Who killed Bhutto and did she believe Bin Laden had been murdered?
I like the Irish Times and the Times of India as newspapers. The English in them is rich, the analysis world-weary and direct and they're not obsessed with breathless reporting or adolescent values like the papers in Britain and the States.
So here's The Times of India on US Presidential candidates and their reactions to the murder of Benazir Bhutto. Al-Qaeda/Taleban leaders who boasted of having groups of at least 60 suicide bombers stalking her have denied any responsibility and I have yet to see her killer identified anywhere. The scene has been hosed down, as is relatively normal, and the remains have been buried. So no one will ever really know what happened.
A search of great intensity is going on for clues as to the identity of her killer though. The West Australian newspaper has a report on it here. Speculation is inevitable. If eye-witnesses who survived saw one man running and firing, and then the car moved with an explosion a few seconds later, how many people were involved in the attack? Was the car armoured? Where are the bullets? Who else had bullets in them and where is the film?
Controversy is also developing as to the state of Benazir's body and the wounds in it. One of her closest aides, and an eyewitness, points this out here. The doctors, government and friends who dressed the body for burial are all in dispute.
According to Rantburg and Reuters, bits of the suicide bomber have been recovered and are being reconstructed.
The Minnesota-based Captain's Quarters notes that no one else in the car was injured. I hate to say it, but Fox News has a diagram of the assassination scene here.
There are all sorts of stories of calls from militants to the military, but none should be given credence until they can be established. This is broadly the line taken by the Xinhua news agency of China, which details some of the allegations flying around here.
My guess, as I said the other day, is that either the intelligence agencies who function quasi-independently, or AQ/T, whatever they say, did this. it is of course possible that a random nut did it, but given the security questions and the number of weapons used, I'd find that as hard to believe as you probably do.
At the same time, remember the resonance of other political assassinations. The killings of Presidents McKinley and Kennedy both threw up discussions and controversies like these, and most of them can be answered without reference to sinister conspiracies. For instance, it appears to have been Bhutto's family who disallowed an autopsy, as with JFK. Any JFK reader can become more of an expert on bullet wounds given the mad experiments done over the years on tracking bullets and the direction of supersonic bullet travel done by those keen to 'solve' that crime. Initial reports of where the holes were in Bhutto's head sound eerily familiar of debates about the 'jet effect'
When Malcolm X was killed too, the police and security left their posts. When Bremer shot george Wallace in 1972, and when Sirhan or another shot RFK, all sorts of questions were asked about motivations, just as now. When Hinckley shot Reagan, a bouncing bullet revealed how dangerous armoured cars can be. And the career of Ali Agca Khan, who shot the Pope in some byzantine plot connected with the Bulgarians and KGB shows how tangled the motivations of the living can be, and how difficult to disentangle.
Of course, all these case stand as warnings not to definitively speculate too. Still, here's a set of questions from the crime threads at democratic underground too, just in case you want to. The link is to a video in which a possibly tired Bhutto alludes to her knowledge of 'the man who murdered Bin Laden'. Her interviewer, David Frost, skips over her linkage of the Daniel Pearl killing with Bin Laden's 'death' at the hands of Omar Saeed Sheikh. No mainstream media picked up on this as far as I could tell. The short, no-commentary video of the interview from youtube can be found here;