In London Review of Books the well-known American journalist, Pulitzer Prize Laureate Seymour Hersh, world-renowned for his investigations, has caught the US authorities for its latest officially disseminated lies about how “terrorist number one” Osama bin Laden was actually killed.
According to the official version of the US government, bin Laden was eliminated on May 2, 2011 in the Pakistani Abbottabad by “navy seals” during an anti-terrorist raid, then, in order to honor the religious beliefs of the terrorist, who killed nearly three thousand people in the Twin Towers in 2001, they hastened to bury him before sunset. However, despite the fact that Muslim tradition prescribes burying the dead in the ground in a sitting position, the body of bin Laden was sent by helicopter to the Arabian Sea to be buried at sea.
The circumstances described in Washington’s official version of the funeral of bin Laden cast doubt on their veracity, and particularly noteworthy is the fact that Abbottabad is more than a thousand kilometers from the Arabian Sea. And, given the fact that the Pakistani authorities were not informed of the presence of the US military on their territory, they certainly had the right and the capability to bring down their helicopters at any time.
It should be noted that, after Washington announced the official version of the elimination of bin Laden, in a variety of media a series of denials was published. In particular, from the Gulf News, the Sky News channel, and a former Special Forces soldier who took part in this operation and wrote a book under the pseudonym Mark Owen about it.
Returning to the version put forward by Washington on the death of Osama bin Laden, S. Hersh stressed that this was no more than a pre-planned propaganda action. With it the White House intended to demonstrate the “results” of Obama’s tenure as president of the United States, as well as the coordinated work of the US armed forces, and not the Pakistani army and intelligence services of Pakistan, to establish in the wake of this “success” a major factor in favor of Obama’s re-election in 2012.
The basic material for the investigation of the author was the revelations of a certain high-ranking intelligence officer in retirement, as well as two military personnel from the US Special Operations Command, and several people inside Pakistan. Citing his sources, S. Hersh gives a very different version of events. According to his version, the secret services of Pakistan caught bin Laden in 2006 and held him in prison. Pakistani security forces, according to the journalist, had planned to transfer the terrorist to Washington in exchange for a certain service by the US authorities, they used the terrorist as a lever of pressure on the Taliban and other extremists in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The journalist stressed that eliminating the terrorist was not difficult because he was disabled and could not offer significant resistance.
On the eve of May 2011 the United States signed a supposedly secret agreement with the Pakistani army for a smooth flight of US helicopters into its territory to the location of Osama bin Laden at the time. In addition, information on the exact whereabouts of Osama bin Laden was received by the CIA from someone in the Pakistani military hoping to receive $25 million promised for the capture of the head of Al Qaeda, and not from US intelligence information extracted from the driver of the “terrorist number one”, as it was officially announced by Washington. This was confirmed by two consultants of the United States, indicates S. Hersh. As a result, the US Special Forces simply entered the chamber in which the detained leader of al-Qaeda was kept, and shot him dead.
The body of bin Laden was not buried at sea. According to one of the “seals” interviewed by the journalist, the body of the Islamist was put into a bag, and then dropped from a helicopter over the mountainous massif of Central Asia on the road to Jalalabad.
In concluding his investigation, the American journalist emphasizes that deceit at the highest level is the main instrument of American policy, as well as secret detention centers, combat attack drones and night raids by special forces, bypassing existing international norms and shutting the mouths of those who oppose it.
Vladimir Odintsov, political commentator, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.