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article imageOp-Ed: Doubts surface about Trump's account of viewing Baghdadi death

By Ken Hanly     Oct 29, 2019 in Politics
Washington - Parts of Trump's narrative about Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's death are likely made up rather than actually seen by the president. Trump makes it sound like he was watching a Hollywood film when in reality what he was watching was quite different.
What Trump was actually watching
Trump is well known for exaggerating his accomplishments but the footage that Trump and his staff were actually watching was only overhead surveillance footage and there was no audio. It was impossible for Trump to have seen or heard much of what he clams on the appended video.
Audio details Trump claims to have heard
A recent Guardian article reports: "US officials who also watched the feed have declined to echo details of Trump’s macabre account of the Isis’s leader death on Saturday, including that Baghdadi was “whimpering, crying and screaming all the way”."
Since there was no audio in what Trump was watching there is no way that he is simply reporting on what he has heard. In all probability he just made it up but could have heard it second hand. Officials did not deny what the president said. To do so might result in unfortunate consequences for their careers if they did so. Officials simply said they had no idea where Trump got those details. General Mark Milley said he was unable to confirm those details.
The nature of what was being viewed
A recent report describes the footage seen: "The footage piped into the situation room would have consisted of overhead surveillance shots of the dark compound with heat signatures differentiating between US fighters and others, intelligence and military officials told the New York Times. Those cameras would not have been able to peer into the tunnel where Baghdadi died, nor provide audio proof of his conduct during the last minutes of his life."
However, Trump describes what he was viewing as being like watching a movie. For Trump entertaining the people is no doubt more important than informing them it would seem.
Adding to questions about reliability of accounts of Baghdadi's death the Kurdish SDF now claims that they’d seized Baghdadi’s underpants and used those for a DNA test before the raid, to 100% identify him.
Gen. Milley reported that Baghdadi’s corpse, or what’s left of it, was taken by US forces and “disposed of” at sea. Officials insists his body was gotten rid of appropriately, and no more photos or videos will be released. So much for confirmation.
However, Trump has published a photo of the hero dog who is said to have chased Baghdadi into the tunnel and was wounded when Baghdadi blew himself up.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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