This article does a very good job of explaining the behind the scenes manueverings of The Guardian and the New York Times related to the Wikileaks memos. And it shows the way the US and probably British intelligence services controlled the 'redacting' of info in the Wikileaks cables they published.
At that point, the data river forked. The treasure trove was copied by a Wikileaks German employee,Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who went AWOL after this profitable appropriation. Domscheit-Bergmade a deal with David Leigh of the Guardian; Leigh used it to cross Assange. He cold-shouldered Assange, declared the deal ‘void’, and used the data to promote his career and to make friends with Bill Keller, editor of the NY Times They published the cables after redacting them, or should we say “censoring” – removeing everything the secret services demanded to remove. We wrote about it at length here in CounterPunch.
Julian Assange succeeded in regaining some lost ground: he established new partnerships, with the Daily Telegraph and others. The cables were being published all the time. And then Assange learned that the Guardian and the New York Times planned to publish the Guantanamo files. There was no time to lose: in a few days, the Wikileaks team prepared the files and began to upload. So did the competitors, possessing the Domscheit-Berg appropriated copy. This was the double-cross per Leigh.
The unredacted Wikileaks Gitmo memos show links to people in Abbottabad. So, if you go by what the NYTimes tells you, with the official permission of US Intelligence, you would never know this.
Careful reading of the file shows that al-Libi was connected with al Iraqi since October 2002. In 2003, OBL stated al Libi would be the official messenger between OBL and others in Pakistan. In mid-2003, al Libi moved his family to Abbottabad, Pakistan and worked between Abbottabad and Peshawar. He maintained contact with al Iraqi.
And we know that OBL was found and killed in Abbottabad – just as this publication hit the pages of the newspapers. So the trail to Abbottabad was known to the American services at least since 2005, when al-Libi, another Abbottabad dweller, was captured.
Now, that sounds damning .... until you go look up Abbottabad and see that its an 'education city' with a population of 1,000,000. When I used to tell someone where I went to university, they'd almost always respond with "my cousin Jim went there, did you know him?" Yeah right, there were 12,000 students there.
So, at this point, I have to stop short of saying that just because another lead led back to this city of 300,000 (edit: I had said 1,000,000, but that's apparently the population of the 'district'. See link in later post above), then that doesn't exactly mean that it automatically led to OBL's door. Its like saying you know Tony Soprano is hiding out somewhere in Jersey.
Still, it surprised me to hear that OBL had supposedly been living in this hideout for five years. That seems to break any sensible rules that a world super-villian on the run might have for staying alive and hidden. Did it really take US intelligence five years to find OBL after he stopped moving around? That's not exactly Butch and Sundance being chased by a relentless posse, is it?
The link is worth reading for understanding the details of where the information coming from Wikileakss, the NYTs, the Guardian and other papers has been coming from, and who's been doing the 'redacting'. Exactly how far you believe that the US had a trail to OBL for the last five years is up to you.