On leaks and pseudo-reality

… the US’s futile search for world domination – Published on Intrepid Report, by Ramzy Baroud, July 19, 2013.

Those enchanted by pseudo-reality must have been at the edge of their seats as they watched Zero Dark Thirty, a Hollywood account of how US SEAL Team Six killed Osama Bin Laden on May 1, 2011.

But a recently leaked report shows that the ‘riveting’ Hollywood account of the ‘greatest manhunt of all time’ was hardly as glamorous as it was made to be. In fact, if it were not for the ‘shocking state of affairs’ in Pakistan itself, where local governance had ‘completely collapsed,’ the raid would have been yet another botched attempt at killing a man who had been using primitive means—for example a ‘cowboy hat’ to evade drones—as he had managed to survive for nearly nine years.  

The 337-page report was the outcome of a thorough, but secret, investigation by a commission set up by the Pakistan government following the US raid. It mainly aimed at answering the question of how US forces, a supposed ally, infiltrated Pakistani airspace, killing Bin Laden and three Pakistanis, and then hovered away undetected. The answer had little to do with the prowess of the US military whose behavior was viewed by the commission as that of a ‘criminal thug.’ Instead, the answer lies in Pakistani authorities’ own failure, or as page 87 of the report describes as ‘Governance Implosion Syndrome.’

Reporting for Al Jazeera, Asad Hashim summed up the commission’s findings: “Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda’s chief, was able to evade detection in Pakistan for nine years due to the ‘collective failure’ of the Pakistani state’s military and intelligence authorities, and ‘routine’ incompetence at every level of the civil governance structure.”

Without that ‘collective failure,’ there could have been no American success, the kind that is turned into riveting movies generating exuberant amounts of money which feed into the myth of the infallibility of the US military.

The timing of the leaked report was pretty interesting as well. It appeared shortly after Edward Snowden, a US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, leaked damning information of the very shady and illegal behavior by the US government pertaining to its global surveillance program. Hundreds of millions of people in the US and around the world have fallen victim to the NSA spying program, whether through their telephone records, or through the PRISM program that grants the spying agency direct access to stored Internet activity of nearly anyone, anywhere. It is “a global, ubiquitous surveillance system that has as its goal the elimination of privacy worldwide,” wrote Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian.

Even EU offices were bugged by the US, according to the leaked information. If America’s closest allies were bugged, then no one is safe. The Brazilian newspaper O Globo revealed in reports, based on information provided by Snowden that the US had tapped into telecoms infrastructure in Brazil to acquire massive volumes of communications and to spy on governments throughout the region … //

… (full text).

(Ramzy Baroud is an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story, Pluto Press, London).

Link: Ramzy Baroud on his website.

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