Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 5, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

THE REAL OSAMA?....According to the mastermind behind 9/11, Osama bin Laden is the pointy-haired boss from Dilbert:

To hear Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed tell it, Osama bin Laden was a meddling boss whose indiscretion and poor judgment threatened to derail the terrorist attacks.

He also saddled Mohammed with at least four would-be hijackers who the ringleader thought were ill-equipped for the job. And he carelessly dropped hints about the imminent attacks, violating Mohammed's cardinal rule against discussing the suicide hijacking plot.

....Mohammed describes a terrorist outfit fraught with the same conflicts and petty animosities that plague many American corporations. Mohammed describes himself in particular as having to fend off a chairman of the board who insists on micromanaging despite not knowing what he was doing.

More at the link.

Kevin Drum 1:16 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (43)

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Comments

Osama to Mohammed:
"Get the vegetarian meal! They have to make that special! And don't sit by the toilets - it's smelly there. Is that what you're wearing for the hijacking? What about the blue shirt?"

Posted by: craigie on April 5, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds like the White house. Osama has the micromanaging characteristics of Rumsfeld, and the loose lips of John "Anything to get on the evening news" Ashcroft.

Posted by: Matthew Saroff on April 5, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

This information has to come from torture sesssions. You Americans seem to have a fascination for torture derived data - witness Unit 731. That you even appear to revel in such Sadism smacks of real decadence to me. It's very ' Last Empire' and so here's hoping some of your big cities get nuked soon. Death to Amerikkka is really starting to mean something good, like good riddance to bad rubbish.

Fuck you all to hell yankee swine.

Posted by: professor rat on April 5, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

So, does this mean Bush was right, when he said he isn't too concerned with OBL?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on April 5, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like we do have something in common with the terrorists: thinking you know more than your boss seems to cross all cultural divides. This will be a popular position in redneck, red-state America where every guy in overalls is convinced he knows more than just about anybody that might not get their hands dirty for a living (begging the question, if that's really the case, why exactly do they have to get their own hands dirty).

Posted by: Doug-E-Fresh on April 5, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Osama to Mohammed:
"Get the vegetarian meal! They have to make that special! And don't sit by the toilets - it's smelly there. Is that what you're wearing for the hijacking? What about the blue shirt?"

I'm in tears!

Posted by: shortstop on April 5, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

A very good read, "Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. cjs

Posted by: cleve on April 5, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

What Professor Rat said:

Kevin:Not only is this torture derived material, but where is KSM and why is he treated so much worse than Goebbels or Goering? Is he worse than Speer and Eichmann?

I think you are aiding and abetting war crimes.

Enjoy your little jokes.

Posted by: bob mcmanus on April 5, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

You guys use some article about Osama, who obtw would slit your throat if he could, to bash, variously:

rednecks
America generally (and I realize professor rat's views aren't widely held -- but still...)
Don Rumsfeld
John Ashcroft and
The White House

How many of you are pulling for the US in this struggle?

Show of hands?

Posted by: Birkel on April 5, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

craigie on April 5, 2006 at 1:18 PM

My god, you should write for the Daily Show. Hilarious!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 5, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about this, but I heard once that toward the end of WWII, the allies were pulling for Hitler to stay in power because he was managing the German war effort so ineptly. Perhaps the same type of thinking is why bin Laden hasn't been captured or killed yet.

The other explanation is that al Qaeda is not the only organzation with a leader that exhibits, "indiscretion and poor judgment."

Posted by: Shochu John on April 5, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

AWWWWW do you love osama professor rat? To bad the love of your life has to hide in a hole in the desert like a rat. A Rat? Hey! A rat! Are you related to osama professor rat? If you were here I'de beat you with the bottom of my shoe.

Posted by: Lurker42 on April 5, 2006 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

AWWWWW do you love osama professor rat? To bad the love of your life has to hide in a hole in the desert like a rat. A Rat? Hey! A rat! Are you related to osama professor rat? If you were here I'de beat you with the bottom of my shoe.

This may be the most idiotic thing posted by a wingnut this week. And despite it only being Wednesday, the competition is already fierce.

Posted by: shortstop on April 5, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Let's be careful about trusting this too much; because "enhanced interrogation techniques" were used, I'm sure that an element of "what do my captors want to hear?" crept in.

Posted by: Joe Buck on April 5, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Birkel. You think Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, the current WH and rednecks are pulling for the U.S. There's your problem right there, son.

Posted by: shortstop on April 5, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

There's your problem right there, son.

No, his problem is believing that only the GOP (and whatever they're believing this week) represents America. Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein Partei.

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on April 5, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

....Mohammed describes a terrorist outfit fraught with the same conflicts and petty animosities that plague many American corporations.

Sounds like Dave Simon (The Wire) should be doing an HBO series about Al Qaeda.

Posted by: Tom Hilton on April 5, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

"You Americans seem to have a fascination for torture derived data - witness Unit 731."

Ishii Shiro being a corn-fed midwesterner, no doubt.

Posted by: Urinated State of America on April 5, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Of course I agree, Dustbin. I was just being snotty. (And however much Rummy, the WH et. al are pulling for the U.S., they're also destroying it in the process.)

Posted by: shortstop on April 5, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

But this raises the question: if Osama is incompetent, how has he eluded American forces all these years?

I mean, come on, it took less time for us to eliminate Hitler after his declaration of war, and we had to go through an entire industrialized nation to get at him.

Either the Bush adminstration is purely incompetent - not hard to believe - or they have some sort of 'Contract with Al Quaeda' wherein Bush is deliberately trying not to catch/kill bin Laden, thereby ensuring that bin Laden will remain at large where he can be used to terrify American voters.

We do know that the Bush family was tight with the bin Ladens back in the day...

Posted by: S Ra on April 5, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Either the Bush adminstration is purely incompetent - not hard to believe - or they have some sort of 'Contract with Al Quaeda' wherein Bush is deliberately trying not to catch/kill bin Laden

Actually, it's more of a 'Contract With Pakistan'. We don't pursue Osama too hard in their territory, the Paki fundies don't get spooked and start lobbing nukes at Dell's tech support center in Bangalore.

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on April 5, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

The real Osama sounds a lot like the real Bush, which should not be surprising, since they are in league with each other and serve the same masters.

Posted by: Hostile on April 5, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

"This may be the most idiotic thing posted by a wingnut this week"

Thank you, Thank you, no applause, Just throw money.

"You think Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, the current WH and rednecks are pulling for the U.S."

Somebody has to because you sointanly ain't doin us any good.

"And however much Rummy, the WH et. al are pulling for the U.S., they're also destroying it in the process."

There are days like today that I thank God that I'm not as enlightened as you

Posted by: Lurker42 on April 5, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Exactly how much credibility does Khalid Shaikh Mohammed actually have? I've noticed that both Left and Right tend to pick out what they want to hear, and disregard the rest as exaggeration or outright fantasy.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 5, 2006 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone have the full transcript that this article refers to? Cryptome was posting some, but they've apparently run out of money and are passing the hat:

http://cryptome.org/usa-v-zm-dt2.htm

Posted by: tl on April 5, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

No! No! OBL is the end-all, be-all of terrorism! I know it's true because you lefties keep telling me that if we only pulled him out of his cave and away from his diet of boiled goat, that the desert would bloom, the hungry would be fed, and global warming would cease.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 5, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Just slightly off-topic, from

http://www.thebulletin.org/article.php?art_ofn=ma06chayes

by way of

http://www.pacificviews.org/weblog/archives/001938.html

we have a report of conditions in southern Afghanistan and the conclusions of the locals there.

"The steadily worsening situation in southern Afghanistan is not the work of some ineffable Al Qaeda nebula. It is the result of the real depredations of the corrupt and predatory government officials whom the United States ushered into power in 2001, supposedly to help fight Al Qaeda, and has assiduously maintained in power since, along with an "insurgency" manufactured whole cloth across the border in Pakistan--a U.S. ally. The evidence of this connection is abundant: Taliban leaders strut openly around Quetta, Pakistan, where they are provided with offices and government-issued weapons authorization cards; Pakistani army officers are detailed to Taliban training camps; and Pakistani border guards constantly wave self-proclaimed Taliban through checkpoints into Afghanistan.

But beleaguered Afghans have a hard time getting U.S. political and military officials to focus on these two factors, which feed on each other. U.S. personnel cling to the fictions that Afghans are responsible for the local officials who rule over them--despite the overwhelming moral and material support the United States has provided these officials--and that the Pakistani government is cooperating in the war on terror. And so the Afghan villagers, frightened, vulnerable, and disillusioned, are obliged to come to terms with the "fairies who come at night."

This state of affairs is so bewildering that Kandaharis have reached an astonishing conclusion: The United States must be in league with the Taliban. They reason that America, with its power and riches, could bring an end to the "insurgency" in a month, if it so chose. They figure that America remains a close and munificent ally of Pakistan, the country that is sponsoring the "insurgency," and so the continuing violence must be a deliberate element of U.S. policy. The point is not whether there is any factual basis for this notion, it's that everyone here believes it. In other words, in a stunning irony, much of this city, the Taliban's former stronghold, is disgusted with the Americans not because of their Western culture, but because of their apparent complicity with Islamist extremists."

Posted by: tanj on April 5, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

the Paki fundies don't get spooked and start lobbing nukes at Dell's tech support center in Bangalore.
Ya, and uh, let's not get Dell's tech support leveled just right yet, I got an issue...

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 5, 2006 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

"Go get me Andy Card," Bush said to one of the Secret Service agents. Card, the designee as chief of staff, entered from an adjoining room . . . Bush looked impatiently at Card, hard-eyed. "You're the chief of staff. You think you're up to getting us some cheeseburgers?"

Posted by: croatoan on April 5, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Mohammed describes himself in particular as having to fend off a chairman of the board who insists on micromanaging despite not knowing what he was doing.

Sounds like he was dealing with Dumbya.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on April 5, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

Mohammed describes himself in particular as having to fend off a chairman of the board who insists on micromanaging despite not knowing what he was doing.

Sounds like the know-nothing spoiled brat we're saddled with. Peas in a fucking pod.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on April 5, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds like the know-nothing spoiled brat we're saddled with.
So, Moff, what's it say to you when Kerry couldn't beat a know-nothing spoiled brat?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 5, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

Lots of nonsense in this thread, so let me put my tinfoil hat on for a minute:
If KSM is being held out of sight and without access to direct communication to/from the press or public, why should we believe anything that is attributed to him? Apart from their editorial comments, I do agree with some of the previous posters that statements made as a result of or under threat of torture aren't worth a puddle of piss. I also agree with tbroz (A FIRST) that people on both political sides select quotes from this dubious source that reinforce their own prejudices.

Posted by: Jim Strain on April 5, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Mybe the reason we have not been attacked is Al Qaeda has their own Rumsfeld and Cheney.

Posted by: Brian in Oakland on April 5, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

...what does it say to you when Kerry couldn't beat a know-nothing spoiled brat?

It says to me that the Dems needed work on their farm clubs and that very few Senators win their initial run at the presidency.

Posted by: Keith G on April 5, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

It's the CEO Terrorist Leader, to go with the CEO President.

Posted by: KCinDC on April 5, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

But this raises the question: if Osama is incompetent, how has he eluded American forces all these years?

Uh, because he's being hunted by an administration that's the equivalent of the Keystone Cops.

Posted by: haha on April 5, 2006 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

Which would explain why no attacks in US since 9/11....getting the Chief of Operations was more important.

Great work George!

Posted by: McA on April 5, 2006 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

So, Moff, what's it say to you when Kerry couldn't beat a know-nothing spoiled brat?
Posted by: conspiracy nut

that america needs to fund public education better. ignorance is killing us.

Posted by: Nads on April 6, 2006 at 2:49 AM | PERMALINK

S Ra: which declaration of war was that for Hitler; not another in the US who thinks WWII started Dec 7th, '41?

But yes, it is taking far too long. But now we know that when US Special Forces asked for insertions to block Osama's retreat in S. Afghan, not only did the US not supply the insertion but turned down a UK offer of 6,000 troops to be inserted. Yeah, it smells!

tanj's insert on the slow disintergration of any coordinated rebuilding of Afghanistan is also germaine. Now NATO forces are expected to pick up some pieces but I can't see them having the energy, force, will to pull the iron from the fire.

We really know how to make a mess. Is it deliberate?

Posted by: notthere on April 6, 2006 at 4:31 AM | PERMALINK

There's an informed school of thought that says that killing Yamamoto in 1943 (re: West Wing) was an error--he'd made so many strategic mistakes that keeping him alive would have let him make more.
So Bush's "inability" to find Osama is really deep strategy, leaving Osama free to make even more mistakes. God, Bush is really a genius!

Posted by: Steve Paradis on April 6, 2006 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

Gooood morning, Kahlid. Howwwws it goin? Yeaaaaah, I'm gonna hafta ask you to go ahead and come in on Saturday. We've got some bugs in highjacking project we need to iron out, so if you could be here by nine, that would be great. Oh, and I'm gonna need you to come in on Sunday too. We lost some of our operatives to a sting in Hamburg, so we kind of need to play catch-up. Thaaaanks.

Posted by: Patrick Banks on April 6, 2006 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

Mike Furir Mike 996

Posted by: Mike Furir 267 on April 8, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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