LIONEL PODCAST: I Never Bought the UBL Story for a Minute

“Once those teams went into the compound I can tell you that there was a time period of almost 20 or 25 minutes where we really didn’t know just exactly what was going on. And there were some very tense moments as we were waiting for information.” — CIA Director Leon “Bigmouth” Panetta spilling the beans.

Seal Team squabble. You know the story. Navy Seals arguing with each other over nondisclosure. I have no interest in that. It seems a tad unseemly, especially after these elite commando units, sworn to secrecy, cravenly grabbing publicity. But that’s not the source of my incredulity.

What I do care about is the story itself of UBL, hiding in plain sight in a mansion less than a mile “southwest of the Pakistan Military Academy in Bilal Town, Abbottabad, Pakistan, a suburban town housing retired military officers.” Right. And then an assassination, er, commando, team dispatch him after conflicting stories as to his initial resistance, with no apparent instructions to take the terrorist leader alive, and after they pop the proverbial cap in his arse, they dunk him in the drink à la Luca Brasi. After all, we don’t want his grave to become a shrine. But that was no problem with Saddam’s burial. And they never took a picture of a cleaned up dead UBL to verify his dispatch. Why? So as not to inflame his acolytes. After we’ve killed him. Anent the Navy Seal raid, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh remarked, “Nothing’s been done about that story, it’s one big lie, not one word of it is true.” I simply don’t understand the narrative.

And I haven’t even referred to claims that the Marfanoid UBL died years prior or was killed in a host of ways, manners and through various pathologies and forms of termination with prejudice. My friend and colleague, James Corbett provides this comprehensive review of the nine (at least) lives of UBL.

In October 2001, Bin Laden appeared in a videotape wearing army fatigues and Islamic headdress, looking visibly pale and gaunt. In December of 2001, another videotape was released, this time showing a seriously ill Bin Laden who was seemingly unable to move his left arm.

Then on December 26, 2001, Fox News reported on a Pakistan Observer story that the Afghan Taliban had officially pronounced Osama Bin Laden dead earlier that month. According to the report, he was buried less than 24 hours later in an unmarked grave in accordance with Wahabbist Sunni practices.

What followed was a string of pronouncements from officials affirming what was already obvious: supposedly living in caves and bunkers in the mountainous pass between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Osama would have been deprived of the dialysis equipment that he required to live.

On January 18, 2002, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf announced quite bluntly: “I think now, frankly, he is dead.”

On July 17, 2002, the then-head of counterterrorism at the FBI, Dale Watson, told a conference of law enforcement officials that “I

Osama Bin Laden in December 2001

personally think he [Bin Laden] is probably not with us anymore,” before carefully adding that “I have no evidence to support that.”

In October 2002, Afghan President Hamid Karzai told CNN that “I would come to believe that [Bin Laden] probably is dead.”

In November 2005, Senator Harry Reid revealed that he was told Osama may have died in the Pakistani earthquake of October that year.

In September 2006, French intelligence leaked a report suggesting Osama had died in Pakistan.

On November 2, 2007, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto told Al-Jazeera’s David Frost that Omar Sheikh had killed Osama Bin Laden.

In March 2009, former US foreign intelligence officer and professor of international relations at Boston University Angelo Codevilla stated: “All the evidence suggests Elvis Presley is more alive today than Osama Bin Laden.”

In May 2009, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari confirmed that his “counterparts in the American intelligence agencies” hadn’t heard anything from Bin Laden in seven years and confirmed “I don’t think he’s alive.”

Now in 2011, President Obama has added himself to the mix of people in positions of authority who have pronounced Osama Bin Laden dead. Some might charge that none of the previous reports had any credibility, but as it is now emerging that Osama’s body was buried at sea less than 12 hours after his death with no opportunity for any independent corroboration of his identity, the same question of credibility has to be leveled at this latest charge. To this point, the only evidence we have been provided that Osama Bin Laden was killed yesterday are some images on tv of a burning compound and the word of the man currently occupying the oval office.

Some of the greatest acting in the history of human kind. Since the moment of the situation room drama, it emerged that POTUS, Hillary and their staff saw virtually nothing whatsoever of the mission that allegedly led to the assassination of Bin Laden, because according to CIA director Leon Panetta, there was a 25 minute blackout of the live feed which was cut off before the US Navy SEALS even entered the building.

“A photograph released by the White House appeared to show the President and his aides in the situation room watching the action as it unfolded. In fact they had little knowledge of what was happening in the compound,” reports the London Telegraph. Maybe Hillary was looking aghast over the poor satellite transmission service versus the horrors of seeing bin Forgotten plugged in real time.

In an interview with PBS, Mr Panetta said: “Once those teams went into the compound I can tell you that there was a time period of almost 20 or 25 minutes where we really didn’t know just exactly what was going on. And there were some very tense moments as we were waiting for information.”

So, why do I have my doubts as to the military’s official story? Remember Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman?

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