Patterico's Pontifications


Video Shows Bhutto may have been Killed by Assassin’s Gun

Filed under: International,Terrorism — DRJ @ 7:39 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

New video suggests Benazir Bhutto may have been shot by the black-suited gunman in sunglasses:

This contradicts the repeated claims by the Pakistani government that Bhutto was not shot but instead fractured her skull on the sunroof lever as a result of the suicide bombing. In one sense, it’s not a meaningful distinction. The combination of the gunman and suicide bomber in such close proximity to Bhutto’s vehicle made it more likely she would be assassinated. Nevertheless, photos show the bomb did not breach the vehicle and I’ve read that the other people in the vehicle survived. Thus, had the gunman not been successful, Bhutto might well have survived the bombing.

Of course, there are other more conspiracy-minded theories: What if the gunman and the suicide bomber were not working together? Instead, the gunman who assassinated Bhutto may have been the target of the suicide bomber. This would eliminate the possibility of talking to the assassin and make it harder to ascertain his motivations and determine who supported him. This scenario also suggests that the people behind the assassination were as interested in hiding their involvement as they were in killing Bhutto.

Overall, this is similar to the murder of Ahmad Shah Massoud in Afghanistan on September 9, 2001. Massoud’s al Qaeda and Taliban-linked assassins also used subterfuge to get near him and then to detonate a suicide bomb, either on their persons or in a camera. Like the Bhutto assassination, the timing of that assassination was designed to kill an important leader and to inflict great political damage.

H/T LittleGreenFootballs.


5 Responses to “Video Shows Bhutto may have been Killed by Assassin’s Gun”

  1. Well, I might as well make a quick comment before I get banned. This is an excellent post. I especially like the different scenarios you’ve posited.

    It’s definitely an enigma. While I doubt Musharraff was directly involved, this looks stinky and he’s gonna have to deal with it. That’ll be tough if everyone in Pakistan thinks he’s a liar.

    I doubt he is. However, I think he may have been screwed over by his security forces in addition to al-Quaeda.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  2. Like the Bhutto assassination, the timing of that assassination [Massoud] was designed to kill an important leader and to inflict great political damage.

    And, of course, was the prelude to a much larger operation.

    It seems to me that the bomber was there to destroy any evidence. After all, he detonated after the shots were made.

    Why would the jihaddists – al-Qaeda, Taliban, et cetera – be concerned about remaining evidence? They’re glad to take credit.

    Cui bono?

    SteveMG (4826d6)

  3. The ISI may care. Al Qaeda and the Taliban may also care to the extent it could lead back to and disrupt an existing cell.

    DRJ (09f144)

  4. Steve, Al Qaida is not so bold anymore. They need to hide as much evidence as possible, because there are clever people who are destroying Al Qaida based on little shreds of information.

    I wonder if the bomber was just a backup plan, but since the shooter guaranteed Bhutto would be inside the armored vehicle, I suppose it’s more rational that the bomber was just trying to conceal the who how and what.

    Can someone please explain to me how it helps Musharaff if Bhutto was killed by a lever in the car instead of a bullet (as is quite plainly obvious at this point)?

    Is there some dumb idea that this makes Pakistan’s po9lice less responsible? 21 people were blown up! And a guy was shooting a gun right next to Bhutto. There was no security, and that obviously permitted the killing, so why does it matter if she was killed by a lever? They took a huge risk by lying about this, knowing there were already contrary claims and tons of footage. I guess some people are just very dumb.

    Jem (9e390b)

  5. Musharraf has offered an exhumation and autopsy. One would think this a good idea, not to say dispositive. If not a bluff.

    Re: the scarf moving, it could have been a near miss. We did not see blood or tissue, after all.

    Re: the sunroof handle, I suppose the scarf could have prevented it from getting bloody?

    The plot was chancy. Absent the bomb, three pistol shots is not great odds for a kill under these circumstances. And the bomb was not powerful enough to destroy the vehicle. Odd, all odd. Unlike in The Godfather, the plotters were lucky, not unlucky. Unless they plotted to not-kill, of course.

    Very disappointing and to my mind most significant is the denial of adequate security to Bhutto. However, unless Musharraf had a man in the car who caved in her head with a blunt object, ISTM he would have plotted better. I have often wondered if the plots against his life were rigged.

    But if he was trying to get a kill I am sure he would have used enough gun, used enough bomb. Also one wonders (though these things can always be finessed, c.f. Casino Royale the book) where Musharraf would have got a suicide bomber.

    Could this have been intended as a near-miss that went wrong?

    nichevo (1510ce)

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