Tuesday, July 31, 2012

UBL and the Weather

Richard Miniter has a new book coming out and as customary his publishers are releasing juicy snippets to increase visibility and interest, one being an assertion that the gutsy call might not have been so gutsy--unless by gutsy they meant standing up to Valerie Jarrett.

That's not really of interest to me.  UBL is dead.  They got him.  It's not surprising to learn a political consultant was advising as to the best time for the takedown.

Digressing a moment, such a revelation does ignite some interesting speculation.  First, it suggests that time was not as critical as we've been led to believe.  In other words, they weren't really in fear of the mission unraveling.   This could mean a few things, such as 1) nothing, 2) Pakistan knew we knew they were hiding UBL but never thought we'd move on him for various reasons, 3) Pakistan didn't know we knew but we weren't worried about them finding out, 4) Pakistan was helping us the entire time in some kind of quid pro quo, or 5) bin Laden has been dead for years and the entire thing was a Hollywood production.  Of course the latter would involve SEALS as part of the cover-up, which seems implausible.

No, actually the thing that stood out to me was Miniter's claim about the weather.  Recall that initial reports about the raid said it was supposed to take place on Saturday April 30--May 1 Pakistani time--but that Obama had to scrub it due to weather conditions.  Did anyone in the press bother to verify that?  Wouldn't they do it if Bush claimed it?  Miniter says he went to the Air Force and obtained the records:
Obama administration officials also said after the raid that the president had delayed giving the order to kill the arch-terrorist the day before the operation was carried out, in what turned out to be his fourth moment of indecision. At the time, the White House blamed the delay on unfavorable weather conditions near bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
But when Miniter obtained that day’s weather reports from the U.S. Air Force Combat Meteorological Center, he said, they showed ideal conditions for the SEALs to carry out their orders.
That's a devastating charge because it presumes they lied so Obama could attend the Correspondent's Dinner that night and roast Donald Trump without having those headlines torn away by the capturing of UBL, certainly something a political advisor might advise.

But was the weather really 'good'? This site claims it wasn't; that a front was blowing through Islamabad that night with high winds and thunderstorms.  Since there's a difference between a front coming through--which suggests a regional impact--and a local thunderstorm with gusty winds, this can't be taken to represent all of northern Pakistan.  However, this Pakistani weather site claims that indeed a 'western disturbance' was moving through the region that afternoon and caused regional gusty winds and thunderstorms. 

So Miniter needs to explain this contention in his book. Did Air Force meteorologists make the call based on that western disturbance or did Obama?  That's what really matters.  Just saying the weather was 'good' means nothing if the Air Force made the call to stand down based on weather.  Well, it would mean they got it wrong, but that's not Obama's fault, other than the fact he claimed his election would lower the sea levels and such.

The question is whether anyone in the mainstream press bothered to follow up on the weather cancellation story.  Most of them, after all, were present for the dinner and took great pleasure in the Trump slapdown. 


Right Truth said...

I suppose if they were going in using helicopters as they did, weather would be important. But we know that Obama was afraid the mission would fail and it would look bad politically on him.

Off Topic:

As to the Saudi Prince ...

No I havent heard anything about Saudi Arabian spy chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud assassinated by Assad. There are reports on the web, and talk about the Saudi role in Syria after Assad, but who knows.

One report says he was killed killed because of his role in the July 18 deadly bombing in Damascus that killed killed at least four high-profile Syrian security officials, including Defense Minister Dawoud Rajiha and his deputy Assef Shawkat who is also President Assad's brother-in-law.


Not even DEBKA will confirm that the Prince is dead.


I'm not getting any tips or inside information from anybody on this.

Right Truth

A.C. McCloud said...

Thanks for the updates, Debbie. If bin Sultan is dead they will probably stretch it out for several more weeks then try to say he had a heart attack, etc. That might not be the worst thing as to regional stability, but the Saudis (and us) have to be TICKED if this is true.