- Toby Ziegler: Why's a test-ban treaty so important? Let me tell you. In 1974, India set off a peaceful nuclear explosion. Indira Gandhi herself said they had no intention of building a bomb, they just wanted to know that they could. Twenty years later India sets off five nuclear explosions. Who gets nervous? Pakistan. And when Pakistan gets nervous, everybody get nervous. You know why? 'Cause we're all gonna die.
As three of the SEALs reached the top of the steps on the third floor, they saw bin Laden standing at the end of the hall. The Americans recognized him instantly, the officials said.
Bin Laden also saw them, dimly outlined in the dark house, and ducked into his room.
The three SEALs assumed he was going for a weapon, and one by one they rushed after him through the door, one official described.
Two women were in front of bin Laden, yelling and trying to protect him, two officials said. The first SEAL grabbed the two women and shoved them away, fearing they might be wearing suicide bomb vests, they said.
The SEAL behind him opened fire at bin Laden, putting one bullet in his chest, and one in his head.
It was over in a matter of seconds.
Back at the White House Situation Room, word was relayed that bin Laden had been found, signaled by the code word “Geronimo.” That was not bin Laden’s code name, but rather a representation of the letter “G.” Each step of the mission was labeled alphabetically, and “Geronimo” meant that the raiders had reached step “G,” the killing or capture of bin Laden, two officials said."
‘G’ is usually represented as ‘Golf’ not ‘Geronimo’ but okay.
Media outlets publish incorrect name of the station head as relations worsen between spy agencies
Fresh tension has erupted between the CIA and Pakistani intelligence after several Pakistani media outlets published the alleged name of the CIA station chief in Islamabad.
Two senior Pakistani officials said the name published, Mark Carlton, was incorrect, but one said it was similar to the real one.
Despite the inaccuracy, publication of the name was seen as a sign of worsening relations between the two spy agencies a week after the death of Osama bin Laden in a garrison town north of Islamabad.
The CIA chief, Leon Panetta, said last week that he did not warnPakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) about the raid because he feared the information could leak in advance, prompting furious ISI denials of complicity.
Publication of an American spy’s name caused friction between the two agencies six months ago.
The previous station chief, Jonathan Banks, was identified in court papers and the media in December, causing him to leave Pakistan immediately. Some US officials blamed the ISI for the leak.
This time, the name was published by the private television station Ary One on Friday, then reprinted in the rightwing Nation newspaper on Saturday.
According to reports, “Mark Carlton” was given an angry reprimand by the ISI chief, General Shuja Pasha, over the operation to kill Bin Laden.
The published name sounded similar to the real one, a senior Pakistani official said, suggesting the leak had come from a lower-level ISI source rather from than the top.
“It sounds similar. Mike can be misheard as Mark,” he said. “It sounds like something someone misheard in the corridor, perhaps someone who is ideological or not very well educated.”
The official declined to give the real name. US media did not report the incorrect name, saying that the information remained classified under US law.
A senior ISI official said the agency did not release the name. “If you’re asking, no we didn’t,” he said. Asked about the state of relations with the CIA, he declined to comment.
“I have no idea what any of us were looking at at that particular millisecond when the picture was taken.”
She doesn’t know, so let’s figure it out.
The photo is on the White House’s Flickr feed. Conveniently, Flickr lets you look at the EXIF data on photos, if the uploader allows; the White House does allow it.
This photo’s EXIF data says it was taken May 1 at 4:05pm EDT. Abottabad, Pakistan, is nine hours ahead of DC, which means this photo was taken May 2 at 1:05am PKT.
The mission begins at 3:32pm EDT (12:32am PKT). One of the helicopters carrying DEVGRU malfunctions as it approaches the compound - exact time unknown; the pilot sets it down; the SEALS disembark; and the helicopter is blown up. Bin Laden is ‘tentatively’ identified at 3:50pm EDT (12:50am PKT); we can assume this means killed. In the Post article above, Clinton says the mission lasted all of 38 minutes, meaning that it ended at 4:10pm EDT (1:10am PKT).
Bin Laden was killed at 3:50pm EDT (12:50am PKT); presumably the next 15 minutes, before the team leaves, is spent clearing the compound of any remaining hostiles and recovering any data or information present.
As the photo was taken at 4:05pm EDT (1:05am PKT), it was taken near the end of the mission. While we may not know exactly what was happening or said when that photo was taken, we do have a general idea: The President, Vice President, Secretary of State and other persons in that room were watching/listening to DEVGRU as the team gathered intelligence.
Holbrooke’s last words on the Afghan warBy Rajiv Chandrasekaran and Karen DeYoung
As friends and colleagues from four decades of diplomatic life reflected on the intensity of Richard C. Holbrooke’s dedication, many were not surprised to learn that concerns about the Afghanistan war were apparently among his final thoughts.
Following Holbrooke’s death, The Washington Post, citing his family members, reported that the veteran diplomat had told his physician just before surgery on Friday to “stop this war.”
But on Tuesday a fuller account of the tone and contents of his remarks emerged.
As Dr. Jehan El-Bayoumi was attending to Holbrooke in the emergency room at George Washington University Hospital, she told him to relax and asked what she could do to comfort him, according to an aide who was present. Holbrooke, who was in severe pain, said jokingly that it was hard to relax because he had to worry about the difficult situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
El-Bayoumi, an Egyptian-American internist who is Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s physician, replied that she would worry for him. Holbrooke responded by telling her to end the war, the aide said.
The aide said he could not be sure of Holbrooke’s exact words. He emphasized Tuesday that the comment was made in painful banter, rather than as a serious exhortation about policy. Holbrooke also spoke extensively about his family and friends as he awaited surgery by Farzad Najam, a thoracic surgeon of Pakistani descent.
I’ll leave thoughts on the ambassador to Slate’s obituary/reflection on Holbrooke.
But thought I’d point to WaPo commenter mortified469’s views on Holbrooke’s death.
Holbrooke died…an Egyptian and a Pakistani…Hummm!
Posted by: mortified469 | December 14, 2010 3:19 PM
$16.36, the amount per person donated to Pakistan following the July floods. $1087.33 per person was donated to Haiti following this year’s earthquake.
The images from Haiti’s earthquake resonated around the world, triggering an outpouring of money and goodwill. But Pakistan’s disastrous floods did not elicit the same feelings. Perhaps its the country’s history of supporting terrorism, its alleged harboring of Osama bin Laden, or its remote location in South Asia. But whatever the reason, donors hesitated to give the kinds of money it gave to Haiti. At one point an estimated one-fifth of the Pakistani population was under water. Flying over the scene of wrecked homes and mudslides, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he had never seen anything like it. An estimated 1,600 people died.
Maybe it was the lack of media coverage on Pakistan, or rather the attention provided by celebrities. There were countless celebrities going out, asking for money to be donated to Haiti. George Clooney and Wyclef Jean in particular were the faces of the Haiti aid project.
Not a single celebrity comes to mind that tried to raise awareness regarding Pakistan. I can think of the reports from Anderson Cooper and Brian Williams on Pakistan, but that’s about it. [I’ll try to get links for both of these up when I can, hopefully soon.] Cooper is close to a celebrity himself, but not really for any of his reporting but for his personal life, and the occasional oddball report.
Before January I doubt most Americans knew where Haiti was on the map. Today I still doubt that. I know most Americans don’t know that Haiti was the second democratic government in the Americas. Or that they looked to the United States for support and assistance as their government struggled to establish itself. But Haiti was founded on the backs of a slave revolution; so despite sharing our democratic beliefs, they were Africans in the minds of early 19th century Americans. For a long time, that perception of Haitians as intrinsically separate from Americans has stuck with us.