Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bhutto Catalogue

by shamanic

When Cernig first asked me to come and write for a new group blog version of his always insightful Newshog, almost a year ago now, I have to admit I felt a little intimidated. The dude is able to pull together information from a truly global assortment of news and opinion sources day in and day out, and he pursues stories from a clear point of view and interesting angle and with the intensity of a furious pit bull.

Right now, he is creating a catalogue of stories about a crime and its cover up. With the diligence of a sought-after trial attorney, Cernig is casting reasonable doubt on every new story that the Pakistani government pushes about the killing of Benazir Bhutto, and shedding light on the connections between the players, the pawns, and the kings.

It is unlikely that the true story of this attack and the parties involved will ever be known to the public. There are vested interests who will protect each other in whatever passes for an investigation in Pakistan, and western governments won't push Musharraf too hard anyway. The information Cernig is compiling is a series of important pieces of the historical record that will be whitewashed in the official versions, which is all the more reason to maintain them.
Monday December 31: New Tape Seems to Show Bhutto Was Shot. As the title suggests, plus statements from doctors at the hospital denying the "sunroof lever" theory.

Sunday December 30: Bhutto's Bloodstained Car. A video shows the quantity of blood in the car after her arrival at the hospital.

Sunday December 30: Bhutto's Teen Son Is New Party Leader. In which the quote "Democracy is the best revenge" joins the lexicon of paternalistic aristocrats.

Saturday December 29: The Man Who Shot Bhutto. Contains quotes from Safdar Abbassi, Bhutto political advisor who was in the car when she fell into it. He insists that she was shot in the neck -- his wife tried to stanch the wound with her headscarf -- contrary to official Pakistani reports. In updates to the post, The Daily Mail declines to name names in the Pakistani political establishment, and The Daily Express reports that photographs show there were two attackers and a lot of excess explosives after the attack.

Saturday December 29: Pakistan's Hope Still Under House Arrest. Short piece about Iftikhar Chaudhry, chief justice of Pakistan's Supreme Court and a potential leader for a now-leaderless democracy movement in Pakistan.

Saturday December 29: Islamist Group Denies Killing Bhutto. Detailed piece exploring the role of Baitullah Mehsud, who I guess is who we would call a "person of interest". Also: an overview of the Pakistani government's shifting explanation of how Bhutto died, and the fact that police were known to have abandoned checkpoints around the rally after an early security presence there.

Friday December 28: More Questions than Answers. In which Pakistan first utters the multi-billion dollar phrase, "Al-Qaeda did it!"

Friday December 28: Bhutto Avalanche Round-Up & Us. This piece is by me, but contains a worthwhile link to the Washington Post's coverage of the US government's role and motivation in putting Bhutto back in Pakistan to begin with.

Thursday December 27: Breaking News in Pakistan. This post was updated throughout the day as more information (and speculation) became available. Contains the original back-and-forth about whether Musharraf would be the primary beneficiary of Benazir Bhutto's death (I say it hurts Mushie more than it helps, Cernig says he needed someone to rid him of a "turbulent priest", a phrase I'm so grateful he used. Google it for its amazing applicability.).

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