Did Bradley Manning Almost Blow The Operation To Capture/Kill Osama Bin Laden?

I want to start out by saying don’t read this if you may be someone who will pass judgment on Bradley Manning in the future. He does deserve a fair “trial”, but this information must be told. A fellow blogger tipped me and a few other bloggers off to a connection that hadn’t been made between two seemingly unrelated events – the latest Wikileaks leak of files from Guantanamo Bay and the operation to capture/kill Osama bin Laden. In my eyes, there is a very real possibility that information leaked recently, may have led to the Obama administration moving up the schedule of the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.

Bradley Manning and The Leaks

Now, how can Bradley Manning be connected to the release of the Gitmo papers? Well, let’s look at his own words as he laid bare his actions to Adrian Lamo, courtesy of Wired.com…(emphasis mine)

(04:32:05 PM) Manning: oh, the JTF GTMO papers… Assange has those too
(04:32:16 PM) Lamo: Read it.
(04:33:21 PM) Lamo: Anything else interesting on his table, as a former collector of interesting .com info?
(04:33:44 PM) Manning: idk… i only know what i provide him xD
(04:34:14 PM) Lamo: what do you consider the highlights?
(04:35:31 PM) Manning: The Gharani airstrike videos and full report, Iraq war event log, the “Gitmo Papers”, and State Department cable database
(04:35:50 PM) Lamo: Not too shabby.
(04:36:03 PM) Manning: thats just me….
(04:36:26 PM) Manning: idk about the rest… he *hopefully* has more

And apparently Bradley Manning’s defenders are trying to say that those weren’t the ones Bradley gave him, no, those were from before. At the least, they are trying to downplay it. Greg Mitchell at The Nation, no friend of President Obama these days, is keeping a log of Bradley updates. He says this about the above…

9:50  What was Bradley Manning’s role in the leak of the Gitmo files? In the infamous “chat logs” with Lamo he makes very few, and sketchy, references to leaking some sort of Gitmo files, but much less descriptive to his references to other leaks he is accused of (we note again, he has not been convicted of anything).  Also, there were rumors and reports that WikiLeaks had Gitmo files before Manning’s alleged leaking took place.  So hard to nail down right now.

He tries to cast a lot of doubt on whether it was Bradley but he left himself a rather good out, “So hard to nail down right now.” Well, Bradley Manning specifically referred to the Gitmo files twice in addition to referring to all the other files Wikileaks has already published on their site. So saying “there were rumors and reports” that Assange had other Gitmo files from before, give me a freakin break. If you believe that, I have some beach front property around the corner that I’ll sell you really cheap. None of the other Wikileak’s releases have named Bradley Manning as the source of the classified intel, since by doing so, Wikileaks would be providing evidence that Manning was the source of the material and thus would be acting as a witness against him in his upcoming trial. He is charged with violating the Espionage Act among other serious charges.

It isn’t just me who thinks it’s pretty obvious that those documents came through Manning. Andy Greenberg at Forbes says this…

As with the last four major releases from WikiLeaks, imprisoned Army private Bradley Manning remains the suspected source of the leak. In a chat with confidant Adrian Lamo published by Wired.com last year, Lamo asks which of the documents he’s leaked Manning deems most important. He lists: “The Gharani airstrike videos and full report, Iraq war event log, the “Gitmo Papers”, and State Department cable database.” All of those files other than the Gharani airstrike video–a clip that purportedly shows more than a hundred civilians being killed in Afghanistan by American forces–have now been released.

The Gitmo files, which Wikileaks began releasing daily on April 24th, 2011, came directly from DoD Classified Intelligence databases and are of the same classified categorical designations as other DoD and State Dept intelligence cables previously released by Wikileaks. The above cited Gitmo File was specifically classified as “SECRET// NOFORN.” The classified category of “SECRET// NOFORN” means that any intel labeled as such should not ever be seen by any foreign government personnel or citizens. There was a reason this intel was classified. Releasing any of this intelligence would likely compromise Top Secret operations in the planning stage or those on the verge of being executed.

This is all background for what comes next. The Osama bin Laden operation and the connection to the release of the Gitmo files. My first visit to Osborne Ink was when I clicked on a link in a Bradley Manning story. I’ve been a regular since then. A few days ago, Matt put a post up that asked a great question to the defenders of Bradley Manning, the “Hamwaldians” as he calls them. From Osborne Ink…

If Bradley Manning had blown the bin Laden Operation, would the HamWaldians still be advocating his release? It’s a fair question, because when Manning (allegedly) put those hundred thousand-plus cables on his thumb drive, he certainly had not read them all. In fact, it’s pretty certain Manning had no idea what was in them — and no clue how many potential OPs might get blown by their release.

If he had blown the OP and allowed bin Laden to get away, would he still be a hero?

My opinion of the Bradley Manning”s massive data dump has always been that it isn’t whistleblowing, how could releasing documents that you haven’t even read be whistleblowing? It can’t be. The act that protects whistleblowers is pretty specific. From Wikipedia…(emphasis mine)

The alleged misconduct may be classified in many ways; for example, a violation of a law, rule, regulation and/or a direct threat to public interest, such as fraud, health/safety violations, and corruption. Whistleblowers may make their allegations internally (for example, to other people within the accused organization) or externally (to regulators, law enforcement agencies, to the media or to groups concerned with the issues).

What Manning did was expose to the entire world, friends and foes, information that overwhelmingly was not any violation of law, regulation etc.. He leaked diplomatic and Top Secret (in question) secret, sensitive information as well as frivolous, stupid stuff. And his defenders, Glenn Greenwald, Jane Hamsher and Greg Mitchell think he is an innocent man, going so far as to say he is a hero and should be released. Wow, the extent that these people will go to try to hurt the President of the United State’s reputation, accusing him of torturing Manning because he was in solitary confinement, is unbelievable.  Is it that hard to understand that the defense department might want to put a man who bragged about how many files he was copying, with no concern for what impact it might have on his country’s security and defense, in solitary confinement? From the government’s perspective, I imagine this kid is the worst spy they’ve ever seen. By they way, everyone in max security at Quantico is housed by themselves in their own cell. I’ve posted about his conditions in the past, go here to get caught up on that, if needed. In your mind, was this kid a hero?

The Connection

So the other night, I’m on Twitter and one of my fellow bloggers, who prefers to remain nameless, put up a couple of links in a post. I dutifully clicked on them and saw this short article on The Guardian’s website detailing information from one of the latest Wikileaks of Gitmo files, here is the paragraph and sentence that caught my eye…

According to the document, Libi fled to Peshawar in Pakistan and was living there in 2003 when he was asked to become one of Bin Laden’s messengers. The document says: “In July 2003, detainee received a letter from [Bin Laden’s] designated courier, Maulawi Abd al-Khaliq Jan, requesting detainee take on the responsibility of collecting donations, organising travel and distributing funds for families in Pakistan. [Bin Laden] stated detainee would be the official messenger between [Bin Laden] and others in Pakistan. In mid-2003, detainee moved his family to Abbottabad (Pakistan) and worked between Abbottabad and Peshawar.”


WikiLeaks released the report last week, prompting speculation that the US, afraid that its planned raid might be preempted, brought forward its attack.

I actually typed in exclamation “No Shit?”. I had just read a description of what looked like the exact evidence that led to locating Osama bin Laden. How does that read to you, knowing what you do know now about how we got OBL? My jaw was on my chest. Here is a link to the actual leaked document. The pertinent information contained in this Wikileak release is found on page 5, in the paragraph starting with “(S//NF)  In October 2002,” which reveals that the DoD had both the name of bin Laden’s courier and the city where bin Laden was living.

Considering that Wikileaks began releasing the Gitmo Files on April 24th and that we now know that President Obama signed the order to begin this operation on Friday April 29th, to originally be carried out the following day on Saturday, there was just 5 days from the point at which Wikileaks released the pertinent classified intelligence and when the President signed off on the OBL capture/ kill mission. This substantially supports the possibility that the classified intelligence, Bradley Manning is charged with removing from DoD classified databases and then passing to Wikileaks, may very well have caused the White House to step up the operation to get OBL. Can you just imagine how our President and his national security team felt when they saw that document get released by Wikileaks, after tracking and planning this mission since August? This innocent kid who danced around and sang while the files copied over very well could have been responsible for Osama bin Laden slipping through our fingers, once again. Unbelievable!

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54 thoughts on “Did Bradley Manning Almost Blow The Operation To Capture/Kill Osama Bin Laden?

  1. Taking it a step further. The release may have dashed any consideration of a longer term plan to capture Bin Laden by isolating him or other means. By pushing the operation, the likelihood of capture and subsequent trial was left to one scenario that was most unlikely, a calm surrender. I’ve noticed the focus of the Manning apologists immediately went to the lack of a trial in basically condemning the President as killing America (as Michael Moore has been known to tweet recently). Ironic that it may have been Manning that eliminated the potential for capture.

  2. Excellent presentation, EL..thanks for the latest information on the classified documents that Bradley Manning stole from the Military and dumped on the internet for who the hell knows who to look at.

    He’s no whistleblower or a hero..he belongs in jail awaiting trail for treason.

  3. I agree, Cha. What Manning may have done was a bad as any espionage committed by a double-agent spy.

    I am most tired of seeing Hamsher/Greenwald on Ratigan, and other MSNBC shows nearly every day, decrying the “inhumane” treatment of Manning…mostly because he was being kept in “solitary” confinement. Knowing that he was in a military prison, that his fellow inmates, although probably not altar boys, were military nonetheless. His prison mates do hate those who snitch on our nation as much as inmates who snitch on each other.

    I can hear the uproar from the firebaggers if Manning had been allowed to mingle with the “general prison population” and then another military inmate possibly killing him. Then President Obama would be slimed to the nth degree for NOT protecting him! Like with most REICHwingnuts, there is no convincing some folks, even some who like to think of themselves as “progressives”.

  4. Today Jane Hamsher blogs about the “miraculous” improvement of prison conditions for Manning:

    ….Everyone who said that Manning was being stripped naked, held in solitary confinement and shackled in chains “for his own good” was evidently lying. It should be obvious to everyone now that Manning’s mental health status was being mis-classified as a way to abuse and punish him, in complete violation of both the Constitution and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    It’s a pretty miraculous reversal — both the President and the Department of Defense dug their heels in and doubled-down after it was revealed that the Quantico brass were using Abu Graib tactics and stripping him naked every night.


    At the end of the article, she does her plea for more paying members for Fire Dog Lake:


  5. Wow Jim! Amazing information you’ve presented here. I had an argument with a friend on Facebook the other day about Bradley Manning (through our email). She asked me if I thought what Manning did was a good thing. I told her I could see both sides (more transparency/info given out could hurt our security). She labeled him a hero just like ole Janey has! IN fact, this friend reads & comments over there on FireDogLake and she was not impressed with my opinions of Janey! Anyway, she believes what Janey says about Manning being “tortured” and she doesn’t believe that our government has a right to hold him this long without a trail. I explained to her that if Wal-Mart is robbed of $1,000,000 in goods, even though we (she and I) would be happy to see Wal-Mart lose some of their cash flow, but that doesn’t mean Wal-Mart isn’t going to NOT PROSECUTE. We all support transparency, but if one guy was responsible for bin Laden almost getting away, then that is a whole different matter.

    Fantastic piece, Jim!

  6. The firebaggers are always talking about Manning being shackled. According to the NY Times, he is only shackled while in transport which is common in many jails and even courtrooms to prevent running. The NY Times says he is not forced to sleep naked, but that his day clothes are removed so he can sleep in a smock. Clothes are removed from any prisoner in many places when it is believed those clothes may be used to commit suicide by hanging.


    Like I said above, WHAT IF Manning had been stabbed in the prison yard by another inmate or had hung himself? Can you hear the outcry from the far left (and FAR RIGHT) that “Obama had him murdered???” /snark

  7. Maulawi Abd al-Khaliq Jan was not the courier; from all reports , that is a false name Libi gave to interrogators . The courier’s name has not been released so far as I know ,but his pseudonym is al-Kuwaiti.
    Therefore , the release of the report via Wikileaks might have caused a false sense of security as it showed that Libi had not compromised bin Laden . At least one set of documents had been reviewed by US before publication strenghthening the belief that the name was not seen as damaging .

  8. I suppose I have many issues in this article that I find disconcerting. First is that he hasn’t actually been found guilty of anything yet and, yes, he should be treated humanely regardless. Same is true of all of the detainees that we have shamelessly held without trial at gitmo. Second is that none of the leaked information was marked “top secret” was it? Perhaps some of the blame lies there. I find it hard to believe that that information being leaked would have changed any strategy. Wouldn’t we have gone after the guy as soon as we confirmed his whereabouts? Wasn’t it really just a lucky phone call?
    I do wish that there was happy medium that didn’t require “leaking” in order to uncover misdeeds. However, our government and military have a long history of misdeeds and deceit, especially when they behave in a reprehensible way. As long as the kid actually gets a fair trial, I would rather the conversation stay focused on what was revealed, not who revealed it. That seems to me to be far more important.

  9. hi Jim

    can you update your post with links to some documents that have leaked that were classified “Top Secret”?

  10. Yeah, greenham is vicious and stupid enough to make a claim like that if something awful would have happened to Bradley in prison.

    And, the suckers who donate to keep their ravings going are just as bad if not worse.

  11. But Janie sends you a FREE FDL t-shirt and tote back if you send her $120!!!

  12. How about they put Manning on a webcam so the firebaggers can watch and fawn over him 24/7? Oh, but then Greenwald and Hamsher wouldn’t get any attention…

  13. Someone I worked with postulated that they may have moved the operation as a courtesy to the British, not just a “don’t want to overshadow the royal wedding” but also (& a trifle more importantly), “don’t want to make the security there be IMPOSSIBLE.”

  14. Kay, make sure you remind your friend that Manning was initially charged in July with transferring classified data to his personal computer and passing classified data to an unauthorized source. Since then, on March 1, 2011, he has been charged with 22 additional charges including the biggie, violating the Espionage Act.

    It is in Manning’s interest for his attorneys to have sufficient time to prepare his defense. Since he was charged with additional much more serious charges just 2 months ago, complaining that he needs a speedy trial would not serve him with the benefit of full justice with time to allow for the development of a proper defense. Of all people, Glenn Greenwald, ESQ should know this and take this into account when blasting the Obama Administration and complaining poor little ol’ Bradley isn’t getting the justice afforded to him under the US Constitution.

    The other thing the “HamWaldians” keep conveniently omitting is that Manning is charged under the United States Code of Military Justice (UMCJ) which does not afford a member of the military with the same Constitutional provisions given to civilians. There is no form of bail under the USMJ. Someone who has volunteered to serve in the US Forces and subsequently breaks the law while serving, knows full well that they are not afforded the same Constitutional protections given to civilians.

    Bradley Manning’s attorney knows this and so does Glenn Greenwald. So this only underscores their claims of maltreatment as being blatant hyperbole and intentional misinterpretation of the law as well as exposing their asinine and judiciously irresponsible behavior.

    Manning is facing life in prison if convicted. Anyone who actually cares about him should want his attorneys to have time to prepare his defense in light of the new charges being brought against him. I seriously doubt the Hamwaldians really do care. Their complaints are nothing but attempts to sell their articles and get donations to their yellow journalism filled sites.

  15. May I ask why you ask for links to documents classified as Top Secret? Nowhere in his post does Jim claim that they exist in the Wikileaks releases? The only classified categorization he refers to is one he linked to labeled as “SECRET//NOFORN” which is used as a standard classified categorization by the DoD and other Intel agencies.

  16. “Someone I worked with postulated that they may have moved the operation as a courtesy to the British”

    Anyone can postulate anything. Is there even a shred of evidence for this idea?

  17. But it isn’t just the name, it also mentioned a courier and the city of Abbottabad. The person I would think we didn’t want to see either of those was Osama himself. He’d be heading back towards the cave if he came across that info. And something makes me think he might want to see that leak from Wikileaks.

  18. The operation was ordered on Friday April 29th to be carried out on Saturday April 30th but was delayed due to bad weather.
    “Air cover? Obama authorized the raid early Friday morning, but it didn’t take place till nearly 48 hours later. Why? One possible reason is the weather. Look at the past week’s weather report for Islamabad, the nearest major city. It was cloudy until Sunday, and the first clear break in nighttime cloud cover was Monday morning. Danger Room points out, “It’s unlikely the CIA and Joint Special Operations Command would risk sending in a lightly-protected team to face terrorists capable of shooting down helicopters. That means air cover—most likely armed drones or Air Force gunships.” We know from on-the-ground tweets, as well as from the U.S., that the raid took place around 1 a.m. But drone strikes frequently take place at that hour.”


  19. whatever your the reason that people hate liberals in this country so much when all this time more people actually lean liberal. People like you push others that would have normally voted for more liberal ideals away.

  20. “In October 2002,” which reveals that the DoD had both the name of bin Laden’s courier and the city where bin Laden was living.:”

    It only took eight years to tie the facts together. Must have kept it on the QT because of the need to liberate Iraq.

  21. I don’t think Bush wanted to capture or kill Osama, he pretty much said it in so many words. They wanted to invade Iraq, if they had gotten Osama right away, they wouldn’t have had an excuse to go into Iraq…where Haliburton, Blackwater and who knows who else made a ton of money. It was a money making venture for them.

  22. “Is it that hard to understand that the defense department might want to put a man who bragged about how many files he was copying, with no concern for what impact it might have on his country’s security and defense, in solitary confinement?”

    I thought you were claiming that he hadn’t read a lot of the files he released. Are you really arguing that Mr. Manning has further intelligence or knowledge, which he didn’t transfer to Wikileaks or others, and which to prevent him releasing (perhaps to his fellow prisoners?) he now has to be kept in solitary? His treatment – of someone who hasn’t been convicted of anything – is spiteful and cruel. And yes, being kept in solitary confinement is very cruel – maybe you should read the testimonies of the likes of John McCain and others who underwent it during their captivity. If you choose to make allegedly top-secret information available to 3 million people then it’s not a massive surprise that someone is eventually going to put it on a memory stick and leak it. Maybe someone should use some enhanced interrogation techniques on the genius who came up with that particular security setup.

  23. Thats cute. Until you learn this about McCain.

    Although McCain was badly wounded, his captors refused to treat his injuries, beating and interrogating him to get information; he was given medical care only when the North Vietnamese discovered that his father was a top admiral.[36] His status as a prisoner of war (POW) made the front pages of major newspapers.[37][38]
    McCain spent six weeks in the hospital while receiving marginal care.[33] By then having lost 50 pounds (23 kg), in a chest cast, and with his hair turned white,[33] McCain was sent to a different camp on the outskirts of Hanoi[39] in December 1967, into a cell with two other Americans who did not expect him to live a week.[40] In March 1968, McCain was put into solitary confinement, where he would remain for two years.[41]

    Now, show me where Mr. Manning has been bruised, bones broken, etc, where he had not been treated by the doctors and just locked away in solitary confinement without any legal representation.

    I’m not a fan of John McCain. I didn’t vote for him for President nor would I have ever voted for him in any other office, but how dare you bastardize what he went through in Vietnam to try to give shade to a dumbass who leaked classified information, then bragged on it like he just banged the high school quarterback, on FACEBOOK!!!! I’m sorry, but he embarrassed not only himself, but the U.S. Military with that little stunt. You trying to fudge facts and make disingenuous arguments lets everyone know you don’t know what the hell you are talking about.

  24. Why can it not be both I guess is my question. Manning deserves his day in court. Manning, by our law, is being treated inhumanely. So Greenwald (I will admit I read and like Greenwald) and Hamsher (do not read her), are correct on that point. One may not like our laws but his treatment has been previously determined by our courts to be inhumane and an american awaiting trial (innocent until proven guilty) does deserve better from our govt whether they are a common criminal, white collar or potential traitor.

    That being said, Manning is no a hero. I would agree he is no whistleblower. And he will most likely get his just due once he has had his trial and probably found guilty.

    I think these arguments always take a right wrong view. The law is never that simple.

    Lastly, I will say, very persuasive article tying evidence together to make his point. It would have been quite a bad day if the leaked information negatively affected the outcome of the OBL mission.

  25. CIA Director Michael Hayden on CNN this morning said the he personally gave the name of the courier going in and out of Bin Laden’s Abbottabad, Pakistan house to President George W. Bush in 2007, two years into his second term.

    But reading the Washington Post this week, opinion pieces by John Ashford and Charles Krauthammer, Bush (after nearly 8 years looking under his desk for bin Laden), you’d think had handed over bin Laden’s head to Obama on a silver platter. From Krauthammer:

    The bin Laden operation is the perfect vindication of the war on terror. It was made possible precisely by the vast, warlike infrastructure that the Bush administration created post-9/11, a fierce regime of capture and interrogation, of dropped bombs and commando strikes.

    Without all of this, the bin Laden operation could never have happened. Whence came the intelligence that led to Abbottabad? Many places, including from secret prisons in Romania and Poland; from terrorists seized and kidnapped, then subjected to interrogations, sometimes “harsh” or “enhanced”; from Gitmo detainees; from a huge bureaucratic apparatus of surveillance and eavesdropping. In other words, from a Global War on Terror infrastructure that critics, including Barack Obama himself, deplored as a tragic detour from American rectitude.


    And in giving “high fives” to his former boss, George W. Bush, former AG John Ashcroft wrote:

    And a detention and interrogation system that Obama once condemned as contrary to American values produced one early lead that, years later, brought U.S. forces to the high-walled compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and a fatal encounter with an unarmed Osama bin Laden.


  26. At the risk of belaboring a minor point that is not truly relevant to the discussion of Manning , your position must be that the April,2011 publication of a document dated September 10, 2008 would have alerted bin Laden that the US might be closing in and prompted him to relocate immediately .
    Pakistan had announced the capture of al-Faraj al-Libi in May ,2005 ; al Qaeda knew he was in custody .
    al-Libi is reported to have given the name of a courier- but it was false one .That would have given al Qaeda some relief that the secret was still safe as of Sepetember, 2008.
    al-Libi is reported to have lived in Abbotabad.
    Somehow this is enough to alert bin Laden that we have found his hideout in Abbotabad at some point after September 2008?
    The precautions taken by al-Kuwaiti { the real courier } over the years shows that the possibility of the US seeking that nexus was known to al Qaeda . They expected us to look for the messenger.
    All the document proves is that in the roughly three years al-Libi had been in custody we had not made any link of bin Laden to Abbotabad . To that degree it was useful to us in misleading al Qaeda as to the state of our knowledge in 2011.I am not , of course , claiming that Wikileaks gave any thought to that point .

  27. No he’s not claiming:
    “Are you really arguing that Mr. Manning has further intelligence or knowledge, which he didn’t transfer to Wikileaks or others, and which to prevent him releasing (perhaps to his fellow prisoners?) he now has to be kept in solitary?”

    He is saying that the Gitmo files from the same half million classified files Manning is accused of stealing from DoD hard drives and already gave to Wikileaks may have caused the WH to have to step up the OBL Capture/ Kill Operation.

  28. Three things:

    1. Former Pakistan President Musharaff wrote about the Abottabad link as early as 2006:



    The notion that the Abbotabad link was somehow compromised by the Gitmo link is absurd. If bin Laden didn’t get spooked by the former President of Pakistan writing about his whereabouts, I doubt a passing reference in the Gitmo files would freak him out.

    Even if he had been, the CIA was watching the location closely, without bin Laden’s knowledge. If he’d tried to run, they’d be right behind him.

    2. Manning didn’t leak any Top Secret documents, because he only had access to Secret documents, a lower level of classification than Top Secret. The Wikileaks spokesman you cited above spoke imprecisely:


    “WikiLeaks released secret files. Ellsberg leaked top-secret ones. WikiLeaks contained mostly reports about on-the-ground conditions, while Ellsberg released policy documents.”

    3. Neither Greenwald or Hamsher have EVER said Manning should be flat out released. They have called for humane pretrial treatment and a fair trial. Greenwald has repeatedly said he would abide by the verdict of a fair trial, and as far as I know Hamsher has not commented on Manning’s guilt under the law, only on his treatment and her personal admiration for him.

    Next time do some research before you spout off a bunch of half baked accusations.

  29. We forget that Obama had actionable info in August, that he sat on for nearly 9 months. The question should be why the Obama administration was happy to allow him to live free, and were seemingly happy allowing him to live free LONGER.

  30. 1. Those are a couple of great links, but they don’t take anything away from the fact that the leak of the Gitmo files specified a courier and the city and a link to OBL. Whether OBL wasn’t spooked by Musharraf’s book is irrelevant. The wikileaks info was a lot more widespread than that book, had you read the book. And Bush didn’t want to find Osama, that was clear to most. Nothing you said really takes away from the fact that it was spelled out pretty clearly in that document and it was put out for the world to see. If Bush’s people didn’t act on intelligence doesn’t surprise me at all.

    2. Ahhh, so Wikileaks shouldn’t be trusted when they misspeak, but can do no wrong otherwise. Your link has nothing to do with Secret of Top Secret, the words don’t even appear in the link. Are you Glenn Greenwald, known to put up bogus links that don’t say what he implies? Whether they were classified as Secret or Top Secret is a matter of semantics and I may concede that point with actual evidence. But so what, if the information compromised our security and may have led to blowing the operation, what does it matter whether it was Secret of Top Secret. I’ll look into that further too, but you didn’t provide any evidence yet.

    3. Well Greenwald and Hamsher have spilled a lot of digital ink trying to convince us all that Manning was a whistleblower, isn’t that basically saying he should be released, found not guilty or whatever. They clearly call him a hero in many pieces. When I have more time, I’ll find you some links if you don’t think Greenwald thinks he is pure whistleblower and a hero. ARe you trying to say they think he is a hero, but he should still be locked up?

    I did my research and posed the question “Did Bradley Manning Almost Blow The Operation To Capture/kill Osama Bin Laden” and you haven’t presented anything to the contrary. I’d like to be proven wrong but so far, you just gave links that don’t disprove anything. Nice try though.

  31. 1. Just because you and I didn’t read Musharaff’s memoir doesn’t mean bin Laden and the US intel community weren’t keenly aware of its contents. I won’t dispute that Bush was uninterested in catching bin Laden, but we’re both just speculating on how much bin Laden did or didn’t react to these respective disclosures. And again, the notion that bin Laden could have gotten away at this point is just silly, the CIA had had him under very close observation for months.

    2. You really need to work on your reading comprehension. The Syracuse article I linked to very specifically talks about secret and top secret, I even quoted it below the link in my above comment. It’s not just a semantic distinction, it’s an entirely different official level of classification, Manning didn’t have access to the most sensitive top secret-level policy documents, the way Ellsberg did as a Pentagon official. You can do all the research you want, but you’ll find this point is not in dispute.

    3. If you can’t understand how someone can admire someone while also acknowledging that they broke the law, you don’t understand how civil disobedience works – what makes it courageous and admirable is that you do what you think is right knowing the seriousness of the consequences. You’d be smart to remember that the only reason Daniel Ellsberg didn’t go to jail was prosecutorial misconduct, not the merits of his case.

  32. 1. I would disagree with you about bin Laden getting away, he’s a slippery dude and had eluded capture for quite a while. I know it’s easy for you all to get sidetracked with details and misdirection, that’s what Greenwald is all about. But my basic point has still not been proven false, I’m still waiting. And believe it or not, I don’t have an agenda and if you can prove that the Manning Gitmo files had nothing to do with the OBL operation or possibly jeopardized the operation, let it rip.

    2. You are right that I missed top-secret/secret sentence, I did a find and got thrown by the mention in the caption for the photo, my bad. But you are simply sourcing what Ellsberg said, he is clearly on one side of the issue. And like I said, semantics….if it was only “secret” info, but still contained the city, that it was a courier and a connection to OBL, I stand by the question I posed. Is Ellsberg an unimpeachable source? I don’t know myself.

    3. You dodged my point that Greenwald and Hamsher and the gang think Manning is a hero, a whistleblower…well I stand by my assertion that a massive data dump is not whistleblowing and no matter how much I distrust the DOD, I don’t want my safety and the safety of our country put in jeopardy by a young guy who did not seem to have the best interests of the country he signed up to serve in mind when he dumped hundreds of thousands of files on the entire world.

  33. I guess our TROLL JASON didn’t see the pictures taken in the Situation Room during those tense 40 minutes…yeah Obama and his staff looked “happy”.

    There was no “sitting” on the operation for nine months. The Seals worked day and night on detailed planning, even building a life-size mock-up of bin Laden’s residence for training runs. The mock-up was out of sight at Baghram Air Force Base, north of Kabul in Afghanistan. I guess our right-wing TROLL JASON just cannot stand the FACT that bin Laden was killed under the COMMAND of our President Obama.

    The failure of President Carter to capture the hundreds of American hostages held by Iran in 1980 probably cost him his re-election, putting Raygun in his place. In addition, the failure of the rescue mission in Somalia in the Battle of Mogadishu, the U.S. losing a Blackhawk helicopter and crew, was playing on President Obama’s mind the WHOLE NINE MONTHS.

    You can bet that our TROLL JASON and all other REICH-wing nutjobs would have crucified President Obama IF the mission had failed, calling for his head. It took a lot of GUTS for President Obama to make the call.

  34. Read the passage again. Hamsher means that the people who said the restrictions were for Manning’s safety were lying:

    “Everyone who said that Manning was being stripped naked, held in solitary confinement and shackled in chains FOR HIS OWN GOOD was evidently lying.” (emphasis added).

  35. You seem to have missed the point entirely. Both KSM and al-Libi did not give the actual name of the courier. What is gleaned from this document is the focus specifically on knowing that there was a chosen and trusted courier(s) who lived in Abbottobad and was known to be close to bin Laden. Knowing that this same person also had was a protege of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and a “trusted assistant” of Abu Faraj al-Libbi was the key. A good investigator can find this person or persons without a name.

    “The stream of information that led to Sunday’s raid began over four years ago, when U.S. intelligence personnel were alerted about two couriers who were working with al Qaeda and had deep connections to top al Qaeda officials. Prisoners in U.S. custody flagged these two couriers as individuals who might have been helping bin Laden, one official said.

    “One courier in particular had our constant attention,” the official said. He declined to give that courier’s name but said he was a protégé of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and a “trusted assistant” of Abu Faraj al-Libbi, a former senior al Qaeda officer who was captured in 2005.

    “Detainees also identified this man as one of the few couriers trusted by bin Laden,” the official said. The U.S. intelligence community uncovered the identity of this courier four years ago, and two years ago, the U.S. discovered the area of Pakistan this courier and his brother were working in.”

    1st: Regarding the point in the last sentence identifying where this courier and his brother were working as being named two years ago. This intel was presented to the President in August of 2010. The document Jim linked to at the Wikileaks site of intel gleaned from al-Libi was dated 10 September, 2008.

    2nd It was this Wikileaks document https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/87933-interrogation-file-of-abu-faraj-al-libi.html#document/p5/a17091 describing what was known from interrogations of al-Libi that named a “COURIER” as being the link to finding bin Laden. Anyone with a brain can deduce that the CIA, having been our premier spy agency for over 60 years, knew that the names they were given in these interrogations may not be the real names. So focusing on the broader intel describing the the link of “trusted couriers” to bin Laden was going to be the useful lead and not necessarily names given under interrogation procedures.

    3rd While you, I, Jim and everyone else reading this AND commenting here, are civilians with no access nor comprehension of the specific facts of this case, the intel analysts do know all of the gathered facts. It is their job to decide on the usefulness of this particular bit of information. Someone trained in intel analysis and involved with the investigation of “where in the world is Osama bin Laden,” has the skills to cipher and put together specific pieces of intel that may not mean much to us laypeople but puts the final piece in the puzzle for them. Leads such as knowing who has access to bin Laden were going to be of monumental importance to them

    Seeing classified intel describing these leads published on the WWW by Wikileaks will alert everyone involved that their lead had been compromised. Any covert operations using that intel would also have been compromised.

    From OBL’s point of view: finding out that the people who are hunting you have intel ie the location of couriers who have direct access to yourself, should scare the crap out of you and make you want to bolt. Since OBL was the target, he was aware of what information, if found out, could lead to his capture.

    Your attempt to muddy the waters about pseudonyms and names shows you miss the point entirely. The names of people who interact with a known terrorist/criminal are not necessary in investigations but their location and what their relationship is to the terrorist is vital.

  36. You know not what you speak of, newsdud. First of all from your 1st link:

    “Earlier this week, ISI officials said they raided a house in Abbottabad years ago in search of Abu Faraj al-Libbi, the man who succeeded Khalid Sheik Muhammad.”

    Musharraff’s memoir and the article about the safe house in Abbottabad, describes the capture of al-Libi the AQ operative who took over the operations after Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured. It is from the later intel derived from interrogating al-Libi and leaked by Wikileaks on April 24 that Jim is showing a pretty solid link between Manning, wikileaks and having to move up the operation.

    There have been several AQ operatives captured allover Pakistan. All your links describe is the capture of al-Libi in 2005. They do not in anyway address the fact that the intel gleaned from interrogating al-Libi AFTER HIS CAPTURE describe the direct relationship of the courier to bin Laden and the location where he was based. So your above two links referencing Abbottobad in 2006 have absolutely zip to do with what Jim is talking about.

    What did you do? Did you Google Abbottobad and AQ to pull those irrelevant links up? If you read anything Jim posted without your obvious bias for Manning, Hamsher, Glenn Greenwald, you might just have gotten the point.

    Good try. No Prize.

  37. If you had read one sentence later…..

    “In his memoirs, former President Pervez Musharraf said interrogations showed al-Libbi used three houses in Abbottabad, including the same compound where the U.S found bin Laden.”

    From the second link:

    “The passage, which notes, “We were tipped off that someone important in Al Qaeda was living there…” appears on page 259 (spelled Abbotabad) of Musharraf’s autobiography,”

    At no point did I say the Gitmo files don’t say what y’all say they say. What I’m saying is that this was not new knowledge. You guys don’t have any evidence that Obama moved up the raid due to the Gitmo leak, just speculation. And the fact that this info was public knowledge since 2006 should give you pause.

    The easiest way to pick out a bullshit pro-administration argument is to see if the Obama WH bothers to make it themselves. Obama is currently prosecuting Manning, and trying to indict Assange. Wouldn’t it be in their interest at this point to have “senior administration official” claim the operation was moved up due to evil Wikileaks? Why is nobody making that claim other than a handful of Obama cultist bloggers?

  38. So I guess Manning’s medical psychiatric evaluations are public information now??? Do we really know his state of mind? I can hear the uproar if he used articles of clothing to hang himself.

  39. So all of us who don’t eat up every sentence from the likes of Jane Hamsher are CULTISTS???

  40. That’s a pretty funny one Newsdude, so now you “Hamwaldians” think it would be in their interest to have a senior administration official…blah, blah. Only in a mind that sees Bradley Manning as a hero who has been “tortured” to punish him and make him break and all the other horseshit you guys have been spreading that only furthers your latest fucking money making scheme. Bradley Manning hung himself when he laid it all out to Adrian Lamo, in case you weren’t aware. The Obama administration isn’t doing a thing to indict Manning in the media, they don’t have to. They have a pretty damn good case. It’s Greenwald and Hamsher who have been bringing it all out into the public, jumping up and down and trying to get noticed. Pulling stunts like trying to visit him in jail and then exaggerating what happened. They’ve made a circus out of it. The administration doesn’t need to do a thing, they have their case. Pass out a copy of the chat logs with Adrian Lamo and say “I have nothing further your honor”, go to Starbucks and have a latte.

  41. Good point. The Obama administration is sitting on the fact that Wikileaks directly jeopardized one of the most important military operations in history because….well hell, they’ve already got em by the balls, why not let this one slide and go get a latte. You people are beyond parody.

    But of course I’m only saying this so I can get a Tea Partier elected in 2012 and collect my giant check. OH WAIT I REVEALED MY SECRET PLAN

  42. Since there is no reply button to your last post I am forced to reply to this one again.

    You posted:
    If you had read one sentence later…..
    “In his memoirs, former President Pervez Musharraf said interrogations showed al-Libbi used three houses in Abbottabad, including the same compound where the U.S found bin Laden.”

    To which I reply:
    If you had read the rest of the article further you would have seen:
    “However, Reuters says DOD satellite photos show that in 2004, that site was an empty field. A U.S. official said he hadn’t heard any evidence to indicate an earlier raid. According to Reuters, “Washington has long believed that Islamabad, and especially the ISI, play a double game on terrorism, saying one thing but doing another.”

    You’ve still proved nothing more than the article stipulates which is that the ISI held back on giving the US intel and left searching for OBL fully up to the CIA. And considering that there was an open field there in 2004 according to the DOD, I would find it very hard to believe that al Libi was living at the same exact place where bin Laden was found. Especially since the same doc that Jim links to contains this at the top of page 6:

    ” On 2 May 2005, while he was waiting to meet with Abd al-Khaliq in Mardan, Pakistani Special Forces arrested detainee.17 Reporting identified detainee as an al-Qaida senior commander of operations in Pakistan who maintained communication with senior al-Qaida leadership including UBL and who is most closely associated with significant network operatives IZ-10026 and now-deceased Ali Ammar Ashur al-Raqiai, aka (Abu Layth al-Libi). Pakistan’s foreign office confirmed that the detainee was transferred to US custody on 6 June 2005.”

    Al-Libi, was caught by ISI forces on May 2, 2005. That’s 5 months into 2005. So that uber fortified house where bin Laden was finally found sprang up out of the blue in just a few months?

    As many sources report the house wasn’t built until 2005,
    “The property was valued at about $1 million, according to U.S. officials, but had no telephone or Internet service. It was built in 2005. U.S. officials believe it was constructed to house bin Laden, but they don’t know when he moved in.”

    “The man they’d been looking for — one of bin Laden’s trusted couriers — had been known to them for many years but only by a nom-de-guerre provided by a detainee being held by the United States. Four years ago, they figured out his real name; two years ago, they got a handle on where he lived.

    And it was that compound, built in 2005, that they soon came to believe was built to house bin Laden.”
    The building — about eight times the size of other nearby houses — sat on a large plot of land that was relatively secluded when it was built in 2005. When it was constructed, it was on the outskirts of Abbotabad’s centre, at the end of a dirt road, but some other homes have been built nearby in the six years since it went up.

    All you have shown with links from article citing Musharaff’s memoir is that Musharaff points to the fact that al Libi was at living in Abbottabad. There is nothing showing that Abbottabad was known to be where bin Laden was hiding out. There were high level AQ operatives found in Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and Islamabad. And I’d bet Musharraff mentions those cities in his memoirs too.

    As for your statement
    “Wouldn’t it be in their interest at this point to have “senior administration official” claim the operation was moved up due to evil Wikileaks? Why is nobody making that claim other than a handful of Obama cultist bloggers?”

    I seriously doubt the UK Guardian can be classified as being an Obama Cultist Blogger.
    “US may have got Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad clue in 2008 – WikiLeaks”

    I also seriously doubt the Weekley Standard can be named as being an Obama Cultist Blogger.
    “Osama Bin Laden’s Courier Named in Leaked Gitmo File?”

    I’m pretty sure the Daily Mail is also not an Obama Cultist Blogger.
    “Did latest WikiLeaks revelations force U.S. to take out Bin Laden?”

    I’d be willing to bet good money that nowhere could you find support that the Pakistani Times is an Obama Cultist blogger.
    “Key al Qaeda operative lived in Abbottabad in 2003”
    “According to his assessment file released by WikiLeaks, “In July 2003, detainee received a letter from Osama bin Laden’s designated courier, Maulawi Abd al Khaliq Jan, requesting detainee take on the responsibility of collecting donations, organizing travel, and distributing funds to families in Pakistan. Osama bin Laden stated detainee would be the official messenger between UBL and others in Pakistan. In mid-2003, Abu Faraj al Libbi moved his family to Abbottabad and worked between Abbottabad and Peshawar.” According to a transcript of his combatant status review tribunal hearing, he had travelled to Raiwind in 2003 to meet with representatives of Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin and Taliban officials. They discussed operations against the United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan.”

    I think you should consider using critical thinking skills when reading FireBagLake or Glenn Greenwald instead of adopting their so called “proof” of the Evil Obama. You should verify there isn’t substantial evidence against their claims.

  43. Ferallike,

    I’ll readily concede the point that other sources are asking about this theory (including, hilariously The Weekly Standard). You got me there.

    But that’s only because they’re as confused on this whole courier issue as you are. Because the name that al-Libi gave up in 2005, the Maulawi Jan name? It was a FAKE NAME.


    Nothing in the Gitmo files revealed that a. the CIA knew al-Libi was lying, b. the CIA had the courier’s real name, or c. where the courier lived. All of that became public knowledge after OBL’s death.

    So you’re OBL looking at the Gitmo files, and you see two things – one, al-Libi mentions a courier, whose name and location he protects, and two, al-Libi has an Abbotabad connection, which was public knowledge since at least 2006, as I’ve said over and over again.

    If you still want to argue the Gitmo files spooked OBL, you’re just speculating wildly. Have fun with that.

  44. You are the only one, newsdude, who has said anything about spooking OBL. It’s just a little more serious than “spooking” someone. This man was responsible for way too many deaths and had that information gotten back to him, he may have slipped away again. The question I posed is whether Manning almost blew the operation with the leak of the details of exactly where OBL was and the fact that a courier, wrong name and all, had relocated to Abbotabad. If you can’t see how that might be a problem compromising the operation, then you have some serious problems with how tightly your lips are pressed against Glenn Greenwald and Jane Hamsher’s asses. Maybe it’s hard to see with your head in that position.

    And you might notice that the entire post is simply posing the question and presenting evidence to support the POSSIBILITY. Unlike you Hamwaldians, I haven’t created my own reality that I have to defend. I’m open to actual evidence to the contrary, so far all you’ve provided is red herrings and minor details that really show your ignorance whether it is willful or unknowing.

    I was presenting a case that leaking massive amounts of information, much of it not even read, is treason…and could very well hurt our national security. You should stop arguing FOR treason, it is so unbecoming, really.

  45. Can you show me where in the Gitmo files it says the courier relocated to Abbotabad?

    I think you’re confusing al-Libi (the detainee and source) with the courier.

  46. Please see my reply to Art from yesterday under #6 starting with “You seem to have missed the point entirely” regarding fake names and Abbottabad.

    I really don’t have a whole lot of time to explain how investigations are carried out. My mother just got out of the hospital on Saturday barely any better than when she was admitted and I have really spent far too much time trying to enlighten you on this subject. But I will try to help you out only as long as I can at this point in her medical crises.

    Investigative technique does not rely on obvious clues but rather by seeing the relationship between a number of clues that may be collected over different times and from different witnesses or in this case detainees. Looking at hundreds of thousand of pieces of intel for clues, an intelligence analyst worth his Federal GS scale pay is going to put together useful leads.

    One important point to be made here is that the Gitmo files are summaries of gathered intelligence from several interrogations and they very likely omit very specific details. There were 92 video tapes made of the interrogations that we now know have been destroyed but purportedly there were notes made from the interrogations which are at the CIA.

    “Then CIA director Mike Hayden wrote in a December 2007 memo to staff the tapes were made as “an internal check” on the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques and the decision to destroy the tapes was made “only after it was determined they were no longer of intelligence value and relevant to any internal, legislative or judicial inquires.” Hayden said there were detailed written notes on the interrogations.”

    Manning would not have had access to those CIA notes since, as an Army Private, he only had clearances to the DOD intelligence database. Those notes and the tapes would most likely have been classified as “TS/SCI” aka Top Secret/ Sensitive Compartmentalized Information or “need to know.” No one at the level of Army Private would have had the “need to know” clearances so he would not have had access to them. The Gitmo Files were labeled as “SECRET//NOFORN” because they did not contain specific details.

    However, there was enough information in the al-Libi file released by Wikileaks to clue someone in who was very, very familiar with the activities of AQ as bin Laden and his upper level operatives were that what the US intel showed could lead directly to bi Laden. Looking at that specific paragraph quoted in Jim’s blog post from the Wikileaks releases of April 24th:

    ” In July 2003, detainee received a letter from UBL’s designated courier, Maulawi Abd al-Khaliq Jan, requesting detainee take on the responsibility of collecting donations, organizing travel, and distributing funds to families in Pakistan. UBL stated detainee would be the official messenger between UBL and others in Pakistan. In mid-2003, detainee moved his family to Abbottabad, PK and worked between Abbottabad and Peshawar.”

    So to show how this would have clued AQ in that the US was onto them and to answer your question to Extreme Liberal which was
    “Can you show me where in the Gitmo files it says the courier relocated to Abbotabad?
    I think you’re confusing al-Libi (the detainee and source) with the courier.”

    I’ll explain the investigative deduction of the links for you here:

    1) We find out that it is known that there is a “designated” courier that goes directly to physical person known as bin Laden. So with or without a real name of the courier, we know that there is a relationship between OBL and that courier who has direct and repeated access to the physical person of bin Laden. Because of that direct access, if one finds the courier(s), one can follow the courier(s) straight to OBL.

    2) We also find out from al-Libi (who took over for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed after his capture) that he was designated as the “official messenger between UBL/OBL and others in Pakistan.” So therefore, if he were to perform this function expeditiously he would need to live in close proximity to OBL and his designated courier, would he not?

    3) And finally, we find out that al-Libi, who was to be a direct messenger between OBL and others in Pakistan that:
    “In mid-2003, detainee moved his family to Abbottabad, PK and WORKED BETWEEN ABBOTTABAD AND PESHAWAR.”

    4) Now I ask you, why do you think he moved his family to Abbottabad?????
    (Hint: so he could be accessible to OBL’s designated courier.)

    Now to summarize:
    Knowing that OBL had a trusted courier who had direct access to the person known as Osama bin Laden and that al-Libi moved his family to Abbottabad because he would be taking messages directly from the courier who had direct access to OBL to work between Abbottabad and Peshawar, wouldn’t you think looking for the courier who had direct access to the physical person of OBL in Abbottabad, Pakistan might be a good way to find bin Laden?

    Leads in criminal/ intel investigations are all about relationships. Having a real name in an investigation is a luxury but a good investigator can find a person without a name simply by looking for and tracing the relationships between criminals, or in this case, terrorists.

  47. Sure! And just look how many time Pakistan is mentioned! That clenches it, right? Wrong!

    If that scrap of info from eight years ago had been noted as meaningful, would it have taken eight years to go from this guy moved to Abottabad maybe OBL did too? Of course not.

    All you’ve got here is a game of what-if with twenty-twenty hindsight taking the place of rational thought. It serves no purpose besides trying to make Manning look worse in the public eye.

  48. OK, Rush. You might have noticed that one of the major premises of the entire post is the fact that I am looking back with 20/20 hindsight. Ah, we wouldn’t know that he was actually in Abbotabad unless we used hindsight. But thanks for pointing that out.

    Did you major in “The Obvious” in school too?

  49. I don’t know how many times I’m going to have to say this before it sinks in – AL-LIBI’S MOVEMENTS WERE PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE AS EARLY AS 2006. At issue here is not the CIA’s deduction, but Osama’s. And the Gitmo files don’t give enough NEW information to justify any certainty that Osama would have been worried.

    And al-Libi’s Abbotabad connection wasn’t even what tipped the CIA interrogators off. From the AP article I linked above:

    “It took years of work before the CIA identified the courier’s real name: Sheikh Abu Ahmed, a Pakistani man born in Kuwait. When they did identify him, he was nowhere to be found…But in the middle of last year, Ahmed had a telephone conversation with someone being monitored by U.S. intelligence, according to an American official, who like others interviewed for this story spoke only on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive operation. Ahmed was located somewhere away from bin Laden’s hideout when he had the discussion, but it was enough to help intelligence officials locate and watch Ahmed. In August 2010, Ahmed unknowingly led authorities to a compound in the northeast Pakistani town of Abbottabad, where al-Libi had once lived. The walls surrounding the property were as high as 18 feet and topped with barbed wire. Intelligence officials had known about the house for years, but they always suspected that bin Laden would be surrounded by heavily armed security guards.”

  50. I’m not going to mess around with you as I have addressed everything substantially with a number of supporting links.

    But in parting, I’m going to leave you with something to ponder while you sit there doing everything possible to hold onto these fantasies conjured up by Hamsher and GG.

    All you have done with the quote you supplied is proven my point that they used intelligence gained through interrogations of al-Libi and KSM to find the courier. And that the intelligence imparted through wikileaks contained vital details that could have tipped off bin Laden.

    Now, please have a good night and know that this will be our last parting dance forever. I will not return to this inane, repetitive banter so you will be left dancing with yourself. So long!

  51. Maybe our troll gets paid per posting by his firebag handlers. His nit-picking “rebuttal” has become repetitive and boring. This thread was never about a fact but a conjecture, a “what if?” No law against presenting a hypothesis, is there? My reading of the thread was that Manning dumping secure government papers when he seemed to have no idea what they contained was grossly irresponsible and in the case of national security issues, probably a crime.

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