Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Video: How Osama bin Laden was killed NewsX

Breaking News: President Obama Releases Osama Bin Laden Death Photo

The White House and President Barack Obama have decided to release at least one photo showing that former master terrorist Osama Bin Laden is in fact dead.

The release of the ‘death photo’ will likely be extremely controversial.  There will be Islamic extremists who will take the release as extremely offensive and possibly use it to recruit to al-Qaeda.

Political extremists here in the United States will probably try to use the President’s decision to release the photo as ammunition to attack the President or ‘War on Terror.’

The Drudge Report was the first to break the news that the White House was in fact going to release the image to the press.

Obama likely is releasing the photo to squash rumors that Bin Laden is still alive or that they killed the wrong man.
The photo shows a bullet wound to the skull, above his left eye.
Osama (Usama) bin Laden had been the FBI’s #1 Most Wanted Man for several years since September 11, 2001.

The photo will be one of the most viewed photos in human history.  It likely will become the #1 best selling urinal cake as well!

Video of Bin Laden’s burial at sea might also be released according to ABC News.
[source: Drudge Report/Breaking News]

Alleged Gangster NJ Lawyer Trial Set for October

Ted Sherman at the NJ Star Ledger reports that the long-awaited trial of former high-profile Newark lawyer Paul Bergrin (pic) is now set for October 11, 2011.  What follows is from Sherman's piece on Bergrin: 

Paul Bergrin, the once-prominent Newark lawyer facing charges ranging from murder-for-hire to running of high-end call girl operation, got a new trial date today after a federal appeals court reinstated racketeering charges against him.

Held without bail since his arrest, Bergrin sat impassively in blue prison scrubs and shackles as U.S. District Judge William Martini in Newark said jury selection in the case, long delayed by appeals, would start Oct. 11.

Bergrin, 55, was a former federal prosecutor turned high-profile defense attorney whose clients included entertainers like Queen Latifah and Lil’ Kim, as well as U.S. soldiers accused of war crimes in Iraq.

But in 2009, authorities charged him in a bizarre, sweeping indictment that included accusations of the attempted murder of witnesses, his alleged role in a prostitution ring, mortgage fraud and cocaine distribution.

Prosecutors said Bergrin used his law office like a mob operation. They said he sought to hire a hit man from Chicago to kill at least one witness in a Monmouth County drug case he was handling. He was also charged with conspiring to murder an FBI informant who was supposed to testify against another one of Bergrin’s clients — many of whom were drug dealers and gang members.

Several of those charged with Bergrin have quietly pleaded guilty and implicated him in court proceedings. Last August, another lawyer charged in the case, Thomas Moran, admitted he helped run Bergrin’s operation, which authorities say also involved mortgage fraud and drug-running.  And in October, Vicente Esteves, a Monmouth County cocaine trafficker, pleaded guilty as well and claimed he conspired with Bergrin to murder a witness.  Those cases were not publicized by the U.S. Attorney’s office, generating speculation Moran and Esteves may now be cooperating with the government. The U.S. Attorney’s office has declined to comment about the cases.

Last year, [Judge] Martini dismissed the racketeering charges against Bergrin.

'There is little on the face of the indictment demonstrating relatedness among the varied white-collar frauds and street crimes offered by the government,' Martini wrote, finding the charges were not the work of one coordinated enterprise.  But the U.S. Attorney’s office challenged the ruling and earlier this month, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the racketeering charges. Bergrin’s attorney, Lawrence S. Lustberg, said he is seeking a review of the decision.
Simple Justice blawger, Scott H. Greenfield commented yesterday at Bad Lawyer on how it is that a federal judge can reasonably reject a plea deal as being too lenient yet remain impartial, a seeming contradiction.  Scott observed that one hoped that the Judge would also remain concerned with governmental overreach in charging a criminal defendant where the Judge found such overreach.  In US v. Bergrin, there is an example of a defendant having the full force and weight of the government come down on him, and a federal judge acting to check charges that go beyond the evidence.  Or so it seems. 

Teva Pharmaceutical offers $6.8 billion for Cephalon

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, seeking to enhance a specialty drug portfolio, skeleton to acquire Cephalon Inc. for $6.8 billion.

Teva, that is formed in Israel, has a vast production plant in Irvine. That plant resumed operation in Apr after shutting for a year following a warning by a Food and Drug Administration over quality-control problems.
Sales of Copaxone, used in a diagnosis of mixed sclerosis, constituted about 30%
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NFL star upset at Osama bin Laden’s death

You decide.

Rashard Mendenhall,  running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was in the news a while back for his support of Adrian Peterson’s claim that the NFL treatment of their players was like slavery.  Now, he lets loose some new thoughts regarding the killing of Osama Bin Laden.  Damn!  The truthers are everywhere.
So, I assume Mendenhall will not be voting for Obama in 2012.
From Yahoo Sports

Rashard Mendenhall isn’t convinced bin Laden was involved in 9/11

By Chris Chase
Fresh on the heels of his support of Adrian Peterson’s “NFL as slavery” analogy, Rashard Mendenhall(notes) has taken what’s certain to be another popular position: defending Osama bin Laden.
Let’s go to the Tweets:

 Is it really amazing that people can hate someone they’ve never heard talk? Was there no hatred before radio? Were people in the U.S. in 1865 ambivalent about John Wilkes Booth because they’d never been to one of his plays and/or didn’t have DVD players? There’s an intellectual conversation at the root of Mendenhall’s initial point — how much should we celebrate the death of a terrorist? — but judging by his other comments, let’s chalk that up to accident. (Plus, who hasn’t heard bin Laden’s voice? His videos have been played countless times in the past decade.)

No, no, Rashard, I think you’re confusing the destruction of the Twin Towers with the end of “The Sopranos.” We all know how the World Trade Center building came down. Two huge planes were flown directly into them and started fires that compromised the structural integrity of the building’s steel thus leading to each to collapse on itself.

Mendenhall wrote another Tweet that cast doubt on whether bin Laden was even involved in 9/11. “I’m not convinced he was even behind the attacks we have really seen no evidence to prove it other than the gov telling us,” he wrote.

by Ginger

Lil Wayne, Drake, and Chris Brown to Perform at Summer Jam

Lil Wayne and Drake
It’s shaping up to be a hot summer. Lil Wayne, Drake, and Chris Brown have been announced as performers for Hot 97’s annual Summer Jam concert.

This year’s lineup also includes Birdman and Young Money, Dipset, Rick Ross, Fabolous, Lloyd Banks and friends, Wiz Khalifa, and Waka Flocka Flame. The New York radio station-hosted show will take place on Sunday, June 5, at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The hip-hop fest has featured memorable appearances in the past from Michael Jackson, who joined Jay-Z onstage, as well as Eminem, Kanye West, and the late Notorious B.I.G.

Fallout from Bin Laden's Death and What Did Pakistan Know?

Fallout from the death of Osama bin Laden continues to ripple throughout the world. Bin Laden's burial at sea has been criticized, even though that's a far better fate than the nearly 3,000 who were murdered at the World Trade Center. Some criticize that the US was too respectful, while others claim the US was not respectful enough. To me, that says that the US got it right - and I believe that the burial at sea was necessary to eliminate any possibility that his burial site could be treated as a rallying point.

As new details of the raid continue to leak out, the real questions are being pointed in the direction of Pakistan. What did they know and when did they know that bin Laden was living large in their country?

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari submitted an op-ed in the Washington Post today in response to the US mission that killed Osama bin Laden in the town of Abbotabad, just miles from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.
Let us be frank. Pakistan has paid an enormous price for its stand against terrorism. More of our soldiers have died than all of NATO’s casualties combined. Two thousand police officers, as many as 30,000 innocent civilians and a generation of social progress for our people have been lost. And for me, justice against bin Laden was not just political; it was also personal, as the terrorists murdered our greatest leader, the mother of my children. Twice he tried to assassinate my wife. In 1989 he poured $50 million into a no-confidence vote to topple her first government. She said that she was bin Laden’s worst nightmare — a democratically elected, progressive, moderate, pluralistic female leader. She was right, and she paid for it with her life.

Some in the U.S. press have suggested that Pakistan lacked vitality in its pursuit of terrorism, or worse yet that we were disingenuous and actually protected the terrorists we claimed to be pursuing. Such baseless speculation may make exciting cable news, but it doesn’t reflect fact. Pakistan had as much reason to despise al-Qaeda as any nation. The war on terrorism is as much Pakistan’s war as as it is America’s. And though it may have started with bin Laden, the forces of modernity and moderation remain under serious threat.

My government endorses the words of President Obama and appreciates the credit he gave us Sunday night for the successful operation in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa. We also applaud and endorse the words of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that we must “press forward, bolstering our partnerships, strengthening our networks, investing in a positive vision of peace and progress, and relentlessly pursuing the murderers who target innocent people.” We have not yet won this war, but we now clearly can see the beginning of the end, and the kind of South and Central Asia that lies in our future.

Only hours after bin Laden’s death, the Taliban reacted by blaming the government of Pakistan and calling for retribution against its leaders, and specifically against me as the nation’s president. We will not be intimidated. Pakistan has never been and never will be the hotbed of fanaticism that is often described by the media.
Zardari is in a real tough position right now. He's got to simultaneously defend his country from claims that he was harboring al Qaeda's top dog, claiming that he was providing assistance (unidentified and uncorroborated by US officials who have studiously stated that they shared no aspects of this mission with any other country, including Pakistan), and has to be worried that the Islamists will try to topple his government because of its existing ties with the US (a belief that the government is complicit with the US even if there was no actual). Given the way that Pakistanis love their conspiracy theories (even more than the nutjobs who think Osama wasn't real, wasn't killed, or any permutation thereof), all kinds of speculation is rampant in Pakistan right now over what Pakistan's government knew and when did they know of it.

Fact is, no one really knows what the Pakistani government knew about bin Laden's location, but it is highly suspicious that he was able to live in relative comfort in a compound just yards from the country's military academy and where military personnel go to retire. It is plausible that members of the military or the ISI were complicit in keeping bin Laden's whereabouts hidden but it once again indicates the difficulty of trusting the Pakistani government to reveal key details. Those questions are being asked by members of Congress on both sides of the aisle - and they have good reason to ask those questions. Similar questions are being asked by other countries, including the UK.

Zardari is right to state that his country has been ravaged by Islamic terrorists, particularly Taliban and al Qaeda. Yet, each time the Pakistani government (whether under Zardari or his predecessor, Pervez Musharraf) cracks down, it doesn't go far enough to eliminate the threat. It does just enough - anything more and the Islamists in the Pakistani government (Parliament, military, ISI) would thwart further action.

He further claims that radical Islamist parties make up a small fraction of his government, but that overlooks those other groups that lean towards radicalism and who do not condone crackdowns against the Islamists.

Pakistan barely maintains control over the frontier provinces, which are overrun with Taliban and have hosted al Qaeda for years on end. Efforts to thwart the Taliban have met with mixed success - and the body count among Pakistani soldiers is quite high and

The country can't align itself too greatly with the US for fear of assassinations or coups to install a more Islamist government, but doing nothing allows the Islamists free reign in the frontier provinces.

The question of what Pakistan knew and who knew might be revealed in the treasure trove of intel captured by the special forces team that carried out the mission. They recovered numerous computers, hard drives, thumb drives, and other intel that can be critical to unraveling the logistical network and other contacts, as well as identifying other key members and locations. It could also shed light on other planned or contemplated targets.

Bin Laden's death may also result in a reappraisal of ongoing military operations by the ISAF in Afghanistan, including the possible withdrawal of troops earlier than 2014. I think that would be a serious mistake, considering that al Qaeda and the Taliban remain a serious threat, and allowing them safe haven is a mistake.

Did the Saudis (order Pakistan to) sell out Bin Laden?

Osama Bin Laden apparently lived in Pakistan for much of the past ten years. With all due respect to President Obama's pride in the US forces who got Bin Laden, it should be obvious to all that the United States suddenly found Bin Laden now because someone chose to turn him in. But who? Asia Times' Spengler blog believes that Bin Laden's activities in Yemen were threatening Saudi interests, and therefore the Saudis ordered the Pakistanis - who may yet be the principal Sunni ally for Saudi Arabia - to turn Bin Laden in.
In short, while al-Qaeda had drawn funding from both Saudi and Iranian sources, in present circumstances its activity tended to serve Iranian rather than Saudi interests. Support for terrorism, moreover, is a two-way street: precisely because Saudi Arabia was "a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda", Saudi intelligence knows something about the recipients of their money.

The Saudis, moreover, have an interest in cleaning up the terrorist associations of the Pakistani military. As the Saudi cold war with Iran grows increasingly hot, Riyadh may look towards Islamabad for military support. Asia Times Online has reported that the Bahrain National Guard already is recruiting Pakistani mercenaries. (See Pakistan ready for Middle East role, April 2.)

And there is speculation that Saudi Arabia in a pinch might ask for Pakistani troops, and also that Riyadh might source nuclear weapons technology from Pakistan to counter Iran's nuclear program. Where else might the Saudis go for support in a war with Iran? The Saudis cannot trust the United States. King Abdullah reportedly was enraged that Obama pulled the rug out from under Mubarak, a longstanding American ally. And they cannot trust the Turks, who have become the region's spoiler.

Pakistan's military capacity and urgent need for money make it the Sunni power most amenable to Saudi interests. That is one more reason to clear the deck of unreliable elements like Bin Laden.

Ironically, Bin Laden appears to be a casualty in the great Arab breakdown of 2011. We can only guess as to the details of his demise, and may never know the entire truth. But it is a fair conclusion that he was crushed between the tectonic plates now shifting in the Muslim world.
Read the whole thing.

posted by Carl in Jerusalem