Our Common Good


Fox News claimed that its correspondent had conducted the interview in Peshawar Central Jail, and quoted Dr Afridi as saying that he suffered “brutal interrogation and torture” by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) when arrested. According toFox, Afridi accused the ISI of funding militants, regarding the US as its “worst enemy”, while it accused Pakistan of cooperating with the US only to extract money, amongst numerous other allegations.

Fox News only aired the transcript of the purported exclusive, but did not indicate whether it was a video or audio interview. It also does not say how its reporter managed to enter the jail or meet Dr Afridi.

On Tuesday, the interview was categorically denied by officials at Peshawar Central Jail and the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa home and tribal affairs department and ruled out any possibility of interviewing Dr Afridi inside the jail. “Dr Afridi is beyond the access of media and the news published, whether audio or video, is ambiguous and false as no one can meet [him] without approval of the provincial government and jail authorities,” said a statement issued by the Peshawar Central Jail.

The statement read that the K-P government regretted the story published by Fox News since only family members had been allowed to meet Afridi once a month at an office of the deputy superintendent jail. The home department’s Section Officer (Media) Qamar Ali also told The Express Tribune that Afridi had been under strict security, adding that only his family members, after approval of the provincial government, were allowed to meet him once a month.

“The news is completely vague and untrue,” said Ali.

Afridi’s 18-member defence counsel has also denied the interview, terming it baseless and fallacious.

Keeping an eye on this one.

Obama’s lead up to 5 in Ohio

The numbers in a minute - but first….

Public Policy Polling asks:

Q15 Who do you think deserves more credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden: Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?

The American Public Responds:

  • Barack Obama 63% 


  • Mitt Romney  6% 


  • Not sure 31%

I would really like to know how that 6% figures Romney gets any credit.  The 31% who don’t know is bad, but 6% say Romney gets credit?

Now the important stuff:

PPP’s first post-conventions poll in Ohio finds Barack Obama with a 5 point lead over Mitt Romney, 50-45. This is the largest lead PPP has found for Obama in an Ohio poll since early May. Last month Obama led 48-45. 

Both candidates have seen their images improve with Ohio voters in the wake of the conventions. Obama now breaks even in his approval rating at 48%, after being under water with 46% of voters approving and 51% disapproving of him a month ago. 

Romney’s numbers are up from a 41/52 favorability rating a month ago as well, but he still remains unpopular. Only 44% see him favorably to 49% with a negative opinion. 

Romney actually leads 46-44 with independents but Obama has the overall advantage thanks to a more unified party base. He leads 86/11 with Democrats, compared to Romney’s 83/13 advantage with Republicans. Obama’s 75 point lead within his own party is up from 70 points a month ago, suggesting that his party has coalesced around him a little bit more in the wake of a successful convention.  

Obama’s leading in Ohio because he’s not as weak there with some large voter blocs as he is in other states. He trails only 48-46 with men and 50-46 with whites, and actually leads 49-47 with seniors. His performance with those groups is far better than it is nationally- Romney would need much wider leads with them if he was going to take Ohio. 

Despite chatter that Obama’s convention speech was not up to his normal standards Ohio voters still say by a 60-31 margin that Obama gives better speeches than Romney. His position in the state may also be helped by the fact that the folks who gave the major convention speeches Tuesday night are more popular than he is: Bill Clinton has a 57/34 favorability rating and Michelle Obama’s is 57/35. 

Source: PDF

Exclusive: Reuters obtains Pentagon letter on Osama bin Laden book


Exclusive: Former Navy SEAL in “material breach” of non-disclousre agreements with Osama bin Laden book, according to the Pentagon’s top attorney in a letter obtained by Reuters. 

The Pentagon says it is considering “all remedies legally available” against the former Navy SEAL and all those acting in concert with him. The Pentagon says further public dissemination of the book “will aggravate your breach and violation of your agreements.”

More soon on Reuters.com.


A small group of protesters in Elkhart, Indiana gathered near a tea party billboard on Monday, decrying the political ad for comparing President Barack Obama to terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

The billboard, paid for by a tea party group We the People of Marshall and Fulton County, says: “The Navy Seals removed one threat to America. The voters must remove the other.”

The demonstration was organized by the Elkhart County Democrats, Occupy Elkhart activists and Indiana Senate candidate Jim Ball (D), according to The Elkhart Truth. The protesters described the billboard as “ignorant” and chastised the tea party group for “adding militaristic jingoism” to the political debate.

Sue Chilberg, a local Tea Party activist, told The Elkhart Truth that she supports the billboard because it urges voters “to do something about the very real threat of socialism.”

Don Nunemaker, the leader of We the People of Marshall and Fulton County, said he predicted the ad would upset some people. But he said the group has no plans to take the billboard down until November 1.


Over 120 CIA documents concerning 9/11, Osama bin Laden and counterterrorism were published today for the first time, having been newly declassified and released to the National Security Archive. The documents were released after the NSA pored through the footnotes of the 9/11 Commission and…


The Piece of Paper That Killed Bin Laden
If you can manage to decipher Leon Panetta’s chicken scratch, you too can read the final memo that launched the raid that killed America’s most hated enemy. The memo is part of Peter Bergen’s Time cover story on Osama bin Laden’s last days and Obama’s call to go ahead, despite Joe Biden and Robert Gates’ disapproval, with the Navy SEAL raid on bin Laden’s Abottabad complex.
Read: The Atlantic Wire


The Piece of Paper That Killed Bin Laden

If you can manage to decipher Leon Panetta’s chicken scratch, you too can read the final memo that launched the raid that killed America’s most hated enemy. The memo is part of Peter Bergen’s Time cover story on Osama bin Laden’s last days and Obama’s call to go ahead, despite Joe Biden and Robert Gates’ disapproval, with the Navy SEAL raid on bin Laden’s Abottabad complex.

Read: The Atlantic Wire

The documentary has not aired yet, but is scheduled to come out a few days before the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Early reviews of the program, however, paint Bush as a hero who discarded politics and his right-wing agenda once the planes hit the towers. The film also depicts Bush as a leader bent on capturing Osama bin Laden, no matter what.

In reality, within hours of the 9/11 plane hijackings, Bush’s Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld began drawing up plans to launch a war in Iraq “even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks.” Indeed, Bush aides quickly went to work undercutting the proposed commission to study the events leading up the 9/11, and despite the growing evidence linking the terrorist act with Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda group, Bush never made bin Laden a priority. By January 2002, Dick Cheney told the press that bin Laden “isn’t that big a threat.” The next month, Bush said bin Laden was “not the issue.”

Well, this is kind of sad…

When bin Laden’s corpse was laid out, one of the Navy SEALs was asked to stretch out next to it to compare heights. The SEAL was 6 feet tall. The body was several inches taller.

After the information was relayed to Obama, he turned to his advisers and said: “We donated a $60 million helicopter to this operation. Could we not afford to buy a tape measure?”

Back in late 2001, when the allied offensive against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan was still in its early days and attention was concentrated on the Tora Bora region where Bin Laden and his associates were reported to be hiding, the U.S. and other forces dropped tons of high explosives into the area—including the BLU-82 Daisy Cutter bomb (a high-explosives giant that’s also known as “the poor man’s nuclear bomb”). When ground forces penetrated into the zones after the air assaults, they found plenty of bodies…but faced a difficult task: How to tell if one of them was Osama? Soldiers collected and tagged body fragments, then sent them off to be analyzed back in the U.S. The FBI’s labs compared the evidence to DNA samples acquired as “swabs” from Bin Laden’s family members. Today, something very similar is going on to prove the body dumped at sea really was Bin Laden.

In 2005, the Bush CIA actually closed its unit whose mission had been to hunt Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants. We don‘t know where Osama bin Laden was until 2005. But we do know that the home, that he was found in, was built for him in 2005. That same year that the CIA closed the unit that was hunting bin Laden.

Somehow that year, bin Laden got the feeling that he could settle down comfortably in a walled fortress in a Pakistan suburb.

Lawrence O’Donnell Watch (via brooklynmuttsquee-gee)

vruz: right after welcoming (then pakistani president) Musharraf to the White House, stuffing his pockets and calling him a friend?  I would love to know more, I’m sure many others would love to investigate this.

(via vruz)