Osama Bin Laden - Diabolical Boogeyman, or Government Scapegoat?
With the release of a new audio tape purportedly from Osama Bin Laden I thought now would be a good time for a quick summary on this international man of mystery. I figure with a few simple questions it should be pretty easy to tell if Osama is the diabolical boogeyman as the Bush administration advocates, or if he is a government scapegoat that works for this administration's best interests.
Are we actively searching for Bin Laden, or do we willfully avoid his capture?
One of the quickest ways to determine the true relationship between Osama and the Bush administration is a quick check of administration comments about him. Obviously if he is the ultimate boogeyman then the Bush administration would stop at nothing to kill or capture him, and if he was a government scapegoat then the administration wouldn't want him to go away.
George W. Bush (referring to Osama Bin Ladin after the 9/11 attack. September 17, 2001.):
"I want justice. And there's an old poster out West, I recall, that says, 'Wanted: Dead or Alive.'"
George W. Bush (Brady briefing room, March 13, 2002):
"I don't know where [Osama bin Laden] is. I'll repeat what I said: I am truly not that concerned about him."
George W. Bush (Asked why his administration had been unable to locate and arrest Osama Bin Laden, January 16, 2005):
"Because he's hiding."
George W. Bush (March 3, 2005)
"we .. we are .. spend everyday gathering information to locate Osama Bin Laden and Zawahiri and obviously people like Zarchawi"
Porter Goss (Asked whether that meant he knew where bin Laden is, June, 2005)
"I have an excellent idea where he is. What's the next question?"
It appears the Bush administration has tried to convince the American public that we are on a non-stop manhunt for Bin Laden when necessary, but in moments of candor it appears the administration lets slip that they are being less than honest about their 'hunt' for Osama. Perhaps the most honest responses related to the 'hunt' for Bin Laden come from Porter Goss in the clips above where he is not only taken back by the suggestion that we are hunting Bin Laden, but that it is even laughable to suggest such a thing. Goss's most recent statement goes further to show that we aren't really searching for Bin Laden, because we 'have an excellent idea where he is'.
Another short point in determining our desire to capture Bin Laden can be found in Tora Bora:
CIA Sued Over Bin Laden Book - CBS News
The CIA is squelching publication of a new book detailing events leading up to Osama bin Laden's escape from his Tora Bora mountain stronghold during the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, says a former CIA officer who led much of the fighting.
In a story he says he resigned from the agency to tell, Gary Berntsen recounts the attacks he coordinated at the peak of the fighting in eastern Afghanistan in late 2001, including how U.S. commanders knew bin Laden was in the rugged mountains near the Pakistani border and the al Qaeda leader's much-discussed getaway.
in a forthcoming book, the CIA field commander for the agency's Jawbreaker team at Tora Bora, Gary Berntsen, says he and other U.S. commanders did know that bin Laden was among the hundreds of fleeing Qaeda and Taliban members. Berntsen says he had definitive intelligence that bin Laden was holed up at Tora Bora - intelligence operatives had tracked him - and could have been caught. "He was there," Berntsen tells Newsweek.
There are obviously many other examples as to our true level of commitment to find Bin Laden including diverting the military to Iraq, not capturing Bin Laden when given the opportunity prior to 9/11, etc., feel free to add on in the comments.
Are there any reasons to question the validity of previous tapes attributed to Bin Laden?
Since it is more than reasonable to suggest that the Bush administration has been at the very least half-hearted in their search, perhaps we should do a quick check on the validity of previous tapes attributed to Bin Laden.
In a short one minute clip from Loose Change Second Edition one can see ample reason to doubt at least one of the previous tapes attributed to Bin Laden - the most important video attributed to Bin Laden to be precise. Further details on this video can be found at whatreallyhappened.com.
In the interest of saving time, here are a few of the issues with this infamous 'confession tape' purportedly from Osama Bin Laden:
The size of a standard VHS videotape is [..] not very big. [..] Jalalabad [..] is very big [..]. Don't you find it somewhat fortuitous that a very small video tape of Osama confessing to the 9/11 attacks was found in this very big city? Were squads of video watchers sent in to view every tape found just in case one showed Osama confessing?
(Osama 'E' is the 'confession tape' in question)
In the video Osama 'E' appears to write notes with his right hand, yet the FBI's description of Osama indicates he is left-handed.
Osama 'E' wears a ring on his right hand which does not appear on other confirmed photos of Osama (e.g. Osama 'B'). Another man is seen wearing a large gold ring in the video. Since the wearing of gold rings is forbidden by Islam it shows neither he nor Osama 'E' has any devotion to this faith.
It is pretty simple to watch the full movie yourself and quickly notice that Osama is wearing a gold ring, and writing right handed, but yet these two massive inconsistencies with the 'real' Bin Laden were able to pass the sniff test of the CIA and the world at large? These points may seem inconsequential, but until further proof that Bin Laden is ambidextrous and wears wedding bands occasionally is presented, these points should not go unnoticed. You can find a wealth of further details on Bin Laden's many faces at whatreallyhappened.com.
Are there any reasons to doubt the Bush Administration's credibility regarding Osama Bin Laden?
One would think that proving that Bin Laden is alive, is a functioning leader of Al-Queda, or is dead and a just a scapegoat should be quite easy right? Unfortunately it isn't. If the Bush Administration wanted to justify its 'war on terror' then it would do everything it could to lay out the facts, but unfortunately they haven't. Likewise, if Bin Laden is a notorious mastermind, but many believe he is dead, he would do everything he could to prove he is alive and functioning. Finding reason to doubt the Bush administration regarding Bin Laden (and the larger issue of the 'war on terror') is not hard at all, but proving the opinions released by military intelligence and the Bush administration is apparently pretty tough.
1) Numerous cases related to the 9/11 and the 'war on terror' have failed due to insufficient proof by the Bush Administration.
Below is a brief segment of 'Sometimes, It's 'Hard Work' Finding Good Evidence', a great article which comments on recent 9/11 related lawsuits and the astonishing lack of evidence for the Bush administration regarding its views on 9/11 and Bin Laden himself.
What about other people around the world who supposedly had something to do with 9/11?
Abdelghani Mzoudi, a Moroccon accused of "complicity in the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States" was acquitted by a court in Germany. The presiding judge said there was "insufficient proof" against him.
Lotfi Raissi, someone who supposedly trained the 9/11 hijackers, was released from custody after the presiding judge in Central London said "US authorities had provided no evidence to link the 29-year-old with terrorism."
Mounir al-Motassadeq, someone convicted "of belonging to the al-Qaeda cell responsible for the attacks on America of September 11, 2001," received a sentence of only seven years because the "US Justice Department had refused to cooperate fully with the German court."
Why would the US Justice Department refuse to cooperate with the conviction of a man supposedly involved in the 9/11 attacks? Don't you think they would want to do everything within their power to hold everyone responsible and accountable, and cooperate with any other country trying to do the same thing?
Where is their evidence?
It is also worth noting that when the Taliban offered to turn over Osama Bin Laden - if provided proof of UBL's involvement with 9/11 - we denied the offer, and said that the proof of Bin Laden's guilt would be provided in a white paper, but never was.
2) Questions surrounding the 'war on terror' continually go unanswered
Much like the lies surrounding 'pre-war intelligence' on Iraq, the 'war on terror' stands on thin ice in America, and is outright rejected by large portions of the world. Unfortunately the Bush administration welcomes these views due to its inability to prove its case in many different areas - including 9/11.
Most American's are completely in the dark regarding 9/11. The typical knowledge of 9/11 beyond that day itself is pretty sad in America today. Very few American's have even read a book about 9/11, let alone tried to go out of their way to research the subject.
The earliest examples of this lack of knowledge is the typical misunderstanding surrounding the 9/11 Commission. Most American's know that the 'Jersey Girls' fought for an independent 9/11 commission. Unfortunately most American's think there actually was an 'independent' 9/11 commission. This misunderstanding was primarily caused by the media continually referencing the commission as the 'independent 9/11 commission'. To say that the 9/11 commission was independent is to flatly ignore what the 9/11 Commission actually was, a whitewash. After just a cursory search one can see that Henry Kissinger was initially appointed to head the commission, and Phillip Zelikow (who was later appointed) was a member of the Bush I administration, and co-authored a book with Condoleeza Rice.
To think the 9/11 Commission was independent is just an ignorant view on the subject.
Over the last three years, the group of 9/11 widows turned activists dubbed the "Jersey Girls" have become a fixture on the Washington political scene. Some of them are Republicans, others Democrats or independents. But they are all determined to hold official Washington accountable for the attacks that killed their husbands and nearly 3,000 others. They have held news conferences, lobbied members of Congress, pored over documents, and forced the White House to accept an independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Along the way, the women have learned about coverups, obfuscation, political cowardice, deceptions and the dangers of eschewing international alliances for a go-it-alone foreign policy.
For more on the failures of the 9/11 Commission please read The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions And Distortions by David Ray Griffin, or try to find the presentation by the Jersey Girls at the National Press Club last year in which they called the 9/11 Commission a 'hollow failure', or just start researching 9/11, you will find the 9/11 Commission's failures on your own.
While these topics specifically are focused on 9/11, they directly tie in with what is an unbelievable amount of evidence building against the war in Iraq and the Bush administration as a whole. Doubting the Bush Administration's credibility regarding UBL is definitely not outside of the reasonable realm of questioning (See the Reichstag Fire).
Wrapping it all up
What began as a simple diatribe has turned into a venting of my frustration surrounding the most recent tape purportedly from Osama Bin Laden. The last time 'Bin Laden' was seen was just prior to the 2004 presidential election, and now - when the Bush administration is under duress from numerous scandals - Bin Laden just happens to show up for the first time in over a year. Just as the appearance of Osama Bin Laden before the last election, the tape today helps re-enforce the base of the Bush administration's support structure, and supposively proves he is alive and well (keep in mind that there still hasn't been any video of Bin Laden since 2004). Why would Bin Laden only create an audio, and not a video, recording given that even those sympathetic to Bin Laden question his status? What happened to voice print technology (do a search on previous voiceprint analysis of questionable Bin Laden tapes)? Why don't other countries analyze the recordings and validate the authenticity? Why doesn't the Bush administration prove its case?
American's are coming to the realization that the Bush administration is perhaps corrupt, may lie frequently, and is at least an inept administration. Given the consequences that may come from an overly powerful executive, American's need to start asking some serious questions, and start revisiting the events of the last few years. We have been lied to - no matter what your personal opinions - about any number of things, and now is the time to ask some serious questions.
Is Bin Laden a real life killer and mastermind, or is he a convenient tactic for this administration? Those that question Bin Laden's identity (or liveliness) don't question if he is real or not, they question the truth of the commonly accepted story of Bin Laden, and some of the audio and video tapes attributed to him. Given the current 'fog of war', and outright lies, I don't blame them.
Perhaps Michael Meacher was right over 2 years ago in stating This War on Terrorism is Bogus (Guardian Unlimited).