"Going after bin Laden" has served, over the last five years,
to sustain the Legend of the "world's most wanted terrorist", who
"haunts Americans and millions of others around the world."
Donald Rumsfeld has repeatedly claimed that the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden
remain unknown: "It is like looking for a Needle in a Stack of Hay".
In November 2001, US B52 bombers carpet bombed a network of caves in the Tora
Bora mountains of eastern Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden and his followers
were allegedly hiding. These caves were as "Osama's last stronghold".
CIA Intelligence analysts subsequently concluded that Osama bin Laden escaped
from his Tora Bora cave in the first week of December 2001. In January 2002,
the Pentagon confirmed that the search for Osama and his top lieutenants would
be conducted beyond Afghanistan in what Secretary of State Colin Powell described
as a "hot pursuit". This endeavor was to carried out with the support
of the "international community" and America's European allies. US
intelligence authorities confirmed, in this regard, that
"while al Qaeda has been significantly shattered, ... the most wanted
man - bin Laden himself remains one step ahead of the United States, with
the core of his worldwide terror network still in place. (Global News Wire
- Asia Africa Intelligence Wire, InfoProd, January 20, 2002)
President Bush has repeatedly promised to "smoke him out" of his
cave, dead or alive, if necessary through ground assaults or missile strikes.
According to the president, Osama is in an area of Pakistan which "is extremely
mountainous and very inaccessible,... with high mountains between 9,000 to 15,000
feet high...." which suggests that we cannot get him, because there is
no communications infrastructure, which would enable us to effectively go after
him. (quoted in Balochistan Times, 23 April 2006)
For the last five years, the US military and intelligence apparatus at considerable
expense to US taxpayers has been "searching for Osama".
A CIA unit with a multimillion dollar budget was set up, with a mandate to
find Osama. This unit was apparently disbanded in 2005. "Intelligence experts
agree", he is hiding in a remote area of Pakistan, but "we cannot
"Most intelligence analysts are convinced that Osama bin Laden is somewhere
on the Afghan-Pakistan border. Lately, it has been said that he's probably
in the vicinity of the a 7700m Hindu Kush peak Tirich Mir in the tribal Chitral
area of northwest Pakistan." Hobart Mercury (Australia), September 9,
The pursuit of Osama has become a highly ritualized process which feeds the
news chain on a daily basis. It is not only part of the media disinformation
campaign, it also provides a pretext for the arbitrary arrest, detention and
torture of numerous "suspects", "enemy combatants" and "accomplices",
who allegedly might be are aware of Osama's whereabouts. And that information
is of course vital to "the security of Americans".
The search for Osama serves both military and political objectives. Te Dems
and the Republicans compete in their resolve to weed out "islamic terrorism".
The Path to 9/11, a controversial five-hour ABC documentary on "the search
for Osama" which makes its debut on the 10th and 11th of September to marks
the fifth anniversary of the attacks, casually accuses Clinton of being "too
busy with the Monica Lewinsky scandal to fight terrorism." The fact of
the matter is that every single administration, since Jimmy Carter have supported
and financed the "Islamic terror" network, created during the Carter
administration at the outset of the Soviet-afghan war. (See Michel Chossudovsky,
is Osama bin Laden, 12 September 2001)
Where was Osama on Septembers 11?
There is evidence that the whereabouts of Osama are known to the Bush
On September 10. 2001, "Enemy Number One" was in a Pakistani military
hospital in Rawalpindi, courtesy of America's indefectible ally Pakistan, as
confirmed by a report of Dan Rather, CBS News. (See
our October 2003 article on this issue)
He could have been arrested at short notice which would have "saved us
a lot of trouble", but then we would not have had an Osama Legend, which
has fed the news chain as well as George W's speeches in the course of the last
According to Dan Rather, CBS, Bin Laden was hospitalized in Rawalpindi.
one day before the 9/11 attacks, on September 10, 2001.
"Pakistan. Pakistan's Military Intelligence (ISI) told CBS that bin
Laden had received dialysis treatment in Rawalpindi, at Pak Army's headquarters.
DAN RATHER, CBS ANCHOR: As the United states and its allies
in the war on terrorism press the hunt for Osama bin Laden, CBS News
has exclusive information tonight about where bin Laden was and what he was
doing in the last hours before his followers struck the United States September
This is the result of hard-nosed investigative reporting by a team of CBS
news journalists, and by one of the best foreign correspondents in the business,
CBS`s Barry Petersen. Here is his report.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BARRY PETERSEN, CBS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
Everyone remembers what happened on September 11. Here`s the story of what
may have happened the night before. It is a tale as twisted as the hunt for
Osama bin Laden.
CBS News has been told that the night before the September 11 terrorist
attack, Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan. He was getting medical treatment
with the support of the very military that days later pledged its backing
for the U.S. war on terror in Afghanistan.
Pakistan intelligence sources tell CBS News that bin Laden was spirited into
this military hospital in Rawalpindi for kidney dialysis treatment. On that
night, says this medical worker who wanted her identity protected, they moved
out all the regular staff in the urology department and sent in a secret team
to replace them. She says it was treatment for a very special person. The
special team was obviously up to no good.
"The military had him surrounded," says this hospital
employee who also wanted his identity masked, "and I saw the mysterious
patient helped out of a car. Since that time," he says, "I have
seen many pictures of the man. He is the man we know as Osama bin Laden. I
also heard two army officers talking to each other. They were saying that
Osama bin Laden had to be watched carefully and looked after." Those
who know bin Laden say he suffers from numerous ailments, back and stomach
problems. Ahmed Rashid, who has written extensively on the Taliban, says the
military was often there to help before 9/11.
PETERSEN (on camera): Doctors at the hospital told CBS News
there was nothing special about that night, but they refused our request to
see any records. Government officials tonight denied that bin Laden had any
medical treatment on that night.
(voice-over): But it was Pakistan's President Musharraf who said in public
what many suspected, that bin Laden suffers from kidney disease, saying he
thinks bin Laden may be near death. His evidence, watching this most recent
video, showing a pale and haggard bin Laden, his left hand never moving. Bush
administration officials admit they don`t know if bin Laden is sick or even
DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: With respect to the
issue of Osama bin Laden`s health, I just am -- don`t have any knowledge.
PETERSEN: The United States has no way of knowing who in Pakistan`s
military or intelligence supported the Taliban or Osama bin Laden maybe up
to the night before 9/11 by arranging dialysis to keep him alive. So the United
States may not know if those same people might help him again perhaps to freedom.
Barry Petersen, CBS News, Islamabad.
(END VIDEOTAPE) END
(CBS News, 28 January 2002 emphasis added, the complete transcript of CBS
report sis contained in annex to this article)
It should be noted, that the hospital is directly under the jurisdiction of
the Pakistani Armed Forces, which has close links to the Pentagon. U.S. military
advisers based in Rawalpindi. work closely with the Pakistani Armed Forces.
Again, no attempt was made to arrest America's best known fugitive, but then
maybe bin Laden was serving another "better purpose". Rumsfeld claimed
at the time that he had no knowledge regarding Osama's health. (CBS News, 28
The CBS report is a crucial piece of information in our understanding of 9/11.
It refutes the administration's claim that the whereabouts of bin Laden are
unknown. It points to a Pakistan connection, it suggests a cover-up at the highest
levels of the Bush administration.
Dan Rather and Barry Petersen fail to draw the implications of their January
2002 report. They suggest that the US had been deliberately misled by Pakistani
intelligence officials. They fail to beg the question:
Why does the US administration say that cannot Osama?
If they are to stand by their report, the conclusion is obvious.
If the CBS report is accurate and Osama had indeed been admitted to the Pakistani
military hospital on September 10, courtesy of America's ally, he was either
still in hospital in Rawalpindi on the 11th of September, when the attacks occurred
or had been released from the hospital within the last hours before the attacks.
In other words, Osama's whereabouts were known to US officials on the morning
of September 12, when Secretary of State Colin Powell initiated negotiations
with Pakistan, with a view to arresting and extraditing bin Laden. These negotiations,
led by General Mahmoud Ahmad, head of Pakistan's military intelligence, on behalf
of the government of President Pervez Musharraf, took place on the 12th and
13th of September in Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage's office.
The administration is lying. Osama bin Laden's whereabouts were known.
He could have been arrested at short notice on September 10th, 2001.
But then we would not have been privileged to five years of Osama related media
stories. The Bush administration desperately needs the fiction of an "outside
enemy of America".
Known and documented Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda is a construct of the US intelligence
apparatus. his essential function is to give a face to the war on terrorism.
The image must be vivid.
According to the White house, "The greatest threat to us is this ideology
of violent extremism, and its greatest public proponent is Osama bin Laden.
Bin Laden remains the number one target, in terms of our efforts, but he's not
the only target." Recent Statement of White House Assistant for Homeland
Security Frances Townsend, 5 September 2006).
The national security doctrine rests on the fiction of Islamic terrorists,
led by Osama who are portrayed as a "threat to the civilized World".
In the words of President Bush, "Bin Laden and his terrorist allies have
made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them. The question
is will we listen? Will we pay attention to what these evil men say? We are
on the offensive. We will not rest. We will not retreat. And we will not withdraw
from the fight until this threat to civilization has been removed." (quoted
by CNN, September 5, 2006)
The "hot pursuit" for Osama in the rugged mountainous areas of Pakistan
must continue, because without Osama, referred to ad nauseam in news reports
and official statements, the fragile legitimacy of the Bush administration's
crusade collapses like a deck of cards.
Chossudovsky is the author of the international best America’s
"War on Terrorism" Global Research, 2005. He is Professor
of Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Center for Research
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