Obviously he died--the beard, and trimmed it for the 2007 video. It was back to gray for the channel flipping video. These home movies were designed to leave the impression that he was one vain sucker but of course that's why we want everyone to think. But maybe there's more.
For instance, with binny now swimming with the fishes there's lot of speculation on whether Ayman Zawahiri will take the helm of AQ. But any story of that nature also comes with a caveat--everyone in AQ seems to hate Zawahiri. Now, it's doubtful that everyone hates him, more likely he's just not as charismatic as was UBL so by comparison he comes off as a stiff. He's also several years older. That may be the bigger problem.
The "Arab Spring" revolutionary movement is being driven by the younger folks, the "Facebook" crowd. They didn't even want elBaradei leading them. Even before that the Bush-spurred Cedar Revolution was dominated by youngsters--remember the "protest babes". Yet Zawahiri is the very personification of old fart.
This might explain why UBL trimmed the beard and died it and in recent years had been talking about things like global warming and sub-prime mortgages. It was a sign of desperation--he was losing the youth vote so he had somebody get him some Just for Men.
The administration wasn't the only Democrats to hit the Sunday shows for some end-zone dancing. Here's John Friggin Kerry:
“Even in the getting of Osama bin Laden, the Pakistanis were helpful,” Kerry said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “We have people on the ground in Pakistan because they allow us to have them. We actually worked with them on certain parts of the intelligence that helped to lead to him.”Yeah, that's what Hillary said--Pakistan cooperated. If they did it means they knew he was there, yet they never tipped him off, right? Perhaps they didn't because they knew the CIA was watching them? Yet we didn't inform them of the raid in advance because we were afraid they would tip him off. Hmm. It's so great they are on our side in this war.
Speaking of Pakistan, if the hissy fit they are throwing is just an act to cover the cooperation claimed by Kerry and Hillary then perhaps a Bollywood award nomination is in order:
Amid bitter, recriminatory exchanges between the United States and Pakistan over the Osama bin Laden extermination, planned bilateral visits of President Asif Ali Zardari to Washington DC and a return trip of President Barack Obama to Islamabad are both in jeopardy. Ties between the two sides are expected to slide further following Pakistan's "outing" of the CIA station chief in Islamabad on Saturday.It's still hard to fully embrace the idea that Islamabad didn't see several helicopters and possibly a drone flying into their airspace (the drone story was included in original reports but became less certain as the narrative evolved). A drone might show up on air traffic radar, flying higher, and would be harder to explain. Unless it was a stealth drone. Or their controllers were asleep on the job like ours!
In a sign of how bad ties are between the two countries, Pakistani media on Saturday once again publicly named the CIA station chief in Islamabad, a breach of both protocol and trust, that is bound to enrage Washington.
Pakistan even claimed to have scrambled a couple of F-16s once everyone woke up. Initial stories said they turned back once it was confirmed a US operation was occurring, which didn't sound too good, so the next version said they didn't, just simply got there too late. The Paks then warned us about "disastrous consequences" should we ever steal another harbored enemy leader from their country without permission, which sounds like something bin Laden might say. Confusing. But what's new.
Finally, about the reported plan to recruit black American converts to Islam to trigger terror attacks in an effort to sow division and a race war. Bin Laden wasn't stupid. The Soviets also had that goal when they were trying to 'bury' us. Even Saddam might have tried it--here's a shameless plug to a previous post about a white supremacist living in Elohim City, Arkansas around the time of the Murrah bombing who was being sent regular checks by the Iraqi Embassy in Washington. They began after he publicly condemned the first Gulf War. Hmmm go the tinfoilers.
During the campaign Obama said "if we have actionable intelligence on high value targets in Pakistan and Musharraf won't act, we will". He got a fair amount of heat for saying it at the time--mainly from Hillary--but now it's part of his campaign package. But if the London Guardian is correct then it turns out that Bush could have said the same thing:
The deal was struck between the military leader General Pervez Musharraf and President George Bush after Bin Laden escaped US forces in the mountains of Tora Bora in late 2001, according to serving and retired Pakistani and US officials.One Pakistani official was quoted as saying that the US is simply executing the agreement. It seems to follow that if an agreement was in place then Pakistan was probably more in the loop than WE have indicated (perhaps told we were coming but not where?) making all this bilge from their leadership about "serious consequences" if it occurs again nothing but kabuki.
Under its terms, Pakistan would allow US forces to conduct a unilateral raid inside Pakistan in search of Bin Laden, his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the al-Qaida No3. Afterwards, both sides agreed, Pakistan would vociferously protest the incursion.
It also seems to make things on our end a bit less "gutsy", especially the part about how they were worried the Paks might think the Indians were attacking and the scrambled F-16s. And the stealth helicopters. That is, unless all of THIS is disinformation.
Here's a juicy post from Hot Air in 2007 featuring two pertinent items-- 1) Bush saying he would authorize an attack into Pakistan if they got a bead on bin Laden whether Musharraf was on board or not (and Musharraf saying he wouldn't like to allow that), and 2) Musharraf admitting that indeed bin Laden may be in Pakistan between Bajour province near the border and the Kunar province of Afghanistan. As can be seen by looking at the map, bin Laden was a heckuva lot closer to the Indian border than the Afghani border:
Of course Musharraf wasn't going to say "well, he might be 40 miles north of the capital" but with these guys all you get is particles of the truth embedded in multiple lies. The point is Bush said the same thing in 2007 that Obama said in 2008. People hammered Bush all the time; they hammered Obama for saying he would 'invade' Pakistan (guilty here) but in reality this was the government's plan all along.