Amidst the flutter today about the release of 17 of 6000 documents seized by US forces when they killed Osama bin Laden, I spoke with BBC television and radio about the information in the documents and --- far more importantly for me --- the politics behind their release.
Although the documents have juicy details such as Bin Laden's worry about the fraying influence of Al Qa'eda and his close attention to media strategy --- to the point of considering which US outlets would be useful (clue: not Fox) --- they only confirm a conclusion which could have been made years ago. Al Qa'eda, as a central organisation with global impact, was long gone; instead, there was a decentralised network of movements who were more often motivated by local concerns.
Meanwhile, the politics:
1. President Obama's domestic opponents will no doubt claim that the release is meant to burnish, in an election year, the polish of a Commander-in-Chief who killed The World's Most Wanted Terrorist;
2. I'm more interested, however, in how the gloss of the document supports Obama's presentation yesterday of a Mission Accomplished --- even if that is far from the truth --- in Afghanistan;
3. And I'm most interested in how the spin on the documents of success in covert and special operations comes only days after the White House authorised an expansion of target killings by drones --- from Pakistan to Yemen to possibly Somalia.
The BBC Radio 5 Live item starts at the 9:30 mark; my contribution is from about 16:35.
The BBC Radio Wales discussion begins at the 8:00 mark.