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Ear to the Ground

How the U.S. Got Zarqawi

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Posted on Jun 9, 2006

The Washington Post and the N.Y. Times have accounts of how U.S. forces killed the highly sought-after Al Qaeda leader in Iraq. Apparently, they tracked him through his spiritual leader.


Washington Post:

BAGHDAD, June 8—To kill Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, U.S. forces first found his spiritual adviser. Then they had to wait. They tracked the adviser for weeks, until he met Iraq’s most-wanted man Wednesday night in a village north of Baghdad. As the two huddled in a farmhouse, an F-16 warplane blasted it with two 500-pound bombs, killing them and at least four other people.

Facial recognition, fingerprints, tattoos and scars allowed intelligence officials to identify the battered body of Zarqawi, who directed some of the bloodiest attacks of the three-year-old insurgency and became its public face.

A long-sought victory for President Bush, the U.S.-led military forces and their Iraqi allies, Zarqawi’s death was the most significant public triumph since the capture of former president Saddam Hussein in late 2003.

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N.Y. Times:

BAGHDAD, Iraq, June 8 ?Muhammad Ismael, a 40-year-old Iraqi taxi driver, was standing outside his home in the tiny village of Hibhib on Wednesday evening when something unusual caught his eye.

Three GMC trucks, each with blackened windows, rumbled past his home and toward the little house in a nearby grove of date palms that for more than three years had stood abandoned.

“It was something very strange,” Mr. Ismael said in a telephone interview on Thursday. “That house is always empty.”


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By Lorenzo, June 9, 2006 at 11:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All over the media; television, radio, the print press & yes, the Internet, praises are sung of the death of the “monster Al-Zarqawi”.  The pundits are frothing!  Shall it be a political advantage for Bush, will he rise in the polls by 3 points or 5?  The details of our clever military intelligence are poured over.  It is a triumph akin to the capture of Saddam, the “fall” of Bagdhad and “Mission Accomplished”. And yet as C Quil has noted above there is another element to the story that is as yet being little mentioned (although Pat Buchanan brought it up on “The McLaughlin Report”).  The media should indeed be covering the MIRACLE of ZARQAWI!  How was it that his body survived IN TACT the bombing of a house with 1000 pounds of explosives??? An explosion that shattered concrete, wood & metal whereas Mr. Zarqawi only needed to have some blood washed off to make him presentable for the general’s presentation of this extraordinary story to the world.  Instead of being blown to bits or at the very least to a bloody pulp we are being asked to believe that Al-Zarqawi just needed a little touch-up & he was ready for his close up. He even managed a little croak at the finish (like a Rennaissance goose that had been roasted alive which when set upon the table managed a last feeble honk before expiring, to the delight of the assembled diners).  Who wrote this script anyway?  It’s more B-grade Hollywood coming out of an Administration that is too low grade for a letter rating.  And yet the media and press sail through it all trumpeting the “official story” their manicured fingers tapping out the information from the press releases handed to them, their busy mouths sending the propaganda out to the far corners of the earth when instead they should be shouting from the rooftops, “IT’S A MIRACLE!!”, “IT’S A MIRACLE!!”

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By C Quil, June 9, 2006 at 8:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Back in Hibhib, Mr. Ismael again noticed something strange. Of the three GMC trucks that had pulled up to the house in the date palm grove, only two stayed. One of them drove away and never came back.

Whether the departing GMC contained the source who tipped off the Americans about Mr. Zarqawi’s location is unknown.”

There are people who think that Zarqawi has been dead for ages, and the myth of his continued existence explains the chaos in Iraq. The powers that be may have kept his body on ice somewhere and then made it miraculously appear like a rabbit out of a hat.

Was that what was in the third truck? If he was frozen, he’d take a few days to thaw out, as it would be pretty difficult to explain a corpse with icicles on it.

The test, of course, would be for the people who took custody of the body to see if if went through rigor mortis in the first day after death. That only happens once.

The authorities made sure to mention that he was alive when they found him, that he had muttered something, and then died. With a coup as important as this, where is the video? They’ve taken pictures of everything else.

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