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Staged Bin Laden Killing Hokum
By Stephen Lendman
As reported, it sounded more like bad fiction than eliminating "Enemy Number One," especially with no visuals, corpse, independent proof, and shifting official accounts.
In Hollywood, it's called rewrite. In politics, it's lying, a Washington bipartisan specialty, notably on issues mattering most.
Also at issue is conducting lawless operations for any purpose. More on that below.
Two previous articles discussed the staged May Day hokum, accessed through the following links:
They addressed the alleged killing of a dead man, an administration and media spread lie. David Ray Griffin's important book titled, "Osama Bin Laden: Dead or Alive?" provided convincing objective and testimonial evidence of his mid-December 2001 death, of natural causes, not a commando hit squad getting their man.
Issues and Answers
After years of using bin Laden simultaneously as a CIA asset and "Enemy Number One," why the shift now? Aside from eliminating the alleged top terror threat, major events like this are always strategically timed for political reasons.
At least several stand out now, including:
(1) Boosting Obama's sagging image. It worked according to a New York Times poll showing an approval bump from 46% in April to an early May 57%, even though the euphoria will soon fade in hard times.
(2) Diverting attention from eroding domestic needs, notably growing angst over a deepening Main Street depression.
(3) Hyping fear for intensified, not less, imperial war, and perhaps preparing the ground for a major false flag attack to advance America's grand scheme for unchallengeable global dominance.
On May 4, Webster Tarpley told Press TV that balkanizing Pakistan is planned to use it "as an energy corridor between Iran and China or between India and Europe." Afghanistan is insufficient, he said.
"The Pakistan corridor could be created and the goal of US policy (is) to take the Afghan war and export it to Pakistan and to promote the division along the well-known lines of Punjabis, Baluchestan, (Abdolmalek) Rigi supported by NATO and so forth, and then, of course, Pashtunistan, which is the epicenter of all this."
He also suspects something greater, using bin Laden's alleged killing as "the equivalent of the Sarajevo assassination of June 22, 1914." Weeks later, WW I began. Tarpley wonders if general war is coming, involving regional and major powers.
"I think the world situation is much more dangerous (now) than most people" imagine, he said.
Ahead, he also sees a new manufactured top enemy, perhaps named after staged revenge attacks in America and/or Europe. Not from Al Queda, he believes, but from Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), whether or not it will work.
Perhaps a dirty bomb will be used as pretext to seize Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. If so, he sees a good chance of events "leading towards a general war between the two countries, and in the middle of that we have to remember that the supply line for the invaders in Afghanistan goes from Karachi across Pakistani territory for (nearly) 1,000 miles."
Imagine the consequences of disrupting it, besides drawing in other nations, possibly including China and Russia. No one knows for sure what's coming, but reckless plans produce unpredictable consequences.
Shifting Official Stories
On May 2, after Sunday's staged event, Obama's counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, said Navy Seals killed bin Laden in a firefight. "Whether or not he got off any rounds, I frankly don't know," he said.
On May 1, New York Times writers Peter Baker, Helene Cooper and Mark Mazzetti headlined, "Bin Laden Is Dead, Obama Says," saying:
"When American operatives converged on (his compound, he) 'resisted the assault force' and was killed in the middle of an intense bun battle, a senior administration official said, but details were still sketchy early Monday morning."
In 24 hours, things changed, White House press secretary Jay Carney saying bin Laden was shot in the head unarmed. Other first reported details also changed, putting a lie to the entire account, including Brennan explaining that commandos had orders to capture him alive if he didn't resist, saying:
"If we had the opportunity to take bin Laden alive, if he didn't present any threat, the individuals involved were able and prepared to do that."
On May 4, Times writers Mark Landler and Mark Mazzetti headlined, "Account Tells of One-Sided Battle in Bin Laden Raid," saying:
The revised account "suggested that the raid, though chaotic and bloody, was extremely one-sided, with a force of more than 20 Navy Seal members quickly dispatching the handful of men protecting bin Laden."
In fact, US commandos took no fire. Initially saying otherwise compounded the big lie about what really happened and why extrajudicially.
On May 3, CIA director Leon Panetta repeated the deception, telling Public Broadcasting:
"There were some firefights that were going on as these guys were making their way up the staircase of that compound."
On May 4, Washington Post writers Anne Kornblut and Felicia Sonmez headlined, "White House goes silent on bin Laden raid," saying:
Obama "ruled out publicly releasing (bin Laden) photographs....(giving) no new details about the raid (after earlier) fitful attempts to craft a riveting narrative," now completely discredited.
He also "contradict(ed Panetta's) assertion Tuesday that the photos would eventually be made public...." Moreover, "the White House found itself struggling to (explain what happened,) and having to justify the legal basis for it."
Gerald Celente's Assessment
In a May 4 commentary, Trends Research Institute founder Gerald Celente quoted Obama, saying "justice has been done....The world is safer. It is a better place because of the death of Osama bin Laden." At time same time, Hillary Clinton warned about terror not "stop(ping) with the death of bin Laden, (so) we must redouble our efforts."
If it's safer, asked Celente, why double down? "These were but two of the contradictions coming out of the White House" after the raid with "many (other) discrepancies (to) follow."
Moreover, "absent from America's non-stop exultation and self-congratulation," as well as cheerleading media coverage, "was any discussion of the practical consequences" going forward. With or without bin Laden or others targeted, it:
-- won't win the losing Iraq and Afghan wars;
-- lower unemployment;
-- stop Western nations from economic decline;
-- revive housing or other real estate;
-- "solve the debt and deficit crises;
-- lower oil and food prices; (or)
-- reverse" devastating radiation spreading from Fukushima.
It also won't end America's permanent war agenda or curb a domestic one on working households, unionism, public education, human and civil rights, and vital benefits, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, on the chopping block for elimination.
According to Celente, "the restored, rebuilt, new and improved terror bandwagon rolls again....and it will keep rolling until Election Day 2012." Moreover, they'll keep fear alive and they'll blame everyone but themselves.
Legal Implications
Commenting on German television, former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt said:
The May 1 assault "was quite clearly a violation of international law. The operation could also have incalculable consequences in the Arab world in light of all the unrest."
He's right, of course, despite Attorney General Eric Holder saying:
The action was "lawful, legitimate and appropriate in every way....I'm proud of what they did. And I really want to emphasize that what they did was entirely lawful and consistent with our values."
In other words, according to him, Obama, other administration officials, Washington groupthink, and editorial writers and pundits, acting lawlessly is lawful.
On June 27, 2010, in their Harvard National Security Journal article headlined, "Law and Policy of Targeted Killing," Harvard Law Professors Gabriella Blum and Philip Heymann said:
"The right of a government to use deadly force against (anyone) is constrained by both domestic criminal law and international human rights norms that seek to protect the individual's right to life and liberty....Guilt must be proved in a court of law, with (charged) individuals (given) the protections of due process guarantees."
"Killing an individual without trial is allowed only" in self-defense or need to save other lives. "In almost any other case, it would be clearly unlawful, tantamount to extrajudicial execution or murder."
In other words, sending US commandos against anyone, especially in another country's sovereign territory, violates US and international law. Guilt or innocence of any crime deprives no one of due process and judicial fairness, afforded Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg.
Targets otherwise are judged guilty by accusation, not arrested, tried, Mirandized, or afforded justice. Just a bullet, bomb or slit throat, America's "rules of engagement" morality.
On May 3, Der Spiegel writer Thomas Darnstadt headlined, "Was Bin Laden's Killing Legal?" quoting University of Cologne Law Professor Claus Kress saying:
Achieving justice for any crime isn't "achieved through summary executions, but through a punishment that is meted out at the end of a trial." Doing it commando style guns blazing can also cause tragic and inevitable escalations of injustice, he added.
On May 28, 2010, Philip Alston published his UN Human Rights Council "Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions," expressing great concern that Washington "seems oblivious" to the implications of using drone attacks against people "labeled as terrorists, (and for) assert(ing) an ever-expanding entitlement for itself to target individuals across the globe," adding:
"But this strongly asserted but ill-defined license to kill without accountability is not an entitlement which the United States or other states can have without doing grave damage to the rules designed to protect the right to life and prevent extrajudicial executions."
"The most prolific user of targeted killing today is the United States" in gross violation of international law. (This) expansive and open-ended interpretation of the right to self-defense goes a long way towards destroying the prohibition on the use of armed force contained in the UN Charter. If invoked by other states, in pursuit of those they deem to be terrorists and to have attacked them, it would cause chaos."
It would also render international law null and void. No nation for any reason can be judge, jury and executioner, with no allowed exceptions.
Consider also that in 1996, Obama opposed the death penalty, and in his book titled, "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream," he said it "does little to deter crime."
As a Senate and presidential candidate, however, he changed to accommodate public opinion, simultaneously calling death penalty justice so flawed that a national moratorium should be declared. In February 2008, he also said "no one in this country is above the law."
As president, however, he authorized torture, illegal wars, mass killings and targeted assassinations. As a result, he violates it daily abroad and at home, unaccountable to the law he once taught at the University of Chicago Law School. Perhaps a refresher course or two might help.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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