Bin Laden document trove kept under wraps to protect re-election narrative that Al Qaeda was 'on the run'?
It looks a lot like the treasure trove of documents acquired in the Abbottabad raid on Osama bin Laden was suppressed by our intelligence agencies in order to protect President Obama’s re-election narrative. Evidence indicating that al Qaeda was robust and in contact with other terror groups, including the group that became ISIS, never saw the light of day, and may have even been kept from analysts. That is the gist of a long and complex article in the Weekly Standard by Stephen Hayes. There is still a lot we don’t know, because documents still classified are unavailable for analysis, but the evidence so far is very damning. And when considering an administration that was comfortable lying to the public about a video being responsible for the Benghazi raid, it is not beyond the pale to contemplate the worst: that voters were lied to about the state of AQ in order to secure the re-election of Obama.
Here are a couple of highlights, but I urge you to read the entire Hayes piece, which would be Pulitzer-worthy, if only the Pulitzers were not corrupted by the left into a political weapon.
In all, the U.S. government would have access to more than a million documents detailing al Qaeda’s funding, training, personnel, and future plans. The raid promised to be a turning point in America’s war on terror, not only because it eliminated al Qaeda’s leader, but also because the materials taken from his compound had great intelligence value. (snip)
A comprehensive and systematic examination of those documents could give U.S. intelligence officials—and eventually the American public—a better understanding of al Qaeda’s leadership, its affiliates, its recruitment efforts, its methods of communication; a better understanding, that is, of the enemy America has fought for over a decade now, at a cost of trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives.
Incredibly, such a comprehensive study—a thorough “document exploitation,” in the parlance of the intelligence community—never took place. The Weekly Standard has spoken to more than two dozen individuals with knowledge of the U.S. government’s handling of the bin Laden documents. And on that, there is widespread agreement.
“They haven’t done anything close to a full exploitation,” says Derek Harvey, a former senior intelligence analyst with the Defense Intelligence Agency and ex-director of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Center of Excellence at U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).
“A full exploitation? No,” he says. “Not even close. Maybe 10 percent.”
As the public heard this carefully managed story about al Qaeda, analysts at CENTCOM were poring over documents that showed something close to the opposite.
The broader collection of documents paints a far more complicated picture of al Qaeda. There are documents laying out al Qaeda’s relationships with terror-sponsoring states, including Iran and Pakistan. There are documents that provide a close look at bin Laden’s careful cultivation of a vast array of increasingly deadly affiliates, including the one we now know as ISIS. Other documents provide a window into the complex and highly secretive system of communications between al Qaeda leaders and operatives plotting attacks. Still others offer a glimpse of relations between bin Laden, Ayman al Zawahiri, and the others who run the global terror syndicate.
One document laid bare bin Laden’s relationship with Hafiz Saeed, the leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba, and suggested that the al Qaeda leader helped plan the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai that killed 150 people and injured more than 600. “The documents and files found in Abbottabad showed a close connection between bin Laden and Saeed, right up to May 2011,” former Obama adviser Bruce Riedel told the Hindustan Times. The documents “suggested a much larger direct al Qaeda role in the planning of the Mumbai attacks than many had assumed.”
The CENTCOM team reviewed documents detailing the complicated and dangerous relationship between al Qaeda and Tehran and found evidence that senior Iranian officials facilitated the travel and safe haven of top al Qaeda operatives both before and after the 9/11 attacks. Other documents suggest that the relationship between Pakistan’s intelligence service and al Qaeda leaders was even stronger than many intelligence officials had understood.
The scandals of the Obama administration multiply, and these are only the ones we know about. The title of worst president ever may well be his, if all the truth becomes known.