Funding Nicholas Schmidle
Nicholas Schmidle emphasizes that the bin Laden kill was a CIA operation not that of special forces whose members called it an easy job. CIA brains, special ops muscle: that is how the CIA views special forces. Schmidle’s story is about the CIA’s capabilities about finding and targeting OBL, deliberately omitting or deflecting means and methods of doing that by fattening the role of special forces as a crowd-pleaser. Some clues:
1. He writes the special forces did not have a floor plan of the bin Laden house. Not true: the construction drawings were available at the local building department and it is conventional tradecraft to get them for a targeted facilities. A British newpaper Independent got the drawings shortly after the raid (a third floor added later). These detailed plans show the underground septic system for the house, a favorite means of gathering DNA and other evidence of occupants, as well as running sensors up the waste lines. CIA had been active in the area for months gathering that kind of intelligence and more.
2. CIA has a slew of sensors to establish who occupies a structure, where they are located, what they talk about, when they eat and sleep. Sensors that read signals of window panes from distance, sensors down plumbing ventilation piping, sensors attached to plumbing and electrical systems, sensors attached to reinforcing bars sticking out of the top of the bin Laden House, sensors on drones and in nearby structures and heaved over and buried in the walls and dropped on the roof. Sensors in food supplies and medicines and clothing and vehicles. Tunnels under the house, piece of cake, water table not a barrier. Remote capture of emanations from electronic devices and video displays. Odor, acoustics, vibration, bribery, coercion, much more, standard spin to obscure capabilities like these and others more advanced with pulp fiction. The kill site photos:
3. A main reason CIA wanted into the house after the killing was to removed sensors, many of which were not revealed to the special forces.
4. Not true that drones, sats and ground-based cameras could not photograph bin Laden sufficiently to identify him. This technology is commonplace. Denials are silly. Hill behind the house overlooking the bin Laden walled terrace:
5. Not true a special forces member shot bin Laden twice before he hit the floor. The eye shot, if true, was delivered to a wounded geezer by an automaton pumped on adrenaline and dreams of glory who then ejaculated a scream of triumph. This may be pull-leg fiction fed to Schmidle by the embarrassed “beasts” (CIA term for special forces) or concocted in CIA-SOCOM PR.
6. Nearly all special forces missions in Pakistan are based on CIA intelligence using technical and human means that are never disclosed to special forces in order to avoid disclosure if one or more of the beasts are captured for torture or killed carrying documents.
7. Not true that the crashed chopper faced an unexpected development. Settling in the downwash is a common feature of emergency training even at low altitude and surrounded by walls — urban warfare requires it. Something else caused the crash, not yet known, most likely pilot error due to excessive adrenaline or stimulants like those carried by special forces.
8. Not true that there was no certainty about bin Laden’s presence and location in the house — to the CIA. After months of certainty the only open question was when would be the most politically useful time to kill him after milking hunt funding for a decade.
9. These and other gaps and insinuations and segues in Schmidle’s story assure that CIA and other spin-masters most certainly shaped his account into the exact narrative he delivered, to pretend that most of it came from special forces who were apparently duped into the embellishing the scam or accepting the dumb-down role as the usual CIA mythmaking. It has beguiled the public perfectly, but is way too pat to withstand skeptical scrutiny. Those who know the CIA’s standard operating procedure for maximizing credit through coded disclosure can decrypt as needed for continuing revelations to compliant outlets.
Funding Nicholas Schmidle
Financial sponsors of Nicholas Schmidle, Institute of Current World Affairs (ICWA — founded in 1932) and New America Foundation (NAF — founded in 1998), both DC-based, are among the dozens, perhaps hudnreds, of non-profits involved in international and domestic affairs who fund scholars, researchers, journalists and writers to travel and report.
Schmidle is an interesting person. He did exceptional reporting from Pakistan while being funded by ICWA, visited some of the most dangerous areas of the country, and was booted by Pakistan in early 2008 for unexplained reasons.
From the ICWA Tax Report - 2008:
Schmidle, now a fellow at NAF, from the NAF Tax Report - 2009: