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Igor Bobic

Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site's coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at igor@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Igor

The Obama adminstration has released a new set of documents that were found in Osama bin Laden's Pakistan compound:

They consist of electronic letters or draft letters, totaling 175 pages in the original Arabic and 197 pages in the English translation. The earliest is dated September 2006 and the latest April 2011.  These internal al-Qa`ida communications were authored by several  leaders, most prominently Usama bin Ladin.  In contrast to his public statements that focused on the injustice of those he believed to be the “enemies” of Muslims, namely corrupt “apostate” Muslim rulers and their Western “overseers,” the focus of Bin Ladin’s private letters is Muslims’ suffering at the hands of his jihadi “brothers”. He is at pain advising them to abort domestic attacks that cause Muslim civilian casualties and focus on the United States, “our desired goal.” Bin Ladin’s frustration with regional jihadi groups and his seeming inability to exercise control over their actions and public statements is the most compelling story to be told on the basis of the 17 de-classified documents. “Letters from Abbottabad” is an initial exploration and contextualization of 17 documents that will be the grist for future academic debate and discussion.

Read the documents here.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for attacks carried out in the Afghan capital of Kabul via a car suicide bombing, reports Reuters.

 

Explosions have been heard in Kabul, Afghanistan and the U.S. embassy is advising people to avoid the area, according to early reports. President Obama left the country two hours prior at 7:55 p.m. EST. He is expected back in Washington on Wednesday at 1:40 p.m. EST.

 

Update: The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has responded to the reports:

 

President Obama, speaking to the nation from Afghanistan, said that the United States will hold no residual forces or bases after 2014.

"By the end of 2014 the Afghans will be fully responsible for the security of their country," he said.

Speaking from Afghanistan on Tuesday evening, President Obama said that "this war has taken longer than anticipated."

"One year ago, from a base here in Afghanistan, our troops launched the operation that killed Osama bin Laden," he added.

President Obama is set to address the nation tonight from Afghanistan at 7:30 PM EST. Here a few excerpts from what he will he say in his speech:

“Already, nearly half the Afghan people live in places where Afghan Security Forces are moving into the lead. This month, at a NATO Summit in Chicago, our coalition will set a goal for Afghan forces to be in the lead for combat operations across the country next year. International troops will continue to train, advise and assist the Afghans, and fight alongside them when needed. But we will shift into a support role as Afghans step forward.

 

As we do, our troops will be coming home. Last year, we removed 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Another 23,000 will leave by the end of the summer. After that, reductions will continue at a steady pace, with more of our troops coming home. And as our coalition agreed, by the end of 2014 the Afghans will be fully responsible for the security of their country.”

 

 

“My fellow Americans, we have traveled through more than a decade under the dark cloud of war. Yet here, in the pre-dawn darkness of Afghanistan, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon. The Iraq War is over. The number of our troops in harm’s way has been cut in half, and more will be coming home soon. We have a clear path to fulfill our mission in Afghanistan, while delivering justice to al Qaeda.

 

This future is only within reach because of our men and women in uniform. Time and again, they have answered the call to serve in distant and dangerous places. In an age when so many institutions have come up short, these Americans stood tall. They met their responsibilities to one another, and the flag they serve under. I just met with some of them, and told them that as Commander-in-Chief, I could not be prouder. In their faces, we see what is best in ourselves and our country.”

 

 

“As we emerge from a decade of conflict abroad and economic crisis at home, it is time to renew America. An America where our children live free from fear, and have the skills to claim their dreams. A united America of grit and resilience, where sunlight glistens off soaring new towers in downtown Manhattan, and we build our future as one people, as one nation.”

 

 

“This time of war began in Afghanistan, and this is where it will end.”

 

Mitt Romney is holding an event with former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani in New York today. Andrea Saul, Romney spokeswoman, tweets these images of the two pol's picking up some pizzas for the firemen they are scheduled to appear with.

 

President Obama's campaign website has released a new infographic highlighting Mitt Romney's assets around the globe.

Mitt Romney has invested his money around the world, from the Cayman Islands to Ireland to Australia. We don’t know if he’s using these accounts to avoid paying his fair share in taxes, but we do know that in 2010, Romney’s tax rate was a startlingly low 13.9%. This means Romney pays a lower tax rate than many teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other middle-class Americans—even a lower rate than most other millionaires.

Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense to President George W. Bush, took to Twitter to criticize the White House for touting President Obama's decision to go after Osama bin Laden while suggesting Mitt Romney wouldn't have done the same. 

The "special operators" Rumsfeld refers to below are presumably the Navy SEAL units that carried out the operation.

 

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