With Osama bin Laden’s Death, the Time for US Vengeance Is Over


Just four months before the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the reported death of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan ought to signal an end to the “War on Terror” declared by the Bush administration in the wake of the attacks — the “war” that led to “extraordinary rendition,” the establishment of secret American torture prisons around the world, and the imprisonment without charge or trial, and, initially, without any rights whatsoever, of 779 prisoners at Guantánamo, 172 of whom remain.

The reported death of al-Qaeda’s leader also ought to signal an end to the “war” that led to the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, the drone attacks in Pakistan and elsewhere, and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan civilians and of nearly 6,000 US soldiers, but it is unlikely — extremely unlikely, I would suggest — that anything significant will happen, apart from increased security alerts in the West, and — though let us hope not — some sort of terrorist reprisal.

A preservation of the status quo or even an attempt to ramp up the rhetoric of the “War on Terror” — along the lines of Hillary Clinton’s announcement that “the fight continues and we will never waiver” — would be, to put it mildly, a great, great disappointment, as the death of bin Laden ought to bring about, at the very least, an end to America’s occupation of Afghanistan and its expansion by drone attack into Pakistani territory.

Numerous questions remain unanswered concerning the apparent death of Osama bin Laden in a Special Forces raid on a compound in Abbottabad, in north eastern Pakistan — not least, what, if anything, the Pakistani authorities knew about it, why the assassination took place now, why the body was “buried at sea” so swiftly, and if the assassination was connected to the release by WikiLeaks, a week ago, of classified military documents relating to the prisoners at Guantánamo.

I ask this latter question especially because one of the stories to emerge in the wake of bin Laden’s reported death is that the alleged disclosure of the name of one of his key couriers — which reportedly led directly to his death — took place during the interrogations of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Faraj al-Libi, two “high-value detainees” who were held in secret CIA prisons and subjected to torture before their transfer to Guantánamo in September 2006.

The importance of these revelations — and the exultation already being demonstrated by torture apologists in the US — deserves to be challenged, as it must not be used as a justification either for the use of torture or for the continued existence of the abomination that is Guantánamo, but for now I’d like to end this brief analysis of the significance of the news of Osama bin Laden’s death with, if you will, a more upbeat reflection on how the “War on Terror” that began with the 9/11 attacks, and was sustained through America’s brutal and largely catastrophic and counter-productive response to those attacks, ought to have come to an end with the uprisings in the countries of the Middle East, led by the people of Tunisia and Egypt. As I wrote in February, in an article entitled, The Year of Revolution: The “War on Tyranny” Replaces the “War on Terror”:

In Tunisia and Egypt, where the dictators Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak were deposed, and in other countries where the people are rising up against their long-established dictators … the movements that were triggered by the single self-immolation of a Tunisian man, Mohamed Bouazizi, on December 19 last year, are driven not by Islamist groups, but by the people, who are demonstrating that dictatorships can be toppled by sheer numbers.

Throughout the region, young people, who have known nothing but dictatorship, are rising up, forming alliances with trade unionists and disgruntled professionals, while the Islamists have either been content to stay in the background (as with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt) or, like Ennahdha in Tunisia, were largely imprisoned or in exile when the revolution that toppled Ben Ali took place.

If the Islamists had been centre-stage, I have no doubt that the West’s response to the popular revolutionary movements spreading throughout the Middle East would have been very different, as Western leaders would have been able to insert them into their tired “War on Terror” narrative. As it is, however, Western leaders have generally had to mouth platitudes about democracy and the will of the people, while refusing to become too engaged, as they are presumably aware that, for decades, their actions have actually demonstrated that they have no interest whatsoever in the welfare of the people of the Middle East, and that they have, instead, supported the very dictators who have either fallen or are now clinging onto power.

Since then, the countries of the West have sought to reimpose their influence, through military intervention in Libya, and by turning a blind eye to Saudi intervention in Bahrain, but as the Associated Press reported on Monday, “10 years after 9/11, the dominant theme in the uprisings across the Middle East is a clamor for democracy — with al-Qaeda’s militant ideology largely relegated to the sidelines.” The AP added that the millions of young people who participated in the uprisings in the Middle East “have not used violence to press their demands. Their ultimate aim is not the creation of the Islamic theocracies that bin Laden preached, but free democracies.”

Khalil el-Anani, an expert on Islamic jihadi movements, told the AP that, in countries where 60 percent of the population is under 30 and the 9/11 attacks “are at best a childhood memory,” bin Laden and al-Qaeda’s message had become irrelevant. “It is the Wael Ghonim era, not bin Laden,” he said, talking about the Google executive who became a hero of the Egyptian uprising in February, adding, “It was the soft power of Ghonim and his associates, not bin Laden’s crude power, that led to regime change.”

I only hope that, in triumph, America will also realize that soft power is better than crude power, but everything about the assassination — and the Wild West-style celebrations of vengeance in the US — as well as the Obama administration’s unwillingness to secure bin Laden alive, and to put him on trial, indicates that this will not be the case.

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed (and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Digg and YouTube). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in July 2010, details about the new documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, on tour in the UK throughout 2011, and available on DVD here — or here for the US), my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.

As published exclusively on Cageprisoners.

58 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Sharon Askew ‎wrote:

    “The wild west-style celebrations of vengeance in the US”, yes how accurate those words are. The only image that remains clear in my mind from the TV, is a brief clip showing a woman with a white cowboy hat on sitting on another’s shoulders swirling round as though she were riding in a rodeo, with a can of drink in her hand.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Sam Said wrote:

    I like ur article and the comparison is spot on! They are concerned Middle East will get credit ability and that people perception about Arabs and Muslims will change, so the timing of this is well calculated to restore the thinking that they will remain terrorists and war on terror isn’t over! What a show! Who wrote the scenario!

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Sarah Hashim wrote:

    Sam……….who wrote the scenario……start with Z and end with IST :0)

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Bjørg Brennan wrote:

    Didnt this man die in dec-01….?

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Khan Zarina wrote:

    same man died 3/4 times in a couple of years amazing!!

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Shahrazad Rose wrote:

    he is already died since 3 years ago Obama just looks for the repetition, God can not u see that ?

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Sarah Hashim wrote:

    Bjorg…yes i believe so……Alex Jones is having a field day, but theres a very interesting television interview with the late Benazir Bhutto (in 2002 i think), who said that Bin Laden had been murdered. Theres definately something fishy going on.

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Eugene Hernandez wrote:

    One reason the WOT should end is that none of the uprisings throughout Africa and the Middle East has had influence with Al Qaida or religious fundamentalists

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Khan Zarina wrote:

    They need some other news to distract our views from Libya, Syria and Yemen..from the Oil War!
    Now they can pull the navy out of Afghanistan into Libya probably!

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Sarah Hashim wrote:

    and dont forget about Bahrain…..the media blackout on whats happening there is appalling. Thank Goodness for modern technologies else we’d be kept blind about world events.

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Eric Gebert wrote:

    You can’t trust the military-industrial complex. They probably want to invade Pakistan now.

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks for the comments, everyone. Sharon and Sam, I particularly appreciated your contributions!

  13. Maryam Hassan says...

    Andy – as I posted on my wall on the day Bin Laden’s death was announced, I find it extremely disturbing that no individual nor NGO like Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First in their press releases issued on Monday, has commented on the fact that the women and children in the Abbottabad compound were taken into custody following the raid and are subsequently being interrogated; particularly when we know the fate of Aafia Siddiqui, her children and other women in US custody and proxy detention.

    In the case of the children this could be a violation of their basic rights enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; ratified by all governments save the U.S.A http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm

    A senior US government official has said 23 children and nine women were inside the compound at the time and that they are being interrogated by Pakistani intelligence officials. Other reports state 2 women and 6 (or in some reports – 9) children.

    An Associated Press report states that the woman who was killed was the courier’s (Sheikh Abu Ahmed) wife and not Bin Laden’s wife as initially reported (she was not used as a human shield and killed). Bin Laden’s wife Amal was injured in the foot.

    In The Dawn it states:”Bin Laden’s two wives, both in their early 50s and one of them of Yemeni origin, were among those left behind, the official said. A third woman, who was wounded in the late-night attack, was taken to a military hospital.

    The official said that a total of nine children were also seized from the compound. They are said to be boys and girls aged between 2 and 12 years.

    Among the children, the official said, one was Bin Laden’s 11-year-old daughter. The women and children are now in the custody of Pakistan’s security agencies and a senior security official said that those rounded up would be subjected to interrogation to reach to the bottom of the whole story.

    “We would want to know the whole story. How and when did the entire band come to this part of the region? Where was Bin Laden all these years? And was he actually there when the assault took place?” the official said. “There are a whole set of questions which need to be answered,” he said.

    “One of the women who spoke a smattering of English said they had moved to the compound a few months ago,” the official said. “But we would want to know how did they come to this place,” he said.”

    Aside from Aafia Siddiqui’s children, the youngest of whom remains missing to date and who was only 6 months old at the time of his disappearance, we know that two of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s children, aged 6 and 8 at the time, were held in a Karachi detention centre, in a separate area from the other prisoners. According to the testimony of a former prisoner, Mohammed Khan – the brother of Guantanamo detainee Majid Khan – they were denied food and water by the guards and were ‘mentally tortured by having ants or other creatures put on their legs to scare them and get them to say where their father was hiding’. The US has also employed this tactic in the Horn of Africa, where they detained a four year old girl, Hafsa Swaleh Ali and the children of Daniel Maldonado in atrocious conditions.

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    Thank you, Maryam, Great to hear from you, as we haven’t been in touch for a while, and especially because of your important analysis of what’s been missing from the reporting on the death of Osama bin Laden — the fate of the women and children seized after his murder. I’ll try and follow up on this.

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, where Maryam also posted her comments, Sarah Hashim wrote:

    Maryam they seem to be pretty quiet about the human rights violations happening in Bahrain and Palestine too(to name but two) I fear that things are getting worse and worse and it needs to stop.

  16. Andy Worthington says...

    Malcolm Bush wrote:

    A thought that has come into my mind, is that things may, generically speaking, become much worse, if Usama bin Larden is dead. On one side there is much talk of possible retaliation from al-qaida. There will be a tightening of security within the UK. If al-qaida were to disband and sink into obscurity; what would become of the vast infrastructure and ultra high profit companies built up around the “war on terror”? would this not be a financial and employment disaster in it’s self? I certainly do not believe these people, many of dubious integrity, would take any of this lightly. There would have to be a major crisis of some kind, something to maintain the status quo; you can do so much more in a crisis.

  17. Andy Worthington says...

    Willy Bach wrote:

    Andy, thanks, yes there is a creepy vindication of torture, especially water-boarding being insinuated into the multi-strand, barely credible narrative. They can’t even get the story right when they have Obama and his staff watching it all the way through, and no doubt egging on the SEALS. It was Obama himself that set the outcome of the mission to kill Bin Laden. He was rewarded by the grossest display of barbaric triumphalist vengeance — the worst and most sickening America can produce — and instant cheap and short-lived popularity for being “gutsy”.

    Your ending is grim and I agree. I think that Bin Laden makes no difference to Al Qaeda, so do all the serious people I have read in the past two days. This mission was a stunt, timed to be too-clever-by-half and never had the intention of ending the wars and occupations. Have a look at the share prices of Lockheed Martin, Raytheon etc. I bet they will be on the way up

  18. Andy Worthington says...

    Malcolm Bush wrote:

    I really do believe we need some clarity on what happened and what is happening now, regarding Usama bin Laden. I would seem that the US Admin is recanting on some of the stories I’ve read in the press. I do not know how much of the new version is genuine or just stuff one reads on the internet. No one seems to have asked what happened to any family members, bystanders and so on. There should be a comprehensive and open urgent inquiry into the whole incident; so that the public are properly informed.

  19. Andy Worthington says...

    Ummu Habibah Sitiniah wrote:

    The Real story will come true…ameen

  20. Andy Worthington says...

    Abu Jafar Mujahid wrote:

    But they have so much hate to use; unless we can find another enemy they may turn on one another.

  21. Andy Worthington says...

    Sharon Askew wrote:

    I think the images shown of celebrating, that we will get our man by hook or by crook, does not represent how many of us feel about this whole sorry episode — that this is far from over unless we take a good look at what creates a man like Bin Laden and the obsessive need to hunt him down no matter what it takes.

  22. Andy Worthington says...

    Rafael Ontiveros wrote:

    This is a lie people, there most likely never was a real person Bin Laden, the images you saw were actors and agents working for the US criminals. There are many photos and videos of this guy supposedly and many of them don’t look alike and have been altered, this and 9/11/2001 which if you look at it was a bunch of bomb explosions with a story attached that was never proven by any means, it all is an excuse to take over countries and kill millions while stealing resources, it has been the biggest military boon for the US of all time, it is now more powerful and in control of things around the world than ever, all while playing the justified righteous victim and hero.

    Really think outside of the given thought box on this and your eyes will be wide open to what the world is coming to, this was all a lie and the people you see celebrating this and the criminals you see gaining from this and applauding this, they are the legions of the anti-Christ, mark my words they are laying the ground work for a militant blood thirst one world like Rome was for the early Christians, and as a real Christian I want everyone to know that the false Christian churches and preachers and groups who praise war, talk exclusively about the Old Testament with a little New Testament for decor, and are really into money and big business horde gold plus silver and all that, they are the false prophet that give all this militancy a false blessing from God supposedly, it is a strong delusion that is coming in the last days, you’ve been told.

    Ultimately this is because people love evil more than good, this is to give them the excuse and cover to commit evil acts and claim justification for them, so the proposition is if you can do evil and get away with it by some social structure that gives you cover for it, do you do it? These people have answered that question with a resounding YES, people who love good don’t buy into the excuse and do good anyway, even though they are presented with ways of getting away with the wrong, that’s the difference you are seeing today in people.

  23. Andy Worthington says...

    So this story continues to bring forth an array of opinions, as shown by Rafael’s contribution above.
    Thanks to all of you — including those who didn’t comment, but have shared this.
    Willy, thanks. And if anyone wants to monitor the shares prices of US warmongers, then feel free to report back.
    Sharon, you continue to capture perfectly the essence of the problem for Americans with the sickening triumphalism of the last few days, and Malcolm, you are indeed right about those who profit from maintaining a terror threat. There are several here in the UK, and “dubious integrity” would seem to be a perfect way to describe them. Moreover, some of these organizations are spectacularly well-funded for their fearmongering.

  24. Andy Worthington says...

    Tamzin Jans wrote:

    Andy, I am glad you mention the word “vengeance” in your article. The assassination of Bin Laden and especially of those around the man, who were not wanted for any reason (such as his son and some women), is a “just” revenge but not “justice”. It becomes frightening to see a world in which some nation can mete out “justice” by assassinating anyone anywhere, all the while blaming Pakistan for “hiding” Bin Laden. I think perhaps the US needs to stop “hiding” Bush, a war criminal who is proud of having tortured people against the dictates of the US Constitution.

  25. Andy Worthington says...

    Rafael Ontiveros wrote:

    I encourage everyone to take a deeper plunge and see that things some would say are “unthinkable” actually have a sound basis for believing. We live in a society of State Secrets and we really don’t know what is going on because the people at the top of this unequal society control everything especially the information. The main thing that will help most people is not being afraid to look, dare to think that the most nefarious of situations is actually what is happening. Those buildings were blown up by the people in control no one else could have done it, the ideas that some people hijacked three planes and demolished three buildings with two of those planes and blew a hole on the side of the Pentagon with the other is ridiculous, there are too many factors to prevent that. It makes sense as a story but not as fact. Everything else was handed to the public as a story, not an investigation of facts leading to where ever they did. Everything neatly follows the story of righteous Caucasian Empire being wronged by rag tag dark people, and good Anglos win. Bed time story that plays into prejudice, tailor made for a jingoistic Anglo audience, not real life.

    End result, millions of these dark people killed, more maimed, their lands conquered and occupied, their resources being exploited and extracted as we speak with no end in sight. Do I really need to put two and two together for you and say it was all planned this way each step of the way? Do you think these people had no idea what 9/11/2001 was going to open up for them? That it was a really happy “accident” for the most powerful and in control factions of Western society? Being delusionally optimistic or constantly understating what is obviously much worse is a disservice to all involved, it is as nefarious as you could ever imagine so embrace that and let’s get to a resolution, don’t dither in doubt or fear of asking. Think the unthinkable and question the unquestionable, otherwise we will be mired in limbo as the worse of our world keep on advancing.

  26. Andy Worthington says...

    Rafael Ontiveros wrote:

    Tamzin, add to this the assignation of Gaddafi that ended up with his son and 3 grand kids ages 6 months to 2 years of age dead and mangled. The common factor is that none of them were accused, charged, tried, or found guilty of any wrong doing, yes including Bin Laden.

    The FBI does not list hm as a suspect in the explosions of 9/11/2001 and says it has no evidence that he is in anyway involved with it. But what you see is people tried and convicted in the media talk shows with hearsay and lots of racist Anglos saying this or that about people with dark skin, along with well paid dark skin collaborators.

    This is a psychological training exercise, to get people ready to accept that Caesar gives the thumbs down and people cheer on the slaying. People are now god with the court of public opinion being judge, jury, executioner, and cheerleader for that execution. The US has no right and the people of the US and West are no better than anyone, that is something that people in these countries are being conditioned to not accept.

    I take it one step further, these characters might actually be myths as there is no physical evidence of them, their only purpose is to serve as archetypes to condition barbaric reactions from the masses of people led along by the media (mediums like Medians. witchcraft illusionists)

  27. Andy Worthington says...

    Tamzin Jans wrote:

    The FBI does list BL as a suspect for the US Embassy raids in Kenya, but you are right that he is not listed as a suspect for 9/11 and that is what is being sold to the American public.

  28. Andy Worthington says...

    Rafael Ontiveros wrote:

    Plus there’s no evidence of those other things either, the FBI expert John O’Neill, who investigated the USS Cole explosion and was a big expert on what is called Al Qaeda found no evidence of Bin Laden being involved with that either and was stonewalled in his investigation because of what he was discovering.

    He ended up dead on 9/11/2001 and said to have died in WTC as a security personnel, so if it was an inside job that was a murder of someone who knew Bin Laden was innocent. It makes the most sense that Bin Laden was merely a creation for this very purpose as a voodoo doll to take people into the darkest places of their minds and souls and feel justified for being there.

  29. Andy Worthington says...

    Abu Jafar Mujahid ‎wrote:

    Sharon = Thank you it is good to know you exist.

  30. Andy Worthington says...

    Donna Nassor wrote:

    I continue to feel unsettled and ashamed. I don’t support violence. The news of Bin Laden’s murder does not make me happy. I have had a lot of trouble watching the cheering out in the streets. The chanting of….USA, USA, USA is difficult for me to listen to. It does not represent who I am or who I want others to think I am.

    Killing Bin Laden only continues the cycle of violence. It does not bring closure, help us heal or change the attitudes of Americans. Instead of rejoicing in his murder, I wish that we would now be willing to take a collective look at how people like Bin Laden come to be.

    U.S. foreign policies routinely cause suffering. In our quest to control the natural resouces of others, we maim, kill, and create mayhem. Our policies are not balanced. We have alliances with countries that oppress and harm people. Yet, we keep trying to hold ourselves out there as moral and just.

    If only we would begin to actually learn from these circumstances we find ourselves in. When we recognize that it is not all about the U.S. and embrace humanity as citizens of the same world, then a change will come.

    May we all live to witness a change in the paradigm. Peace is possible.

  31. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    I am sharing and Digging this now. I hated the gloating of the cowboys and the torture-lovers, who are using some reports to justify their reactionary beliefs. One good, logically impeccable, rebuttal is here. http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/05/04/torture/index.html

  32. Andy Worthington says...

    Abu Jafar Mujahid ‎wrote:

    Donna it shows you have a moral conscience

  33. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote, in response to 17, above:

    Well said, Willy. The stunt also deflected interest from Obama’s self-humiliation, when he made some speech about his birth and birth certificate. Thank goodness one FB friend posted funny periodic updates on that whole affair. I never planned on listening anyhow.

  34. Andy Worthington says...

    Abu Jafar Mujahid ‎wrote:

    George – it also deflects from soaring gas prices and sky-rocketing profits from oil companies.

  35. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger ‎wrote:

    Abu Jafar, thanks for filling that in. Some friends were complaining about that less than one week ago.

  36. Andy Worthington says...

    Thank you again, my friends. Donna, I’m particularly impressed by your eloquent dismay, and Rafael, I’m happy for you to present your point of view, although I take exception to your portrayal of John O’Neill, because, as Lawrence Wright explains in The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, O’Neill was in pursuit of al-Qaeda, and bin Laden, and may well have saved America from 9/11 had he not been obstructed by the turf wars between the FBI and the CIA.

  37. Andy Worthington says...

    Scott Fulmer wrote:

    It is easier to rise up against dictators than to rise up against the tyranny of state controlled secrets coming from a manufactured illusion of democracy. Thanks again to you, Andy, for your humble transparency at this turbid edge.

  38. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Scott. Much appreciated!

  39. Andy Worthington says...

    Donna Nassor wrote:

    Thank you Andy!

  40. Kabuli says...

    Based on an -excellent- article by Los Angeles Times journalist James Cloud (Anatomy of an Afghan War Tragedy) I discussed with a friend the disgracefull way in which the US government/NATO deal with the civilian victims murdered by their armies. If the murder is not publicised by a third party the army invariably claims it killed ‘taliban leaders’.
    If the cover-up is exposed, it apologises, promises an investigation and pays the families of each victim 2.000 USD (collateral damage) or a little more (in case of plain murder).

    My friend bitterly remarked, that if that is the way western countries settle such matters, why was Bin Laden not invited to do the same after 9/11? All that medieval killing-and-torturing-for-revenge could have been avoided. All it would have take was:

    “Sorry we killed civilians instead of the US government criminals we mistook them for. We will investigate who was responsible. Here’s 5.000 USD for each of the families of the victims.” Signed, O. bin Laden.

    It would cost Osama 15 million USD in damages, which should not be a problem for the millionnaire he is. We all know that an American life is worth much more than an Afghan one, hence the 5.000. Considering that each of the killed Afghans had at least 20 dependents to look after, against maybe 4 or 5 for the average US family, that seems fair enough.
    Alas, now this brilliant idea cannot be put into practice anymore.

    I do not mean to be callous towards the families of the 9/11 victims, as their loss and grief remain great, but how about the callousness of actually applying these pay-offs to thousands of Afghan (or Iraqi) victims of US government terrorism? Does that make their grief any less?

    How about the callousness of expecting women and children to provide to notorious Pakistani and (no doubt also) US interrogators information about a presumed guilty ‘war on terror’ key witness?
    Information which he could have provided himself, had he not been conveniently silenced forever.

  41. Andy Worthington says...

    Thank you. Kabuli, for your considered analogy about the value of American lives against those of Afghans or Iraqis. Thanks also for bringing bin Laden into the analysis. I agree re: the questioning (of women and children, rather than bin Laden himself). The more I think about it, the more I regard the execution as an act of vengeance, which, sadly, betrays how the rule of law that the United States claims to value is actually a cover for something darker and more violent.

  42. Andy Worthington says...

    Back on Facebook, Barbi Montano wrote:

    This war for Bin Laden to bleed the US into bankruptcy seems to have worked pretty well. I’m not losing any sleep he got a bullet. I’m not celebrating it but I’m sure not mourning for him either. Innocent people are getting killed here daily assassinated if you will legally. Would you feel the same way if the guy put his plane right through Buckingham Palace? I’m sick of seeing his face everywhere like he’s some kind of hero? Something tells me that there are people in Guantanamo that might not be that happy they got water boarded for him either. Since when is war tidy? He or what he stands for did Americans a great dis service especially those who aren’t here to voice their opinions on it. I’m a peaceful God loving person for the most part but on this particular issue Andy I hope the military pissed on him before they threw him overboard.

  43. Andy Worthington says...

    Barbi Montano wrote:

    Why isn’t George Bush in prison instead of American soldiers following directions?
    He’s such a coward now he doesn’t have time to even go to ground zero he wants to stay out of the spot light? It’s way past too late for that now.

  44. Andy Worthington says...

    Paul Pyrch wrote:

    Wake up people…..bin laden died of natural causes in 2002. This is a PR stunt.

  45. Andy Worthington says...

    Asif Kashmiri wrote:

    Not sure if their vengeance is over or is it lust for another war with Pakistan. Great write-up as usual.

  46. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Asif. Great to hear from you.

  47. Andy Worthington says...

    Rafael Ontiveros wrote:

    ‎”I take exception to your portrayal of John O’Neill, because, as Lawrence Wright explains in The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, O’Neill was in pursuit of al-Qaeda, and bin Laden, and may well have saved America from 9/11 had he not been obstructed by the turf wars between the FBI and the CIA.”

    Thanks for the last name now I can do some more research into him. You are confirming what I stated not contradicting it. He was discovering things that would have not played nice with the story we are being told about Bin Laden, and was not only stone walled but was killed on 9/11/2001 to keep what he knew a secret. So that is a confirmation not a contradiction.

    But thanks for letting me post my views, moreover I will debate anyone who thinks they know any different. I don’t only say these things I can show them to be as factual compared to anything said against them, from anyone big wig media person, professor, or not. I can even broadcast it on my YouTube channel, we can go at it intelligently but I can substantiate what I say against anyone.

    Barbi You are totally wrong, why do you talk about assumptions as if they are givens? This has all been created and scripted, the Anglo Empire is on the rise because of these lies and murders, why praise it? The Anglo Empire did all of this and created these characters of racist origin to be the scape goats to have everyone hate on, why keep that lie going? Bin Laden if he was a real person didn’t fly any planes anywhere and neither did any “hijackers with box cutters” silly, silly, silly, the physics doesn’t even work out. You can’t support killing people over some claim that a person jumped off the Empire State Building and fell straight up killing 3000 people, as an example of a story that makes no physical sense, besides everything else it’s not intellectually responsible.

  48. Andy Worthington says...

    Zachary Anarchopinko Rose wrote:

    The time for vengeance should have never occured. You filthy fucking military supporters have killed over 1 million innocent people in your war on terror.

  49. Andy Worthington says...

    Now that’s short and to the point, Zachary.
    And Rafael, I was happy to add John O’Neill’s name in there, but I wasn’t confirming what you stated; far from it. As I say, you’re entitled to your view, and I’m happy for you to promote it here, but to me O’Neill was a fascinating, flawed character at the heart of a flawed detective story, a story that didn’t work out because the different parties weren’t talking to each other. If you want irony, it’s that, in response to the walls erected between agencies that prevented the discovery and foiling of the 9/11 plot, the walls were taken down after 9/11, and a network created that allowed a vast number of employees to have access to classified files — which led, in turn, to the documents leaked to WikiLeaks!

  50. Andy Worthington says...

    Rafael Ontiveros wrote:

    Yep right on Zac.

    OK Andy I just needed the name the facts bear out what I say, the whole agencies not talking to each other is another plausibility injection that this story is full of. They talk to each other just fine to kill people all over the world before and after 9/11/2001, its so funny that these same agencies are said to be Salvation Incarnate if that is the narrative desired or when convenient they are the Keystone Cops bumping into each other not being able to get anything done. Fact is this was a mission conducted by the US and their cohorts, trailing the so-called hijackers the whole time to make sure nothing got in their way.

    They were agents of the West, Arab ones, and when no longer needed they disappeared no planes were used, it has been shown that the images of the planes were edited into the news broadcasts, none ever were there just explosions. What you see if you take out the edited plane images are buildings having explosives detonated in and then being demolished about 45 minutes after the first explosion. Within 20 minutes of that you get the Bin Laden story and the hijackers with no proof and away we go with the biggest Anglo Empire crusade world over ever seen in history and all it took was some blown up buildings, no critical thinking, and racism to not question an Anglo Imperative.

    Like I said I can debate anyone willing to put their assumptions and assertions to the test. John O’Neil new Bin Laden didn’t do those other explosions and new it was a US engineered trail of blood leading to the blame of 9/11/2001, he would have been the first to know what was gong on that Day after the narrative was given. He was prevented to go to Yemen to investigate the USS Cole because his conclusions were not allowed by his superiors. He finally quit and found himself a needed execution to make sure the Bin Laden narrative reached its intended end, and here we are all things have gone on as planned.

    See these hard facts and result based reality is allot more substantive than the plausibility game, that’s why avoiding these questions is rule number one. Funny how you don’t see this view ever addressed even in the so-called left press, that careful avoidance of asking these clear and obvious questions is another factor in why this approach has so much more credence than any other.

  51. Andy Worthington says...

    Rafael, John O’Neill did travel to Yemen to conduct an investigation into the bombing of the USS Cole, and nothing that he worked on persuaded him that it wasn’t al-Qaeda and the guiding hand of bin Laden. One of the problems with your analysis is that you mistake the clash of the agencies for something else. There’s no evidence of the CIA and the FBI working together when they feel like it, and then appearing to not get on when they want to create an illusion, for the purposes of your alleged 9/11 cover-up. Good grief, how big is your 9/11 plot? Does it involve the whole damned government and all its agencies? The FBI is a law-enforcement agency, and needs to secure information that can be used in court. The CIA is a more shadowy entity, and, after 9/11, was used as the primary agency involved in attempting to secure “actionable intelligence” — which, it turned out, involved the use of torture and “extraordinary rendition” and the creation of torture prisons. These differences were apparent even before 9/11, and when you add in competitive rivalry between agencies, it explains why the CIA and the FBI didn’t cooperate, when, together, they could probably have foiled the hijackers.

  52. Andy Worthington says...

    Sharon Askew ‎wrote (in response to 29):

    Abu Jafar, never had a comment like that before, feel rather humbled, thank you. Although I’m British, not American, I say “we” because this country is no better in this whole sorry episode nor is our tabloid press in the typical British sense hyping up Bin Laden’s so called execution. Donna has represented so well on how many Americans feel about it too.

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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