Is Osama Bin Laden the Devil?

When we violate the law ourselves, whatever short-term advantage may be gained, we are obviously encouraging others to violate the law; we thus encourage disorder and instability and thereby do incalculable damage to our own long-term interests.

J. William Fulbright

Revenge

Nothing is what it seems.

So Osama Bin Laden is now dead. Except that, according to Benazir Bhutto, in an interview she gave to David Frost about 3 months before she herself was assassinated, Bin Laden had already been murdered many years ago. She even named the killer, a man closely involved with the Pakistani security services.

The latest news is that al-Qaeda have acknowledged bin Laden’s death and sworn revenge.  That's assuming we know who al-Qaeda might be, that is. So on the one hand we are assured that Bin Laden’s death has made the world a safer place, on the other, that we should expect more violence as a consequence.

9/11

Who was Osama Bin Laden?

On the morning of September 11th 2001, within hours of the announcement of the attack upon the twin towers, Bin Laden’s name and face was already being flashed up upon the screen as the perpetrator of the atrocity.

Bin Laden himself denied it, then appeared to accept it, then denied it again, in a series of tapes and videos, some of which were widely believed to be faked.

Now here is a surprising fact: on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist webpage, Osama bin Laden is not accused of the September 11th attacks. You can check this out if you like.

When asked why, in 2006 Rex Tomb, then the FBI's chief of investigative publicity, said: "The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Osama Bin Laden's Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11."

Meanwhile, in a contradictory set of statements following the announcement of his death, it was first of all said that he had died in a fire-fight, then that he had used one of his wives as a human shield, and finally that he had been unarmed.

The Navy Seals who were responsible for his death have since been praised for their bravery: for the killing of an unarmed man in front of his children.

How brave is that?

Laws of War

If Osama Bin Laden was a criminal he should have been captured alive and brought to trial. If he was an enemy combatant, he should have been captured alive at the moment of surrender and treated as a prisoner of war. He could then have been tried as a war criminal. If he had died in combat, his body should have been returned to his family for burial.

Those are the laws of war.

As it is he was shot in the head in what appears to be an extra-judicial killing tantamount to an execution, after which his body was buried at sea: “according to Islamic practice”, as a government spokesperson said. And yet, according to Islamic scholars, burial at sea is in direct violation of Islamic law.

Meanwhile the photographs of his dead body are not being released as they are too gruesome to be shown, while they might also provide a rallying point for Islamic militants, according to President Obama, fuelling suspicion in some quarters that his death too might have been faked.

On the BBC Radio 4 Today programme after the announcement of his death, I heard several commentators describe Bin Laden as “the devil.”

This is interesting terminology. Who exactly is the devil?

You could say that the concept of the devil is a useful fiction designed to keep human beings in a state of fear.

Might not that description also apply to Osama Bin Laden?

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Comments 17 comments

Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 5 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

As always, a very fair and reasonable analysis. Well writ, that man!


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 5 years ago from Guwahati, India

Bin Laden is dead but we people made him a person believed “Not to be dead”. Law is there to hand over the dead body but law should not make a champion of heroes in terror strike.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Thanks Paraglider. Much of it remains a mystery, however.

Thanks HP: yes, the law says his body should have been given back to his family, and while it is true that no one would want to make him a champion, as you put it, certain rules must apply in a civilised world. We cannot accuse others of barbarity and then fail to live up to the demands of civilisation ourselves.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida

Interesting questions. Last night I saw a US senator respond to charges the US acted illegally. "Pure bull shit!" he said and fumed and sputtered over the idea that the US really shouldn't be sneaking into other people's countries and killing folks. (As if such things don't go on all the time....) Last night I heard a Fox News pundit liken the execution action to V Day of WW2. Honest.

What a circus! What a side show!


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

V Day! Honest? That would be laughable if it wasn't also quite obscene.


DonDWest profile image

DonDWest 5 years ago from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

The fact of the matter is he's been dead for a very long time. Only now have the politicians decided to publicize his death for whatever means.


someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 5 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

If, Osama Ben Laden was already dead and the government claims that a special forces unit such as the navy seals were sent to Pakastan to kill him the government would have to cover up the evidence in order to make their story feasable.The only way to know for sure is to Interview the navy seals who were supposedly sent there and maybe do some reverse speech on what they have to say!

Another alternative would have been to do an autopsy on his body if it hadn't been thrown into the ocean as they claim.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

I don't know if he was dead or not, I only know, that, like his corpse, something is very fishy about the whole thing. Benazir Bhutto certainly believed him to be dead. But, assuming it was really him, it's the whole extra-judicial execution thing which worries me. Either we have civilised values, or we don't. If we don't then we are no better than Osama Bin Laden was supposed to have been.


someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 5 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

Unfortunately if that's the truth of the matter -that the government and - or the military are lying. many people won't understand that or are unwilling to believe it.


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

My suspicion is that they didn't want to bring him to trial as it would have shown that he had nothing to to with 9/11, which would have shown that the whole justification for the last 10 years of oppression, war and barbarity was entirely false. He was always nothing more than a straw man for a plan the US was going to institute anyway.


jandee 5 years ago

You are spot on. They've always done it this way and arrogant enough not to worry about World opinion,what is scary is why are they now bothered? Another question is 'Where next' ?

jandee


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Jandee, well Libya is already happening, I suspect they are shooting from roofs in Syria and Iran is always on the cards. So - my guess - somewhere in the Middle East.


M J Higgins profile image

M J Higgins 5 years ago from Wirral, UK

CJ, your last comment about 10 years of oppression, war and barbarity says it all. End of story as far as I'm concerned. OBL has been a kind of Emmanuel Goldstein figure (from Orwell's 1984). I'm surprised they've now killed him off ... there must be a reason for it. We shall, unfortunately, have to watch what develops.

It makes me think of this passage from a NYTimes article, quoting a Bush aide (rumoured to be Karl Rove):

"The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'' "

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/17/magazine/17BUSH....


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

That's a very powerful quote MJ. It says it all.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

This says how I've felt about it ever since it was announced that Bin Laden was dead:

"We cannot accuse others of barbarity and then fail to live up to the demands of civilisation ourselves."

Thank you for those wise words, CJ.

It is almost the entire heart of this and many other global issues, isn't it? Are we still human, much less civilized?


CJStone profile image

CJStone 5 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Thanks Nellieanna.


u-turn profile image

u-turn 4 years ago from AZ. STATE

Awsome as i heard the same comment he was trained by CIA back in 2001 and maybe before, but glad you wrote this article. Bush oil Bin CIA and all about info, intell created fro the wealthy and thus the YALE HARVARD OXFORD PRINCETON AND SUCH LEVELS OF EDUCATION ARE THEIR. Some are their as CIA and two higher Intelligence Agencys are the power and wealth. So in other words if you and i created are own ITELL AGENCY and use the purpose for business and controling propaganda and the eventuall murder, we would be of power of are people we hire and train, would be such as them and the military mind,thus reasurance of the kill and no questions asked, as we are the govt and deal in the truth. a"

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