Skip to comments.Osama bin Laden nearly impossible to catch or kill, say experts (now that Obama is president)
Posted on 03/16/2009 11:45:29 AM PDT by presidio9
Killing Osama may be a top priority for President Obama, but it's almost Mission Impossible - like it was for his predecessor - if the terror leader is holed up high in Pakistan's snowy peaks, experts say.
"The new people are going to face the same problems," warned a top adviser to President Bush.
The U.S. has been secretly training for years, however, in case the CIA scores that rarest prize: Bin Laden's home address. But they already know his neighborhood.
It's been a challenge, however, gaining intel on the region. Bin Laden hunters have had to turn to Lonely Planet's now out-of-print Hindu Kush trekking guide for information. The U.S. and Indian militaries snatched up boxes of them - so many that they're now almost impossible to find.
"Who else is interested in obscure passes along the Af-Pak-Indian border?" quipped one Pakistan expert.
A close look at the Hindu Kush mountains suggests the higher Bin Laden is, particularly in winter, the harder it'll be to squash him:
Terrain: He could be anywhere in thousands of square miles of mountains among the tallest on Earth and fortified by deep, avalanche-prone snow. Elevation: If he lives at 10-16,000 feet, U.S. hunters must be acclimatized or suffer altitude sickness, which can be fatal. Aircraft: The huge CH-47 Chinook is the only chopper that can lift a sizeable force using oxygen to those heights, but it's a big, loud and slow target. "With very precise information on Bin Laden's whereabouts, it would be possible to mount an operation to get him," said an ex-CIA officer in Pakistan. "The problem is getting the intel."
A "very high risk" high-altitude parachute jump or "ill-advised" chopper assault by U.S. Delta Force or Navy SEALs are both doable but arguably foolhardy, said the officer whose men last battled Bin Laden at Tora Bora in 2001 before he escaped into Pakistan.
"There is no reason to commit special ops forces" if an armed drone can simply "launch multiple Hellfire missile strikes," said former Delta Force commander and "Kill Bin Laden" author Dalton Fury - a pseudonym.
Fury devised a plan - scrapped by top brass - for his elite unit to attack Bin Laden's unguarded rear flank by traversing the Tora Bora mountains above 10,000 feet using oxygen canisters in the thinner air. But bin Laden escapedinto Pakistan.
If bin Laden lives high in the Hindu Kush, he's snowbound for winter and likely free of fear from attack.
Concern about altitude sickness - a common affliction above 9,000 feet - prompted the Army to study dozens of civilian climbers who recently scaled Tanzania's 19,340-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro to find out how to adjust soldiers to extreme heights.
"Even if you could get people acclimatized," insisted the Bush adviser, "it's hard to just drop white guys in unnoticed."
Experts point to the disaster of 19 troops killed in a secret mission in 2005 as a learning lesson.
Three SEALs died in a firefight after tribal goatherds spotted them, and 16 more troops perished in a botched Chinook rescue in the Chitral region.
The huge, lumbering twin-rotor chopper can haul troops up to 16,000 feet, but it is "not very stealthy," said a retired aviator.
Osama could give himself up to ensure a big win for Obama.
They promised they would make this a priority, now they must deliver.
Osama could surrender after a barbeque at Camp David.
You can’t kill a dead man. But you can kill the myth.
The Pravda Media (colluding with the DNC) makes me ill.
But when are they going to get around to filling that woman’s gas tank and buying that college girl a pony (or was it a unicorn)?
This is funny, watching the PRAVDA media make pretzels of themselves.
Killing UBL is the only measure of success when Bush was president.
Here we see the team's leader getting the bad news from the team's medical officer somewhere in Hindu Kush.
Maybe John McCain should share the secret plan to capture bin Laden that he said he had during the debates.
The cry of the left throughout the Bush admin:
Now we find out that it’s not such a priority.
Has anybodynotice dthat the media is no longer reporting the number(s) of American deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan? And when they do mention it, they are referred to as “NATO” troops or “Coalition” troops?...................
Most likely there is no Osama bin Laden. There has been no new video of him for many years, in which he says something NEW and the audio voice matches the video of his lips.
Most likely both Al Qaida and the USA govt find it useful to “keep him alive.” We are probably doing this out of some kind of strategy that if they know we know, some kind of reaction on their part is feared. I don’t know. But definitely nothing has proven him alive in many years.
Well we never caught Hitler, Mussolini or Hirohito during WWII ....
They're just not knocking loudly enough, that's all.
Dead men are awfully hard to catch when buried under a mountain of rocks.
Does anyone think that if OBL were still alive and well he wouldn’t be producing videos instead of audios...
OBL is deader than Julius Caesar!
After a year goes by without a body, I predict that the name bin Laden will vanish from the mainstream media completely. Personally, I think he's dead, but I'd sure love to see his head on a stake someday. I just wouldn't give President Obama any special credit for it. He made a clown with no intelligence experience his CIA director.
I think he’s baked pink mist at Tora Bora.
We haven’t seen a video of him since.
But, for the life of me, I can’t see why it would be necessary for the CIA to keep “authenticating” the voice only recordings sent out over the years.
Let’s airdrop Micheal Smerconish into the Pakistan-China-Afghanistan border area and tell him not to come back without Obama’s head.
Rather we use poison than a fly swatter.
Isn’t he going to show up at the next Wednesday night party at the WH?
Especially since he's been dead for several years.
Send him a certified letter that he has won the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes and needs to show up at Paris Island, SC within 14 days to claim his prize?
Yet someone in the NObama admin was saying this weekend that OSAMA is running for his life. The topic was the 18+ messages from OSAMA since Jan 1.
I believe head on a pike is correct term.
Al Queda has a Rich Little!
Ya, I remember when Hillary Clinton said, why can’t Bush find the tallest man in Afghanistan.
Is this more Alinsky crap? I mean, under Bush, a big failure was in not catching or killing Bin Laden. Is this not an important goal anymore? Are we now going to fill the MSM with progaganda that this guy is hiding in high mountain caves that would make it a hard goal? Wasn’t that true when Bush was president, but then why was Bush judged harshly on never getting Bin Laden, if all of this is true?
Osama is living comfortably in Iran. Probably has been since 2001.
Either way works for me.
Suggestion: When a submarine and H-bomb couldn't be located, the Navy tried an unusual group-think procedure to find them. In both cases the solution offered by the group was significantly different than the conventional wisdom. In both cases, it was correct. Could we please dust that off and try it?
Thanks for letting me rant.
It’s not as if all worldwide terrorism officially ends forever, if OBL is ever caught, killed, or dies from natural causes. It would definitely be a good temporary “bump” for the good guys, but that’s it.
Many of the same people who want verification of Obama’s birth certificate also just as equally want verification of Osama’s death certificate asap.
“they promised they would make this a priority, now they must deliver.”
They won’t, and the media will continue to kiss their ass.
I saw Osama with Elvis in the local Wal_mart.
It’s one of the things to be proudest of.
The CIA played along (with W) and denied the terrorists a martyr.
Shades of Che!
We heard for 6 yrs how easy it would be to get Ossama if we had a smarter gummit. Funny how that’s all over now. Are we seeing the exit excuse?
Pray for America and Our Troops
Yep. He’s living large in Iran now.
Living in a remote cave at 15,000 feet while on kidney dialysis? Come on, now...
Actually, the more remote he is the easier to get him. The harder it is for him to be anonymous.
The problem is, as the article says, getting the intel. Its an intel problem.
Make sure everyone knows about the $25 million. Set up smaller million dollar payouts for people down the chain of command and make sure everyone knows it was paid even if no one knows who got the money. No one want to collect millions if he won’t live to spend it, so make sure you spread the story that the money was paid, green cards issued, families smuggled out, even if its not true. If people believe it, they’ll be more likely to defect. If promising US citizenship isn’t an incentive, promise Saudi citizenship, or UK citizenship, or whatever works.
Hand out hundred thousand dollar payments regularly for minor people on your list. Make betrayal a growth industry.
Build a network of people who are able to go in an out of places you can’t and able to talk to people you can’t. You have to have several layers of people so that you can tell when you’re being fed bad data by some of your people. You want to make sure that everyone in the network knows that there are other people in the network he doesn’t know about.
And you have to build the team that can do snatches in these areas. They might not be American military. And you have to start using them, going after people further down the chain of command, because thats how you’re going to get the information you need. Grab people who know people, and have a heart to heart talk with them where no one else can hear them holler. Don’t worry about the army interrogation manual, because this ain’t no disco and these guys aren’t army.
Bin Ladin might be dead. Thats great. We still want Zawahiri and it might be nice to talk to Mullah Omar about what he knows. He made himself a part of this story, so getting him would be icing on the cake.
“Build a network of people who are able to go in an out of places you cant and able to talk to people you cant. You have to have several layers of people so that you can tell when youre being fed bad data by some of your people. You want to make sure that everyone in the network knows that there are other people in the network he doesnt know about.
And you have to build the team that can do snatches in these areas. They might not be American military. And you have to start using them, going after people further down the chain of command, because thats how youre going to get the information you need. Grab people who know people, and have a heart to heart talk with them where no one else can hear them holler. Dont worry about the army interrogation manual, because this aint no disco and these guys arent army.”
We’re talkin Camden, NJ right?
I always figured Bin Ladin was living in one of his family’s villas overlooking the Red Sea, maybe just over the border from Yemen. He watches Egyptian soap operas, bores the household help with his war stories, walks his dog up and down the beach.
I know what you mean... I imagined him in California somewhere.... Mendecino County or Half Moon Bay. He’d fit right in.
Killing Bin Laden will transform him into a mythic hero like Che Guevara. Let him age in some dung-hole. The ultimate judgement waits for him.
He'd probably make a good liberal arts professor at the community college.
We have no enemies now, right?
Obama could invite him for a sleepover in the Lincoln bedroom. He’d come, they love Obama. All the Universities could invite him to speak to the students. Ayers is getting old on the “terrorist” speakers circuit.
Step 1: Special forces ops sneak into numerous villages in the general vicinity and capture the elders (or whoever would be considered most likely to have information).
Step two: Make the captives watch as a large hog (or two or three) are slaughtered and butchered and cooked.
Step three: Give them the choice of either divulging the info that’ll lead to bin Laden’s capture or eat some pork and wash it down with hot bacon grease.
Step 4: Be willing to use one or more of the captives as an example to show that our side is serious.
Step 5: Make them all disappear so there’s no evidence of what happened.
Anticipating angry replies to me in 5... 4... 3... 2...
Ahhh, the genesis of the Birther/Deather combo! Nice!
If Obama stays in office much longer, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Osama taken off America’s “most wanted” list, and eventually be a special dignitary visitor to the White House - maybe even with a stay in the Lincoln Bedroom. Obama has been doing everything he can to alienate America’s allies and make friendly with our sworn enemies in the Muslim world... how would this be any different?
You know that I always enjoy the "Weekend at Bernie's," threads.