Unredacted Guantanamo files show clearly that the trail
to Abbottabad was known to the US intelligence services
at least since 2005, when al-Libi, another Abbottabad
dweller, was captured.
Cross and Double
Cross of Gitmo
Timing is everything. The US
President announced killing of Osama bin Laden just as
Wikileaks completed its publication of Guantanamo files.
Was it coincidence? If not, what was the connection?
An answer to this question is
directly connected with the cross and double cross
accusations exchanged in the murky world where the
intelligence services meet mainstream media.
Publication of the US secret papers,
the Guantanamo Files, was done almost simultaneously by
two competing media groups, namely:
One was the Wikileaks of Julian Assange
and their partners The Washington Post, The
Daily Telegraph, the French Le Monde.
Another one was The New York Times, The
Guardian, the Israeli Haaretz.
The Guardian said of the files: “They were obtained by
the New York Times, who shared them with the
Guardian, which is publishing extracts today, having
redacted information which might identify informants.
The New York Times says the files were made
available to it not by Wikileaks, but "by another source
on the condition of anonymity".
made more of it: “A few media outlets, including The New
York Times, the Guardian and Haaretz, obtained the
documents from an independent source without the help of
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is under house
arrest in Britain awaiting his appeal not to be
extradited to Sweden, where he faces charges of rape and
sexual assault.” The Guardian’s David Leigh
twitted “double-crossing Assange!”
Now we’ll give you the story behind
the story: who crossed and double crossed whom, which
information was redacted and how did it lead to OBL?
In the beginning, the source was one;
allegedly Private First Class Manning or whoever it was
who got it and transferred to the Wikileaks of
Julian Assange. The entire file is still far from being
published – a big part of it was encrypted and uploaded
as Julian Assange’s Insurance file. Assange published
two tranches of that: the
War Diary: Afghanistan War Logs and
War Diary: Iraq War Logs. He prepared publication of
the third tranche: a huge collection of the State
Department cables (Cablegate:
250,000 US Embassy Diplomatic Cables) in the
At that time, the data river forked.
The treasure trove was copied by a Wikileaks
German employee Daniel Dumshit-Berg who got AWOL after
this profitable appropriation. Dumshit made a deal with
David Leigh of the Guardian; Leigh used it to
cross Assange. He cold-shouldered Assange, declared the
deal ‘void’, and used the data to promote his career and
to make friends with Bill Keller of the NY Times. They
published the cables after redacting them, or should we
say “censoring” – they removed everything the secret
services demanded to remove. We wrote about it at length
here in CounterPunch.
Julian Assange succeeded to regain
some lost ground: he established new partnerships, with
the Daily Telegraph and others. The cables were
being published all the time. And then Assange learned
that the Guardian and the New York Times
plan to publish the Guantanamo files. There was no time
to lose: in a few days, the Wikileaks team prepared the
files and began to upload. So did the competitors,
possessing the Dumshit-appropriated copy. This was the
double-cross per Leigh.
The Guardian and the New
York Times had a big and skilful staff, a lot of
research, rich archives. But they decided to play ball
with the secret services of their countries,
redacting “information which might identify informants.”
What a hutzpah! Sometimes, the identity of “informants”
is more important than the information.
For instance in the file of
Adil Hadi al Jaz’iri Leigh and Keller removed the
name of the informant
To their misfortune and to our advantage, at this time
the Wikileaks and the Guardian/NY Times were not a
loving couple but two competing enterprises. And the
Wikileaks published this file in full, warts and all.
Here is the name in full:
Abu Zubaydah the informer was the subject of intensive
here that makes clear: this unfortunate man was
tortured by the CIA, with permission of the US medics
and Bush administration, to the point of the total
collapse of his personality. He was one of the High
Value Detainees; all of them suffered tortures beyond
our ability to comprehend. Information they provided was
not only unacceptable in court, it was of nil value
because they said everything their tormentors wanted in
order to gain a moment of peace.
Andy Worthington wrote: Since then,
more compelling evidence has emerged to demonstrate
that Abu Zubaydah was indeed nothing more than a
“safehouse keeper” with mental health problems, who
“claimed to know more about al-Qaeda and its inner
workings than he really did”… “The United States would
torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap,
screaming, at every word he uttered,” further
confirmation was also provided that his torture yielded
no significant information and led only to vast amounts
of the intelligence agencies’ time being wasted on false
leads. A year ago, summing up the results of Zubaydah’s
torture, a former intelligence official stated, bluntly,
“We spent millions of dollars chasing false alarms.”
Removal of his name by Leigh-Keller gang was not “caring
about informers”, it was caring about the torturers.
However the most important redactions by Leigh and
Keller were directly dictated by the US intelligence
services. The name of Nashwan Abd Al Razzaq Abd Al Baqi,
or by another name, Abd al Hadi al Iraqi or by his
IZ-10026 was edited away from the file of Abu al-Libi
(US9LY-010017DP) and elsewhere. This file is available
redacted version of the Guardian and in the
uncut version of Wikileaks. Comparison shows to what
extent all the traces of al Iraqi were removed. It was
not connected to “caring about informers”, for al Libi
was dead, allegedly committed suicide in a Libyan jail
just before the arrival of the US Ambassador in Tripoli.
The file of al Iraqi is missing in all databases; he was
captured in 2005 and kept in various secret prisons,
until transferred to Guantanamo where he is detained
Careful reading of the file shows that al-Libi was connected with
al Iraqi since October 2002. In 2003, OBL stated al Libi
would be the official messenger between OBL and others
In mid-2003, al Libi moved his family to Abbottabad,
Pakistan and worked between Abbottabad and Peshawar. He
maintained contact with al Iraqi.
And we know that OBL was found and killed in Abbottabad – just as
this publication hit the pages of the newspapers. So the
trail to Abbottabad was known to the American services
at least since 2005, when al-Libi, another Abbottabad
dweller, was captured.
What we do not know is the nature of the contacts between the US
authorities and OBL. Were they kissing friends? Was OBL
run by the CIA? Did the US fake his killing and moved
him to even safer destination after the Wikileaks
publication made his trail hot? Or did the heads of the
US Secret services decided that there is no destination
as safe as netherworld, and killed OBL in order to hide
all the traces? They treated him kindly and honorably:
they did not show him with purple-painted gums, he was
not dressed in the demeaning orange jumpsuit, he was not
waterboarded to oblivion, he was not humiliated.
What we do know is that David Leigh and Bill Keller
tried to hid it from their readers. Their redacting of
the Guantanamo files, like their redacting of the
Cablegate, had nothing to do with “saving informers”.
Instead of admitting that they
redacted the files and the cables for perfectly valid
reason of being in cahoots with big business and with
intelligence services, the editors say they cared for
informers and removed sex charge claims. Somehow, when
they wrote about Julian Assange, they did not remove sex
charge claims, they rather attenuated them.
claimed that Assange "double-crossed" the paper by
distributing the Gitmo files to various "right-wing"
news organisations, meaning the conservative Daily
Telegraph. This is rich. “Left” and “right” has very
little meaning nowadays, after Blair and Clinton. What
is important is the position on wars and overseas
interventions, susceptibility to the Secret Service
meddling, subservience to the priority of the state.
In France, right-wing Marine Le Pen
stands against foreign interventions in Libya and Cote
d’Ivoire, against payments to bankers, against the
President, while left-wing Bernard Henri Levy supports
wars and interventions, loves bankers, is a friend of
the President “right-wing” Sarkozy.
In England, the Guardian is
the leading newspaper for calls to war. Libya, Syria –
the Guardian wants them bombed. Afghanistan,
Serbia, Iraq, - the Guardian wanted them to be
invaded. It is just the package is different: instead of
right-wing jingoism, the Guardian served the
neo-colonialist adventurism under delicate sauce of
humanitarian intervention. The Guardian leads on
The Guardian is not the newspaper of
the left; it is the problem of the left. The case of
Guantanamo files proves that the Guardian redacted the
most vital information as told by the CIA.
And Osama? What about Osama bin
Laden? Now we know that the US knew of his whereabouts;
they knew of the trail, they asked Leigh and Keller to
remove relevant references. Why didn’t they capture him
or kill him earlier?
OBL’s organisation did what the US
authorities wanted to be done. They fought the Russians
and ruined Afghanistan. They conspired and fought
against Hezbollah, slaughtered Shias in Iraq, undermined
Qaddafi, hated Hamas and Iran. They supported ethnic
cleansing of ‘infidels’ in Chechnya and in the Balkans.
They never ever attacked Israel: they preserved their
vigour for Sayyed Nasrallah. Like a dreadful beast
nurtured in the CIA secret labs, only once they
reportedly rebelled against their merciless creator - on
9/11. Osama was greater than, but similar to such
American friends as Jonas Savimbi of Angola or Shamil
Basayev of Chechnya, and hopefully after his death his
organisation will vanish like Unita and Basayev bands
The Guantanamo files reveal utter
wretchedness of Osama’s unlucky followers. With
exception of a few dozen close associates, the rest of
the prisoners made a wrong choice ever listening to him.
They (especially foreigners) were idealists, who wanted
to establish Kingdom of God upon the earth; they were
encouraged by the US to flock to Afghanistan to fight
the Commies. Majority of them never even had a chance
to hold the gun. They, the foreigners in Afghanistan and
Pakistan were sold for bounty to the Americans as fast
as possible. They paid for this by years of torture. And
now they are about to learn that their supreme chief was
safeguarded by the same Americans who tortured them!
But in the mind of the Muslim masses
OBL will be remembered (justly or not) as the architect
of the only successful response of the oppressed to the
Empire on its own soil. And that ensured him greatness
of his own and a place in history.