Osama bin Laden

2011-05-07 This Week in WikiLeaks - @MichaelKBusch on the Pakistan Cables, bin Laden & the Gitmo Files [Update:1]

ImageEdited podcast now posted.

This week's podcast features Michael K. Busch, who teaches international relations at the City College of New York, where he is also program coordinator at the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies. He has been covering the Gitmo Files in detail. He has also covered released cables on his site WikiBlogged, and he is listed as a resource in the back of Greg Mitchell's published book, "Age of WikiLeaks," which you can purchase in print on Blurb.com or in e-book form off of Amazon. [Follow him on Twitter @michaelkbusch]

On the program, we discuss the killing of Osama bin Laden in the context of the Pakistan Cables that one media organization, The Hindu (in India), covered extensively. We also talk about the files Busch has covered extensively and what his thoughts are on the release in general. And, the show discusses the Journal's newly launched SafeHouse, a WikiLeaks-imitation website it hopes "sources" will "leak" to like "sources" have leaked to WikiLeaks. [For more on this, WL Central coverage can be found here.]

2011-05-06 Decision to Not Release bin Laden Death Photos Rests on Same Dubious Logic Used Against WikiLeaks

I recently wrote a diary that I posted on DailyKos, which led to the banning of a DailyKos user and provoked suggestions that I might be a Republican. It had people calling me “asshole” and many were grading my post on a high school grading scale. The diary called for the release of bin Laden's death photos. (I posted it here at WL Central.)

It really doesn’t matter to me if you call me names or if you grade my post. If it promotes debate, fine. Do as you please. But, given the comments and suggestions that I now have no career unless I go work for Fox News, I feel obligated to further explain my position on releasing the bin Laden death photos. I also feel compelled to respond to many of the smartly argued and not so smartly argued comments that were posted in response.

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I view everything surrounding the killing of bin Laden to be necessary to deciding whether to release the photos or not. In that sense, President Obama’s good decision to not give a speech at Ground Zero in New York yesterday should help inform the debate. What he did by not giving a speech was what someone like former President George W. Bush would not have had the courage to do: he chose, in that moment, to not exploit 9/11 and use it to further advance the national security agenda of America.

2011-05-05 Release the Dead Bin Laden Photos


Celebration Photos Just as Likely to Inflame ‘Terrorists’ as Bin Laden Death Photos

 The decision to not release photos of a dead and fatally wounded Osama bin Laden rests on at tenuous set of reasons that rest purely on Beltway conventional wisdom.

The argument that the release of photos could inflame the Middle East has been made before (recall the Obama Administration blocked the release of “torture photos” in May 2009 that the ACLU was seeking to obtain through a Freedom of Information Act request). Greg Mitchell with The Nation reminds Americans of the debate that surrounded the decision to release photos of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi after his death.

Jon Stewart made a good point last night on “The Daily Show":

2011-02-01 Cable: Spanish Politician Used for Bin Laden Photo Was Source of Tension Between U.S., Spain

Gaspar Llamazares, a Spanish politician and member of the Communist Party of Spain, is the focus of part of a recent cable released by WikiLeaks.

The cable from Madrid covers a meeting between Ambassador Solomont and Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba that touched on several topics including Haiti, Al Qaeda, training of security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq and Guantanamo detainees. It also featured a conversation on Llamazares, whose photo had days ago been reported to have been used by an FBI forensic artist “to create an age-processed image of Osama bin Laden" for a "Rewards for Justice" website featuring photos of most wanted terrorists.

From 10MADRID49 on January 18, 2010:

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