Osama bin Laden's Deathiversary (Special Edition of Today's Headlines and Commentary)

By Ritika Singh, Lawfare Staff
Monday, April 30, 2012, 4:55 PM

The one-year anniversary last week of Osama bin Laden's death generated enough stories of interest that I thought the occasion deserves its own post, separate from Today's Headlines and Commentary.

President Obama and Hilary Clinton relive the experience of watching last year's raid as part of an MSNBC interview with Brian Williams. SecDef Leon Panetta recalls the "nail-biting moments" in the New York Times.

A senior official in Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) told the Washington Post that "the lead and the information [about Osama bin Laden's whereabouts] actually came from us" and that "any hit on al-Qaeda anywhere in the world has happened with our help." Mind you, when the ISI talks about tips and leads, it may be the tips and leads the organization is giving to Al Qaeda, not those it is giving about it.

The Associated Press, meanwhile, reports that Al Qaeda core is largely defeated, but its well-meaning affiliate groups remain a threat to American counterterrorism efforts.

According to Jurist, D.C. District Court Judge James Boasberg has upheld the Obama administration's decision to keep classified the photos taken soon after Bin Laden's death:

The Court declines Plaintiff’s invitation to substitute its own judgment about the national-security risks inherent in releasing these records for that of the executive-branch officials who determined that they should be classified.

Nonprofit advocacy group Justice Watch had filed this complaint against the Obama administration for refusing to release the photos--and it has announced that it will appeal Judge Boasberg's decision, reports Reuters.

Lots of Brookings stuff on the anniversary. Michael O'Hanlon offers his thoughts on Al Qaeda in Afghanistan after bin Laden; Bruce Riedel discusses jihadism in Pakistan after bin Laden's death, and Daniel Byman examines the impact of the raid on Al Qaeda. The three also spoke about these issues at greater length at a Brookings event last week entited Pakistan and the Terror Threat: One Year after the Death of bin Laden. The full video is below:


And since we're having a special edition of news, we also need a special Moment of Zen--one that is so mind-boggling not even The Onion could have thought of it. Yes, for that we go to the fun folks over at Press TV, the awesome English-language comedy troupe broadcast out of Iran. Press TV recently aired this interview with one James Fetzer, a "philosopher and political commentator" who alleges that the U.S. "fabricated" the bin Laden raid. Money quote: 

The allusions [sic] of politics extend, therefore, to the purported attack on the compound in Pakistan which was a way of relieving political pressures that were derived from Obama not having closed Guantanamo, having stationed troops in Pakistan and having his birth certificate being subjected to minute scrutiny which was exposing its fraudulent character. All of that was taken off the front page by the staged fabricated attack on the compound where no one had ever seen Osama bin Laden.

Ah, Zen!