The killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in May is the top story of the year according to the Associated Press’s annual poll of U.S. editors and news directors, ABC News announced on Saturday. That story received 128 first-place votes out of 247 ballots cast for the top ten stories. The Japanese earthquake and tsunami was second while the Arab Spring uprisings were third and the financial turmoil in Europe was fourth.
In fifth place was the US economy, the Penn State sex abuse scandal was seventh, Moammar Gadhafi’s death was number seven, the fiscal showdowns in the US congress was number eight, while the Occupy Wall Street protests and the attack on Gabrielle Giffords rounded out the top ten.
The death of Osama bin Laden has generated much controversy as a result of the lack of forthrightness of the Obama administration in answering a number of questions from the very beginning. But the announcement by the AP made no note of such controversy:
He’d been the world’s most-wanted terrorist for nearly a decade, ever since a team of his al-Qaida followers carried out the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In May, the long and often-frustrating manhunt ended with a nighttime assault by a helicopter-borne special operations squad on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Bin Laden was shot dead by one of the raiders, and within hours his body was buried at sea.
Paul Craig Roberts was one of the first creditable commentators to ask the most pertinent questions:
What are the chances that a person allegedly suffering from kidney disease and requiring dialysis and, in addition, afflicted with diabetes and low blood pressure, survived in mountain hideaways for a decade? If bin Laden was able to acquire dialysis equipment and medical care that his condition required, would not the shipment of dialysis equipment point to his location? Why did it take ten years to find him?
And if bin Laden, heir to one of the wealthiest families in the Middle East funded al-Qaida’s attacks, Roberts asked “How was bin Laden able to move his money about? What banking system was helping him?”
Others have noted that bin Laden supposedly died years ago, according to well-documented newspaper reports.
Even President George Bush admitted back in 2006 that capturing or killing bin Laden was not even a priority, adding “if he’s alive at all.”
Photos of a dead bin Laden that the mainstream media used following the attack were later admitted to be “photo-shopped” by MSNBC. In fact, the last confirmed sightings of bin Laden date back to the 1990s when he was travelling around Los Angeles under the name Tim Osman.
The photos taken after his death were later never made available to the press “because they would reveal military and intelligence secrets,” according to papers filed in federal court. And a DNA test to confirm that the Navy Seals got the right man was never performed, or revealed if it was performed.
Other questions about his sudden burial at sea rose when such was standard Muslim practice but later questioned that it really wasn’t standard practice after all. The most interesting claim that bin Laden had been murdered years earlier can been seen on a video clip of David Frost’s interview with Pakistani Prime Minister in November of 2007, just two months before she was assassinated. Her pertinent remarks are 6:13 into the clip.
There are eye-witnesses to the raid that ended bin Laden’s life (if it was really he), giving much different descriptions of the actual attack and destruction of one of the helicopters.
Rather than come clean with persuasive and credible answers to these questions, the government instead has decided to make it illegal for anyone with knowledge of the incident to speak about it.
But the AP and its editors and new directors soldier on, regardless. As Roberts noted cynically:
We must take it as more evidence that the US government has unlimited belief in the gullibility of Americans.
As the truth comes out about bin Laden’s death (recent or past), along with more complete understandings of other “top stories for 2011”, including the powers behind the Arab Spring uprisings, the Occupy Wall Street “movement,” the elite’s involvement in forcing the European Union onto unsuspecting states and the deliberate inflating of the real estate bubble in the US, the less gullible those Americans will be and the more willing they will be to doubt the facts of history as presented by the kept media.
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