|Iftekhar Khan, columnist, "The News" (Pakistan)|
Originally published by The News
As the 11th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Centre nears, are we any closer to unravelling the mystery as to who carried them out? Conspiracy theories abound, no widely convincing outcome of the attacks has so far emerged. The report of the official inquiry commission published by the US government has been wanting in many aspects. It is more verbiage, regarding high-sounding government organisations and how they reacted after the crisis, than a persuasive document.
Although many books have been written on 9/11, five of them stand out because of their lucidity and rationale: Thierry Meyssan’s 9/11 – the Big Lie, David Ray Griffin’s Debunking 9/11 Debunking, Webster Griffin Tarpley’s 9/11: Synthetic Terror Made in USA, and Barry Zwicker’s Towers of Deception: The media cover-up of 9/11. The event of the magnitude of 9/11 that changed the way of life of the multitude round the world hasn’t been investigated to public satisfaction, nor its perpetrators pointed out conclusively.
If the authors of these books unequivocally agree on a single point, it is that demolition material was used to bring the Twin Towers down within their own perimeters in a symmetrical manner. Instead of analysing the steel bars found in the debris for the telltale residual marks if detonating material had been used or not, the bars were carted away overseas for melting.
However, the Taliban regime in Afghanistan was quickly blamed for the devastating attacks and the US demanded to hand over Osama bin Laden, who it thought was the ideologue of the regime and mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. When the Taliban insisted that the US provide evidence of Bin Laden’s involvement in the attacks, the superpower considered it an affront by the cave-dwellers and invaded their rugged land.
The above brings us to Osama bin Laden, ostensibly killed by the US Navy Seals in Abbottabad in May 2011. The mythical crusader blamed for masterminding attacks on the most guarded places in the world fell prey to the Seals’ bullets and went down without a whimper. Craving for quick publicity and a quicker buck, former Navy Seal Matt Bissonette has authored a book, No Easy Day, in which he has presented his firsthand account of the raid on bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad.
The point to argue is why the Seals killed Bin Laden, the highest-value target, instead of capturing him alive. The victim didn’t know he had been located, nor did he know any operation to eliminate him was afoot. Hence, the time factor, which is of great essence in such operations, was in favour of the Seals. Laden alive would have been a billion-dollar man since billions had been poured into Afghanistan to locate and punish him. He could have been interrogated at Guantanamo or Bagram, a confession of his culpability extracted from him and produced in US courts to decide his fate.
Nevertheless, if the decision to kill Bin Laden had been made, his remains could have been flown to the US for morticians to restore his face and body, and to embalm them. Thus, a mummified Bin Laden could have been placed in the national museum for people to know that billions of their tax money spent on waging wars hadn’t gone waste. Instead, according to Bissonette who carried a measly $200 to bribe his way through if the mission failed but wore night-vision goggles worth $65,000, contented himself only with photographing Bin Laden with a digital camera.
The “photographs are now under lock and key in the White House,” claimed the writer. Only the American voters may ask President Obama to show pictures of Bin Laden’s killing as proof before they vote for him in the next election.
The writer is a freelance columnist based in Lahore.