(WASHINGTON) — In letters from his last hideout, Osama bin Laden fretted about dysfunction in his terrorist network and crumbling trust from Muslims he wished to incite against their government and the West.A selection of documents seized in last year’s raid on bin Laden’s Pakistan house was posted online Thursday by the U.S. Army’s Combating Terrorism Center. The documents show dark days for al-Qaeda and its hunkered-down leader after years of attacks by the United States and what bin Laden saw as bumbling within his own organization and its terrorist allies. “I plan to release a statement that we are starting a new phase to correct (the mistakes) we made,” bin Laden wrote in 2010. “In doing so, we shall reclaim, God willing, the trust of a large segment of those who lost their trust in the jihadis.” (Cover Story: The Last Days of Osama bin Laden)
Until the end, bin Laden remained focused on attacking Americans and coming up with plots, however improbable, to kill U.S. leaders. He wished especially to target airplanes carrying Gen. David Petraeus and even President Barack Obama, reasoning that an assassination would elevate an “utterly unprepared” Vice President Joe Biden into the presidency and plunge the U.S. into crisis.
But a U.S. analysts’ report released along with bin Laden’s correspondence describes him as upset over the inability of spinoff terrorist groups to win public support for their cause, their unsuccessful media campaigns and poorly planned plots that, in bin Laden’s view, killed too many innocent Muslims.
Bin Laden adviser Adam Gadahn urged him to disassociate their organization from the acts of al-Qaeda’s spinoff operation in Iraq, known as AQI, and bin Laden told other terrorist groups not to repeat AQI’s mistakes.
The correspondence includes letters by then-second-in-command Abu Yahya al-Libi, taking Pakistani offshoot Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan to task over its indiscriminate attacks on Muslims. The al-Qaeda leadership “threatened to take public measures unless we see from you serious and immediate practical and clear steps towards reforming (your ways) and dissociating yourself from these vile mistakes that violate Islamic Law,” al-Libi wrote.
And bin Laden warned the leader of Yemeni AQAP, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, against attempting a takeover of Yemen to establish an Islamic state, instead saying he should “refocus his efforts on attacking the United States.”
Bin Laden also seemed uninterested in recognizing Somali-based al-Shabab when the group pledged loyalty to him because he thought its leaders were poor governors of the areas they controlled and were too strict with their administration of Islamic penalties, like cutting off the hands of thieves.
The U.S. said the letters reflect al-Qaeda’s relationship with Iran — a point of deep interest to the U.S. government — as “not one of alliance, but of indirect and unpleasant negotiations” over some al-Qaeda terrorists and their families who were imprisoned in Iran. (VIDEO: A Look Into the bin Laden Compound in Abbottabad)
Nothing in the papers that were released points directly to al-Qaeda sympathizers in Pakistan’s government, although presumably such references would have remained classified. Bin Laden described “trusted Pakistani brothers” but didn’t identify any Pakistani government or military officials who might have been aware or complicit in his hiding in Abbottabad.
It wasn’t immediately clear how many of bin Laden’s documents the U.S. was still keeping secret. In a note published with the 175 pages in Arabic that were released Thursday, along with English translations, retired Gen. John Abizaid said they probably represent only a small fraction of materials taken from the compound in the U.S. raid that tracked down and killed bin Laden in May 2011. The U.S. said the documents span September 2006 to April 2011.
Bin Laden was proud of the security measures that kept his family safe for many years, the report said. It said bin Laden boasted that his family “adhered to such strict measures, precluding his children from playing outdoors without the supervision of an adult who could keep their voices down.”
The report said the Special Forces troops in the bin Laden raid were trained to search the home afterward for thumb drives, printed documents and what it described as “pocket litter” that might produce leads to other terrorists. “The end of the raid in Abbottabad was the beginning of a massive analytical effort,” it said.
It said the personal files showed that, during one of the most significant manhunts in history, bin Laden was out of touch with the day-to-day operations of various terrorist groups inspired by al-Qaeda. He was “not in sync on the operational level with its so-called affiliates,” researchers wrote. “Bin Laden enjoyed little control over either groups affiliated with al Qaeda in name or so-called fellow travelers.”
A new report from Standard & Poor’s estimates up to $46 trillion in refinancing and new financing needs by companies during the next four years — and credit markets may not be able to handle it, the Business Insider reports.
According to the report, the global “wall” of non-financial corporate debt maturities coming due from 2012 to 2016 isn’t new to market observers.
Less discussed is the incremental financing that corporate debt issuers will need during this period to fund capital expenditure and working capital growth. S&P’s ratings services estimates the total amount of refinancing and new money requirements during the next five years at between $43 trillion and $46 trillion.
Editor’s Note: The Final Turning Predicted for America. See Proof.
“This demand for funds will potentially compound the credit rationing that may occur as banks seek to restructure their balance sheets, and bond and equity investors reassess their risk-return thresholds,” the report’s authors wrote.
“These factors, amid the current eurozone crisis, a soft U.S. economic recovery following the Great Recession, and the prospect of slowing Chinese growth, raise the downside risk of a perfect storm for credit markets, in our view.”
Though S&P believes that this downside risk remains, it is their working assumption that global banks and debt capital markets will largely be able to continue to provide the majority of liquidity to allow most corporate issuers to proactively manage their forthcoming refinancings.
“However, the balance is fragile, and existing or new sensitivities could flare up, derailing this base case,” the authors write. “Governments and banking regulators are now not as well placed to counter another perfect storm scenario given that they have already expended so much of their fiscal and monetary arsenal to mitigate the problems arising in recent years.”
Other problems also loom for the U.S. economy.
At the end of this year, the Bush tax cuts are set to expire while automatic fiscal spending cuts are set to kick in, a combination known as a “fiscal cliff” that will do worse than suck an expected several hundred billion dollars out of the economy initially, says Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
The combination of tax hikes and spending cuts will yank $7 trillion out of the economy within a decade and throw the economy back into recession.
“There is about $7 trillion there that … could be taken out of the economy in a really stupid way that would likely push us into a recession immediately,” says MacGuineas, according to CNNMoney.
Editor’s Note: The Final Turning Predicted for America. See Proof.
© 2012 Moneynews. All rights reserved.
President Barack Obama’s unplanned, sudden endorsement of gay marriage may pose potential political challenges for him in the upcoming months, but at least one news organization is proclaiming the married father of two the nation’s “first gay president.”
Newsweek on Sunday released the cover of their next issue, which features President Obama with a rainbow halo and the title of ‘The First Gay President.’ Not to be outdone, The New Yorker magazine’s new cover shows the White House with a gay friendly rainbow column.
Tina Brown, who heads Newsweek, and its sister website The Daily Beast, is known for her appreciation of controversial covers to help boost public interest and sales, the Daily Telegraph points out.
The article accompanying the cover was written by the news magazine’s nominally conservative blogger, Andrew Sullivan, who is an openly gay.
‘When you step back a little and assess the record of Obama on gay rights, you see, in fact, that this was not an aberration. It was an inevitable culmination of three years of work,’ Sullivan said in a statement about the article.
‘He had to discover his black identity and then reconcile it with his white family, just as gays discover their homosexual identity and then have to reconcile it with their heterosexual family,’ he wrote, describing the similarities between Mr Obama and the gay community.
Obama only made his move after his hand was forced by Vice President Joe Biden, who last week said he was quite comfortable with gay marriage. The next day, Education Secretary Arne Duncan seconded Biden with his own support.
Obama, facing a major series of fundraisers dominated by Hollywood liberals and leading members of the gay community, came out later in the week during an interview with ABC News.
Nevertheless, while the mainstream media celebrates the move, there are serious potential political challenges for Obama in most of the states that may decide this year’s election.
But some conversatives have applauded the move. Several pundits last week pointed out that before Obama, the highest ranking government leader to endorse legalized gay unions was former Vice President Dick Cheney.
The move is “the right thing to do,” said strategist Mark McKinnon, a former adviser to President George W. Bush.
“I give the president great credit for voting his conscience, because when you net this all out, it’s not a political winner,” McKinnon said today on the CBS program “Face the Nation.”
Offering an overview of some of the most competitive battlegrounds in Democrat Obama’s re-election bid, McKinnon said, “You net look at those states and think about where’s that going to help him, probably just one — Colorado. And maybe New Hampshire.”
In other swing states — including Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Arizona, Missouri and North Carolina — “arguably, it’s a net loser,” McKinnon said of Obama publicly expressing support for same-sex marriage in an interview May 9 with ABC News.
Obama’s statement set off speculation about its political effect and the contrast it creates with presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who opposes gay marriage. Romney reiterated his opposition in a commencement address yesterday at Lynchburg, Virginia-based Liberty University, an evangelical school.
McKinnon, who helped orchestrate Republican Bush’s successful White House campaign in 2000 and 2004, in expressing his own support for Obama’s decision said the president may gain some political benefit from it.
“What’s important is we have a president who leads and stands for what he believes in,” McKinnon said. “President Bush won re-election in 2004 not because people liked him necessarily, or even agreed with his policies, they voted for him because they thought he had core principles and he’d fight for them.”
Former Solicitor General Ted Olson, who held that job under Bush and who McKinnon termed “a legend” among Republicans, also expressed support for Obama’s decision on “Face the Nation.”
“I don’t know about politics,” Olson said when asked about the move’s possible impact on the election. “I do know about human rights, and constitutional rights, and on that basis I think the president did the right thing and I’m very glad he did it.”
Olson, the lead counsel for Bush in the 2000 Supreme Court case that decided that year’s election, has joined with David Boies, the lead attorney for 2000 Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore in that year’s battle for the White House, to legally challenge California’s 2008 ballot measure known as Proposition 8 that banned gay marriage.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a group opposed to abortion rights and gay marriage, said on “Face the Nation” that Obama’s gay marriage position will bolster Romney’s standing with evangelical voters who are part of the Republican Party base.
“I think that Barack Obama has helped fit that missing piece of intensity that Mitt Romney’s going to need,” Perkins said.
In March, when the Republican race remained undecided Perkins said that many voters for whom opposition to gay marriage and abortion are paramount issues “have not been excited” by Romney.
“They just don’t think Romney’s conservative,” Perkins said at the time.
Some doubt Obama’s announcement will have much impact on the presidential race.
“I literally don’t think anybody’s vote was changed by this one way or the other,” said Representative Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat.
“I can’t think there are many people who said, OK, well, I’m going to vote for Obama even though he said that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and he said gay people can serve in the military, but if he says marriage, that goes too far,” Frank said on ABC’s “This Week” program.
Frank, who is openly gay and isn’t seeking re-election this year after 16 terms in office, referred that Obama administration’s decision last year to no longer defend the law that prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex spouses and the president’s push for repeal of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy for gays in the military.
Polling shows the gay marriage issue deeply divides Americans. Fifty percent of respondents said in a May 3-6 Gallup poll that same-sex marriages should be recognized as legal, with 48 percent saying they shouldn’t.
Independents support same-sex marriage 57 percent to 40 percent, according to the Gallup Poll.
An April 2012 poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press showed a 7-percentage-point drop in opposition among independents over the last four years, and a 15-point drop over the last eight years.
Romney, though, could benefit with older people, as opposition to gay marriage tends to increase by age, according to polls. Just 30 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds were opposed to gay marriage in the Pew survey, compared with 56 percent of those over the age of 65.
© 2012 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
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