Video: Yet more new footage of Bhutto’s assassination; Update: Police prevented doctors from doing autopsy?

posted at 8:43 am on December 31, 2007 by Allahpundit

Finally we get to see her react. Her head does jerk sharply to the right after the shots but whether that’s a reflex in response to the sound or from the force of a bullet hitting her, I can’t tell. As for the government theory that she hit her head on a lever on the sunroof, compare the third photo here to the new vid. I think we’re looking at the back of the vehicle in the photo; from what I can see in the clip, Bhutto does drop towards the right and back of the sunroof so it’s not out of the question that she hit her head on it. Also, the gunman was behind her when he fired. If a bullet did hit her, why would the force have pushed her back instead of forward, into the front of the roof?

She does appear to be safely inside the car when the bomb goes off, though, and since no one else inside was killed by the force of it, it’s hard to believe the shockwave did her in. That means the cause of death was either a gunshot or her dropping down into the car so fast that banging her head against the lever on the roof on the way did enough damage to expose her brain. Watch the clip. Anyone think that’s realistic? No wonder her doctors are formally distancing themselves from the government explanation. Click the image to watch.

Update: Sky has more video, including an interview with her bodyguard. Two in the neck and one in the head, he says.

bhutto-circle.jpg

Update: More from the doctors. Sounds damning, although her husband said last night that he was the one who refused permission for the autopsy. Maybe the cops were just enforcing his request?

[Hospital lawyer Athal] Minallah said the doctors “suggested to the officials to perform an autopsy,” but that Rawalpindi police chief Aziz Saud “did not agree.” He noted that under the law, police investigators have “exclusive responsibility” in deciding to have an autopsy.

Minallah told CNN that he was speaking out because the doctors at the hospital were “threatened.”

“They are government servants who cannot speak — I am not,” he said. He did not elaborate on the threats against the doctors.

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Pwned.

Neo on December 31, 2007 at 9:03 AM

I think she was shot.

Whether it was the Government, or AlQaeda sp? -terrorists….

what is the difference? I am finding it difficult to distinguish between….any of them.

bridgetown on December 31, 2007 at 9:05 AM

The fact that she hit her head is not totally out of the question. She clearly jerks her head to the right and down, but I have a hard time believing that she did so hard enough to rupture her skull.

Its Tommy on December 31, 2007 at 9:16 AM

Pwned.
Neo on December 31, 2007 at 9:03 AM

This isn’t a game of Halo.

It looks to me as though she was shot. I do wonder why the government is so insistent on the alternate theory. Do the particulars matter all that much?

Slublog on December 31, 2007 at 9:24 AM

If Bhutto’s husband really wants to know what caused her death he should agree to an autopsy. He won’t do that because he benefits from the backlash against Musharraf.

Buy Danish on December 31, 2007 at 9:26 AM

Do the particulars matter all that much?

In a country like Pakistan, I would think it does.

Wade on December 31, 2007 at 9:28 AM

In a country like Pakistan, I would think it does.

But what we know seems enough. Her death, whether by gunshot or skull fracture, is the result of an assassination attempt. How she physically died in the wake of that attack seems irrelevant given that an attack took place.

Slublog on December 31, 2007 at 9:30 AM

Yes, it looks like the pistol shots hit her.

As mentioned yesterday, it’s time to ID the men who had the pistol and bomb vest.

Zorro on December 31, 2007 at 9:30 AM

Where does one buy these magical u-turning bullets ?

Gunman is to her left and slightly behind, the wound, per doctors report is slightly behind her right ear.

elgeneralisimo on December 31, 2007 at 9:31 AM

I’m trying to figure out why anyone is interested.

Of course she’s dead. She signed her own warrant the moment she stepped foot on Pakistani soil. The only question was when, and frankly I’m surprised it took so long.

One can only hope that her supporters include people that will pick up the flag for peace and democracy.

Given the history of Pakistan, and its current frictions, my hope for that is vanishingly small.

krakatoa on December 31, 2007 at 9:31 AM

elgeneralisimo

more than one gunman?

bridgetown on December 31, 2007 at 9:33 AM

How she physically died in the wake of that attack seems irrelevant

You assume these are reasonable people. I assume they are not.

Wade on December 31, 2007 at 9:36 AM

You assume these are reasonable people. I assume they are not.

I think we’re going to see violence and perhaps a civil war of sorts because she died, not because she died in a particular way. That’s my point. The particulars will do little to help an already unpopular government stop the coming storm.

Slublog on December 31, 2007 at 9:41 AM

Also, the gunman was behind her when he fired. If a bullet did hit her, why would the force have pushed her back instead of forward, into the front of the roof?

Allahpundit on December 31, 2007 at 8:43 AM

Actually if you are shot in the head from behind and the bullet (along with some bio matter) exits your head in the front your head will jerk backwards not forward due to a reaction of the propulsive force of the masses exiting the front of your head.

12thman on December 31, 2007 at 9:41 AM

more than one gunman?

bridgetown on December 31, 2007 at 9:33 AM

On second thought, it may have been a glancing shot that didn’t actually penetrate, but knock off a chunk of bone. Not likely but possible.

elgeneralisimo on December 31, 2007 at 9:46 AM

It only matters if something crazy happened inside the car like someone inside shot her again to finish her off or something similarly conspiratorial.

Assuming the obvious is true; shot, bomb went off, she expired, then it’s pretty moot what the particulars are other than who was the shooter and bomber and who was behind it higher up.

Dash on December 31, 2007 at 9:47 AM

Dash on December 31, 2007 at 9:47 AM

Exactly right.

12thman on December 31, 2007 at 9:52 AM

That’s my point.

The point is, it makes a difference to someone, why else the different stories?

Wade on December 31, 2007 at 10:00 AM

Yes, ok, so she was (fill in the blank) and is dead now.

The videos clearly show a shooter, and it is just as clear that a suicide bomber exploded in close proximity to the shooter. Who were they?

All the squabbling over the specifics of the trauma really ratchet the noise level away from that important question – for which there aren’t a lot of answers, yet.

Without a specific ID on the perps, it’s nothing but wild speculation and rumor about who orchestrated the hit – and with all the drama, particularly at this point – with the apparently conflicting immediate causes of death – getting factual information about who planned and executed this attack out in public, and be believable, is going to be tremendously difficult, if not impossible.

Oh, how the ‘Bhuto Assasination Plot Conspiracy’ cottage industry is looking to be a growth industry – leaving, aside from a horrid mess that is the current state of Pakistani politics, the question – when will Bollywood do the dramatization (if ever), and who will be the South Asian Oliver Stone?

Wind Rider on December 31, 2007 at 10:01 AM

It does matter how she died for two reasons.
1. If the wound characteristics don’t match up with the story, then they need to look at the story again.
2. Otherwise, in 20 years, Oliver Stone will make a movie and get the facts all wrong and stir things up with conspiracy theories after they have calmed down.

Catseye on December 31, 2007 at 10:02 AM

Maybe she died from gunshots, maybe not.
Maybe she died from hitting her head, maybe not.
There will never be a definitive explanation as to the actual cause but so what? Whoever killed her could care less as long as she’s dead.

I’m very sorry that she was assassinated as she provided real hope for democracy in Pakistan. Things can only get worse without her. But, as far as her death goes, the only thing that’s for sure is that she was assassinated and didn’t die from choking on a ham sandwich.

Rod on December 31, 2007 at 10:04 AM

How she physically died in the wake of that attack seems irrelevant given that an attack took place.

A very well respected blogger famous fr his work in Iraq just said essentially the same thing to me via email, and this s what I wrote him:

It matters because it goes to the credibility of the Pakistani government in this case.

If they are lying, they look complicit. If they made a mistake, that’s incompetence, but not conspiracy. It would seem to be that a civil war could hang in the balance of what people think occurred, which is why I think that distinction matters.

I agree that she is dead either way and the government did not do enough for her security, but as Channel 4 hints that their involvement using selective use of evidence, it appears that are attempting to incite conflict, in a a very “remember the Maine!” type way.

Of course, that’s just my opinion.

I agree very much that we need to find out who did it, but we should let the media railroad us into conclusions based upon false claims, either.

Bob Owens on December 31, 2007 at 10:12 AM

This whole thing seems dodgy. Is it wrong of me to suspect that the hubby and son had something to do with it? Maybe I’m too paranoid right now, but there’s something odd with the way they’ve been reacting.

mjk on December 31, 2007 at 10:21 AM

Back, and to the left….back, and to the left.

RobCon on December 31, 2007 at 10:35 AM

mjk @10:21am…that thought crossed my mind as well..

bridgetown on December 31, 2007 at 10:41 AM

It’s about what I thought from the last major post. If she hit her head on a lever/bolt, then it was the side of her head, not the back and not the point where the injury occurred; in any event, a head strike to the lever wouldn’t have cause the injury shown.

Maybe still, she could have hit the rim of the sunroof behind her. But it definitely wasn’t because of the bomb blast.

I agree with Bob Owens [on December 31, 2007 at 10:12 AM]. If the government doesn’t think there were shooters or bullet injuries, then I guess they don’t have any bullets or, maybe, pistols recovered for, um, like, forensic purposes. D’oh. Did they recover the bloody pulp that was the bomber or was that swept up with the glass and taken to the dump, too?

I know it is a chaotic situation but it still looks like it’s run by clowns.

As for who to suspect. I wouldn’t rule out anyone, including her rival party leader, who made it to the hospital in time to get some media attention.

Dusty on December 31, 2007 at 11:53 AM

CNN video never works for me.

The particulars of the way she died could have been more or less irrelevant; the Pakistani government has nonetheless made it sensationally relevant by appearing to obfuscate and misdirect. Whether they are staggering along under the burden of utter incompetence or attempting to patch together a cover-up matters greatly.

TexasDan on December 31, 2007 at 11:55 AM

This whole thing seems dodgy. Is it wrong of me to suspect that the hubby and son had something to do with it? Maybe I’m too paranoid right now, but there’s something odd with the way they’ve been reacting.

Husband had a lot to gain, and a tremendously dodgy history.

MayBee on December 31, 2007 at 12:19 PM

Watching the video, the bit that sticks out to me is her scarf… it appears to move up and forward in the same direction as the line of fire before an instant before her head moves, almost as if it is being blown by a sudden gust of wind.

jasnell on December 31, 2007 at 12:30 PM

Pakistan is a plugged toilet, Bhutto’s killing was another push of the handle, things bubble and slide over one another, but essentially remain the same.

US dollars are toilet paper.

BL@KBIRD on December 31, 2007 at 12:59 PM

Pwned.

Neo on December 31, 2007 at 9:03 AM

This is a brilliantly terse summarization of everything that is wrong with much of America, where pop culture hipness is more important than world events, international security, and simply humanity.

calbear on December 31, 2007 at 1:11 PM

So the guy hit with three shots. Must be pretty level headed to have been able to hit from that angle and that distance.

davod on December 31, 2007 at 1:54 PM

INSIDE JOB THEORY

Killed inside car after being pulled in when the staged assassination occurs. The shooter would have a hell of a time hitting her, a moving target, with his aim affected by his movement and a jostling crowd. And the angle of the gun doesn’t appear to line up with his eye level, denying him accurate sight picture. The shooter is then silenced by the guy standing behind him, assigned to secretly follow the shooter and blow up the shooter and himself in the process in the name of Allah or whatever he believed in. Hit head on door handle – fatally? No way.

AmericanDad on December 31, 2007 at 6:15 PM

American Dad: “Killed inside car after being pulled in when the staged assassination occurs”

The killed inside the car theory does not work for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that there were Bhutto-loyalists riding in the car with her that survived and would be witnesses. Hit by the one known gunman is much a better scenario, with the bomber there primarily to take out the gunman and sow confusion. If it was an inside job, that scenario would provide the best cover and deniability without incriminating any of the principal members of the security detail.

jasnell on December 31, 2007 at 8:17 PM

jasnell,

Thanks for the additional info. I looked for the info about who was in the car but couldn’t find it. But remember that people who appeared to be loyalists took out Sadat, too. I know that there are differences betwen the situations and people. I’m not advancing the theory, just throwing it out there.

AmericanDad on January 1, 2008 at 2:12 PM

She as shot. She hit her head. She was shot. She hit her head. Now they are saying she was indeed shot now that the released footage shows it. Just another example that gov’ts still need to be watched IMHO.

johnnyU on January 1, 2008 at 7:17 PM