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May 8, 2005 12:25 AM   Subscribe

“What I remember of him is he used to make the coffee and do the photocopying.” A flattering portrait of 'Bin Laden general' Abu Faraj al-Libbi, the 4th Al-Qaida #3 man captured so far.
posted by greatgefilte (42 comments total)

 
It's just like Abu Gharib: we'll get to the bottom of it, if we even get the right people, but we certainly won't bother to get to the top.

Taking out the Goldsteins in Al-Qaeda who actually have an impact on the organization would mean the war on terror would need to be officially shut down, and that would be bad for business.

How else would we be able to let our fearless leader dismantle our Constitution and feed military and energy contractors juicy kickbacks? We've got FedCards to hand out and shareholders' mouths to feed, citizen.
posted by AlexReynolds at 12:55 AM on May 8, 2005


I cannot help but think of The Power of Nightmares when I think of Bin Laden, now.

Less of a mastermind, more of a benefactor of wrongheaded causes (a malefactor, if you will, though I think that the meaning has been ill-defined for its etymological roots).
posted by dreamsign at 12:57 AM on May 8, 2005


I think that is right, to a real degree, dreamsign.

When I hear an article such as this one talk seriously about this guy being "Al-Qaeda’s commander of operations in Europe" I can't help but think somebody is being played for a fool.

AQ commander of operations in Europe? Give me a fucking break; they're a rag-tag bunch of extremists that band together now and again by saying "aye" to some umbrella organization.
posted by teece at 1:52 AM on May 8, 2005


Well, I feel safer.
posted by Colloquial Collision at 2:28 AM on May 8, 2005


Crikey -- how many number 3 me do they have? It's worse than I'd feared!
posted by nthdegx at 3:43 AM on May 8, 2005


As Bin Laden's #4 man, I'm pissed to find out that he has so many #3's. Pissed.
posted by DaShiv at 3:56 AM on May 8, 2005


No one is safe , not even coffee granules.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:23 AM on May 8, 2005


"What I remember of Hermann Goering is that he used to run the office NCAA pool and he brought in Krispy Kremes on people's birthdays."
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 4:55 AM on May 8, 2005


AlexReynolds writes

Taking out the Goldsteins...

What does that mean? Goldstein?
posted by artanis at 5:45 AM on May 8, 2005


What does that mean? Goldstein?


Goldstein is the arch-enemy of "The Party" in 1984. He represents everything The Party is at war against...and gives the people a concrete object of hatred since most of them don't actually care to think about the ideas involved. He is the boogeyman that wants to destroy "our precious way of life." He is the image that can be flashed on the television to get the people riled up into a patriotic frenzy and make them want to see blood.
posted by leapingsheep at 6:05 AM on May 8, 2005


And Goldstein and Big Brother used to be best buddies.

But that was never true of Bin Laden. Just ask the CIA, they'll tell you they never met the guy.

From the Times article:
One American official tried to explain the absence of al-Libbi’s name on the wanted list by saying: “We did not want him to know he was wanted.”
1984 comedy gold.
posted by warbaby at 6:22 AM on May 8, 2005


warbaby -- no, it makes perfect sense. Why do you think Bush so rarely mentions bin Laden by name? If we don't talk about him, he won't know we're after him. Hell, if we don't go after him, then he really won't know we're after him. Crafty, eh?
posted by aaronetc at 8:20 AM on May 8, 2005


The hunt for bin Laden looks more like a photo-op type P.R. stunt to me, at this point. I agree with dreamsign and teece; is he really the leader of some secret spy network bent on taking over the world, or does he just give money to people so they can blow stuff up? I suspect the latter. As such, all of this is a waste of time, and probably designed to make Americans feel more 'safe.'
posted by koeselitz at 8:32 AM on May 8, 2005


As Bin Laden's #4 man, I'm pissed to find out that he has so many #3's.

It's perfect.
Now we can lure his #1 out with our #2 and kill him with our spy.
posted by dreamsign at 8:34 AM on May 8, 2005


“What I remember of him is he used to make the coffee and do the photocopying.”

Well, it was really bad coffee. And he kept xeroxing his butt. You can't have a guy like that running around.
posted by jonmc at 9:06 AM on May 8, 2005


As Bin Laden's #4 man, I'm pissed to find out that he has so many #3's.

If I understand correctly, when you have several people tied for #3, you skip #4 (and #5, and so on, as needed). If you need a better explanation, ask Abu Faraj al-Libbi, he always ran the office pool.
posted by cosmonaught at 9:15 AM on May 8, 2005


I still can't believe it's taking this long to find a SIX FOOT PLUS MAN ON DIALYSIS.
posted by deusdiabolus at 9:53 AM on May 8, 2005


That's because we're not looking--he's far more valuable to the Bush administration alive and well and capable of attacking us anytime. (or there really were deals made so that Bush could have his "trifecta")
posted by amberglow at 10:01 AM on May 8, 2005


The Truth About Terrorism
posted by homunculus at 10:11 AM on May 8, 2005


... In its present form, the war on terror is a cripplingly expensive, meagerly productive effort to locate, catch, and kill bad guys around the globe. Its successes are hardly less random, or more effective in the long term, than those that might be achieved by a platoon of men armed with flyswatters entering a slaughterhouse whose refrigeration has been off for a week. The US, desperately short of Arabic speakers and translators, lacks the basic intelligence abilities needed to conduct such a threat-based, "go-to-the-source" war, as Stephen Flynn labels it in America the Vulnerable, his brisk, cool, and hearteningly constructive account of how the Bush administration has neglected the defense of our exposed flanks in its headlong, enraged pursuit of hidden enemies. ...

Exactly. thanks for that, homunculus.
posted by amberglow at 10:16 AM on May 8, 2005


artanis: Goldstein yourself. Things that make you go "hmmmm", eh?
posted by Decani at 10:21 AM on May 8, 2005


What a lovely speculation "we know the real truth" thread... filled with facts. I don't know why you bother.
posted by Witty at 10:59 AM on May 8, 2005


If I understand correctly, when you have several people tied for #3, you skip #4 (and #5, and so on, as needed). If you need a better explanation, ask Abu Faraj al-Libbi, he always ran the office pool..

Oh, I got that. I thought I be #4 and now I'm, what, #673? Punk ass OBL done been playing me all this time.
posted by DaShiv at 11:14 AM on May 8, 2005


It's a good job that you're here to put us all to rights, Witty! With the raising of the level of debate and the facts and the research and all.
posted by asok at 11:20 AM on May 8, 2005


I know, I know... blame it on me.

How about this... I think he WAS the commander of operations in Europe. Eh?
posted by Witty at 11:27 AM on May 8, 2005


I wrote:What does that mean? Goldstein?

I didn't know the Goldstein and 1984 connection. Thanks for the clarification.
posted by artanis at 12:23 PM on May 8, 2005




What does that mean? Goldstein?

He means this guy. He secretly rules the world.
posted by jonmc at 3:10 PM on May 8, 2005


Notice how EVERY-FRIGG'N-BODY "we" catch is a "mastermind" or #2 or #3 man in Al Queda. How is that possible? Everybody in AQ is a mastermind.

So, is Bin Laden just appointing anybody to Mastermind position?

"Abdullah you are now Mastermind of getting me a croissant today. Mustaffa you are Mastermind of making sure we TiVo The Apprentice this week."

Just ONCE I want to read an article of how we only managed to catch the Al Queda cave janitor or the Al Queda intern.
posted by tkchrist at 4:21 PM on May 8, 2005


That is who we're catching, tk--they just keep puffing them up--the truth always comes out a week later.
posted by amberglow at 4:35 PM on May 8, 2005


Just ONCE I want to read an article of how we only managed to catch the Al Queda cave janitor or the Al Queda intern.

As if they aren't. You don't here about it because it's not news.
posted by Witty at 5:37 PM on May 8, 2005


it is says Libby on the label ....
posted by celerystick at 5:44 PM on May 8, 2005


Hey, if you don't really have good news to show the world, put the spin on whatever insignificant news you DO have...
posted by clevershark at 6:39 PM on May 8, 2005


The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, bringing the United States into World War II, which ended three years and eight months later, on August 14, 1945.

Al Qaeda attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, and is still at large three years and eight months later, despite on-again/off-again declarations that President Bush is determined to get him dead or alive.

Why is it going to take longer to win the war on terror than it did to win World War II against three modern industrialized countries?
posted by kirkaracha at 7:39 PM on May 8, 2005




Why is it going to take longer to win the war on terror than it did to win World War II against three modern industrialized countries?

Because World War II ended when they other guy said it ended.

This ends only when we say it does.
posted by dreamsign at 8:21 PM on May 8, 2005


which means "never"
posted by amberglow at 8:24 PM on May 8, 2005


yep.
posted by dreamsign at 9:19 PM on May 8, 2005


Ever notice how whenever we catch someone in al Qaeda, all the other supposed al Qaeda members only have bad shit to say about that person?

Khalid Sheikh Muhammad was a pedophile. This guy was nothing but a secretary. I can't wait to hear what they say about Osama when we catch him.

"his farts sure could stink up the cave"
posted by b_thinky at 9:33 PM on May 8, 2005


I think DaShiv is onto it. You know they're hunting you. Why not scoop up low level flunkies periodically and entrust then with a few "important missions" consisting of nothing more than delivering bogus documents and messages around? If said flunky has already pledged his life for the cause, what do you care whether he dies in a suicide attack or a Federal prison? You've told him nothing that can be used against you, and likely filled him with misinformation, confident that he'll break sooner or later.

He throws us a few peeled appetizers; our counter-terror people are reinforced in the belief that they're on the right path and should keep on doing what they've been doing. They announce arrests; they keep their jobs or are even promoted. Interrogators and over-worked interpreters are tied up for weeks.

Everything is done in secret, so there's no way to independently verify the value of any given collar. It's in the best interests of the government to let stand the impression that someone important was caught. Failing to poormouth the dupe would be seen as a deviation from standard practice on the terrorists' part.

While I understand there may be a case of mistaken identity with this latest capture, I can't believe a similar line of reasoning hasn't occurred to whoever does their counter-intelligence. Hopefully, this has also crossed the minds of the people doing the apprehending.
posted by trondant at 9:51 PM on May 8, 2005


I'm just glad i drink tea , although i'm sure Bin Ladens got one of his cronies working on an undercover mission to destroy tea as well as coffee.
I'm giving thanks to Billy Graham i dont have a photocopier.
I know someone that does though , so I guess i'll have to phone them to make sure they're ok.
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:51 AM on May 9, 2005


On a side note , there's nothing like watching a bunch of creationists chasing an evolving organism.
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:57 AM on May 9, 2005


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