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The War Nerd / May 15, 2011

The second I had to quit daily blogging they got Osama. That was just one of the joys of starting a new job: Seeing all that great material wasted on mainstream journalists who have got to be the dumbest, most gullible cage-raised pullets ever born.

I couldn’t do a thing about it. This new job is much tougher than the last one. All the new jobs are much nastier than the old jobs, from what I can see. They know we’re all scared to death, so they can push us all harder. And you better smile too, unless you want to join the Guatemalans standing by the offramp for yard work.

So I’m giving the job most of what little energy I’ve got. But it was hard focusing on civilian paper while all this Osama stuff was happening. I’d groan out of bed, stuff my gut into a starched office shirt and choke myself with the brightest most optimistic tie in the closet—I actually pick the ugliest ones because I figure they say “Cheerful employee!” more than decent ones–and head off to work. The commute was the worst, because I can’t drive without the radio talking to me and that meant I had to hear them talking about the Osama raid. Haven’t heard that much absolute sportstalk stupidity since 2003.

Oh, I planned lots of columns, believe me. I’d have a great idea and plan to write it down when they weren’t watching at the office like I used to. But then I’d catch a sight of my fat neck in the rear-view mirror and think, “God, I have to button that top button!” And I’d try, and realize that even though I buy these 18 neck shirts the damn thing won’t button, so I have to try to hunch the knot of the tie up to hide the gap and watch for sudden brake lights so I don’t rear-end some asshole’s giant truck. I’m the last man in town to drive a sedan, apparently if your car can fit under an overpass you’re a wimp, so I can’t see anything but brake lights at eye level.

And I can’t hear anything on the radio but “Osama Dies Yellow.” You ever hear that line, “Rocky Dies Yellow”? It’s from an old gangster movie, Angels with Dirty Faces—my grandma liked those Cagney things and I sat through them for her sake. Cagney plays this gangster who’s going to the electric chair, still tough as whitleather, and this minister who preaches to a bunch of slum kids (those Hollywood brat actors, they’re the “angels” in the title) goes to see Cagney in the Death House and says, “Rocky, could you please die yellow? For the kids, see.” Meaning: Could you act all chickenshit when they drag you to the chair so the sweet little bad seeds I’m pastoring, who all think you’re the toughest guy in the world and idolize you, will have this sudden Paul-to-Saul moment and go, “Jeez, foddah, I getcha now, dis whole gangstuh rumpus ain’t on da up-n-up”—I can’t do the dialogue but something like that.

Cagney doing “scared”

The preacher’s idea is if Rocky dies yellow, they’ll all be so disgusted they’ll change their ways, stop with the switchblades and go be lawyers and bankers like the guys who got us where we are—and what could be better than that.

So Rocky the gangster puts on a big show of being “yellow” when they fry him, all “No, please, help, Ma, Oh, I’m such a scaredy-cat!” They didn’t go in for underacting in those days. And so Rocky goes to Heaven, because he did it For The Kids. Or to put it another way, lying is fine when it’s for The Kids.

The only difference with Osama is that they shot him first, then yellowed him up. It was as corny, as obvious, as plain ridiculous as that Cagney movie.

The first thing you heard was that Osama used his wife for a “human shield.”

Any time somebody does that in a movie you know they might as well put up a subtitle, “deserves to die horribly” or “bad man.” Remember Heat, that fucked-up movie with de Niro and Pacino supposedly LA cops though they acted more like Hollywood producers with badges? Tom Sizemore was one of the hoods in that movie, and at first you like his character, seems like a good criminal–right up to the scene where Sizemore grabs a schoolgirl and uses her as a “human shield.”

That’s supposed to tell you: “Attention please, Mr. Sizemore’s character is now officially a bad man, so please cheer when Mr. Pacino’s character takes him out.”

One little problem: It wasn’t true. Here’s the headline from the same paper one day later: “Osama Was Not Armed and Did Not Use Wife as Shield.”

They put the little mistake down to “confusion.” But this kind of wartime “confusion” is a cheap out, like Keegan’s stupid cliché, the “fog of war.” While we’re at it, lemme tell you Keegan’s why Keegan uses that catchphrase all the time. His angle is simple: The Brits are always right. That’s hard to argue when you’re doing military history, because most European officers laughed out loud when you said, “British officers.” British troops, yeah—tough bastards, great fighters, but British officers? Waterheads.

So Keegan has a whole lot of idiocy to explain when he takes you through his favorite Empire’s various fiascos—and that’s how “The Fog of War” was born. Churchill wasn’t the dumbest military strategist of the 20th century—oh no, it was just “The Fog of War.” Gallipoli? Not noticing that machinegun bullets are faster than infantry? “Fog o’ War.” Total collapse of Singapore, Hong Kong…sending Repulse and Prince of Wales out with no air cover? F.O.W., F.O.W., F.O.Frickin’ W. Might as well call it “Fog of Sandhurst.”

It’s not fog, it’s smoke, as in “blowing smoke.” That’s what they were doing with the nonsense about Osama going out like Tom Sizemore, guns blazing, poor wifey held in front of him: Put the picture in the suckers’ heads first. Then, by the time you have to give the correction, everybody’s stuck with this Naked Gun scene of Osama shooting it out with the SEALs.

The only time you can blame the “fog” or “confusion” is when it goes the other way—first reports say Osama was shot unarmed, and didn’t use his wife as a shield, and then it comes out he did both. But don’t worry, that’ll never happen.

Next story was the reappearance of Goofy the Bounty Hunter, aka Gary Faulkner.

Faulkner negotiating: “How ’bout TWO million then?”

You might remember Faulkner if you follow news of the stupid. He was a one-hit character straight out of South Park, an unemployed Colorado mental patient who announced he was going to stalk Osama and kill him and claim the $25 million reward:

“Faulkner was found last year in the woods of northern Pakistan armed with a pistol, sword and night-vision goggles. The Greeley, Colorado, man says he believes he had a hand in forcing bin Laden out of the mountains where he supposedly was hiding.”

Faulkner is poster boy, an extreme case, of what’s wrong with the way American war nerds think. When they find him, he’s loaded down with gadgets, armed to the teeth right down to the Samurai sword from some Tarantino movie. But I will bet you anything you want that Gary Faulkner didn’t bother to learn a single one of the local languages before he loaded up for bear and started sneaking around Pakistan. That means the only way he’d ever find Osama is if he hitched a ride and Osama was driving. That’d be a good movie, like an update of that old movie Melvin and Howard where some hick picks up Howard Hughes in the desert and wants a chunk of the old nut’s billions: Osama and Gary, they could call it, and the big climax would be when Gary thanks Osama for the ride and saws his head off with the Samurai sword, which would be kind of awkward actually in a truck cab, not enough space for a real Samurai home-run swing (which is why people use knives, not swords, Faulkner, ya dummy!).

But in the grownup world, you couldn’t find the Fresno Chamber of Commerce by sneaking around with that gear.

Imagine a Pashtun tribesman who gets offered $25 million to go to Bakersfield and find some landmark, say the Barnes Cabin. This cabin is a big thing in Bakersfield, at least it was when the place was Okie. Barnes was an ex-Confederate who invalided out to Kern County—two sure proofs he was an idiot, he fought for the Planters and he moved to Kern County—but we went on a field trip, stood around looking at this Clampitt cabin going, “So?”

Mister Pashtun could try finding the old shed with night-vision goggles, an AK and a Samurai sword. But even if he didn’t get arrested, which he would—even if we just make a rule, “OK, this guy is also invisible to the police”—even then, he would never, ever find that cabin. He might bust into some houses in my old neighborhood where the people had gotten old and crazy because some of them looked a lot like a log cabin after about 40 years of senility and stray cats, but he wouldn’t find the official Barnes Holy Shack in a million years.

He’d wander around Bakersfield for eternity. Maybe that’s what Hell is, actually: billions of Pashtun ghosts wandering around Bakersfield. It’d be my idea of Hell anyway, especially in August. And when us Bakersfielders die, we have to wander around Waziristan like Faulkner. Nasty idea. Good thing Brother Archie never threatened us with that or I’d still be in the pews.

So how could Mister Pashtun actually find the cabin? Duh: He has to ask somebody. He has to schmooze. He has to bury that AK,sell the Samurai sword to the sodomite pawnbroker in Pulp Fiction so Willis can use it on him later in the movie, ditch the night-vision goggles and learn the local language, which in Bakersfield is English more or less—not Spanish, because Mexicans don’t get all weepy about old Anglo shacks. This Pashtun dude would have to shave, and smile like Mohammed Atta at the boarding gate, and come up with a good back story to explain why he’s there. My suggestion: He should tell them he’s a Christian Iraqi who was liberated by our troops. Do that, and the suckers would literally drive Mr. Pashtun to that cabin with tears in their eyes.

So this Faulkner—let’s pretend he was sane and intelligent for a second—would have to do the same stuff in reverse. Learn Pashto, schmooze–Above all,find some excuse for being there in the first place.

There are only two things that’d bring an American to that messed-up backwater; one’s CIA and the other’s opium. (Not that there’s a total split between the two—in fact, I wonder if they found Osama thanks to a drug connection: “Hey Hamid, we’ll let you send 150 keys straight to Manhattan if you give up the big guy!”)

So logically, the way to settle in to Waziristan would be marry a couple of the local girls, put a few hundred thousand into the opium business and sit in the tea houses bullshitting with your in-laws hoping to hear something. If Faulkner had a huge run of idiot’s luck, he might last long enough in the opium-smuggling business to maybe, maybe, hear somebody who couldn’t handle his high babbling about Osama. And if the idiot’s luck held, that one blurt might be the one out of a thousand that’s not bullshit. And that might get him somewhere.

Opium dealers talking product

So there’s another angle on irregular warfare nobody likes (or admits they like anyway): dealing drugs. A huge, huge part of most insurgencies. Pimping, dealing, joining the police or army—somehow or other, you’re going to have to do something totally sleazy. You say you’re ready to kill and die for whatever crap it is you believe in? Killing and dying, those are the easy parts. The clean parts. Not anywhere near the most important parts.

Irregular warfare is a social thing. That’s the last thing most of us want to face because most of you are like me, you don’t like people that much and want a nice clean war to cut down on them a little. I know, I know, me too, but if you want that you need a conventional army, which couldn’t find Osama either. If you want to do a job like that, it’s like my last boss loved to lecture me, “Gary, you can’t be afraid to talk to people.”

This leads me to maybe the most depressing thing I ever thought. You know who’d be good at guerrilla war? Ugh, I can’t say it. No, it has to be said. You know who’d be good at guerrilla war? Cheerleaders. What with the social skills and the pillow talk thing and…it’s too depressing and I’m not going to go on about it, but it had to be said. Jesus, what a world.

Maybe actually it’d be better to hire a high-price hooker, instead of a cheerleader. Yeah, that’s not so depressing somehow. Parachute someone like that into Waziristan and she’d get them talking…no, wait, they like boys—well, the male equivalent.

Or one of these expensive lesbian whores that specialize in women producers in LA. “Portia, America needs you to go to Waziristan! Ellen will wait for you and besides you might learn some stuff she’ll like from them Muzzie girls!” I bet there’s a lot of dykey angry multiple wives in Waziristan and I bet they know a lot more than their idiot husbands think. Slip one of them into the local chief’s harem and see what you get. I The Turkish lobby rented one to screw-and-blackmail Jan Schakowsky, a bleeding-heart Illinois crony of Obama. If it’s good enough for the US congress, it’s probably good enough for illiterate Pashtun wife-stock.

Jeez, I’m going to stop talking about this. War is one thing, drug dealing, OK…but pimping, that’s where I draw the line. I can do that, because I’m just an armchair irregular. But a real guerrilla can’t afford to draw that line or any line. A guerrilla NEEDS to be a pimp—among a lot of other things. A people person, in all the worst ways.

Gary Faulkner was not a people person, unless you count talking the voices in his head. And even if he had been, he was something like 40 years old when he hit Pakistan. He’s going to learn Pashtun at that age, when he’s probably never learned another language in his life, even menu Spanish? Ni modo.

He’s going to do what he ended up doing: Wandering around the hills—the only reason they didn’t shoot him must be they were laughing too hard—seeing if Osama shows up better when he put on his night-vision goggles. It’s the ultimate in gadget-fan stupid: “I got these cool goggles so if Osama is around he’ll light up like ultraviolet rocks!”

Sorry, Faulkner. All credit to you for having the titanium gonads to claim $7 million in reward money for not finding Osama, though. That’s real laser-bright logic: He says he “had a hand in forcing bin Laden out of the mountains.” Yes sir, you forced him to hunker down in a giant mansion in a vacation resort. That’s some forcin’ Faulkner.

Ever hear the joke about the elephant repellent? It ought to be the official joke of the whole counter-terrorism profession, engraved on the CIA’s HQ at Langley. But it fits Faulkner even better than the rest of the phonies. Goes like this: A guest asks asks, “What’s that weird ornament hanging there?”

The host say, “It’s elephant repellent.”

“Elephant repellent? There’s not an elephant in 10,000 miles of here!

“See? It works!”

Once Faulkner did his comic relief bit, the news people got back to the supposedly serious business. Which turned out to be nothing but more gadget-worship. For a day or so, all you heard about was the helicopters they used to get in and out of Abbottabad.

And there were lots of pictures of them, mostly from Pakistanis’ cell cameras. Because, uh…one of these top-secret hi-tech wonders of engineering, uh, kinda…crashed. Whoops!

Wizbang Chopper in Osama’s Yard (with privacy fence)

Now, I’m not making fun of the choppers or pilots or even claiming anybody messed up; choppers are inherently air-worthless under anything but perfect conditions, and the official explanation that it was high temperatures and altitude that sucked the air from under the crashed helicopter makes perfect sense.

Still, it was weird how everybody was looking at the pictures of the crashed helicopter like relics of a higher alien technology. They landed three and lost one; no reason to treat these machines like miracles.

The miracle, if there was any miracle in finding a guy who’s 6’5” (can’t exactly melt into a crowd at that height) after ten years of trying, belongs to whoever told the US where he was. It’s a people thing, in other words. But all we heard was gadgets, the magic choppers.

Jeez, It’s a machine, it’s just a muffled Blackhawk, “stealthed” up to be a little quieter and smaller on a radar screen than the production model, that’s all. And if you have to worship any chopper, why not the standard-issue Blackhawk? That is a truly fine craft, a real success, and nobody worships it. I’d bet any three Blackhawks off the assembly line could have done as well as the fancy souped-up models they sent.

But the hard part wasn’t killing Osama—Gary frickin’ Faulkner could’ve killed him. He looks pretty much dead already on the home video they released. I could’ve walked up and killed him, and I breathe hard going up three steps.

The hard part was finding him. And no chopper, no buffed SEAL, no cool NSA traffic analysis found Osama. A snitch did. Some sleaze of an informer fingered him, that’s how he was got.

It was like somebody finally half-figured out that this was about people, not gadgets, because the next phase of news nonsense was definitely people-focused. But in an embarrassing, totally off-base way, naturally. This was when the Navy SEAL cult that’s been perking along for a while finally percolated down to the great mass of dummies out there.

And what they want is Rambo all over again: muscles. Ripped. For a while it was like the whole world was doing gay porn. Just check out this bit from the Washington Post (I’m noticing that it’s always the Post that runs the most embarrassing, fake stuff. I thought they were respectable, but not from what I see). This is a Post writer quoting the idiot who wrote something called Rogue Warrior on what a Navy SEAL would look like. The guy seems to be just making up something from his own lousy book:

“He’ll be ripped,” says the author of the best-selling autobiography “ Rogue Warrior .” “He’s got a lot of upper-body strength. Long arms. Thin waist. Flat tummy.”

This gets me down even more than squeezing into work clothes. It’s bullshit anyway; Subotai was fat, damn it. Audie Murphy was 5’7.” The average VC had less muscle tissue than a Safeway chicken. They just won’t face the fact that the real hero here was a snitch, a snitch whose name we’ll probably never know. (He better hope we don’t, because if we know, both Talibans know too.)

It’s worth imagining that the snitch was the ugliest, fattest, wheeziest, lyingest, most treacherous Waziri you can imagine. Which he probably was, because snitching isn’t an aerobic exercise. He made it happen, this fat unwashed money-hungry, probably opium-dealing, sleaze. Keep that in mind. It cures you of all this gym-bred muscle-worship.

Don’t get me wrong, I respect the Hell out of the Seals. They’re very good, and unlike those three-letter agencies, they really do stuff, all the time. A lot in the middle east that you only vaguely hear about a long time later. Guy I know in one of those three-letter agencies wrote me years ago, “Frankly, if one of our guys says, ‘We’re doing a lot you don’ t hear about,’ you shouldn’t believe it. But when the Seals say that, you can believe it.”

The news creeps sniffed around for more dirt on Osama’s “compound” for days. As far as I know, they didn’t come up with much. Some of the funniest bits were the “vanity” thing, and the porn.

The vanity charge came from a home video clip released by the CIA showing Osama looking at old TV pictures of himself after 9/11. Whoever shot the video thought he was a great director because it starts out with just the TV screen and then pans back to Osama on the couch. The camera—I think whoever made the video, Mrs. Osama or one of the bodyguards, thought this was a funny joke or something, “Look! First here is Osama on television, now we follow the tv wire and look, ha ha, at the other end of the wire there is Osama himself, live and in person! Ha ha, what a funny joke on the Americans!”

As part of the whole smear-the-dead-guy routine, this video was supposed to show you what a conceited jerk Osama is. That was the official talking point, and it got around so fast that in a few days it was a talking point that you could use for anything else you wanted to talk about. Like here’s a column about, I don’t even know, reality shows or some girly crap like that, and this “humorous” lady writing it drags in Osama watching tv:

“Even Osama, lurking in his bunker, had his eyes glued to the television, huddled in the seasick glow of his own image. It was the one indelible moment of the last week.

Forget Norma Desmond. He looked like Gollum.”

Man, that’s writing, lady. That’s some kick-ass writing you did there, like “lurking in his bunker…” Except, uh, not to quibble, Ma’am, but that “bunker” was a goddamn mansion next door to an official Pakistani military academy, with a lot more than lurkin’ room. (We’re not going to have to rehash the “Did Pakistan know?” question here, are we? Of course they knew, Jesus).

She just goes on with the capital-R riting: “…had his eyes glued…huddled in the seasick glow of his own image.” Whoo, “seasick glow”! I bet you were an English major. Cuz we all know TV looks different when it reflects on terrorists, they’re like vampires that way.

And finally, “Forget Norma Desmond.” OK, fine. Easy, because I don’t know who she is and I’m not even going to google any name brought up by an idiot like this. So instead of our pal Norma, “He looked like Gollum.” Well, at least I know who Gollum is, but here’s a little witty repartee, Ma’am: no he fucking didn’t look like Gollum! He didn’t look like Gollum at all! He hardly even looked like Osama. Gollum looked pretty cool in a starved dangerous way; Osama just looked old and sad, like any Pakistani grandpa. If they say that was Osama, OK, it’s possible, maybe likely, but not on visual ID. On visual ID, that could be about a hundred million sick old Paki or Indian men. Maybe it’s the Nehru hat, I don’t know, or maybe because I used to go over to this half-Pak guy’s house as a kid and he had a grandpa who sat just like that in front of the tv. Same blanket over his shoulders even though it was Bakersfield, same drool, same whole thing, you’d say “Hello Mister Bhullar!” and he’d go, “Eennh” and sort of half wave his good hand and then it was back to Wheel of Fortune.

That’s what Osama really looked like: A sick old man. And he didn’t look vain, he looked depressed as Hell, for obvious reasons: There’s a younger and healthier Osama on TV climbing around Tora Bora in the video (although he didn’t look too spry even back in that video) and here I am now, a trembly old grandpa wearing a blanket in the heat. If this is great movie-making here, it’s the classic “poor old dude remembering his days of greatness” deal.

By this time, a chimp could have programmed the next step in the Osama Dies Yellow story: Some kind of sexual dirt. And right on time, out it came: “Porn Found in Osama Hideout.” And not just porn, either, but “Hardcore Porn.”

Of course Osama had several bodyguards who were young guys, stuck in a compound where all the women belonged to the big fella, so it’s not totally surprising one of them brought some videos to do one-handed curls with. But that’s not the way the story played. It was “…could fuel accusastions of hypocrisy,” which is chickenshit press-talk for “Osama was a perv phony.”

It was hard watching all this when I couldn’t talk back. Doing that blog was getting very comfortable to me, made me feel like I could laugh off all the lies because I got to talk back to them. But with work, no time. So I had to sit there in traffic with a tie choking me and just take it. Suddenly it was angry-world all over again. I’d just sit there waiting for the turn light to go green so I could legitimately honk at the idiots who take three seconds to move, like they need official verification that green means go, and grind my teeth wondering, When did everybody get so stupid?

For some reason I notice it most when I’m driving. I thought when I got to be over 40 I’d notice me slowing down and everybody else getting faster but people half my age drive like grandma. And they think worse than they drive. The same way, but worse: like old ladies. Safe and ultra-cautious and happy to be slow-witted. Safe It’s like if you’re not dumb and super-cautious and scared of being called “inappropriate” now, you feel weird.

What got lost in all the gibberish was what Osama’s death means, what Al Qaeda amounted to—the real questions. I want to talk about them next. If I make it through the week.

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87 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. Karel  |  May 15th, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Isn’t the whole point of fudging the story to get it to play longer,

    To leave an impression in the mind that will feel familiar when it is Gaddafis turn to be assassinated

  • 2. retho  |  May 15th, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Welcome back ! And let’s produce these movies.

  • 3. Hey  |  May 15th, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    My trick to having a fat neck is to resew the top button using elastic. But I like the choke-up with the tie technique too.

  • 4. giongulas  |  May 15th, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Great stuff, Gary! Keep it up.

  • 5. Bore  |  May 15th, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    About fucking time, you glorious bastard!

  • 6. DocAmazing  |  May 15th, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Oh, Gary–don’t ever become comfortable. Your discomfort is your super-power; it enables you to see things ordinary fuckin’ people never will…

  • 7. ElCid07  |  May 15th, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Yes! Finally, The War Nerd has retuuuuurned…to The Exiled. I’ve been anticipating your response since I first heard the news, literally zoomed over 10 minutes after I heard we zapped him to see if you’d updated. It was a bitch waiting for it but worth the wait, hope you’re surviving the new job well enough and it doesn’t cut too much into your writing time. (At least you’re not working at say…AUI-S in Kurdland. I hear that Agresto guy is a real tool of a boss to work for…)

    It was kinda funny watching the media coverage flailing around on the story and being able to smugly call the narrative two steps ahead of them. I know its a sin but I’m sure I wasn’t the only war nerd out there that was feeling proud of myself for that. Personally I enjoyed how in the hours afterward the media was linking to satellite pictures of his “compound” that were just a google map view centered over what you get when you search for Abbottabad. It was obvious just from looking at it that they were full of crap, middle of the city and none of the details matched up from what was being reported. It took me about five minutes of scrolling around the area to deduce where his compound was, it wasn’t very hard to match it up as the logical site. Mainstream media’s lazy as fuck when it comes to war.

    The Keegan stuff was great. I had a history professor who was a Brit and actually taught with Keegan at Sandhurst for a number of years(Don’t hold it against him, this guy totally blows Keegan out of the water as a historian). He told me Keegan’s a nice guy who’s successful with the mainstream audience, but doesn’t do his own research or come up with his own analysis. Some antecdote about how Keegan didn’t even know the slang name for the British archives (which apparantly all the Brit historians call it by) because he was so unfamiliar with researching. My old prof had some excellent cracks about the British officer tradition I’ll have to tell you about sometime. I once asked him why he never served as a commissioned officer (he was a para, but an nco in the para’s). He basically told me he didn’t want to be associated in any way with the British officer’s intellectual quality.

    Alright, enough of this rambling on, look forward to reading more updates from you in the future.

  • 8. James Wilson  |  May 15th, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    I’m very glad to see you back in action, Brecher. Hopefully your job eases somewhat and lets you get back to this more often.

  • 9. Wyse Guy  |  May 15th, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Please shit on my face, I will gargle your turds Gary and will, even if for just a moment, will stop being an anonymous loser-commenter.

  • 10. wTf  |  May 15th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    If Osama was into porn, he would have no problem getting his two bitches do some girl-on-girl action.

    IF there was porn found on his computers (hard to believe as the source of this info was anonymous) it was probably used by his body gaurds who had to endure watching Osama switch between his wives every night.

  • 11. LiShimin  |  May 15th, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Cheerleaders. Exactly. But you need a Karl Rove to coach ‘em up.

  • 12. fartman fart  |  May 15th, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    As usual, good column, bad formatting.

    Nice to have you back, Brecher.

  • 13. abc123  |  May 15th, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    War nerd and PSN back the same day? What a wonderful day it is.

  • 14. the dude  |  May 15th, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    fuck yeah! return of the war nerd

  • 15. Veracocha  |  May 15th, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    yay the war nerd is back. life has meaning again.

  • 16. 16 Shells from a 30.06  |  May 15th, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    “Talk about them next”? If you “make it through the week”? Daily! Post daily! I’m gonna be lapsing into delirium tremens if you roll my WarNerd fix back to once a week. If not daily, at least gimme twice-a-week doses… Fuck. Have a heart…

  • 17. Charles  |  May 15th, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    An excellent article, the best I’ve read on the whole topic. One thing- the information that led to finding of OBL’s courier (and thus the location of the compund) was that not done from interrogation in Guantanamo, rather than willingly snitching (although there is still the possibility that he snitched as part of a bargain)?

  • 18. wengler  |  May 15th, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    The angle of this that needs to be explored is what Pakistan’s response was to a full US military operation going on in one of their fatcat neighborhoods.

    Those SEALs weren’t just there to conduct the equivalent of a drug raid. I’m guessing at least half were there to kill anyone vaguely looking like police or military who even came close to them. And apparently even the slowest military cadet could’ve walked to Osama’s house in time to catch the operation in full swing. So either Pakistani 911 responds as slow as police to the South Side of Chicago on a Saturday night, or the Pakistani security services were content with keeping their distance until all of those scary stealth copters flew away.

    Whether the Pakistani government knew Osama was there or not is beyond the point in this situation. These guys have nuclear weapons and someone competent needs to protect them.

  • 19. johnny shines  |  May 15th, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    that was not worth the weight, gary. no really, i was expecting better.

  • 20. MC  |  May 15th, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    So, you are suggesting next time they want to find a terrorist mastermind, parachute a male cheerleader into Waziristan. Parachute someone like… Bush? Well, that would be fun.

  • 21. Havoc  |  May 15th, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Welcome back War Nerd. Glad to see that the heroic struggle with top button on your dress shirts hasn’t restricted the blood flow to your brain enough to prevent you from cranking out a blog entry. Much appreciated. I was also nauseated by the over the top ‘jock sniffing’ of all things Navy Seal by the media after the successful raid. I guess all those warm-hearted Liberal types have forgotten that the evil Xe (formerly Blackwater) was founded by a fundamentalist Christian Ex-SEAL along with two of his SEAL buddies. They are also known to hire every SEAL they can lure from the ranks to staff their ‘Private Military Company’. They are currently on the payroll of the Emirs of the UAE in case any of that damn Democracy decides to raise it’s pesky head in their little slice of heaven. So, we may very likely see US trained, uber ‘ripped’, Special Forces blowing the heads off protesters clamoring for Democracy. If that doesn’t say Mom, Apple Pie and all things pure and by God American than I don’t know what hell does!
    Also, as a former Army Paratrooper, I feel compelled to say that Delta would have done the raid in 20 minutes and killed every living thing in that compound. But hey, i’m a little biased.

  • 22. I C IT  |  May 15th, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    The story is stacked and continues to be stacked so we talk about the layers of bunk rather than if or how the whole thing went down in the first place.

  • 23. anon  |  May 15th, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Lot of excitement by the media. No one I know seems to be talking about it at all though.

    It seems like a non-event to me.

    Still I have to wonder if a snitch was even involved. He was supposedly staying in a mansion by this “military academy?”

    Let’s say it really was him, and he was staying at this location. How long have has the US known about this exactly? Someone at long last spilled the beans a couple of weeks ago? Or a few years ago?

    Was it a matter of “we’ve finally found him, now he must pay” or someone decided it was finally time to cash in a PR asset?

    I joked that they weren’t releasing the pictures because they couldn’t photoshop off the freezer burn. I gather they have released some kind of video or something.

    Whatever. I just don’t really care. As you may gather I haven’t been paying a lot of attention to this, but it seems to me from what I’ve heard it would be pretty easy to just say “we’ve killed Bin Laden!”

    Who’s going to prove you wrong? Supposedly the best evidence is now submerged at sea.

    Right.

  • 24. franc black  |  May 15th, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    I dropped some mighty CDN$ on Exile late last week and now War Nerd is back … fellow readers, please put some money where your fingers are and keep this thing going !

  • 25. SedanChair  |  May 15th, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Even though we missed your column during the weird Osama fake-patriotism surge, we nonetheless felt your hot, clammy presence, Gary. We’re your pupils, your kawaii kouhai, and you’ve given us the tools to cut through the bullshit. So I think we all more or less knew what you were going to say in your first column back…but thanks for saying it, and for everything that came before. Your words will abide long after every Beltway preener is dead and forgotten.

  • 26. TheWarTurd  |  May 15th, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Nice one WN. Could you please please please talk about the sleazy Pakis’s role in the OBL op. Why on earth is Obama still planning to give them $5 Billion after this crap? Is America really that crazy? It’s like Bruce Willis paying that hacker guy in Die Hard 2.0 so that he can keep destroying the US of A. Wierd i tell you.

  • 27. subzero  |  May 15th, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    I am stil not convinced they killed him. They got him, that’s for sure, but did they actually kill him?

    First there’s the obvios motive for wanting to catch him alive: They’d want to hand him to the spooks at the CIA for a few months of debreafing sessions. He had to know a lot and any COIN warrior would be insane not to want to access that info given the possibility.

    And naturally they gould never admit to catching him. Where would they hold him? How would they charge him? How many hostages taken by Jihadists would there be as a result? And they’d have to torture him way more carefully too. no, better if everyone thinks he’s buried at sea so we can take our sweet time and do gloves off interrogation and then bury him at sea when we’re good and ready.

    Could the Seals have done it? Of course they could have. Strike teams got al Libbi and KSM, they could have gotten bin Laden alive too if they wanted. He was caught deep into Pakistan and after 5 years of hiding, meaning he was caught completely off guard.

    So, my reasoning is: 1. They would have wanted him alive. 2. They could have gotten him alive. 3. Even if they got him alive they’d say he was dead.

    Then there are all the small clues. Like the hasty burial at sea. The refusal to show pictures. The fact that the politicians in the Situation Room were first described as having followed the action in Abbottabad but we soon found out that they were linked up to Langley instead. The CIA watched the action unfold then told the politicians what they needed to know. And the treasure throve of intel – sure there might have been a lot of computerized intel, but it could also well be that the biggest treasure throve is sitting in a cell with electrodes attached to his balls right now.

    I’d say it’s about 50/50. Either they found him and killed him and dumped him in the sea. Or they found him, staged killing him, are debriefing him and will eventually dump him in the sea.

  • 28. gyges  |  May 16th, 2011 at 12:00 am

    It is obvious to me and the rest of the world that isn’t the US, that al-qaeda are a hyperreal organisation.

    Hyperreality is used in semiotics and postmodern philosophy to describe a hypothetical inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from fantasy,

    With the idea of hyperreality in mind different people have different refinements of definition of al-qaeda, eg,

    (i) an authentic fake; or,
    (ii) the simulation of something which never really existed, and hat tip to Hunter S Thompson,
    (iii) a Gonzo terrorist organisation.

    Upon reflection, which way would you vote?

  • 29. Ones  |  May 16th, 2011 at 12:58 am

    Hallelujah!
    The king has returned.

  • 30. Bob Z.  |  May 16th, 2011 at 5:54 am

    Holy shit Gary! Thanks the war gods that you’re back! I thought we lost you driving behind grandma on the freeway.

  • 31. Michael  |  May 16th, 2011 at 5:57 am

    Good luck, Mr Brecher. Fingers crossed it’s not too long before we hear from you again.

  • 32. Carpenter  |  May 16th, 2011 at 7:12 am

    So much flag-waving over Osama. The rule is: “If we succeed in doing something, then it is good.” Hence all the smugness now. Since they “got” Osama, then invading Afghanistan was good.

    Note: “Got”. You hear that all over the media. Never “killed.” Even you fall into the trap, oh War Nerd. Killed is too strong, so they say “get” instead, like it’s a video game or a football game.

    Similar to how the media never say soldiers, only “troops.” “Two troops were shot today….” And it is not an invasion and occupation, it is “going into” and then “our operation in” or similar. All the war-like words are removed.

    All the flag-waving and chest-beating now serves to hide one fact: the U.S. military killed a crime suspect without a trial even after they had caught him. (“He reached for something.” Yeah right, half an hour after his home had been attacked.) It is a crime, whether he was a prisoner of war or a civilian crime suspect. A crime committed in plain sight, broadcasted all over the media, with no one reacting. (“But it was Osama!”)

    Meanwhile, the MILITARY is still allowed to hold suspects imprisoned for years without a trial. Several of which have been shown to be innocent – but no one cares that they were held without a trial.

    Any breach of the rule of law can be used to justify further breaches. And when rule of law is finally lost completely, there is no going back. “You object to being arrested and beaten up for nothing? But we have ALWAYS done it this way.”

  • 33. Homer Erotic  |  May 16th, 2011 at 7:18 am

    WRT top-buttons on dress-shirts: I can relate. Insulin-resistance put a fuck-ton of weight on me, and so of course it made my neck rather fatter. I work in a fucking grocery-store, and corporate’s Donald-Trump-like CEO (whose face adorns the store’s paper and plastic grocery-bags, naturally) has decided that we need to wear dress-shirts and ties now. (I shudder to think of the safety-issues the ties are going to cause the workers in the deli/ bakery department what with all the machines in which ties can get caught back there!) I had to buy 18.5-neck shirts, and even then I needed the extensive assistance of the poor saleswoman who had to put up with me bitching about how much I hate Chairman Donald-Trump-Wannabe, in order to find a brand where I could button the top button. And even then it only buttons after quite a bit of struggle!

  • 34. Tull  |  May 16th, 2011 at 7:28 am

    And there goes my theory that WN and Osama were the same person

  • 35. moorefire  |  May 16th, 2011 at 7:54 am

    sorry to nit-pick, but I figured a fellow nerd would understand:

    Denero was a robber, not a cop, in Heat

    sorry

    Thanks for returning!

  • 36. Osama bin Muhammad bin 'Awad bin Laden  |  May 16th, 2011 at 8:25 am

    The snitch bitch who outed me was Violet Mary Klotz, AKA Mae Clarke, a 2-Rial bar broad – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4R5wZs8cxI
    In that clip, my double got in the first shot, but then the two-timing hammer did an end run and sold me out. Thank Allah the Crusader dicks hit me with just a couple glancing shots, although the one to the dome really smarted.

    But all’s well that ends . . . well, you know. The come-back world tour is back on track, and we’ll be seeing you soon.

    Write this down: Elvis & the Superstars, Branson, June 8.

  • 37. Jack Boot  |  May 16th, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Of course the Pig-Dogs threw in human shields & porn: as Lenin said, an enemy can never be vilified enough…

    Lesbian infiltration’s a killer idea; what better way to get tongues a-wagging?
    Whom to send? I know, I know – Angelina Jolie! In a pinch, she’s versatile enough to handle 3 of the 4 main sexes…

    C’mon, Angie; you must be tiring of being a respectable hepta-mom (or whatever the count is now). Imagine a trip to Af-Pak – men, women & opium, just like old times!
    And, it would make one Hell of a movie…

  • 38. g  |  May 16th, 2011 at 9:04 am

    the king is back

  • 39. Todd Thompson  |  May 16th, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Gary…you’re like my one ex girlfriend who dumped me that I still cant get over. I still have her on my facebook and I creep her profile EVERY HOUR OF EVERY DAY. Once in a blue moon, she messages me, like on my birthday, or on a whim, to catch up. Then my whole week is satiated with a feeling of contentment and I purr like a little kitty that just got offered a can of tuna.

    What I’m saying is, I don’t have much and you have this power to toy with my great need for WN analysis. This will keep me sane for another week or two, I will mentally masturbate to this OBL coverage for sometime, until that empty feeling you get from a sense of abandonment kicks in yet again, and I am back to refreshing the WN page of exiled online.

    Cheers and welcome back

  • 40. Acelin  |  May 16th, 2011 at 10:33 am

    http://af.reuters.com/article/libyaNews/idAFLDE74F20S20110516

    I think someone in Libya’s been reading your columns, WN.

  • 41. Aaron  |  May 16th, 2011 at 11:53 am

    ‘“He’ll be ripped,” says the author of the best-selling autobiography “ Rogue Warrior .” “He’s got a lot of upper-body strength. Long arms. Thin waist. Flat tummy.”’

    Christ, dude, just say you want to fuck him and get it over with. It’s 2011, there’s no shame in being queer any more, and hell, if it was good enough for the Spartans then why shouldn’t it be good enough for SEALs or whatever too?

  • 42. warriorhun  |  May 16th, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Dear War Nerd,

    Glad you kind of noticed the absolute fakery of the Osama home video.
    Take a look at the other videos the Americans “found in his compound”.
    On those videos, on the right down corner, you will see the logo of “As Sahab”, the “Al Qaeda” Media Arm. That is your key to know, this is total fake.
    “As Sahab” means Adam Gadahn aka. Pearlman, an American Jew “converted to Islam, and has risen into the highest ranks of Al Qaeda”. He must have said the Shahada 3 times very convincingly for those “jihadists” to take him in without thinking non-PC stuff, like “Mossad” or “CIA”. “As Sahab” videos used to be found by SITE aka. siteintelgroup on “jihadist websites”, but as it happens the “As Sahab” and SITE logos were put on the videos at the same time in a few cases…
    Which brings us to that “Al-Qaeda” video “confirming the death of Osama”, which was “found” by SITE aka. siteintelgroup, again, same old, same old…
    So, “As Sahab” of Adam Pearlman, and SITE aka. siteintelgroup of Rita Katz, reads Mossad LAP(Lohamah Psichlogit), so there is direct israeli involvement and fakery in the story. “Al Qaeda” was always the IDF “Mistaravim”(=”Playing an Arab”, as in “Arab terrorist”) pseudo-terrorist gangs. The different guys on the different “Bin Laden” videos are just actors.
    The “killing of Osama Bin Laden” is Media psy-ops again to incite violence in Pakistan.

  • 43. Anonymous  |  May 16th, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Rather than describe how much I appreciate this column, I’ll just leave this here: I Paypal’ed my contribution to exiled one minute ago.

  • 44. ridley  |  May 16th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    LOL someone in libya used mannequins on a boat!!!

    http://af.reuters.com/article/libyaNews/idAFLDE74F20S20110516

    NATO says explosives and dummies found on Libya boat

  • 45. bulb  |  May 16th, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    okay, so it took the 1st military power 10 years, 3 choppers, a bunch of highly trained seals to shoot a grandpa in his house. Your tax dollars at work, folks.

    More seriously, what serious evidence is there that proves Osama was actually alive after Tora Bora 2002 ? What do we have apart voice recordings or posts on crappy jihadi forums ?

  • 46. Graham J.  |  May 16th, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Angels with Dirty Faces? Isn’t that the movie that Macaulay Culkin uses as a trap in the first “Home Alone?”

  • 47. Michal  |  May 16th, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    @ 45. What proof do we have he was still alive? Oh I don’t know, at least three different video tapes, witnesses from his own family, that one courier, Al Qaeda announcement, and then there’s the DNA, the photos any senator can see at Langley &c. &c.

    I bloody hate it when conspiracy nuts don’t even bother to use wikipedia.

  • 48. AKAGoldfish  |  May 16th, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    I’m just going to imagine the snitch looks like ‘Big Pussy’ Bonpensiero from the Sopranos. I’ve been re-watching the first couple seasons of the show these past two weeks, so that just feels right to me.

  • 49. ovaut  |  May 16th, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    The government needed the press to go on about the high-tech amazingness of the blackhawks because otherwise how would they have got so deep into Pakistan without the Pakistanis’ consent?

    Which, obviously, they did have.

  • 50. ovaut  |  May 16th, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Gary, we in the UK have a man in government who knows your pain http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=eric+pickles&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1066&bih=777

  • 51. Osama bin Muhammad bin Awad bin Laden  |  May 17th, 2011 at 12:00 am

    @43: Ha ha haaa! You fucking idiot. Just try to make a withdrawal. I, Osama bin Muhammad bin Awad bin Laden, now have your account and PIN numbers. I have control of the horizontal. I control the vertical.

    ما ابنا البكم العاهرة

    مص بلدي ديك

    كنت أجعل اليوم

    Ha ha haaaaaa!

  • 52. gary  |  May 17th, 2011 at 12:29 am

    good article gary,but don’t badmouth jimmy cagney…he used to be a bigshot

  • 53. Cum  |  May 17th, 2011 at 2:07 am

    “Seeing all that great material wasted on mainstream journalists who have got to be the dumbest, most gullible cage-raised pullets ever born.”

    I love you, don’t ever stop being a Nerd of War.

  • 54. Dejo  |  May 17th, 2011 at 2:57 am

    18) There are safety measures in place to stop nukes being used or dismantled by unauthorized personnel. And every nuclear silo, anywhere on the planet, is more secure than Fort Knox. If American fears concerning Pakistan were accurate then the world should’ve experienced several nuclear apocalypses since the collapse of the USSR. What should be more of a concern to Americans is nuclear material from nuclear disposal facilities falling into the wrong hands. But even then the fear of dirty bombs is drastically overestimated. What’s more of threat is the use of depleted uranium in munitions.

  • 55. bulb  |  May 17th, 2011 at 4:24 am

    “Oh I don’t know, at least three different video tapes, witnesses from his own family, that one courier, Al Qaeda announcement, and then there’s the DNA, the photos any senator can see at Langley &c. &c.”

    THREE DIFFERENT VIDEOS ? in 8 years ?

    Are you saying a US senator can’t be bribed, or photos tampered with, or that you can’t morph a voice into anything using DSP ? How much credibility do you want to pin on bin laden relatives or on pakistani information for that matter ? Who did those DNA tests and were they independently confirmed ?

    Just show me ONE verifiable and totally indiscutable proof he indeed was alive after 2002. One.

    But hey, I reckon it’s easier to go with the pre-hashed story than ask yourself a few questions.

  • 56. Mohamed  |  May 17th, 2011 at 5:14 am

    Hey War Nerd,

    How do you feel getting no credit for this story that blatantly plagarises your previous article?

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/05/gadhafis-new-weapon-floating-bombs-filled-with-dummies/

  • 57. Darwinist  |  May 17th, 2011 at 5:47 am

    Bullshitting sport jock is a spec unique to North America.

  • 58. Massel Tov  |  May 17th, 2011 at 6:08 am

    gary:

    osama-bin-dead-a-while died some 8 or 9 years ago at tora bora, presumably of kidney failure.
    did you forget?

  • 59. Tyler  |  May 17th, 2011 at 6:17 am

    New job?

    Let me guess, University of Phoenix has a new elective course on the Marquis de Sade?

  • 60. Jack Boot  |  May 17th, 2011 at 6:56 am

    Here’s Glenn Beck’s next brain-fart:

    “Obama is Osama in blackface!
    Consider: They’re both ectomorphs; both of those beards are obviously fake, and like Clark Kent & Superman, no one has ever seen them together! I mean, isn’t it blindingly obvious?!”

    You read it here first…

  • 61. darthfader  |  May 17th, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Like Mohamed said above, I hope you stick it to Wired for blatantly ripping off your previous article’s content at http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/05/gadhafis-new-weapon-floating-bombs-filled-with-dummies/ .

    I never had an opinion one way or the other about Wired until they helped put Manning in prison.

  • 62. darthfader  |  May 17th, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Although I guess a bigger question about those mannequins might be: does Qaddafi read War Nerd?

  • 63. DrunktankDan  |  May 17th, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Heavy Fuckin Metal! War Nerd is Back!
    Donate you ungrateful fucks! I subscribed (because I don’t have any money. If enough of us sign up they can maybe count on a tiny fraction of their hosting bill being paid? One less headache for Ames, Levine, Dolan etc.
    Donate here:
    http://exiledonline.com/donate.php

  • 64. darthfader  |  May 17th, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    One last comment: it’s dumb for comments here to conclude that Osama couldn’t hide out for a year next to a military base in Pakistan. That seems like the perfect place to hide.

    Remember when everyone on the right flipped shit about that right-wing terrorism study that the U.S. government released? It included information on stings where the Feds pretended to be terrorists and caught soldiers on base selling military equipment. Turns out people in the military often have sympathies toward violent extremism, who knew?

    In other words, if I were a Christian terrorist looking to hide in America, I’d probably shack up in Fayetteville, N.C., right outside Fort Bragg. Anyone who’s been to that town knows what I mean. Don’t forget which state’s residents concealed Eric Rudolph, which is as close an American analogy you’re going to find to this.

  • 65. CP  |  May 17th, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    WN:

    “Paki”? Seriously? What’s next, “Wog”?

    This was at best uncareful, and at worst just thoughtlessly racist.

    Beyond that, the lines about Osama looking like any Pakistani grandpa smells like some serious white-man “all-look-same” bullshit.

    Osama was an Arab, not a Pakistani or Indian. He didn’t look Desi, whether or not he’s wearing a hat that in your mind sort of resembles one that Nehru might have worn.

    You nerd out about far more subtle distinctions than this one, so no excuses, just get it right in the future.

  • 66. my talkative ringpiece  |  May 17th, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Those kids were called the Bowery Boys and were in a ton of movies, still primetime stuff in backward shitholes like Dewey, AZ. They used every conceivable plot; I remember one where they went to work at a date farm, climbing date trees and having date fights etc. (Not to knock a good date fight btw).

    Try tailored shirts. A friend of mine is literally built like Johnny Bravo. He always looks like one of those kids clothes don’t want to stay on, because in terms of clothes he’s shaped really weirdly. There are also little elastic things for top buttons, they’re like a bit of elastic with 2 buttons on it or something.

  • 67. Abdulaziz bin Olaf Finkelstein  |  May 17th, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Ahamdul’allah! the war nerd is back! I love you man. Lech-aim, prosit!

  • 68. Frank  |  May 17th, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Holy mother of baby jesus!
    He’s ALIVE, ALIVE I tell you!
    Praise to the heavens that our chief War Nerd is back!
    Just posting this to show we are not ungrateful Israelites that only moan when you are gone to the mountain! We can celebrate you being back!
    Now please get down to dishing out some real dirt about the whole OBL thing, rather than some inbred moron like Faulkner!
    Pronto! pretty please….

  • 69. Frank  |  May 17th, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    BTW you might not know this:
    Paki is a derogatory slang term for pakistanis in many countries.
    You are using it as an abbreviation, but other people from those places see it as an insult.

  • 70. super390  |  May 17th, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    So what did the people of the Middle East learn from the past 10 years?

    That there’s a time for terrorist provocation, and there’s a time for mass rebellion. But the former is no substitute for the latter.

    It was necessary for bin Laden to rile up the US to expose it to the people of his world as a false idol. But getting America to act dumb is kind of a black box; you don’t necessarily get what you want out of it. People agreed with bin Laden that American domination was one of their problems, but they did not agree with him that imposing an extremely rigid dictatorship was a solution.

    And right now the scoreboard stands:

    Successful jihadist overthrows of US-bitch regimes in the Arab world = 0

    Successful popular overthrows of US-bitch regimes in the Arab world = 2 so far

    The mass-movement record against the rest of the Arab tyrants isn’t bad either; they got the better half of Libya so far, they got Syria and Yemen on the ropes and maybe Jordan will follow. They can’t win in Bahrain but they discredited the regime beyond repair when it turned to Saudi troops for a bailout. Algeria and Morocco, well we’ll see about them. I think the timetable for real change in Saudi advanced about a generation, but that might still put it two generations away.

    That’s vastly beyond what the guerrilla movements were able to accomplish. I think you need a real mass movement first, then after the regime crushes it you build the guerrilla movement.

  • 71. furioso  |  May 17th, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    i concur about the tailored shirts-send me your measurements-i live in south korea-i know a great tailor and ill email you his phone #-he does mail order-about 30 bux per shirt-(itd be over 100 each in usa)

  • 72. Pervez Musharraf  |  May 18th, 2011 at 5:57 am

    You conspiratards are really challenging my sanity. It’s as if there was this Brahman-like entity composed of members of the US Government and the entire world was a mental projection of it.

    For starters, Al-Qaeda is not a fake organization, it exists since 1988 and extensive history of attacks around the world (with increasing sophistication), all reported by Islamic and other media and acknowledged by other terrorist organizations.

    Bin Laden wasn’t dead in 2001. How could he? Do you think his Sunni pals would keep shut about his heroic martyrdom? Do you think that a man that said “Martyrdom is my passion” and “I have lived too long” would instruct them to do so? And it’s not as if the organization depends on him. He’s surrounded by doctors, engineers, marketing experts, etc., and the reason you haven’t heard much from him lately is probably because he has been grooming other successors during this time. Osama never wanted protagonism and he was the most patient man in the world.

    Don’t get me started on 9/11. If you think that a bunch of Arabs couldn’t pull it off, that speaks more to your arrogance and hubris than your skepticism. It’s part of Al Qaeda doctrine to escalate the amount of destruction in every attack on the US. There are likely plans for even worse attacks on US soil, and the reason they haven’t been carried out is because the US is already where bin Laden wanted it: spread out and bankrupt.

    I’d say the reasons we haven’t seen the photos is probably because he was executed at point blank range. The mission was to kill, not capture, apparently, and it makes all the sense in the world. Do you think that giving bin Laden a platform to speak out to the Muslim world while holding trial (maybe for years) in some kangaroo court would benefit US policy?

  • 73. CensusLouie  |  May 18th, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Norma Desmond was the fictional crazed diva actress from the movie Sunset Boulevard. She murders some guy and hallucinates that she’s on a movie set before giving the famous line “I’m ready for my close-up (Mr. DeMille).”

    That’s a…pretty big stretch to make for Osama.

  • 74. Observer  |  May 19th, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Any thoughtful comment on this one, WN?

    http://www.infowars.com/top-us-government-insider-bin-laden-died-in-2001-911-a-false-flag/

    Thanks.

  • 75. Frank  |  May 19th, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Seen this?
    From The Associated Press no less. Seems like a managed “leak”, to make them look like such good guys:

    http://www.navytimes.com/news/2011/05/ap-raiders-knew-mission-a-one-shot-deal-051711/

  • 76. Carpenter  |  May 19th, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    @65: “WN:
    “Paki”? Seriously? What’s next, “Wog”?
    This was at best uncareful, and at worst just thoughtlessly racist.”

    Oh, no. Oh no, oh no, what are we gonna do! Someone said something less than 100 percent respectful to non-Whites! Much like the rap music you giggle at says about Whites, which you never comment on, because you know in which direction the hate should go. Shut the hell up. With that kind of comment you don’t have the IQ to understand Gary’s writings anyway. I suppose you only read it because your brain registers that he says something negative about Western governments, so it must be good.

  • 77. Epsilon  |  May 20th, 2011 at 6:29 am

    Nice. I laughed, I cried, I couldn’t believe it.

    The sad, sad spectacle of watching freakin’ SWPL (the biggest defenders of the “melting pot” BS ideology) hailing their mighty war hero Obama, shaking their pom-poms and chanting “America Fuck Yeah” was almost unwatchable.

    And let’s not forget the easily-debunked-by-a-Google-search “Truthers”.

  • 78. APetteri  |  May 20th, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    @65

    Actually Brecher has been using the term “wog” quite liberally in the past.

    http://www.exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=8627&IBLOCK_ID=35
    http://www.exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=8627&IBLOCK_ID=35&PAGE=2
    http://www.exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=14538&IBLOCK_ID=35
    http://www.exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=14150&IBLOCK_ID=35&PAGE=2

  • 79. tomkow  |  May 21st, 2011 at 8:58 am

    You still owe me an apology.

  • 80. Danny Boy  |  May 23rd, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    I knew that Fog of War talk was bullshit when I saw the now-famous Hillary reaction photo:

    http://socialmediaseo.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/white-house-osama-bin-laden.jpg

    What could they have on a monitor that would shock the Neoliberal Iron Lady? Would it be recon data from a nearby naval vessel? No, too abstract. Maybe realtime IR satellite feed? Not immediate enough. And all the action was inside the house so there would be nothing to see from orbit. Would it have been chopper gun cams? There was no battle on that scale, right? No discharge of heavy weapons. It was all close-quarter firefights and zipties.

    Then there’s only one thing that could have elicited that gasp of shock: the views from the helmet cams. The politicos in the situation room were seeing the First Person Shooter action as relayed through the nearby chopper and bounced off a satellite. There was no “fog”. Couldn’t have been. They saw the whole thing and knew every detail. So all of the contradictory statements about the mission details were just realtime market testing.

    According to The Telegraph, the real details were much more grizzly: they had him alive before dragging him in front of his family, whereupon they offed him like a Blood:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/al-qaeda/8491826/Osama-bin-Laden-captured-alive-before-being-shot-in-front-of-family.html

    Of course the seals knew the CINC would be watching so they were obeying orders to the letter. Capping grandad for realz was the primary objective. What a lot of us peons really wanted was what the administration wanted to avoid: a big, embarrassing show trial. An airing of dirty laundry on all sides. Boy howdy that would have been entertainment.

    No doubt they also wanted to avoid resurrecting the specter of The Gitmo Question.

    Somewhere in the bowels of the Pentagon is all that archived helmet cam footage. I’m sure the seals have copies too. Maybe we’ll get lucky and it’ll show up on wikileaks someday.

  • 81. mike in nc  |  June 14th, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    No one mentioned that it was Pat O’Brien as the priest in Angels with Dirty Faces. So earnest before raping his young trusting boys, Pat looks at Cagney with his big eyes, asks him to be yellow at the chair.
    Barf.
    And Paki is descriptive, short for Pakistani, not derogatory.
    so f u if you read this blog and wilt at “Paki”.

  • 82. Sissy Fit  |  June 19th, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Thank God, my life was getting boring.Welcome back!

  • 83. Chas  |  July 1st, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Re: Fog of Sandhurst (presumably to imply british bozoism is attributable to their pathetic educational system)
    Churchill was a college drop-out despite being on the upper-class twit cakewalk track from birth. Whether he even finished “public” school is debatable. He was a consummate politician, however, which translates to being a backstabber alternating with boot-licker whenever necessary, never too far from his mum and dad’s many strings. Prior to his triumph at Gallipoli, his militay genius was honed in the Boer Wars in South Africa where he is credited with inventing the concentration camp, at the time, death enclosures specially constructed for Boer (Duch Arikaaners) women and children to encourage their incorrigible husbands to stop their hugely successful guerrilla campaign (a Boers’ invention BTW) against the British and come in meekly and give themselves up, a tactic which worked amazingly well against an otherwise unbeatable opponent. Another tour-de-force was the “stunning victory” in the so-called Battle of Britain where the british who, by that time having become accustomed to constantly having their pants handed to them by the germans, were astonished to learn, from that pillar of integrity, Churchill, himself, that they actually beat the germans of all things. Of course things would return to normal soon enough, getting pants-ed in Crete, North Africa, etc. but Churchill had confirmed for himself by whatever means necessary, that without question he was – savior of the british empire

  • 84. what what  |  July 23rd, 2011 at 10:17 am

    I was of the uninformed opinion that OBL got found because they had a bunch more younger, more competent people to fill his shoes and dragging him around and putting resources into hiding him was a burden.

    War fucking sucks.55

  • 85. Cotton Rat  |  August 18th, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Gary, great stuff. Ben a fan since the France article on the old site. Are you going to do a follow up on the New Yorker article about the raid?

    And yes, a snitch is the hero. Nice we have someone smart enough to find one in our intelligence services.

    Any ideas how Osama’s death will affect the flagging morale of military families and possibly the upcoming election?

  • 86. rezaul622  |  October 28th, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    This perverse headline leaves you wondering what the hell are they talking about.

  • 87. Jimmy  |  June 1st, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Pak SSG did Osama. Pakistan is not exactly a homogenous state and ISI and Pak army aren’t exactly homogenous organizations either. Its worse than a feudal state with rouge’s in every corner. SSG found him and killed him and the Pak Prez knows the nation will burn like an LA riot if his own Army takes the cred, so he calls up the man and says “Obama, you guys take the cred on this so they hate you and not me and I’ll score some points on calling you down in our press, savy?”

    Obama says “yeah sure good idea just let us make it sound like a shit show with no back up and we’ll scatter a fake tail fin assembly around the place so we can throw the Chinese off of what we’re really cooking, HA!! That’ll throw their countermeasures program off a few years, and build some cred for that double agent we flipped and fed the fake blue prints.”

    Shiiiiit! You think SEALs did it?!


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