US to give detailed evidence of Bin Laden's Involvement.
October 3, 2001 8:14 AM   Subscribe

US to give detailed evidence of Bin Laden's Involvement. Apparently the US government does have enough evidence to hang Osama, but they're not telling just anyone ... you have to be part of NATO or the Pakistan government to get in on the info.
posted by walrus (22 comments total)
"It will hold a chunk of highly sensitive evidence from all these countries including Pakistan, as there are some elements in Pakistan's intelligence agencies and other parts of government mechanism that are friendly to Osama and Taliban."

Doesn't it seem like the evidence wouldn't be so sensitive to the perpetrators?
posted by swift at 8:22 AM on October 3, 2001

swift: it would tell Osama where the leaks are.
posted by techgnollogic at 8:31 AM on October 3, 2001

swift: Doesn't it seem like the evidence wouldn't be so sensitive to the perpetrators?

That thought crossed my mind too ... presumably it's how they got it which is sensitive.
posted by walrus at 8:32 AM on October 3, 2001

[... presumably it's how they got it which is sensitive]

I've been hearing alot about that. Supposedly some of the information is so sensitive that you could instantly trace it's source. I guess it's the sources that we are protecting.
posted by revbrian at 8:38 AM on October 3, 2001

The thing is that at some point, sensitive evidence will have to be presented directly to whoever is harboring Osama, and to Osama himself. To prosecute without proof just wouldn't be fair, legal, or just. Presenting the evidence to, say, Canada, is just preaching to the choir.
posted by swift at 9:00 AM on October 3, 2001

What I don't get is, it was just revealed that the CIA trained the Pakis to kill Bin Laden couple of years ago until Musharraf overthrew Shariff. If that's the case, why would Pakistan need additional information/evidence. I mean, wouldn't the currant regime know that Bin Laden was a wanted man to begin with? What is this, piling on? Make it an airtight case so there is no dissent in the Arab world, or better for Musharraf to sell it to a hostile electorate?
posted by Rastafari at 9:05 AM on October 3, 2001

They should show ALL of the evidence to the world regardless of how sensitive. It should be pumped into the Arab world, to counter all of the propaganda that shoved down those people's throats.

I am tired of reading about how the Jews were behind the attack and that US is just using it as an excuse.

Oh, well, it probably won't change anything anway...
posted by thekorruptor at 9:16 AM on October 3, 2001

thekorruptor - Where are you from? What are you reading that says that? Thanks...
posted by andrew cooke at 9:48 AM on October 3, 2001

[Presenting the evidence to, say, Canada, is just preaching to the choir.]

I wish that it were so simple. Our loyal opposition has been agitating that Canada (or rather the government) is being kept out of the loop and that it's the sitting government's fault for not acting as quickly as the UK in supporting the US.

They know as well as most people that even if Canada was giving access to all of the info (which goes against the principles of compartmentalization) they would never say that they had received such info.

This is on top of the whole to-do when Canada wasn't mentioned in Bush's big speech to congress.
posted by smcniven at 9:51 AM on October 3, 2001

smcniven: ... Canada ...

Damnit! Now I have that cheesy song from the South Park movie rolling through my mind ("blame Canada ... blame Canada").

Someone put a Britney record on or something, puhleeaase.
posted by walrus at 10:05 AM on October 3, 2001

andrew cooke, Snopes has a summary of some of the anti-semitic/anti-Isreal stuff that's been floating around. It's disturbing to consider that in many places this is all people are told about what happened. And we wonder why the world is so screwed up (not that things are exactly balanced over here either).
posted by joemaller at 10:11 AM on October 3, 2001

Bad usage: anti-semitic applies to Arabs as well as Jews. Expected better from snopes.
Nothing to do with the subject at hand however.
posted by talos at 10:32 AM on October 3, 2001

" To prosecute without proof just wouldn't be fair, legal, or just."

He's not on trial. We're planning on finding him and shooting him in the head. It's a war on terrorism, not jury trial on terrorism. He doesn't get a lawyer.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:35 AM on October 3, 2001

If the US has proof that's convinced the British government and NATO, and we're going to be showing the proof to the Pakistan government, why can't we show the evidence to the Taliban and avoid a war?

It just seems like the US is out to get the Taliban. They're horrible, but how is it America's right, or business, to determine who rules another country?
posted by kirkaracha at 10:58 AM on October 3, 2001

andrew cooke- I read the dregs of internet news, & most always like to read the overseas press. thedrudgereport has a lot of links to various news agencies including mid east press (you need to filter through their drudge's own propaganda first however...)
posted by thekorruptor at 11:11 AM on October 3, 2001

"but how is it America's right, or business, to determine who rules another country?"

We're not worried about who rules the country. We're worried about governments that support and harbor terrorists. Bin Laden admits he's a terrorist. He encourages people to kill civilians. The Taliban wants to shelter him.

It's a war on terrorism. The public positions of the Taliban place them directly in the cross hairs. They are supporting someone who advocates the killing of innocent civilians.
posted by y6y6y6 at 11:33 AM on October 3, 2001

The Taliban has said they'll turn over Bin Laden if we supply proof. We have proof that has convinced NATO and that we're going to show to Pakistan. Why not show the Taliban the proof and have them turn him over and meet our other demands? (Or call their bluff if they're lying.)

This would give them a face-saving opportunity to turn him over and let us avoid an attack on Afghanistan which would cost lives and possibly increase anti-American sentiment. (Why should we care whether they save face or not? Because giving him up with proof is more defensible than giving him up just because we say so.) If we show them proof that other countries have accepted, and they still refuse to turn him over, we have more justification for attacking them.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:01 PM on October 3, 2001

Why not show the evidence to the Taliban? Esay one. Because we plan to wipe their asses off the planet. Gotta have a REAL war. Whether Colin Powell likes it or not. Makes for good TV. Until the body bags start coming home.

BTW, I've seen the evidence and it's very convincing. It's a picture of Barbara Bush with a very stern and matronly look on her face. :)
posted by nofundy at 12:05 PM on October 3, 2001

The Taliban are lying -- or being disingenuous. We know that they intend to consider the evidence under Islamic law (sharia), under which conspiracy isn't a crime.

The Taliban are not a legitimate, recognized government of the Afghan people, they are only a regime who have seized power, and they are demonstrating their determination to flout international law. As such we have no responsibility to treat them in any way, shape, or form as a legitimate government, but instead as one which by its actions has led to a dangerous situation for not just their own people but practically everyone else too. They have not earned the right to demand proof of bin Laden's crimes. They may, indeed, be more a pawn of bin Laden rather than merely his hosts.
kirkaracha, don't fall into the moral relativism for which the left is too often justly criticized. The Taliban have been widely considered an odious regime for many years now, and there are ample Afghan exiles and opposition who will tell you so. As long as the odious regime was simply making its own people miserable, the international community had no interest in doing anything about it. Now they're harboring one of the worst terrorists in world history. Afghanistan's own neighbors have played its dysfunctional government situation for their own ends -- Iran and India in bed with the Northern Alliance to wage proxy wars on people they hate (Sunni Muslims and Pakistan, respectively), and Pakistan as a safety valve for its own Islamist insurgency and a training ground for guerrillas to wage proxy war in Kashmir. Afghanistan, the nation, has been a miserable pawn in the grip of cynical powers (and I'm not so far left that I think America is the worst here).

The international community has an interest in a stable Afghanistan. Only with the moral authority granted by the 9/11 attack can Washington muster the mandate to stomp on the interests of the neighbors and speak instead of the wider interests of the region and the West. The morass in which the US and USSR left Afghanistan after the 1980s war cannot be repeated, everybody knows that, and therefore we will engage in some kind of nation-building exercise so that a government with some level of local legitimacy can replace what's there, with one result not the least being a rebuilding of the agricultural and trade infrastructure for the people of Afghanistan.

Ideally we can do this without war. But maybe we'll have to, if they're stupid and obstinate, which unfortunately are endemic among religious fanatics.

We're very close to being able to do this the right way. Unfortunately, we're also very close to doing it in a very, very wrong way too. But I don't think the issue of "evidence" need be at the forefront of that decision tree.
posted by dhartung at 4:31 PM on October 3, 2001

As far as Bin Laden`s guilt goes, don`t we have proof that he took out the embassies in Africa and the USS Cole? Isn`t that enough, or do we need to tie him to this to get any kind of cooperation/extradition?

On the other hand, the evidence could be along the lines of "See this nifty weapon? It can be yours if you help us." or "Evidence. I`ll give you evidence. Where do you want it, in the face or in the gut?"

On the other hand, the sources that provided the information that we claim to have would be destroyed when it was leaked, making future sources of potentially valuable information far less willing to cooperate.
posted by chiheisen at 6:41 PM on October 3, 2001

Well good thing this is only between us Americans. We wouldn't want Osama knowing how we get our information.
posted by wednesdaylover at 7:52 PM on October 3, 2001

Blair set to reveal bin Laden evidence

Tony Blair will use an emergency statement to Parliament today to make public for the first time Britain's "incontrovertible" evidence linking Osama bin Laden directly to the terror attacks in America.

The Prime Minister is expected to release carefully declassified intelligence...

posted by Zurishaddai at 10:32 PM on October 3, 2001

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