Bhutto from the grave: Blame Musharraf

posted at 5:54 pm on December 27, 2007 by Allahpundit

Quite a scoop here for Blitzer and CNN, although the more you think about it the less convincing it is. Doubtless she was concerned about her security; given the political tensions between her and Musharraf, anyone would be. But how deep was that concern? Here’s the last photo taken of her. See anything there that’s inconsistent with the idea of a woman in mortal fear of being sabotaged by her detail? It was the gunshots, not the bomb blast, that apparently killed her, too, leaving it an open question of whether she would have survived if she’d been a bit more careful. Blitzer, to his credit, offers that photo to Mark Siegel, who relayed her e-mail to him. Siegel’s feeble reply: Don’t blame the victim.

The latest on whodunnit comes from the New York Sun, which notes that AQ’s Internet forums went dark earlier today “suggesting a major announcement was forthcoming.” The problem is that Al Qaeda has every incentive to claim responsibility even if it’s innocent and Pakistani intel has every incentive to deny responsibility even if it’s guilty. How do you tell a bona fide jihadist operation from a willing patsy? Your guess is as good as mine. But in case the picture’s not complicated enough, TPM reminds us that there are plenty of homegrown mujahid groups in Pakistan that aren’t terribly closely affiliated with AQ or the Taliban that might also want a moderate democratic force like Bhutto eliminated. At the top of the list: Lashkar e-Taiba, culprit in various terrorist attacks in Pakistan and India. Was it them, or AQ, or Musharraf, or someone else? Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown.

I leave you with Gen. Zinni’s comments at the end of Time’s piece, which are interesting insofar as they (a) exculpate Bush (of whom Zinni is no fan) while not exactly exculpating America and (b) reason that AQ probably is responsible — precisely because, contra leftist wisdom, they’re doing so badly on other fronts of the war on terror.

Update: Newsweek asks the question of the hour. Contra Mark Siegel, the only guy I’m willing to rule out as a suspect with near-certainty is Musharraf himself, precisely because he’ll reap the whirlwind from this and he’d have known that beforehand. So would disloyal figures within the government, though, which makes this sort of a twofer for them: get rid of Bhutto and, by doing so, get rid of Musharraf too.

Update: Intel official Bruce Riedel, who worked for Bush I and Clinton, thinks it’s “almost certainly” Al Qaeda. Some commenters are wondering if this will give Musharraf a freer hand to wage war in the tribal areas. Why would it? They’ve tried to kill him many times; killing Bhutto isn’t going to concentrate his mind any more than it already is. Bhutto’s supporters were anti-jihadist before today too so it’s not like he’s gained any allies from this.


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Are there grassy knolls in Pakistan?

flipflop on December 27, 2007 at 5:59 PM

Wow…from beyond the grave.

Maybe John Edwards channeled Bhutto during his call to Musharraf.

Jack M. on December 27, 2007 at 5:59 PM

and I’m still wondering who killed Jimmy Hoffa!

thuja on December 27, 2007 at 6:02 PM

Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown.

Yep.

I see it as less a question of whodunnit–not that I wouldn’t like to bring the responsible parties before a firing squad– than a question of “what now?”

see-dubya on December 27, 2007 at 6:04 PM

I still think that this sad episode will ultimately give Musharraf the excuse he needs to go “invite” the US and other willing partners to go into the tribal areas along with Pakistani troops to clean house.

Scorched earth, man. Scorched earth.

flipflop on December 27, 2007 at 6:07 PM

Musharraf just lost his chief electoral rival, saw contentious elections postponed indefinitely, and got carte blanche internally and internationally for whatever measures he wants to take against the assassins.

I don’t think he did it either but I’m not going to rule him out yet.

see-dubya on December 27, 2007 at 6:12 PM

I don’t think he did it either but I’m not going to rule him out yet.

see-dubya on December 27, 2007 at 6:12 PM

I don’t think we’ll ever know without waterboarding someone.

a capella on December 27, 2007 at 6:19 PM

Let’s not forget that just earlier this month, Bhutto made the comment that she’d be OK with inviting US and other NATO forces into the tribal areas to kick ass. That, to me, is almost a smoking gun in AQ’s hands.

flipflop on December 27, 2007 at 6:24 PM

So what is left of US policy in Pakistan? So much for democratic reform.

ronsfi on December 27, 2007 at 6:40 PM

So what is left of US policy in Pakistan?

Keeping the nukes out of AL Qaeda’s hands and defusing tension with India.

The first is precarious but still successful; the second we’ve done all right with, I think.

see-dubya on December 27, 2007 at 6:56 PM

I don’t think Musharaf did it either because it would harm his position in the long run. (If Islamists did it, long-term thinking that doesn’t involve killing as many infidels, apostates and “wayward” women as possible is irrelevant.)

It’s interesting that Bhutto met with Karzai earlier. Al Qaeda and sundry Islamists don’t like him any more than they liked her. Either he has better, more trustworthy security and/or is smarter about it. Seeing Bhutto riding with her head out moments before her death, it almost seems as though she was looking for martyrdom. Still, her murder is a tragedy and a disaster.

baldilocks on December 27, 2007 at 7:00 PM

So, lemme’ see if I got this straight…

The picture clearly shows her hanging out the top of the car, but Musharraf is to blame for her “insecurity” ?

uh-huh

franksalterego on December 27, 2007 at 7:15 PM

She writes an email blaming her political rival. CNN says its a huge scoop. LOL

Musharrif also sent an email to CCN earlier, also embargoed until she was assasinated.

Hey b*tch, shutup already.

pedestrian on December 27, 2007 at 7:25 PM

Who did it? Well take a look at the flimsiness of her headscarf. This was a national honor killing.

BL@KBIRD on December 27, 2007 at 7:29 PM

If the US gets a go ahead for some operations in the tribal area, alas more open such as bombing campaigns, how long until the left starts screaming “False Flag!!!

BushCo. had her killed!!”

broker1 on December 27, 2007 at 7:52 PM

Sooooo Sorry.

I can nut blve CNN posting specel emales fm a women that be educated and can not even use the full spelling of the simplest word such as you etc. in the text of a message that fully spelled out the other lengthy words that are the one normally abbreviated in such messages.

Again CNN must still think their viewers are not intelligent enough to see beyond the banter.

MSGTAS on December 28, 2007 at 9:19 AM

I probably blame them more often than they are actually responsible, but I’m going to throw Russia out there as the culprit.

gabriel sutherland on December 28, 2007 at 11:08 AM