intel ex nihilo

About That Intel ‘Treasure Trove’ From Trump’s Yemen Raid…
Daniel McAdams, Ron Paul Institute, Feb 3 2017

Shortly after the Trump-authorized commando raid on Yemen, Fox News led the MSM in reporting on the great “treasure trove” of intelligence that was seized at the compound. With the claimed killing of a senior AQ official, the mission was proclaimed a success. Soon the initial triumphalist reporting on the raid gave way to a much darker reality: a Pindosi was killed, millions of dollars in Pindosi military equipment destroyed, at least a dozen innocent women and children were killed, Pindo military cover had been blown before the attack, the mission was poorly planned, the mission had been turned down twice by Obama only to be dusted off by Trump, and so on. Worse, the raid was probably not on a hardened AQ compound as CENTCOM claimed, but as the Telegraph writes, on a ramshackle, impoverished village:

But information from Pindo boxtops, human rights groups and sources on the ground build a different and contradictory picture in which massive fire power was brought to bear on a ramshackle village against targets of limited importance in the so-called GWOT. By this account, the reinforced AQ HQ was a two-room residence crammed in among other houses in the village. The ‘determined enemies’ which the Pentagon said included women in ‘prepared fighting positions’ were scared residents firing weapons into the night in panic. The value of the intelligence gathered is still being assessed.

And what about that treasure trove of intelligence? Facing increasing pressure over the botched raid, the Pentagon earlier today released a video titled “Courses for Destroying The Cross,” to prove just how important was the cache that had been seized. But the botched part of the botched raid kept botching. It turns out that, as the Telegraph put it:

The video released by Pentagon to prove Donald Trump’s deadly Yemen raid was successful is a decade old and available online.

So this valuable information could have been been retrieved by a guy with a laptop on YouTube and tens of millions of dollars as well as scores of innocent lives spared. That is why Pindosi interventionism is a bad idea. We can only hope that the young Trump administration will learn from this black eye and very quickly retreat from its increasingly aggressive positioning in the Middle East. A president elected on the promise that he would start no new wars is swaggering us into something he cannot even imagine.

Pindo military releases then withdraws old Islamist video from Yemen raid
Idris Ali, Reuters, Feb 3 2017

The Pindosi military promptly withdrew an old video by Islamist militants it had released on Friday as evidence that a fatal raid in Yemen by Pindo SOF this week was a counter-terrorism success. An expert in radical Islamist media said the footage by unknown militants appeared to be part of videos first released by jihadists online some 10 years ago, undermining the Pentagon’s explanation about its value. A CENTCOM spox confirmed that the video was removed from the website because the contents were old. Col J Thomas said:

We didn’t want it to appear that we were trying to pass off an old video as a new video.

It is the latest controversy surrounding the raid on AQAP in Yemen, the first such operation authorized by Pres Trump as commander in chief. The military said the video was found on Sunday in the operation in al-Bayda province in which a Pindo Navy SEAL, militants and civilians were killed. A CENTCOM spox had said on Friday the clip of a ski-masked man encouraging people to build bombs was “one example of the volumes of sensitive AQ terror-planning information recovered during the operation.” The DoD posted the video on its website on Friday, but pulled it off within several hours when questions began to arise about its age. The footage appeared to be similar to that in other videos that surfaced online in 2007. Adam Raisman of SITE Intelligence said:

The video clip that was posted and abruptly taken down was one of 25 videos that appeared in 2007. The only difference was that the Pentagon video had English subtitles added.

Pentagon spox Cap J Davis said the video was still of worth, even if it may have been created earlier. Davis said:

It does not matter when the video was made. That they had it is still illustrative of who they are and what their intentions are.

Navy SEAL W Owens was killed in the raid, which the Pentagon said also killed 14 militants. Medics at the scene said about 30 people, including 10 women and children, also died. Three unnamed Pentagon boxtops told Reuters this week that the operation went ahead without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations. As a result, they said, the attacking SEAL team found itself dropping onto a reinforced AQ base defended by landmines, snipers, and a larger-than-expected contingent of heavily-armed Islamist extremists. But CENTCOM said earlier this week that it only asks for operations it believes have a good chance of success based on its planning. Pentagon spox Davis has said the element of surprise had not been lost in the raid.

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