Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard has an incredibly important article on the files seized in the raid on bin Ladin’s compound in 2011:
The released documents are only a small fraction of the total material seized by the SEALs. Hayes details many convenient omissions of potentially crucial documents. Any reasonably honest observer has to ask if the White House is trying to hide something.
A few more documents from the bin Laden raid are finally revealed. They do not flatter the judgment of the Obama administration.
For instance the relationship between Iran and AQ has the potential to dynamite the Administration’s opening to Iran. Hence, this is no surprise:
This revelation demonstrates the bankruptcy of the administration’s counter-terrorsm strategy and their policy toward the Medeast:
Five intelligence sources familiar with the documents tell The Weekly Standard that the broader collection includes explosive documents about al Qaeda’s relationship with the regime in Iran and its dealings with Pakistan’s intelligence services. In one of the files, bin Laden goes into great detail about al Qaeda’s arrangement with Iran—an arrangement the Obama administration itself has cited in designations of terrorists on both sides of the relationship. That relationship spans more than two decades, and while there are signs in the documents of antagonism between the two, it’s clear their disputes did not preclude cooperation. Another document in the possession of the U.S. government describes the support al Qaeda received from the Iranian regime in the years before the 9/11 attacks. The 9/11 Commission highlighted Iran’s support for al Qaeda and noted that several hijackers traveled through Iran on their way to participate in the attacks. These documents were not part of last week’s release and have not been made available to lawmakers, though they would have significant bearing on how the American public and its representatives view the current nuclear negotiations with the Iranian regime.
There are threads here that hint at a scandal worse than Watergate. Such a shame that modern journalists prefer to merely praise Woodward and Bernstein rather than emulate them.
The CIA and the Obama administration misjudged al Qaeda in another way as well. They believed the Arab Spring would sound the death knell for al Qaeda’s ideology, because the uprisings that began in early 2011 were largely peaceful, while al Qaeda had long argued that political change in the Muslim-majority world was only possible through violent jihad. The bin Laden files show that al Qaeda correctly believed the opposite—that the turmoil sweeping through the Middle East and North Africa would be a boon for its operations. The security vacuums caused by the fall of dictators meant that the jihadists now had the room to operate and spread their ideas with a freedom they had never before enjoyed.
“[O]ur duty at this stage is to pay attention to the call among Muslims and win over supporters and spread the correct understanding,” bin Laden wrote just days before his death, in a letter dated April 26, 2011. Bin Laden believed “the current conditions [had] brought on unprecedented opportunities” for the jihadists. Bin Laden and Rahman discussed sending senior al Qaeda veterans to their home countries, where they could take advantage of the newly permissive environment. Senior al Qaeda operatives were dispatched to Libya and elsewhere.