Osama, Where Art Thou?

Written by Ralph E. Stone. Posted in Opinion, Politics, Religion, War

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Published on February 04, 2013 with 5 Comments

Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden, March 10, 1957 – May 2, 2011.

By Ralph E. Stone

February 4, 2013

Under the prevailing narrative, Osama bin Laden was killed by Navy SEALS at bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 2, 2011, at zero dark thirty, spy-jargon for “half past midnight,” the time of bin Laden’s death.  According to this narrative, the raid was videotaped and photographs were taken.  The body was then taken to the supercarrier USS Carl Vinson where traditional procedures for an Islamic burial were followed.  The body was then placed in a weighted bag and slid into the sea.

Several methods were used to confirm that bin Laden was actually killed, including DNA testing, facial-recognition techniques, a CIA analysis of photographs, and one of bin Laden’s own wives had identified his body.   Supposedly, bin Laden was buried so soon after his killing because according to Islamic practice and tradition the body must be buried within 24 hours.  Why at sea?  Probably because a grave site might end up being a place of worship for bin Laden followers.

We know there was a raid in Pakistan because Pakistani officials condemned the “unilateral action . . . which constitutes a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.”   During the raid, one of the Navy helicopters malfunctioned and was destroyed before the Navy SEALS left.  There are images of the destroyed helicopter available on the internet.  In fact, the U.S. is concerned that Pakistan gave China access to the high-tech helicopter.

On May 6, 2011, al-Qaeda confirmed that Osama bin Laden was dead, dispelling doubts by some Muslims that the group’s leader had really been killed by U.S. forces, and vowed to mount more attacks on the West.

Why were the Bush and Obama Administrations so obsessed with assassinating bin Laden?  Because bin Laden was the actual and symbolic leader of al-Qaeda, who in 2004 admitted ordering the September 11, 2001 attacks, which resulted in 2,977 deaths.   The killing was part of the Administration’s targeted assassination program, an extrajudicial execution.  The U.N. General Assembly and Human Rights Commission, as well as Amnesty International, have all condemned extrajudicial executions.  Will the U.S. be held accountable for this extrajudicial assassination?  Probably not.

All this evidence should convince skeptics that bin Laden was indeed killed by Navy SEALS on May 2, 2011.  Unfortunately, the Obama administration has refused to release photographs, videotapes and other evidence establishing bin Laden’s death, arguing that the photographs are gruesome and their release could damage national security.  This refusal only fuels conspiracy theories, rumors, and hoaxes that bin Laden had been dead for years or is still alive.  But is the U.S. government capable of engineering a hoax of this magnitude and keep it going over two years through a presidential election and the snooping of the Zero Dark Thirty filmmakers?  I don’t think so.

The Obama Administration admits it released sensitive information about the bin Laden raid to the Zero Dark Thirty filmmakers but claims this same information could cause an “unnecessary security and counterintelligence risk” if released to the general public.  What makes the filmmakers so special that they get access to “sensitive information” while the general public does not?

In Judicial Watch, Inc. v. DoD and CIAJudicial Watch has asked the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to overturn a U.S. District Court ruling and instruct the DOD and CIA to release 52 images from the raid on bin Laden’s compound and bin Laden’s burial at sea.   A hearing was held on January 10, 2013.   I doubt the Court of Appeals will require the government to release the images.

Osama, where art thou?  Lying at the bottom of the sea.  There is ample actual and circumstantial evidence supporting this conclusion.

Ralph E. Stone

I was born in Massachusetts; graduated from Middlebury College and Suffolk Law School; served as an officer in the Vietnam war; retired from the Federal Trade Commission (consumer and antitrust law); travel extensively with my wife Judi; and since retirement involved in domestic violence prevention and consumer issues.

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Comments for Osama, Where Art Thou? are now closed.

  1. What is this article really about? Hersey? Give me a break I want a live body to put on trial. I want pictures at the very least. We can show pictures of Hussein but not Bin Laden. Why? It’s just all BS.

  2. Isn’t it Mr. Bin Laden’s job to prove to us that he is alive?

  3. Bin Laden initially denied involvement in the attacks. On September 16, 2001, bin Laden read a statement later broadcast by Qatar’s Al Jazeerasatellite channel denying responsibility for the attack. In a videotape recovered by U.S. forces in November 2001 in Jalalabad, bin Laden was seen discussing the attack with Khaled al-Harbi in a way that indicates foreknowledge. The tape was broadcast on various news networks on December 13, 2001. The merits of this translation have been disputed. Arabist Dr. Abdel El M. Husseini stated: “This translation is very problematic. At the most important places where it is held to prove the guilt of bin Laden, it is not identical with the Arabic.”

    In the 2004 Osama bin Laden video, bin Laden abandoned his denials without retracting past statements. In it he said he had personally directed the nineteen hijackers. In the 18-minute tape, played on Al-Jazeera, four days before the American presidential election, bin Laden accused U.S. President George W. Bush of negligence in the hijacking of the planes on September 11. According to the tapes, bin Laden claimed he was inspired to destroy the World Trade Center after watching the destruction of towers in Lebanon by Israel during the 1982 Lebanon War.

    Through two other tapes aired by Al Jazeera in 2006, Osama bin Laden announced, “I am the one in charge of the nineteen brothers. […] I was responsible for entrusting the nineteen brothers […] with the raids” (May 23, 2006). In the tapes he was seen with Ramzi bin al-Shibh, as well as two of the 9/11 hijackers, Hamza al-Ghamdi and Wail al-Shehri, as they made preparations for the attacks (videotape broadcast September 7, 2006). Identified motivations of the September 11 attacks include the support of Israel by the United States, presence of the U.S. military in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. enforcement of sanctions against Iraq.


    Whether bin Laden suffered from lung and kidney diseases in an unconfirmed rumor, which neither proves nor disproves his death on May 2, 2011. (www.snopes.com/rumors/kidney.asp)

  4. So this is essentially a non-story.

  5. The Osama bin Laden Myth
    November 26, 2012

    “Obviously, a man suffering from terminal lung and kidney disease did not
    survive for another decade to be murdered by a US Navy SEAL team in