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May 02, 2011

The New Yorker: Hey, Just Sayin', Osama's Supposedly Secret Villainous Lair Was Adjacent to Land Designated By Pakistan as a Restricted Military Area

Just sayin'.

I guess "close to a restricted military zone" is not the same as "in a restricted military zone," but you know, I tend to think the CIA knows who owns the properties in the vicinity of Langley.

Abbottabad is essentially a military cantonment city in Pakistan, in the hills to the north of the capital of Islamabad, in an area where much of the land is controlled or owned by the Pakistan Army and retired army officers. Although the city is technically in what used to be called the Northwest Frontier Province, it lies to the far eastern side of the province and is as close to Pakistani-held Kashmir as it is to the border city of Peshawar. The city is most notable for housing the Pakistan Military Academy, the Pakistan Army’s premier training college, equivalent to West Point. Looking at maps and satellite photos on the Web last night, I saw the wide expanse of the Academy not far from where the million-dollar, heavily secured mansion where bin Laden lived was constructed in 2005. The maps I looked at had sections of land nearby marked off as “restricted area,” indicating that it was under military control. It stretches credulity to think that a mansion of that scale could have been built and occupied by bin Laden for six years without it coming to the attention of anyone in Pakistan’s Army.

The initial circumstantial evidence suggests the opposite is more likely—that bin Laden was effectively being housed under Pakistani state control. Pakistan will deny this, it seems safe to predict, and perhaps no convincing evidence will ever surface to prove the case. If I were a prosecutor at the United States Department of Justice, however, I would be tempted to call a grand jury.

A grand jury to ferret out who built it, and from whom the land was built, and who installed the security system, and such secondary questions, but with the primary purpose of happening upon a direct connection to the Pakistan government.

After WWII, when the Army Air Forces were spun off into a separate, independent serve called the Air Force, there was an argument over whether the Army would still have aircraft. The new Air Force and its congressional boosters were determined that only the Air Force should have land-based aircraft, whereas the Army and its supporters objected that where it once had had a sizable air force, it made no sense that now it should have none.

A compromise was reached wherein the Army was permitted a limited number of fixed wing aircraft and more rotary wing aircraft (helicopters). But the great majority of fixed-wing aircraft would be Air Force property.

(I hate this compromise because I think it forces the Army, year after year, to choose inferior helicopters over superior fixed-wing craft, just to abide by the compromise. Helicopters are of course useful in many ways, but the Army is being forced to buy far too many of them, more than it would like, just because its compliment of fixed wing craft is capped.)

Anyway, I think a compromise has been reached in Pakistan: The secularists shall control the army, and that's the best service for career-minded secularists.

On the other hand, the Islamists, the terrorists, are placed in total control of the ISI (their secret terrorist service). And that's the service that jihadists favor.

Because they get to murder civilians, or at least coordinate and pay for such civilian murders.

Of course, if the Army was in on protecting bin Ladin too, that just means the whole country is officially an Al Qaeda franchise.

By the Way: Obama is doing a Presidential Tour. He's awarding medals to Korean War vets. It's being broadcast, which is unusual for such ceremonies.

The net effect, of course, is to finally show Obama looking very presidential, praising the military, honoring its fallen, and etc.

Very good optics for Obama. He'll definitely get a big boost, and a lot of that boost will stick around.

Also By the Way: You can bet a movie is going into production this very moment, at least the development, scripting, and casting, and the production will be fed important insider information to make it accurate.

And yeah, they're going to try to get that movie out for the Summer of 2012.

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posted by Ace at 12:30 PM

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