My time has been limited lately and I"m traveling tomorrow, but rest assured I haven't gone black again. I'm working on a few meatier posts, namely one on the history of the CIA and Hollywood and more Pakistan and OBL fun. Stay tuned. Until then, the New Zealand Herald published an interesting piece on the upcoming OBL movie and quoted me extenisvely. I rarely point out when I'm in various media--seems too self serving--but given my time contraints at the moment, quoting myself in the Auckland paper is the best I can do--just hope I don't go blind from it:
Raelynn Hillhouse - who the Guardian says "regularly breaks news on the clandestine world of private contractors and US intelligence" on The Spy Who Billed Me blog - dismisses the New Yorker's "puff" piece and suggests Islamabad approved the covert US assassination.
She alleges the Saudis, using an intermediary, paid Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency to keep bin Laden under house arrest, necessary to stop his Wahhabist supporters dethroning the House of Saud.
But Hillhouse doubts "we will ever have definitive answers". Instead, the White House will probably pump up the patriotic version.
"What I find so disturbing is that the Administration knows that large portions of the US finding bin Laden story are fabrication and it's very keen on selling this cover story to the US public," she says.
This is "not to hide key operational details and capacities, but rather to satisfy the PR needs of a re-election campaign. The Soviets couldn't have done a better job".
In other words, she suggests, it's politics. The media narrative makes the President look a decisive man of action, the liberal version of George W. Bush's stunt landing a plane on a US carrier in 2003 to declare "mission accomplished" after invading Iraq.
"It will be very interesting when the timeline of the CIA's knowledge of where Osama bin Laden was being hidden and the US decision to go in and take out bin Laden comes to light," says Hillhouse.
"It's my understanding that it will not at all fit with the official narrative of the quick acting, decisive leader."
King may be barking up the wrong tree: burnishing Obama's image is good cover for America's shadowy "war on terror". As truth is war's first victim, the true story, if it emerges, will probably be messy, full of loose ends, and unflattering to combatants on both sides.