Defenders of the 'official story' like to point out to the skeptics of 9/11 that Osama Bin Laden was caught on video proudly confessing to the crime in front of a group of his peers. The now famous 'confession' video was released in December of 2001 by the Department of Defense under growing international pressure to provide definitive proof tying Bin Laden to 9/11. And the defenders of the government's narrative present this oft-broadcast video as tidy proof of that narrative's validity. But as with so much of the 'evidence' covered at length in this paper, this 'definitive' proof is riddled with conflicting facts, quantum leaps in judgment, and, ultimately, inadvertent support not for the official story, but for the very skepticism about 9/11 that the 'proof' was meant to quell.
First of all, Bin Laden's initial reaction to 9/11 was not to take credit for the crime at all. In fact, he continually denied any involvement in 9/11 up until the 'confession' video was mysteriously presented. Almost no one in the U.S. has read Bin Laden's first statement in response to 9/11, which so conflicts the later 'confession'. Here it is, from September 17, 2001:
We've been asked to accept without question his other statements of 'confession'. So how do we make sense of the above statement? Or how do we make sense of his second public statement in regards to 9/11, given on October 16, 2001:
These comments obviously do not prove that Bin Laden did not orchestrate 9/11. But they do raise a crucial question. Why would a man spend six weeks denying a crime, then suddenly flip-flop 180 degrees and happily start taking responsibility for the originally denied crime? Most people - including scientists, CIA analysts, FBI, and other independent investigators, etc. - who have a working familiarity with the 'confession' video, know the answer to this question. And that is that the man in the video making the 'confession' is almost certainly not Osama Bin Laden, and the tape is a fake. The man shown in the video, though bearded, Arabic, and of darkish complexion, is much heavier than all known photos and videos of the actual Bin Laden. The man in the video is seen writing something down with his right hand. Bin Laden is well-known to be left-handed. And there are scores of other reasons to question the validity of the tape. In fact, "the FBI's page on bin Laden as a 'Most Wanted Terrorist' does not list him as wanted for 9/11, and when asked why, a FBI spokesman said, 'because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11'." (Debunking 9/11 Debunking, pg. 21, David Ray Griffin, Olive Branch Press, 2007.) For a detailed analysis on the bin Laden tapes, click here or here.
But even if we take the hypothesis, for the moment, that the tape is real, then the government would suddenly find itself subject to an even more damning series of questions than if the tape was a fake. Because according to a recent investigation by journalist Ed Haas, the Bin Laden 'confession' video was not, as originally reported, acquired in November 2001. It was acquired in late September 2001, before the invasion of Afghanistan commenced. And if this is true, George W. Bush and Tony Blair could find themselves in deep, deep trouble. Because if this September timeline of receiving the tape is true, based on well-established precedents of international law, Bush and Blair are subject to execution for crimes against humanity.
This is not hyperbole. At the Nuremberg Trials after WW II, the Nazi leaders who were found guilty and later hung for their crimes were not tried for genocide. No one in the world ever stood trial for genocide until 1996. They were simply tried and executed for starting 'wars of aggression'. And this is problematic for Bush and Blair. Because in late September 2001, the invasion of Afghanistan had not yet begun. Only the drumb-beats of war had begun, and capturing Osama Bin Laden was Bush and Blair's given pretext for this potential war. So in response and in an effort to avoid armed hostilities with the two most powerful nations on earth, the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan responded by saying if proof of Bin Laden's connection to 9/11 could be provided, they would turn him over to the Americans. And if, as Ed Haas so clearly details in his above report, the 'confession' video was acquired not in late November, but in late September, then this establishes outright that Bush and Blair had the unequivocal proof of Bin Laden's connection to 9/11 before the invasion of Afghanistan, meaning the war and all its destruction and death could have been avoided.
But as most scholars now agree, capturing Osama Bin Laden was never the actual reason the U.S. and Britain invaded Afghanistan. Gaining strategic and territorial access to the huge reserves of natural gas and energy in the Central Asian countries of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, etc., then linking a pipeline from those reserves through business friendly Pakistan to the Indian sub-continent, and through the twisted arm of Iran and annexed Iraq to connect with the Persian Gulf to the west in order to prop up certain allies of multi-national corporations competing on the 'free' and 'open' market - that was the point of the invasion of Afghanistan, and later Iraq. (Here's a map, connect the dots). And by any reasonable definition or interpretation of international law, these are not viable excuses to justify war. They are crimes against humanity, and wars of aggression. The very same laws officially violated by Nazi war criminals.
No wonder George Bush no longer spends much time thinking about Osama Bin Laden. Osama Bin Forgotten.
For more on the Haas report, the Bin Laden tapes, and related analyses, click here.
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