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May 02, 2011

Oh, Dear: Report Claims Bin Ladin's Compound Was Previously An ISI Safe-House
Update: Whither the Bush Doctrine?

Oh boy.

Ohhhhh boy.

“This area had been used as ISI’s safe house, but it was not under their use any more because they keep on changing their locations,” a senior intelligence official confided to Gulf News. However, he did not reveal when and for how long it was used by the ISI operatives. Another official cautiously said “it may not be the same house but the same compound or area used by the ISI”.

Also note Ben's link of the slideshow about the construction of Osama's compound. Ben thinks the extensiveness of the construction (recent) makes it unlikely that no one noticed or inquired about this big new house.

Now, if you look at Ben's slide, there was no construction on the property in 2004. So, before 2004, this couldn't have been an "ISI safe house." Unless there was a previous house there, and they mean the property was sported a safe-house, which was then demolished in favor of bin Ladin's pad.

Or: That the new construction was the safe-house, and bin Ladin moved in after it ceased being used as that.

This is bad.

If you don't know what a safe house is, it's what it sounds like it is.

In law enforcement jargon and intelligence jargon, a safe house is a secure location, suitable for hiding witnesses, agents or other persons perceived as being in danger. It may also refer to:

a place where people may go to avoid prosecution of their activities by authorities....

Typically, the locations of safe houses are kept secret from all but a limited number of people, for the safety of those hidden within them.

A synonym is "sanctuary."

If this is true -- and I'm thinking it is -- There is no such thing as Al Qaeda.

What there is is the ISI, and various front groups it uses to carry out terrorist attacks on India, America, and Europe.

And Bali.

And inside Pakistan, too.

If this is true, Al Qaeda is every much the fiction that the various CIA front-companies (various micro-sized airlines, small banks, oil speculation businesses, businesses engaged in various vague forms of "economic analysis" that engage in a lot of travel, etc.) are. They're just the the CIA with plausible deniabillity.

And if this is true, Al Qaeda is merely the ISI, and the government of Pakistan, with plausible deniability.

And that deniability just became implausible. It had been less than plausible for a while; but now it's unbelievable.

The Bush Doctrine: At least one of the several statements called "The Bush Doctrine," at least, went like such:

We shall treat the state sponsors of terrorism precisely as we treat the terrorists themselves.

So will we be doing that?

Overstatement: People are objecting to my "there is no such thing as Al Qaeda" rhetoric.

It's a bit of dramatic overstatement, meant to sell the implications of this. I mean, if these two are working hand-in-glove, there is essentially no Al Qaeda as distinct from the ISI.

Sure it exists. But any puppet rebel army might exist, too; it doesn't change the fact that for all intents and purposes it is a creation of its state sponsor.

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posted by Ace at 02:34 PM

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