.

Two senior Pakistani officials told The Associated Press that the CIA acted on incorrect information in launching the attack early Friday in the northwestern village of Damadola, near the Afghan border.

Citing unidentified American intelligence officials, U.S. news networks reported that CIA-operated Predator drone aircraft carried out the missile strike because al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant, was thought to be at a compound in the village or about to arrive.

"Their information was wrong, and our investigations conclude that they acted on a false information," said a senior Pakistani intelligence official with direct knowledge of Pakistan's investigations into the attack.

His account was confirmed by a senior government official who said al-Zawahri "was not there." Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the subject's sensitivity.

Washington had no comment on the reports that the attack was aimed at al-Zawahri, who has a $25 million U.S. government bounty on his head. Like bin Laden, he is believed to have been hiding along the rugged Pakistan-Afghan frontier since the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Pakistan's information minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, called the "incident" in Damadola "highly condemnable."

The Foreign Ministry later issued a statement saying a protest had been filed with the U.S. Embassy.

"According to preliminary investigations there was foreign presence in the area and that in all probability was targeted from across the border in Afghanistan," the Foreign Ministry said.

"The investigations are still continuing. Meanwhile the Foreign Office has lodged a protest with the U.S. ambassador in Islamabad."

U.S. Embassy spokesman Rakesh Surampudi said the protest had not been received by Saturday evening.

An AP reporter who visited Damadola about 12 hours after the attack saw three destroyed houses, hundreds of yards apart. Villagers had buried at least 15 people, including women and children, and were digging for more bodies in the rubble.

Villagers denied hosting al-Zawahri or any other member of al-Qaeda or Afghanistan's ousted Taliban regime, and said all the dead were local people.

More than 8,000 tribesmen staged a peaceful protest in a nearby town Saturday to condemn the airstrike, which one speaker described as "open terrorism." Police dispersed a smaller protest in another town using tear gas. A mob burned the office of a U.S.-backed aid agency near Damadola, but nobody was injured, residents said.

NBC News reported that U.S. and Pakistani officials said Predator drones had fired as many as 10 missiles at Damadola in the Bajur tribal region. ABC quoted anonymous Pakistani military sources as saying al-Zawahri could have been among five top al-Qaeda officials believed killed.

A second Pakistani intelligence official told AP that the remains of some bodies had "quickly been removed" from Damadola after the strike and DNA tests were being conducted, but would not say by whom. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to journalists.

The official said that hours before the strike some unidentified guests had arrived at the home of a tribesman named Shah Zaman.

Zaman, who said three of his children were killed when his home was destroyed, told AP he was a "law-abiding" laborer and had no ties to al-Zawahri or any other militants.

"I don't know him. He was not at my home. No foreigner was at my home when the planes came and dropped bombs," Zaman said.

Local lawmaker Sahibzada Haroon ur Rashid, who visited Damadola soon after the attack, said the dead had been buried and that no foreigners were among them. They came from a local family of jewelers, he said, adding that none of the bodies was burned so badly that identification was difficult.

In Washington, Pentagon, State Department, National Security Council and intelligence officials all said they had no information on the reports concerning al-Zawahri. A U.S. military spokesman in Afghanistan, Lt. Mike Cody, referred questions on the matter to the Pentagon.

Doctors told AP that at least 17 people died in the attack, but residents of Damadola, a Pashtun tribal hamlet on a hillside about four miles from the Afghan border, said more than 30 died. They recounted hearing aircraft fly overhead before explosions in the village that were felt miles away.

Speaking as he dug through the rubble of his home, Zaman said he heard planes at around 2:40 a.m. and then eight huge explosions. He said planes had been flying over the village for three or four days.

At another destroyed house, Sami Ullah, a 17-year-old student, said 24 of his family members were killed and vowed he would "seek justice from God."

The attack was the latest in a series of strikes on the Pakistan side of the border with Afghanistan that have not been explained by authorities but are widely suspected to have targeted terror suspects or Islamic militants.

Pakistan lodged a protest Monday with the U.S. military in Afghanistan after a reported U.S. airstrike killed eight people in the North Waziristan tribal region last Saturday. Pakistan says it does not allow U.S. forces to cross the border in pursuit of Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters.

In Afghanistan, Mohammed Hasan, deputy police chief of Kunar province, which is opposite Bajur, said U.S. forces had for weeks been patrolling in airplanes along the rugged border, which he described as a hide-out for Arab terrorists.

Al-Zawahri, an Egyptian, has appeared regularly over the Internet and in Arab media to encourage Muslims to attack Americans and U.S. interests worldwide.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2006-01-14-al-qaeda-no-2_x.htm

Another "oops" that killed innocent people on Bush's watch to breed more hatred for America and incite terrorist retaliation.

Winning hearts and minds...

Posted by: Carpe Rummy on January 14, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Ooops. Missed again. The Keystone Kops of Foreign Policy - The Bush Administration - fails again. Can these knuckleheads have a wet dream without screwing it up??????

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on January 14, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Good thing Pakistan is so stable and all, or this little error could really blow up in our faces.

To cop a line from 12-step programs: Nothing is so bad that the Bush administration can't make it infinitely worse.

Posted by: shortstop on January 14, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

"...More than 8,000 tribesmen staged a peaceful protest in a nearby town Saturday to condemn the airstrike, which one speaker described as "open terrorism."...

...At another destroyed house, Sami Ullah, a 17-year-old student, said 24 of his family members were killed and vowed he would "seek justice from God."..."

I'm glad to see we're thinning out al-Qaeda's membership. Even if it turns out we didn't actually, you know, kill any of their members this time.

Posted by: Lionel Hutz, attorney-at-law on January 14, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

My God, so they didn't actually kill al-Zawahiri?

And here I was just managing to get over my shock that the Pope was STILL Catholic.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 14, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Soon Hugh Grant will be able to make:

"Four Hundred Weddings and 10,000 Funerals"

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 14, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

If this administration tells us the sky is blue, I want to see it myself to confirm it. Once again we screwed up. How many dead men and women and children there will have to be in order to get OBL and his #2 remains to be seen, but it's getting into the hundreds, if not thousands.

My guess is that the timing of this strike and it's announcement Fri. PM--just before off work and PM news shows--was meant to minimize scrutiny of Judge Alito's hearing performance, i.e., to "bookend" that news story, and to carry over the weekend.

By the next news cycle on Monday the admin. can throw out some other red herring as chaff for the media shark. Which it will probably eat up...

Posted by: Jeff from WI on January 14, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

shuggybear, i generally agree with you to a point. i'd still maintain that the capture of obl or zawahiri would make a statement. justice delayed is still justice. but at this point just sayin' their bodies are underneath some rubble in some remote part of the world doesn't mean nothin to nobody. and in either case, it's debatable how much impact it would have on the wot is minimal because of w's glorious invasion of iraq. and i'd add that w wasn't lured into the iraq trap as much as he created it for himself and the rest of the world.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on January 14, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

I often make generalized disparaging remarks about the men and women serving in the military because I do not like to see innocent men, women and children lying dead from actions done by US soldiers in the name of my freedom, liberty or nationality. Some people take offense.

This most recent reported action killing more men, women and children for the security of American society allows me once again to accuse my fellow Americans of being insensitive to the crimes committed in their names. I just recently resolved not to defame the military as inflammatorily as I have in the past, and instead point out other Americans are just as responsible for the killing the next time the US military is exposed making victims of the innocent. This incident arrives right on schedule. I accuse electrical engineers of being some of the very worst type of human beings on the planet. Perhaps only nuclear weapons physicists and biological warfare scientists are worse.

What personality type delights in creating vehicles that can stealthily track people down and blow up families remotely while a joy stick jockey sips a latte? Fucking asshole electrical engineers! Overpaid mathematical prima donnas who love to lick the blood off of dead children's genitals after being scorched with some kind of homemade electrical device. Instead of blowing up ROTC buildings, the anti-war youth of our past should have blown up the electrical engineering departments. Anathema upon them.

Posted by: Hostile on January 14, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe we can send Karen Hughes over. That ought to straighten everything out.

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on January 14, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

When it comes to reports of Bush foreign policy achievements, it's always safe to bet the under.

Posted by: demtom on January 14, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK
Friday morning's strike killed eight men, five women and five children, Pakistani intelligence sources told CNN. Three homes were targeted.

Sigh...guilty of murder again. Of course, we always have a justification. Here we killed a bunch of innocent civilians again, but we didn't "target them". Great. Fuck you GwB.

Posted by: Jimm on January 14, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

The death of honor. A far cry from death before dishonor.

Once again, women and children predictably killed. Innocent women and children.

America no longer carry ourselves with honor, in our conduct around the world, as an American I feel shamed because it comes back down to me.

The only honorable thing to do is to resist, and to do everything in one's own power to bring these evildoers acting in our name off their perch.

Posted by: Jimm on January 14, 2006 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Glad you're all having a good time. Now please let us all know how you would currently be going after the al Qaeda forces holed up inside the western Pakistan border.

Pakistan has lost its enthusiasm for doing it itself, and theoretically we're not even supposed to be crossing the border. What's your idea?

Posted by: tbrosz on January 14, 2006 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently not

Now, the question is, will this episode be reviled by the conservowankosphere with the same contempt they regard, on cue from Bush, of Clinton's faild missile strikes against bin Laden?

No, of course not.

Posted by: Gregory on January 14, 2006 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

How is it that we're carrying out these recent operations in Pakistan, when last year Porter Goss said that we had a pretty good idea of where bin Laden is, but couldn't go after him because of the issue of "sanctuaries in sovereign nations"? The best guess at the time was that bin Laden was holed up in the mountains of northern Pakistan, but Pakistan wouldn't let our guys go in to search for him. If we didn't want to upset our new allies in the GWOT then, when we had an idea of where the architect of the 9/11 attacks was, why are we so willing to do it now?

I'd say it has something to do with recent poll numbers, except TWPE says he doesn't pay any attention to polls.

Posted by: josef on January 14, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Glad you're all having a good time.

Glad the deaths of women and children -- in what was at best a failed attempt to get this creep -- matter so little to you, tbrosz. Shame on you.

Posted by: Gregory on January 14, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

Let us not forget that Bush and his cronies let them escape to Pakistan in the first place. Now, their apologists claim that we must use CIA-controlled drones to take pot shots at houses in Pakistan in order to defeat Al Qaeda, a claim that is stupid in its own right in assuming that killing this or the other leader is going to have as big an impact as other "hearts and minds" measures (which in this case we can count as extremely negative "hearts and minds" scoring in the Arab and Muslim world).

Posted by: Jimm on January 14, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

Glad you're all having a good time. Now please let us all know how you would currently be going after the al Qaeda forces holed up inside the western Pakistan border.
What's your idea?
Posted by: tbrosz

not indiscriminately bombing civilians would be nice, dipshit ...

Posted by: Nads on January 14, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

Emily Litella speaks up: Never mind.

Posted by: JBK on January 14, 2006 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz seems to think that the choice is between doing things ineptly and not doing them.

(though if things can only be done ineptly sometimes they're better not done; some things should only be done if they can be done well)

Posted by: snicker-snack on January 14, 2006 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

Tbrosz:

"Glad you're all having a good time. Now please let us all know how you would currently be going after the al Qaeda forces holed up inside the western Pakistan border."

Pakistan has lost its enthusiasm for doing it itself, and theoretically we're not even supposed to be crossing the border. What's your idea?"

Hey, trobsz, i"ve been reading your shit for some time now. I've concluded that you're a dipshit, but a smart one nevertheless. Unfortunately, you are a senior officer in the fighting keyboarder brigade. It's clear you've never met a US military member or a national of one of several specified foreign countries whose blood you wouldn't gladly shed to advance your cause. Which is.....what?

Trobsz, retired regular army officer and combat veteran that I am, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Indiscriminate killing of civilians is a cause for shame. Not for saying, "damn, we missed this time, but we'll get 'em next time. You bet."

This is the problem with all of these whiz-bang remote wonder weapons. I've got no problem with killing bad guys. But, what good does it do to kill one very replaceable bad guy when you alienate an entire populace? So how would I be going after the Al Qaeda forces? Well, fighting keyboarder, I'd do it the old-fashioned way. The way it's been done for centuries. By seeing the whites of their eyes and killing them. Tbrosz, guys like you talk a good game. But you're really out of your league here.

Posted by: Nixon Did It on January 15, 2006 at 2:30 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe we should have invaded Pakistan after 9-11. Would have made a whole lot more sense than Iraq. When bin Laden and the gang fled Tora Bora, the Green Berets and Delta Force guys should have been on their ass like a bad pimple - Musharraf be damned.

Instead, we pissed $200 billion down our legs in Iraq and killed 100,000 innocent people so Dubya could bragging rights over Daddy at the next Bush reunion. And total morons like tbrosz support this shit. Unbe-friggin-lievable.

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on January 15, 2006 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

I really hope that this bustard is dead. He is responsible for the death of many innocent peopla href="http://888casino.00pro.com">e. Let's cross fingers for more good news like that.

Posted by: Mike on January 15, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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