In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Reflections on the official announcement of the death of Osama Bin Laden

Posted by seumasach on May 10, 2011

Thierry Meyssan


8th May, 2011

The official announcement of Osama Bin Laden’s death gives rise to all sorts of debates, which focus attention on the details of the story to better mask Washington’s strategic designs. For Thierry Meyssan, this announcement became indispensable ever since Bin Laden’s operatives were integrated into NATO operations in Libya and those of the CIA in Syria. Only through the disappearance of their former virtual leader can they recover the status of “freedom fighters”, which they enjoyed during the Soviet era.

President Barack Obama solemnly announced the death of Osama Bin Laden on May 1st, 2011.

Before looking into the symbolic significance of this announcement, let’s first do a reality check.


In 2001, Osama Bin Laden was suffering from a serious kidney ailment and was put on dialysis. He had to undergo treatment in hospital at least every two days. In the summer of 2001, he was admitted to the American hospital in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) [1]. At the beginning of September 2001, he was transferred to the military hospital in Rawalpindi (Pakistan) [2]. A few days after the attacks, he gave an interview to Al-Jazeera in a place which was kept secret from the journalist. In December 2001, his family announced his passing and his friends were present at his funeral. [3].
However, the US Defense Department was convinced that the announcement was a decoy to allow Bin Laden to escape US justice. And yet, between 2001 and 2011, no reliable witness ever met up with Osama Bin Laden [4].
During this period, a host of video and audio cassettes attributed to Bin Laden were released, either by the Defense Department, by the media (mainly Al-Jazeera), or by private intelligence companies (IntelCenter, SITE Intelligence Group). The majority of the tapes were authenticated by the CIA through an undisclosed method. [5]. Nonetheless, the totality of the tapes were proven to be false by experts in artificial intelligence, including the Dalle Molle Institutewhich is world leader in court-ordered appraisals [6].

Simply stated, in all likelihood Osama Bin Laden died in December 2001. Consequently, what we are being told today belongs in the mythical realm.

The announcement of Osama Bin Laden’s death

In his announcement, Barack Obama didn’t give any details of the operation. “Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.” [7] The presidential message can be broken down into three main points:
- Firstly, “And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror : Justice has been done.” In other words, the case is closed; no trial will ever be held to establish the truth about the attacks attributed to Osama Bin Laden, including those of September 11, 2001.
- Secondly, the United States was able to carry out this extra-judicial execution not because of its super might, but because it was chosen by God to administer His justice: “Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are : one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
- Thirdly, all governments on this planet, and principally those of Muslim States, are enjoined to applaud this extra-judicial killing which marks the triumph of the Empire of Good over the incarnation of Evil: “So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.

Reactions to the announcement

On Fox News, Geraldo Rivera burst out: “Bin Laden is dead! Confirmed! Urgent confirmed! Happy Days everybody! This is the greatest night of my career! (…) The bum is dead! The savage who hurt us so grievously! And I’m blessed, so privileged to be at this desk at this moment!” The jubilant mob then took to the streets shouting “U-S-A!”, “U-S-A!”.

As for Heads of State and government, they nearly unanimously pledged allegiance to their overlord, as demanded of them. Not a single one raised the slightest objection to the flagrant extra-judicial execution perpetrated in a foreign country in outright violation of its sovereignty.

Speaking on television, David Cameron proclaimed: “I would like to congratulate the US forces who carried out this brave action. I would like to thank President Obama for ordering this action.”

Also speaking before television cameras, Benjamin Netanyahu stated: “This is an historic day for the United States of America and for all the countries engaged in the battle against terrorism. I want to congratulate President Obama and the American people. I want to congratulate America’s soldiers, and its intelligence personnel for a truly outstanding achievement. It took ten years to track Osama bin Laden down. It took ten years to bring a measure of justice to his victims. But the battle against terrorism is long and relentless and resolute. This is a day of victory – a victory for justice, for freedom and for our common civilization.”

Nicolas Sarkozy released a communique: “The announcement by President Obama of the death of Osama Bin Laden following a remarkable commando operation by the U.S. in Pakistan, is a major milestone in the world’s struggle against terrorism. France pays tribute to the tenacity of the United States that had hunted him down for the past 10 years. Chief architect of the 11 September 2001 attacks, Osama Bin Laden was the advocate of an ideology of hate and the leader of a terrorist organization that claimed the lives of thousands of people throughout the world, notably in the Muslim countries. For those victims, justice has been done. This morning, the thoughts of the French people go out to them and their families.”

Another communique was put out by Berlin: “With the commando operation against Osama Bin Laden and his execution, the army of the United States dealt a fatal blow to Al-Qaeda, which was crowned with success. Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel conveyed to President Obama her relief on the announcement of this event. Last night, the forces of peace scored a victory.” [8]

And so on …

Why did Osama Bin Laden have to stop living?

The basic political issue is to know why the United States decided to snuff life out of the mythical character they had created – the real man having been dead for nearly a decade.

For the simple reason that Bin Laden’s combatants have been embedded for several months in operations where they must no longer figure as enemies of the United States, but as allies. This turnaround could not be managed without the elimination of their virtual commander.

Assuredly, over the coming months, international television networks in chorus will be telling us that the jihadists who had fought in the ranks of the CIA in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya against the Soviets and the Russians, strayed towards international terrorism; but that they returned to the rightful path after Bin Laden’s death, and are once again ready to side with “America”, this time in Libya, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain.

Thus, it will no longer be necessary to decipher the covert scenario for simple-minded people like brave Army General Carter Ham. One can recall the dismay which beset the Commander of US AfriCom at the outbreak of “Operation Odyssey Dawn“, prompting his refusal to supply arms to the Libyan rebels because of those Al-Qaeda members returning from Iraq who were in their midst. His responsibilities were forthwith transferred to NATO, more accustomed to overseeing secret operations involving Ben Laden combatants.

In the counter-revolution unfolding in the Middle-East, the United States and Israel are reenacting the division tactics laid down by all the empires before them: leaning on religious fundamentalism in order to eradicate nationalism. The only new feature is that they intend to use, at the same time, both Bin Laden’s Wahhab fighters as an armed wing and Takfiri elements recruted among the Muslim Brotherhood for political window dressing.

The merger promises to be complex, especially when it comes to associating Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which – for the time being – is impervious to the idea. The leadership of this new movement has been entrusted to the “religious counselor” of Al-Jazeera, Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, whose prayers for the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi and Bashar al-Assad are broadcasted over the air on a daily basis.

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Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi at the Tahrir Square victory demonstration of 18 February 2011 in Cairo. He advocates of an alliance between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Army and upholds an obscurantist application of the Sharia law and its punishments.

With this objective in mind, they organised al-Qaradawi’s return to his native country. During the 18 February victory rally, while the heroes of Tahrir Square were denied the floor, al-Qaradawi was allowed to speak in their place to a crowd of nearly 2 million people. The preacher made full use of the opportunity, aiming to steer the course of the Egyptian revolution away from Nasser nationalism and Khomeinist anti-Zionism. Under his influence, the Egyptian people abstained from electing a constituent assembly, voting instead for constitutional amendments that confirm Islam as the State religion.

Shake-up in Washington

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In Rambo III (1988), the icon of US imperialism flies to the rescue of Colonel Trautment, held prisoner by Soviet torturers in Afghanistan. He befriends Ben Laden’s mujahideen and joins their cause against Communism.

In the old days, Ben Laden’s companions were branded as “freedom fighters“. It was the time when the Heritage Foundation used to organize fund-raising campaigns to support the jihad of the anti-Communist multimillionaire and – in Hollywood – Rambo helped Al-Qaeda’s forerunners to vanquish the Red Army.

Today, they have returned to being “freedom fighters“, as they identify the targets for NATO’s bombardments on Libyan soil or when they shoot at random into a crowd or at police forces in Syria.

Structural changes have already taken place in Riyad aiming to coordinate their work with that of US forces. The Saidairi clan has orchestrated the come-back of legendary Prince Bandar and the deployment of Saudi special forces named “Nayef Eagles” to crackdown on protestors in Bahrain and raze Shiite mosques to the ground. But the most significant organizational changes are going on in Washington.

General David Petraeus, who was in charge of CentCom and availed himself of Bin Laden’s network to have Iraqi opponents assassinated, has been appointed Director of the CIA. The implication is that the Obama administration intends to curtail its military engagement in favour of secret actions.
Outgoing CIA Director Leon Panetta will fill the slot of Defense Secretary, the exclusive domain of former members of the Baker-Hamilton Commission, to which he in fact belonged together with his friend Robert Gates. Panetta will be in charge of limiting ground military operations, with the exception of those to be undertaken by special forces.

The official announcement, albeit 10 years too late, of Osama Bin Laden’s demise terminates a cycle and opens a new one. His image had spearheaded the secret actions against Soviet and, later, Russian influence before being used as a prop to promote the clash of civilizations on September 11 and to eliminate Iraqi resistance. Already spent, he was no longer recyclable, unlike his combatants. They will henceforth be assigned to the hijacking of the “Arab Spring” and to the ongoing attempts to undermine the Axis of Resistance (Iran, Syria; Hezbollah, Hamas).

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