Shut Up, Rachel

There’s no evidence Pakistan shielded Osama bin Laden

by , May 04, 2011

My first reaction to the killing of Osama bin Laden was to imagine this meant closure for the American people – that we could put 9/11 behind us, and move on. Talk about naïve!

Instead, the country is engaging in an orgy of self-congratulatory hysteria, reliving the darkest moments of 9/11, and blaming Pakistan for supposedly hiding bin Laden in a million-dollar “mansion.” The award for the tackiest response has got to go to President Obama’s partisans celebrating the event as symbolic of the Democrats’ new “national security” credentials, with a close second going to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, who weirdly congratulated George W. Bush – a case of ideologically-induced dyslexia if ever there was one.

Yes, I innocently assumed bin Laden’s demise would be a “mission accomplished” moment, not in the Bushian sense but in reality: boy, was I wrong. We are now confronted with a chorus of voices – and not just from the Usual Suspects – demanding that we punish Pakistan for supposedly shielding bin Laden from America’s wrath.

Yet there is not one scintilla of evidence that the Pakistani government, or anyone close to them, had the faintest idea the terrorist leader was hiding “in plain sight.” It was an ingenious deception: the whole time our intelligence “experts” were smugly assuming they knew bin Laden was in Waziristan, Pakistan’s “tribal” region – with the concurrence of the President, by the way – he was sitting at home in an affluent suburb of Islamabad, the Pakistani capital – the seat of a government to which we have given multi- billions over the past 10 years. Are we, then, complicit too?

The answer is an emphatic no.

Because bin Laden was found in Pakistan does not mean the Pakistanis were hiding him. After all, the 9/11 hijackers were living in America – some of them legally – when they struck: does that mean the US was “hiding” them? Of course not. It simply means they escaped detection – and, given the information we have to date, that’s all it means. Period.

This won’t satisfy some people, particularly those Obama-ites who are joyful at the political impetus this has given their Glorious Leader: I was shocked to see MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow screeching about the role of Perfidious Pakistan on her Monday night newscast. According to her, since a large number of al-Qaeda bigwigs, including bin Laden, were found in Pakistan, this means, ipso facto, that the Pakistani government is responsible for aiding and abetting terrorism against the United States. I have to say that this kind of world-class conclusion-jumping is possible to Ms. Maddow only because, as a big government liberal, she apparently believes that governments know all and see all within the confines of their territory. Government, as an instrument, is omni-competent. OBL was in Pakistan: ergo, he was there at Islamabad’s invitation.

Maddow is delusional. Ranting about how many top al-Qaeda leaders have been captured in Pakistan, she listed

Ramzi Binalshibh – one of the original Hamburg cell that plotted and carried out the 9/11 attacks, he was arrested in a joint Pakistani-CIA operation in 2002. Pakistan handed him over to the US, and he was incarcerated at Guantanamo.

Abu Zubaydah – arrested in another joint US-Pakistani raid. According to Wikipedia:

“It is unclear how the Government found Abu Zubaydah. U.S. officials claimed he was tracked down after making a phone call to al-Qaeda leaders in Yemen. However, this has been questioned by a CIA official who stated that the U.S. paid $10 million to the Pakistani government, who had in turn bribed the information on his whereabouts from a local driver in Faisalabad. Pakistani intelligence discovered that he was traveling in disguise as a burka-clad woman.”

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed – the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, was arrested in 2003 in what was described at the time as a joint US-Pakistani operation, although Wikipedia gives major credit to the latter:

“Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on March 1, 2003, by the Pakistani ISI, possibly in a joint action with agents of the American Diplomatic Security Service.”

Maddow thinks she can apply a well-known principle of real estate sales – location, location, location! – to intelligence work. Was a sillier idea ever conceived? Babbling about how the arrest of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Lahore proved how perfidious the Pakistanis were and are, she barked in her sternest butch baritone: “It has been Pakistan from the beginning. How long is it going to continue to be Pakistan?”

We should all fear the answer to that question just as long as “journalists” like Maddow fail to do even a minimal amount of research, and are energized not by a desire to get at the truth but by partisan concerns – in this case carrying water for the Dear and Glorious Leader. Obama not only threatened to invade Pakistan during the last presidential campaign but also followed through on his promise. When he goes all the way and puts “boots on the ground” Maddow’s propaganda will be instrumental in getting the Democratic base to go along for the ride.

Hillary Clinton accused the Pakistanis of sheltering bin Laden long before this, and Maddow seems determined to prove her right. Sure, there’s no evidence, but since when do partisan hacks require evidence? In the heat of nationalistic fervor being whipped up by the media, Maddow’s “progressive” warmongering and baseless accusations blend right in with the whole sickening atmosphere of bravado and blame. It’s great when a “progressive” can claim to be as “patriotic” as the next guy: Maddow’s show that night featured shots of juveniles (mostly white) screaming “USA! USA!” in front of the White House, and Rachel herself was there, too, as she proudly told us, recording the occasion for posterity.

The most ridiculous part of her rant, however, was when she started talking about the history of US-Pakistan relations, and the connection of both governments to al-Qaeda. Sure, she said, we aided bin Laden in the 1980s, sending him weapons in order to fight the Soviets – but who, she asked, was the “middle man”? We didn’t deal directly with al-Qaeda, but through a third party [.pdf]. And who was that party? It was – aha! – Pakistan!

So there! That “proves” it! The Pakistanis are evil, treacherous snakes-in-the-grass because … they followed our instructions to the letter.

Is it something in the water? Is there a secret al-Qaeda plot to lower the intelligence of the American people, and is Rachel Maddow but the latest victim?

Please, Rachel: you’re not well. Drink only bottled water – unless they’ve dosed that, too – and take a very long vacation. You need a rest – and so, frankly, do we. In short: STFU, Rachel, before you make a complete fool out of yourself.

Read more by Justin Raimondo