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Old 12-27-2007, 08:27 PM  
jAZ jAZ is offline
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Ex-Intel Official: Don't Be So Quick to Blame al-Qaeda, Musharraf for Bhutto Killing

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/004990.php

Ex-Intel Official: Don't Be So Quick to Blame al-Qaeda, Musharraf for Bhutto Killing

By Spencer Ackerman - December 27, 2007, 4:31PM
Here I take my lumps like everyone else. Throughout the day I've either said that the most likely culprit for the Bhutto assassination is "the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda," or I've reported the j'accuse issued by others that Pervez Musharraf is in some way culpable. But what if that's all wrong? According to a former intelligence official with deep experience on Pakistan, there's a third, and perhaps more likely culprit: internally-focused Pakistani Islamist militants without significant links to al-Qaeda.

The ex-intel official doesn't have any ground truth. But, s/he says, the organizations with the most to gain and the least to lose by assassinating Bhutto are the groups "like Lashkar e-Toiba, or the Jaish e-Mohammed." Those groups' ties to al-Qaeda are much, much less than that of the Pakistani Taliban, and their focus is entirely domestic. "There are numerous groups that fit in the militant category whose focus began with Kashmir, but they oppose all U.S.-Pakistani relations and all secular politics," the official says. "They strongly disapprove of the role of Benazir, on every ground, and they have every reason to let Musharraf take the blame. They check every box."

Again, it's pure speculation. But the ex-intel official doesn't believe Musharraf has much to gain by killing Bhutto once the cost of international and domestic outrage are factored in. As to why al-Qaeda wouldn't kill Bhutto, the ex-official wasn't as definitive: "It's very possible al-Qaeda had a hand in it, but I'd look carefully at the domestic component." Ideology wouldn't be what divides al-Qaeda or the Pakistani Taliban from the groups this official considers plausible suspects in the killing: "They all oppose the war on terror and would like to see an Islamist Pakistan, something very much like the Taliban in Afghanistan in Pakistan. There are a huge range of groups that I think are candidates. And no one’s talking about them."

However, an Italian news agency reported receiving a claim of responsibility from al-Qaeda's Afghanistan commander:
A spokesperson for the al-Qaeda terrorist network has claimed responsibility for the death on Thursday of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

“We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat [the] mujahadeen,” Al-Qaeda’s commander and main spokesperson Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid told Adnkronos International (AKI) in a phone call from an unknown location, speaking in faltering English.

The New York Sun's Eli Lake -- yeah, yeah, it's a right-wing paper, but Lake is a top-shelf reporter -- has more about the evidence tying al-Qaeda to the assassination. But it's worth keeping the ex-intelligence official's perspective in mind when jumping to conclusions about responsibility.
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:42 PM   #2
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Too late.
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Old 12-27-2007, 10:53 PM   #3
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But meme told me it was Bush and Musharraf
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Old 12-28-2007, 06:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Those groups' ties to al-Qaeda are much, much less than that of the Pakistani Taliban, and their focus is entirely domestic. "There are numerous groups that fit in the militant category whose focus began with Kashmir, but they oppose all U.S.-Pakistani relations and all secular politics," the official says.
I don't really see a distinction of major importance here aside from understanding the intricacies of the ideology we face with as much accuracy as possible. The point of the broader GWoT is to unite the civilized nations of the world against this malignant ideology. It doesn't make much sense for the US to expect countries like Pakistan to join our posse against islamist extremism if we are going to turn a blind eye toward the variant that is primarily focused on destroying their version of liberal civilization.
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Old 12-28-2007, 07:06 AM   #5
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When Bhutto herself pointed fingers at Musharraf then that solidified him being suspect numero uno. Work backwards from there and POSSIBLY he will be found to have no involvement...

the Chiefs could win the Superbowl this year too.
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Old 12-28-2007, 08:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memyselfI
When Bhutto herself pointed fingers at Musharraf then that solidified him being suspect numero uno. Work backwards from there and POSSIBLY he will be found to have no involvement...

the Chiefs could win the Superbowl this year too.
If he was the one behind it, what would he gain?
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Old 12-28-2007, 09:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memyselfI
When Bhutto herself pointed fingers at Musharraf then that solidified him being suspect numero uno. Work backwards from there and POSSIBLY he will be found to have no involvement...

the Chiefs could win the Superbowl this year too.
Actually, I think you would need to work backwards 1 step before that: What reason(s) did Bhutto have to write such a letter? Rather than: Musharraf needs to prove that he didn't kill her.
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Old 12-28-2007, 09:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banyon
Actually, I think you would need to work backwards 1 step before that: What reason(s) did Bhutto have to write such a letter? Rather than: Musharraf needs to prove that he didn't kill her.
I can't get rid of the thought the letter might have been a calculated political strategy to be played out only from the grave.

I think she was extremely brave mind you for going back there in the first place.

One other thing, if you feared for your life why would you stand up in a motorcade? The whole thing is bizarre IMO.
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Old 12-28-2007, 09:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memyselfI
When Bhutto herself pointed fingers at Musharraf then that solidified him being suspect numero uno. Work backwards from there and POSSIBLY he will be found to have no involvement...

the Chiefs could win the Superbowl this year too.
I think you are putting FAR too much stock in this letter, probably because you want it to be true.

On a side note, I just read that she was offered a helicopter for transport, but refused it.
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlyonsd
I can't get rid of the thought the letter might have been a calculated political strategy to be played out only from the grave.

I think she was extremely brave mind you for going back there in the first place.

One other thing, if you feared for your life why would you stand up in a motorcade? The whole thing is bizarre IMO.

Conspiracy theory time:

She did neither and both the note and the assasination were CIA (as a plot to overthrow Musharraf?).
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banyon
Conspiracy theory time:

She did neither and both the note and the assasination were CIA (as a plot to overthrow Musharraf?).
For some reason I can't see your attachment but CNN is reporting the Pakistan Interior Minister is saying she didn't die from bullet or shrapnel wounds.

Bizzare I tell you.
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlyonsd
I can't get rid of the thought the letter might have been a calculated political strategy to be played out only from the grave.

I think she was extremely brave mind you for going back there in the first place.

One other thing, if you feared for your life why would you stand up in a motorcade? The whole thing is bizarre IMO.
To become a martyr?
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlyonsd
For some reason I can't see your attachment but CNN is reporting the Pakistan Interior Minister is saying she didn't die from bullet or shrapnel wounds.

Bizzare I tell you.
Maybe she isn't dead and this is all a trick.
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:56 AM   #14
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Here's a picture of Bhutto seconds before the attack.

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Old 12-28-2007, 11:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlyonsd
For some reason I can't see your attachment but CNN is reporting the Pakistan Interior Minister is saying she didn't die from bullet or shrapnel wounds.

Bizzare I tell you.
CNN says that she hit her head on the sunroof as she was trying to get back into the car. Seems hard to believe that would kill her, but her husband is already saying no autopsy, so maybe that will stick?
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