Hersh’s Story on Killing Bin Laden: The Painfully Obvious

As the initial sniggers of “conspiracy theorist” in reaction to Seymour Hersh’s big story on the killing of Osama bin Laden are being increasingly met with corroboration from other sources, it’s important to understand why this story is so important. And a shrug of the shoulders and giving all-around high-fives while shouting “So what, we got bin Laden!” is no more coherent of an argument than snidely declaring someone a paranoid conspiracy theorist.

One should consider for at least a brief moment that if Hersh’s sources (and those of other journalists) are correct, then what we have is glaring proof that the U.S. government’s military and intelligence bureaucrats do not give one damn about protecting you, dear American taxpayer. Instead, their highest priority is keeping military contractors flush with cash and helping Middle Eastern tyrants hold on to power, even if it means plunging that part of the world into violent chaos.

U.S. intelligence, according to the story’s sources, used the “carrot” approach when trying to get Pakistan’s ISI to confirm whether or not bin Laden was in fact being housed by them in that Abottabad house–they threatened to cut off military aid to the Pakistani government. That would have been most unwelcome, as those funds subsidize the personal security and safety of Pakistani officials.

Then the ISI replies, alright, you Americans can have bin Laden, but on one condition–you have to kill him, while never letting on that the ISI ever had anything to do with it, of course. U.S. intelligence and the White House agreed and the latter was fully prepared to put out a big lie that bin Laden had been blown to bits by a U.S. drone strike in the wilds of the Hindu Kush, but they decided to renege on that particular promise to the Pakistanis, using as an excuse that one of the American choppers had crashed during the operation.

Rather than take bin Laden alive–a negotiation that perhaps bin Laden himself may have been quite willing to settle considering his poor health–and score the massive cache of intelligence on jihadi terrorists that could have come pouring out of his mouth–our supposed protectors chose instead to help the Pakistani and Saudi governments cover their own asses. The Saudis, according to Hersh’s sources, were financing bin Laden’s stay in Abottabad and had been adamant with the Pakistanis that bin Laden’s location never be revealed to the Americans. Hersh’s main source explicitly states that the Saudis were very worried about what bin Laden may tell the U.S. of Saudi control of al-Qaeda.

If U.S. intelligence could use the “carrot” to pressure the Pakistani generals into admitting they had bin Laden, couldn’t they just as easily have threatened to cut off military aid and pressured them into handing him over alive? But apparently it was more important to protect two foreign governments who clearly demonstrated that for them “alliances” are strictly one-way streets. And lately the U.S. has been spending your tax dollars on military assistance for the Saudis and their jihadi friends in Yemen.

What in the hell is going on here? It sure as hell has nothing to do with protecting Americans.

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