Thursday, May 05, 2011
President Obama has said that he will not authorize the release of photographs purporting to show the body of Osama bin Laden. Obama claims that he does not want the photos to "inflame tensions" in the Muslim world.
The United States has not always been so reticent to release photos of its dead quarry of "most wanted" men. On July 22, 2003, the Pentagon reported that a US Special Operations team, not unlike the one that allegedly killed Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, engaged in a firefight with Saddam Hussein's two sons, Uday and Qusay Hussein, at a safehouse in Mosul. After a four-hour battle, the Pentagon reported that Uday and Qusay, along with Qusay's 14-year old son, Mustapha, were killed while resisting apprehension. The Pentagon propaganda machine claimed that dental records proved that it was Uday and Qusay who the Special Operations team had killed. And to prove their case, the U.S. military released gruesome photos of the bodies of Uday and Qusay.
Left to right: Post-autopsy photos of Qusay and Uday Hussein. Upper row, Uday Hussein alive and dead. Lower row: Qusay Hussein alive and dead.
Then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld defended his decision to release the Uday and Qusay photos. He said, ""This is an unusual situation. This regime has been in power for decades. These two individuals were particularly vicious individuals. ... They are now dead. ... The Iraqi people have been waiting for confirmation of that and they in my view deserve having confirmation of that . . . It was not a close call for me."
On December 30, 2006, Uday and Qusay's father, former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, was executed by hanging. A camera phone video showed Saddam being led to the gallows and a rope being put around his neck. However, the video never showed Saddam's actual hanging. On December 13, 2003, Saddam was supposedly captured in a "spider hole" in ad-Dawr, near his hometown of Tikrit, in a mission code-named "Operation Red Dawn," named after an anti-Soviet right-wing propaganda movie from the 1980s.
But why did President Bush land on the USS Abraham Lincolnon May 1, 2003 under a banner that stated "Mission Accomplished?" Coincidentally, it was the same day eight years later that President Obama would declare that U.S. forces killed Osama Bin Laden. Bush was well aware that the Husseins died on April 7, 2003 at the Mansour restaurant. All that was left was to come up with a series of cover stories to cover up the violation of previous presidential orders prohibiting the assassination of foreign leaders.
Left to right: "Saddam" being pulled from spider hole, "Saddam" with noose around his neck, a photo of the dead "Saddam."
The Pentagon had no problem allowing photos of the dead Husseins to be transmitted worldwide. There was no U.S. angst over the "propaganda" value some people might have attached to the photos or anti-American retaliation. There was a simple reason for the United States government to permit the release of the photos of the Husseins: the circumstances under which they supposedly died was a fabrication.
The Bush administration and the complicit corporate media conspired to sell the deaths of the Husseins to cover-up for the fact that the three Husseins actually died on April 7, 2003 after a B-1 bomber dropped four Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) bombs on the Al Sa-ah Restaurant in the Mansour District of Baghdad.
Rumsfeld, who was Secretary of Defense on February 18, 1976, when President Gerald Ford signed Executive Order 11905, prohibiting the assassination of foreign leaders. Rumsfeld knew he was on legal thin ice in permitting the Air Force to take out Saddam Hussein, the legal head of state of Iraq. The anti-assassination order was renewed by President Jimmy Carter's Executive Order 12036 and reaffirmed by President Ronald Reagan's Executive Order 12333. Rumsfeld knew he had to cover his tracks legally for the events of April 7, 2003 in the skies over Baghdad.
The B-1 had been issued orders to drop its payload on a weapons station north of Baghdad. However, the plane's pilot received orders to return back to Baghdad. "This is the big one," is what the pilot, Air Force Captain Chris Wachter, heard over his headphones. Wachter's mother told WMR about the series of events that occurred on April 7, 2003, and compared them to the fakery of the killing of "Osama Bin Laden."
What changed the mission for the B-1, code-named "Swede 72," was intelligence that had been received by a joint team of CIA, Delta Force, and Grey Fox units operating in Baghdad. Through the interception of the Racal Jaguar cell phones used by the three Husseins, the U.S. intelligence teams were able to pinpoint the location of the Husseins at the Al-Sa-ah restaurant. Swede-72 was to drop its payload on the restaurant. Saddam had acquired the supposedly secure phones from the British firm Racal after the first Gulf War. However, unknown to Saddam, the Racal phones had a security backdoor that permitted Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and its allies at the U.S. National security Agency to track the phones. The Husseins were sitting ducks after using their phones at the restaurant.
In fact, after US Central Command (CENTCOM) commander General Tommy Franks personally heard the Husseins talking on their phones, he issued orders for Swede-72 to turn around and hit the Baghdad restaurant. Franks ordered Swede-72's pilot to check his coordinates with a specific order, "Don't miss."
In killing Saddam Hussein, the Bush administration violated the Executive Order 12333 prohibiting political assassinations of foreign leaders. The Order states "no employee of the United States government shall engage in or conspire to engage in political assassinations."
After Swede-72 dropped its JDAM payload, the three ongoing communications on the Husseins' cell phones simultaneously ceased. The cell phones were as dead as their owners. After Swede-72 returned to its home base, reportedly in Oman, a live feed television link-up was established with their command. The crew of Swede-72 was told by their commander, "You got him. You got Saddam and his two boys!"
Later, the crew of Swede-72 was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by Air Force Cbief of Staff General T. Michael Moseley. The citation read that the crew received the award for "completely destroying one of the principle targets of the campaign."
The firefight that "killed" Uday and Qusay in Mosul and the subsequent capture of Saddam, his internment at Camp Cropper in Baghdad, and his trial and "execution" were cheaply-made Hollywood-like productions to cover up what occurred on April 7. The man who argued during the trial with a virtually unknown judge and the man who was defiant to his "hanging" was one of Saddam's many doubles. According to Pravda, after meeting the prisoner "Saddam" in Qatar, Saddam's wife, Sajida Heiralla Tuffah, revealed that the man she met was not her husband. Saddam's reputed mistress for some 30 years, Parisoula Lampsos, told ABC News that the man who was captured in the spider hole was not Saddam Hussein.
One such double, a man who calls himself Mikhael Ramadan, which may be a CIA cover name to bolster his federal witness protection program status in northern Virginia, wrote a book called, "In the Shadow of Saddam." On the back cover of the book sits Ramadan, very much a Saddam doppelganger. Ramadan, who may have really been Makhluf Ramadhan, defected to the United States in 1999.
The "Wanted" photo of Saddam circulated by the US Army in Iraq differed greatly from the man pulled from the spider hole outside of Tikrit. The Saddam "double" had an underbite and front teeth that clearly showed decay while the real Saddam had an overbite and immaculate teeth, courtesy of the best dental work his wealth could buy.
WMR has learned from informed sources that the December 2003 newspaper photograph of Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmed Chalabi meeting Saddam Hussein in a jail cell was also a disinformation event. Chalabi met with one of Saddan's doubles. The newspaper that published the Chalabi-Saddam photo, Al-Moutamar, is owned by Chalabi. Chalabi's nephew Salem Chalabi, a lawyer colleague of arch-neocon and Zionist Douglas Feith, was involved in the prosecution of "Saddam," and the judge who sentenced "Saddam" to death, Munir Haddad, was a hand-picked crony of Chalabi. Chalabi, no stranger to disinformation campaigns, was the person who shopped the fraudster "Curveball" to U.S. intelligence to push bogus claims that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.
The killing of Saddam Hussein and his sons at the outset of the Iraq War was no secret. On May 7, 2003, the Baltimore Sun reported on a speech given by Vice President Dick Cheney. The Sunreported, "'I think we did get Saddam Hussein,' Cheney told a capacity crowd at McFarlane Auditorium at Southern Methodist University. 'He was seen beinbg dug out of the rubble and wasn't able to breathe.'" White House chief of staff Andy Card told a radio audience, "I believe he [Saddam] is dead." General Franks stated that they had positively identified by DNA and "forensic tests" the Saddam pulled from the rubble of the Baghdad restaurant. It is the same claim now being offered by the Obama White House as proof that Bin Laden was killed in Pakistan.
Other media reports on Saddam's death came from UPI, which, on April 13, 2003, reported: "Last Wednesday we went out on a limb in UPI analysis and concluded the evidence was overwhelming that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was already dead, his foul body obliterated last Monday by the four 2,000 pound bunker-busting bombs unloaded on him courtesy of the U.S. Air Force. The 'wicked witch' is indeed dead." The same day as the UPI article, Al Jazeera reported: "Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has been killed during the night of April 7-8 as a result of a bombing raid on the Al-Mansour District of Baghdad." And from Fox News, a virtual echo chamber for the Bush administration, came the following: "U.S. officials told Fox News there's a chance they could know as soon as Tuesday whether Saddam is dead. They said some early indications are positive but they are very preliminary. There's a strong chance we got Saddam and probably both sons, senior U.S. officials told Fox News. The official said the CIA provided the intelligence that led to the strike."
The fakery does not end with Saddam and his sons. On April 12, 2003, the Sydney Morning Herald, among other media sources, reported that Saddam’s half-brother Barzan al-Tikriti was killed as a result of military action. However, the media later reported that Barzan had been hanged after a guilty conviction in January 2007. Headlines read "Witness: Executed man’s ‘head just snapped off.'" The only problem is that Barzan was already dead. There was no trial and there was no hanging. It was all made up.
The story on Saddam began to change when the always dubious Time magazine reported: "The U.S. isn't known to have any DNA on Saddam." The story was changing fast and the corporate media and its professional stenographers began to alter reality as they have done so many times in the past and currently, as witnessed in just the past few days.
After a U.S. bomb reportedly killed Muammar Qaddafi's son and three grandsons in Tripoli, the Obama administration claimed that showing the blown-to-pieces corpses of Qaddafi's family members was insufficient proof to confirm that the Obama administration, like its predecessor, violated the law by targeting the residence of Qaddafi's son, where the Libyan leader and his wife were present just prior to the U.S. attack. Yet Obama and his advisers want the world to believe that Osama Bin Laden was killed without photographic evidence. Bin Laden's body was said to have been dumped at sea and the story about Bin Laden's "killing" has changed as fast as the original reports about the death of Saddam Hussein and his two sons in Baghdad.
The Pakistani Urdu-language newspaper Ausafis quoting a neighbor of the so-called "mansion" where Bin Laden was allegedly killed that the house was owned by a Pakistani of Pashtun descent. was built in 2005, and was the home to a number of the owner's family members. The neighbor said neither he nor his neighbors ever saw or heard any inkling that Bin Laden was in the house. Senior Pakistani officials echoed the claim made in November 2007 by the late Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto that Bin Laden had died or been killed elsewhere and years before the alleged Abbottabad killing, for which the Obama administration has provided no credible evidence other than their "word," which in the history of recent administrations, is not worth very much in the credibility market.
On January 19, 2002, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf told CNN that he believed Bin Laden had died from kidney failure. Musharraf said, "We know that he [Bin Laden] donated two dialysis machines to Afghanistan. One was specifically for his own personal use." Musharraf added, "And the photographs that have been shown of him on television show him extremely weak. . . . I would give the first priority that he is dead." One of the dialysis machines was delivered to Bin Laden's base in Kandahar. Current Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said in 2009 that Bin Laden was dead.
General Franks, the chief of CENTCOM, did not dismiss Musharraff's comments out-of-hand. Franks said none of his intelligence reports could confirm or deny that Bin Laden had died from kidney failure. Franks said, "Bin Laden could be alive, dead, or in Afghanistan or not . . . right now, I honestly don't know where he is."
In 2008, former CIA officer Robert Baer said of Bin Laden's status, "Of course he's dead." In 2002, FBI counterterrorism chief Dale Watson said Bin Laden was "probably dead."
This editor previously reported that Bin Laden had been spirited away from Pakistan in December 2001 to his native Hadhramaut homeland of South Yemen where he died attended by members of his family and tribe. In a purpiorted video tape made in early December 2001, Bin Laden was frail and ashen. Bin Laden's left arm appeared to be immobilized in a manner that indicated he may have had a stroke.
In a February 1999, article in The Guardian, former CIA counter-terrorism chief Vince Cannistraro asserted that Bin Laden's kidney failure resulted from a Saudi poisining attempt in 1998. Cannistraro said, "The Saudis hired someone among his followers to poison him, probably in November . He suffered kidney failure but recovered, at least partially." That report was followed up by a February 15, 1999, story in the Saudi-owned newspaper Al Hayat that Bin Laden was suffering kidney pain.
French media reported that Bin Laden received kidney treatment from the urology department of the American Hospital in Dubai on July 4, 2001. Bin Laden was visited in his hospital room by the Dubai CIA station chief, Larry Mitchell, a report the CIA later vehemently denied. Bin Laden had arrived from Quetta, Pakistan with his personal physician and nurse, as well as four security guards. In January 2002, CBS News reported that on September 10, 2001, the night before the attacks, for which Bin Laden was never charged by the FBI, the leader of "Al Qaeda" received kidney dialysis in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
On December 26, 2001, the Egyptian newspaper al-Wafd published the following obituary notice for Bin Laden: "News of Bin Laden's Death and Funeral 10 days ago. Islamabad -A prominent official in the Afghan Taleban movement announced yesterday the death of Osama bin Laden, the chief of al-Qa'da organization, stating that bin Laden suffered serious complications in the lungs and died a natural and quiet death. The official, who asked to remain anonymous, stated to The Observer of Pakistan that he had himself attended the funeral of bin Laden and saw his face prior to burial in Tora Bora 10 days ago. He mentioned that 30 of al-Qa'da fighters attended the burial as well as members of his family and some friends from the Taleban. In the farewell ceremony to his final rest guns were fired in the air. The official stated that it is difficult to pinpoint the burial location of bin Laden because according to the Wahhabi tradition no mark is left by the grave. He stressed that it is unlikely that the American forces would ever uncover any traces of bin Laden."
Just as with Saddam and his sons, the United States saw fit to disclose the death of Bin Laden in order to gain political and intelligence advantage. In the case of Bin Laden, the U.S. is now applying maximum pressure on Pakistan, which is being accused by many circles of being complicit with Bin Laden and "Al Qaeda."
And, as with Saddam, the United States may have decided to kill one of Bin Laden's doubles. Many people were thought to be Bin Laden in the months after 9/11. The Halifax (NS) Daily News of May 24, 2002, reported that excited villagers in eastern Uganda seized a tall and bearded man and turned him into local authorities believing him to be Bin Laden. The man was, in fact, a Ugandan look-alike. Apparently, the Ugandans were hoping to snare the $25 million bounty offered up by the United States as a reward for capturing the Al Qaeda leader.
There is strong evdience that Bin Laden may have died before or shortly after 9/11 and that he has been used by the U.S. intelligence community and the neo-conservative cabal that has infected, like a cancer, the American body politic. Bin Laden became "Public Enemy Number One," pulled right out of central casting, and developed into the main enemy by corporate news media "journalists", who have acted merely as cast "extras" in a series of stage-managed productions for television.
In the late 1990s, before the total corruption of television news, there were clues reported about Bin Laden's imminent demise from a number of ailments, including hepatitis-C, renal failure, liver cancer, diabetes, extremely low blood pressure, and Marfan Syndrome, a connective tissue disease that affects taller people and drastically shortens an individual's life span. Bin Laden was 6 foot, four inches tall. The Pentagon and CIA refused to disclose details of Bin Laden's health, citing their medical summaries of Bin Laden's health status as classified.
On June 17, 1999, ABC News' John McWethy reported, "officials say there is growing evidence that he [Bin Laden] suffers from a degenerative condition known as Marfan Syndrome, which limits his mobility and may put him at high risk of heart attack or stroke."
On February 27, 2000, the New York Post reported that Bin Laden was in a poor physical condition and that two doctors from the United Arab Emirates were smuggled into Jalalabad, Afghanistan to treat his worsening kidney condition. Arab newspapers reported that Bin Laden was going to hand over control of Al Qaeda ro his deputies. After 9/11, reports of Bin Laden's ill-health were suddenly dropped by the media. The stock footage from the 1990s of a healthy Bin Laden emerging from a cave with a satellite phone was shown over and over again. However, after the Russian assassination of Chechen President Dzhokar Dudayev in 1996, after coordinates of the Chechen leader's satellite phone were passed to Russian Air Force planes who launched an air-to-ground missile, Bin Laden ditched his own satellite phone with the number 00873682505331, instead resorting to the use of couriers, one of which was identified by U.S. intelligence, a nugget that ultimately led to Bin Laden in Abbottabad, or so we are led to believe.
When it comes to blatant propaganda and lying on a grand scale, there's not a dime's worth of difference between George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Jr. However, what is galling is that U.S. servicemen who served in Swede-7 and Navy SEAL Team 6 have permitted themselves to be used as movie extras in bad Hollywood-inspired dramas. At least they should request Screen Actor's Guild wages in return for selling out the American people and the U.S. Constitution they swore to defend.