(NOTE: The following commentary — UPDATED on 05-11-2013 & 11-15-2014 — expresses my opinion, including what I believe to be factual assertions as referenced in my research; if I have mis-stated as fact anything that is not fact, it was unintentional. Except for my updates, some of which are clearly labeled and others of which expand on certain previously-stated thoughts, the bulk of this commentary is an expanded, revised, version of my earlier 2011 post at ConservativeByte.com.
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//2011 (with, most recently, a bracketed 11-15-2014 Update) — Mastermind of Global Terror. “Wanted, Dead or Alive”, since September , 2001. Able to evade ten years of multi-trillion-dollar international bombing campaigns and vicious military onslaughts in a single bound. Bane of Modern Civilization, but Hero to Many Muslims and Haters of the West. And now — he’s dead. Dead, and in almost no time at all, Gone. Finito. Bottom of the Sea.
Or so we, the public, are told.
Perhaps it’s all true, and perhaps we’ll be hearing increasingly more details in the days ahead, as to how it was all accomplished. Even as I write this piece, in D.C. the purported facts of the matter seem to be starting to emerge with increasing rapidity — so I guess that we’ll see what we shall see.
(START OF 11/15/2015 UPDATE): But now the puzzle takes a new turn:
Last week — November 7, 2014 — a person claiming to be an ex-Navy SEAL (and I assume that he is who he says he is) claimed to be the SEAL that personally shot and killed Bin Laden during the 2011 raid at what has been said to be Bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound (http://tinyurl.com/SEAL-WHO-SHOT-OBL-1). I get the impression, but I do not know for a fact, that he is probably telling the truth. If his tale is true, it could put a lot of speculation — but not all of it — to rest, as many questions, both political and tactical, still remain open. But now his revelations, and their timing, also bring up a new set of questions, and among them are these:
(a) Why now?
(b) Might the timing of this revelation, which was made shortly AFTER the 2014 Congressional elections, have been chosen so as to not influence the elections or not be charged as being a “political ploy” in the run-up to the elections?
(c) Might timing have been chosen, or influenced, by the President’s currently miserable ratings in the polls, such that any “credibility-boost”, much like the idea of “any old port in a storm”, would be welcomed by the White House?
(d) Or did this ex-SEAL simply decide — free from the forces of politics — that he had remained silent long enough, and that the American people deserved to know the truth?
(e) And, as various critics of the official account of the raid have also been asking — and as I further explore below — was the “Bin Laden” who was allegedly killed at Abbottabad as per the official account actually Osama Bin Laden?
And equally importantly, whatever the full truth of the matter, there is this far broader question: To what extent in relation to this entire Bin Laden affair — through the Bush I and Clinton and Bush II and Obama terms in the Executive Office — have the American people possibly “been played”?
Whatever the case, might we be justified in hoping that this ex-SEAL’s revelations about the 2011 Abbottabad raid may now open the door for new revelations to start emerging, and for obfuscations to be peeled away, so that we can begin to see a truer picture of what this whole Bin Laden affair has actually been about?
I.e. wherein lies the full truth of the whole affair?
It will be interesting to see what truths — if any — emerge, and where they may lead. (END OF 11-15-2014 UPDATE).
But what if these expectations are just “wishful thinking”? What if, as would be the case in a highly effective “psy-ops” operation, public perception is being intentionally manipulated so as to overshadow and replace what may be a partially, or even significantly, different reality?
There’s also the editorially-concerning issue of how Obama, judging by his televised “victory speech” late Sunday evening (05/09/2011), seems to be personally claiming the lion’s share of the credit for this alleged OBL-liquidation event, almost as though Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, had only a passing connection to either initiating and fighting the “war on terror” or to the global hunt to ferret-out and capture or kill Terrorism’s alleged Mastermind, Osama Bin Laden.
Was Obama’s assessment of where to place credit fair — or even correct?
But, for all the above issues, as of this moment at least, the key question comes down to this one:
Where is the truth?
And, most significantly, to what extent might any of the official Obama Administration tale of Bin Laden’s execution, “muslim-respectful preparation of the body”, or expedited “burial at sea”, be true?
Or might any of it be a fabrication?
And if the tale is all true, what were the motivations behind these choices — and were they wise?
Removing an evil purveyor of death and destruction from the world-scene would indeed seem to be a good thing. And to all accounts — in the West at least — Osama Bin Laden certainly would seem to “fill the bill” for being, in essence, Evildoer Number One.
But was it Osama Bin Laden whose life was allegedly brought to an ignominious end the other day?
At least at this stage of what the public has been told, maybe this was Bin Laden, and maybe it wasn’t.
Isn’t it interesting that there were claims made years ago that Bin Laden (OBL) was killed in late 2001 at Tora Bora — or that he died , of Marfan’s Syndrome, even shortly before that time — the claims backed-up by informed, though debatable, assertions to the effect that subsequently-appearing audio/videotapes allegedly of OBL were all re-workings of old videos or, more blatantly, cleverly-produced fakes?
Along those lines, isn’t it interesting that OBL has, according to various accounts, allegedly not been heard or seen “in the flesh” — at least not alive — since mid-to-late 2001?
Isn’t it also interesting, as some observers have pointed out, that many of those purported Bin Laden audio/videotapes that arose during the Bush II years just “happened” to surface at moments when Bush’s popularity-ratings were at all-time lows or when a major negative news-item about a particular Bush action was hitting the headlines?
Is it possible that OBL was really “out there” all that time and, somehow, that OBL just managed to issue his audio/videotapes (a) in ways that intentionally made their authenticity suspect and (b) at just those particular moments when their release could help generate much-needed public support for Bush?
Of course, since we, the public, may or may not — depending on one’s perspective — ever be given the actual or full truth of any of these points, is it perhaps possible that OBL indeed has been alive and active all these years, until now? And that the guy who was now killed — i.e., killed “this time” and none of those alleged prior 8 or 9 times — was indeed OBL?
But now, with the alleged body allegedly gone, and just the claims — true or not — that the “proof” is in the DNA and (unreleased) photographs and, I suppose, in the “eyewitness accounts” of his (or whomever’s) alleged executioners, maybe the question of whether or not we accept those pieces of alleged evidence as true comes down to this one question:
Whom do you trust to be telling us, “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”?
Could it be that the timing if this “We Got Him!” tale is just purely coincidental?
Or, on the other hand, might the timing of this event be at all connected wth –
(a) the fact that Obama is in the midst of rapidly expanding debate as to whether or not he (Obama) is Constitutionally eligible to serve in the Presidency, and,as some critics charge, would be only too happy for that debate to fade from the public’s consciousness?
There’s even a Federal Court that yesterday started holding hearings on this his eligibility — the same day that his announcement about the killing of Bin Laden might be sure to keep the news of the Court’s hearings off the front-pages;
(b) the fact that the U.S. economy, and the dollar — especially thanks to Obama’s policies — are reportedly both teetering on the edge of a cliff, such that the Federal Reserve Bank is now said to be creating (“out of thin air”) billions — nay, trillions — of fiat dollars in a desperate effort to keep the economy afloat, and the IMF too is warning that the U.S. economy is headed for a downfall.
It would seem that Obama’s announcement about the death of Bin Laden could well serve to minimize public attention on these dire fiscal issues — which, critics assert, are taking place due to his policies and under his watch — and he thus needs a distraction from those issues — a distraction which, thanks to the White House-provided “official story” of this Bin Laden raid, could come in the form of a positive boost in the polls;
(c) an effort to shield Obama from catching flack for having committed the U.S. to yet a third war — the one in Libya — which also happens to be the one about which he had initially said it would be over “in a few days”?
Certainly world events can arise unpredictably and require responses that may, by coincidence, appear to have been generated to suit a “hidden” purpose. But, “politics being politics”, could it be that it’s just a coincidence that all these issues are “at play” — plus that Obama’s re-election campaign, now underway, could be in serious need of some “can-you-top-this?” event — such as the demise of Bin Laden — to make Obama now appear to be “the greatest thing since sliced bread”?
I guess it also doesn’t hurt that the date of the alleged extinction of OBL also just happens to be on, or just about on, the th anniversary of the alleged death on April , , of Adolf Hitler — as though that “coincidence” might be a minor but interesting point that would be “kept in reserve” for its possible p.r. value. Or, it could be purely an odd, and unplanned, — but interesting, actual coincidence — couldn’t it?
But of course, maybe it’s all in how one defines one’s choice of parameters — so maybe all the above “coincidences” are based on too-loosely-defined, overly broad, and therefore inaccurate, assumptions.
Or are they?
Take your pick.
But then again…
Isn’t it also interesting, that even if this was OBL who was killed as Obama has officially claimed, OBL was reportedly sought out (or at least so the results suggest) not so much to be captured and interrogated for the “treasure-trove” of terror-network information that he would likely have possessed; nor to be brought to Guantanamo to serve an unspeakably harsh “life-sentence”; nor to be hauled before an international court for “crimes against humanity (and the U.S.)”; but instead — if “any sign of danger” were to arise during the SEALS-siege of his alleged Abbottabad-compound — to be killed — and, in fact, killed “on-sight”?
Where is the logic — except, perhaps, for a superficial “appearance’s sake” — in immediately (allegedly) killing the one person whose vast knowledge of his own terror network’s operations might otherwise, if tapped, have been instrumental in helping the U.S. (and the west) to gain an important advantage this war?
And, too, there’s this additional puzzle:
How is it that the official orders — also presumably coming directly from Obama — appear to have possibly also included a requirement that, following the assassination, OBL’s body must not be subjected to public (or independent forensic) scrutiny but instead must be quickly and irretrievably destroyed — in this case by an alleged (and swift) “burial at sea” at a location that would also be kept “secret” from the world — a process that:
(a) would make impossible — or at least exceptionally difficult and questionable — independent verification of the identity of who was actually killed, and —
(b) would make impossible the extrication from OBL — if indeed it was he whom the SEALS killed — of any of his likely vast mental “compendium” of secrets and information that, or so we had been lead to believe for all these years, would presumably be tremendously revealing and of inestimable value to the U.S. in this so-called “War on Terror”?
(NOTE: Whether that alleged “burial at sea” actually took place, or whether the body was secretly delivered elsewhere, is explored elsewhere in this commentary.)
Hmmm … But what if that latter point, i.e., the purported necessity of immediately killing OBL rather than trying to extract vital information from him, somehow conflicts with Obama’s “official” position that “terrorism”, and the “war on terror” (except when applied to Bin Laden or to Obama’s immediate predecessor in the White House) has now, thanks to Obama, become little more than a toothless relic of pre-Obama history? And that, thanks to Obama, the whole concept of “terrorism” — somehow embodied only within the now-assassinated Master Terrorist Osama Bin Laden — has now been swiftly and permanently liquidated (Sorry for the pun!) from the face of the Earth?
I wonder what Bin Laden’s alleged “partner-in-crime” Aymon Al-Zawahiri would say to that.
(ADDITIONAL 11-15-2014 UPDATE): As we now, years after I posed some of the above questions, can see, the purported death of Bin Laden has nowhere near ended the threat of terrorism in the world today; and, according to many observers, the terrorism threat-level since then has in fact increased. Go figure. (END OF ADDITIONAL 11-15-2014 UPDATE.)
But let’s get back to some fact-based nitty-gritty:
Considering the fundamental precepts of criminal law and of how to properly investigate a crime-scene, as well as to learn, from a suspect, as much as possible about past or planned future crimes, what sense does it make not to preserve for analysis, but instead to get rid of, the suspect and the secrets that he holds within his mind, — i.e., the evidence — and to do it all as fast as possible? *
(May 2013 RELEVANT ADDENDUM):
Consider the currently hotly-debated issue — directly relevant to the above question — that has emerged regarding the official interrogation of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the younger of the two brothers who official sources allege carried out the recent bombing of the Boston Marathon.
Early on in the interrogation, Dzhokhar allegedly was forthcoming with valuable information — but then a Judge showed up and read Dzhokhar his “Miranda Rights” — and, reportedly, Dzhokhar promptly stopped answering questions.
Consequently, that Judge’s actions — in essentially instructing Dzhokhar that Dzhokhar had every right to refuse to divulge any information — has raised many people’s ire: what more were the Tsarnaev brothers’ plans? Was anyone else involved? What elese did the brothers, or whomever they were colluding with, have in the works? All important things for investigators to know — but now the one person who knew the answers was choosing to remain silent. (END OF May 2013 RELEVANT ADDENDUM.)
So, similarly, back to May 2011: Allegedly the SEALS, operating at the behest of Obama, have an unbelievably valuable chance to take Bin Laden into custody and, by whatever means, to interrogate him for all he’s worth. But instead, the instant they allegedly see him, they allegedly kill him, and then, allegedly, they dump his dead body at an undisclosed location at sea.
But here’s an additional twist:
According to some reports (http://rt.com/news/osama-body-wikileaks-stratfor-949), Wikileaks has revealed some cables attributed to the intelligence-agency STRATFOR, those cables alleging that OBL’s body was not dumped at sea but was instead flown on a CIA plane “onward to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Bethesda [Maryland]” (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/medtour/afip.html) presumably for autopsy an/or other purpose.
So, who knows?
So if — that’s if — this STRATFOR revelation is accurate — which would indicate that the White House’s “official account” on this point is a lie — then what might that discrepancy tell us in regard to whether we, The People, should invest our full trust into anything that this White House tells us regarding this Bin Laden story?
It has been said that “Dead men tell no tales”. And this one, whoever he allegedly was, certainly is keeping quiet, taking all his secrets — at least those that he had held in his mind — to his grave.
But, either way, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS “PICTURE”?
How is it that with the long-established precedents, of so many “enemy combatants” having been swept into the Guantanamo-net of life-long prison, plus their being relentlessly interrogated for their tiniest droplets of information — and even with “9-11 terror mastermind” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed being not only captured alive but also waterboarded to force him to spill his purported secrets — that now, despite all these precedents and basic precepts of criminal investigation (and even those illegal, unethical — but applied — methods of torture), suddenly we have an order, reportedly issued by or at least authorized by the current President of the United States, to permit or, as some critics assert, to even require, the Navy SEALS-team to not capture but to promptly kill Bin Laden — and to dispose of Bin Laden’s body in an untraceable, irrecoverable way — and to do it all as fast as possible?
And even if the quoted STRATFOR report is correct as to what was done with the body, I ask again: what is wrong with this picture?
Was this Presidential authorization predicated on concerns over what might otherwise have been the aftermath — such as increasingly widespread “terrorist” attacks on the U.S. — if Bin Laden were to be captured and held, alive, in, perhaps, Guantanamo or an overseas “rendition prison”, for a length of time, even for a lifetime?
Was it thought that in such an situation, Bin Laden might become a “living martyr”, an ever-inflaming “fuel” for the anti-American passions of the Al Quaeda cause — and a seemingly endless (and deadly) “albatross around the U.S.’s neck”?
But even if that were the case, is “hurry up and murder the bastard and dump his body where nobody can ever find it” (or send the body to Bethesda for examination — and then perhaps to a secret burial or cremation?) a proper demonstration, to the world, of “the American way”, or of what, in the American view, now constitutes “justice”?
If this was indeed Osama Bin Laden, and if, as appears to be the case, he was as evil as he’s been depicted, then perhaps he received “his just desserts”.
But even if that’s the case:
Was the choice of action purely predicated on revenge and revilement?
Was it to rid this planet of a truly horrible, broadly dangerous, person?
Was the choice of action predicated on a desire to demonstrate that those who violently oppose the U.S. will inevitably meet an ignominious and violent end?
Was the plan basically to just get rid of a hated mass-murderer and be done with it, “no questions asked”, even regardless of whatever value he might have been to the west if captured and kept alive?
How reasonable — especially for the U.S., which traditionally has sought to project an image to the world of always “taking the high road” — would either of those decisions be?
Or could it be that the thought was to “de-exist” even “the very being” of Bin Laden — e.g., to make him an “un-person” — in the hopes that his influence would disappear with his body, such that the world, particularly his supporters, would quickly and simply consign him to being an anachronism who now belongs in the past, a once-powerful but cruelly destructive phantasm whose influence and existence is best left forgotten?
Where, in the history of human civilization, has that approach ever worked — or hasn’t it been more the case that the very opposite result would be the more likely to emerge?
Or, perhaps, could it be that the idea was to quickly “destroy the evidence” – meaning, first and foremost, to intentionally and as immediately as possible kill Bin Laden, based on the possible concern that Bin Laden, if left alive — even if taken into custody –, might somehow be accorded (against Administration wishes) an opportunity to publicly expose secrets that some in Government would rather remain hidden?
Did the orders authorize the killing of Bin Laden — and if so, under what circumstances? I.e. was his life to be protected at all costs, or was the plan that the lives of the SEALS would have to come first, even if their safety might mean that Bin Laden must die?
Or is it possible that the orders were to kill Bin Laden, and to do it a.s.a.p.?
What exactly were the orders?
And even if we hypothesize, for the sake of argument, that the plan was to take Bin Laden alive, but that the SEALS, being under enormous stress at the time, panicked — which I don’t buy: these guys are trained to be top-notch at what they do! — and consequently shot the man dead, what does such a situation — however the raid allegedly went down — say about the Presidential planning of this operation?
If this raid and assassination etcetera really happened as described — at least for the most part — and someone whom we, the public, have been told was bin Laden — was thusly killed and disposed of, what does that say about all these reports (maybe 8 or 9 at least) over the years, starting as early as late 2001, that stated that Osama Bin Laden was already officially declared dead years before this Abbottabad incident?
Or, adding complications to the speculation, could it be — as some claim — that even though Bin Laden has been dead all these years — or has possibly been held alive, inprisoned, in secret, for all these years and been “squeezed” for information until he had none left to give — that for all these years it was politically valuable to some Governmental “top echelons” to keep the specter of Bin Laden, as the world’s “Number One Terrorist”, alive — and that the ultimate act of actually killing him (or of killing someone who could be officially claimed to be him) would also be“a well-timed political feather in someone’s cap”?
So, was the alleged dead man Osama Bin Laden?
Maybe, or, as some critics allege, maybe not.
Was Bin Laden killed some days ago in Abbottabad as Obama claims — or was Bin Laden instead now killed (or died years ago and “kept on ice” until now) in some secret rendition-prison, his usefulness (except for this final instance) having expired, such that his this Abbottabad raid offered an expedient frame for his “demise”?
Maybe, or, as some critics allege, maybe not.
But whomever this alleged person was, was getting rid of him in this manner actually a good thing for the U.S. — especially considering the seemingly completely incongruent fact that the Obama Administration is now also increasingly ratcheting-up — instead of down — the extensiveness of its anti-terrorist (?) surveillance of everyone in the U.S.?
As to getting rid of OBL — if he was indeed as monstrous as he generally has been portrayed to be — I go with the phrase “Good riddance to bad rubbish!”.
But on the other hand, what truths are we really dealing with here — and what truths are perhaps being kept hidden from our view?
And, if truths are being kept from us, by whom, and for what purposes?
Or, to paraphrase what Lee Harvey Oswald declared shortly before he was shot and killed by Jack Ruby: are we “being played for patsies”?
Inquiring minds want to know.