The international media erupts, and the Americans cheered, at the news of the death of Osama bin Laden, as announced by President Obama in a televised announcement heard round the world on 1st May 2011. It is as though they have heard the news for the first time.
The truth is that, this is not the first time that Osama was reported or believed to be dead. According to the following articles, Osama was reportedly pronounced dead at least nine times!
When Obama pronounced Osama Bin Laden dead in a televised announcement heard round the world last night, he was at least the ninth major head of state or high-ranking government official to have done so.
Given Bin Laden’s documented kidney problems and consequent need for dialysis, government officials, heads of state and counterterrorism experts have repeatedly opined that Osama Bin Laden has in fact been dead for some time. These assertions are based on Bin Laden’s failing health in late 2001 and visible signs of his deteriorating condition, as well as actual reports of his death from the same time frame.
In July of 2001, Osama Bin Laden was flown to the American Hospital in Dubai for kidney treatment. According to French intelligence sources, he was there met by the local CIA attache. When the agent bragged about his encounter to friends later, he was promptly recalled to Washington.
On the eve of September 11, Osama Bin Laden was staying in a Pakistani military hospital under the watchful eye of Pakistan’s ISI, the Pakistani equivalent of the CIA with deep ties to the American intelligence community (Note: watch the video here)
In October 2001, Bin Laden appeared in a videotape wearing army fatigues and Islamic headdress, looking visibly pale and gaunt. In December of 2001, another videotape was released, this time showing a seriously ill Bin Laden who was seemingly unable to move his left arm.
Then on December 26, 2001, Fox News reported on a Pakistan Observer story that the Afghan Taliban had officially pronounced Osama Bin Laden dead earlier that month. According to the report, he was buried less than 24 hours later in an unmarked grave in accordance with Wahabbist Sunni practices.
What followed was a string of pronouncements from officials affirming what was already obvious: supposedly living in caves and bunkers in the mountainous pass between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Osama would have been deprived of the dialysis equipment that he required to live.
On January 18, 2002, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf announced quite bluntly: “I think now, frankly, he is dead.”
On July 17, 2002, the then-head of counter-terrorism at the FBI, Dale Watson, told a conference of law enforcement officials that “I personally think he [Bin Laden] is probably not with us anymore,” before carefully adding that “I have no evidence to support that.”
In October 2002, Afghan President Hamid Karzai told CNN that “I would come to believe that [Bin Laden] probably is dead.”
In November 2005, Senator Harry Reid revealed that he was told Osama may have died in the Pakistani earthquake of October that year.
In September 2006, French intelligence leaked a report suggesting Osama had died in Pakistan.
On November 2, 2007, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto told Al-Jazeera’s David Frost that Omar Sheikh had killed Osama Bin Laden.
In March 2009, former US foreign intelligence officer and professor of international relations at Boston University Angelo Codevilla stated: “All the evidence suggests Elvis Presley is more alive today than Osama Bin Laden.”
In May 2009, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari confirmed that his “counterparts in the American intelligence agencies” hadn’t heard anything from Bin Laden in seven years and confirmed “I don’t think he’s alive.”
Now in 2011, President Obama has added himself to the mix of people in positions of authority who have pronounced Osama Bin Laden dead. Some might charge that none of the previous reports had any credibility, but as it is now emerging that Osama’s body was buried at sea less than 12 hours after his death with no opportunity for any independent corroboration of his identity, the same question of credibility has to be leveled at this latest charge. To this point, the only evidence we have been provided that Osama Bin Laden was killed yesterday are some images on TV of a burning compound and the word of the man currently occupying the oval office.
But given that an informed consensus has formed around the opinion that Bin Laden died long ago due to kidney failure, will the people of America hold their President to the highest standard in presenting evidence that the person killed was actually Osama Bin Laden, and that he actually died in the way described, or will this pronouncement go unquestioned like so many other deaths in the never ending war of terror?
What do we make of all this? Is Osama really dead? Or was he dead sometime ago? As evident in the above bolded paragraph - which reported he was buried at sea - we definitely have no way of knowing now. By the time others come to their senses and call for an international independent inquiry, he (the body said to be Osama's) may never be recovered. Burying the body at sea would simply dispose all evidence.
True, American officials have confirmed through DNA fingerprinting that it is Osama. But with so many reports of his previous death (as the above article shows), can we really believe it? And since he is the "most wanted man who have killed thousands," surely his dead body would be splashed all over the international media and American authorities would gladly allow an independent corroboration of his identity. Why was there no ground burial which, with exhumation, would make such independent corroboration possible? The sea burial was reportedly undertaken in a hurry. All too convenient it seems!
There is also the question of why, with its enormous resources, advanced technology and military might, were the American authorities unable to capture Osama since 9-11? Compare that to how fast they were able to capture and execute Saddam Hussein! Probably the many reports (for example here, here and here) that Osama is a an American/CIA agent are true after all. Read also Osama bin Laden: A dead nemesis perpetuated by the US government.
And Al-Qaeda? Does it really exist? A quote from one article:
"The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the 'devil' only in order to drive the TV watcher to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US . . ."
One last, and amusing, note about Al-Qaeda from the same above-quoted article:
"Ana raicha Al Qaeda" is colloquial for "I'm going to the toilet". A very common and widespread use of the word "Al-Qaeda" in different Arab countries in the public language is for the toilet bowl. This name comes from the Arabic verb "Qa'ada" which mean "to sit", pertinently, on the "Toilet Bowl". In most Arabs homes there are two kinds of toilets: "Al-Qaeda" also called the "Hamam Franji" or foreign toilet, and "Hamam Arabi" or "Arab toilet" which is a hole in the ground. Lest we forget it, the potty used by small children is called "Ma Qa'adia" or "Little Qaeda".
So, if you were forming a terrorist group, would you call yourself, "The Toilet"?
Yes indeed, why would a notorious terrorist group which reportedly killed thousands of people and which struck fear in everyone, call itself "The Toilet"?!