The excitement was palpable. It was the night of May 1st, 2011. A press conference was announced. Rumors were swirling. By the time President Obama ambled towards the podium, America knew what he was going to say. SEAL Team Six had taken out Osama Bin Laden, the great traitor, the enemy of the people, the antichrist.
It became the rallying cry for the incumbent president. Joe Biden repeated the phrase ad nauseam. “Osama Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive!” The crowds chanted along. Two years and nine months later, a freedom of information (FOIA) request has revealed that evidence of OBL’s death was destroyed under the orders of Admiral William McRaven, top special operations officer. The order to “destroy… all Bin Laden photos” came just ten days after Freedom Watch filed a FOIA request to see the evidence.
This is just the latest revelation that begs the obvious question; did Obama really kill Osama? Just four months ago, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour “Sy” Hersh discussed his investigation into the 2011 Abbottabad raid in The Guardian. The legendary investigative journalist who broke the Mai Lai Massacre and the Abu Ghraib torture story concluded that the Bin Laden raid narrative was “one big lie,” and “not one word of it was true.”
Hersh did not discuss specifics, but there are plenty of details that don’t add up. Most obviously, no physical evidence of any kind has been made public. The official narrative states that Bin Laden’s corpse was dumped into the sea within 24 hours of his death, in accordance with Islamic tradition. We didn’t want to offend any Muslims by breaking this tradition, or by releasing evidence of his death.
Then again, the United States bandied about pictures of Uday and Qusay Hussein after they were killed, and even aired their father’s hanging on live television. Myriad Muslim scholars say burial at sea is a disgrace to their religion. It breaks Sharia Law. The official story does not stand up to even a brief review.
Most people will remember that in the months and years following 9/11, there was rampant speculation that Bin Laden was already dead. OBL had emergency treatment in an American-run hospital in Dubai during the first two weeks of July 2001. He ordered a mobile dialysis machine that was delivered to his base in Kandahar, Afghanistan shortly thereafter.
It is no wonder, then, that experts speculated that OBL was dead before 2011. The official narrative is that this 6’4 leader was hobbling from cave to cave on his decrepit and failing frame while carrying a mobile dialysis machine up and down the steep slopes of Tora Bora. The only evidence of his survival during this decade of doubt was the occasional, elusive tape. There were videos early on, then just audio tapes, and even they became less frequent and more indistinguishable as the years passed.
The official narrative says that all of those tapes were real. OBL survived the massive Tora Bora strike. He eventually made his way to Pakistan where he lived in a $250,000 house for five years before SEAL Team Six killed him in a terrifying firefight as the incensed terrorist used his wife as a human shield. President Obama watched in the Situation Room as the events unfolded. At least, that was the official narrative in the days and weeks following the raid.
The story went through a series of deletions and alterations, though, in the months and years to follow. The CIA and White House now admit that Bin Laden never fired a weapon and wasn’t holding one when killed. Ahmed al-Kuwaiti was the only person who actually fired upon the SEALs. Bin Laden did not use his wife as a human shield. Obama was not in the Situation Room during the raid, and the helmet-mounted cameras were turned off for “20 to 25 minutes” during the execution of Bin Laden.
The White House chalked it all up to “the fog of war.” I would argue that the chalk has been erased and reapplied so many times that it’s hard to read the new words. This is why the news that we permanently destroyed evidence in the days following the raid is desperately maddening.
I contend that the most important event to investigate is the crash of the Chinook helicopter three months after the raid, in which all passengers died and “22 of the victims belonged to the same unit as the Navy SEALs involved in the Osama Bin Laden operation.” Parents of the dead SEALs are suing for answers. Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah is one of the few Congressmen leading an inquiry into the crash. Answers will be hard to come by, as the Pentagon claims “the black box was washed away in a flash flood.”