Death Raids and Troves of Rubbish

Posted in Bombing Paupers, Culture of Lickspittle, War On Terror at 2:58 pm by George Smith

Part of the fog of lies and military aggrandizement that are the regular dispensations on the forever war is that “troves” of information have been seized. It’s insisted that troves are often everything to the war effort.

It’s the concoction of a fable, one in a series of interlocking fables on American military actions in the failed states of the Middle East. Of course, the failed state of Iraq is so because we made it that way. And so an elaborate narrative of total crap must be created in the mainstream media, something to sell the idea that the military action is actually winning in some way, rather than just spreading ruin and death, making an already tortured place worse.

And the troves of information are a necessary part, feeding a fancy that with more and more and more data, war can be massaged, manipulated and managed to your advantage just like the digital world

The most famous of troves, of course, were the materials allegedly seized in the bin Laden raid.

When Seymour Hersh’s story broke that the raid was an arranged killing and that very little material of value was gained during it, the intelligence services moved quickly to offer the bin Laden trove online.

There was little value in it other than as clickbait for net gawkers. To be honest, I saw nothing worthwhile in it. Boring otiose letters, software manuals, American books of no great interest, public domain US documents and papers culled from the web.

One document, and “document” is a little too fancy a word for it, on the “Terror Franchise,” linked to last week, was merely a collection of wishful thoughts, desires and various rubbishes on killing and projects to make poisons and biological weapons. From 2009.

In reading these alleged scrapings, that part of Hersh’s story, that little information had been gained, was off-handedly confirmed.

Over the weekend, the New York Times published another trove story, this time from materials allegedly seized during a Delta Force raid in Syria.

The raid, aimed at bagging one of ISIS/Daesh’s bureaucrats, Abu Sayyaf, killed him. So, in his place, the wife was kidnapped.

This is described as detention for questioning.

From the New York Times (“A Raid on ISIS Yields a Trove of Intelligence”):

New insights yielded by the seized trove — four to seven terabytes of data, according to one official — include how the organization’s shadowy leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, operates and tries to avoid being tracked by coalition forces …

Wives of the top Islamic State leaders, including Mr. Baghdadi’s, play a more important role than previously known, passing information to one another, and then to their spouses, in an effort to avoid electronic intercepts.

“I’ll just say from that raid we’re learning quite a bit that we did not know before,” a senior State Department official told reporters in a telephone briefing last week. “Every single day the picture becomes clearer of what this organization is, how sophisticated it is, how global it is and how networked it is.”

Abu Sayyaf’s wife, Umm Sayyaf, who was captured in the operation, has also provided information to investigators, one senior American official said.

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said last month that the killing of Abu Sayyaf dealt a “significant blow” to the group.

The wives are important claim is central because it lends justification to kidnapping women when everything else has gone to pot.

For the Times, other anonymous officials acknowledged that maybe the intelligence wasn’t really that valuable. ISIS, after all, has not been losing. Quite the contrary.

And the placement of a graphic within the story on the organization’s gains in Libya undercut the entire argument.

Nevertheless, this is what we get from our national security experts.

It’s the equivalent of a designed and purposeful mental illness, in this case, the insistence, in the face of years of evidence to the contrary, that one can find one’s way to some kind of victory against a region spanning foe through pin-prick raids, assassinations of random thugs dressed up as very important and irreplaceable leaders, and the seizure of whatever digital detritus is on hand.

Here’s a perfect example of the pathology at work:

“In the recent raid on Abu Sayyaf, we collected substantial information on Daesh financial operations,” John R. Allen, the retired general who now serves as the diplomatic envoy coordinating the coalition against the Islamic State, told a conference in Qatar on Wednesday. “And we’re gaining a much clearer understanding of Daesh’s organization and business enterprise.”

This is a stupid-ass belief, something only an American could come up with, that “analyzing the financial operations” of ISIS (it used to be al Qaeda) gets you anything at all. Although it flies with reporters and meaningless conferences at a posh resort in Qatar well away from the battlefield.

“Lt. Gen. John Hesterman III, the top allied air commander, told reporters by phone from his headquarters in Qatar that ‘there is a whole bunch of targeting that is opening up here, as we gain and learn more about this enemy,’ ” it continues.

All this, particularly the NY Times story, it was said, might begin to “sow fear in their ranks that the United States and its allies were beginning to crack their shield of secrecy.”

Keep in mind there is no evidence that ISIS is becoming afraid of anything as it takes more cities in Libya, Syria, and Iraq. And that the thing called the Iraqi Army, trained by Americans, has broken and run twice in combat, requiring complete reconstruction plus ever more infusions of “advisers.”

What you don’t see in the stories as admissions from anonymous sources is the reason American-trained Iraqi formations run. Logically, they probably don’t want to fight or be seen as a US flunky force. But that they will take a training paycheck up until they have to engage in real action.

Why would this be surprising?

Do American military leaders and intelligence men believe analyzing the alleged finances of ISIS, combined with commando raids, are something winning?

If they do, they’re fools. I don’t believe American generals are fools but I do think that since they have nothing to lose by executing the process, they’ll conduct it. It’s a living, apparently.

ISIS gets its money from its conquered areas, in the form of taxes, levies, theft and the sale of anything valuable, whether it be antiquities, small amounts of fuel or other commodities.

And it is now apparent it has learned that American tactical bombing isn’t effective in close-in fighting. This is the same thing the army of North Vietnam and the Viet Cong worked out. The conclusion is that if you close in and fight the enemy belt to belt, the advantage of American air supremacy and bombs are negated.

Here American technology isn’t the last answer, the final thing that trumps all else. Networked communications, information dominance, the super-machines of US war-power have not worked and won’t.

“ ‘We’ve gotten very good at document exploitation,’ said Matthew Levitt, a former Treasury Department official who is director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at the [some institute in the nation’s capitol],” reads the Times.

Yes, right. It’s to laugh out loud that someone actually passes it off as wisdom. Document exploitation. Examine the financing. Don’t forget about kidnapping the wife, too.

“Islamic State militants staged attacks near Baghdad and the Libyan city of Surt on Tuesday, underscoring the group’s persistent strength on both fronts despite a months long American-led air campaign against it in Syria and Iraq,” reads another story.

Thought question: Who came up with the theory that point tactical bombing and running what are essentially nothing more than highly trained and supported death squads wins wars or does anything more than make conditions worse in failed states?

If you’re part of the civilian population in such areas, what do Americans think is the current enthusiasm among them for US forces that, whenever they come, assassinate someone, maybe a bad person, while also always destroying a random assortment of the really unlucky in the doing.


  1. Ted Jr. said,

    June 12, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    > Thought question: Who came up with the theory that point tactical bombing and running what are essentially nothing more than highly trained and supported death squads wins wars or does anything more than make conditions worse in failed states? <

    A military which learned nothing from the Vietnam experience will find some other way to explain things away. Ronnie did that for them during his first term. Didn't matter how much AO, napalm or ground attack sorties were flown, it wasn't the NVA hanging off helicopters at the end. The French general staff prepared to re-fight WWI in the 1930's and history is pretty clear on the result.

    Got a question for you DD, in your humble opinion, could the government survive a nuclear counter strike or would the BS not resonate any longer?

    Just curious for a sane opinion.

  2. George Smith said,

    June 15, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    The government would not survive a thermonuclear counterstrike, even a limited one.

    This was the basis of a book by a NY Times reporter gone novelist. It was called “Trinity’s Child” and was much later made into a made for TV movie few saw. It might have gone straight to video even though it featured some big names.


    It shows an enactment of a much discussed potential, that command structure would not survive even a limited nuclear salvo, on either side, making it almost impossible to turn off a ladder of escalating counter-salvos from fragmented and eventually destroyed leadership.

    The movie has a more optimistic ending than the book although, it too, is fairly bleak. It also contains more stuff to make it into a drama, as the book has no love interest material in the bomber pilots.

    Net says the movie was HBO Eighties. I’ve seen it a number of times but my first viewing a videotape rental from that franchise that’s no longer in business.

    The next thing to read would be Sagan and Turco’s Science paper on nuclear winter which calculated that even a “small” thermonuclear exchange would generate enough smoke from burning cities to bring on the climate effect.

    Which would be one answer to global warming, I suppose.

  3. Ted Jr. said,

    June 16, 2015 at 10:21 am

    >The government would not survive a thermonuclear counterstrike, even a >limited one.

    Fair enough. Does tend to point to the fact that the politicians who insist on demonising the Rooshins for every single manufactured problem are unquestionably insane.

    The sheer depths of their lunacy is highlighted by the fact that all these western ‘think tanks’ seem to think that the Asian and Russian mind sets are exactly equivalent to their own.

    I remember Hitler’s famous quote before the disaster of Barbarossa (paraphrased) ‘One has only to kick the door down and the whole rotten structure will collapse under its own weight’

    I just wish they would stop the insanity before it gets completely out of control.

    But I suppose we have those self same ‘think tanks’ to think us out of that one, too.