Friday, May 06, 2011

Welcome to the post-Osama world By Pepe Escobar

Welcome to the post-Osama world
By Pepe Escobar

To follow Pepe's articles on the Great Arab Revolt, please click here.

United States President Barack Obama, riding high in the polls, his re-election virtually assured, is now free to bask in the glow of his all-American victory in the global "war on terror", which his administration had rechristened "overseas contingency operations" (OCO). The Osama Bin Laden hit on Monday was indeed an OCO - a swift, overseas "kinetic military action" surmounting innumerable contingencies such as the violation of the aerial space of a theoretically sovereign nation.

Yet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's first reaction was to stress the "war on terror" in fact goes on forever, true to the spirit of the Pentagon's own slogan, "The Long War". That applies especially to the ultra-strategic AfPak theater. It's as if commander-in-chief Obama could not but be a regal prisoner in a labyrinth not of his own making.

The White House's move to break out of the labyrinth was to paradoxically go ballistic and seal the death of the 9/11 trauma, capitalized by the George W Bush administration as a license to kill evil - be it in itself or in the form of an axis - and thus affirm Jeffersonian freedom. From 2001 to 2008, those were the years when the hyperpower - on a mission from God and focused as a laser on a Hegel/Fukuyama "end of history" - simply trampled over international law.

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were supposed to be only the first two stops on the way to redemption (then there would be the road to Damascus, Tehran and even Tripoli ...) What was christened as The Greater Middle East project was supposed to smash "terror" and the regimes that sheltered it; the Taliban Afghanistan and - in the neo-con vision - Saddamist Iraq. Others would inevitably fall like dominoes.

Almost a decade after 9/11 - and with the Bush "dead or alive" promise finally fulfilled Terminator-style - where does the former hyperpower goes next?

The strategic chessboard has completely changed. It's hard to exercise hyperpower hegemony when you know China will overtake you as the world's number one economy, possibly as soon as 2016 - and when you're drowning in debt to, who else, strategic competitor China. Yet you're still overextended military, and your never-ending "war on terror", not to mention two-and-a-half wars, are costing trillions of dollars, paid up by, who else, your top banker China.

Your soft power is not as seductive as it used to be - although your hi-tech creativity is still matchless; and most of all nobody in the developing world, starting with the BRICS group, gives any credence to your Washington Consensus anymore.

And the winner is ... China
So for now the winner of the "war on terror" is China, which for a number of reasons, paramount among them the Deng Xiaoping motto "to get rich is glorious", is now close to the point where it was for 18 of the past 20 centuries, that is, on top.

Obama may be accused of many things - including of being a Nobel Peace Prize warmonger. But he's also a smart intellectual. The president has surveyed the landscape and has seen how America's Paul Kennedy-diagnosed imperial overextension has accelerated its decline. And he also has seen how in the process the US was totally corroded by the specter of "Islamic terror".

And that may lead us to the answer of the magic bullet question about the timing of the Bin Laden hit.

When 9/11 happened, music genius Karlheinz Stockhausen said - to the outrage of millions of Americans - that "this was the greatest work of art the world has ever seen." He had a point as 9/11 - in terms of its impact upon the collective unconscious of mankind, almost to the point of paralysis - reduced Albert Speer's and Leni Riefenstahl's specials to child's play.

So to symbolically kill the "war on terror" - which was invented because of 9/11 - Obama had to (literally) kill the (alleged) perpetrator, be it real or not, guilty or not, a clone or not. Thus the hit, the swift disposal of the body, no photos, end of the movie, no credits rolling; a tight cinematic narrative. The obvious holes in the plot, as in any Hollywood blockbuster, are deemed irrelevant; what matters is success at the box-office - and we move on.

Like a basketball-playing Freudian, Obama went for the kill, the reason of the whole trauma. He identified it as the only way to start anew - as in trying to end the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq and start concentrating on what really matters for the US; investments in education and infrastructure, the dire state of the economy.

There's no guarantee Obama's "cure" will work. Millions of Americans may - and are - feeling the boost, as if the whole country ingested a tsunami of Red Bull. The key question is whether jihadism will disappear for good from the current geopolitical landscape.

In fact even before the Bin Laden hit it had already been defeated by history - as in the great 2011 Arab revolt affirming, unequivocally, the Arab world's will to welcome democracy, not suicide bombers.

Obama's "cure" will face monstrous contradictions. Drones kill civilians in the Pakistani tribal areas while the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's "humanitarian" war kills civilians in Libya. Humanitarian warmongers silent in the face of the appalling repression in Bahrain and the House of Saud getting away with conducting an anti-democracy counter-revolution all across the Persian Gulf.

If Bin Laden - and Muammar Gaddafi - may be selected for diplomacy by targeted assassination, why not the ghastly dictatorship in Myanmar, or Islam Karimov in Uzbekistan? Moreover, the Pentagon will keep fighting with all its might to keep its Long War going on forever.

Obama the psychoanalyst has just baptized a new, post-Osama world. Let's see how America reacts, or if it's soon back to the couch.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at

Thursday, May 05, 2011

SPECIAL REPORT. You only live twice -- The fakery of the deaths of America's "Most Wanted"

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 [1998]. 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.

Show us the shooter By Pepe Escobar

Show us the shooter
By Pepe Escobar

To follow Pepe's articles on the Great Arab Revolt, please click here.

Show us the Navy SEALs hero who did the double-tapping on Osama bin Laden - the one-two in the head to make sure the target of a hit job is out - after a "firefight" the signs of which are virtually absent in that squalid "mansion" in Abbottabad.

Show us the greatest hero of modern American history, the man who shot America's public enemy number one, the most evil terrorist in the history of the Universe who masterminded the most spectacular attack of all time against the US.

Parade him on Ground Zero and in downtown Manhattan, give him

a row of Purple and rainbow-colored Hearts, make him a partner of Goldman Sachs, get him on Oprah, Rush and Anderson Cooper, induct him into the Rock'n Roll Hall of Fame.

If you're Republican, make him run for president; unlike Donald "that fox on his head" Trump or Sarah "I can see Pakistan from my house" Palin, he would actually turn President Barack Obama into collateral damage. Or at least crown him secretary of defense - supreme purveyor of the targeted assassination as the paramount tool of international diplomacy.

Take two
Rewind to the cliffhanger scene in all its Hi-Def glory - broadcast live to the situation room in Washington.

The hero, fully equipped, pumped up, is face to face with the real Osama bin Laden, unarmed, just out of bed, trapped in a drab room. There's no possible escape; the whole compound is "secured". This is it - the moment America has been dreaming about since September 11, 2001.

The rehearsal took place hundreds of times before during the everlasting "war on terror". The procedure was to immobilize the suspect, put a bag over his head, transfer him to a helicopter (there were three outside, one had already crashed), then to a military base, and then, in an orange jumpsuit, straight to Gitmo.

Now the hero is face to face with the man who caused the "war on terror" itself to exist. And what does he do? Not a shot in the arm, leg or knee. Not even a casually tossed stun grenade. No extraordinary rendition - what is this good for anyway if it does not apply to public enemy number one?

The hero double-taps the fugitive - codename "Geronimo" (a native who defied the Empire; talk about defiling native-Americans once again). This is the way the biggest, costliest manhunt ever ends; not with a prolonged bang, but with two golden bullets. Good guy snuffs bad guy. Dirty Harry snuffs the punk.

So no one in the world will ever know. How "Geronimo" became a Central Intelligence Agency asset - and how the "friendship" developed during the 1980s. How he escaped from Tora Bora - or how the Pentagon let him escape. How he lived in Pakistan all these years, undisturbed. Why did he "hate us".

And most of all how he "masterminded" 9/11. Which branch - or branches, or individuals - of the US intelligence network knew about it in advance, and let it happen. How a bunch of Arabs with box-cutters and crappy flying skills turned jets into missiles and destroyed the Twin Towers (plus building 7) and a chunk of the mighty Pentagon.

Who in the world would dare not to be glued for months to the most stirring trial of all time?

There are reasons to believe the entities - the system - that arranged the hit would not be very pleased. So the verdict is guilty as (not) charged - and termination by a bullet in the head. It's never been so easy to create a wasteland and call it "justice".

As for the rest of us, we'll spend the rest of our lives in the dark.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Bin Laden: Body buried at sea, shoddy proof of death -- another "Made in Hollywood" performance from "Ari Gold"

Years after Public Enemy Number One, Osama Bin Laden, was reportedly killed in the mountains of the Afghan-Pakistani border region or died from kidney failure in his native Hadhramaut region of Yemen, President Obama pulled the Bin Laden rabbit out of his political hat during a Sunday late-night television address, when many Americans were already watching the tube, thus increasing Obama's market share for his "surprise announcement." After all, Obama, who has close links to Oprah Winfrey and Rahm Emanuel's super-Hollywood agent brother, Ari Emanuel, depicted as the vile "Ari Gold" in fiction, is well-aware of TV Sunday prime time ratings.

So, in a few words, Obama announced that Bin Laden had been killed by a U.S. team that caught the wily Saudi Arabian terrorist mastermind by surprise. Bin Laden was not caught in a cave or some other underground facility in Waziristan but in a $1 million walled-off estate in Abbottabad, a military cantonment where a number of active and retired members of Pakistan's military and intelligence community lived. Abbottabad is also home to Pakistan's version of West Point, the Kakul Military Academy, where the firefight between U.S. Navy SEALS and Bin Laden's security guards allegedly took place a mere 800 meters away. 

Up until the 1980s, the mountains around Abbottabad were dotted with small U.S. National Security Agency (NSA)/U.K. Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) listening posts in places like Bada Bier and Parachinar were used to eavesdrop on signals from the Soviet Union and China. It was a time period when Bin Laden was operating his mujaheddin forces in Afghanistan under the aegis of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency and its CIA overseers.
Abbottabad is also very familiar to the CIA and U.S. Special Forces, which operated from the nearby Kalabagh air force base, which has reportedly been used in the past by U.S. Special Operations forces, including U.S. Marines. Why Bin Laden would want to locate a massive safe house in the heart of Pakistani and American counter-insurgency and intelligence activity is curious.

Bin Laden's body was reported by the Pentagon to have been buried somewhere in the north Arabian Sea from the aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson. The Pentagon has assured the public that they confirmed Bin Laden's identity through DNA sampling and are "100 percent" certain that the body they buried in the sea was that of Bin Laden. The question remains as to where Bin Laden's comparative DNA samples were obtained over the past several years when the terrorist mastermind was supposedly a phantom-like fugitive.

However, the word from WMR sources at NSA is that no signals intercepts, from Pakistan or U.S. military sources, indicate that the man shot to death in Abbottabad was Osama Bin Laden. After the so-called killing of Bin Laden, operators were deluged with intercepted chatter about Bin Laden having been killed. However, not once did signals intercept operators, linguists and intelligence analysts based in Pakistan, Afghanistan, NSA headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland, or on ships offshore -- who would have been cleared for and involved with the top secret mission to kill Bin Laden -- pick up any intelligence about Bin Laden prior to his reported assassination by the U.S. Special Forces "kill" team acting on the direct orders of President Obama. 

George W. Bush and other neo-con leaders, like Obama, have often pulled the Bin Laden rabbit out of their hat, years after reports of the Al Qaeda leader's death in either thr Afghanistan-Pakistan border region or Yemen. On September 7, 2007, WMR reported: "'Osama bin Laden' supposedly appears in a new videotape with a dyed and trimmed beard and talking about Democratic control of Congress and the coming to power of Nicolas Sarkozy in France and Gordon Brown in Britain. 'Bin Laden' also refers to George W. Bush as the 'leader of Texas.' He also talks of the Democrats' failure to 'stop the war.' "Bin Laden,' who once recommended William Blum' s book 'Rogue State,' is back in the Book-of-the-Month Club business in plugging Noam Chomsky and ex-CIA 'Bin Laden Unit' chief Michael Scheuer. 'Bin Laden' also mentions 'neoconservatives' like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Richard Pearl [sic], meaning Richard Perle. He also refers to Colin Powell and Richard Armitage and 'their blood history of murdering humans.' Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair also gets honorable mention. 'Bin Laden' also states that President John Kennedy was killed and 'corporations were the primary beneficiary of his killing.' Days before a huge anti-war march in Washington, on September 15, Bin Laden states that carrying 'anti-war placards' in the streets is of no use. As if expecting that many people will view the tape as a fake, the neocon media and their usual 'sources' and 'experts' are already claiming that it is quite common for Arab mean to dye their beards to make themselves look younger."

On September 9, 2007, WMR reported on how "Al Qaeda" video and audiotapes are transmitted to the news media as authentic: "The so-called 'Osama Bin Laden tape' was not only transmitted via the auspices of the Search for International Terrorist Entities (SITE) Institute, a Washington, DC-based research institute with links to Israeli right-wing Likud elements, but U.S. intelligence officials are now claiming that large portions of the 'Bin Laden' speech were written by Los Angeles native Adam Gadahn, born Adam Pearlman, (aka Azzam the American), the number three man in charge of Al Qaeda, whose grandfather, Carl K. Pearlman, was a member of the board of the Anti Defamation League (ADL), an important component of the Israeli Lobby in the United States. Carl Pearlman, a prominent California urologist, was the chairman of the Orange County Bonds for Israel campaign and the United Jewish Welfare Fund. SITE and an Israeli intelligence front operation in Washington, MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute), are closely linked. MEMRI has been responsible for mis-translating several speeches made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. SITE's director is Rita Katz, an Iraq-born Jew who moved to Israel after her father was executed by Saddam Hussein's government for spying for the Mossad. She emigrated to the United States from Israel in 1997. Katz worked for the U.S. Treasury Department in its pursuit of Muslim charity funds in the United States in Operation Green Quest and as a consultant for the FBI. The main coordinator for Green Quest was the then-head of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, Michael Chertoff. 

Not surprisingly, the Zawahiri tape ridiculing Obama was made available by the SITE Intelligence Group in Washington
Our September 9, 2007 report continued: "The delivery of the latest 'Bin Laden' video was reported by the Associated Press as follows: 'the 30-minute video was obtained by the SITE Institute, a Washington-based group that monitors terrorist messages, and provided to the Associated Press.' In the past, Bin Laden videos were sent to Al Jazeera and other Arab media sources directly. The first news of the video's release came on the al-Sahab web site, where 'Al Qaeda' has previously posted messages. Last year, a leaked French intelligence report stated that Bin Laden died of typhoid fever in Pakistan. There are other reports that after the US attack on Afghanistan, Bin Laden was spirited out of Afghanistan to his native Hadhramaut region of Yemen, where he later died of kidney failure surrounded by his close and extended family members. Bin Laden's post-9/11 presence in Hadhramaut was hinted to by reputable Israeli intelligence sources in discussions with this editor in 2002. The speed at which the corporate media accepted the obviously bogus 'Bin Laden makeover' tape is amazing. However, considering the links between the neocon disinformation machinery in Washington, DC and the corporate media, it may not be so surprising when put into context."
After years of lies from the U.S. government about Saddam Hussein's non-existent weapons of mass destruction, including "intelligence" about mobile biological weapons trailers from a known fraudster code named "Curveball"; bogus Niger documents on Iraq's possession of yellow cake uranium; bogus Iraq Oil Ministry documents on Iraqi payoffs to Western political leaders under the UN's Oil-for-Food program; and, more recently, false charges from Obama's ambassador to the UN that Muammar Qaddafi's troops in Libya were ingesting Viagra tablets before raping women, the public should be wary of a president who shows every tendency to lie as much as his three immediate predecessors: Bush II, Clinton, and Bush I. The White House is, perhaps, the greatest source of lies and disinformation in the world today, topping anything similar that may emanate from Pyongyang or Tripoli. There is no reason for any sane person to believe that anything Mr. Obama says is true. But Obama's supporters wasted no time in proclaiming that Bin Laden's killing ensures Obama's re-election next year.