A memorial to Osama bin Laden – Come Carpentier de Gourdon

Come Carpentier de GourdonNow it stands to reason that the killing of OBL is a perfect media magnet after the extravagantly publicized wedding of Prince William with Catherine Middleton, and comes right in time to distract global attention from the current very damaging news about the botched NATO Libya campaign involving the killing of some of Gaddhafi’s immediate family in their Tripoli home. The providential disappearance of the ageing bogeyman of the first decade of our century also boosts President Osama’s (sorry, Obama) sagging ratings and bolsters his chances for an easy reelection while comforting the cheerleaders and sidekicks of the Empire – Cameron, Sarkozy, Netanyahu, Julia Gillard, Berlusconi and company. Even the skeletons of the previous era – Bush, Blair and Cheney – have tumbled out of the closet to scream in posthumous victory. — Come Carpentier

Osama bin LadenOn 2nd May 2011, the world media erupted into a concert of plaudits, encomiums and wild-eyed screams followed by endless streams of commentary about the reported killing of Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted man, whom most of the “civilized world’s” armed forces had allegedly been in hot pursuit of since the 11th of September 2001.

In past years, I, along with several other observers and analysts, asserted in various articles that the presumed inspirer of the 9/11 attacks, far from hiding in a cave atop the frozen Hindukush mountains, was in fact living under joint Pakistani and US protection near the Afghan-Pakistani border. Indeed, when killed, he was reportedly ensconced in an opulent house located a few hundred yards away from Pakistan’s National Military Academy in the garrison and resort town of Abbottabad, which used to be a hill station for the British colonial administrators and army officers under the Raj.

I, along with many others had also predicted that Osama, if he was still alive, would be one day killed with great fanfare and would hence not be able to make any revelations, as would almost certainly be the case if he were captured.

Yet, the operational abilities of US Special Forces are more than sufficient to disable and render unconscious any human target if the decision is made to capture, rather than kill, him.

One must also highlight the inconsistency between the proven technological ability of US Intelligence which can film and study inch by inch every territory on the planet from space, track down every living and inanimate thing on that surface “in real time,” and eventually destroy and kill any target with satellite-guided missiles, and the inane claim, often repeated by obliging mass media, that the US has very little – if any – intelligence about Pakistan and must depend on unreliable and unavailable “humint”.

Yet, the world’s sole superpower has unlimited financial resources in pursuit of its priority military goals. Is it plausible that no reliable information on Osama bin Laden, an Arab high-profile foreigner in Pakistan, would be available for ten years, even though the US was willing to pay many millions of dollars for any such information, and has sent hundreds if not thousands of its own agents in the region?

At the date of this writing, it is reported that American Special Forces attacked his compound and killed him with a bullet to the head, as well as one of his sons, in an operation that lasted less than 40 minutes. His body has then immediately been dumped in the Indian Ocean so that no one would have a chance to conduct any forensic examination or analyse physical evidence. The CIA shreds or burns compromising documents once they have served their purpose, and it presumably does something similar to its discarded human tools.

It must be noted in this regard, that the other alleged “mastermind” of the 911 attacks, Khalid Sheykh Mohammed, in US detention for years, has been kept in strict secrecy and has not been allowed to communicate with anyone outside the circle of his Military Intelligence interrogators. Whatever he said to them has not been shared with the public, apart from a few unsupported claims about his involvement with an uncannily high number of terrorist attacks and plots all over the world.

Another obvious point is that Osama bin Laden is known and acknowledged to have worked with and for the CIA and other Western Intelligence services for years, and was used by them not only against the Soviet Red Army in Afghanistan, but also against Gaddaffi in Libya in the 1990s, and against the Serbian forces in Bosnia Herzegovina during the recent war there. Several research articles and books have been published on his actions and involvements in that period.

Now it stands to reason that the killing of OBL is a perfect media magnet after the extravagantly publicized wedding of Prince William with Catherine Middleton, and comes right in time to distract global attention from the current very damaging news about the botched NATO Libya campaign involving the killing of some of Gaddhafi’s immediate family in their Tripoli home. The providential disappearance of the ageing bogeyman of the first decade of our century also boosts President Osama’s (sorry, Obama) sagging ratings and bolsters his chances for an easy reelection while comforting the cheerleaders and sidekicks of the Empire – Cameron, Sarkozy, Netanyahu, Julia Gillard, Berlusconi and company. Even the skeletons of the previous era – Bush, Blair and Cheney – have tumbled out of the closet to scream in posthumous victory.

Some other points that deserve to be recalled:

– So far the official US position is that there is no evidence of Osama bin Laden’s role in the attacks on New York and Washington DC on 9/a11. He was only being sought for prosecution for his role in the 1998 bombings of the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The links between Osama bin Laden in person and the alleged leader of the network suspected of planning and executing the attacks on American soil, Mohammed Atta or any of his colleagues, have not been proven.

– Traces of high military explosive have been traced on the remains of the WTC towers by various scientific investigation teams and no explanation has been found for their presence. It has not been explained either how three buildings, including one that had never been hit by an airplane (WTC 7) could collapse at free-fall speed within minutes of each other and be reduced to dust, while all their supporting cast steel pillars melted or fragmented into relatively small fragments. The engineers and experts in various relevant technical specializations who have concluded that the “official” explanation is unsatisfactory and bears the marks of a cover up now number in the thousands in the USA alone.

– Several witnesses, including at least one military officer (April Gallop) at work in the Pentagon on 11 September 2001, have testified, in court in her case, that no airplane hit the building and that a missile of some sort appeared to have caused the damage. General Albert Stubblebine, former head of Army Intelligence, concluded the same thing in public and on record: “no aircraft hit the Pentagon”. Similar statements have been made by many other US officials and qualified investigators.

The question naturally remains: if the WTC buildings and the Pentagon were hit and wholly or partly destroyed by unidentified means, then what is the connection of Osama bin Laden to the events of that day? Could he, his associates, known or unknown, and his alleged but relatively inexperienced and non-professional agents in America, have had access to the materials and technologies that appear to have been used to carry out that “space age” high tech terrorist operation?

These are questions that the Saudi heir turned anti-Soviet guerilla leader turned super-demolition man will now never be able to answer, assuming that he is indeed dead.

Looking at the background of the event of 2 May 2011, it is no secret that negotiations were ongoing between the US and their Pakistani allies to try to break out of the status quo in Afghanistan. The Obama Administration was looking for a way out of the Afghani quagmire and they needed Pakistan’s cooperation. The Pakistanis want, above all, to be assured of continued predominance over their western neighbour which they regard as a vassal.

A deal was clearly in the work: the US would attack and kill the long-sheltered bin Laden and thereby gain a public relations victory, thereby claiming “Mission accomplished”, and disengaging from Afghanistan as far and as much as possible at the start of the Taliban’s dreaded new spring offensive. The Pakistanis would be profusely thanked by their western allies for their help and would take on much of the ISAF “white man’s” burden in containing recalcitrant Pashtoon tribes, while providing the military support and bases that the Pentagon wants to retain on the doorstep of Central Asia and Iran, to be possibly used for action against the latter, Russia and China. In that way, the US might claim that Pakistan was proving a useful friend after all, and the Pakistanis could claim rewards from the grateful West, including support in their dispute with India.

A rather sad conclusion is that Pakistan shows itself ever more clearly to be the Anglo-Saxon Empire’s outpost that the British had planned it to be, as Ambassador Narendra Sarila has meticulously demonstrated in his book “Shadow of the Great Game”. The US operates on Pakistani territory as in its own soil, and occupies several bases there as lily pads to intervene in the South Asian region in which it intends to expand its presence at the cost of all regional actors, especially India.

All the silly rejoicing going on in American streets over the death of the latest Public Enemy Number One (already replaced by Gaddhafi) and all the circumspect musings of diplomats and analysts on television and in the newspapers about whether or not the Pakistani leadership knew of bin Laden’s whereabouts, whether they fooled their American big brother or whether the latter was just being his proverbially dumb self, should not make us forget that all this is an elaborate charade enacted by winking actors who are playing for the audience.

The Americans claim that the Pakistanis helped them get their man. The Pakistanis explain how hard it was to find him; all other statesmen jump for joy on queue, while Indians piously admonish their American friends not to be duped any longer by the treacherous Pakistanis, even though they are well aware that the Americans and the Pakistanis were in this together from the start. How many people worldwide, sitting in the theatre, are too entertained or too intimidated by this tragic comedy to be willing to peer behind the heavy stage curtain? – Vijayvaani, May 3, 2011

» Come Carpentier is Convener, Editorial Board, World Affairs Journal; Consultant, Indfos Industries Limited, New Delhi, India.