News & Analysis
US Won't Release Bin Laden Death Photos
Pentagon fight to keep Osama bin Laden (left) death photos secret ... Photos and videos of Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden after he was killed in May in a U.S. military/Central Intelligence Agency raid in Pakistan should not be released publicly because they would reveal military and intelligence secrets and could lead to violence against U.S. personnel, the Obama administration argued in papers filed in federal court in Washington late Monday night. – Politico
Dominant Social Theme: We can tell you whatever we need to, but we can't show you the details, or explain it properly because it might compromise national security. So just believe us. Have we ever lied to you?
Free-Market Analysis: The US government is at it again. While the entire world is aware now that Bin Laden was killed by Navy SEALS on May 1, 2011, evidence corroborating the killing has never been released. Everyone should take it on faith, but unfortunately, the US government doesn't have a very good track record these days when it comes to telling the truth. Bin Laden's death has only added to suspicion and confusion. Here are some issues regarding his passing that have surfaced and resurfaced ...
Supposedly, top government officials including Hillary Clinton watched the raid on bin Laden's compound in Pakistan. But later that turned out not to be true, or not entirely. Hillary Clinton had her hand over her mouth in an important photo that was released, but later on she said it wasn't because she was watching bin Laden being shot but because she was stifling a sneeze.
DNA was said to have been extracted from Bin Laden after he was shot, but now it turns out there is some confusion about whether it was or wasn't. A DNA test was supposed to have been performed, but now there is some confusion about that, too.
Bin Laden is said to have fought back when confronted by Navy SEALS. But later it was said that his wife was the confronter, and that she had been shot. Then it turned out that maybe she hadn't been shot. Pakistan never turned her over to the US. Now she may be in Saudi Arabia.
Bin Laden's body was dropped out at sea, which is in accordance with Muslim practices. But now it turns out that dropping a body into the middle of the ocean may not be standard practice, even for Islam. Or at least there are conflicting reports on the 'Net.
There were death photos of bin Laden on the Internet, and they were circulated widely. But after an unusual time lag, US officials admitted they were photo-shopped and warned the government and Pentagon had nothing to do with them.
There are eyewitnesses to the bin Laden raid that contradict almost everything the US has said about the famous raid and bin Laden's death. Strangely, not a single mainstream Western media source has contacted the eyewitnesses for their side of the story. You can see an article about what the eyewitnesses said here: Eye Witness Tells Different Story of Bin Laden Death.
Most puzzlingly, bin Laden is said to have died at least two times prior to May 1. Fox news announced his death in 2001 and you can watch a video from Benazir Bhutto explaining to David Frost that Osama bin Laden was murdered in the early 2000s. (Watch video here.)
Bin Laden was said to suffer from Marfan's disease, which affects the kidneys. He was said to need regular dialysis in the late 1990s and even went to a French hospital for treatment. The idea that he would have been healthy enough to confront Navy SEALS in his pajamas some 10 years later is a puzzling one.
Of course, the US government – and specifically the Obama administration – could put to rest any doubt about the killing simply by releasing photos (confirmed ones) along with DNA evidence, etc. They could even let a Navy SEAL talk, one presumably who had been on the mission.
Which brings us to another point, the downing of a helicopter with the Navy SEAL Team 6 onboard. These were SEALS that had supposedly killed bin Laden and conspiracy theorists are having a field day with this coincidental tragedy.
In fact, the Internet is filled with denunciations of the deaths and accusations that the SEALS were actually done away with by the US government to prevent them from speaking out and to serve as a warning to others to keep quiet. Here's just one sample, a feedback we found on the ATLAH news network:
The 22 special forces / Seals that were involved in the HOAX that was presented to the people of America as "the capture and murder of Osama bin Laden"... were onboard this aircraft that was sent out on a false flag "set-up", and were erased.... shot up so badly that even the body remains could not be separated out and identified.
Those 22 men KNEW what the REAL story relative to the HOAX was. Doesn't anybody find this scenario highly suspicious? Now the United States Congress is trying to lock down, once and for all, any further hint of question about the event with a new bill, HR 2819. The bill prohibits any "officer or employee of the Federal Government from providing information about the mission to kill Osama bin Laden to any person outside the Federal Government..." This essentially silences anyone who might be able to shed ANY light on the event. Doesn't ANYBODY "see" what is being done?
If the Obama administration would just release SOME corroborating evidence about the bin Laden killing, many of the suspicions that people have about it would go away. But instead, the administration is moving in the other direction, attempting to choke off any further information that would confirm the death. Why? Here's some more from the Politico article excerpted at the beginning of this analysis
The new filings from the Justice Department provide scant details about the imagery, but CIA National Clandestine Service Director John Bennett wrote that the CIA has "52 unique... photographs and/or videorecordings" depicting bin Laden during or after the May operation. Bennett did not break down the tally further, but said all the imagery is classified "TOP SECRET," meaning that disclosure of the material could lead to "exceptionally grave damage" to U.S. national security.
"All of the responsive records are the product of a highly sensitive, overseas operation that was conducted under the direction of the CIA," Bennett wrote, arguing that disclosure of the information would reveal "intelligence activities and/or methods." He called the photos "gruesome," and said they depict the gunshot wound to bin Laden's head. It is unclear whether his descriptions referred to all the images and videos, or just some of them.
The motion for summary judgment and supporting declarations ask U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg to rule for the government in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought in May by Judicial Watch. The conservative watchdog group sued the Defense Department after it failed to comply with the group's request for the bin Laden imagery. The suit was broadened in June to name the CIA as a defendant.
President Obama is on record as saying that photos of bin Laden would be released. But now it turns out that the government has no intention of releasing any photos at all. In fact, from what we can tell, the government actually may NOT have ANY photos of the death scene. At least that's what the Politico article seems to imply, as follows:
The government filings claim that the Defense Department found no imagery responsive to the requests. Sources previously told POLITICO that at least some of the images were on a secure, classified interagency network accessible to individuals at various agencies. The new court filings don't make clear who took the photos and video. If they were in possession of military personnel at the time the FOIA requests were made or thereafter, some of the arguments for disclosure could be strengthened. However, it's also possible that the courts may accept that the entire operation is an intelligence CIA, Pentagon fight to keep Osama bin Laden death photos secret ...
The operative sentence here (one Politico seems to gloss over) is that the Defense Department found no imagery "responsive" to the requests. It could be the administration is making a legal fight on general principles even though it does not have the photos that are being sought. But why weren't photos taken then? And if that is the case, why doesn't the government simply admit it?
Conclusion: In the Internet era, governments can't simply hunker down and keep information to themselves. There are too many ways to get at what's been hidden, and even if information stays hidden, speculation can be rampant in blogs and within discussion groups. US government officials are probably doing yet more damage to their credibility by fighting to retain photos of bin Laden's death. President Obama indicated at one point that such photos would be released. Their dissemination would do a good deal to damp suspicions and establish the reality of bin Laden's demise.
Posted by Berthe on 09/29/11 07:53 PM
Well, its just more proof that they don't give a damn whether people believe them or not. What can ordinary people do? We're just lucky not to be in their sights. They're not even going to bother to paste a picture together, photograph it and give it to the US media who would warn us that it might be too "graphic."
From soup to nuts the entire bin Laden story is ludicrous. He was a CIA asset for like 20 years and then he double-crossed them and turned his CIA-named "Al Qaeda" unit into an antiAmerican group. And he didn't even bother to change the damned name. They still call themselves "Al Qaeda" which doesn't mean anything inspirational or religious but they're super religious Muslims and thats why they wanted to start a war with the worlds only superpower.
Osama bin Laden could be dead 30 years for all we now. Wheres the proof that he ever existed, actually?
Posted by bob on 09/29/11 05:09 PM
Holly sh*t. Now there is no doubts who Al Qaeda is working for. Looks like CIA & Mossad lost its cool!
Al Qaeda tells Iran leader to stop 9/11 theories
J. David Goodman, New York Times
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Al Qaeda has a message for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran: Enough with the conspiracy theories about the Sept. 11 attacks.
In an article in the current issue of its English-language magazine, Inspire, the terror network lashed out at Ahmadinejad for indulging in the claim that the U.S. government, and not al Qaeda, was responsible for the attacks. The Iranian leader repeated the charge during his address to the U.N. General Assembly last week.
"The Iranian government has professed on the tongue of its president Ahmadinejad that it does not believe that al Qaeda was behind 9/11 but rather, the U.S. government," read the article, published under the byline Abu Suhail. "So we may ask the question: why would Iran ascribe to such a ridiculous belief that stands in the face of all logic and evidence?"
The article demands that Ahmadinejad stop his efforts to "to discredit 9/11" with conspiracy theories, accusing him and the rest of his country's leadership of exploiting anti-American sentiment for political gain and engaging only in "lip-service jihad."
Labeled as opinion, the article appeared in the seventh issue of the magazine, a so-called special issue commemorating the 10th anniversary of the attacks. The magazine, a graphics-heavy production aimed at English-speaking Muslims online, takes a starkly different, if unsurprising, view of the last decade than that seen in U.S. publications marking the anniversary this month.
The cover superimposes a rendering of the World Trade Center's twin towers - one made from dollar signs, the other from ones and zeros - against a cloud-filled sky. The headline reads: "The Greatest Special Operation of all time."
Click to view link
This article appeared on page A - 7 of the San Francisco Chronicle
Posted by cosmos on 09/29/11 02:51 PM
How critical can you be? We have the word of a real trooper like Hillary Clinton who nearly lost her life to snipers in Kosovo. That story was true, wasn't it?
Reply from The Daily Bell
Posted by oldman67 on 09/29/11 09:51 AM
"'It is fortunate for the leaders that the masses don't think." Adolf Hilter! If ignorance and denial were a blessing the U.S. would again be the most blessed nation on earth.
Posted by sparky on 09/28/11 09:23 PM
Hey, maybe we can get that "journalist" who starred in your "Gold Stupidity" video presentation to sort out all this for us. I mean after all she did a bang up job explaining to me why I should opt for U.S. dollars instead of gold. I'm sure when she is done well all be sold on why secrecy on this LIE is necessary for "National Security".
Posted by Howard Roark on 09/28/11 08:55 PM
Try bringing up how absurd the whole Bin Laden death is to one of the masses sometime. They will laugh and say "You are probably right." just like they do with the Kennedy assassination or Bush invading Iraq. But they don't care, that's the problem. They don't want to investigate things like 9-11 because they like their pampered life and don't want to cause massive problems. They are completely unaware that it is the leaders they keep voting for that are causing the upcoming massive problems. They will wander around afterwards asking everyone "What happened?"
Posted by Howard Roark on 09/28/11 08:45 PM
I agree. I think sometime in the future they will look back on the American Empire and ask how did the big war start? And they will study the conquest of Afghanistan, followed by Iraq, followed by Egypt, followed by Libya, followed by Pakistan or Iran... big war with Russia and China when its clear we plan to occupy most of their neighboring countries. Wonder what atrocity Kazakhstan will commit?
Posted by laceja on 09/28/11 04:40 PM
It's just amazing, how Obama can read the most ridiculous of stories from his teleprompter, with such a straight face. I've never in my life seen someone so sincere with his lies. He has to be the absolute best con man in history. People believe him, even when they have the evidence of his lies in their own hands.
Posted by laceja on 09/28/11 04:29 PM
Maybe to start another war?
Posted by memehunter on 09/28/11 01:58 PM
Al-Qaida calls on Ahmadinejad to end 9/11 conspiracy theories:
Click to view link
This is ironic on so many levels that I don't know where to start...
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks. Start with what it says about a "controlled opposition."
Posted by Summer on 09/28/11 12:11 PM
DB:"Bin Laden's body was dropped out at sea, which is in accordance with Muslim practices. But now it turns out that dropping a body into the middle of the ocean may not be standard practice, even for Islam. Or at least there are conflicting reports on the 'Net."
Ha what a joke! Plopping his body into sea was out of 'respect'? Yeah right! Believe that? Believe anything!
The only Islamic requirement is to try to *bury*/conduct the funeral within three days. Nothing to do with drifting away on the waves!
Posted by Rod Farmer on 09/28/11 11:49 AM
I think Mr. Bin Ladin died one year before his second in command made his first rant. (Traditional mourning period.)- probably in a hospital on York Avenue. Sorry, I don't pay much attention to the details of smoke screens.
Posted by kenn on 09/28/11 10:36 AM
Like Florida voters giving Pigs constitutional rights sometime ago our 'elected servants' wanted to test the level of citizen vacuity when announcing OBL's timely demise.
We apparently passed with flying colors as this latest comedic concern over national security by the release of these ostensive pictures seems to imply.
I imagine they wake at night in riotous laughter dreaming up their next juicy fabrication to run by their comatose electorate.
As an old saying goes "We are not the butt of the joke,,, we are the joke"
Posted by TimurTheLame on 09/28/11 10:33 AM
@ Frank ... which involves so many people... "
Pearl Harbour, Gulf of Tonkin, Waco, Oklahoma City, 911, no problem, clean historical getaway ( OK, maybe not
totally clean seeing that there is some pesky speculation going on).
But to go in to a safe area (Pakistani Military connivance) and 'whack' some poor pajama clad functionary (if indeed that even happened) now seems to beyond credulity? Come now, maybe its time for some mind-expanding treats.
Posted by reegje on 09/28/11 10:30 AM
And your family!
Posted by haha on 09/28/11 10:23 AM
What did bin Laden know ? ;)
Posted by Frank on 09/28/11 10:05 AM
The USA is increasingly a police state full of secrets that leaders don't want revealed. Yet I also find it hard to believe that such a major news event as the finding & killing of OBL & which involves so many people could be faked & kept secret. That to me doesn't make much sense either. Also, if it was faked, why pick a spot next to a Pakistani military base & military academy, which was so embarrassing to the Pakistanis? Why not a more politically correct place?
Considering all the combat war photos & films seen by the public over the years, I don't see the point of not releasing at least some of the films & photos, like they did with Saddam & his henchmen in Iraq. Until then, we just have to guess at what the truth might be and wait to see what time will tell.
Posted by Oyaji on 09/28/11 10:02 AM
Bin Laden is still alive and running his 7-11 convenience market/gas station in Lakeland, Florida. In a tape released today, Bin Laden asked for all of his followers to close their convenience markets and return home to the Middle East, thereby severely crippling the US economy.
Really... who cares?
Posted by oldman67 on 09/28/11 09:45 AM
We were also told by Bush not to question 9/11. Either you are with us or you are with the terrorist.
Posted by 4irw4y on 09/28/11 09:39 AM
DB, @ Click to view link "US Won't Release Bin Laden Death Photos", der letzte Absatz, danke.