Monday, 10 September 2007

"That low down illusive pesky rootin' tootin' Ali Baba ter'ist!"

"The last known sighting of Bin Laden by anyone other than his very close entourage was in late 2001 as he prepared to flee from his stronghold in the caves of Tora Bora," says BBC security correspondant Frank Gardner in his September peice Trimmed Bin Laden in media-savvy war, following Bin Laden's recent video release.
WANTED - Alive!
But just think about this for a moment. This is quite literally the most wanted man on Earth - perhaps even the most wanted man in human history. There's a bounty of $50 million on him, 'Dead or Alive'. Both US and British forces - along with the other armed minions - have been in Afghanistan looking for him for almost six years. For this was the reason Why we went to war in Afghanistan - to catch Bin Laden; to catch the perpetrator of the 9/11 attacks. And yet: not only have we not found him, but the last known independent sighting of him was almost six years ago. This seems incredible, not only because of all the resources at the finger-tips of British and US forces, but because this means that the so called 'war' in Afghanistan has been one complete and utter failure: Bin Laden has neither been caught nor his existence even verified after almost six years of trying.
Gardner goes on, "Now this latest video message, released just before the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, will dispel the growing rumours that he has been dead for some time and remind both his followers and his enemies that the man with a $50m bounty on his head is still at large."
Not so fast, Frank. I don't think the video dispells anything. As I said previously, 'since when does something as easily manipulated and fabricated as a video 'prove' anything?' Sure, I'm not saying it definately isn't Bin Laden - ...well... - but equally I'm not going to believe it is Bin Laden simply because the likes of the BBC tells me it is. Especially when the figure in the video looks so unconvincingly like Bin Laden.
You may be interested to know that the bounty for Bin Laden doubled on 13th Jul 2007, to $50 million. Sure, that's because we want to catch Bin Laden, obviously. And yet this increase comes in spite of the fact that the CIA group devoted to Bin Laden's capture - Alec unit - was disbanded more than a year earlier. (In fact, in late 2005). Why would the group dedicated to Bin Laden's capture be disbanded? Well, according to CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Millerwise Dyck, "the decision was made to ensure greater reach and focus." (How the fuck does that work?) And furthermore: if the CIA is no longer concerned enough with Bin Laden to have a dedicated unit looking for him, then why are we even still in Afghanistan? I think it's highly plausible that Alec unit was disbanded because the CIA knows that Bin Laden is already dead, and the reason no one has seen Bin Laden or even heard confirmed reports of his whereabouts for almost six years is because he's been dead for almost six years.
9/11 Mastermind
We were all told over and over again that Bin Laden was behind the 9/11 attacks. We were told that he led and orchestrated the 19 men who hijacked four commercial airliners on 9/11. On 23rd September 2001 the then US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, in a televised interview on NBC, said that, "in the near future we'll be able to put out a paper, a document, that will describe quite clearly the evidence that we have linking [Bin Laden] to this attack." When was this 'paper' published? It wasn't. The very next day, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said that Powell's words had been misinterpreted, and that the evidence would in fact be published after it 'declassifies' - ie. after 50 years. To date, the US government has shown the world not a shred of evidence that connects Bin Laden to the 9/11 attacks.

On this side of the pond, on the 4th October 2001, Tony Blair published a document entitled Responsibility for the Terrorist Atrocities in the United States, on the basis of which Britain went to 'war' in Afghanistan. Incredibly this document openly admitted that it did not 'purport to provide a prosecutable case against Osama Bin Laden in a court of law'. So this document was literally good enough to go to war, but not good enough to go court; and conceivably, not good enough even to charge Bin Laden with the 9/11 attacks. And after reading it, it's easy to see why. At best this document is flimsy: it gives no sources or proper citatation, features which would be a requirement of even the most basic academic paper. And at worst - to use the words of Stan Goff, former US Special Forces Master Seargeant - it's 'a bullshit story from beginning to end'. As Goff further states, of the 70 so called points of evidence against Bin Laden, only nine refer to 9/11, and each of these nine points are nothing more than 'conjecture'. And conjecture proves nothing. And yet we're told that HMG (Her Majesty's Government) is 'confident of its conclusions'. Confident? We invaded Afghanistan because the government was 'confident'? WMD's anyone?

In February 2002, Dale Watson, head of the FBI, told a US Senate select committee that, "The evidence linking Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden to the attacks of September 11 is clear and irrefutable." While the truth is that we have seen No evidence - clear, irrefutable or otherwise -that shows that Osama Bin Laden had anything to do with 9/11. None. Not a shred. And in spite of this, the majority view is that Bin Laden did, in fact, mastermind and carry out the 9/11 attacks. I believed this myself for almost five years. Why? Because the press repeatedly, remorselessly, said he did. And I naively believed them.

Stop! Press! - Quite literally...

This story is common knowledge amongst some. For others it will - and should - come as a thought provoking surprise.

If Bin Laden was the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, there would invariably be evidence of some sort to this effect. Indeed it would be naive to beleive that Bin Laden masterminded the 9/11 attacks without first seeing or knowing of the existence of such evidence. Otherwise all we have is speculation, unfounded accusation, conjecture as opposed to knowledge. And indeed this is the case with Bin Laden: we have seen No evidence that Bin Laden was behind the 9/11 attacks. We have simply been told he was, over and over and over again. All of which is not to say that Bin Laden wasn't behind the 9/11 attacks, or that there isn't in existence some evidence that clearly implicates Bin Laden. We can quite easily conceive that the US authorities hold such evidence but, for whatever reason, are with-holding it. Can't we?

The answer to this question is quite simply and unambiguously, 'No'. When asked why Bin Laden was not charged with the 9/11 attacks on his Most Wanted page, Rex Tomb, the FBI's chief of Investigative Publicity, revealed to the Muckraker report that, "The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Osama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11." Read that sentence again. And again, bearing in mind that Tomb said this in June of last year. That is, over four and a half years after the 9/11 attacks. If you've never come across this before, your thinking might go something like, "Hold on, if the FBI has no hard evidence that Bin Laden was behind 9/11, then..." And yes, I completely agree.

As Muckraker rightly says: 'This should be headline news worldwide'. Why it wasn't is a question we should all be asking ourselves.

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