Margie Burns: Bin Laden, Pakistan, and corporate media narrative

I wanted to share this article regarding the public narrative about bin Laden, Pakistan and how its being sold. The full article can be found here:

Pasted May 6, 2011; Margie Burns;

With thousands of Afghanis, Iraqis, and U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq since Sept. 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden, the fugitive icon of terrorist networks, was finally tracked down and killed in Pakistan. And not just in Pakistan, either, but in the city of Abbottabad, in the neighborhood of the Pakistan Military Academy.

Let’s say this clearly, just once: Part of the unnecessarily prolonged failure to catch bin Laden, and a very large part of the tragic diversions of two bloody wars, can be laid to the account of the large media outlets in the U.S. Foreign policy under the Bush administration was dictated by selfish concerns, and corporate media outlets almost entirely went along. Foreign policy was influenced—to put it nicely—by politics, and politics was influenced—again, to put it nicely—by money, and the big media almost entirely went along

Indeed, it would be more accurate to say that foreign policy, like domestic policy, was determined by political advantage—in simplest terms, money to get position, position to get money. Thus the previous administration (like others before it) bound the full faith and credit of the American public, largely without its consent and often without its knowledge, to a series of repressive regimes in the Middle East perpetually at odds with their own populations.

That this strained and upside-down affiliation was not in the best interest of the American public was spectacularly demonstrated by the official response to 9/11. Just a few outstanding and (by now) widely known facts in the public record reflect the discrepancy between Bush policy and public interest:

Most of the skyjackers were Saudis, yet members of the Saudi ruling family were permitted to fly out of the U.S.—actually, helped to fly out of the U.S.--immediately after the 9/11 attacks.

Foreign affairs experts and security experts knew that the Saudi regime was financing terrorism, yet the Bush administration enabled some of these special flights with Saudis aboard, just after 9/11, to leave from Las Vegas. Their luggage and cargo were not even searched, according to people I have interviewed.

Similarly, anyone with expertise in pertinent fields knew that training for violent Islamist partisans took place in Pakistan, with collusion in the Pakistani military and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), its secret service. Furthermore, some of the money that went to skyjacker Mohamed Atta was quickly traced to an account in Pakistan. Yet Gen. Musharraf, Pakistan’s dictator, was swiftly photographed sitting next to President Bush in the White House, a “partner” in the ‘war on terror.’

There were no Afghanis among the skyjackers. Yet in spite of the key facts of Saudi finance and Pakistani training, White House emphasis and rhetoric in late 2001 was all about “harboring.” Pitiful Afghanistan, whose people had little to no say in Osama bin Laden’s having been harbored there, bore the brunt of a massive U.S. assault ostensibly in response to 9/11—until the Iraq war.

There were no Iraqis among the skyjackers, and there was no affiliation between Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and Islamist partisan networks. Quite the contrary. Yet from at least 2002, the Bush-Cheney was obsessively focused on invading Iraq.

As someone said, “Why didn’t we lash out at Saudi Arabia?”

[ Read the rest here: ]

Peace all

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie; deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."
-- John F. Kennedy