What killed Bhutto?
Pakistani officials are saying that Bhutto accidentally killed herself by ducking into a metal object.
Pakistan's interior ministry said Friday that Benazir Bhutto died from hitting her vehicle's sunroof when she tried to duck after a suicide attack, and that no bullet or shrapnel was found in her.
Ministry spokesman Brigadier Javed Cheema said the opposition leader had died from a head wound she sustained when she smashed against the sunroof's lever as she tried to shelter inside the car.
"The lever struck near her right ear and fractured her skull," Cheema said. "There was no bullet or metal shrapnel found in the injury."
First Bhutto was reported killed from bullets, then from shrapnel. Now from concussion. Captain Ed notices that Bhutto was the only person in the car to sustain injuries. Some of Bhutto's supporters are refusing to believe this version of events.
NDTV says some Bhutto supporters have denounced the finding as a "pack of lies".:
Benazir peeped out of the sunroof of the SUV but the shock of the explosion by the suicide bomber made her fall back. She got injured on her skull by the lever, Cheema said.
Meanwhile, a top aide to slain Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto on Friday rejected the government's explanation of her death as a "pack of lies".
"It is baseless. It is a pack of lies," Farooq Naik, Bhutto's top lawyer and a senior official in her Pakistan People's Party, said. "Two bullets hit her, one in the abdomen and one in the head," Naik said. "It was a serious security lapse."
I'm keeping an open mind on how Bhutto died. But events of the past few days suggest that very little in Pakistani politics is either simple or certain; that perhaps the scarcest commodity in that poor country isn't money but the truth.
Ralph Peters says Bhutto was not who she seemed to be.
She was a splendid con, persuading otherwise cynical Western politicians and "hardheaded" journalists that she was not only a brave woman crusading in the Islamic wilderness, but also a thoroughbred democrat.
In fact, Bhutto was a frivolously wealthy feudal landlord amid bleak poverty. The scion of a thieving political dynasty, she was always more concerned with power than with the wellbeing of the average Pakistani. Her program remained one of old-school patronage, not increased productivity or social decency.
Educated in expensive Western schools, she permitted Pakistan's feeble education system to rot - opening the door to Islamists and their religious schools. During her years as prime minister, Pakistan went backward, not forward. Her husband looted shamelessly and ended up fleeing the country, pursued by the courts. The Islamist threat - which she artfully played both ways - spread like cancer.
Since the Tet offensive of 1968 firmly established the vital importance of influencing American public opinion, information operations have been part of the arsenal of not only enemy governments, but insurgencies and aspiring foreign leaders. They are well aware of the weaknesses, vanities and blind spots of the Western press, its diplomats and its spies. They whisper what they know the listeners want to hear. They show them what they know they want to see. The public descries a dim image, but only as through the funhouse mirror. That doesn't mean the voting public in the West cannot discover the truth, only that it must work hard at signal processing.
At some point the news is going to move past the Bhutto event to the consequences of it. The two are distinct but the latter is more important. Right now the Bhutto assassination has been as big a negative for Musharraf as to her self-described assassins. Maybe an even bigger negative. Right now al-Qaeda is waving its arms to say "I done it!" but no one is paying that much attention to them right now.
It may be that Bhutto's death was masterminded by someone in the ISI, which is not notably free of al-Qaeda anyway. So the distinction between Team A and Team B is not as clear as one would think. Or it could be someone inside the Bhutto camp. One of her "supporters". It's a Mafia-type clan, by all accounts. There are players everywhere.
But at some stage, all discussion about sunroofs, bullets, bombs, etc will become moot. What's important to keep in mind is that we are witnessing a struggle for power. And the Bhutto murder is presently the football in that game. But it's not about the football; it's about the game.
And it's a game for the highest stakes.